Monday, February 1, 2016

Books In For Review

Here's the latest batch of books to arrive for review.  Check them out!




The House on Primrose Pond by Yona Zeldis McDonough After suffering a sudden, traumatic loss, historical novelist Susannah Gilmore decides to uproot her life—and the lives of her two children—and leave their beloved Brooklyn for the little town of Eastwood, New Hampshire. While the trio adjusts to their new surroundings, Susannah is captivated by an unexpected find in her late parents’ home: an unsigned love note addressed to her mother, in handwriting that is most definitely not her father’s. Reeling from the thought that she never really knew her mother, Susannah finds mysteries everywhere she looks: in her daughter’s friendship with an older neighbor, in a charismatic local man to whom she’s powerfully drawn, and in an eighteenth century crime she’s researching for her next book. Compelled to dig into her mother’s past, Susannah discovers even more secrets, ones that surpass any fiction she could ever put to paper...

Everything's Relative by Jenna McCarthy When their mother dies, sisters Jules, Brooke, and Lexi breathe a collective sigh of relief. Their days of being hurt and controlled by Juliana Alexander are over. It turns out, Juliana isn’t about to let a little detail like death stop her. The three estranged sisters—one control freak, one peacekeeper and one red hot mess—are shocked to discover that their mother was hiding a massive fortune, one that promises to completely transform all of their lives. But in classic Juliana fashion, there’s a catch. Three of them, to be exact. Now Jules, Brooke, and Lexi find themselves forced to rely on one another in order to become the women their mother wanted them to be. With millions of dollars on the line and as many obstacles in the way, the sisters embark on a hilarious journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, and the real meaning of wealth.

The Dutch Girl: Renegades of the American Revolution by Donna Thorland Manhattan and the Hudson River Valley, 1778. The British control Manhattan, the Rebels hold West Point, and the Dutch patroons reign in feudal splendor over their vast Hudson River Valley estates. But the roads are ruled by highwaymen. Gerrit Van Haren, the dispossessed heir of Harenwyck, is determined to reclaim his inheritance from his decadent brother, Andries, even if that means turning outlaw and joining forces with the invading British. Until, that is, he waylays the carriage of beautiful young finishing school teacher Anna Winters...Anna is a committed Rebel with a secret past and a dangerous mission to secure the Hudson Highlands for the Americans. Years ago, she was Annatje, the daughter of a tenant farmer who led an uprising against the corrupt landlords and paid with his life. Since then, Anna has vowed to see the patroon system swept aside along with British rule. But at Harenwyck she discovers that politics and virtue do not always align as she expects…and she must choose between two men with a shared past and conflicting visions of the future.

The Dog Merchants: Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pet Stores, and Rescuers by Kim Kavin The Dog Merchants is the first book to explain the complex and often surprisingly similar business practices that extend from the American Kennel Club to local shelters, from Westminster champions to dog auctions. Without judging dog lovers of any stripe, The Dog Merchants makes it clear that money spent among these dog merchants has real-world effects on people and canines. Kavin reveals how dog merchants create markets for dogs, often in defiance of the usual rules of supply and demand. She takes an investigative approach and meets breeders and rescuers at all levels, shedding much-needed light on an industry that most people don't even realize is an industry. Kavin’s goal is to advance the conversation about how all dogs are treated, from puppy mills to high-kill shelters. She shows that a great deal can be improved by understanding the business practices behind selling dogs of all kinds. Instead of pitting rescue and purebred people against each other, The Dog Merchants shows how all dog lovers can come together, with one voice as consumers, on behalf of all our beloved companions.

Soda Springs by Carolyn Steele When Tessa Darrow discovers her father burning his Civil War uniform, she has no idea how his secret will devastate their family and drive them from their home in North Carolina. The family journeys along the Oregon Trail until tragedy strikes, leaving Tessa and her father to build a new life in Soda Springs, Idaho. This sweeping story illuminates an oft-forgotten era in LDS Church history. Filled with life and passion, it's a thrilling read for history buffs and romantics alike.

Shadows of Angels by L.G. Rollins After the forest dwellers destroy her home and kill her father, Aerbrin sets off on a journey to find the truth about her people, her kingdom, and the mysterious Zaad stone that contains a power she never imagined. Magic and mystery join forces in this intriguing fantasy world. Full of shifting alliances and twists you won't see coming, it's a can't-miss read.

The Last Thousand: One School's Promise in a Nation at War by Jeffrey Stern Under the protection of foreign forces, a special place has flourished in Afghanistan. The Marefat School is an award-winning institution in the Western slums of Kabul, built by one of the country's most vulnerable minority groups, the Hazara. Marefat educates both girls and boys, embraces the arts, and teaches students to question the world around them, interrogate their leaders, and be active citizens in their quickly-changing country. As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, this community is left behind, unprotected. Acclaimed journalist Jeffrey E. Stern explores the stakes of war through the eyes of those touched by Marefat: Aziz Royesh, the school's daring founder and leader; a mother of five who finds freedom in literacy; a clever mechanic; a self-taught astronomer; the school's security director; and several intrepid students who carry Marefat's mission to the streets. We see how Marefat has embraced the U.S. and blossomed under its presence; and how much it stands to lose when that protection disappears. The Last Thousand tells the story of what we leave behind when our foreign wars end, presenting the promise, as well as the peril, of our military adventure abroad. Stern presents a nuanced and fascinating portrait of the complex history of Afghanistan, American occupation, and the ways in which one community rallies together in compelling, heartbreaking, and inspiring detail.