Books On My Reading List This Week – January 11, 2022

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It’s only the second week of January and I’ve already completed five of my seventy-five books of 2022! I was delighted to get some new requests for reviews from several authors this week and have added their books to my reading list. The first book on my list this week was submitted by Elan Barnehama, entitled Escape Route. This one isn’t scheduled for release until May. One of the coolest things about book blogging is getting advanced reader copies and getting to read new releases early.

I’m also looking forward to four audiobooks this week. The first is The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. Set in rural Kentucky, a young woman gets a job delivery books, magazines, and other library materials via mule in the hills. Next is The Restaurant by Pamela M. Kelley, focuses on three friends who grew up together

in Nantucket. The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate is set in rural Louisiana, first in the abolition era when emancipated slaves posted notices seeking out family and friends and then in the late 80s when a young woman takes a job teaching in an impoverished school district. Finally, in my audiobook selections is The Heiress: The revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley. This novel gets its storyline from the Jane Austen classic, Pride & Prejudice.

Finally, I’m starting on the Harry Potter series. I know, I’m a little late to the party on this one. However, I found the Hebrew translations of the series. I’ve attempted to learn modern Hebrew by several methods but have struggled with it. As I tend to do better with learning by reading, I’m using the series to improve my language skills.

Join the conversation! Tell me your thoughts on any of your favorites on this week’s list in the comments.


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Books This Week

Escape Route by Elan Barnehama
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Escape Route is set in New York City during the tumultuous late 1960s. Told by teenager Zach, a first-generation son of Holocaust survivors and NY Mets fan, who becomes obsessed with the Vietnam War and with finding an escape route for his family for when he believes the US will round up and incarcerate its Jews. Zach meets Samm, a seventh-generation Manhattanite whose brother has returned from Vietnam with PTSD. Together they explore protest, friendship, music, faith, and love during a time littered with hope and upheaval around the globe.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.

Cussy’s not only a book woman, however, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Click the image to find it on Amazon

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.

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The Restaurant by Pamela M. Kelley
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Three sisters. An inherited Nantucket restaurant. One year before they can sell.Mandy, Emma and Jill are as close as three sisters who live hundreds of miles apart can be. They grew up together on Nantucket, but Mandy is the only one that stayed. Jill lives a glamorous life in Manhattan as a co-owner of a successful executive search firm. Never married, she is in her mid-thirties and lives in a stunning, corner condo with breathtaking views of the city and Hudson river. Everyone thinks there’s something going on with her partner, Billy, because as a workaholic, she spends more time with him than anyone else.

But there’s never been anything but friendship between them and Billy loves being a bachelor in NYC. Emma lives in Arizona and is an elementary school teacher and an aspiring photographer. She met her college professor husband, Peter, in grad school and they’ve been married for almost thirteen years. In recent years, she’s noticed that Peter has grown distant. But when he shares a surprising secret, she doesn’t see it coming and her world is turned upside down.Mandy followed her high school boyfriend, Cory to Boston College, and right after graduation, they married and settled in Dover, just outside of Boston. Cory joined a successful hedge fund, while Mandy took a job at a downtown financial services firm as an administrative assistant. She quit a year later, when Blake, the first baby came. Two years later, when Brooke was born, Cory left to open a competing Hedge Fund and they moved home to Nantucket. Now that the children are older, Mandy has more free time and is eager to do more than just volunteer with local charity events. But Cory doesn’t want her to work. He thinks it doesn’t reflect well on him and appearances are everything to Cory. Though when Mandy finds a second cell phone in his gym bag, she begins to question what is really going on.When their beloved grandmother, Rose Ferguson passes peacefully in her sleep a week before her ninety-ninth birthday she leaves them quite a surprise. In addition to her Nantucket home, they learned that she was the silent owner of Mimi’s Place, one of Nantucket’s most popular year-round restaurants. There is of course, a catch–she left the restaurant equally to Mandy, Emma, and Jill–and also to Paul, the chef for the past twelve years.And before they can sell, all three girls need to work at the restaurant for a period of one year–or else their shares will go to Paul–who was also Emma’s first love. Three sisters inherit a Nantucket restaurant and must work together for a year–or lose their shares to the chef. Paul was Emma’s first love, and now he’s their business partner.

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The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
Click the image to find it on Amazon

Bestselling author Lisa Wingate brings to life startling stories from actual “Lost Friends” advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as newly freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold away.

Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous era of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Hannie, a freed slave; Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now destitute plantation; and Juneau Jane, Lavinia’s Creole half sister. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following roads rife with vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of stolen inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and siblings before slavery’s end, the pilgrimage west reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope.

Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt—until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, is suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lie the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything.

The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley

As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh was prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

Click the image to find it on Amazon

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (Hebrew Edition)
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Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

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