When I first got the idea for this blog post, I was at work. It was a quiet morning with a menacing snow storm heading our way, so we didn’t have that many patients coming in like we usually do.
So what did I decide to do? Work on my blog, and put some books on hold for pickup as the hospital I work at is very near my local library. I log into my account, head to the catalog and wouldn’t you know? My card had expired?!
All right, all right. I know this is a very “first world” kind of problem. No biggie. Except I thought I had to pay them a dollar to renew my card when I went to the library the next day. Thankfully, I didn’t lose a dollar (that’s only if you lose your actual library card), and I was able to pick up a few titles that I’ve had on my Amazon to-buy list for a very long time.
I think that’s the beauty of such lists. Not only do they give you time to decide for or against a book, but the list gives you all the options for how to get your hands on the story. Sometimes I wait for it to appear on Kindle Unlimited, sometimes I buy the physical book. But there are many times I decide to borrow them from the library instead.
For some reason I’ve always read through my physical book pile a lot slower than I do my ebook one. That’s one of my personal challenges for this year: to not have so much screen time and to make time to read an actual, physical book. I recognize that screen time has really been screwing with my, well, sleep time. And I just need to finally make a cozy reading space just for myself. Which I currently do not have. Maybe that can be my next home project? *hmmmmm*
So, all that to say, here are the books I picked up for my first library book haul of 2023!
Author: Allison Weir
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pub Date: 9 July 2010
Length: 497 pages
Genre: Historical Biographical Fiction
Synopsis: earing her thirtieth birthday, Eleanor of Aquitaine has spent the past dozen frustrating years as wife to the pious King Louis VII of France. But when Henry of Anjou, the young and dynamic future king of England, arrives at the French court, he and the seductive Eleanor experience a mutual passion powerful enough to ignite the world. Indeed, after the annulment of Eleanor’s marriage to Louis and her remarriage to Henry, the union of this royal couple creates a vast empire that stretches from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees—and marks the beginning of the celebrated Plantagenet dynasty. But Henry and Eleanor’s marriage, charged with physical heat, begins a fiery downward spiral marred by power struggles and bitter betrayals. Amid the rivalries and infidelities, the couple’s rebellious sons grow impatient for power, and the scene is set for a vicious and tragic conflict that will threaten to engulf them all.
The House on Tradd Street
Author: Karen White
Pub Date: 16 October 2008
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Women’s Crime Fiction, Ghost Fiction
Synopsis: Practical Melanie Middleton hates to admit she can see ghosts. But she’s going to have to accept it. An old man she recently met has died, leaving her his historic Tradd Street home, complete with housekeeper, dog—and a family of ghosts anxious to tell her their secrets.
Enter Jack Trenholm, a gorgeous writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He has reason to believe that diamonds from the Confederate Treasury are hidden in the house. So he turns the charm on with Melanie, only to discover he’s the smitten one… It turns out Jack’s search has caught the attention of a malevolent ghost. Now, Jack and Melanie must unravel a mystery of passion, heartbreak—and even murder.
The Orphan of Cemetery Hill
Author: Hester Fox
Publisher: Graydon House
Pub Date: 15 September 2020
Length: 311 pages
Genre: Gothic Romance, Ghost Fiction
Synopsis: Boston, 1844. Tabby has a peculiar gift: she can communicate with the recently departed. It makes her special, but it also makes her dangerous.
As an orphaned child, she fled with her sister, Alice, from their charlatan aunt Bellefonte, who wanted only to exploit Tabby’s gift so she could profit from the recent craze for seances.
Now a young woman and tragically separated from Alice, Tabby works with her adopted father, Eli, the kind caretaker of a large Boston cemetery. When a series of macabre grave robberies begins to plague the city, Tabby is ensnared in a deadly plot by the perpetrators, known only as the “Resurrection Men.” In the end, Tabby’s gift will either save both her and the cemetery—or bring about her own destruction.
Season of Storms
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Pub Date: 2 September 2014
Length: 514 pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Time Travel Romance
Synopsis: In 1921, infamous Italian poet Galeazzo D’Ascanio wrote his last and greatest play, inspired by his romance with his muse, actress Celia Sands. But on the eve of the premiere, Celia vanished, and the play was never performed.
Two generations later, Alessandro D’Ascanio plans to stage his grandfather’s masterpiece and has offered the lead to a promising young English actress, also named Celia Sands—at the whim of her actress mother, or so she thought. When Celia arrives at D’Ascanio’s magnificent, isolated Italian villa, she is drawn to the mystery of her namesake’s disappearance—and to the compelling, enigmatic Alessandro.
But the closer Celia gets to learning the fate of her predecessor, the more she is drawn into a web of murder, passion, and the obsession of genius. Though she knows she should let go of the past, in the dark, in her dreams, it comes back…
The Bookseller’s Secret
Author: Michelle Gable
Publisher: Graydon House
Pub Date: 17 August 2021
Length: 427 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Synopsis: In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.
Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.
Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…
Now I know I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog that I am not a huge fan of wartime fiction, namely World War II fiction. Of course I’m drawn to a book titled The Bookseller’s Secret, but little did I realize at the time that it’s a World War II novel. Even though I’m not drawn to this particular subgenre, this story intrigued me. And I am hoping it will change my mind on WWII fiction. In the meantime, happy reading!