Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Sunday Salon and Great Reading coming your way...

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's the one day of the week where Book Bloggers from everywhere get together virtually and talk books! It's been an exciting month here too ... many great books are coming out and I just have to share some of my top picks that I was lucky enough to receive for review from the publishers...

Touch by Olaf Olafsson... A mesmerizing, panoramic story of one man’s search to find a lover who suddenly disappeared decades before...

When the pandemic hits, Kristofer is forced to shutter his successful restaurant in Reykjavik, sending him into a spiral of uncertainty, even as his memory seems to be failing. But an uncanny bolt from the blue—a message from Miko Nakamura, a woman whom he’d known in the sixties when they were students in London—both inspires and rattles him, as he is drawn inexorably back into a love story that has marked him for life. Even as the pandemic upends his world, Kristofer finds himself pulled toward an answer to the mystery of Miko’s sudden departure decades before, compelling him to travel to London and Japan as the virus threatens to shut everything down.

A heart-wrenching love story and an absorbing mystery, Touch delves into the secrets of the past to explore the hidden lives that we all possess, the pain and beauty of our past loves and friendships that continue to leave their mark on us. Searching and lyrically rendered by acclaimed author Olaf Olafsson, Touch is a stunning tribute to the weight of history and the complexities of the human heart.

I found this book from reading Book Blogger friend, Harvee Lau's blog called BookBirdDog (Book Dilettante). Her post for The Sunday Salon last Sunday included this book and the description just made me want to read it. I love stories about friends and lovers finding each other after many years and this seemed a perfect fit. Right now it is in my eReader thanks to the generosity of the Publisher, Ecco Publishing, who sent me a copy for review. 

This book will be published August 16, 2022 by Ecco Publishing, an imprint of HarperCollins...


The Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green...
Savannah may appear to be “some town out of a fable,” with its vine flowers, turreted mansions, and ghost tours that romanticize the city’s history. But look deeper and you’ll uncover secrets, past and present, that tell a more sinister tale. It’s the story at the heart of George Dawes Green’s chilling new novel, The Kingdoms of Savannah.

It begins quietly on a balmy Southern night as some locals gather at Bo Peep’s, one of the town’s favorite watering holes. Within an hour, however, a man will be murdered and his companion will be “disappeared.” An unlikely detective, Morgana Musgrove, doyenne of Savannah society, is called upon to unravel the mystery of these crimes. Morgana is an imperious, demanding, and conniving woman, whose four grown children are weary of her schemes. But one by one she inveigles them into helping with her investigation, and soon the family uncovers some terrifying truths—truths that will rock Savannah’s power structure to its core.

Moving from the homeless encampments that ring the city to the stately homes of Savannah’s elite, Green’s novel brilliantly depicts the underbelly of a city with a dark history and the strangely mesmerizing dysfunction of a complex family.

When I hear a novel is set in Savannah, I am immediately drawn to it. I love Savannah. It is romantic, beautiful and late at night as you walk the streets there is an eery quality to it all. The book seems to promise to bring Savannah to life as this mystery/thriller comes to life. From the first line I was hooked and I'm reading this right now! Released on July 19th, 2022 by Celadon Publishing, I received a copy from the publisher. Stay tuned for my review...


The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford...

Dorothy Moy breaks her own heart for a living.

As Washington’s former poet laureate, that’s how she describes channeling her dissociative episodes and mental health struggles into her art. But when her five-year-old daughter exhibits similar behavior and begins remembering things from the lives of their ancestors, Dorothy believes the past has truly come to haunt her. Fearing that her child is predestined to endure the same debilitating depression that has marked her own life, Dorothy seeks radical help.

Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy intimately connects with past generations of women in her family: Faye Moy, a nurse in China serving with the Flying Tigers; Zoe Moy, a student in England at a famous school with no rules; Lai King Moy, a girl quarantined in San Francisco during a plague epidemic; Greta Moy, a tech executive with a unique dating app; and Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America.

As painful recollections affect her present life, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn’t the only thing she’s inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period. A stranger who’s loved her through all of her genetic memories. Dorothy endeavors to break the cycle of pain and abandonment, to finally find peace for her daughter, and gain the love that has long been waiting, knowing she may pay the ultimate price.

One of my favorite books was Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet written by Jamie Ford in 2009! (and if you haven't read it yet, here's a link to its anniversary edition which is on sale for $10.69. Remember though to check the price before you hit the buy button because Amazon does change those bargain prices often...) SO, when I see a new book written by Jamie Ford I have to check it out! And it's a lost loves love story! The story sounds so intriguing and add Jamie Fords fantastic writing and I predict a winner! This will be released August 2, 2022 by Atria Books, a subsidary of SimonSchuster.

And if those authors coming out with new books isn't enough, so are Kate White, Sandra Brown, Phillip Margolin and Isabel Allende... but I'll save those until next week! 

I always find summer an exciting book season. Maybe the sun hitting my pale skin and the warmth that I feel makes me long for the lazy days on the beach with a good book in my hands that I use to enjoy as a teenager. There were some great books read back then... The Shining and The Exorcist  are two that come to mind. 

What kind of reading do you do in the summer? 

I hope you've found a couple of interesting reads here today! Let me know what books you're reading!

Happy reading... Suzanne

Monday, July 25, 2022

Memoir Monday and Finding The Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard


Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard... The world's leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest—a moving, deeply personal journey of discovery

Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide.

In this, her first book, now available in paperback, Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees, in which she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truths--that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp, but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own.

Simard writes--in inspiring, illuminating, and accessible ways—how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved, how they learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication, characteristics ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies--and at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.

And Simard writes of her own life, born and raised into a logging world in the rainforests of British Columbia, of her days as a child spent cataloging the trees from the forest and how she came to love and respect them. And as she writes of her scientific quest, she writes of her own journey, making us understand how deeply human scientific inquiry exists beyond data and technology, that it is about understanding who we are and our place in the world.

I find trees and their behaviors fascinating! To some, trees are just tall objects that occupy our lawns and our forests, giving us shade and apples. But trees have so much more to them. The way they live and help eachother is something of much research. Not since The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, have I found a book that really pulled me in about this topic. Finding The Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard is getting all the buzz these days too. Here is a link to one of her TED talks. Published last year by Knopf and widely available. It's on my nightstand... 

Friday, July 22, 2022

The Big Library Read...

 Just read about this today... It's The Big Library Read where readers from around the world read the same book and can join in on the discussion about the book. It's a BIG Digital Book Club. The book is available thru Overdrive, which is what many libraries use today for their eBook distribution. I checked my local library, The Pickens County Library, and they had unlimited copies available to checkout! 

We're a little late to the party, but there's still 5 days left to the program, but you can check this book out thru Overdrive for up to 27 days. Sounds like an interesting read too.


Here's a like to the Big Library Read website for more info...

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

If You Know the Ending... is it still fun?

I was reading some reviews of Hawk Mountain by Conner Habib. I can't remember off hand how I happened to find the title, but I must have run across it in some list of "books to read next". The book starts out with Todd Nasca's high school bully popping back into his life after so many years and how that might have happened coincidentally... or not. And no matter which way, the consequences have  tumultuous results... The tension seems to built right from the start, but some of the reviews I glanced thru have a common negative comment - that the climax of the story happens before the ending... way before the ending. Which made me pause to think... should it matter? If the story is a good one that keeps your eyes pressed to the pages, will the reveal too soon, ruin the story so much so that you don't need or want to finish the book? 

There are books that you know right from the beginning what happens, but that is the story - everything that leads up to the climax. 

I can't recall right now any books I've read where the climax is in the middle of the book. I guess I'm going to have to read Hawk Mountain and find out if I still want to read it after "the climax"... but somehow I think I will. I hate to not finish a book no matter how bad it is... but let's save that for another discussion...

What do you think? Have you read any books where you find out the "Big Story"  way before the ending? and how did that effect your reading of the book?

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