August TBR

 

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – “One drowsy summer’s day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for ‘asylum’. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking… The Bone Clocks follows the twists and turns of Holly’s life from a scarred adolescence in Gravesend to old age on Ireland’s Atlantic coast as Europe’s oil supply dries up – a life not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air and brief lapses in the laws of reality. For Holly Sykes – daughter, sister, mother, guardian – is also an unwitting player in a murderous feud played out in the shadows and margins of our world, and may prove to be its decisive weapon.”
 
If It Bleeds by Stephen King – “Holly Gibney of the Finders Keepers detective agency is working on the case of a missing dog – and on her own need to be more assertive – when she sees the footage on TV. But when she tunes in again, to the late-night report, she realises there is something not quite right about the correspondent who was first on the scene.”
 
Keeper by Jessica Moor – “When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police are ready to write it off as a standard-issue female suicide. But the residents of the domestic violence shelter where Katie worked disagree. These women have spent weeks or even years waiting for the men they’re running from to catch up with them. They know immediately: This was murder. Still, Detective Dan Whitworth and his team expect an open-and-shut case–until they discover evidence that suggests Katie wasn’t who she appeared.”

Audible Book Haul

 

Lost Girls by Robert Kolker – “One late spring evening in 2010, Shannan Gilbert – after running through the oceanfront community of Oak Beach screaming for her life – went missing. No one who had heard of her disappearance thought much about what had happened to the 24-year-old: She was a Craigslist escort who had been fleeing a scene – of what, no one could be sure. The Suffolk County police, too, seemed to have paid little attention – until seven months later, when an unexpected discovery in a bramble alongside a nearby highway turned up four bodies, all evenly spaced, all wrapped in burlap. But none of them Shannan’s. There was Maureen Brainard-Barnes, last seen at Penn Station in Manhattan three years earlier, and Melissa Barthelemy, last seen in the Bronx in 2009. There was Megan Waterman, last seen leaving a hotel in Hauppauge, Long Island, just a month after Shannan’s disappearance in 2010, and Amber Lynn Costello, last seen leaving a house in West Babylon a few months later that same year. Like Shannan, all four women were petite, in their 20s, and had come from out of town to work as escorts, and they all had advertised on Craigslist and its competitor, Backpage. Lost Girls is a portrait of unsolved murders in an idyllic part of America, of the underside of the Internet, and of the secrets we keep without admitting to ourselves that we keep them.”
 
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari – “Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us sapiens? In this bold and provocative audiobook, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here, and where we’re going. Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind’s extraordinary history from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.”

July TBR (Nostalgic Reads)

 

Sweet Valley High #15 – Promises“Steven Wakefield is crushed when his girlfriend, Tricia, dies after a tragic illness. The only things that keep him going are the memory of their love and his promise to Tricia to take care of her sister, Betsy, after she’s gone. Betsy Martin’s wild exploits with drink, drugs, and boys have left her with the worst reputation in Sweet Valley. But when Steven takes her into the Wakefield home, Betsy makes a promise to change. And as her goodness grows, so does her love for Steven. Jessica, Steven’s conniving younger sister, doesn’t like this one bit. She makes a little promise of her own to get Betsy out of the house and out of Steven’s life… forever!”
 
Sweet Valley University #13 – SS Heartbreak“When Elizabeth Wakefield catches Tom Watts kissing another woman on the Lido Deck, she can’t believe her eyes. Elizabeth tells Tom to get out of her life forever. But can she get him out of her heart? Todd Wilkins is confused. He thought he was still in love with Elizabeth, but now that she’s giving him a chance to rekindle their romance, he finds himself fantasizing about another woman. Jessica Wakefield is running out of patience. She’s desperate to find the dashing stranger who saved her life, but he refuses to come forward. Is he just shy – or does he have something to hide?”
 
Goosebumps #2 – Stay Out Of The Basement“Dr. Brewer is doing a little plant-testing in his basement. Nothing to worry about. Harmless, really. But Margaret and Casey Brewer are worried about their father. Especially when they… meet… some of the plants he is growing down there. Then they notice that their father is developing plantlike tendencies. In fact, he is becoming distinctly weedy- and seedy. Is it just part of their father’s ‘harmless’ experiment? Or has the basement turned into another little shop of horrors?”

Nostalgic Book Haul (July)

 

Sweet Valley High #34 – Forbidden Love“Maria Santelli’s engagement to Michael Harris is the talk of Sweet Valley High, but they must keep it a secret from their parents. Years ago, the two families had a huge argument, and Michael and Maria were forbidden to see each other. At first, the sparkle in Maria’s eyes nearly matches the sparkle of her diamond ring. But being engaged isn’t as easy as Maria had expected. She’s used to doing things on her own; but not Michael acts as if he owns her . He’s even jealous of her helping Winston Egbert with his campaign for Student Council. Maria’s beginning to think that she and Michael were happier before their engagement. Will Michael and Maria resolve their differences and go ahead with their wedding plans? Or will their secret engagement destroy their relationship forever?”
 
Goosebumps #4 – Say Cheese And Die!“Greg thinks there is something wrong with the old camera he and his friends found. The photographs keep turning out wrong. Very wrong. Like the snapshot Greg took of his father’s new car that shows it totalled. And then Greg’s father is in a nasty wreck. But Greg’s friends don’t believe him. Shari even makes Greg bring the camera to her birthday party and take her picture. Only Shari’s not in the photograph when it develops. Is Shari about to be taken out of the picture permanently? Who is going to take the next fall for… the evil camera?”
 
Sweet Valley High #37 – Rumors“It’s every girl’s dream at Sweet Valley High to attend the fabulous Bridgewater Ball, and Susan Stewart has the chance to go with handsome, wealthy Gordon Stoddard. Nobody knows where Susan gets her money and style – or who her real parents are – but everyone agrees she’s beautiful, friendly, and fun to be with. Then jealous Lila Fowler starts spreading vicious rumors about Susan’s mother – who she really is and why she abandoned Susan. No one wants to talk to Susan anymore, not even Gordon. To clear her name, Susan has to find out the truth about her parents. But is she better off not knowing?”

July TBR

 

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – “What was it like? Living in that house. Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity–and skepticism. Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself–a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction. Alternating between Maggie’s uneasy homecoming and chapters from her father’s book, Home Before Dark is the story of a house with long-buried secrets and a woman’s quest to uncover them–even if the truth is far more terrifying than any haunting.”
 
Well Met by Jen De Luca – “Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him? The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying? This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.”
 
Keeper by Jessica Moor – “When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police are ready to write it off as a standard-issue female suicide. But the residents of the domestic violence shelter where Katie worked disagree. These women have spent weeks or even years waiting for the men they’re running from to catch up with them. They know immediately: This was murder. Still, Detective Dan Whitworth and his team expect an open-and-shut case–until they discover evidence that suggests Katie wasn’t who she appeared.”