I Have No Shelf Control: November Books I added

Books I added to my print book shelf

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

Jodi Picoult is the queen of hot-button topics, and I love how she makes me think while exploring those topics. Here she teams up with Jennifer Finney Boylan, and the story feels different from those hot topics Jodi Picoult is known for. Anything written by Jodi Picoult is an auto-buy for me. Lindsay and I are now reading it.

What is going on between the covers

A soul-stirring novel about what we choose to keep from our past, and what we choose to leave behind.

Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.

Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.

And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can she trust him completely . . .

Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.

Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.

Published in Oct 2022 by Ballantine

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/mystery/suspense

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

The author is what caught my eye. I haven’t read anything by her so I thought I would start with this one.

What is going on between the covers

London 1926. Roaring Twenties.
Corruption. Seduction. Debts due.

In a country still recovering from the Great War, London is the focus for a delirious nightlife. In Soho clubs, peers of the realm rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, and girls sell dances for a shilling a time.

There, Nellie Coker is a ruthless ruler, ambitious for her six children. Niven is the eldest, his enigmatic character forged in the harsh Somme. But success breeds enemies. Nellie faces threats from without and within. Beneath the gaiety lies a dark underbelly, where one may be all too easily lost.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Setting: The dark underbelly of London during the roaring 20s.

Published in Sept 2022 by Doubleday Books

Kate Atkinson was born in York and now lives in Edinburgh.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This is one that has been on my radar for quite some time. After seeing Jonette’s post on her blog Blue Mood Cafe I decided to buy it and add it to my shelf.

What is going on between the covers

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.

Genre: Fiction

Published April 2014 by Algonquin Books

Gabrielle Zevin lives in Los Angeles

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski

I can’t even go grocery shopping without buying a book.

What is going on between the covers

It was the perfect place to disappear…

One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.

Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all…

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Published October 2019 by Graydon House

Tara Laskowski grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia

What I added to my unread shelf on EW & NG

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

I found my way to this one through an email from NYT book reviews. I searched it up on EW and realized I had a download for it. I read it right away and loved it. I hope to review it soon.

What is going on between the covers

This is not just another novel about a dead girl. Two women—one alive, one dead—are brought together in the dark underbelly of New York City to solve a tragic murder.

When she arrived in New York on her eighteenth birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city’s latest Jane Doe. She may be dead but that doesn’t mean her story is over.

Meanwhile, Ruby Jones is also trying to reinvent herself. After travelling halfway around the world, she’s lonelier than ever in the Big Apple. Until she stumbles upon a woman’s body by the Hudson River, and suddenly finds herself unbreakably tied to the unknown dead woman.

Alice is sure Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her short life and tragic death. Ruby just wants to forget what she saw…but she can’t seem to stop thinking about the young woman she found. If she keeps looking, can she give this unidentified Jane Doe the ending and closure she deserves?

A “heartbreaking, beautiful, and hugely important novel” (Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author), Before You Knew My Name doesn’t just wonder whodunnit—it also asks who was she? And what did she leave behind?

Genre: Feminist Crime

Setting: New York City

Published Nov 2022 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books / read in Nov 2022

Jacqueline Bublitz is a New Zealand author

We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman

I downloaded this one after reading a NYT review for it. I find their reviews a reliable source for finding books I can relate to.

What is going on between the covers

Edith and Ashley have been best friends for over forty-two years. They’ve shared the mundane and the momentous together: trick or treating and binge drinking; Gilligan’s Island reruns and REM concerts; hickeys and heartbreak; surprise Scottish wakes; marriages, infertility, and children. As Ash says, “Edi’s memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine.”

But now the unthinkable has happened. Edi is dying of ovarian cancer and spending her last days at a hospice near Ash, who stumbles into heartbreak surrounded by her daughters, ex(ish) husband, dear friends, a poorly chosen lover (or two), and a rotating cast of beautifully, fleetingly human hospice characters.

As The Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack blasts all day long from the room next door, Edi and Ash reminisce, hold on, and try to let go. Meanwhile, Ash struggles with being an imperfect friend, wife, and parent–with life, in other words, distilled to its heartbreaking, joyful, and comedic essence.

Published in Nov 2022 by Harper

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Maureen by Rachel Joyce

I received a widget for this title but didn’t download it till I saw Jonette’s post on her blog Blue Mood Cafe. I didn’t download it before because I haven’t read The first two in the series. So of course I had to add The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to my overdrive shelf and squeeze it it.

What is going on between the covers

From the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry comes a moving novel told from the point of view of Harold’s wife Maureen. Now undertaking her own journey, Maureen will discover a way to reconnect with the world she’s closed a door on.

Maureen Fry has settled into the quiet life she shares with her husband after his iconic walk across England ten years ago. When an unexpected message from the North disturbs her equilibrium again, it is now her turn to make a journey. But Maureen is not like Harold. By turns outspoken, then vulnerable, she struggles to form bonds with the people she meets, and the landscape she crosses has radically changed. And Maureen has no sense of what she will find at the end of the road. All she knows is that she has to get there.

Maureen is a deeply felt, lyrical, and powerful novel, full of warmth and kindness, about love, loss, and how we come to terms with the past in order to understand ourselves and our lives a little better. While it stands alone, it is also the extraordinarily moving finale to a trilogy that began with the phenomenal bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and continued in The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. What was started by Harold, only Maureen can complete.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Expected publication: February 7th 2023 by The Dial Press

All the Blood We Share by Camilla Bruce

What is going on between the covers

A sinister novel based on the real Bloody Benders, a family of serial killers in the old West bound by butchery and obscured by the shadows of American history.

The winds shift nervously on the Kansas plain whispering of travelers lost and buried, whispering of witches. Something dark and twisted has taken root at the Bender Inn.

At first the townspeople of Cherryvale welcome the rising medium Kate Bender and her family. Kate’s messages from the Beyond give their tedious dreams hope and her mother’s potions cure their little ills—for a price. No one knows about their other business, the shortcut to a better life. And why shouldn’t their family prosper? They’re careful. It’s only from those who are marked, those who travel alone and can easily disappear, that the Benders demand their pound of flesh.

But even a gifted seer like Kate can make a misstep. Now as the secrets festering beneath the soil of the family orchard threaten to bring them all to ruin, the Benders must sharpen their craft—or vanish themselves.

Genre:  Historical Thriller

Published in Nov 2022 by Berkley Books

6 thoughts on “I Have No Shelf Control: November Books I added”

  1. The only one of these that I have read is Maureen, Brenda, and after a bit of a slow start, I fell in love with it. I bought a copy of Shrines of Gaiety – my Christmas present to myself, along with the latest Paul Cleave. And there are several in your list that I am adding. Thanks, I think! Enjoy your reads. ❤📚

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