#5Books: Book recs and In the Heights

#5Books for the week ending 19 jan 2019

Yesterday I went to the Sydney Opera House to watch In the Heights. 

Weirdly enough or not, it was my first time attending anything in the main concert hall of the Opera House, which BTW has the oldest style seats I’ve seen in ages. AGES. I actually don’t think they’ve been replaced since the Opera House was built. Not the most comfy.

The show as I understand it is by the same guy that did Hamilton – Lin-Manuel Miranda — which is a show I’ve never watched, but given the rave reviews, it’s gotten it was impossible not to be exposed to it in some form.

In the Heights is set in Washington Heights, a neighbourhood in Manhattan. Usnavi runs a bodega and all around him are his friends enduring their own issues and hardships, making up this story. The singing is fantastic, and includes rap. The music makes you want to get up and dance, and the joy in the show is infectious.

The stories are about a young girl trying to find her way after dropping out of Stanford, Vanessa wants to move out away from her mother, who is alcoholic I think and UsNavi wants to go back to the Dominican Republic. The music explores these issues and it was fun

Forget You Know Me 

When a video call between friends captures a shocking incident no one was supposed to see, the secrets it exposes threaten to change their lives forever.

Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.

When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child.

What Liza sees next will change everything.

Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side—but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled and hurt. She knows there’s no denying what she saw.

Or is there?

In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own.

And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either.

But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.

Jessica Strawser’s Forget You Know Me is a “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best, friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain.

One moment will change things for them all.

What would Molly be hiding? Or is a matter of Molly unable to come to terms with what happened?

No Mercy 

Police officer Ellery Hathaway and FBI profiler Reed Markham take on two difficult new cases in this stunning follow-up to The Vanishing Season.

No Mercy is award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen’s heart-pounding second novel.

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the Spider-Man-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.

Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job—stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own—a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.

It took about a year to read the first in this series, but I finally have and The Vanishing Season was a fantastic beginning to this series. More than anything though, I just want to see Ellery and Reed work together and see how their relationship progresses, because I am not entirely sure what their relationship is supposed to be exactly. Or what I want it to be. 

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton 

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is the story of a woman who has her heart broken, but then puts it back together again in the most uplifting and exquisite way.

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

This first sentence makes this sound rather uplifting doesn’t it? But what are Grace’s secrets? And how does the old man and teenager help her? Not to mention: Paris!

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs

New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe returns to the world of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane with a bewitching story of a New England history professor who must race against time to free her family from a curse

Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s fractured past with witchcraft. A young, tenure-track professor in Boston, she’s earned career success by studying the history of magic in colonial America—especially women’s home recipes and medicines—and by exposing society’s threats against women fluent in those skills. But beyond her studies, Connie harbors a secret: She is the direct descendant of a woman tried as a witch in Salem, an ancestor whose abilities were far more magical than the historical record shows.

When a hint from her mother and clues from her research lead Connie to the shocking realization that her partner’s life is in danger, she must race to solve the mystery behind a hundreds’-years-long deadly curse.

Flashing back through American history to the lives of certain supernaturally gifted women, The Daughters of Temperance Hobbsaffectingly reveals not only the special bond that unites one particular matriarchal line, but also explores the many challenges to women’s survival across the decades—and the risks some women are forced to take to protect what they love most.

When I read this I thought of Charmed. There’s so much wrapped up in this blurb — about women, about women supporting each other and protecting each other and of course, magic. 

The Taking of Annie Thorne 

The thrilling second novel from the author of The Chalk Man, about a teacher with a hidden agenda who returns to settle scores at a school he once attended, only to uncover a darker secret than he could have imagined.

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing. It was the day she came back.

I realised that I have a draft of The Chalk Man that I never posted and forgot about entirely. Which should tell you what I thought of it. But here is another book by the same author and me crossing my fingers it’s better than the last. Maybe 2019 is the year of second chances for authors from me?

Have you resolved to change any of your reading habits this year?


  • Daniela Ark says:

    I have an ARC of No Mercy and I’m hoping to start it next week 🙂 and I saw The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs on NetGalley and was so tempted to requested. You post is sending me back to that realm of pure temptation!

  • Jen Mullen says:

    Forget You Know Me sounds interesting–I want to know what the video showed and why Molly wants to end the friendship. Although I liked The Chalk Man, The Taking of Annie Thorne was a disappointment.

  • Angela says:

    Forget You Know Me is on my TBR – I want to know what Molly is hiding, too!

  • That’s so cool that you got to see In the Heights. I haven’t seen that yet but I did see Hamilton last fall and was blown away by what Lin-Manuel Miranda did with that show. I have kind of a theater nerd crush on him now because I just think he’s brilliant (not to mention cute in a dorky dad kind of way, lol).

    I have an ARC of Forget You Know Me and am hoping it’s going to be a great read. I really want to know what’s going on with Molly.

  • Lark says:

    I’m really excited to read No Mercy and The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs because I liked the first books so much! 🙂

  • Sam@wlabb says:

    Yeah for seeing a play. I love musicals, though I have not seen In the Heights. Glad you enjoyed it. The opera house sounds quite lovely too. I am thinking Grace Atherton sounds like up-lit, so you have me curious. You know that’s my jam.

  • I enjoyed The Chalk Man more than I thought I would as it was not what I expected so I’ll be interested to read more by the author.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.