Shelve It: 6/10/2012

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

Hi! I’ve returned from the great depths of the ocean. Kind of. My brain is still in another galaxy so I hope some of this makes sense.

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols (Goodreads | Amazon) – Thanks to Small Girls, Big Business!

A Long Way from You by Gwendolyn Heasley (Goodreads | Amazon) – Thanks to Katie from Little Bird Publicity!
Daughters for a Time by Jennifer Handford (Goodreads | Amazon)

A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan (Goodreads | Amazon) – Thanks to the folks at Harcourt!
Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky (Goodreads | Amazon)

Around the blog

SSR: Drinks, Snacks, Books OH MY: books + food = a winning combination
The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty – an adult fiction review!
SSR: Big Kids’ Table: June & July adult fiction releases!
A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger: Magan reviews Kody’s latest.
SSR: Tune in Tuesday: Our summer listening picks!
SSR: Retro Throwback: BSC anyone?
Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker – perfect book for the season!

Giveaways

Our halfway report giveaway.
Ginger at GReads is hosting a Jennifer Echols giveaway!
…plus a copy of From What I Remember thanks to the authors!
Tara from Fiction Folio is hosting a Jessi Kirby giveaway!

See you soon friends!

The Big Kids’ Table: Sweet Summertime Reads Edition


Hope you all are doing well! I’m back with another helping of Big Kids’ Table… this month’s is part of Sweet Summertime Reads, a feature we are hosting along with Ginger (Ginger Reads Books) and Tara (Fiction Folio). I know a lot of our readers mostly stick to young adult but I’m hoping to get more of you to dabble in adult fiction at the same time! It’s good to switch it up, I promise!

So here are a few more books that are making their grand debut this summer:

Inside by Alix Ohlin ( Amazon | Goodreads)
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Amazon Summary:  When Grace, an exceedingly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man who has just failed to hang himself, her instinct to help kicks in immediately. Before long, however, she realizes that her feelings for this charismatic, extremely guarded stranger are far from straightforward. In the meantime, her troubled teenage patient, Annie, runs away from home and soon will reinvent herself in New York as an aspiring and ruthless actress, as unencumbered as humanly possible by any personal attachments. And Mitch, Grace’s ex-husband, who is a therapist as well, leaves the woman he’s desperately in love with to attend to a struggling native community in the bleak Arctic.
Why I want to read it: I like stories abou therapists… and all of these characters seem incredibly engaging. (Plus, how awesome is that cover?)

Sorority Sisters by Claudia Welch ( Amazon | Goodreads )
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Amazon Summary: In 1975, trying to find a place to belong, four young women found each other in the same sorority pledge class. Through parties and pranks; finals and skipped classes; boyfriends and break-ups, they forge a bond that takes them by surprise. No one expected it to last beyond college graduation. But some bonds are too strong to break.
Why I want to read it: I’m not a huge fan of soroities but I do like books about the friendships of women.


We Only Know So Much
by Elizabeth Crane ( Amazon | Goodreads )
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Amazon Summary: Jean Copeland, an emotionally withdrawn wife and mother of two, has taken a secret lover—only to lose him in a moment of tragedy that leaves her reeling. Her husband, Gordon, is oblivious, distracted by the fear that he’s losing his most prized asset: his memory. Daughter Priscilla (a pill since birth—don’t get us started) is talking about clothes, or TV, or whatever, and hatching a plan to extend her maddening reach to all of America. Nine-year-old Otis is torn between his two greatest loves: crossword puzzles and his new girlfriend.

At the back of the house, grandfather Theodore is in the early throes of Parkinson’s disease. (And he’s fine with it—as long as they continue to let him walk the damn dog alone.) And Vivian, the family’s ninety-eight-year-old matriarch, is a razor-sharp grande dame who suffers no fools…and still harbors secret dreams of her own.
Why I want to read it: I know, it’s a cheating book but… I happen to like those for some reason. I think I just like reading about a lot of different marriages.

America, You Sexy Bitch by Meghan McCain & Michael Ian Black ( Amazon | Goodreads)
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Amazon Summary: In America, You Sexy Bitch, Meghan and Michael embark on a balls-out, cross-country tour starting in California, the heart of liberal America, and ending in the state of Connecticut, the home of blue-blood Wall Street billionaires. Along the way, they visit such cultural touchstones as Graceland and Branson, party in Las Vegas and New Orleans, pretend to be Mormon in Salt Lake City (only for a second), and go to a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan. They tour the nation’s capital; they fire semiautomatic weapons. But mostly Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black talk to each other: about their differences, their similarities, and how American politics has gotten so divided.

Why I want to read it: Despite my politics, I really like Meghan McCain and very much enjoyed her first book: Dirty Sexy Politics. I’m very curious to see how this second book holds up.

When In Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison ( Amazon | Goodreads )
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Amazon Description: As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At thirty-seven, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full and secure. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full.

There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes everything better; a colorful family who may or may not be part of the Russian mob; an überwealthy Georgetown family; the picture-perfect Van Houghtens, whose matriarch is “allergic to everything”; and finally, a man she calls “Mr. Tuesday,” whom she has never met but who she is strangely drawn to.

For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and—oh yes—butter.
Why I want to read it: A love story, some baking… what could be better?

The Big Kids’ Table: 5 Adult Fiction Picks (April)

Is it strange that March sped by faster than February when it is a longer month? I can’t believe we are already four months into the year. It doesn’t mean I’m not thrilled because I am! Warmer weather will be here in New York very soon, and life seems a bit more joyous when that occurs. Skirts without tights, flats without tights, and a jean jacket. Anyway, a new month also means some new 2012 adult fiction releases! Anybody read anything I need to get my hands on? Make sure you let me know in the comments!

Calico Joe by John Grisham (Goodreads | Amazon)
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Amazon Description: Whatever happened to Calico Joe?  It began quietly enough with a pulled hamstring. The first baseman for the Cubs AAA affiliate in Wichita went down as he rounded third and headed for home. The next day, Jim Hickman, the first baseman for the Cubs, injured his back. The team suddenly needed someone to play first, so they reached down to their AA club in Midland, Texas, and called up a twenty-one-year-old named Joe Castle. He was the hottest player in AA and creating a buzz. In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen.  The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records. Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever…
Why I’m interested: I am a sucker for a baseball book.

A Gift for My Sister: A Novel by Ann Pearlman (Goodreads | Amazon)
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Amazon Description: Tara and Sky share a mother, but aside from that they seem to differ in almost every way. When a series of tragedies strikes, they must somehow come together in the face of heartbreak, dashed hopes, and demons of the past. The journey they embark on forces each woman to take a walk in the other’s shoes and examine what sisterhood really means to them. It’s a long road to understanding, and everyone who knows them hopes these two sisters can find a way back to each other.
Why I’m interested: This one sounds like a tearjerker but I do find myself to like books about sisters, being I’m one myself.

The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo (Goodreads | Amazon)
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Amazon Description: Katherine Shaw—Kate— is happy with her life. She has supportive friends, a glamorous magazine career, and a love of all things Jane Austen. But when she loses her job, her beloved grandmother falls ill and a financial disaster forces a sale on the family home, Kate finds herself facing a crisis that would test even the most stalwart of Austen heroines.  Friends rally round, connecting her to freelance gigs, and presenting her with a birthday gift— title to land in Scotland—that’s about to come in very handy. Turns out that Kate’s first freelance assignment is to test an Austen-inspired theory: in the toughest economic times is a wealthy man the only must-have accessory? What begins as an article turns into an opportunity as Kate—now Lady Kate—jet-sets to Palm Beach, St Moritz and London where, in keeping company with the elite, she meets prospects who make Mr. Darcy look like an amateur. But will rubbing shoulders with men of good fortune ever actually lead her to love? And will Kate be able to choose between Mr. Rich and Mr. Right?
Why I’m interested: A trip, a writer, and Jane Austen. Perfect!

Little Night by Luanne Rice (Goodreads | Amazon)
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Amazon Description: Clare Burke’s life took a devastating turn when she tried to protect her sister, Anne, from an abusive and controlling husband and ended up serving prison time for assault. The verdict largely hinged on Anne’s defense of her spouse—all lies—and the sisters have been estranged ever since. Nearly twenty years later, Clare is living a quiet life in Manhattan as an urban birder and nature blogger, when her niece, Grit, turns up on her doorstep. The two long for a relationship with each other, but they’ll have to dig deep into their family’s difficult past in order to build one. Together they face the wounds inflicted by Anne and find in their new connection a place of healing. When Clare begins to suspect her sister might be in New York, she and her niece hold out hope for a long-awaited reunion with her.
Why I’m interested: I’m a fan of reading Luanne Rice on vacation, and while this one seems to be on the heavy side, seems like something I would throw in my beach bag for sure.

The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty ( Goodreads | Amazon)
Release Date: June 14, 2012
Amazon Description: Ellen O’Farrell is a bit unusual. She’s a hypnotherapist. She’s never met her father. And she can’t seem to keep a relationship going (okay, that’s more normal that we want to admit). When Ellen meets Patrick, she’s hopeful nevertheless. But when he says he needs to tell her something, she fears the worst. However, when Patrick reveals that his ex-girlfriend is stalking him, Ellen thinks, Is that all? Actually, that’s kind of neat. She’s more intrigued than frightened. What makes a supposedly smart, professional woman behave this way? She’d love to meet her. What she doesn’t know is that she already has.
Why I’m interested: Reminds me of an adult version of The Stalker Chronicles which I just reviewed & finished!

The Big Kids’ Table: 5 Adult Fiction Picks (March)

Good morning everyone! (It’s not really morning when I’m writing this, I’ll admit. I’m about a week early and listening to the Jessica Darling mix in my bathrobe.) Three months into the new year, and it’s time for another round of new adult fiction books you may or may not be interested in checking out. Anyone having any luck in this department? As of right now, I’ve read 2 adult fiction books out of 23 books for the year. I’m not sure how likely it is for me to grab some of the books I’ve been discussing in this meme but I have been browsing through the Literature section at Barnes & Noble and keeping tabs on some books to take out. Please be sure to comment if you have read anything I should be adding to any of my four million book lists! And now onto the books…

What They Do in the Dark: A Novel by Amanda Coe
Upcoming Release Date: March 19, 2012
Why I’m interested: The premise sort of reminded me of Summer Sisters.
Description from Amazon: Spoiled but emotionally neglected Gemma, who seems to have everything, and semi-feral Pauline, who has less than nothing, are two very different ten-year-old girls growing up in a tough Yorkshire town in the 1970s. Pauline longs for the simple luxuries of Gemma’s life: her neatly folded socks and her clean hair. Gemma, upset by her parent’s breakup, loses herself in fantasies of meeting the child television star Lallie. When Lallie shoots a movie in their hometown, Gemma and Pauline grab the chance for their wildest dreams to come true. But the film becomes a terrible catalyst for the larger forces acting on the two girls, a dysfunctional adult world that trickles down to the children; and playground bullying escalates, with dreadful consequences. [ Goodreads | Amazon ]

Make It Stay by Joan Frank
Upcoming Release Date: March 30, 2012
Why I’m interested: This book description is so different than anything I’ve seen in awhile. Secrets, marriage, love stories, etc.
Description from Amazon: In the tree-nestled Northern California town of Mira Flores, writer Rachel (“an aging typist with an unprofitable hobby”) and her Scottish husband Neil prepare dinner for a familiar “crew” of guests – among them Neil’s best friend, the burly, handsome Mike Spender, an irrepressible heodnist – and Mike’s wife Tilda Krall, a hard-bitten figure who carries her dark unknowability like an accusation.

Mike and Tilda have produced an enchanting daughter, Addie – who will also appear, unexpectedly, that night. As they ready the meal, Rae begs Neil to retell her the strange, twisted story of the Spenders – to include Mike’s secret life, and what happened once Tilda learned of it. Neil and Rae cannot guess how the shock waves from that story will threaten to destroy their own marriage – after a mysterious catastrophe propels all five individuals into uncharted realities. [ Goodreads | Amazon ]

The Singles: A Novel by Meredith Goldstein
Upcoming Release Date:  April 24, 2012
Why I’m interested: Oh the drama of wedding etiquette. And it’s Goldstein’s debut!
Description from Amazon:  Bee wanted the perfect wedding; she got the “Singles”

Back in her single days—before she met the man of her dreams—Beth “Bee” Evans hated being forced to attend weddings solo. Determined to spare her friends the same humiliation, she invites everyone on her list with a guest. Much to her chagrin, however, Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy insist upon attending Bee’s lavish Chesapeake Bay nuptials alone. The frustrated bride dubs them the “Minus-Ones” and their collective decision wreaks unintended havoc on her otherwise perfectly planned wedding weekend.

One of today’s most popular relationship columnists, Meredith Goldstein, has penned a sparkling debut novel that chronicles the promises and disappointments of love and friendship with humor, compassion, and wisdom. [ Goodreads | Amazon ]

The Age of Miracles: A Novel by Karen Thompson Walker
Upcoming Release Date: June 26, 2012
Why I’m interested: I love coming of age stories. But this also has a futuristic/fantasy feel, which I don’t normally go for. Plus this is Walker’s debut novel!
Description from Amazon: On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues. [ Goodreads | Amazon ]

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
Upcoming Release Date: July 31, 2012
Why I’m interested: Ever since Rachel made me read Something Borrowed, I’ve been a huge fan of Emily’s and read every single of her books. (SoBo is still my favorite; Baby Proof is second.)
Description from Amazon: Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.

For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever. [ Goodreads | Amazon ]