Monday, November 30, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (12/01/2015)

The long Thanksgiving weekend always spoils me and makes getting up for work Monday morning hard. Somehow I managed though. We had a brief lock down in my office. I guess someone had been seen with a weapon outside our building that morning. As far as I know, it was a false alarm. Thank goodness.

My family had a very nice Thanksgiving. A couple months ago, my husband had made reservations for us to eat at Ariel's Grotto, a restaurant in Disney's California Adventure Park. It turned into a lovely day. The food was delicious, and we were entertained throughout the meal by Disney Princesses, which made my daughter happy. I think her most favorite part of the day though was spending time playing with the ice and snow. She got to meet Santa Claus, at which time she made it known she wants a stuffed toy hippo for Christmas.



We slept in very late on Friday after a very long day at the Disney parks, and then spent the weekend decorating the house for Christmas. We still have the outside to do, but that can wait until the weekend. Mouse will not stop talking about Christmas. I am partially to blame for the constant stream of Christmas carols she is singing.

I did not get any reading done over the long weekend. I had hoped to make some progress in my current book, but I just did not get the chance. I have since eagerly jumped back into and am enjoying Alex Palmer's The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man and the Invention of Christmas in New York. After all reading a couple Christmas romances, I thought it was time for a good dose of reality.

First Paragraph of The Santa Claus Man:

How quickly fortunes reversed.

At 9:30 p.m. on the cool evening of September 9, 1913, John Duval Gluck, Jr., dressed in his best suit and bowler, his mustache carefully groomed, basked in the excitement of a stadium full of his fellow New Yorkers. A light breeze carried the scent of saltwater and stale food over the hundreds of onlookers packed into their seats. They whooped at what they saw before them: in the flesh, ambling around the arena, was something they had only heard about in stories and seen in picture books.

Teasers from The Santa Claus Man at 7%

Without a qualified person to answer them, the fact that the Santa letters would simply be thrown out seemed a callous, unnecessary cruelty to him. He could picture what joy it would be to play New York's Santa Claus, to introduce poor kids to the sort of holiday cheer he had known growing up.

and 51%:

"I have just a few reasons to believe that the Mr. John Duval Gluck referred to in [the] paper as Founder of this Santa Claus Association, may be a German spy," began the anonymous letter sent to the U.S. Secret Service.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?  

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it anything you would recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This week's  Top Ten Tuesday theme is Top Ten 2016 Debut Novels I Am Looking Forward To. I decided to interpret this week's question as authors debuting their first novels. Trying to stick to debuts was a bit of a challenge because there are so many books by authors who have several books out already coming out this next year I want to read--and that's only the few I have heard of. Here are ten debut books by new authors I am VERY eager to read:

1.

The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary (January, 2016) ~ This one comes recommended by my friend Caspette of Narrative Causality. I love the cover and the focus on Japanese mythology.

2.

The Longest Night by Andria Williams (January, 2016) ~ I'm intrigued by the time period and setting of this one most of all:
Based on a true story of the only fatal nuclear accident to occur in America, The Longest Night is a deeply moving novel that explores the intricate makeup of a marriage, the shifting nature of trust, and the ways we try to protect the ones we love.

3.

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman (February, 2016) ~ The tale of a young man longing for the sea and a young maid wishing to return home. This is a retelling of Blackbeard's younger years, and what led him to become one of the most infamous pirates in history.

4.

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer (February, 2016) ~ Already published in the U.K., this one is coming to the U.S. in February. As much as books like this are likely to give me nightmares, I cannot resist them on occasion. And this one has grabbed my attention. It is about a mother whose daughter wanders off and goes missing--told from the perspective of both the mother and child in alternating chapters.

5.

The Widow by Fiona Barton (February, 2016) ~ This one sounds very intriguing! Married to a man accused of committing a terrible crime, she has worked hard at being the perfect wife. When he dies, everyone turns to her for answers. But Jean has gotten good at being just who she needs to be, and the story she decides to tell may or may not be the truth.

6.

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon (February, 2016 ~ Alex is a young journalist who decides to try and solve a 15 year old crime involving a girl-now-woman still in a coma, while dealing with her own issues. On the surface, I admit this one sounded a bit like some of the other books out there recently in terms of Alex's particular demons, but something about this book calls to me. Maybe it is the solving of a cold case. Or maybe it's to see just how Amy and Alex's stories play out. Plus, I can't resist an unreliable narrator.

7.

Tears in the Grass by Lynda A. Archer (March, 2016) ~ At the heart of this novel is a 90 year old woman who goes on a journey to find her long lost daughter, the daughter taken from her after she was raped as a child while at a residential school.
Confronting a history of trauma, racism, love, and cultural survival, [Tears in the Grass] is the story of an unflagging woman searching for the courage to open her heart to a world that tried to tear it

8.

Just Fall by Nina Sadowsky (March, 2016) ~ I was sold when I read: "Balanced on the razor edge of moral ambiguity, this sexy and seductive debut novel asks: How can you find out that the person you love is a killer…and continue to love him anyway?" She had no idea her new husband had been keeping a dark secret from her--but she soon finds out. This one promises to be quite the suspenseful ride, and I am looking forward to taking it.

9.

The Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan (April, 2016) ~ Another one that piques my curiosity and has me wanting to know more:
A debut novel in which two people are brought together by a very decent proposal cooked up by a very secretive benefactor in which the strangers go on one year of dates, one date a week, for half a million dollars each if they can stand each other for the whole time.

10.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (April, 2016) ~ I generally try to ignore book comparisons because they often are far off, but when I read this one was a cross between World War Z and The Martian, I just know I have to take a closer look.
17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.
Are any of these are your To Read List? What 2016 debuts are you looking forward to?


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

64 comments:

  1. Hmmm, the Santa Claus subject matter is a turn off for me. Might pass on this one.

    Glad to hear your Thanksgiving was nice though, and scary about the lock down in your office.

    My First Chapter First Paragraph post is here if you're interested: http://www.bookpunks.com/begins-still-life-woodpecker-tom-robbins/

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    1. Nikki - Historical true crime isn't for everyone, even when it involves Santa Claus. :-) I'm finding it quite interesting though. So much was changing at that time in history.

      I'm glad the reason for the lockdown turned out to be false. It was scary.

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  2. Glad you had a good Thanksgiving. Going back to work after a long weekend is ALWAYS hard. Hate it. :)

    Nice TT, and your Top Ten Tuesday picks are good too. Most of them are new to me and they all sound good and varied.

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    1. Greg - I am not a fan of Mondays in general, but through in a long weekend and it makes them worse. We survived though. Somehow. :-)

      I'm not really ready to focus on 2016 books. It seems too early.

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  3. Sounds like you had a terrific Thanksgiving Wendy. Your Mouse is at a great age for Christmas fun.

    I liked the intro a lot and would read more. enjoy

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    1. Diane - It was very nice. I wasn't sure we would be able to go through with it given my husband's job situation, but we'd promised Mouse and decided not to let it stop us.

      The Santa Claus Man is really interesting so far. Lots of little facts about the time period I hadn't known.

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  4. Sounds like a great Thanksgiving weekend. I like your teaser and opener -- good choice for December reading. I have a couple of your debut books on my list too

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    1. Beth - I wish the weekend could have been longer. At least the days when I can sleep in. LOL

      There are a number of good books coming out this next year, aren't there? Always too many for us to read . . .

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! The intro has me curious about the book - hope you enjoy it :)

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    1. JoAnn - It was! We had a nice time. :-) I am enjoying The Santa Claus Man quite a bit so far.

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  6. Glad to hear you had a good Thanksgiving! And great TTT list; I'm hopelessly behind when it comes to finding out debuts and books coming out the following year so I'm learning a lot of new titles from my fellow bloggers today :) Happy reading!

    My TTT

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    1. Lianne - I had to do a bit of research to come up with my list, although about half are books I already have early copies of for review--which made it easier. Thanks for visiting!

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  7. As a European I can't get over the idea of a lock down because of weapon-sightings but I'm glad it was nothing! And your Thanksgiving does sound amazing! I do like the sound of your teasers but I'd have to read a bit more. Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great weekend!
    My Tuesday Post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Juli - Something really needs to be done about all these mass shootings. It's easy to think it will never happen to me, but then something like this happens and it is a good reminder that it really has become an epidemic in this country.

      I hope you have a great week too!

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  8. I love the way Mouse loves Christmas! We haven't started decorating yet and I don't know when we'll get to it since Carl is visiting his dad.

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    1. Kathy - I do too. Young children really are the magic of the season. Their anticipation and excitement. :-) I hope Carl is having a nice visit with his dad and you are finding time to relax. I know you must be so busy right now!

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  9. I would like to try The Santa Claus Man: Thanks for the intro.

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    1. Judy - If you do try it, I hope you like it. I'm learning quite a bit I didn't know about that time period--little things, but still very interesting.

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  10. That first paragraph has me curious. I'd read more. I'm glad you had such a good long weekend. Love the pictures.

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    1. Margot - Thank you. :-) I'm enjoying it so far. I've highlighted so much, you'd think I have highlighted the entire book. LOL

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  11. What a lovely fairytale Thanksgiving! Even grownups can feel enchanted by Disney.

    Your excerpts drew me in...and then that last bit stunned me. Wow, where did that come from?

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - It was kind of like a fairytale in its own way. I'm glad we were able to do the season passes this year. It's been so much fun--but exhausting in other ways.

      I wasn't expecting that last teaser either. It's a really interesting story so far. About one man's rise and then fall.

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  12. I'm with you on The Longest Night - it's waiting for me on my Kindle! And - I've been hearing buzz about The Girl in the Red Coat as well!

    I don't normally read Christmas books (maybe I should!), but I liked this intro. I'd keep reading...

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    1. Sarah - The Longest Night sounds like it will be quite good. Hopefully the positive buzz about The Girl in the Red Coat will be true. So many of these books are getting a lot of publicity and we can only hope they live up to our expectations. I'm always hopeful, but also try to keep my expectations down a bit--just in case.

      There are some good Christmas books out there, and varied enough to meet different tastes I think. They can't all be sentimental sweetness, right?

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  13. I was "so-so" until I got to the part about accusing Santa as being a spy. That grabbed me. Here's my teaser: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-12O

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    1. Ms. M - Yes, there's a definitely a twist to this book--although I think any allegations of him actually being a spy are probably not true. His good intentions turn pretty sour after awhile. Greed and power can do that to a person.

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  14. The Santa Claus Man sounds like something I'd enjoy reading. I like the opening a lot. Good description that makes me wonder what the spectators saw.
    My Tuesday post features the Rawhide ‘n Roses anthology.

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    1. Sandra - It wasn't quite what I expected--what they were watching. :-) It's a good book so far. I haven't read nearly enough nonfiction this year, and so I am glad I can squeeze this in.

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  15. I'm adding The Night Parade to my tbr right now! :)

    Check out my Music Monday and TTT.

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    1. Lauren - Oh, do! I hear it's really good. I hope I enjoy it too. :-)

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    1. Carrie - Doesn't it? I can't wait until it comes out.

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  17. THE NIGHT PARADE looks super cute! I didn't realize it was Japanese mythology. I'm going to have to read that one!

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    1. Becky - I am looking forward to The Night Parade. It really does sound good! I hope you like it if you do read it.

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  18. A holiday book! Mine this week is not yet a holiday theme.

    What a great long weekend, something your daughter will never forget. Glad the Monday excitement turned out ok.

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    1. Dagny - An interesting one too because it's not all mistletoe and holly.:-)

      I love making good memories with my family. :-)

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  19. Yikes! It is time to look at 2016 releases now! I am always behind on new releases but hopefully, this time I can check the list. That restaurant sounds fabulous! I will have to keep it in mind for when I head there next time. Thank goodness the lockdown was for no reason - too much stuff happening nowadays.

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    1. Athira - It seems way too soon still, but the New Year is just a short time away now. The character dinner at Ariel's Grotto was wonderful. I'd always wanted to do something like that with Mouse.

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  20. Sounds like a very special Thanksgiving celebration. Love debut novels.

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    1. Nise' - It was special. I am glad we were able to do it. I love debut novels too. Finding new authors is fun--although I do like my old favorites too. :-)

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  21. Oh, I know that feeling after a long holiday weekend. Monday was really tough to get up for.

    I love your list. Looks like some good books coming up.

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    1. Yvonne - It's no fun having to return to the regular routine after a long weekend. I am sure this week will feel like a mile long as a result.

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  22. I'm glad you'd a wonderful Thanksgiving, Wendy! Will have to check out the books you listed! :)

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    1. Melody - It was very nice. A bright spot in our month. :-)

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  23. Good teaser. I would keep reading.Hope you enjoy it!

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  24. Yay for Blackhearts! I can't wait for that book!

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    1. Kaitlyn - It sounds like it will be a good one, doesn't it? I am really looking forward to reading it too.

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  25. Ooh, I do like the sound of The Santa Claus Man.

    What a great selection of books you are looking forward to. Of all of them it is The Night Parade that particularly appeals to me.

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    1. Tracy - It was quite interesting. I almost wish I could go back in time to that time period.

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  26. I was at California Adventure on Thanksgiving, too! We had tons of fun there. We went to Disneyland the next day and WOW was it crowded. The lines were insane. You were smart to stay home and decorate :)

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT yesterday!

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    1. Susan - Were you?! Maybe we passed each other without even knowing it. How cool is that? I am glad you had a nice time too. :-)

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  27. I am going to try and read some Christmas themed reads this month, and The Santa Claus Man definitely sounds like a refreshing read. The teaser sounds really interesting!

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    1. Yvo - I hope you get a chance to read some Christmas-themed books this month. I just finished The Santa Claus Man and enjoyed it.

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  28. I almost picked up The Night Parade as I too love Japanese lore and mythology, but it didn't quite convince me. I'd love to know your thoughts once you've read it :)

    The Santa Claus Man sounds like an appropriate read for the season! I hope you enjoy it! :D

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    1. Claudia - The Night Parade comes highly recommended. I can't wait ot read it. :-)

      I found The Santa Claus Man to be so interesting. Seeing how things have evolved--and not--over the past century.

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  29. Sleeping Giants has such an amazing cover! (Judging a book by its cover a little, but look at it!)

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    1. Kelly - I think so too. I hope it's as good as it looks. :-)

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  30. The Girl In The Red Coat sounds interesting. May have to add it to the TBR!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/top-ten-tuesday-33/

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    1. I am looking forward to reading The Girl in the Red Coat. I hope you like it if you do decide to read it.

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  31. Your Thanksgiving sounds lovely! I am so glad that your daughter (and you, of course!) had such a good time. As for your list, Blackhearts made mine too! Sleeping Giants also sounds really good. Fabulous choices!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Shannon - It was a fun day, and I am glad we were able to do that for her. :-) I can't wait to read Blackhearts and Sleeping Giants!

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