Bloggers Recommend Picks for May – July 2014

As much as I had hoped to write full reviews of the books I’ve loved and shared so far this year through Bloggers Recommend, it just hasn’t happened.  Here are my recommendations from May through July.

In case you haven’t yet subscribed to the newsletter, scroll down to the bottom of the Bloggers Recommend homepage and enter your email address. It’s easy peasy. If you’d like to go back and explore more recommended books thus far, you can access past issues of Bloggers Recommend on the website.

May Recommendations

Cover of The VacationersThe Vacationers by Emma Straub

I am a happy subscriber to Book Riot’s Quarterly Box. I love getting a box filled with bookish delight every three months. In the first quarter box this year I had the great good fortune of getting an ARC of The Vacationers. I was so happy when I saw it. I was going to Las Vegas in March and I knew it would make the perfect book to read while I was there. I was right. I enjoyed every minute reading waiting for my friend Trista’s plane to arrive, at the pool, and in bed at night before going to sleep.

While this was a perfect book to read out in the summer sun, this book about the complexity of family, love, and relationships can be enjoyed anywhere. I look forward to see what Emma Straub writes next.

Here is my blurb for the newsletter:

For the Post family, a vacation of a lifetime to Mallorca, Spain couldn’t have come at a worse time. Sylvia, Franny and Jim’s youngest child is graduating from high school, but their troubles run deeper than empty nest syndrome. In The Vacationers, Emma Straub has created long lost friends through whom she explores the ways in which love cuts us and prompts us to grow throughout our lives.

Cover of Cutting TeethCutting Teeth by Julia Fierro

The summer between my kindergarten and first grade years, my mother held a garage sale because we were moving. In that sale, I sold my beloved Raggedy Anne doll. I’m sure I liked the idea of making money but didn’t understand what it would mean to sell that doll. I have no idea what I did with the dollar I earned when it sold and I still feel whimsical regret whenever I see Raggedy Anne.

When I saw the cover of Julia Fierro’s debut novel, I knew this was a book I had to read. I’m so glad I did. Fierro presents early parenthood as it is – full of uncertainty and upheaval. Unlike so many novels about parenting young children, this book was refreshing in that it shows the toll it takes on relationships, the crazy competitiveness between mothers to be all things to your children, and, while we love our children, our lives do not consist solely of warm hugs and sighs of joy over being a parent.

Here is my blurb for the newsletter:

Parenthood doesn’t magically make men and women’s less stellar habits, fixations, or attitudes disappear. Nothing makes this clearer than four young families vacationing together. It is in this setting that Julia Fierro captures the realities of parenting preschoolers and how those responsibilities impact adult relationships. Cutting Teeth portrays parenting and its many anxieties openly without the homilies and sugar coating.

June Recommendation

Cover of Those Who Wish Me DeadThose Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Kortya

I don’t read a lot of thrillers, but books like Those Who Wish Me Dead are so good they make me wonder why I don’t read them more often. This book gave me an “edge of my seat” reading experience all the way through. I would read every snatch of time I could find and I had no memory of the pages being turned. I love getting lost in a book that way. Summer may be waning at this point, but don’t let that stop you from picking up this book. It will keep you warm during the fall and winter, too.

Michael Kortya has a great Facebook page. I enjoyed getting updates on Facebook as I was reading and after I was done. He posts pictures and other articles that pertain to the book and it’s Montana mountain setting. Be sure to check that out while you read.

Here is my blurb for the newsletter:

The Blackwell Brothers want 13-year-old Jace Wilson dead before their trial. Secreting him away at Ethan Serbin’s remote survival camp buys him time, but it doesn’t guarantee anyone’s safety. The vivid details in Those Who Wish Me Dead drop the reader in the midst of a smoky fight for survival high in the mountains of Montana, making it the perfect choice for a fast-paced summer adventure.

July Recommendation

Cover of StormbirdWars of the Roses: Stormbird by Conn Iggulden

When Michele was planning a trip to England last year, she asked me if there were any books I’d like her to pick up for me. I scoured British books sites looking for something I wanted but couldn’t get here. What I found was something that I didn’t know I wanted: Wars of the Roses: Stormbird. It’s the first novel in a trilogy about the Plantagenets. I’m loving reading about them and this book sounded fantastic to me. Michele not only picked it up for me, but when I sent her a check in the mail, she refused to cash it. Boy, what a gift!

It wasn’t until I noticed it’s July US release date that I actually got a chance to read it. Just as I expected, I loved this novel. If you are interested in British history or just love fantastic historical fiction, you should pick this up.

Here is the blurb I wrote for the newsletter:

In a time of political upheaval, the decisions and desires of a weak king to reach a truce with an enemy can lead to far worse consequences at home. Conn Iggulden portrays the realities of living during Henry VI’s early reign so vividly that knowledgeable readers will find themselves holding out hope for a better outcome. Well written and engaging, readers will be anticipating the next book in the series.


  • At 2014.08.21 05:48, Sandy said:

    I enjoy Koryta, in all of his different styles. Most of his recent work has a little woo-woo supernatural in it, this one was just pure action. Good stuff! The Vacationers and Cutting Teeth are two that are hovering in the middle of my lists, but you edged them up. Don’t you hate it when you read books that tell you how to raise the perfect children? It would be refreshing to hear some realistic stuff now and again.

    • At 2014.08.21 10:00, Rachel said:

      I loved The Vacationers too. The best book I read this summer for sure!

      Read more from Rachel

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      Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
      Release Date: November 21, 2017
      My rating: 5 of[…]

      • At 2014.08.21 14:32, Judith McCullough said:

        Thanks! I can’t wait to begin The War of the Roses trilogy you just recommended. Love British History and historical fiction!

        (Required, will not be published)

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