• gwen

July 2020 Book Haul

Wow! Here I am finally writing my very first book haul post and I have no idea the best format to use to share the books I got in July. I'm gonna wing it and see what happens, but I am open to changing things up in future book hauls. If you have any suggestions let me know by leaving a comment down below!


PURCHASED


The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook by Kate MacDonald and L.M. Montgomery


synopsis: Avonlea beckons in this cookbook inspired by the most famous Canadian children's book, L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables. "Kindred spirits" both young and old will enjoy experiencing late-nineteenth-century Prince Edward Island firsthand through the delicious recipes culled from the eight books in the Anne of Green Gables series.


From Poetical Egg Salad Sandwiches, to Anne's Liniment Cake and Diana Barry's Favorite Raspberry Cordial, these recipes are easy to prepare and delicious to serve up any day, on a weekend, or for special occasions! With full-color photography, whimsical illustrations, and quotes and anecdotes from the books, get ready to be immersed in Anne Shirley's world.


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Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay


synopsis: In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government's emergency protocols are faltering.


Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie's husband has been killed—viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie's only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child.


Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares—terrifying, strange, and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink. 


Paul Tremblay once again demonstrates his mastery in this chilling and all-too-plausible novel that will leave readers racing through the pages . . . and shake them to their core.


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Half and Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial + Bicultural edited and with an introduction by Claudine Chiawei O'Hearn


synopsis: As we approach the twenty-first century, biracialism and biculturalism are becoming increasingly common.  Skin color and place of birth are no longer reliable signifiers of one's identity or origin.  Simple questions like What are you? and Where are you from? aren't answered--they are discussed.  These eighteen essays, joined by a shared sense of duality, address the difficulties of not fitting into and the benefits of being part of two worlds.  Through the lens of personal experience, they offer a broader spectrum of meaning for race and culture.  And in the process, they map a new ethnic terrain that transcends racial and cultural division.


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The Ex by Alafair Burke


synopsis: In the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on a Train comes this novel. After agreeing to defend her ex-fiance when he is arrested for a triple homicide, top criminal lawyer, Olivia Randall begins to have doubts as the evidence mounts against him. Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.


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Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan


synopsis: Jasmine and Chelsea are sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. They post everything online—poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine's response to the racial macroaggressions she experiences—and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by online trolls. When things escalate, the principal shuts the club down. Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices—and those of other young women—to be heard.


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Mexican Whiteboy by Matt De La Pena


synopsis: Danny's tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it.


But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny’ s brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico.


That’s why he’s spending the summer with his dad’s family. Only, to find himself, he may just have to face the demons he refuses to see--the demons that are right in front of his face. And open up to a friendship he never saw coming.


Set in the alleys and on the ball fields of San Diego County, Mexican Whiteboy is a story of friendship, acceptance, and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions.


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50 Things To See in the Sky by Sarah Barker


synopsis: This hip and handy guide helps you learn the science behind blue skies, sun dogs, and the solar eclipse, and shows you how to observe nocturnal wonders such as lunar halos, Martian ice caps, and far-off galaxies. Fifty celestial phenomena come to life with expert tips from astrophysicist Sarah Barker and stylish illustrations by Maria Nilsson. Any explorer can become an adept observer with their guidance, and more ambitious stargazers will be able to discover more distant sights with the help of binoculars, a telescope, or a local astronomy group. With a glow-in-the-dark cover, 50 Things to See in the Sky is a perfect complement to your next camping expedition and a wonderful gift for anyone who marvels at what lies in our celestial sphere.


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Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity by Lise Funderburg


synopsis: The groundbreaking oral history, Black, White, Other, made its mark by being the first book to ask black/white biracial people to speak for themselves on matters of race and identity. In the book, journalist Lise Funderburg presents the lives and views of forty-six adult children of black-white unions. Topics include love and marriage, racism in the workplace, religion, community, and bringing up children in a racially divided world.


First published in 1994, Black, White, Other continues to be a relevant and seminal resource in discussions of race in America. Now available in an expanded 20th anniversary edition, it features updated commentary from Lise Funderburg and a foreword by novelist Mat Johnson.


Black, White, Other is not only for the millions of biracial Americans who have yet to see themselves accurately rendered on the page, but also for everyone interested in the subject of race and the prospects for achieving true pluralism in America. The New York Times lauded the book as "important...an example of how we can talk about race with feeling, humor, and dignity." The Buffalo News wrote that the "pages seethe with a tapestry of life....No book is more likely to force a reader to confront his beliefs about race than this one." And The Indianapolis Star noted that "Funderburg lets her subjects ask-and answer-the controversial, touchy questions that many wonder but few dare to pose."


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Lakewood by Megan Giddings


synopsis: A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation—part The Handmaid’s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.


When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan.


On paper, her new job is too good to be true. High paying. No out of pocket medical expenses. A free place to live. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret program—and lie to her friends and family about the research being done in Lakewood. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away.


The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the world—but the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family.


Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.


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The Babysitters Club 8 Book Collection by Ann M. Martin


contains the first 8 books of the original series including: Kristy's Great Idea, Claudia and the Phantom Phone Call, The Truth About Stacey, Mary Anne Saves the Day, Dawn and the Impossible Three, Kristy's Big Day, Claudia and Mean Janine, and Boy Crazy Stacey


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He Started It by Samantha Downing


synopsis: Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven't all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we'll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.


But time with your family can be tough. It is for everyone.


It's even harder when you're all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory—a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won't stop following your car—and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there's a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.


But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.


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Gifted/Traded


Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent


synopsis: Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.


In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.


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BOTM (Book of the Month)


The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn


synopsis: Anna Fox lives alone, a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.


Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother and their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare.


What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.


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The Shadows by Alex North


synopsis: You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile--always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet--and inspired more than one copycat.


Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree--and his victim--were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.


It's not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there's something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.


It wasn't just the murder.


It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again...


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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia


synopsis: After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find - her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.


Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.


Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.


And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.


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Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein


synopsis: The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.


Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.


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