An Advanced Look at my Advanced Book Box Haul

August is ending, but my reading will not. These are the books I received in a book box or as ARC (advance reading copy). I am very thankful to the publishers for sending me the books to read and review. I will go through the books from my book box first. The book synopses will be from Goodreads.

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Re Set By: Sarina Dahlan

This was the June book for the “Once Upon A Book Club” box. The post office seems to take their time in delivering my packages lately, so I got my box a little late. When I get to reading this book, I will of course take pictures and post the gifts that come in my box as I get to them.

Synopsis: Can you love someone you don’t remember?

After the Last War destroyed most of the world, survivors form a new society in four self-sustaining cities in the Mojave Desert. In the utopia of the Four Cities, inspired by the lyrics of “Imagine” and Buddhist philosophy, everything is carefully planned and controlled: the seasons, the weather—and the residents. To prevent mankind from destroying each other again, its citizens undergo a memory wipe every four years in a process called tabula rasa, a blank slate, to remove learned prejudices. With each new cycle, they begin again with new names, jobs, homes, and lives. No memories. No attachments. No wars.

Aris, a scientist who shuns love, embraces tabula rasa and the excitement of unknown futures. Walling herself off from emotional attachments, she only sees relationships as pointless and avoids deep connections. But she is haunted by a recurring dream that becomes more frequent and vivid as time passes. After meeting Benja, a handsome free-spirited writer who believes his dreams of a past lover are memories, her world is turned upside down. Obsessed with finding the Dreamers, a secret organization thought to have a way to recover memories, Benja draws her down a dangerous path toward the past. When Metis, the leader of the Dreamers, appears in Aris’s life, everything she believes falls to pieces. With little time left before the next tabula rasa, they begin a bittersweet romance, navigating love in a world where names, lives, and moments are systematically destroyed.

Thought-provoking and emotionally resonant, Reset will make you consider the haunting reality of love and loss, and the indelible marks they leave behind. 

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Sisters of the Resistance By: Christine Wells

This book is July’s “Once Upon A Book Club” book. I am excited to read this one as well, as I enjoy historical fiction.

Synopsis: France, 1944: The Nazis still occupy Paris, and twenty-five-year-old Gabby Foucher hates these enemies, though, as the concierge of ten rue Royale, she makes it a point to avoid trouble, unlike her sister Yvette. Until she, like her sister, is recruited into the Resistance by Catherine Dior—sister of the fashion designer, Christian Dior.

Gabby and Yvette are both swept into the world of spies, fugitives, and Resistance workers, and it doesn’t take long for the sisters to realize that their lives are in danger.

Gabby discovers an elderly tenant is hiding a wounded British fugitive, and Yvette becomes a messenger for the Resistance. But as Gabby begins to fall in love with her patient and Yvette’s impulsiveness lead her into intrigue at an ever-higher level, both women will discover that their hearts and even their souls hang in the balance as well.

This page-turning novel is perfect for any reader fascinated by the role of women during World War II, whose stories are often untold, and introduces us to Catherine Dior, the fearless real-life Resistance hero.

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Subterranean By: James Rollins

This came from the “Books and Treasure Box”. Their services usually include a few gifts as well as a book. I haven’t been taking pictures as I open this box, but if you want to see what comes with the book in a future post just let me know.

Synopsis: Travel to the bottom of the earth to a place you never dreamed existed. Beneath the ice a hand-picked team of specialist makes its way toward the center of the world. They are not the first to venture into this magnificent subterranean labyrinth. Those they follow did not return.

Over the rocks…Across the yawning caverns…beyond the black river…You are not alone. Into the darkness where breathtaking wonders await you-and terrors beyond imagining…Revelations that could change the world-things that should never be disturbed…At the bottom of the earth is the beginning. Keep moving toward a miracle that cannot be, toward a mystery older than time.

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Born of No Woman By: Franck Bouysse

I actually got this book, and the next three books, from working at the library. One of the benefits of working at the library is that you receive ARCs (advanced reading copies)!

Synopsis: In this gothic tale reminiscent of Faulkner’s Light in August, a young woman’s journals divulge the horrible secrets of a wealthy family in late nineteenth-century rural France. Before he is called to bless the body of a woman at the nearby asylum, Father Gabriel receives a strange, troubling confession: hidden under her dress he will find the notebooks that contain Rose’s harrowing story. At fourteen years old, Rose is sold to a rich man by her father, a farmer unable to support her and her three younger sisters. Traded for a handful of coins, she becomes the property of the master and is taken away without warning to her new home. This isolated manor that seems like a castle to Rose, with the master’s formidable mother and his absent wife, immediately provokes a sense of unease. Rose soon becomes caught in their perverse web, unsure of how to escape and whom she can trust. The English-language debut of critically acclaimed author Franck Bouysse, this exquisitely written novel is both a keen commentary on class and a chilling horror story. Deftly navigating the complexities of desire, abuse, compassion, and resilience, he has created a timeless portrait of human nature left to fester unseen.

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Wish You Were Gone By: Kieran Scott

This is another book I got from my job at the library.

Synopsis: Emma Walsh’s looks-great-on-the-outside marriage is at the breaking point, and she’s finally worked up the courage to confront her husband James about his drinking—his alcoholic rages, his blackouts, the uncertainty and fear his behavior has created for her and their two kids. But James never shows up to meet her as planned, and all her righteous words go unsaid. And unsaid they remain, because the next time Emma sees James, his body is crumpled amidst the wreckage of his flashy car, smashed to its final resting place halfway through the back wall of their suburban house’s roomy garage.

In the aftermath of the fatal crash, she and her teenage children, Kelsey and Hunter, begin to imagine life without the looming, volcanic presence of their husband and father. Buoyed by the support of her two closest friends, Emma struggles to deal with her grief, complicated by the knowledge that James’s legacy as an upstanding business owner and family man shines only because so many people were so willing, for so long, to keep his secrets—secrets that twist into new and unexpected shapes as the mysterious details of his last day of life begin to come to light.

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The Corpse Flower By: Anne Mette Hancock

This is another perk from my library job.

Synopsis: A Danish journalist digs deep to uncover a web of lies that stretches back to a grisly murder, but knowing the truth might put an end to her story.

It’s early September in Copenhagen, the rain has been coming down for weeks, and 36-year-old journalist Heloise Kaldan is in the middle of a nightmare. One of her sources has been caught lying, and she could lose her job over it. And then she receives the first in a series of cryptic and ominous letters from an alleged killer.

Wanted in connection with the fatal stabbing of a young lawyer three years earlier, Anna Kiel hasn’t been seen by anyone since she left the crime scene covered in blood. The police think she’s fled the country and have zero clues as to her motive. But homicide detective Erik Scháfer comes up with the first lead when the reporter who first wrote about the case is found murdered in his apartment. Has Anna Kiel struck again, or is there more than one killer at large? And why does every clue point directly to Heloise Kaldan?

Meanwhile, the letters keep coming, and they hint at a connection between Anna and Heloise. As Heloise starts digging deeper, she realizes that, to tell Anna’s story, she will have to revisit the darkest parts of her own past–confronting someone she swore she’d never see again. 

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The Throwback List By: Lily Anderson

This is the final book I got from the library, in this haul.

Synopsis: Welcome to Sandy Point, Oregon: a sleepy beach town that’s home to a giant anchor statue, a sometimes-karaoke-bar, and Frosty’s questionably legendary Sunday Sundae Surprise. A town Jo, Autumn, and Bianca thought they’d left far behind when they graduated high school, finally moving on to greener pastures than the midway point for tourists heading to the Goonies house. But life seldom goes according to plan.

Bianca Boria-Birdy, former prom queen and valedictorian, has always been an overachiever. As she juggles managing the family tattoo parlor, caring for her grandmother, and adjusting to a new marriage, Bianca’s schedule becomes stricter than ever, with no room for disruption. What she really needs is a vacation, but not even Bianca Boria-Birdy can achieve the impossible.

Autumn Kelly used to be an actress. Now she teaches drama at Sandy Point High. She may have had to kiss her movie-star dreams goodbye, but molding the next generation of performers has given her life meaning in a whole new way. Until the sudden reappearance of her ex-best friend throws everything off-balance.
Jo Freeman has it all together. With a cool job in Silicon Valley, connections at the trendiest fitness studios, and a down payment on her dream condo, she’s well on her way to reaching every one of her goals before thirty. Or she was, before she got fired and landed right back home with her parents and teenage sister.

When Jo finds an old bucket list in her childhood bedroom, it sets the three women on a path that brings them closer to one another with each task. And it just might lead to a life none of them could have planned.

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City of Fire By: Don Winslow

This book and the next two books came from William Marrow an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. I am thankful for the chance to read and review.

Synopsis: Two criminal empires together control all of New England.

Until a beautiful modern-day Helen of Troy comes between the Irish and the Italians, launching a war that will see them kill each other, destroy an alliance, and set a city on fire.

Danny Ryan yearns for a more “legit” life and a place in the sun. But as the bloody conflict stacks body on body and brother turns against brother, Danny has to rise above himself. To save the friends he loves like family and the family he has sworn to protect, he becomes a leader, a ruthless strategist, and a master of a treacherous game in which the winners live and the losers die.

From the gritty streets of Providence to the glittering screens of Hollywood to the golden casinos of Las Vegas, Danny Ryan will forge a dynasty.

Exploring the classic themes of loyalty, betrayal, and honor, City on Fire is a contemporary Iliad, a saga that spans generations–a towering achievement of storytelling genius from Don Winslow, “America’s greatest living crime writer” (Jon Land, Providence Journal).

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As The Wicked Watch By: Tamron Hall

I enjoy mysteries and thrillers, so I am excited to get to review this book as well. Here’s the synopsis below.

Synopsis: The first in a thrilling new series from Emmy Award–winning journalist Tamron Hall, in which a reporter unravels the disturbing mystery around the deaths of two black girls, the work of a serial killer terrorizing Chicago.

When crime reporter Jordan Manning leaves her hometown in Texas to take a job at a television station in Chicago, she’s one step closer to her a dream: a coveted anchor chair on a national network.

Jordan is smart and aggressive, with unabashed star-power, and often the only woman of color in the newsroom. Her signature? Arriving first on the scene—in impractical designer stilettos. Armed with a master’s degree in forensic science and impeccable instincts, Jordan has thus far been able to balance her dueling motivations: breaking every big story—and giving voice to the voiceless.

Wrap Up: That’s what I have in this book haul. Have you read any of them? If so, what did you think? Which one of these books do you think I should read first? Let me know.

Until next time, keep reading.

From her time reporting in Texas, she’s sure she has covered the vilest of human behaviors, but nothing has prepared her for Chicago. You see, Jordan is that rare breed of journalist who can navigate a crime scene as well as she can a newsroom—often noticing what others tend to miss. Again and again, she is called to cover the murders of black females, many of them sexually assaulted, most brutalized, and all of them quickly forgotten.

All until Masey James—the story that Jordan just can’t shake, try as she might. A fifteen-year-old girl whose body was found in an abandoned lot, Masey has come to represent for Jordan all of the frustration that her job—with its required distance—often forces her to repress. Putting the rest of her workload and her (fraying) personal life aside, Jordan does everything she can to give the story the coverage it desperately requires, and that a missing black child would so rarely get. Three young boys are eventually charged with Masey’s murder, but Jordan remains unconvinced.

There’s a serial killer on the loose, Jordan believes, and he’s hiding in plain sight.

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Termination Shock By: Neal Stephenson

A visionary technothriller about climate change.

Neal Stephenson’s sweeping, prescient new novel transports readers to a near-future world where the greenhouse effect has inexorably resulted in a whirling-dervish troposphere of superstorms, rising sea levels, global flooding, merciless heat waves, and virulent, deadly pandemics.

One man has a Big Idea for reversing global warming, a master plan perhaps best described as “elemental.” But will it work? And just as important, what are the consequences for the planet and all of humanity should it be applied?

Ranging from the Texas heartland to the Dutch royal palace in the Hague, from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the sunbaked Chihuahuan Desert, Termination Shock brings together a disparate group of characters from different cultures and continents who grapple with the real-life repercussions of global warming. Ultimately, it asks the question: Might the cure be worse than the disease?

Have you heard of any of these books? Which book interest you the most? What book should I read first? There will couple of more book hauls coming your way in the next few days. Until next time keep reading.

Published by debbierpayne

Mother of six and Grandmother of 7. I enjoy reading, sewing, cooking, and crocheting. I am an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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