#5Books: Book recs for your Monday afternoon

#5Books for the week ending 9 September 2018

And also family. Do you have those moments when you feel like you’re banging your head against a wall with them?

*insert GIF of me hitting my head against a wall*

Here’s my book recs for this week, which have been mercifully a wonderful escape:

The Helpline 

Germaine Johnson may not be all that good with people but she’s great with numbers. Unfortunately, as she discovers after the incident at Wallace Insurance, there are very few openings these days for senior mathematicians.

Then her cousin gets her a job at the council. On the Senior Citizens Helpline.

It’s not the resume entry Germaine wanted—but it turns out Mayor Verity Bainbridge has something more interesting in mind for her. A secret project involving the troublemakers at the senior citizens centre and their feud with the golf club next door. Which is run by the strangely attractive Don Thomas.

Don and the mayor want the seniors closed down.
Germaine wants what Don and the mayor want. But when she’s forced to get to know the ‘troublemakers’—things get more complicated.

A sharp, witty, big-hearted comedy from a hilarious new Australian writer, Katherine Collette’s The Helpline is about people power and brain power—and the difficulty of getting them to work together.

You know when a blurb just makes you smile and it’s nothing like anything you would normally read? That about sums up why this book is on my rec list today.

Not Even Bones

Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.

Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” But when her mom brings home a live specimen, Nita decides she wants out — dissecting living people is a step too far.

But when she tries to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold on the black market in his place — because Nita herself is a supernatural being. Now Nita is on the other side of the bars, and there is no line she won’t cross to escape and make sure no one can ever capture her again.

Nita did a good deed, and it cost her everything. Now she’s going to do a lot of bad deeds to get it all back.

And then of course, there’s this on the other end of the spectrum, because I needed something macabre and dark... and … is anyone else thinking her mother sold her on the black market? Either way, I’m here for all the bad deeds Nita has to do to get her life back.

The Diary of a Bookseller

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost … In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

There is one dream I always took seriously, and never could quite give up on: I wanted to own a bookstore. Maybe that’s part of the reason I picked this up. The other reason is that this sounds utterly charming. It’s a memoir and a non-fiction pick, but  I could not resist the cover and a peek into this bookstore.

All This I will Give to You

The award-winning, international bestselling page-burner about the secrets and lies of one man that lead another into a treacherous house of strangers…

When novelist Manuel Ortigosa learns that his husband, Álvaro, has been killed in a car crash, it comes as a devastating shock. It won’t be the last. He’s now arrived in Galicia. It’s where Álvaro died. It’s where the case has already been quickly closed as a tragic accident. It’s also where Álvaro hid his secrets.

The man to whom Manuel was married for fifteen years was not the unassuming man he knew.

Álvaro’s trail leads Manuel deep into one of Spain’s most powerful and guarded families. Behind the walls of their forbidding estate, Manuel is nothing but an unwelcome and dangerous intruder. Then he finds two allies: a stubbornly suspicious police lieutenant and Álvaro’s old friend—and private confessor—from seminary school. Together they’re collecting the pieces of Álvaro’s past, his double life, and his mysterious death.

But in the shadows of nobility and privilege, Manuel is about to unravel a web of corruption and deception that could be as fatal a trap for him as it was for the man he loved.

The title of the book makes it sound like a tragic love story, but the blurb is anything but… and that’s what has me hooked. What got Alvaro killed? And what is up with his family?!

Mardi Gras Murder 

USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron is back at it with fan-favorite plantation B&B owner Maggie Crozat in a fourth installment of the Cajun Country mysteries.

Southern charm meets the dark mystery of the bayou as a hundred-year flood, a malicious murder, and a most unusual Mardi Gras converge at the Crozat Plantation B&B.

It’s Mardi Gras season on the bayou, which means parades, pageantry, and gumbo galore. But when a flood upends life in the tiny town of Pelican, Louisiana—and deposits a body of a stranger behind the Crozat Plantation B&B—the celebration takes a decidedly dark turn. The citizens of Pelican are ready to Laissez les bon temps rouler—but there’s beaucoup bad blood on hand this Mardi Gras.

Maggie Crozat is determined to give the stranger a name and find out why he was murdered. The post-flood recovery has delayed the opening of a controversial exhibit about the little-known Louisiana Orphan Train. And when a judge for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant is shot, Maggie’s convinced the murder is connected to the body on the bayou. Does someone covet the pageant queen crown enough to kill for it? Could the deaths be related to the Orphan Train, which delivered its last charges to Louisiana in 1929? The leads are thin on this Fat Tuesday—and until the killer is unmasked, no one in Pelican is safe.

A simmering gumbo of a humorous whodunit, Mardi Gras Murderis the fourth piquant installment in USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s award-winning Cajun Country mysteries

I mean look at that cover? And that face! And also, I’m reading something about New Orleans at the moment and I want more please — especially with humour! Also, what is gumbo and do you like it?!


  • Silvia says:

    *raises hand* I do have those moments, and my head doesn’t like it that much >_<
    Thanks for the recs, though! I think you know Not Even Bones got my attention right away 😛 and I must admit that the Mardi Gras Murder piqued my curiosity, too. I’m noting them down 😉

  • So I want to read Not Even Bones and I know my library ordered a copy in so yay! I also want to start the series with Mardi Gras Murders. Stormi is always raving about Gopher the dog. Finally, The Diary of a Bookseller sounds awesome and yep, books about books always grab me.

    Now about family. Mine drives me nuts. I’ve even shared some of my frustrations on the blog from time to time – IE Stupid Cousin and his wife. I also have a weird relationship with my mother. I love her but we’re nothing alike and I wouldn’t even say we’re that close even though we talk and see each other weekly. Best word for it is strange I guess. Hope you have a great week!

  • I so want to read Not Even Bones. Someone sent me an ARC of it, so I need to make time for that. All This I Will Give to You sounds amazing – adding to Goodreads now!


  • I think everyone has those moments with family… but in the end you can’t help but love them. These are great recommendations! 😀

  • I’ve been in the mood for humorous reads lately so I’m really liking the sound of both The Helpline and Mardi Gras Murder.

  • Sam@WLABB says:

    I need to look into Mardi Gras Murders, because I need a cozy mystery for a reading challenge this month, and that dog on the cover is calling to me.

  • Jen Mullen says:

    The Helpline blurb did make me smile. I’ve read about Wigtown before, so that memoir is something I would enjoy. And gumbo–my husband makes the best chicken and sausage gumbo just for me. He loves seafood gumbo best, but always makes me my own batch. 🙂

  • Renee' says:

    Great books! I fully get the family stuff – been there; done that. Hope it smooths out soon.

  • Kelly says:

    The Helpline sounds absolutely brilliant! Not something I would typically read as well but it sounds so warm with big laughs and lots of heartfelt moments. The Diary of A Bookseller sings to my heart. I think most readers often dream of owning a bookstore one day, a quaint little store where people can browse and grab a coffee, big couches and of course it won’t make much profit but we do it for the love of books. I can imagine it now. Readlax, put your feet up ♡♡♡

  • Just be careful you don’t give yourself a headache. 😉 Seriously though, I can relate.

    Thank you for the recommendations! This is a nice mix. The Diary of a Bookseller, particularly caught my eye. Mardi Gras Murder sounds like fun.

  • Oh V!! Ha ha. You make me chuckle. I have my father in law staying with us right now so I FEEEELLL YOU. Just gonna leave that there.

    Hope this week has been better!

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