Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Mother’s Day is this Sunday and I’m sure most of you already have her special gift. But for those of you who do not, here’s a quick bookish gift list of great books to get your mum.
If your mother loves mystery . . .
Murder at the Brightwell: A Mystery (An Amory Ames Mystery Book 1) by Ashley Weaver
Ashley Weaver’s debut mystery, Murder at the Brightwell, is a delicious, stylish novel in which murder invades British polite society and romance springs in unexpected places, and a wonderful testament to the enduring delight of the traditional mystery.
“An elegant Christie-esque 1930s romp.” —Deborah Crombie
“If you love Downton Abbey, you'll adore Ashley Weaver’s charming debut.”—Susan Elia MacNeal
“A witty and charming debut mystery with a believably spunky sleuth and a compelling story of love that never runs smoothly.” —G.M. Malliet
“It’s more terrible than you think, Mrs. Ames. It appears that Mr. Howe was murdered.”
Amory Ames, a wealthy young woman questioning her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo, is looking for a change. She accepts a request for help from her former fiancé, Gil Trent, not knowing that she’ll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will not only test her friendship with Gil, but also will upset the status quo with her husband.
Amory accompanies Gil to the luxurious Brightwell Hotel in an attempt to circumvent the marriage of his sister, Emmeline, to Rupert Howe a disreputable ladies man. There is more than her happiness at stake, however, when Rupert is murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime. Matters are further complicated by Milo’s unexpected arrival, and as the line between friend and foe becomes less clear, Amory must decide where her heart lies and catch the killer before she, too, becomes a victim.
If your mother loves gardening . . .
A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season by Margaret Roach
"Those with dirt already under their fingernails will treasure Roach’s in-depth knowledge, wry humor, and reflective look at how seasons in gardening mirror the passage of time." —Publishers Weekly
For Margaret Roach, gardening is more than a hobby, it’s a calling. Her unique approach, which she refers to as “horticultural how-to and woo-woo,” is a blend of vital information you need to memorize (like how to plant a bulb) and intuitive steps you must simply feel and surrender to. In A Way to Garden, Roach imparts decades of garden wisdom on seasonal gardening, ornamental plants, vegetable gardening, design, gardening for wildlife, organic practices, and much more. She also challenges gardeners to think beyond their garden borders and to consider the ways gardening can enrich the world. Brimming with beautiful photographs of Roach’s own garden, A Way to Garden is practical, inspiring, and a must-have for every passionate gardener.
If your mother loves romance . . .
The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown
A plus-size Texas gal has designs on an old crush in New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown’s exuberant, bighearted romance.
In the small town of Celeste, Texas, Mitzi Taylor has never quite fit inside the lines. Nearly six feet tall, flame-haired, and with a plus-size spirit to match every curve, she’s found her niche: a custom wedding-dress boutique catering to big brides-to-be with big dreams. Taking the plunge alongside her two best friends, she’s proud they’ve turned The Perfect Dress into a perfect success.
Just when Mitzi has it all pulled together, Graham Harrison walks back into her life, looking for bridesmaid dresses for his twin daughters. A still-strapping jock whose every gorgeous, towering inch smells like aftershave, the star of all Mitzi’s high school dreams is causing quite a flush.
For Mitzi, all it takes is a touch to feel sparks flitting around her like fireflies. She can just imagine what a kiss could do. Graham’s feeling it, too. And he’s about to make that imagination of Mitzi’s run wild. Is it just a hot summer fling, or are Mitzi’s next designs for herself and seeing her own dreams come true?
If your mother loves cooking . . .
Mary Berry’s Quick Cooking by Mary Berry
The nation’s queen of home cooking brings her foolproof, delicious approach to quick fix recipes.
In this brand-new, official tie-in to the major BBC Two series, Mary shows how being in a rush will never be a problem again. Find brilliant 20- and 30-minute meals and enjoy wonderful dishes that can be swiftly assembled and then left to cook away while you do something else.
Mary’s utterly reliable, always delicious fast dishes tempt any tastebuds and her no-fuss expertise means you can cook from scratch and put mouth-watering home-cooked food on your family’s table without compromising on quality or freshness.
This stunning cookbook, packed with colourful photography, includes over 120 new recipes, including all the recipes from the series, plus Mary’s trademark no-nonsense tips and techniques for getting ahead in the kitchen so cooking is always stress-free.
Looking for a fast, satisfying supper? There’s Crumble fish pie, Lamb tagine with preserved lemon or Pan-fried spiced falafels. Something special for Sunday lunch or dinner with friends? Roast Venison fillet and peppercorn sauce, 30-minute Beef ragu or Roast fillet pork with sage and mustard sauce followed by Upside-down rhubarb pudding.
With Mary’s trusted advice and recipes, discover how easy fantastic fast cooking can be.
If your mother loves fiction . . .
Blessing in Disguise: A Novel by Danielle Steel
In Danielle Steel’s remarkable new novel, one of her most memorable characters comes to terms with unfinished business and long-buried truths as the mother of three very different daughters with three singular fathers.
As a young intern at an art gallery in Paris, Isabelle McAvoy meets Putnam Armstrong, wealthy, gentle, older, and secluded from the world. Isabelle’s relationship with Putnam, and her time at his château on the Normandy coast, are the stuff of dreams. But it turns real when she becomes pregnant, for she knows that marriage is out of the question.
When Isabelle returns to New York, she enters a new relationship that she hopes will be more stable and traditional. But she soon realizes she has made a terrible mistake and again finds herself a single mother.
With two young daughters and no husband, Isabelle finally and unexpectedly finds happiness and a love that gives her a third child, a baby as happy as her beloved father. And yet, once again, life brings dramatic changes.
The three girls grow up to be very different women, and Isabelle’s relationship with each of them is unique. While raising her girls alone, Isabelle also begins building a career as a successful art consultant. Then one final turn of fate brings a past secret to light, bonds mother and daughters closer, and turns a challenge into a blessing.
If your mother loves baseball . . .
K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner
From the New York Times baseball columnist, an enchanting, enthralling history of the national pastime as told through the craft of pitching, based on years of archival research and interviews with more than three hundred people from Hall of Famers to the stars of today
The baseball is an amazing plaything. We can grip it and hold it so many different ways, and even the slightest calibration can turn an ordinary pitch into a weapon to thwart the greatest hitters in the world. Each pitch has its own history, evolving through the decades as the masters pass it down to the next generation. From the earliest days of the game, when Candy Cummings dreamed up the curveball while flinging clamshells on a Brooklyn beach, pitchers have never stopped innovating.
In K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches, Tyler Kepner traces the colorful stories and fascinating folklore behind the ten major pitches. Each chapter highlights a different pitch, from the blazing fastball to the fluttering knuckleball to the slippery spitball. Infusing every page with infectious passion for the game, Kepner brings readers inside the minds of combatants sixty feet, six inches apart.
Filled with priceless insights from many of the best pitchers in baseball history including twenty-two Hall of Famers--from Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Nolan Ryan to Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera, and Clayton Kershaw--K will be the definitive book on pitching and join such works as The Glory of Their Times and Moneyball as a classic of the genre.
If your mother loves thrillers . . .
The Price of Time by Tim Tigner
Would your character change ...
if you had all the money in the world?
And all the time?
Would you become a better person?
Imagine Agatha Christie meets Michael Crichton in a fast-paced, philosophical mystery thriller.
There’s a secret in Silicon Valley. A discovery. An invention. One so startling and surprisingly sinister that it needs to be kept—at any price.
Tim Tigner takes a step back from his bestselling Kyle Achilles series to introduce Zachary Chase and Skylar Fawkes in a fresh standalone novel that’s bound to keep you glued and guessing. With secluded meetings, sudden disappearances and strange murders; secret agents, skillful assassins and sexy locations; The Price of Time is packed with fast-paced action and first-class intellectual intrigue.
Propelling the thrills and perched at the middle of the mystery is one of humanity’s great questions: Would finding the Fountain of Youth be a blessing?
Prepare for sleep-deprived nights and skipped chores while repeating the phrase: "Just one more page."
"Tim Tigner is the antidote of Dull." —Steve Wilson
"Clever to the point where you can't put the book down.” —Maryellen Crane
"I defy anyone to anticipate his plot twists." —Henry Shop
"Still trying to catch my breath. He is a superb storyteller." —Amy Peck
"A thinking person's thriller." —Glen Robins
Amazon named Tim Tigner an All-Star Author for being one of the most popular authors in Kindle Unlimited throughout 2018.
His books are recommended for fans of David Baldacci, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Nelson DeMille’s John Corey, Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp, Mark Greaney’s Gray Man, Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X, Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne, John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport, Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon, Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan, Brad Thor’s Scot Harvath, and Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon.
If your mother loves traveling . . .
The Best Coast: A Road Trip Atlas: Illustrated Adventures along the West Coast's Historic Highways by Chandler O'Leary
From a co-author of the award-winning Dead Feminists, this quirky illustrated book covers historic routes up and down the West Coast by showcasing roadside attractions, beloved landmarks, hidden history, and other offbeat delights for armchair travelers and road-trippers alike. The perfect inspiration for a trip along the coast, or to simply savor as a love letter to the region.
What better place for a road trip than the West Coast (the best coast, by any measure)? From San Diego, California, all the way up to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, you'll find off-the-beaten-path adventures up and down the coast. This charming illustrated book features both the coastal route via historic Highways 101 and 1 (the PCH) and an inland route up Highway 99, highlighting the natural beauty along the shore while also connecting the traveler to major cities and other attractions. Includes side trips to destinations such as Catalina Island, Joshua Tree National Park, Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, wine country, Crater Lake National Park, the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Rainier National Park, the San Juan Islands, and Vancouver, BC. Also includes in-depth city guides to San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle. Chock-full of unusual facts, hidden history, and Americana, this one-of-a-kind road trip through California, Oregon, and Washington tells a story of the diversity and depth that created the West Coast we know and love today, showcasing both the ever-changing present and vestiges of the past for those who slow down to look. Perfect for fans of Atlas Obscura, Rebecca Solnit, and Julia Rothman.
If your mother loves historical fiction . . .
The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher
"A riveting reimagining of a true tale of forbidden love."—People
Now in paperback, the captivating novel following the exploits of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the forgotten and rebellious daughter of one of America's greatest political dynasties.
London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarefied circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the twentieth century's most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose; the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe; and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire.
But their love is forbidden, as Kick's devout Catholic family and Billy's staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. And when war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick finds work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie—with family or with love. . . .
If your mother loves women’s fiction . . .
Will Rise from Ashes by Jean M. Grant
Living is more than mere survival.
Young widow AJ Sinclair has persevered through much heartache. Has she met her match when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, leaving her separated from her youngest son and her brother? Tens of thousands are dead or missing in a swath of massive destruction. She and her nine-year-old autistic son, Will, embark on a risky road trip from Maine to the epicenter to find her family. She can't lose another loved one.
Along the way, they meet Reid Gregory, who travels his own road to perdition looking for his sister. Drawn together by AJ's fear of driving and Reid's military and local expertise, their journey to Colorado is fraught with the chaotic aftermath of the eruption. AJ's anxiety and faith in humanity are put to the test as she heals her past, accepts her family's present, and embraces uncertainty as Will and Reid show her a world she had almost forgotten.
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