June Book Haul!

It’s time for another book haul!  Since today is not only my birthday, but the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, what better way to spend my birthday than buying new books to love?

Also, how did we ever deserve the gift that is J. K. Rowling?


“20 years ago today a world that I had lived in alone was suddenly open to others.  It’s been wonderful.  Thank you.”  I mean,

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Now that we have properly celebrated, on to the book haul!  Also, I was able to get most of these books for 1/4 or 1/5 of the original price thanks to my discounted book store.  Yay for thrifty book shopping!


The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Synopsis: Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace—the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century—Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.


We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Synopsis: Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.


The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

Synopsis: Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton – black and from the wrong side of the tracks – was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own.


Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour

Synopsis: Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Synopsis: One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.


One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Synopsis: On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?


Smoke by Dan Vyleta

Synopsis: England. A century ago, give or take a few years. An England where people who are wicked in thought or deed are marked by the Smoke that pours forth from their bodies, a sign of their fallen state. The aristocracy do not smoke, proof of their virtue and right to rule, while the lower classes are drenched in sin and soot. An England utterly strange and utterly real.


Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Synopsis: When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.


A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Synopsis: The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.


Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Synopsis: Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—from Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage, to Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the seven unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Synopsis: Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.


And that’s it!  Those are the eleven books I bought during the month of June.  I can’t wait to dive into these!  Have you read any?  If so, what did you think?

Lastly, let’s raise our wands in one more tribute to the greatness that is Harry Potter on its publication birthday.

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Mini Library Book Sale Book Haul

Blessed be, my library had a book sale.

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Which really isn’t that unusual because they happen monthly, but for some reason I always kind of forget that I can find books for $1 or $2 monthly and get really, really excited, especially when I find books I have been meaning to buy anyway.  So, here is a mini book haul of the books I found for a grand total of $6.


Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Okay, first I have to tell you that my cover has a girl standing under the lamp post and when I first saw this edition with no girl, I was seriously creeped out until I found out that there are two editions that look exactly alike except one has the girl and one doesn’t.  This has nothing to do with anything except my confusion, but let’s just say it adds to the mystery!  I’m currently reading this and it is the first in a series about a girl who goes missing and the detective who is pressured to find her alive.  It has been compared to Tana French’s books, which are some of my favorites, so I’m really excited to read this one!


The Dead Hour by Denise Mina

I’ve only read one Denise Mina book before and really didn’t like it, but promised I would give her another try sense she has also been compared to Tana French (I just miss Tana French, okay?), so I unknowingly picked up the second book in the Paddy Meehan series.  I really don’t want to start the series on book two because that just seems wrong, but I’m not sure I’m invested enough to get the first without knowing I’ll like this series more. That being said, I don’t want to know too much of what this book is about in case I decide to start with the first, but it basically follows a reporter, Meehan, who investigates a murder.


Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda

This book is about two girls who go out to sea in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and only one comes back.  It also follows the characters who live in Red Hook after the disappearance.  I didn’t know a lot about this book when I picked it up, but per reviews on Goodreads, it seems to be firstly of a character driven book and about Red Hook itself and doesn’t focus so much on the actual mystery.


Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I’ve been wanting to read this book, so I was really excited when I found it at the book sale.  It’s about a girl, Lina, who is taken from Lithuania in 1941 and placed in a concentration camp in Siberia, under the rule of Stalin.  It has excellent reviews and sounds like an incredible book that shares a part of World War II that isn’t as well known.


The Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Can we just appreciate for a moment the fact that this is the first in a trilogy called “The Wanton Dairymaid”.  Incredible.  I have read two of Dare’s books before and they are an excellent pallet cleanser after reading a lot of heavy books, or too many mysteries/thrillers, which has been my thing recently.  This book follows Lucy, who decides to practice seducing her brother’s best friend before hunting for a husband.  I’m 100% sure we can’t see where that is going.


The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

I actually found this book in the mini free public library disguised as a telephone booth rocketship close to where I live (this is actually a thing and there’s a picture of it on my about page).  I thought I would include it here since I found it on the same day I went to the Library Book Sale.  I left a book and snatched this one up because I really enjoyed the last Julia Quinn book I read.  Quinn is another author to pick up when you are in the mood for pure fluff, but the best kind.  This is also the first in a series (Two Dukes of Wyndham) and follows Jack, a rogue (side note: the main male characters are always rogues or rakes, thank God) who finds himself the long lost Duke of the House of Wyndham.  We also have Grace, who works for the widowed Duchess of Wyndham and finds herself inevitably attracted to the new Duke.

That’s it!  Those are the six books I found at my library book sale.  These book sales are perfect ways to find books for a few bucks and you are also supporting your local library while doing it.

Happy reading!