Tag Archive | politics

Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow in 1909 London, by Katherine Woodfine (book review)

book cover of Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine, published by Kane Miller Books  | recommended on BooksYALove.comSuch a fancy new department store!
How lucky that Sophie landed a job there in Ladies’ Hats!
How dreadful that the prized Clockwork Sparrow was stolen…and that Sophie is a suspect!

And how very fortunate that orphaned Sophie finds allies in the store who help her solve the mystery and are willing to risk crossing paths with the evil Baron of 1900s London’s crime underworld!

The author introduces her Sinclair’s Mysteries in this video (love listening to her British accent!) and takes us to real-life London locales which inspired them.

How do you stand by your friends in difficult times?
**kmm

Book info: Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow (Sinclair’s Mysteries, book 1) / Katherine Woodfine. Kane Miller Books, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Locked-room mystery, mysterious strangers, and even stranger deliveries make Sinclair’s Department Store of London an intriguing place to work in the early 1900s, but teens Sophie (Ladies’ Hats, recently orphaned) and Lillian (dress model, between acting jobs) discover that a missing clockwork bird holds dangerous secrets within its jeweled feathers.

How can apprentice porter Billy help the police?
Is the Clockwork Sparrow more than a beautiful music box?
Why is underworld crime boss The Baron involved?

First in the series featuring our determined young ladies and their friends in high places and low neighborhoods as they deal with ciphers, codes, churlish villains, and social class.

African stories of truth and justice – this week’s free audiobooks

Time to download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears!

Be sure to download these complete audiobooks before Wednesday (27 July 2016) night, so that you can listen to them any time, as long as they’re stored on your computer or electronic device.

Click on the link after each title to go to the AudioSYNC site for your free download.

CD cpver of audiobook Mandela: An Audio History by Nelson Mandela | Read by Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Joe Richman Published by HighBridge Audio | recommended on BooksYALove.comMandela: An Audio History (download here)
by Nelson Mandela
Read by Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Joe Richman
Published by HighBridge Audio

From Mandela’s 1964 trial to conversations during his life sentence in prison to his inauguration as President of South Africa in 1994, interviews, music, and radio broadcasts are woven into a stunning narrative of this lifelong crusader against apartheid.
 

Things Fall Apart CD cover of audiobook Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe | Read by Peter Francis James Published by Recorded Books | recommended on BooksYALove.com(download here)
by Chinua Achebe
Read by Peter Francis James
Published by Recorded Books

Onkonkwo is becoming a most respected man in his African village, erasing the shame of his father, but incoming Christian missionaries cause conflicts with tradition, threatening his family, neighbors, and happiness.

These stories of struggle and justice – how do you respond?
**kmm

Unexpected Everything, by Morgan Matson (book review) – summer plans? poof, woof & wow!

book cover of The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson published by Simon Schuster | recommended on BooksYALove.comShe’s got it all planned:
internship, great college, med school…
until step one is revoked!

Andie loves her checklists, her plans to become a doctor, her best friends – and sticks to short-term boyfriends.

Then her fancy internship gets yanked away, her politician father is suddenly home from DC, she lands in a summer job far outside her experience or comfort zone, and she meets Clark…

Happy book birthday week to The Unexpected Everything!  This is a great summer read, like Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone  (my no-spoilers recommendation here) and Second Chance Summer  (more here) with less road trip, but just as much self-reflection and heart.

What do you do when a perfectly crafted plan falls apart?
**kmm

Book info: The Unexpected Everything / Morgan Matson. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site]  [author video] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: When problems at her congressman father’s office cause her pre-med internship to vanish, Andie is forced out of her structured life of success checklists and into a summer job as a dog-walker (never had a dog), wanting to stay around new guy Clark (never mind her 3-weeks-only rule for boyfriends), and trying to keep her best friends in sync as an outside relationship threatens to dissolve their group.

A world-famous author in their midst?
Dad home in Connecticut all summer instead of away in Washington DC?
A long-time crush keeps his distance, or does he?

An epic scavenger hunt, bridging the father-daughter gap 5 years after Mom’s death, emojis-only text message challenge, a committed relationship (wait! this is Andie we’re talking about…) – such an unexpected summer before senior year!  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Willful Machines, by Tim Floreen (book review) – big worries for First Son, first love

book cover of Willful Machines by Tim Floreen published by Simon Pulse | recommended on BooksYALove.comRogue robots,
attacks on America,
risky new love (trumps all the threats!)

Artificial intelligences gone self-aware are US government prisoners, or so AI-in-the-cloud Charlotte claims, as she directs terrorist robot attacks against their captors who are legislating flesh-and-blood as the only humans.

Intrigued by hot new student Nicolas, closeted Lee weighs following his heart against the daunting expectations of his presidential father and war-hero grandfather in this near-future adventure-love story.

What makes a being human?
**kmm

Book info: Willful Machines / Tim Floreen. Simon Pulse, 2015.  [author site]  [publisher site]   Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Constantly watched by bodyguards and dronecams, Lee completes his robotic creations and endures boarding school for future world leaders, until new student Nico steals his heart and a self-aware computer threatens world peace – what should US President’s teen son do now?

His mother killed by humanoid robot Charlotte that she helped to create and his father propelled to the Presidency by the resulting Human Values backlash, Lee can’t imagine what his war-hero grandfather/headmaster or dad would do if they discovered he was gay.

But so-hot Chilean transfer student Nico looses Lee’s tightly-boxed heart as they evade surveillance for stolen moments alone – until Lee’s clever robots turn against them, controlled by Charlotte who demands release of imprisoned 2B humanoids.

Can Lee really trust Nico?
Is Charlotte acting alone?
Just how different are humans and self-aware machines?

At the gothic elite school built atop a waterfall, secrets long-buried threaten not only Lee and Nico’s happiness, but humankind’s role on earth in the not-so-distant future.

 

Blackthorn Key, by Kevin Sands (book review) – apprentice in danger, kingdom at risk

book cover of The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands published by Aladdin | BooksYALove.comHorrific killings,
Apothecary victims,
Cult of assassins?

As an apprentice, Christopher has learned many codes and secrets, but a hidden message left by his master will lead the young man into perilous danger – worse than his surreptitious gunpowder experiments or the ailments that bring fellow Londoners into Blackthorn’s apothecary during King Charles II ‘s reign.

Happy book birthday to The Blackthorn Key!

**kmm

Book info: The Blackthorn Key / Kevin Sands. Aladdin, 2015. [author Twitter]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Christopher must use everything he’s learned from his master to solve gruesome murders in 17th century London, but the young apothecary apprentice and his best friend soon find themselves embroiled in dark mysteries threatening the kingdom itself.

Master Benedict has taught Christopher to read and solve puzzles and think for himself. But as the ritualistic murders targeting apothecaries get closer to their shop, the orphan worries when his master stays out late at night.

When his master leaves a secret message, Christopher and his best friend Tom the baker’s son begin investigating, searching for the hidden power worth killing for.

Will Christopher’s skill with codes be enough?
Can they find answers without alerting the King’s Men?
Is there truly a cult of assassins in the Merry Monarch’s kingdom?

Clever ciphers and codes blend with shudder-inducing remedies and everyday details of grimy city life in this debut novel as best friends risk so much to unpuzzle a long-hidden secret.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Courage vs. discrimination – audiobooks free this week!

This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC feature courage in the face of racial discrimination, ready for you to read with your ears!

Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Click on a title to go straight to its free download page at AudioSync – download only requires your name and an email address.

CD cover of Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles  by Tanya Lee Stone | Read by J.D. Jackson Published by Brilliance AudioCourage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles
by Tanya Lee Stone
Read by J.D. Jackson
Published by Brilliance Audio

During World War II, the first American black paratroopers fought a little-known Japanese attack on the West Coast, as well as widespread prejudice throughout the US military.

A great YA novel considering the Triple Nickles from the viewpoint of a black officer’s son is Jump Into the Sky,  by Shelley Pearsall (my recommendation here).

John Ball’s In the Heat of the NightCD cover of John Ball’s In the Heat of the Night by Matt Pelfrey | Read by Ryan Vincent Anderson, Michael Hammond, Kalen Harriman, Travis Johns, James Morrison, Darren Richardson, Tom Virtue Published by L.A. Theatre Works
by Matt Pelfrey
Read by Ryan Vincent Anderson, Michael Hammond, Kalen Harriman, Travis Johns, James Morrison, Darren Richardson, Tom Virtue
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

A black detective from California begins investigating murder in a small Alabama town during desegregation in the 1960s – this is the off-Broadway production based on the novel which was adapted into award-winning movie and television series.

Other tales of discrimination-fighting that you’d recommend?
**kmm

Z for Zach in Fire Sermon, by Francesca Haig (book review) – her twin, her enemy

book cover of The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig published by Gallery BooksBorn together, yet separated forever,
always one perfect and one flawed –
when one twin dies, so does the other.

Centuries have reduced radiation levels, but now every human pregnancy bears twins – one perfect, one deformed. Alphas have all power, outcast Omegas have none, no one has the power to stay alive when their twin dies!

Cass can control neither her visions nor her brother’s lust for power, but she still seeks a place where his captive seer cannot peer into her mind, where Alphas and Omegas can coexist.

First in a series, The Fire Sermon of nuclear holocaust seared technology’s dangers into the souls of survivors and a convenient blindness to justice into the genes of their descendants.

If your life-thread were entwined forever with that of someone you despised, how careful would you be?
**kmm

Book info: The Fire Sermon (Fire Sermon, book 1) / Francesca Haig. Gallery Books, 2015.  [author’s Twitter]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Four hundred years after the Blast, a young seer wishes that her life-link could carry these visions of tragedy into her twin’s brain to stop his power-grab that will shatter their society forever.

Hiding her visions kept Cass with her Alpha twin brother into their teens, but now powerful Zach uses another seer to probe her mind about the Island where the Omega resistance is said to hide.

Mutated Omegas cast out as tots are being herded into refuges so they can keep their perfect Alpha fraternal twins alive. But how can that work when every birth is an Alpha-Omega pair and every injury to one twin is experienced by the other?

As she escapes from the Alpha prison, Cass locates the tanks seen in her visions with a young man alive and aware inside one! They head to the coast, to the possibility of the Island, to a chance that the young Omega can find his missing memories.

In this world, every death is doubled – is Cass the only one who mourns both?
Omegas and Alphas living as equals – does anyone besides Cass imagine this?

First in a series, this debut novel of power and balance asks if the lessons taught by The Fire Sermon  that nearly destroyed civilization have been forgotten. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

A Girl Called Fearless, by Catherine Linka (book review) – unwilling May-December marriage!

book cover of A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka published by St Martin's GriffinNo rights to an education,
sold in marriage to the highest bidder,
teen girls in an “advanced” society?

When all the mothers died because of corporate greed, young women like Avie became America’s only hope for the future. So love is a priceless luxury, and arranged marriages are major financial transactions. The Paternalists monitor young women constantly to stop kidnappings… but the power-hungry political movement has a more sinister agenda.

Read the first three chapters here for free, then grab this May 2014 release at your local library or independent bookstore to see what path Avie chooses.

Who is allowed to determine our freedoms? How far would you go to protect yours?
**kmm

Book info: A Girl Called Fearless / Catherine Linka. St Martins Griffin, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site]   Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Contracted to marry a man twice her age, Avie wants to escape to Canada, but can she leave her true love behind in today’s totalitarian California?

After a hormone in beef kills all women of childbearing age, young girls become incredibly valuable and are Signed as teen brides to the highest bidders. The Paternalists say this will prevent kidnappings, but 16-year-old Avie and her best friend Yates aren’t so sure.

When her dad Signs Avie to marry Jessop Hawkins as part of a deal to save his biotech company, suddenly her dreams of attending college are dust. Hawkins wants Avie with him on the campaign trail as he runs for governor, so they will marry in 3 weeks – unless she follows Yates’ advice and joins the underground Exodus to Canada. Now that she knows she’s in love with Yates, what else could she do? But Hawkins isn’t about to let his prize slip away…

An alternate history tale of a chilling today which really could happen tomorrow, first in a series.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)