Library Haul-September

Oh hi there, it’s me again. Trying yet another new idea. 🙂 I’ve been thinking a lot in the past month about how much I miss utilizing the library. I never intended for my blog to only feature reviews of ARCS, yet it seems this is what it’s turned into. You can’t tell yet, because it’s taken time for me to catch up, but I’ve been really careful on the review copies I’ve been accepting lately. If it’s not on my immediate wish list or from an author I have a relationship with and trust, I’ve been sticking to my guns and whittling down the ARCS I already own. Between NetGalley, various e-arcs, and physical review copies, I’m  down to (at the time of this writing) 34 total review copies 37 total review copies (I forgot about 3 that are on the way). Coming from someone who had over 100 just 4 months ago I’d say that’s pretty good! September and October are still ARC heavy, but I’ve been planning on light reviewing for the remainder of the year due to another upcoming (local) move.

All that to say, I’ve missed just going to the library and browsing for a new book baby to bring home with me, or the building anticipation of waiting for that upcoming release to finally come in through your holds. My goal is to choose 5 books of various genres and formats each month to review here as part of my library haul feature. These can be anywhere from new releases to age old classics, physical books to audio books, and I’m hoping to mix it up each month for a healthy balance. This month I think I did fairly well; I chose 1 audio book (those take longer for me to get through) and 4 physical books of varying fiction genres. While 5 per month is a lofty goal until I get to November, I’m hoping to read at least 3 of these before the end of September. Do you see any favorites on here? Which do you think I should start with?

STATION ELEVEN BY
EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. 

Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. 

Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

UNNATURAL DEEDS BY CYN BALOG

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, not that she cares what anyone thinks. She and her homeschooled boyfriend, Andrew, are inseparable. All they need is each other. That is, until Zachary Zimmerman joins her homeroom. Within an hour of meeting, he convinces good-girl Vic to cut class. And she can’t get enough of that rush.

Despite Vic’s loyalty to Andrew, she finds her life slowly entwining with Z’s. Soon she’s lying to everyone she knows and breaking all the rules to be with Z. She can’t get enough of him—or unraveling the stories of the family he’s determined to keep hidden.

Except Z’s not the only one with a past. Straight-laced Vic is hiding her own secrets…secrets that are about to destroy everything in her path.

UNSUB BY MEG GARDINER

Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.

The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once promising career.

Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.

Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?

THE WHITE ROAD BY SARAH LOTZ

Desperate to attract subscribers to his fledgling website, ‘Journey to the Dark Side’, ex-adrenalin junkie and slacker Simon Newman hires someone to guide him through the notorious Cwm Pot caves, so that he can film the journey and put it on the internet. With a tragic history, Cwm Pot has been off-limits for decades, and unfortunately for Simon, the guide he’s hired is as unpredictable and dangerous as the watery caverns that lurk beneath the earth. After a brutal struggle for survival, Simon barely escapes with his life, but predictably, the gruesome footage he managed to collect down in the earth’s bowels goes viral. Ignoring the warning signs of mental trauma, and eager to capitalize on his new internet fame, Simon latches onto another escapade that has that magic click-bait mix of danger and death – a trip to Everest. But up above 8000 feet, in the infamous Death Zone, he’ll need more than his dubious morals and wits to guide him, especially when he uncovers the truth behind a decade-old tragedy – a truth that means he might not be coming back alive. A truth that will change him – and anyone who views the footage he captures – forever.

THE WALLS BY HOLLIE OVERTON

WOULD YOU KILL TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY?
Working on death row is far from Kristy Tucker’s dream, but she is grateful for a job that allows her to support her son and ailing father. 
When she meets Lance Dobson, Kristy begins to imagine a different kind of future. But after their wedding, she finds herself serving her own life sentence—one of abuse and constant terror.
But Kristy is a survivor, and as Lance’s violence escalates, the inmates she’s worked with have planted an idea she simply can’t shake. 
Now she must decide whether she’ll risk everything to protect her family.  Does she have what it takes to commit the perfect crime? 

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About The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

Chelsea is a happily married mother of two who's love of mysteries can be traced back to her first Nancy Drew experience. When not reading and writing book reviews, she likes to drink wine in her jammies and pretend that she exercises.
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39 Responses to Library Haul-September

  1. Well done Chelsea for getting your TBR down to a manageable level. As for using the library, I can’t say enough about that – having worked my entire career at a public library.
    Like you, I don’t want my blog to just be about ARCs, though I do enjoy getting them. I have dozens (if I’m honest, hundreds) of my own books that I haven’t yet read. I would like to review these for my blog as well. It just seems that the ones I am given as ARCs take precedence in my review queue. I wish I could get my down as low as yours. What’s your secret?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne Onstead says:

    I have read Station Eleven. To me it was so unexpected. I could not put it down and I think about it still months later. I put The White Roar on my check it out list. Sounds intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful haul! Happy reading, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Letty Blanchard says:

    Love this! I have so many books (paper and books–ARCs and ones I’ve purchased) to read that lately I’ve only been checking out audiobooks from the library. I think I have 18 on hold at the moment! 😊 Station Eleven has been in my Kindle library for awhile now. I really want to get to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ireadnovels says:

    I have a proof copy of The White Road Sarah Lotz to read, which I haven’t read. Trouble is I don’t really read proof copies & I seem to have too many proof copies. What can you do with a proof copy? You can’t take it to a charity shop because a proof copy can’t be sold on. So I just read published books & take them to a charity shop and leave proof copies on my bottom of my book case to read if & when I feel like reading one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Emma says:

    I love my library – couldn’t live without it. If I had to pick here I’d say Station Eleven…loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. J e w e l s says:

    O M G !

    Station Eleven is required reading. Truly an instant classic🙏💗

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve really cut down on my ARC requests and intake too. I feel less guilty that way and it’s such a weird giddy joy to read something that was out a year or two ago. I heard amazing things about Station Eleven. UNSUB has a lot of buzz too. Enjoy and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. angiedokos says:

    I look forward to reading your review of Unsub. It’s on my “must read soon” list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this idea, Chelsea! I have Station Eleven on my library wish list too!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jonathan Acosta says:

    I would definitely start with “The Walls” by Hollie Overton – it looks really good! As for the library, I love going there also – it’s like my home away from home 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Annie says:

    I also have Station Eleven and I’m planning on reading it this year, since I’ve got it for more than 2 years lol Don’t start with The Walls, that one was a bit disappointing

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rmlblog says:

    Station Eleven is amazing in many ways: descriptions, the use of the graphic novel passed down among characters, Shakespeare, and the whole apocalypse thing. At the same time, not all of my book discussion group liked it. I hope to hear Mandel talk this month at the Attleboro (MA) Public Library. The other books I don’t know, although I’ve heard good things about Meg Gardiner.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ireadnovels says:

    I just love your line. Oh hi there, it’s me again. Trying yet another idea. I just want you to know it’s always nice to hear from you in my inbox. And I love looking forward to your reviews & ideas. For me it’s never boring . I like reading your reviews and ideas. That’s why I’m following you. Happy reading. Suzanne.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Paul Cheney says:

    I have 35 review copies from various publishers and a massive stack of library books. Somehow the deadlines all come at the same time as renewals!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dr. Stacey L. Camp says:

    If I can’t find an ARC of something I want, I make sure to either find it at the library or buy it. That way I am supporting my two favorite things (public libraries and authors). I have also been buying hard copies of ARCs once they are out if I like them. They make great gifts and then I don’t feel bad getting free books all the time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Leigh Kramer says:

    This is a worthy goal! We’re opposites in that I accept only a few ARCs per month and the rest come from the library. I am constantly juggling my library reserves so they don’t all come in at once! But I have been trying to work on reading the books I already own and haven’t read yet, which is a shameful number. It’s good to have options though. 🙂

    Also, Station Eleven is amazing. Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I totally feel you on ARC burn out. There are so many books out there that I want to read, that sometimes being tied down to an upcoming book that I may or may not be totally interested in can feel a bit exhausting after awhile. I can’t wait to see what you make of Station 11 and The White Road. Those are both on my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. sherylcat says:

    I’m an e-library book junkie. I get both ebooks and audiobooks from my library. I love that I can listen to books on my phone everywhere. Makes my drives go quickly and I find myself sitting in my car to get to a stopping place. I hope you listen to Station 11 first, but they all look good.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I wanna read Unsub! I wish my library had more than old English classics!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jessica's Reading Room says:

    I always use the library for my audiobooks I get. I love my local library! ❤ If they paid better I would try to get a job with them!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This is a great idea Chelsea! I’m probably at the library at least twice a week, I love the excitement of finding a must read new release on the shelf and I also try to put many of the new books I want to read but on my own timetable on my holds list and so far I don’t mind waiting a little longer to get ahold of them. I have Station Eleven but haven’t read it yet

    Liked by 1 person

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