THE CALL OF THE SWAMP

Book Cover

An Italian import confronts
questions of identity, belonging, and family.

The story begins with a folkloric
sensibility as it introduces a white couple who “had given up hope that they
would ever have any” children. They find a “newborn” child in a swamp and
ignore his unusual appearance, including gills, large eyes, and, instead of
hair, the watercolor-and-ink illustrations add spiky appendages that look like
sea anemones atop his head. In an initially troubling turn for a fantasy
positioning itself as an adoption allegory, the couple decides it doesn’t
matter whether the baby’s parents abandoned him or died; they simply name him
Boris and take him home. Boris grows up happily enough, but the titular call of
the swamp beckons, and he leaves home to reconnect with the swamp. He communes
with creatures who, though realistic animals, look something like him, and he
delights in his swampy surroundings. His compassionate parents, in gestures
that belie their initial insensitivity, leave notes reading “If you’re happy where you are, then we’re
happy too.” But—“How much are we really like those who look like us?” Boris
wonders as he begins to feel there’s nowhere he belongs and notices differences
between himself and the swamp creatures. An affecting, emotional open ending concludes
the story, resisting a happily-ever-after tone as Boris departs to reunite with
his parents.

A melancholy contemporary folk tale.
(Picture book. 4-8)

17 Monday Earlybird Book Releases + some that are going live at midnight…

HAPPY EARLY BIRD MONDAY EVERYONE!!! Here are a few to help us kick off the week. STILL (Grip Book 2) by Kennedy Ryan <— LIVE!!! KENNEDY RYAN’S LATEST!! The author says: “**STILL is the conclusion of Grip & Bristol’s emotional journey. You must read FLOW, the prequel, and GRIP, book 1 before beginning STILL** “ Have […]

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Book Review: The Anti-Procrastination Habit – A Simple Guide to Mastering Difficult Tasks by SJ Scott

Do you suffer from procrastination? (Most of us do from time to time.) But if procrastination stops you from successfully completing important work tasks on […]
Procrastination – Book, Time Management, Career, Nonfiction, Productivity, Business, Success, Self-Help, Business & Money, Creativity & Genius, Motivation & Self-Improvement, Motivational
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Book Review: Master Todoist – How to Use a Simple App to Create Actionable To-Do Lists and Organize Your Life by SJ Scott

TODOIST is the hottest productivity app on the market. The basics of using Todoist are simple. You create todo lists. Sortable and searchable from all your […]
Time Management – Book, Motivation, Self-Help, Time Management, Computers & Technology, Motivational, Productivity, Stress Management, Hardware, Business & Money
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Book Review – Disorderly Conduct: The Academy by Tessa Bailey

Disorderly Conduct: The Academy <— Okay… first. Let’s talk about the most obvious thing, one that will either sell this book, or completely turn some of us off, without even looking at the blurb. Yep. That cover. *giggle* Okay… okayyyyyyyy. I know what you’re thinking. Right? *ahem* Stripper cop??? Seriously? I can promise you, my […]

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The Art of Wrath

The very first line of the Iliad forces any English-language translator to decide immediately and to declare conspicuously whether he would rather be caught betraying his poet or his own language. The opening word, mēnin, wrath, is the subject of the long poem that follows, but not of the long sentence it begins. This word order in the original creates a markedly stylized but not a strained effect. Poetic Greek can bring off putting the potent single thematic word first and then proceeding to other parts of the sentence, placed in an order that satisfies the demands of rhetoric and versification. Not English, where “man bites dog” means that man bites dog and not the other way around.

BLOOD MEMORY SOCIETY

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A doctor must aid a handful of
people with life-changing abilities, all of whom are targets for assassination,
in Field’s debut thriller.

Dr. Will Dunbar is relaxing in the
Bahamas when he gets a message from West Point pal Col. Ross Chapman. Ross
convinces the doc that D.C. needs him—it’s a matter of national security. In
Washington, Will meets a panel of individuals, from the chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to the CIA Director. It seems a secret society is in trouble. The
group, the Inherited Memory Society, comprises people with a memory-boosting genetic
mutation responsible for a massive spike in human advancement in the last
couple centuries. Someone recently attacked secured facilities to kill IMS
members and destroy their cell samples. Since Will, a reproductive
endocrinologist, discovered ubiquitin’s role in miscarriages (a protein tied to
the mutation), he may be able to help “restore” the IMS population. Later, at a
Florida safe house, Will and IMS physicist Victoria Van Buren narrowly avoid an
assassination attempt. Field’s enthralling premise showcases a special trait
(the IM in IMS) that’s both fascinating and believable. This necessitates an
exposition-heavy plot, which, though never tedious, limits action scenes and
accelerates Will and Victoria’s inevitable romance. The thriller abounds with exacting
prose: a jet sucking “cool morning air into its red-hot compressors where the
molecules of oxygen were compressed tightly, then saturated with a high-octane
fuel.” And the adrenalized final act imperils Will, Victoria, and even Will’s
Bahamian buddy, Tiny, while Field gives the narrative several real-world ties
with clever references to historical figures and monuments.

Methodically maps out its concept;
an admirable start to a series rife with potential.

THE PERSIAN ALWAYS MEOWS TWICE

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A cat groomer boarding the cat of a slain millionaire suspects
her feline tenant may be the missing piece in solving the murder.

After moving to Chadwick and opening her own cat grooming and
boarding facility, Cassie’s Comfy Cats, Cassie McGlone is feeling pretty comfy
herself. She’s happy to be around friends and out of the sight of Andy, the
recent ex whose anger issues upset her almost as much as his treatment of her
three feline companions. Cassie is delighted that she’s been recently hired by
George DeLeuw for the regular grooming of Harpo, a cream-colored Persian with a
tendency to mat. Not only is DeLeuw a generous and loving owner to Harpo, a
purebred who proved a worthless financial investment; providing routine
services to such a well-heeled client has become a dependable income stream for
Cassie. This time, however, Cassie shows up for her customary service call only
to find DeLeuw’s body and realize that he’s been killed. Though she doesn’t
have a background in investigating, it’s easy for her to do enough digging to
figure out who might have reason to murder such a kind man. At first her poking
around isn’t welcomed by the detective on the case, Angela Bonelli, but
eventually the two are able to coordinate their efforts to learn about DeLeuw
more efficiently, and Cassie offers to care for Harpo until the will is
settled. When other people from DeLeuw’s life suddenly show an interest in
Harpo’s well-being, Cassie suspects that learning more about the cat may
provide the key to DeLeuw’s death.

Fans of felines will appreciate Cassie’s demonstrated attachment
to the master species, which Watkins successfully integrates throughout her
debut, a deft blend of mystery and cat love.

Reader Favorites – Jan’s Favorite Low Angst Romance Books

Wow!!! Last’s week’s “low-angst” favorites list was so popular, that I’m thrilled to say the theme will go on! ‘Cause Jan just sent us her list too. YAY US!! We have more to choose from! Jan: Oh thank you for sharing this list Melinda and Maryse. Just my style of books I’m not a mass […]

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SILENCING THE SKEPTICS

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A new interpretation of the Bible
challenges both its detractors and apologists.

The Bible is notorious for its
internal contradictions, which critics take as a reason to reject its
revelatory authority and defenders refuse to acknowledge. The Gatekeeper (The
Gospel Matrix
, 2015) adopts a different exegetical approach. The author
concedes that there are, in fact, numerous inconsistencies but claims that they
are all purposeful, inserted in order to point audiences in the direction of a
higher truth. To understand the experiential value of these incongruities, a
literal interpretation must be discarded in favor of one that accepts the
allegorical character of the Bible. The author’s tour of the Bible is a
thorough one, covering all the Gospels, the book of Revelation, and Paul’s
letters, to name a small but central sampling. The Gatekeeper contends that the
Christian church is really a corrupt institution, something revealed when the
Bible is properly understood. The author revisits key passages, especially
regarding the “body of Christ” and the “bride of Christ,” to tease out their correct
meanings. One of the chief arguments of the book is an epistemological
one—humanity is caught in a “matrix” that occludes unfettered access to
objective reality, but the time is fast approaching when the truth can be fully
disclosed. That truth will include the transcendence of the shallow vision of
God as a distinct person who governs humans in favor of an all-pervasive
intelligence. The Gatekeeper’s erudition is impressive, including the author’s
grasp of the Bible as well as the scholarly commentary devoted to it. In
addition, The Gatekeeper’s aims are not only ambitious, but are also exercised
with great spiritedness—he openly challenges Bart Ehrman, a pre-eminent critic
of the Bible. But the whole work is written in a gratuitously hectoring,
peremptory tone, dismissing disagreement as either evil or stupid; at one point
he refers to intellectual competitors as “archontic parasites.” Furthermore,
the author never tires of informing the reader how revolutionary this book is,
apparently a fount of sublime truth, a self-congratulatory conceit that quickly
becomes tiresome.

Despite this study’s striking and provocative
scholarship, many readers will likely be put off by its bombastic style.