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Terry's 2021 Raves

Terry reminding us Books are Essential peeking over  BEACH READS


There are so many great books this year ... I can't wait to share them with you!


- Terry Gilman

One Two Three: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250236777
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - June 8th, 2021

There is much to be learned about the fictional city/town called Borne. Told in alternating narratives, each of the Mitchell triplets is unique and fascinating, with their distinctive outlook on life and their own set of challenges. Meb (also known as One), the oldest of the three, is the only one who might be “classified as normal” and feels a lot of pressure to succeed in Borne and in life. She is smart, irreverent, and all-knowing, or at least as all-knowing as a 16-year-old can be. Two is Monday, named because of the day she was born. Monday is the town’s self-appointed librarian. She is smart and enjoyable to read, and her perspective is uniquely hers. Mirabel is Three, the miracle who was born last and limited, but may be the smartest of the three girls. One Two Three begins 16 years after a chemical company singlehandedly destroyed the town by poisoning their water supply. The company has never taken responsibility for their actions and has come back to town to reopen their plant. What happens next will surprise you.

This book is simply a delight despite its tragic undercurrents. You cannot help but fall in love with One, Two and Three.

Falling: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982177881
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - July 6th, 2021

Heart-pounding doesn’t even begin to describe my reading of this debut thriller by one of our own (indie booksellers). The premise itself had me wondering if I could make it through this book at all: An airline pilot is threatened by a man who has kidnapped his wife and 2 children while he is in route from Los Angles to JFK. Captain Bill Hoffman is told that he has a choice to make: crash the plane he is piloting into an unknown DC location or his family will be killed. Then the stakes are raised … and then raised again. The satisfying ending makes this debut worth the journey.

That Summer: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501133541
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - May 11th, 2021

Weiner takes us well beyond traditional women’ fiction, covering the Me Too movement in an incredibly unique way. Part suspense, part female friendship, part revenge novel, That Summer has it all. Three women narrate this novel. One was raped at the age of 15. Her story is way too familiar to us. Another is married to an older man, has her own business and a teenage daughter. They live a privileged lifestyle, but she wonders what she has missed by marrying so young. Her teenage daughter is an uncompromising, unconventional young women who knows her own mind and has no difficulty with some of the grey areas that men and women from the previous generation travel. Her narrative gives us hope for the future.

That Summer’s depiction of the cruelty and unforgivable behavior of young boys growing up to be unforgivable men is simply great storytelling. You will root for all three women as they navigate what it means to be female in a world where men are just beginning to understand their culpability in this present-day movement.

The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel Cover Image
Not Available
ISBN: 9781501171345
Availability: Backordered
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 4th, 2021

I was in from the first page and unwilling to put down this latest gem from Laura Dave. The Last Thing He Told Me begins when Hannah’s husband, Owen suddenly disappears and is immediately under suspicion for his involvement in a startup whose CEO is being investigated for fraud. As Hannah looks to uncover clues that will lead her to better understand the man she married just two years ago, she begins to question if she knows him at all. Beginning in Sausalito where she has lived with Owen and his defiant daughter Bailey in a floating home by the bay, her journey to discover the truth takes her to many unexpected places. This is another winner from Laura Dave and readers will not stop turning the pages until they reach the bittersweet ending.

The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984880598
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - April 6th, 2021

Freitas uses a novel approach to exploring feminism, societal expectations, the right to choose motherhood, and parental relationships in this compulsively readable debut fiction title. Rose Napolitano does not want to have children. Her husband Luke knows this from the very beginning of their relationship. Her parents, friends, colleagues, and in-laws know this. When Luke (and his parents) pressure her into having a baby, the narrative veers off into nine possible scenarios (lives). Told in non-sequential, alternating storylines, the reader will get to know Rose from every possible angle through the different life paths she might have chosen.

This is a great format for exploring ideas … and thinking about life’s options. We have all imagined the different directions our lives might have taken based on a single decision or a path not taken, but this book is more than that. It is an exploration and a way to talk about marriage, women’s rights, motherhood, and relationships … making for an exceptional reading experience.

To Love and to Loathe: A Novel (The Regency Vows #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982160876
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - April 6th, 2021

While I have not (yet!) read the first book in this series (To Have and to Hoax), I became a fan of this Regency Romance rom-com series from the very first page. Diana is a spirited, smart woman who has a life plan and implements it. She is often underestimated by the Ton, but not by Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, and one of her brother’s best friends. The two of them have sparred since they were children, and everyone recognizes their chemistry, except them. When the two of them enter into an agreement to have an affair (each for their own reasons), the fun really begins.

To Love and to Loathe is clever, enduring, and a great book to read for laugh out loud fun and perfect romantic chemistry. If you love rom-coms, or just need a laugh, don’t miss this series.

We Begin at the End Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250759665
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - March 2nd, 2021

I could not put down this extraordinary novel. Readers will be drawn to each of the main characters and the mysteries of the past that hold consequences for the present and the future. Each beautifully-crafted sentence tells a story of friendship, mystery, loyalty, tragedy, family, love, and violence in a small town in coastal California. Walker (Walk) is the Chief of Police of Cape Haven and the narrator of much of this story, but it is Duchess Day Radley, self-proclaimed outlaw, and inheritor of burdens well beyond her years, who drives the story. This brave young teenager will have you rooting for her, despairing with her, and finally, sobbing with her as her journey takes her from California to Montana and back again. This book may be classified as a mystery, but it is simply one of the best written books I have ever read, from beginning to heartbreaking end.

What Could Be Saved: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982150617
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - January 12th, 2021

This enthralling book kept me guessing until the very last page. The mystery of their brother’s disappearance 47 years ago has been a part of Laura and Bea Preston’s life since the day in 1972 Bangkok when he did not return home from his judo class. In 2019, Laura is contacted by someone who knows Phillip. Laura immediately flies to Thailand to find out if this person is her brother. What happens from that point is told in a parallel narrative about their life in Bangkok as young children. Alternate points of view reveal their story in minute detail as the truth unfolds. I found this story hard to let go of … long after it was over. What Could be Saved has it all. A beautifully told story spanning generations, continents and time …

Black Buck Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358380887
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - January 5th, 2021

This debut is in equal parts humorous, serious, and fascinating. The trials and tribulations of getting involved with an over-the-top startup and learning how to be successful in a sales career form the storyline. Written for Black readers, the author meant this to be a kind of treatise for success for young people of color starting out in sales. Darren “Buck” is a 20-something living with his mother in Bed-Stuy, working as the manager of a Starbucks in an office building in downtown NYC, and happily in a relationship with his high school sweetheart. No one thinks he is living up to his potential as he was an outstanding student at a prestigious high school, but Darren is happy with his life. This all changes when the CEO of a new startup called Sumwun offers him a chance to change his life and join his firm. His experiences change him, his relationships, and his life in profoundly serious ways, serving as a cautionary tale as well as an important message for young people of every background and color. Lots of food for thought here.