Books On My Reading List This Week – March 1, 2022

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This week’s reading list is another lengthy one. On reaching the end of the second month of 2022, I am already two-thirds of the way to my reading goal for the year. My ‘Want to Read’ list is under fifty titles and my TBR cart is down to just the top level. Which, naturally has me feeling very accomplished!

My list this week includes an advanced reader copy of Roy Hoffman’s upcoming release, The Promise of the Pelican. I have the great privilege of being acquainted with Mr. Hoffman. If you are a fan of Harper Lee, you should definitely check out his books!

I’m also looking forward to reading The Mandarin Seeds by Olga Swan. This story is set in Vienna, beginning in 1935. As tensions are beginning to rise, the protagonists are seeking refuge from the growing threat of Nazi Germany. And they find their escape in Shanghai.

The remaining books on my list are audiobooks. After the general success of my ‘blind date with a book’ last week, I’m looking forward to two more with Malice and If You Tell. Both of these came to me via subscription boxes and have been waiting on my to-be-read list for quite some time. I’m opting for the audiobook editions for convenience. Also on my list, is The House of Mirth. I received a copy of this book in an office gift exchange a few years ago. And finally, I’m looking forward to enjoying the book that inspired a film by Alfred Hitchcock, The Lady Vanishes. I came across this book when researching an article a while back and it intrigued me.

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

The Promise of the Pelican by Roy Hoffman
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At once a literary crime novel and an intergenerational family drama, The Promise of the Pelican is set in the multicultural South, where justice might depend on the color of your skin and your immigration status. Hank Weinberg is a modern day Atticus Finch, recently retired as a defense attorney in Mobile, Alabama, and a Holocaust survivor, who fled the Nazis as a young child. With his daughter in rehab, he’s now taking care of his special needs grandson. Mourning his dead wife, spending mornings fishing on the pier with other octogenarians, he passes the rest of his days watching over his sweet grandson with the help of Lupita, a young Honduran babysitter. When her brother Julio, an undocumented immigrant, is accused of murder, Hank must return to the courtroom to defend him while also trying to save his daughter and grandson’s life from spinning out of control. The Promise of the Pelican takes its title from the legend that a pelican will pierce its own breast for blood to feed its starving chicks, a metaphor for one old man who risks all to save the vulnerable.

The Mandarin Seeds by Olga Swan

In 1935 Vienna, the demi-monde enjoy the delights of the Grünberger patisserie. Eva and boyfriend Michael love dancing in the illicit American jazz clubs but Nazi terror is rising. For Michael there is an added anxiety over his previous liaison with mercurial showgirl Marta.
Soon, the desperate situation for the Jewish civilians of Vienna forces them to try to leave, but where can they go?
Step forward an unlikely Chinese hero who miraculously helps them obtain visas for Shanghai.

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As showgirl Marta seduces local businessman Sassoon, what will happen to shy Eva in Shanghai?
And what has happened to brave Michael, left behind in Nazi controlled Vienna?

Cross continents to an electrifying and surprising ending in post–war San Francisco.

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The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

A black comedy of manners about vast wealth and a woman who can define herself only through the perceptions of others. The beautiful Lily Bart lives among the nouveaux riches of New York City – people whose millions were made in railroads, shipping, land speculation and banking. In this morally and aesthetically bankrupt world, Lily, age twenty-nine, seeks a husband who can satisfy her cravings for endless admiration and all the trappings of wealth. But her quest comes to a scandalous end when she is accused of being the mistress of a wealthy man. Exiled from her familiar world of artificial conventions, Lily finds life impossible.

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For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

If You Tell by Gregg Olsen
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After more than a decade, when sisters Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek hear the word mom, it claws like an eagle’s talons, triggering memories that have been their secret since childhood. Until now.

For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors. Through it all, Nikki, Sami, and Tori developed a defiant bond that made them far less vulnerable than Shelly imagined. Even as others were drawn into their mother’s dark and perverse web, the sisters found the strength and courage to escape an escalating nightmare that culminated in multiple murders.

Harrowing and heartrending, If You Tell is a survivor’s story of absolute evil—and the freedom and justice that Nikki, Sami, and Tori risked their lives to fight for. Sisters forever, victims no more, they found a light in the darkness that made them the resilient women they are today—loving, loved, and moving on.

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Malice by Pintip Dunn

What I know: a boy in my class will one day unleash a deadly pandemic that wipes out two-thirds of the population.

What I don’t know: who he is.

In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice they’ve lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way―because now they’ve drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved…

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The Lady Vanishes by Ethel Lina White
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Iris Carr was young, wealthy, attractive – and bored. Despairing of her society friends, tired of skiing with the crowd, she decides to return to England alone by train. But she hadn’t bargained for the extraordinary Miss Froy – a lively, gossipy spinster who is determined to befriend her, nor had she expected Miss Froy’s sudden disappearance.

Certain that she has not imagined so bizarre a character, and outraged by the blank faces of the passengers who deny her existence, Iris vows to find her companion, unaware of the terrifying trail ahead, so wildly different from her notion of a comfortable journey home.


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