Top Ten Tuesday – May 30

Posted 05/30/2017 by Brandy in Top Ten Tuesdays / 4 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme which features a different book-related theme every week and is hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish.

This Week’s Theme: Most Anticipated Reads for the Second Half of 2017

Books I Can’t Wait to Read – June to December 2017

(1) JUNE

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir – Sherman Alexie

I have been a long time admirer of  Sherman Alexie’s writing and I am especially excited to get my hands on his memoir focused on the complicated, challenging, and emotional relationship he had with his mother. I know this book will have moments of laughter, sorrow, pain, and triumph – exactly like life itself.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is this stunning memoir. Featuring 78 poems, 78 essays and intimate family photographs, Alexie shares raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine–growing up dirt-poor on an Indian reservation, one of four children raised by alcoholic parents. Throughout, a portrait emerges of his mother as a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated woman. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me is a powerful account of a complicated relationship, an unflinching and unforgettable remembrance.

(2) JULY

Made For Love – Alissa Nutting

All I can say about this book is that it sounds so crazy, and twisted, and funny, and absurd that my life requires I read it because we all need a break from reality every once in awhile. Perfect book for summer, I think.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane—his extremely lifelike sex doll—as her roommates. Life with Hazel’s father is strained at best, but her only alternative seems even bleaker. She’s just run out on her marriage to Byron Gogol, CEO and founder of Gogol Industries, a monolithic corporation hell-bent on making its products and technologies indispensable in daily life. For over a decade, Hazel put up with being veritably quarantined by Byron in the family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. But when he demands to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips in a first-ever human “mind-meld,” Hazel decides what was once merely irritating has become unbearable. The world she escapes into is a far cry from the dry and clinical bubble she’s been living in, a world populated with a whole host of deviant oddballs.

As Hazel tries to carve out a new life for herself in this uncharted territory, Byron is using the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. His threats become more and more sinister, and Hazel is forced to take drastic measures in order to find a home of her own and free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches once and for all.


See What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt

Lizzie Borden has been part of American folklore for over a century and interest in what did – or didn’t – happen that fateful  August morning in 1892 has never really faded. I look forward to immersing myself in the  story from a fictional point of view where a new understanding of the Borden family emerges and what I thought I knew and didn’t know about the story will be challenged.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.


Sing, Unburied, Sing – Jesmyn Ward

Though I am excitedly anticipating the release of this book, the reality is I’m not sure when I will bring myself to read it because of the dark material it covers, the raw emotion I know will run across every page, and the toll it will take on my reading psyche. But it will stay on my TBR and I will do my best to find the right mindset to read it. Someday.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi’s past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature.


After The Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) – Dan Santat

My boys were fascinated with the story of Humpty Dumpty when they were toddlers and their favorite question to ask was “What happened after the fall?” Thanks to Dan Satat, I now have an answer to give them. This book looks equal parts humorous, sweet, heart wrenching, and life affirming and I can’t wait to share it with my sons.

Synopsis From Amazon:

From the New York Times–bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?

Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.

Will he summon the courage to face his fear?

This masterful picture book will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up



Heather, The Totality – Mathew Weiner

I can find little information on what this book is actually about – yet – I am very intrigued by what I have read and so it is on this list. Hopefully, it will prove as interesting as it appears to be.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

A collision course between a privileged family and a dangerous young man, Heather, The Totality is a chilling debut novel by the creator of Mad Men, Matthew Weiner.

Synopsis From Google Books:

The Breakstone family arrange themselves around their daughter Heather, and the world seems to follow: beautiful, compassionate, entrancing, she is the greatest blessing in their lives of Manhattan luxury. But as Heather grows – and her empathy sharpens to a point, and her radiance attracts more and more dark interest – their perfect existence starts to fracture. Meanwhile a very different life, one raised in poverty and in violence, is beginning its own malign orbit around Heather. Matthew Weiner – the creator of Mad Men – has crafted an extraordinary first novel of incredible pull and menace. Heather, The Totality demonstrates perfectly his forensic eye for the human qualities that hold modern society together, and pull it apart.


The Vanishing Season – Joanna Schaffhausen

I have always been a fan of a story or movie or television show that features a well crafted, sadistic, and intelligent serial killer antagonist and this books sounds like it has a worthy example. I think this will be a great book to curl up with in a cold winter day when I want to get my heart thumping.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

In the 2016 MB/MWA First Crime Novel Award winner, Ellery Hathaway is the only one who knows the real reason a person goes missing around her birthday each year in her small Massachusetts town.

Winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, Joanna Schaffhausen’s accomplished debut will grip readers from the opening page to the stunning conclusion.

Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go.


The Silent Corner – Dean Koontz

At one time I was a huge fan of Dean Koontz and would read his books as soon as they released. Eventually my reading preferences took a different path and at least a dozen years have passed since I picked up a Koontz book but when I saw this first book in his new series – and read the synopsis – I knew it was time to give him another try. I am especially excited to see the series features a strong heroine at its heart.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

A dazzling new series debuts with a remarkable heroine certain to become a new icon of suspense, propelled by the singular narrative genius of #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz.

I very much need to be dead.

These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demands: find the truth, no matter what.
People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important so terrifying that they will exterminate anyone in their way.
But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.


Lost and Found Sisters– Jill Shalvis

Summer – the season of freedom, being wild, and living life to the fullest – and the perfect time to read a book like this. I am excited to see Jill Shalvis dip her toes in the women’s fiction pool after a successful run as a romance writer and this book sounds like an ideal debut.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins.

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.


The Little French Bistro: A Novel – Nina George

The bookclub I belong to recently read Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel and I loved the story so I was very happy to see she had another book coming out this summer. I love that this book sounds like it contains many of the things I adored in TLPB – colorful characters, the beauty of France, and second chances – the perfect trifecta for a memorable and heartwarming summer read.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as the end of the world.

Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.

With all the buoyant charm that made The Little Paris Bookshop a beloved bestseller, The Little French Bistro is a tale of second chances and a delightful embrace of the joys of life in France.


 I love the variety of this list – it reminds me of the variety of each of the months yet to come in 2017. I  wait for each of these books with excited but cautious anticipation – hoping they will live up to the expectations I have for each but knowing I will still most likely enjoy them even if they don’t because any book (almost) is better than no book at all!

What book(s) are you most looking forward to reading in the second half of 2017?



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4 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday – May 30

    • Thanks Suzanne. If The Little French Bistro is as good as The Little French Bookshop was, it should be amazing so I hope you get the chance to check it out. Have a great day!

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