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Friday, October 22, 2021

How Do You Live? by Genzaburō Yoshino

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)


about book:

First published in 1937, Genzaburo Yoshino’s enchanting novel HOW  DO  YOU  LIVE? is (Publication Date: October 26, 2021; $17.95) finally available in English for the first time. Award-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away,  Howl’s Moving Castle) has long referred to this coming-of-age classic beloved by millions of Japanese readers as not only a major influence on his work but also his favorite childhood book, and he has recently announced plans to base his final film on it. Brilliantly translated by Bruno Navasky and with a foreword by fantasy master Neil Gaiman, who wrote the English-language adaptation of Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, this new edition will introduce legions of new readers to Yoshino’s timeless tale. 

  

HOW  DO  YOU  LIVE? begins with fifteen-year-old Copper, who has recently suffered the loss of his father, gazing out over his hometown of Tokyo, watching the thousands of people below, and beginning to ponder life’s big questions. How many people are in the world? What do their lives look like? Are humans really made of molecules? The book moves between Copper’s story and his uncle’s journal entries, in which he gives advice and helps Copper learn pivotal truths about the way the world works. Over the course of a year in his life, Copper, like his namesake Copernicus, embarks on a journey of philosophical enlightenment, and uses his discoveries about the heavens, earth and human nature to determine the best way to live. Yoshino perfectly captures the beauty and strangeness of pre-war Japan – the changing of the seasons, the fried tofu and taiyaki stands, and the lush landscapes, as Copper explores the city on his bike and learns from friends and family what really matters most in life. “It’s funny and sad in a particularly Japanese way. As I read more of the book, I discovered that it contains lessons on everything: art, science, language, history, politics and philosophy,” translator Bruno Navasky writes. “It also contains a quiet but powerful message on the value of thinking for oneself and standing up for others during troubled times.”

“Books like this are important,” writes Neil Gaiman in the book’s foreword. “I’m so glad Mr. Miyazaki is making his film because it means that eighty-four years after it was written, Yoshino’s novel can be read in English, in Bruno Navasky’s gentle and winning translation, and that I got to read it.” Perfect for fans of The Little Prince and the Alchemist, as well as Miyazaki fans eager to understand some of his most important influences, HOW  DO  YOU  LIVE? is a whimsical and wise novel that will forever change the way readers think about their place in the world.

my thoughts:

Wow. What a beautiful story. I am absolutely enamored with How Do You Live? by Genzaburō Yoshino. It is the epitome of Japanese literature. Considered to be a classic within children's literature, this book is amazing. It's emotional, wise, entertaining, whimsical, and just brilliant. It has you questioning everything - art, politics, language, science. And, it inspires you to use your voice to speak up for others. Plus, it motivates you to contemplate your place in the world. This book makes for an excellent read. I loved it! 

Copper is fifteen years old and he's recently lost his father. He's dealing with the grief of such a monumental loss and soon finds himself questioning everything. With his uncle's journals and his best friends, Copper begins to explore the questions bombarding him and discover the life he wishes to live. Its fascinating reading about his life in pre-war Japan, his friendships, and his uncle's take on things. You can't help but enjoy this philosophical journey that Copper takes. How Do You Live? is a thought-provoking and heart-wrenching read that you won't forget.

I would happily recommend How Do You Live? to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book to bits! Check it out!


Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Mother Next Door: A Novel by Tara Laskowski

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)


about book:

For fans of Lisa Jewell, Aimee Molloy, and Joshilyn Jackson, an upmarket suspense novel from a multi-award-winning author about a tightknit group of suburban mothers who invite a new neighborhood mom into their fold, and the fallout the night of the annual block party, when secrets from the past come back to haunt them…

The annual block party is the pinnacle of the year on idyllic suburban cul de sac Ivy Woods Drive. An influential group of neighborhood moms—known as the Ivy Five—plan the event for months.

Except the Ivy Five have been four for a long time.

When a new mother moves to town, eager to fit in, the moms see it as an opportunity to make the group whole again. This year’s block party should be the best yet... until the women start receiving anonymous messages threatening to expose the quiet neighborhood’s dark past—and the lengths they’ve gone to hide it.

As secrets seep out and the threats intensify, the Ivy Five must sort the loyal from the disloyal, the good from the bad. They'll do anything to protect their families. But when a twisted plot is revealed, with dangerous consequences, their steady foundation begins to crumble, leaving only one certainty: after this year’s block party, Ivy Woods Drive will never be the same.

From award-winning author Tara Laskowski, The Mother Next Door is an atmospheric novel of domestic suspense in which the strive for perfection ends in murder…

my thoughts:

Just in time for Halloween, The Mother Next Door, delivers a group of 'mean girls' moms called the Ivy Five, several threatening messages, plenty of twists and turns, plus the annual Halloween block party - what more could I want? Tara Laskowski's latest book is the perfect treat!

Theresa and her family have just moved to Ivy Woods, a small, idyllic town that appears postcard perfect. She desperately wants to fit in and knows that joining the Ivy Five is the right way to go. Who are the Ivy Five? A group of five moms who live in Ivy Woods (the cul-de-sac that everyone wants to live on) and pretty much run the neighborhood - their annual Halloween party is epic and considered THE event of the year. Except, there are only four moms, since one of them moved away.  Theres is vying to occupy the fifth spot and soon she is enmeshed in the group's dark secrets and party planning ways. Talk about a wicked group.

The Mother Next Door is a fun and entertaining read that will pull you in right from the start. It's chock full of twists and turns, and is such a great book to get hooked on during this spook-tacular month. Definitely check it out! You won't be able to help but enjoy all the suspense, thrills, and mysteries as you laugh out loud at these 'mean girls' moms ruling their neighborhood. What a great story!

I'd happily recommend The Mother Next Door to fans of Laskowski and to anyone looking for their next great read! 


Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Lies My Memory Told Me by Sacha Wunsch

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)
 

about book:

From the thrilling voice of Sacha Wunsch comes a heart-stopping psychological mystery in a world where memories can be shared—but maybe not trusted.


Enhanced Memory changed everything. By sharing someone else’s memory, you can experience anything and everything with no risk at all: learn any skill instantly, travel the world from home, and safeguard all your most treasured secrets forever. Nova’s parents invented this technology, and it’s slowly taking over their lives. That’s where Nova comes in. She can pick up the slack for them—and she doesn’t mind. She knows Enhanced Memory is a gift, and its value outweighs its costs.


But Kade says Nova doesn’t even know the costs. Kade runs a secret vlog cataloging real experiences, is always on the move, and he’s strangely afraid of Nova—even though she feels more comfortable with him than she ever has with anyone. Suddenly there are things Nova can’t stop noticing: the way her parents don’t meet her eyes anymore, the questions no one wants her to ask, and the relentless feeling like there’s something she’s forgotten.


But there’s danger around every corner, and her own home might be the most dangerous place of all.

my thoughts:

Lies My Memory Told Me by Sacha Wunsch is a story with a great idea - Enhanced Memory (sharing memories, which enables you to learn new skills, travel the world, and pretty much live a life you never would have had access to normally. Talk about science fiction at its best. 

Nova's parents are scientists and they have invented a new technology - Enhanced Memory.  They are obsessed with their invention and pretty much forget about their daughter.  Nova doesn't seem to mind as she believes this new technology to be a gift, so she's willing to endure their neglect.  And then she meets Kade, a boy who questions the concept of enhanced memory.  He tells her its dangerous and she soon begins to question the true value of her parent's latest invention. Whoa! Talk about science, morals, and the value of memories. Lies My Memory Told Me is an interesting story that will take you on Nova's journey, as she tries to figure out the truth behind Enhnaced Memory and what it all really means for her, her family, Kade, and the world. 

I would happily recommend this book to fans of YA novels - you will Love this book! Check it out!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, October 18, 2021

African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History by Tracey Baptiste

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)
 

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

In a richly designed work with maps, portraits, and graphics throughout, the award-winning author of the Jumbies series shows readers this underrepresented side of Black history and Black excellence.

Every year, American schoolchildren celebrate Black History Month. They study almost exclusively American stories, which are not only rooted in struggle over enslavement or oppression, but also take in only four hundred years of a rich and thrilling history that goes back many millennia across the African continent. Through portraits of ten historical figures—from Menes, the first ruler to be called Pharaoh, to Queen Idia, a sixteenth-century power broker, visionary, and diplomat—African Icons takes readers on a journey across Africa to meet some of the great leaders and thinkers whose ideas built a continent and shaped our world.

my thoughts:

Wow! What a terrific children's book about African history. It is superbly written, chock full of history and illustrations, and focuses on ten important individuals who shaped history - what more could you want from a book, right? I absolutely LOVED African Icons by Tracey Baptiste!

Talk about an informative, engaging, and important book. I just loved the way that Baptiste writes about history - her enthusiasm is effusive. And, she writes about queens, poets, and military leaders - providing a large and varied scope of African people.  This book makes you want to seek out more information about the history, people, and culture of Africa - it is fascinating and inspiring. African Icons makes for an excellent read. I would happily recommend it to anyone and everyone looking for children's books to read - you won't want to miss out on this important tome - check it out!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Lighthouse Witches: A Novel by C. J. Cooke

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)
 

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

Two sisters go missing on a remote Scottish island. Twenty years later, one is found--but she's still the same age as when she disappeared. The secrets of witches have reached across the centuries in this chilling Gothic thriller from the author of the acclaimed The Nesting. 

When single mother Liv is commissioned to paint a mural in a 100-year-old lighthouse on a remote Scottish island, it's an opportunity to start over with her three daughters--Luna, Sapphire, and Clover. When two of her daughters go missing, she's frantic. She learns that the cave beneath the lighthouse was once a prison for women accused of witchcraft. The locals warn her about wildlings, supernatural beings who mimic human children, created by witches for revenge. Liv is told wildlings are dangerous and must be killed.

Twenty-two years later, Luna has been searching for her missing sisters and mother. When she receives a call about her youngest sister, Clover, she's initially ecstatic. Clover is the sister she remembers--except she's still seven years old, the age she was when she vanished. Luna is worried Clover is a wildling. Luna has few memories of her time on the island, but she'll have to return to find the truth of what happened to her family. But she doesn't realize just how much the truth will change her.

my thoughts:

Wow. What a fantastic story! The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke had me hooked right from the start.  This book was gripping, fun, and imaginative. I absolutely LOVED it to bits! Talk about the perfect Halloween read. 

Liv, a single mother of three gets a job on a remote Scottish island. Her job is to paint a mural in the 100-year-old lighthouse.  Convinced this job will be just the fresh start they need, she packs her family up and heads to the island. Once there, she hears rumblings from the locals about old legends and scary stories involving witches and the lighthouse. Talk about a warm welcome. Anyhow, as the family starts to settle in, Liv finds herself living her worst nightmare - 2 of her daughters have gone missing. Flash forward, its twenty-two years later and Liv's remains daughter, Luna, gets a call about one of her missing sisters.  She's been found. The only thing is that she is still the same age as when she went missing all those years ago - she's still seven years old. Say what?! To figure out what happened all those years ago, Luna decides she must head back to the remote Scottish Island where it all happened. She must confront her past to deal with the here and now. And, that is all I will write about this awesome story. Just know that you are in for quite a magical and mystical treat. This book will give you chills and thrills and you will love every second of it. So, definitely get your hands on a copy and dive right in!

I would happily recommend The Lighthouse Witches to fans of Cooke and to anyone looking for a spooktacular read - you will LOVE this book to bits! Check it out!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!