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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

The Missing Hours: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250083722
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Minotaur Books - September 14th, 2021

The missing hours belong to Claudia Castro, an NYU college freshman and member of a famous and wealthy family. All we know at the start is that Claudia has been sexually assaulted and beaten one evening during spring break and that she does not remember anything about the hours between going into a bar and waking up in her dorm room. She befriends fellow student, Trevor who has also remained in the dorms during Spring break, and who supports her during her recovery. When a video surfaces showing what happened that night, Claudia and Trevor both disappear, and many people are looking for them, including her family and the men that were involved in the released video. Dahl creates a suspenseful, believable novel that will have readers turning the pages for all the twists and turns this tale of revenge creates. This is a cautionary tale and a glimpse into wealth, privilege, and entitlement and ultimately, about our dysfunctional legal system. I remain a huge fan of Julia Dahl.


The Startup Wife: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982156183
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - July 13th, 2021

Contemporary and relevant to the max, Anam has nailed the startup generation and the world’s appetite for meaning and apps! When Asha Ray and Cyrus Jones meet again 13 years after high school, they immediately fall in love and marry … and then combine their talents to create a startup that will rock their current world. Asha Ray is not only the wife of a startup genius, but an equal partner and the tech genius behind the app they create together which aims to provide meaning to rituals outside of current religious beliefs. Amid all the startup hurdles of their app WAI, Asha also comes up against sexism in the workplace and her place in the world. Ultimately satisfying, The Startup Wife and leaving us with some important messages on top of a hugely entertaining read.


Falling: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781982177881
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.


The Forest of Vanishing Stars: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982158934
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - July 6th, 2021

Not only is Harmel a master of historical holocaust fiction, but she always finds her own unique entry to 1940’s Europe. The Forest of Vanishing Stars is no exception and in fact, may be her best yet! We first meet Yona as she is being kidnapped from her Berlin home when she is 2 years old. From there she grows up in the forests of Europe, learning to live off the land and is in the process becomes an expert survivor. Under the tutelage of the woman who kidnapped her, she is kept away from the realities of what is happening in the surrounding cities and towns as they are invaded by German forces. But eventually, these two worlds collide, and she finds herself protecting and caring about a group of Jewish families who have escaped certain death by running into her forest home. Based on true events during the holocaust, this is a book to treasure and share.


One Two Three: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250236777
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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.


We Are Inevitable Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780425290804
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 1st, 2021

Forman is my YA hero, creating believable characters and stories that draw us in and don’t let us go. We Are Inevitable is sure to be an indie favorite as a bookstore, all but extinct, is the focal point along with its owner and passionate reader, Aaron, who has been brought up to (rightfully!) believe that books are magic. As Aaron’s father, Ira becomes increasingly unreliable, Aaron takes on solving his family’s financial and business problems. But life intercedes as the town gathers around him, he strikes up new friendships … and may have found his inevitable life partner.

Laugh out loud funny, wise, and relatable to both adults and teenagers, this is a bookish gem, including chapter titles that are book titles. This is a love story to books, bookstores, and outcomes with great promise.

 


That Summer: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
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
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501171345
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
$26.00
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
$16.99
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.


A Man Named Doll Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316703659
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mulholland Books - April 20th, 2021

In Happy (Hank) Doll, we have found a new LA Noir private eye to fall in love with and follow in future installments. Hap is ex-military, ex-LAPD and currently doing double duty as a private detective and security detail for a Thai spa in Hollywood. He lives in a house he inherited from a grateful client up in the Hollywood Hills with his dog George, and a ready supply of weed and booze. He regularly sees a Freudian psychiatrist to work through his damaged past and to find a reason to live. When his close friend, Lou Shelton approaches him with a proposition, he feels obligated to follow through, never imagining the murder and mayhem that would follow.

Readers will willingly go along with Hank’s mishaps and adventures. He is a one of the good guys who want to do the right thing with uncommon insight and flaws that can never be undone.


We Begin at the End Cover Image
$27.99
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
$27.00
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
$26.00
ISBN: 9780358380887
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - 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.


If the Shoe Fits: A Meant to be Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781368050388
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Hyperion Avenue - August 3rd, 2021

Murphy flips a well-known fairy tale on its head in her adult debut romance. If the Shoe Fits is a charming rom com with the pace and intrigue of the reality show it mimics. Our plus-sized heroine, Cindy Woods has the support of both her stepmother and stepsisters when she agrees to take part in a Bachelor-type reality show which (no surprise to us) features the Prince Charming she met on a flight just days earlier when they both traveled to Los Angeles from NYC. Her passion for fashion, particularly shoes, is the perfect match for this bachelor, also a part of the fashion world with the iconic brand founded by his mother. Both Henry and Cindy have a lot to overcome to reach their HEA and it is fun, charming … and empowering to watch.


We Are the Brennans: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250796226
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Celadon Books - August 3rd, 2021

The Brennan family is complicated, devoted to one another, and easy to care about. They each hold secrets that we look forward to uncovering in this debut that is a pleasure to read. In alternating chapters, family members reveal themselves and their back stories, and the present dilemmas revolving around Brennan’s, the family bar that is run by Danny and his best friend Kale in their hometown of West Manor, New York. The novel begins when the only Brennan daughter, Sunday, is injured in a car crash in Los Angeles. Her injuries and limitations bring her back to West Manor where many of their stories begin to come together in unexpected ways.

In addition to an enjoyable read and memorable Irish family, I loved how Lange segued each chapter to the next with a statement from one character leading to that character’s narrative in the next chapter.


The Soulmate Equation Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982123963
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - May 18th, 2021

For a fun, sexy, science-based romp from infatuation to romance, this is the perfect summer rom-com for anyone who loves to laugh their way through a book and readers are in good hands with the duo that is the veteran writer Christina Lauren. Along with a superb supporting cast of characters, readers will meet, Jess Davis, a hard-working single mom supporting her family and a self-professed data nerd. When Jess meets River Peña and finds out that he has created a DNA test that can predict compatibility, her intellectual interest is tested. And then the fun begins. This may be this year’s perfect summer read.