Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: Time Travel, Family Secrets, Romance, & A Little Bit of Magic

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!

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (1989)
To the table or to bed
You must come when you are bid
The number-one bestseller in Mexico in 1990, Like Water for Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with bittersweet moments of magic and sensuality. Evocative of How to Make an American Quilt in structure, Tampopo in its celebration of food, and Heartburn in its irony and wit, it is a lively and funny tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico. 
The narrator's great-aunt Tita is the youngest of three daughters born to Mama Elena, the tyrannical owner of De la Garza ranch. While still in her mother's womb, she wept so violently--as her mother chopped onions--that she caused Mama Elena to begin early labor, and Tita slipped out in the middle of the kitchen table, amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon became a way of life, and Tita grew up to be a master chef. Each chapter of the novel begins with one of Tita's recipes and her careful instructions for preparation.

In well-born Mexican families, tradition dictates that the youngest daughter not marry, but remain at home to care for her mother. Even though Tita has fallen in love, Mama Elena chooses not to make an exception, and instead, arranges for Tita's older sister to marry Tita's young man.

In order to punish Tita for her willfulness, Mama Elena forces her to bake the wedding cake. The bitter tears Tita weeps while stirring the batter provoke a remarkable reaction among the guests who eat the cake. It is then that it first becomes apparent that her culinary talents are unique.

Laura Esquivel's voice is direct, simple, and compelling. She has written a fresh and innovative novel, bringing her own inimitable strengths to a classic love story.
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I saw the movie years ago, and honestly cannot say I remember much about it. This book is often praised and somewhere along the way I decided I needed to add a copy to my TBR pile. I still haven't managed to read it, but hope to. 

Have you read this one? If not, is it something you would like to read?


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.

Smitten by a Brit (Sometimes in Love, #2) by Melonie Johnson
Release Date: May 28, 2019

English professor Bonnie Blythe expects her life to play out like her favorite novels, especially now that her long-term boyfriend has finally proposed. So when a shocking discovery leads Bonnie to end her engagement, she decides to close the book on love. But the plot thickens when a brand-new character enters the scene—and quickens Bonnie's heart.

With his brilliant blue eyes, sexy accent, and irresistible charm, Theo Wharton is like a romantic hero straight out of a Jane Austen novel. When fate places Bonnie in England for a summer—conveniently close to Theo—she realizes a hot friends-with-benefits fling is exactly what she needs to start a fresh chapter. Just as Bonnie begins to believe she's falling in love, an eye-opening revelation into Theo's life makes Bonnie feel like she's wandered into one of her favorite books. Will Bonnie have the courage to risk her heart and turn the page with the dashing Brit to find her true happy ending after all? [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I really enjoyed the first book in the Sometimes in Love series, and, having been introduced to both Theo and Bonnie in the first book, Getting Hot With a Scot, I am anxious to read their story.

Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald
Release Date: June 11, 2019
A magical love story, inspired by the legend of a woman who vanished from Grand Central Terminal, sweeps readers from the 1920s to World War II and beyond, in the spirit of The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

On a clear December morning in 1937, at the famous gold clock in Grand Central Terminal, Joe Reynolds, a hardworking railroad man from Queens, meets a vibrant young woman who seems mysteriously out of place. Nora Lansing is a Manhattan socialite whose flapper clothing, pearl earrings, and talk of the Roaring Twenties don’t seem to match the bleak mood of Depression-era New York. Captivated by Nora from her first electric touch, Joe despairs when he tries to walk her home and she disappears. Finding her again—and again—will become the focus of his love and his life.

Nora, an aspiring artist and fiercely independent, is shocked to find she’s somehow been trapped, her presence in the terminal governed by rules she cannot fathom. It isn’t until she meets Joe that she begins to understand the effect that time is having on her, and the possible connections to the workings of Grand Central and the solar phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge, when the sun rises or sets between the city’s skyscrapers, aligned perfectly with the streets below.

As thousands of visitors pass under the famous celestial blue ceiling each day, Joe and Nora create a life unlike any they could have imagined. With infinite love in a finite space, they take full advantage of the “Terminal City” within a city, dining at the Oyster Bar, visiting the Whispering Gallery, and making a home at the Biltmore Hotel. But when the construction of another landmark threatens their future, Nora and Joe are forced to test the limits of freedom and love.

Delving into Grand Central Terminal’s rich past, Lisa Grunwald crafts a masterful historical novel about a love affair that defies age, class, place, and even time. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I have read a few books centered around Grand Central Terminal over the years, and I never tire of reading books set there--especially when they delve into the area's history. This particular book appeals to me not only for that reason, but also because it sounds so romantic--and emotional.

Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
Release Date: June 4, 2019
It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes. Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love.

But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.

A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Doesn't this sound good? Just from the synopsis I find myself wanting to find Sylvie too . . . And discover those long kept family secrets. 

Do any of these sound like something you would like to read? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to? 

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  1. Like Water for Chocolate is one of my favorites! This is a must-read!!! 5 Stars for sure:). I've heard good things about Melonie Johnson's stories!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  2. Oooh! All of these books sound interesting! Great picks!

    Here’s my WoW!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  3. Oh I really like these picks, so interesting!

    Lotte | www.lottelauv.blogspot.co.uk

  4. I read Like Water for Chocolate years ago and remember that I liked it a lot but don't remember much of anything about it.

  5. Some very interesting choices this week. I've always heard good things about Like Water for Chocolate. And I have to admit, I like the title.

  6. I tried to read Like Water For Chocolate once but I didn't get very far. I think I just wasn't in the mood for it at the time. I'll have to try it again.

  7. Like Water For Chocolate is lovely. I adored it when I read it a few years ago, and I hope you do as well.

    Searching for Sylvie Lee interests me, both for the story and that my daughter's name is Sylvie. I swear, I heard the name maybe once before I had her five years ago and now it's everywhere!

    1. I love that name, Stephanie! And I hope you'll enjoy my book too. :)

  8. I wasn't as taken with Like Water for Chocolate as most people were, but I usually have a problem with magical realism. Searching for Sylvie interests me. :)

    1. I hope you'll enjoy Searching for Sylvie Lee, Jenclair! :)

  9. First of all, I love the name Musings of a Bookish Kitty! And secondly, thank you for including Searching for Sylvie Lee - I really hope you'll enjoy it! :)

  10. Like Water and Chocolate and Time After Time sound really great! I hope you get the chance to read them soon!

  11. Hope you get to it soon. I do like to read before the movie.

  12. What a fab line up. I had never heard of Like Water For Chocolate or Searching for Sylvia Lee, but I am going to hunt them down.

    1. I hope you'll enjoy Searching for Sylvie Lee, Sophia!

  13. What sound like some promising reads, enjoy.

  14. It's time traveling that ALways compels me. Love the sound of TIME AFTER TIME :D


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