Shelf Control #323: One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

A scheduling note for Shelf Control: I have a short trip planned for next week, and rather than schedule a Shelf Control post in advance, I’m planning to go easy on myself and skip a week! So, for June 22nd, I will not have a Shelf Control post up on Bookshelf Fantasies, but if you’re participating in the meme, please add your link to this week’s post so I don’t miss it!

Title: One Perfect Summer
Author: Brenda Novak
Published: 2020
Length: 464 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

From New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak comes a novel about finding family in unexpected places and the lifelong bonds that don’t need a lifetime to forge

When Serenity Alston swabbed her cheek for 23andMe, she joked about uncovering some dark ancestral scandal. The last thing she expected was to discover two half sisters she didn’t know existed. Suddenly, everything about her loving family is drawn into question. And meeting these newfound sisters might be the only way to get answers.

Serenity has always found solace at her family’s Lake Tahoe cabin, so what better place for the three women to dig into the mystery that has shaken the foundation each of them was raised on? With Reagan navigating romantic politics at her New York City advertising firm, and Lorelei staring down the collapse of her marriage, all three women are converging at a crossroads in their lives. Before the summer is over, they’ll have to confront the paths they walked to get there and determine how to move forward when everything they previously thought to be true was a lie.

But any future is easier to face with family by your side.

How and when I got it:

I bought the Kindle edition about a year ago.

Why I want to read it:

I mean… summer!!

Check out that cover! Doesn’t that just make you want to curl your toes in the sand and kick back with a fruity, slushy drink and a good book?

I did a Top 5 Tuesday post this week about books that make me think of summer, and when this one popped up as I was browsing through my Kindle library, I had to stop and ask myself why I haven’t read it yet.

There’s no particular reason why not — just time and moods, I guess. I’ve never read anything by this author, but I know she’s incredibly popular. I don’t necessarily go for books that get tagged (dismissively, in my humble opinion) as “chick lit” — but something about this synopsis really calls to me. In fact, I think it may have originally caught my eye after I did a home DNA test. (Mine came back with unsurprisingly not-surprising results. Still, it was fun to think about “what if” — what if some deep dark family secret suddenly comes to light?)

The book’s description of finding sisters suddenly and getting to know them sounds intriguing — plus, gotta love that Lake Tahoe setting!

This doesn’t sound like a heavy or serious read… and with summer just around the corner, I’m thinking one of my upcoming trips to visit family might be the perfect time to finally dig into it.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #322: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
Author: Louise Erdrich
Published: 2001
Length: 384 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved Native American tribe, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To further complicate his quiet existence, a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Leopolda’s piety, but these facts are bound up in his own secret. He is faced with the most difficult decision: Should he tell all and risk everything . . . or manufacture a protective history for Leopolda, though he believes her wonder-working is motivated solely by evil?

In a masterwork that both deepens and enlarges the world of her previous novels set on the same reservation, Louise Erdrich captures the essence of a time and the spirit of a woman who felt compelled by her beliefs to serve her people as a priest. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is a work of an avid heart, a writer’s writer, and a storytelling genius. 

How and when I got it:

I have no idea! I’ve had a paperback edition on my shelf for well over 10 years.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve read several of Louise Erdrich’s books — but not nearly enough. I’m always impressed by her gorgeous writing, and even had the pleasure of attending a book talk of hers several years ago, where she was so incredibly impressive and passionate and inspiring.

I’ve missed out on her early novels so far, and should probably start by going back to Love Medicine (published 1984). Goodreads lists The Last Report as the 6th book in the Love Medicine series, but my impression (and I could be wrong) is that these books aren’t so much a series as they are novels set in the same place/same world. In any case, of the books listed as part of the series, this is the one I actually own, so it’s the one I’m most likely to read!

As for The Last Report itself, I think the synopsis sounds fascinating. I really don’t remember buying this book, but I’m guessing that I stumbled across it at a book sale, read the back, and wanted to know more!

My book group will be reading Louise Erdrich’s most recent novel, The Sentence, this fall, and the reality is that I’m unlikely to get to The Last Report between now and then. But who knows — maybe after The Sentence, I’ll be inspired to go back and read her early books as well.

If you’ve read this book (or other books connected to Love Medicine), I’d love to know if you think they need to be read in order — or if not, where you recommend starting.

And if you haven’t read this…

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #321: Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Before You Know Kindness
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Published: 2005
Length: 448 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

For ten summers, the Seton family—all three generations—met at their country home in New England to spend a week together playing tennis, badminton, and golf, and savoring gin and tonics on the wraparound porch to celebrate the end of the season. In the eleventh summer, everything changed. A hunting rifle with a single cartridge left in the chamber wound up in exactly the wrong hands at exactly the wrong time, and led to a nightmarish accident that put to the test the values that unite the family—and the convictions that just may pull it apart.

Before You Know Kindness is a family saga that is timely in its examination of some of the most important issues of our era, and timeless in its exploration of the strange and unexpected places where we find love.

As he did with his earlier masterpiece, Midwives, Chris Bohjalian has written a novel that is rich with unforgettable characters—and absolutely riveting in its page-turning intensity.

How and when I got it:

I have a paperback edition on my shelf — but it’s been enough years that I don’t remember where or when I actually got it.

Why I want to read it:

At this point, Chris Bojhalian’s new book releases are always a cause for celebration. I just checked my reading records — it turns out that I’ve read all of his past nine new books! I’ve read a couple of older ones too, but there are still some I haven’t gotten to, and Before You Know Kindness is one of those.

This author never fails to surprise and provoke — whether it’s historical fiction or a family drama, set in WWII or modern New York or Puritan-era Boston, his books always deliver compelling plots, multi-layered characters, and knotty dilemmas.

Before You Know Kindness sounds fascinating, telling the story of a family destroyed (or maybe not? hard to tell from the synopsis) by a violent accident. I’m very curious to find out more — what exactly happened, who was involved, what were the repercussions?

It’s always exciting to know that a favorite author has more books in their backlist to explore. I’m looking forward to reading this one, as well as a few others by Chris Bohjalian that I haven’t quite managed to get to yet.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #320: Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Foundryside
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Published: 2018
Length: 512 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving–and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way–Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett. 

How and when I got it:

I picked up the paperback edition 2 – 3 years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I remember seeing very positive reviews when this book first came out, and since some of these positive reviews were by bloggers whose tastes tend to align with mine, I made a note to check it out. So, of course, when I stumbled into a used book store and found a copy, I couldn’t resist!

The synopsis sounds complicated but intriguing. Industrialized magic? Deadly transformations? Powerful artifacts? Check, check, and check — definitely up my alley.

My hesitation about starting Foundryside are (a) lately, anything over 500 pages feels pretty daunting, and (b) it’s the first in a trilogy, and I already have too many series and trilogies to keep up or catch up with. On the plus side, it’s a (soon-to-be) finished trilogy, since the 3rd book will be released next month — so no getting invested in an ongoing story and then having the conclusion not yet published or not expected for years and years.

This sounds like a book with complex world-building, which means I shouldn’t start it until I know I have the patience and uninterrupted time to really concentrate. I have a strong suspicion I’ll enjoy it once I start — the problem will be psyching myself up to actually dive in.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #319: The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: The House on the Strand
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published: 1969
Length: 352 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as a guinea pig for a new drug that Magnus has discovered in his scientific research.

When Dick samples Magnus’s potion, he finds himself doing the impossible: traveling through time while staying in place, thrown all the way back into Medieval Cornwall. The concoction wear off after several hours, but its effects are intoxicating and Dick cannot resist his newfound powers. As his journeys increase, Dick begins to resent the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before, and the home of the beautiful Lady Isolda…

How and when I got it:

I bought the e-book edition several years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve been seeing several bloggers sharing posts for Daphne du Maurier Reading Week (hosted by Heavenali) — and while I wasn’t thinking about this in time to participate, seeing the posts reminded me that I have a bunch of Daphne du Maurier books that I need to read! In fact, the only boos of her that I’ve read is the one that pretty much everyone has read, Rebecca. But I know there’s so much more to explore, and I do want to make a point of reading more of her books.

The House on the Strand caught my attention as soon as I first came across it. I mean… hello? Time travel fan here!

I’d guess time travel was a much less written-about fiction device at the time when this book was published. It was one of the author’s later books (published 30 years after Rebecca) — I’m so curious about how she portrayed the time travel elements, as well as what the overall reaction to the book was at the time of publication. (I know I could look up this piece, but would rather wait until after I’ve actually read the book).

I believe I have 4 or 5 of the author’s books sitting unread on my physical or virtual bookshelves. The House on the Strand seems like a great place for me to start.

What do you think? Have you read this book? Do you have a favorite Daphne du Maurier book to recommend?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #318: One By One by Ruth Ware

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

A scheduling note for Shelf Control: Next week, I’ll be away for a few days, and rather than schedule a Shelf Control post in advance, I’m planning to go easy on myself and skip a week! So, for May 11th, I will not have a Shelf Control post up on Bookshelf Fantasies, but if you’re participating in the meme, please add your link to this week’s post so I don’t miss it!

Title: One By One
Author: Ruth Ware
Published: 2020
Length: 372 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.

How and when I got it:

I bought a hardcover edition during a pre-Christmas book sale in 2020.

Why I want to read it:

I love snowy mountain vacations… and I also seem to be drawn to books and/or movies that feature snowy mountain disasters! What does this say about me, I wonder?

One By One caught my attention as soon as I stumbled across it and read the synopsis, and when I saw it available at a deep discount, I just had to grab a copy. Now, I’m not usually much of a thriller reader, and I’ve only read one book by Ruth Ware so far (The Turn of the Key), which I had decidedly mixed feelings about. Still, the subject matter and description for One By One make it sound like a twisty must-read for me.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #317: House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery
Author: Liz Rosenberg
Published: 2018
Length: 339 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

An affecting biography of the author of Anne of Green Gables is the first for young readers to include revelations about her last days and to encompass the complexity of a brilliant and sometimes troubled life.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Maud who adored stories. When she was fourteen years old, Maud wrote in her journal, “I love books. I hope when I grow up to be able to have lots of them.” Not only did Maud grow up to own lots of books, she wrote twenty-four of them herself as L. M. Montgomery, the world-renowned author of Anne of Green Gables. For many years, not a great deal was known about Maud’s personal life. Her childhood was spent with strict, undemonstrative grandparents, and her reflections on writing, her lifelong struggles with anxiety and depression, her “year of mad passion,” and her difficult married life remained locked away, buried deep within her unpublished personal journals. Through this revealing and deeply moving biography, kindred spirits of all ages who, like Maud, never gave up “the substance of things hoped for” will be captivated anew by the words of this remarkable woman.

How and when I got it:

I bought a hardcover edition just over a year ago.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve been a voracious reader from childhood onward, but it’s only been in the last few years, as a (ahem) mature adult, that I’ve filled in a major gap in my childhood reading — the works of L. M. Montgomery!

How I managed to get through my younger days without someone pushing a copy of Anne of Green Gables into my hands, I just can’t quite understand. But that’s how things stood until about three years ago, when I finally read AoGG and then proceeded to read the seven following books in the Anne series. By now, I’ve also read the three Emily Starr books (loved them!) and one of the author’s rare books for adults, The Blue Castle. (Loved that one too!)

But what do I actually know about the author? Not very much, other than that she was a beloved Canadian children’s author who grew up on Prince Edward Island — so I was eager to get my hands on this biography of L. M. Montgomery, which has some truly stellar reviews on Goodreads and elsewhere.

House of Dreams is marketed as a middle grade book, although from some comments on Goodreads, it sounds like it deals more directly with the author’s depression than might be expected in MG.

I know I’ve commented at least a thousand times (grain of salt applied here…) that I tend not to read non-fiction, but this book is one I think I’ll make an exception for. I’ve gotten so much joy from reading L. M. Montgomery’s books over the last few years. I think it’s about time for me to get to know the author herself.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #316: Joe Golem and the Drowning City by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Joe Golem and the Drowning City
Author: Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Published: 2012
Length: 272 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

In 1925, earthquakes and a rising sea level left Lower Manhattan submerged under more than thirty feet of water, so that its residents began to call it the Drowning City. Those unwilling to abandon their homes created a new life on streets turned to canals and in buildings whose first three stories were underwater. Fifty years have passed since then, and the Drowning City is full of scavengers and water rats, poor people trying to eke out an existence, and those too proud or stubborn to be defeated by circumstance.

Among them are fourteen-year-old Molly McHugh and her friend and employer, Felix Orlov. Once upon a time Orlov the Conjuror was a celebrated stage magician, but now he is an old man, a psychic medium, contacting the spirits of the departed for the grieving loved ones left behind. When a seance goes horribly wrong, Felix Orlov is abducted by strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits, and Molly soon finds herself on the run.

Her flight will lead her into the company of a mysterious man, and his stalwart sidekick, Joe Golem, whose own past is a mystery to him, but who walks his own dreams as a man of stone and clay, brought to life for the sole purpose of hunting witches.

How and when I got it:

According to my Amazon records, I bought the paperback edition in 2014.

Why I want to read it:

You know, I honestly don’t remember how this book came to my attention! Chances are, I either saw a recommendation on another book blog or, possibly, this was an Amazon recommendation that popped up for me after I read The Golem and the Jinni!

In any case, when I first bought this, I thought it would be a graphic novel, but it’s not. It’s an “illustrated novel”, so the plot is told in narrative form, but there are illustrations to go with. I think that because I didn’t pay attention to what I was buying and had incorrect expectations, I may have been feeling let down when the book arrived, and so ended up shelving it and never picking it up again.

The are some pretty positive reviews on Goodreads, and I’ve enjoyed (and/or been creeped out by) other books by Christopher Golden, so I’m inclined to eventually read this book rather than putting it on the donation pile.

Apparently, the story continues past this book via comic books. According to Wikipedia:

Joe Golem is a novel and comic book series created by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. It began with a promotional short story, Joe Golem and the Copper Girl, followed by an illustrated novel, Joe Golem and the Drowning City in 2012, both published by St. Martin’s Press. The series was expanded as a comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics from 2015 to 2019. The series follows Joe, an occult detective in New York City during the 1960s and ’70s. The Joe Golem series is set in The Outerverse, a shared universe with Baltimore (a 2007 novel by Mignola and Golden and its comic book continuation), and other series.

I’m very on the fence about the whole thing.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #315: Happy Doomsday by David Sosnowski

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Happy Doomsday
Author: David Sosnowski
Published: 2018
Length: 445 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

The end of the world is the weirdest time to come of age.

Welcome to the end of the world. One minute, people are going about their lives, and the next—not. In the wake of the inexplicable purge, only a handful of young misfits remains.

When it all went down, “Wizard of Odd” Dev Brinkman was seeking shelter from the taunts of his classmates. Goth girl Lucy Abernathy had lost her best friend and had no clue where to turn. And Twinkie-loving quarterback “Marcus” Haddad was learning why you never discuss politics and religion in polite company—or online.

As if life when you’re sixteen isn’t confusing enough, throw in the challenges of postapocalyptic subsistence, a case of survivor’s guilt turned up to seven billion, and the small task of rebuilding humankind…

No one said doomsday would be a breeze. But for Dev, Lucy, and Marcus, the greatest hope—and greatest threat—will come when they find each other.

How and when I got it:

I picked up the Kindle edition a couple of years ago.

Why I want to read it:

This book came to my attention thanks to social media praise and a blurb by one of my favorite authors, Maria Doria Russell. Not only that, but David Sosnowski wrote one of the most inventive yet under-the-radar vampire novels I’ve read in the last 20 years (Vamped, published 2004). So how could I resist?

Now, you may be tempted to shrug and say, “seen one apocalypse novel, seen ’em all”. Fair. I do feel like I’ve read my share (and then some) of end-of-the-world books, filled with plucky survivors, weird post-apocalyptic new realities, and the fate of humanity at stake.

Still, the synopsis sounds pretty charming and funny, and — this can’t be emphasized enough — Mary Doria Russell loved it! So it must be pretty darn awesome.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #314: Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco by Alia Volz

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco
Author: Alia Volz
Published: 2020
Length: 436 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

A blazingly funny, heartfelt memoir from the daughter of the larger-than-life woman who ran Sticky Fingers Brownies, an underground bakery that distributed thousands of marijuana brownies per month and helped provide medical marijuana to AIDS patients in San Francisco—for fans of Armistead Maupin and Patricia Lockwood

During the ’70s in San Francisco, Alia’s mother ran the underground Sticky Fingers Brownies, delivering upwards of 10,000 illegal marijuana edibles per month throughout the circus-like atmosphere of a city in the throes of major change. She exchanged psychic readings with Alia’s future father, and thereafter had a partner in business and life.

Decades before cannabusiness went mainstream, when marijuana was as illicit as heroin, they ingeniously hid themselves in plain sight, parading through town—and through the scenes and upheavals of the day, from Gay Liberation to the tragedy of the Peoples Temple—in bright and elaborate outfits, the goods wrapped in hand-designed packaging and tucked into Alia’s stroller. But the stars were not aligned forever and, after leaving the city and a shoulda-seen-it-coming divorce, Alia and her mom returned to San Francisco in the mid-80s, this time using Sticky Fingers’ distribution channels to provide medical marijuana to friends and former customers now suffering the depredations of AIDS.

Exhilarating, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartbreaking, Home Baked celebrates an eccentric and remarkable extended family, taking us through love, loss, and finding home.

How and when I got it:

I picked up the Kindle edition about a year ago.

Why I want to read it:

Just last week, I mentioned that I often add non-fiction books to my shelves, yet somehow never find myself motivated to read them. And yet here I go again, featuring a non-fiction book as this week’s Shelf Control book!

This book got a lot of buzz here in San Francisco when it came out in 2020. I remember seeing not just reviews in the arts section of the paper, but also profiles, interviews, etc. And honestly, doesn’t this just sound fascinating?

San Francisco is not my hometown, but I’ve lived here since the mid-90s. Since moving here, I’ve been eager to learn more about SF’s recent and more distant history — and what better and more exciting times to read about than the 70s and 80s? The blurb mentioning Armistead Maupin (author of Tales of the City) doesn’t hurt a bit, and I’m also eager to see how this edibles business transformed into a cause supporting AIDS patients needing medical marijuana.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!