Tag Archives: Book Beginnings On Fridays

Friday Book Beginnings: The Tourist

Four hours after his failed suicide attempt, he descended toward Aerodrom Ljubljana.

My Intial Thoughts: I have so many questions right now. What is even going on?

For only $6.99: In The Tourist, Olen Steinhauer—twice nominated for the Edgar Award—tackles an intricate story of betrayal and manipulation, loyalty and risk, in an utterly compelling novel that is both thoroughly modern and yet also reminiscent of the espionage genre’s most touted luminaries.

“Here’s the best spy novel I’ve ever read that wasn’t written by John le Carré.” —Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

In Olen Steinhauer’s explosive New York Times bestseller, Milo Weaver has tried to leave his old life of secrets and lies behind by giving up his job as a “tourist” for the CIA—an undercover agent with no home, no identity—and working a desk at the CIA’s New York headquarters. But staying retired from the field becomes impossible when the arrest of a long-sought-after assassin sets off an investigation into one of Milo’s oldest colleagues and friends. With new layers of intrigue being exposed in his old cases, he has no choice but to go back undercover and find out who’s been pulling the strings once and for all.

*BONUS CONTENT: This edition of The Tourist includes a new introduction from the author and a discussion guide

Friday Book Beginnings: The Huntress

She was not used to being hunted.

My initial thoughts: Given the first line and the name, I wonder if the huntress became the hunted. I wonder if this will be a huge story of her running from dangerous people. Also, is she the good guy or bad guy?

“…compulsively readable historical fiction…[a] powerful novel about unusual women facing sometimes insurmountable odds with grace, grit, love and tenacity.” – Kristin Hannah, The Washington Post 

Named one of best books of the year by Marie Claire and Bookbub

If you enjoyed “The Tattooist of Auschwitz,” read “The Huntress,” by Kate Quinn.” The Washington Post

From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, THE ALICE NETWORK, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth. 

Blurb taken directly from the Amazon page.

Friday Book Beginnings: The Woman Of A Thousand Names

Throughout Europe’s torments, from one war to the next, she accompanied them all: Stalin, Churchill, de Gaulle. And Maxim Gorky. And H.G. Wells. And many others who were less prominent, less known.

My Initial Thoughts: Is this a Black Widow? I need more information! I’m looking forward to diving into this book.

From the internationally bestselling author of the “fascinating epic” (Associated Press) Between Love and Honor comes a rich, sweeping tale based on the captivating true story of the Mata Hari of Russia, featuring a beautiful aristocrat fighting for survival during the deadly upheaval of the Russian Revolution.

Born into Russian aristocracy, wealth, and security, Moura never had any reason to worry. But in the upheaval of the Bolshevik Revolution, her entire world crumbles. As her family and friends are being persecuted by Vladimir Lenin’s ruthless police, she falls into a passionate affair with British secret agent Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart. But when he’s abruptly and mysteriously deported from Russia, Moura is left alone and vulnerable.

Now, she must find new paths for her survival, even if it means shedding her past and taking on new identities. Some will praise her tenderness and undying loyalty. Others will denounce her lies. But all will agree on one point: Moura embodies Life. Life at all cost.

Set against the volatile landscape of 20th-century Russia, The Woman of a Thousand Names brings history to vivid life in a captivating tale about an extraordinary woman caught in the waves of change—with only her wits to save her.

Book Beginnings On Fridays: The Sweeney Sisters By Lian Dolan

Does this come in teal?

My initial thoughts: Are we starting the book in a clothing shop? Maybe this person found a shirt or a dress that they really adore but they would rather have it in teal. Turns out, it’s an art gallery.

An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.

Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.

But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.

When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.

Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?

By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.

Thank you for Reading!

Note: All book covers (with the exception of gallery book covers) have links embedded in them so that you can go directly to the amazon page for them. It does take you off the blog page. You can If you click ctrl before you click it, it will open in a new tab instead.

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Book Beginnings On Fridays: Mossflower by Brian Jacques

Late autumn winds sighed fitfully around the open gatehouse door, rustling brown gold leaves in the fading afternoon.

My initial thoughts: This is a very powerful opening line. I love how the winds are personified in a way that is ambiguous. It says fitfully, but is it a playful fit or an angry fit? We will have to keep reading to find out!

The thrilling prequel to “Redwall”. The clever and greedy wildcat Tsarmina becomes ruler of all Mossflower Woods and is determined to govern the peaceful woodlanders with an iron paw. The brave mouse Martin and quick-talking mouse thief Gonff meet in the depths of Kotir Castle’s dungeon. The two escape and resolve to end Tsarmina’s tyrannical rule. Joined by Kinny the mole, Martin and Gonff set off on a dangerous quest for Salamandastron, where they are convinced that their only hope, Boar the Fighter, still lives.

Thank you for Reading!

Note: All book covers (with the exception of gallery book covers) have links embedded in them so that you can go directly to the amazon page for them. It does take you off the blog page. You can If you click ctrl before you click it, it will open in a new tab instead.

Maximize your reading options with Kindle Unlimited. Maximize your reading time with Audible Membership.

You can leave a tip for me on Paypal and Ko-Fi. All contributions are welcome, but not expected.

Book Beginnings On Fridays: The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Ava, Sweetheart, if you ask me to talk about how I got to be the woman I am today, what do you think I’m going to say? I’m flattered you want to interview me. And when did I ever say no to my favorite grandchild?

My Initial Thoughts: I believe that this woman probably lived during a very important time in history. Her grandchild is interested in hearing about what things were like from their grandmother’s point of view. It looks like a very interesting read.

New York Times bestseller!

An unforgettable novel about a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century, told “with humor and optimism…through the eyes of an irresistible heroine” (People)—from the acclaimed author of The Red Tent.

Anita Diamant’s “vivid, affectionate portrait of American womanhood” (Los Angeles Times), follows the life of one woman, Addie Baum, through a period of dramatic change. Addie is The Boston Girl, the spirited daughter of an immigrant Jewish family, born in 1900 to parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End of Boston, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine—a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, to finding the love of her life, eighty-five-year-old Addie recounts her adventures with humor and compassion for the naïve girl she once was.

Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Diamant’s previous novels bestsellers, TheBoston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman’s complicated life in twentieth century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world. “Diamant brings to life a piece of feminism’s forgotten history” (Good Housekeeping) in this “inspirational…page-turning portrait of immigrant life in the early twentieth century” (Booklist).

Thank you for Reading!

Maximize your reading options with Kindle Unlimited. Maximize your reading time with Audible Membership.

You can leave a tip for me on Paypal and Ko-Fi. All contributions are welcome, but not expected.