#5Books: Book recs and writing

#5Books Book recs for the week ending 25 February 2018

Do you want to write? Creatively I mean? I work in writing (business and blogging) with a background in editing and publishing, and sometimes I think it’s assumed that I would want to write, but I’m still not sure myself.

What about you? Do you find yourself answering questions about whether you’ve wanted to write something because you’re a blogger?

I went to a writing workshop last week that has given me much to think about, I think. Have you ever joined one? What was your experience like?

I guess some people prefer writing, others reading and I fall somewhere inbetween — for now anyway. Here you go, here are some excellent book recs for your Monday!

On the Come Up

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least get some streams on her mixtape. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But when her mom unexpectedly loses her job, food banks and shut-off notices become as much a part of her life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

The Hate U Give is still on my TBR, and now that Angie Thomas’ next book is coming up, it has absolutely moved to the top. I remembered reading this from Nicki Minaj who called out a tweet from a magazine about their not listing her as a mainstream female MC — and to bring it all back to the book, I am excited to see how Thomas portrays this. 

House Witness

In House Witness, the twelfth novel in the Joe DeMarco series, Mike Lawson puts his likable protagonist on the trail of a different kind of fixer–one whose job is to influence, and sometimes disappear, witnesses in seemingly airtight criminal cases. Minority Leader of the House and DeMarco’s long-time employer John Mahoney has kept more than one secret from his wife over the years, but none so explosive as this: He has a son, and that son has just been shot dead in a bar in Manhattan. Mahoney immediately dispatches DeMarco to New York to assist prosecutor Justine Porter, but with five bystanders willing to testify against the killer–rich-boy Toby Rosenthal–the case seems like a slam-dunk. That is, until Porter begins to suspect that someone is interfering with those witnesses, and that this may be connected to a pattern of cases across the country. Is there someone who is getting witnesses out of the way when the fate of a wealthy defendant is on the line?

With the help of Porter’s intern, as outrageously smart as she is young, DeMarco becomes determined to follow that question through to its violent resolution in what turns out to be this series’ most unexpected plot yet.

I might not watch Scandal anymore (simply because it’s air date here is nearly impossible to keep track of) but the idea of a fixer is still one that interests me. This one, might be book 12 in a series, but looking through the series, this seems to be very self contained. And let’s face it, a secret son? Promises to be a delicious story! 

The Portrait of Molly Dean

An unsolved murder comes to light after almost seventy years…

In 1999, art dealer Alex Cayton stumbles across a lost portrait of Molly Dean, an artist’s muse brutally slain in Melbourne in 1930. Alex buys the painting and sets out to uncover more details, but finds there are strange inconsistencies: Molly’s mother seemed unconcerned by her daughter’s violent death, the main suspect was never brought to trial despite compelling evidence, and vital records are missing. Alex enlists the help of her close friend, art conservator John Porter, and together they sift through the clues and deceptions that swirl around the last days of Molly Dean.

I am currently reading this one, and impressed with how the author has delved into Australian art industry, history of Molly Dean (she was a real person)   and thrown in the art world in general — thus far, I have been especially struck by the mind games involved in auctions! It’s proved unexpectedly interesting, I have to admit. I am curious to see how the author “solves” this mystery. 

             Close to Home

A thrilling search for a missing child – and her missing secrets – with an ending you won’t see coming.

They know who did it. Perhaps not consciously. Perhaps not yet. But they know. 

When eight-year-old Daisy Mason vanishes from her family’s Oxford home during a costume party, Detective Inspector Adam Fawley knows that nine times out of ten, the offender is someone close to home. And Daisy’s family is certainly strange—her mother is obsessed with keeping up appearances, while her father is cold and defensive under questioning. And then there’s Daisy’s little brother, so withdrawn and uncommunicative . . .

DI Fawley works against the clock to find any trace of the little girl, but it’s as if she disappeared into thin air—no one saw anything; no one knows anything. But everyone has an opinion, and everyone, it seems, has a secret to conceal.

With a story that feels all too real, Close to Home is the best kind of suspense—the kind that sends chills down your spine and keeps you up late at night, thrilled and terrified.

If it’s an ending you won’t see coming — is that code for a twist? This is the first in a series, and with a missing child as its focus, as well as the family, I want to see how this goes and if I have a new series to follow.


Zuri Benitez, a young woman with four wild sisters is contending with a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister Janae starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius — that is, until they’re forced to find common ground and they start to bond.

A Pride and Prejudice retelling — that’s all I needed to know.


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