Book of the Month Selection Review March 2018

Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription box. Every month they release 5 new books which they have narrow down from hundreds of new releases (so you don’t have to). Books are announced on the first of the month, and members have six days to decide which book they would like to receive. Monthly subscriptions include one book, but members can purchase up to two additional books each month for $9.99 per title. They kindly sent us this box for review.

Every month Book of the Month releases 5 new books of which subscribers can choose to receive. This month we had the chance to look at all 5 of the books from the March collection.

My book selection for the month of March was The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan but after going through each book and reading all the reviews I decided to start reading Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser first. Here’s a closer look at each book…..

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, _The Astonishing Color of After_ is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs

A literary mystery about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, left behind a dangerous equation for her to track down—and protect—before others can get their hands on it.*

Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail. In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden.

While in Los Angeles for Isaac’s funeral, Hazel realizes she’s not the only one searching for his life’s work, and that the equation’s implications have potentially disastrous consequences for the extended Severy family, a group of dysfunctional geniuses unmoored by the sudden death of their patriarch.

As agents of an enigmatic company shadow Isaac’s favorite son—a theoretical physicist—and a long-lost cousin mysteriously reappears in Los Angeles, the equation slips further from Hazel’s grasp. She must unravel a series of maddening clues hidden by Isaac inside one of her favorite novels, drawing her ever closer to his mathematical treasure. But when her efforts fall short, she is forced to enlist the help of those with questionable motives.

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

An innocent night of fun takes a shocking turn …

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone *really* knows anyone else.

Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan

Set in an imagined town outside Tokyo, Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut follows a young man’s path to self-discovery in the wake of his sister’s murder.

Ren Ishida has nearly completed his graduate degree at Keio University when he receives news of his sister’s violent death. Keiko was stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to turn her back on the family and Tokyo for this desolate place years ago.

But then Ren is offered Keiko’s newly vacant teaching position at a prestigious local cram school and her bizarre former arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s ailing wife. He accepts both, abandoning Tokyo and his crumbling relationship there in order to better understand his sister’s life and what took place the night of her death.

As Ren comes to know the eccentric local figures, from the enigmatic politician who’s boarding him to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, captivating young female student, he delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren realizes that Keiko Ishida kept many secrets, even from him.

Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman

A hilarious and poignant new novel about four families, their neighborhood carpool, and the affair that changes everything.

At any given moment in other people’s houses, you can find … repressed hopes and dreams … moments of unexpected joy … someone making love on the floor to a man who is most definitely not her husband …

As the longtime local carpool mom, Frances Bloom is sometimes an unwilling witness to her neighbors’ private lives. She knows her cousin is hiding her desire for another baby from her spouse, Bill Horton’s wife is mysteriously missing, and now this …

After the shock of seeing Anne Porter in all her extramarital glory, Frances vows to stay in her own lane. But that’s a notion easier said than done when Anne’s husband throws her out a couple of days later. The repercussions of the affair reverberate through the four carpool families—and Frances finds herself navigating a moral minefield that could make or break a marriage.

Book of the Month Selection Review March 2018 – Final Thoughts

I feel pretty lucky that I get to receive all 5 Book of the Month selections each month. Any book lover would be ecstatic to receive 5 brand new books in the mail. I love that I get to sit on the floor in my office, lay all the books out in front of me and spend a few quiet moments deciding which one to read first. This month I decided to start with Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser. It’s described as a mystery, fiction and suspense novel. Prior to reviewing Book of the Month I wasn’t much of a mystery reader, but I have actually come to appreciate a good suspense novel. Some of my favourite Book of the Month selections have had a suspenseful plot. The fact that this novel is based on neighbours and their interactions kind of intrigues me. I also liked that idea that Not That I Could Tell promises to keep you guessing until the end.

I’m about 6 chapters in and even though the first chapter confused me, I feel like I’m slowly starting to get to know the characters, and the plot is keeping me interested. I’m hoping that it continues to get better, we are off to a slow start, but I have a good feeling about it.

Book of the Month is an amazing subscription for anyone who loves to read. But I’ve said that before…….until next month book lovers….

XOXO

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