Welcome to February! Here in Florida, we had a touch of winter, probably the last we'll see for the year. If you're up north, stay warm. Maybe you could curl up by the fire with a good book.
The Sanitorium by Sarah Pearse
"Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel. An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin's taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept." The Shining 2021? This reminds me of the Toni Collette film, Hotel Splendide. If you like really weird stuff, it's for you!
Much Ado About You by Samantha Young
"In a burst of impulsivity, [Evangeline Starling] plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover. Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she’s drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations." This sounds like so much fun!
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
"Paris, 1939: When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile Souchet stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal. Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them." This one sounds wonderful!
"On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. [As they never had a relationship] neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it's this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it's not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts. As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers." Sweet!
Girl by Abigail Dean
"Lex Gracie doesn't want to think about her family. She doesn't want to think about growing up in her parents' House of Horrors. And she doesn't want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped, the eldest sister who freed her older brother and four younger siblings. But when her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can't run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the home into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her siblings--and with the childhood they shared." I admit it, this is my kind of book!
Let's Look at Nonfiction!
Just as I Am: A Memoir by Cicely Tyson
"Just As I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. In these pages, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. --Cicely Tyson" I love a good memoir.
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi
"The story begins in 1619—a year before the Mayflower—when the White Lion disgorges 'some 20-and-odd Negroes' onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history." A tough but important read.
You Can't Lose Them All: Tales of a Degenerate Gambler and His Ridiculous Friends by Sal Iocono
"With hilarious tales of love and loss, winning and (a lot) of losing, crazy family and fatherhood, and a life saga that inspired the Phil Collins' song, "Against All Odds," Cousin Sal has now written THE Vegas super-system, MIT-algorithmic, sharp-approved book for how to gamble like a pro -- or at least not how not to go broke and lose your kids to Child Protective Services." This sounds hilarious! I could use some laughs.
The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine by Janice P. Nimura
"Elizabeth Blackwell believed from an early age that she was destined for a mission beyond the scope of 'ordinary' womanhood. Though the world at first recoiled at the notion of a woman studying medicine, her intelligence and intensity ultimately won her the acceptance of the male medical establishment. In 1849, she became the first woman in America to receive an M.D. She was soon joined in her iconic achievement by her younger sister, Emily, who was actually the more brilliant physician." More great history!
All descriptions, except where noted, are taken from Amazon.
Whatever Happened to Margo by Margaret Durrell
This was a lot of fun, but a bit disjointed.
My Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
The Durrells of Corfu by Michael Haag
Wonderful to read more about this family after reading Gerald's books and watching the show.
My Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg
Heartwarming, but meandering without focus. Not Flagg's best.
My Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
Gidget by Frederick Kohner
Though I don't have a 5-star book this month, I'd recommend Gidget, a heartwarming, fun coming-of-age story.
My Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
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