Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Waiting to Read Wednesday (#13)



The Old(er) 
I have an embarrassing number of unread books sitting on the shelves in my personal library. Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight and discuss those neglected books in her Books from the Backlog feature. After all, even those older books need a bit of love! Not to mention it is reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!


Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Murakami, Alfred Birnbaum (Translator), Philip Gabriel (Translator)
(Vintage, 2003)
It was a clear spring day, Monday, March 20, 1995, when five members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo conducted chemical warfare on the Tokyo subway system using sarin, a poison gas twenty-six times as deadly as cyanide. The unthinkable had happened, a major urban transit system had become the target of a terrorist attack.

In an attempt to discover why, Haruki Murakami, internationally acclaimed author of
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and arguably Japan’s most important contemporary novelist, talked to the people who lived through the catastrophe—from a Subway Authority employee with survivor guilt, to a fashion salesman with more venom for the media than for the perpetrators, to a young cult member who vehemently condemns the attack though he has not quit Aum. 
Through these and many other voices, Murakami exposes intriguing aspects of the Japanese psyche. And as he discerns the fundamental issues leading to the attack, we achieve a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere. Hauntingly compelling and inescapably important, Underground is a powerful work of journalistic literature from one of the world’s most perceptive writers. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: I had read an article about this book years ago, and it landed on my wish list as a result. Eventually, I purchased a copy and there it has sat on my shelf waiting its turn. Human behavior, perception and motivation has always intrigued me, including when it comes to cults and also those who have survived such tragic and horrific events such as this.


Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa
(William Morrow, 2013)

"I subscribe to the notion that if you can laugh at the shittiest moments in your life, you can transcend them. And if other people can laugh at your awful shit as well, then I guess you can officially call yourself a comedian." 
In Boston, a college student fears leaving her own room—even to use the toilet. In Pennsylvania, a meek personal assistant finally confronts a perpetually enraged gay spiritual guru. In Texas, a rookie high school teacher deals with her male student’s unusually, er, hard personal problem. Sara Benincasa has been that terrified student, that embattled employee, that confused teacher—and so much more. Her hilarious memoir chronicles her attempts to forge a wonderfully weird adulthood in the midst of her lifelong struggle with agoraphobia, depression, and unruly hair. 
Relatable, unpretentious, and unsentimental, Agorafabulous! celebrates eccentricity, resilience, and the power of humor to light up even the darkest corners of our lives. (There are also some sexy parts, but they’re really awkward. Like really, really awkward.) [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: I do not read memoirs like I once did, but the ones that appeal to me the most are often the ones involving regular people who are struggling with real issues such as mental illness or tragedy. Humor is one way to cope and deal with the worst of it, but even as we may laugh, the struggle is no less challenging.

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The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan
Release Date: September 18, 2018 by William Morrow
From New York Times bestselling author Gilly Macmillan comes this original, chilling and twisty mystery about two shocking murder cases twenty years apart, and the threads that bind them. 
Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger. 
For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands. 
When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy… [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: I enjoy a good thriller, and the story of the surviving friend looking into the long ago crime is one of my favorite themes.


The Testament of Harold's Wife by Lynne Hugo
Release Date: September 25, 2018 by Kensington
From award-winning author Lynne Hugo comes a witty, insightful, refreshingly unsentimental novel about one woman’s unconventional path from heartbreak to hope . . .

After losing her husband, Harold, and her beloved grandson, Cody, within the past year, Louisa has two choices. She can fade away on her Indiana family farm, where her companionship comes courtesy of her aging chickens and an argumentative cat. Or, she can concoct A Plan. Louisa, a retired schoolteacher who’s as smart, sassy, and irreverent as ever, isn’t the fading away type.

The drunk driver who killed Cody got off scot-free by lying about a deer on the road. Harold had tried to take matters into his own hands, but was thwarted by Gus, the local sheriff. Now Louisa decides to take up Harold’s cause, though it will mean outsmarting Gus, who’s developed an unwelcome crush on her, and staying ahead of her adult son who’s found solace in a money-draining cult and terrible art.

Louisa's love of life is rekindled as the spring sun warms her cornfields and she goes into action. But even the most Perfect Plans can go awry. A wounded buck, and a teenage boy on the land she treasures help Louisa see that the enduring beauty of the natural world and the mystery of human connection are larger than revenge . . . and so is justice.
[Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: I read another of Lynne Hugo's novels a while ago and enjoyed it. Just reading the synopsis has me eager to dive into Louisa's world. Stories leading from heartbreak to hope are among my favorite kind.


Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven
Release Date: September 25, 2018 by Ace Books
A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different.

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.  [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: Gilene sounds like a great character in a terrible situation. I have to know more!


Do any of these books appeal to you? Have you read them?


© 2018, 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.

40 comments:

  1. The list sounds good, Wendy. I'm current reading "I Know You Know" and so far so good. :)

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    1. Melody - Thank you! I am glad to hear you are enjoying I Know You Know. I can't wait to read it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Oooh! Lots of interesting books! Hope you enjoy them all!

    Here’s my WoW!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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  3. This is a great post, and I love your blog! We are a cat household, too. I have the new Gilly Macmillan and can’t wait to read it! I hope it’s a great read for both of us! I think I’d like Agorafabulous also. I enjoy those kinds of memoirs.

    Here’s my CWW: https://jennifertarheelreader.com/2018/09/05/i-cant-wait-for-cant-wait-wednesday-waiting-on-wednesday-girlhermes-harperbooks-cantwaitwednesday-tarheelreader-themermaidandmrshancock/

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    1. Jennifer - Thank you! I am all about the cats. Haha. I just love the title Agorafabulous. I hope we both love Gully MacMillan's book too! Thanks for visiting!

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  4. I'd actually love to read Underground! And - 'I Know You Know' - not long to wait for that one!

    Here is my Wednesday Post. Happy Hump Day!

    Sassy x

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    1. Sassy - Doesn't Underground sound interesting? I really need to make time for that one. I hope I Know You Know will be as good as it sounds! Have a great weekend, Sassy. Thanks for visiting!

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  5. Oh wow! I didn't know that Murakami wrote non-fiction too! I'll have to check that out

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    1. Eustacia - I hadn't known before hearing about the book either. I may decide to make that my first book by him I read. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. All but the last one appeal to me as well. We need more time to read!

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    1. Kathy - Yes, we do! Lots more time. Thanks for visiting!

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    1. Jenclair - Too many! Haha! Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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  8. All three of the new ones sound interesting. I normally wouldn't gravitate toward The Testament of Harold's Wife but after reading the synopsis, I think I want to learn more!

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    1. Barb - I was drawn to the synopsis too on that one. It helps that I liked another book by the author too. Thanks for visiting!

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  9. I've got 'I Know You Know' on my list to read soon-ish. I've read other books by the author and so it caught my eye. As Jenclair said - more books to add to the list...LOL!

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    1. Kay - I liked the one I read by her. Hopefully this one will be good too! Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I can't wait to get started with Phoenix Unbound. I am also really intrigued by Agorafabulous! since the topic sounds really interesting. I don't read a lot of memoirs either but she sounds like she has an interesting story to tell.

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    1. Carole - I am looking forward to reading Phoenix Unbound as well! Agorafabulous does sound like it will be interesting. Thanks for visiting!

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  11. I Know You Know looks like a really good crime thriller, and probably something I'd enjoy. Nice to know about this one, will be keeping an eye for it.

    Hope you are having a super week. :)

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    1. Greg - I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try! I hope you are having a great week too! Thanks for visiting, Greg.

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  12. These all sound really good, especially I Know You Know and The Testament of Harold's Wife.

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    1. Suzanne - I think so too! Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. I enjoyed reading the updates on such a mixed bunch of reads.

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  14. I just added Agorafabulous to my Goodread's to read list, I love memoirs.

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    1. Ellen - I hope you like Agorafabulous if you try it. Hopefully I will too. :-) Thanks for visiting!

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  15. Agorafabulous sounds amazing! Like, really funny and honest and just adorable to read - which is exactly what I'm in need of all the time :D

    I'll check the others as well just in case I can fit even more books into my TBR hahaha But this feature is great to pump you into reading so yay!

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    1. Sophie - I hope you like Agorafabulous if you read it! I think it sounds like it will be good too. I hope you have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

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  16. There is no such thing as an embarrassing number of unread books, lol.

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    1. Catherine - I like your way of thinking. :-) Thanks for visiting, Catherine! Welcome home!

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  17. I really, really love these articles, Wendy. Phoenix Unbounds sounds amazing and while I'm too much of a wuss to read The Testament of Harold's Wife, it does sound a wonderful book. I'm also intrigued by Agorafabulous - love that quirky cover! I hope you get to read at least some of these. Though I know all too well what it is to have an out of control TBR pile!

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    1. Sarah - Thank you! I am looking forward to Phoenix Unbound. I hope I get to read all of these too as well. I know you know all about having an out of control TBR pile. :-) Thanks for visiting, Sarah!

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  18. I'm very intrigued by "The Testament of Harold's Wife", as I, too, love stories that turn from despair to hope. I do wish the publisher had picked a better cover, though! Lol.

    As for "Phoenix Unbound", I am totally fascinated by the plot, and the cover is pretty good! I would probably want to read this one first. I just LOVE paranormal fiction! :)

    Thanks for sharing these books, Wendy!! Thanks as well for commenting on my own CWW post!! HUGS TO YOU AND MOUSE!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

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    1. Maria - I'm with you about the cover of The Testament of Harold's Wife. It does leave something to be desired and doesn't really say much about the book. The premise does sound good though, so I think I can look past that. I am looking forward to Phoenix Unbound. It sounds irresistible, doesn't it?

      Have a great week, Maria! Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. You have a very interesting collection of books this week Wendy. Agorafabulous was just added to my list. I hope you enjoy the books you have listed.

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    1. Jovita - Thank you! I decided I needed to highlight some of my nonfiction books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf awhile. I hope you enjoy Agorafabulous if you do read it! Thanks for stopping by!

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