Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. This time of year is ripe with new releases and upcoming releases. As a booklover, my to be read list grows exponentially. I’ve studied my list and come up with ten fantastic Fall reads I can’t wait to read.
Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood by Rose George
An eye-opening exploration of blood, the lifegiving substance with the power of taboo, the value of diamonds and the promise of breakthrough science.
Blood carries life, yet the sight of it makes people faint. It is a waste product and a commodity pricier than oil. It can save lives and transmit deadly infections. Each one of us has roughly nine pints of it, yet many don’t even know their own blood type. And for all its ubiquitousness, the few tablespoons of blood discharged by 800 million women are still regarded as taboo: menstruation is perhaps the single most demonized biological event.
Rose George, author of The Big Necessity, is renowned for her intrepid work on topics that are invisible but vitally important. In Nine Pints, she takes us from ancient practices of bloodletting to modern “hemovigilance” teams that track blood-borne diseases. She introduces Janet Vaughan, who set up the world’s first system of mass blood donation during the Blitz, and Arunachalam Muruganantham, known as “Menstrual Man” for his work on sanitary pads for developing countries. She probes the lucrative business of plasma transfusions, in which the US is known as the “OPEC of plasma.” And she looks to the future, as researchers seek to bring synthetic blood to a hospital near you.
Spanning science and politics, stories and global epidemics, Nine Pints reveals our life's blood in an entirely new light.
Scribe: A Novel by Alyson Hagy
A haunting, evocative tale about the power of storytelling.
A brutal civil war has ravaged the country, and contagious fevers have decimated the population. Abandoned farmhouses litter the isolated mountain valleys and shady hollows. The economy has been reduced to barter and trade.
In this craggy, unwelcoming world, the central character of Scribe ekes out a lonely living on the family farmstead where she was raised and where her sister met an untimely end. She lets a migrant group known as the Uninvited set up temporary camps on her land, and maintains an uneasy peace with her cagey neighbors and the local enforcer. She has learned how to make paper and ink, and she has become known for her letter-writing skills, which she exchanges for tobacco, firewood, and other scarce resources. An unusual request for a letter from a man with hidden motivations unleashes the ghosts of her troubled past and sets off a series of increasingly calamitous events that culminate in a harrowing journey to a crossroads.
Drawing on traditional folktales and the history and culture of Appalachia, Alyson Hagy has crafted a gripping, swiftly plotted novel that touches on pressing issues of our time—migration, pandemic disease, the rise of authoritarianism—and makes a compelling case for the power of stories to both show us the world and transform it.
The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody
In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.
A lot can happen on the road from lost to found…
Ali Collins doesn’t have room in her life for clutter or complications. So when her estranged father passes away and leaves her his only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—Ali knows she won’t keep it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. And especially not when a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast is offering enough money for the car to save her childhood home from foreclosure. There’s only one problem, though. Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift.
But her ex-boyfriend, Nico, does.
The road trip gets off to a horrible start, filled with unexpected detours, roadblocks, and all the uncomfortable tension that comes with being trapped in a car with your ex. But when Nico starts collecting items from the quirky strangers they meet along the way, Ali starts to sense that these objects aren’t random. Somehow they seem to be leading her to an unknown truth about her father. A truth that will finally prove to Ali that some things—even broken things—are worth saving.
Grow Grateful by Sage Foster-Lasser, Jon Lasser, Christopher Lyles (Illustrated by)
Kiko goes on a camping trip with her class and learns about gratitude! Throughout the trip, Kiko discovers different things she appreciates about her family, friends, and opportunities. Growing gratitude leads to greater happiness and interpersonal relationships. A “Note to Parents and Caregivers” provides information on teaching children how to be grateful.
Kiko goes on a camping trip with her class and learns about gratitude! Throughout the trip, Kiko discovers different things she appreciates about her family, friends, and opportunities. This story is based on the “theory of mind,” which is the ability to take perspective of others and recognize that each person has their own thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Growing gratitude leads to greater happiness and interpersonal relationships. A “Note to Parents and Caregivers” provides information on teaching children how to be grateful.
Sewing the Rainbow: A Story About Gilbert Baker by Gayle E. Pitman, Holly Clifton-Brown (Illustrated by)
Sewing the Rainbow is the powerful story of Gilbert Baker and the creation of the rainbow flag. This book takes readers from Gilbert’s childhood in a small town in Kansas where he didn’t fit in, to his historic artistic career in San Francisco. Today the flag is everywhere, even in the small town where Gilbert grew up! This book shows that when you see a rainbow flag, you’ll know it’s okay to be your colorful self. Includes a “Note to Parents and Caregivers” with more about Gilbert and the flag’s history.
The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas
Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, returns in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of A Conspiracy in Belgravia and A Study in Scarlet Women, an NPR Best Book of 2016.
Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t.
Moriarty’s shadow looms large. First, Charlotte’s half brother disappears. Then, Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte’s close friend Lord Ingram, turns up dead on his estate. And all signs point to Lord Ingram as the murderer.
With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to seek out the truth. But uncovering the truth could mean getting too close to Lord Ingram—and a number of malevolent forces…
Football Fields and Battlefields: The Story of Eight Army Football Players and their Heroic Service by Jeff Miller
How eight cadets went from the football field to the battlefield to defend their country.
The 2003 Army football team achieved futility in major college play that might never be equaled, losing all 13 of its games. The squad that took the field on a frigid December 2003 day in Philadelphia for the celebrated Army-Navy game featured only eight fourth-year seniors, just a slice of the fifty energetic freshmen—“plebes” in academy vernacular—who reported to West Point amid the heat and humidity of the summer of 2000, hoping to land spots on the football team.
For most of the fifty, West Point represented their best—or only—opportunity to play major college football. They were bypassed by the big-time football schools that award athletic scholarships, which aren’t available at the nation’s military academies. Making a five-year active-duty military commitment following graduation was a small price to pay during peacetime. But peacetime in America ended only days into their second year at the academy, on September 11, 2001.
Those eight seniors, like virtually all of their cadet peers, maintained their commitments to the US Army in the wake of 9/11. They worked their way up from West Point’s JV football team as freshmen, earned positions on the Black Knights’ varsity team as others left the program—voluntarily or otherwise—and walked to the center of the field for the coin toss before that final opportunity for victory, against the arch-rival Midshipmen.
The football field then gave way to the battlefield.
Most of the eight were deployed overseas, serving at least one tour in either Iraq or Afghanistan. One won the Bronze Star, another the Purple Heart. One qualified for an elite Rangers battalion, another for the 160th special operations aviation Night Stalkers.
They took on enemy fire. They grieved at the loss of brothers in arms. They hugged their loved ones tightly upon returning home.
There was no more talk of football losses. They were winners.
The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
From the Hugo Award–winning author of The Stars Are Legion comes a brand-new science fiction thriller about a futuristic war during which soldiers are broken down into light in order to get them to the front lines on Mars.
They said the war would turn us into light.
I wanted to be counted among the heroes who gave us this better world.
The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief—no matter what actually happens during combat.
Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.
Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero—or maybe a villain; in war it’s hard to tell the difference.
A worthy successor to classic stories like Downbelow Station, Starship Troopers, and The Forever War, The Light Brigade is award-winning author Kameron Hurley’s gritty time-bending take on the future of war.
The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan
Bestseller Sarah Morgan’s first Christmas title in trade paperback format delivers on all the warmth, wit and magic that are the hallmarks of her popular holiday books – with a stronger focus on the volatile relationships between sisters, and the universal family tensions that seem to rear their head when December rolls around!
Suzanne McBride knows some families are made, not born – she has three wonderful adopted daughters to prove it. Her dearest wish is that each year, Hannah, Bethany and Posy return home to the snowy Scottish highlands, and share a heartwarming family Christmas. But every year, it doesn’t go quite according to plan as ongoing tensions between the sisters simmer over. Suzanne is determined this year will be different, until she comes down with the flu with a houseful of guests. There are Christmas stockings to be knitted, secrets to be unwrapped, and hearts to be healed. Can her daughters, tough-talking Hannah, soft-hearted Bethany, and feisty Posy--along with the men looking to get them under the mistletoe--put their differences to one side and unite to save the McBride family Christmas?
Coming Home to the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson
Welcome to the cosy Comfort Food Café, where there's kindness in every cup of hot chocolate and the menu is sprinkled with love and happiness…
When Zoe's best friend Kate dies of breast cancer, her whole world is turned upside down. Within hours, she goes from being the wacky neighbour who can barely keep a houseplant alive to a whole new world of responsibility when she realises she's guardian to Kate's 16-year-old daughter, Martha.
Moving to the little village of Budbury in the West Country, Zoe hopes the fresh Dorset sea breeze and the gentle pace of life will help them heal.
Luckily for them both, the friendly community at the Comfort Food Café provide listening ears, sage advice, shoulders to cry on, and some truly excellent carrot cake. And when Martha's enigmatic, absent father suddenly turns up, confusing not only Martha but Zoe too, the love and support of their new-found friends is the best present they could ask for…
Have you an upcoming/new release you can’t wait to read? Share in the comments below and don’t forget to share using the buttons below. See you next week!
MRS N, Book Addict