Wednesday, January 26, 2022


You’re Reading What!? January 26, 2022

           Dear Readers-somehow Tuesday got away from us but here are some of the books we have been reading. This past week was one of reading historical fiction series in anticipation that the next few weeks will have a lot of non-fiction books in the mix.

           Once again, your writer has been re-acquainting themselves with some series so that I can get back into the characters in some of these series or learn the characters in one of these series that is new and hopefully will have a long run.

    First up is an upcoming book, second in a new series that is excellent and hopefully, will have a long run. Lost Graves, written by S.A. Dunphy and published January 24, 2022 by Bookouture. This is a great series set in Ireland and featuring criminal behavioralist Jessie Boyle, DS Seamus Keneally, and genealogist and tech specialist Terri Kehoe. Using Irish myths and legends and with elements of horror mixed in, the crimes in this and the first book in the series are believable and full of twists and turns.




    Next up is the 25th installment in the Wesley Peterson series, The Stone Chamber written by Kate Ellis and published by Piatkus on August 5, 2021. This series follows Wesly Peterson, a detective inspector who trained initially in archeology. These stories are always interesting as there is generally a historical scene where there is generally an ancient mystery that parallels the current crime with similarities between the two. In this installment in the series, Wesley and the team are left trying to understand several disparate crimes and their connection to a long-closed mental hospital. These books are always interesting and a great read.



    The third book this week is The Angel in the Glass written by Alys Clare and published by Severn House on October 1, 2018. This is the second in the series following the life of Gabriel Taverner, erstwhile ship’s surgeon and now physician in rural Devon just after the death of Elizabeth I. Ms. Clare is the author of two additional historical fiction/mystery series including the Hawkenlye and Aelf Fen series. The crime in this book is linked to events in the past including the Dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII and a relatively less known period during the rule of his son Edward VI during which zealots further agitated for the destruction of stained-glass windows and statues.  Gabriel and his friends and family are interesting and sympathetic while having to investigate terrible crimes. There is a third and fourth book in the series that I am really looking forward to reading.

Well, dear readers those are just some of the books the crew is reading this week. Please let us know what you are reading!?

Tuesday, January 18, 2022


You’re Reading What!? January 18, 2022

           Oklahoma is in the Mountain and Plains Independent Book Association regional trade group. I bring this up because for the next two or three months, your fearless booksellers will be receiving books to read for the Reading The West award that our group gives each year to books either about the region or written by an author who lives in one of the states in the region. Your booksellers will be reading books in the poetry, narrative non-fiction, adult fiction, and young adult sections. These books are already published so we will be able to have them on hand or order them for you if any of them strike your fancy.

           This week brings a historical fiction novel that is set in the United States at the time of the Great War (World War I), a novel about a girl who can see the souls or ghosts of people who are stuck and need help moving on, a non-fiction book that looks at a rarely studied time in Thomas Jefferson’s life, and a book about the hunt for and discovery of the lost city of Alexandria.

           The first book is Little Souls by Sandra Dallas, published by St. Martin’s Press (MAC Logo) and due to be released April 26, 2022. The story is set in 1918 Denver, Colorado. It is about two sisters who are battling on the home front against the raging Spanish flu and also trying to navigate their burgeoning relationships with young men. One young man goes to the war, the other is a doctor who is taking care of flu patients. In the midst of this, their tenant dies and leaves a young daughter alone or so they think until the girl’s drunken father shows up. This is a tale of love lost and love gained and of making something good out of awful situations. It is about the family you are born into and the family you create.


The second book is an excellent read that leaves some threads undone which makes me wonder if we see the folks in this story again-one can only hope. This book is The Ravenous Dead written by Darcy Coates, published by Poisoned Pen Press and set to be released March 15, 2022. The story revolves around Keira who is newly hired to help in the small town’s cemetery. The problem is that the cemetery is filled with the souls of the dead who have been unable to move on either because they got lost or because they have unfinished business here on Earth. Kiera’s job is to help these souls move on but maybe, sometimes a soul or ghost just doesn’t want to leave. Maybe they want to continue to pursue their gruesome activities that they engaged in before they died. The soul can’t be satisfied and it is ravenous. Kiera has her own issues but thankfully she has a weird and wonderful crew of folks who help her. Definitely worth reading!!!

            Our third book this week is In Pursuit of Jefferson by Derek Butler published by Sourcebooks releasing on March 1, 2022. Butler, a Virginian, who is going through his own personal crisis, stumbles upon a little-known travel guide written by Thomas Jefferson for the sons of some of his friends as they embark on their grand tour of Europe. Butler is taken with the guide since Jefferson wrote it after leaving the United States following the death of his beloved wife and the humiliation of his political career as governor of Virginia during the Revolution. The guide really does read like a modern travel guide including places to stay and places to avoid, the best places to eat and the best wines to drink. It is during this time that Jefferson takes in information from his travels and brings back things that we take for granted today like ice cream and macaroni and cheese. Butler and his family travel various portions of the path that Jefferson traveled during his stay in Paris until his return to the United States as a remade man. Unfortunately, the trip often raises difficult issues about Jefferson and reminds the reader that everyone has good and bad traits and no one is really one-dimensional. It is worth a read if only to get a broader understanding of one of the more influential Founding Fathers.

Finally, this week is a real-life Indiana Jones tale, The King’s Shadow: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Deadly Quest for the Lost City of Alexandria by Edmund Richardson. The book is published by St. Martin’s Press and will be released April 5, 2022. It is the story of a man who faked his own death and walked away from the British Army in the wilds of Afghanistan. In the course of his travels, he would act as a spy, a doctor, an Asian scholar, and most importantly in this story the first Western archeologist to study Afghani sites following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great. Eventually, Charles Masson or James Lewis as he was known when he left England, discovered the lost remains of Alexandria Under the Mountains, the fabled city where East met West. In the process, Masson found unbelievable beautiful early Buddhist treasures including the Bimaran golden casket with the earliest known depiction of the Buddha, coins with both Greek and Roman components, and thousands of pieces of both Indian and Afghan history. He would interact with kings, work as a mercenary, and be offered his own kingdom. In the end, it destroyed him.

          Well, dear readers those are just some of the books the crew is reading this week. Please let us know what you are reading!?

Tuesday, January 11, 2022


You’re Reading What!? January 11, 2022

           One of the things you learn when you open a bookstore is that you really do HAVE to read. It is no longer just a fun activity but a necessity. Much as I (Val) would like to continue to expand my reading genres, I have to admit that I have spent a lot of time in the historical mystery series world and non-fiction world over the last week with a few more unusual fiction choices throw into the mix.

           The first book is Hero of the Empire by Candace Millard. Anchor published the book May 30, 2017. Ms. Millard is an excellent writer and makes historical events interesting. This book deals with the young Winston Churchill and the events that cemented his fame in the British Empire. Churchill was supremely confident to a fault that he was destined for great things. He was so convinced, that he acted recklessly and foolish at times. This book details his exploits in Africa during the Second Boer War. At twenty-four Churchill went to Africa to cover the war as a journalist. Just two weeks after arriving he was captured by the Boers. The book details his escape and his trek alone across hundreds of miles of enemy territory. Of importance are the lessons that Churchill took from the war as it would inform his approach to the world wars to come.



    I have also spent the last week re-acquainting myself with an historical mystery series that I started back in 2017. Then I read the second book in the series and then lost the thread. The series is written by Andrea Penrose and published by Kensington Books. The series is set in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars and has two excellent protagonists. The Earl of Wrexford is a scientist and an eccentric member of the London ton (aristocratic classes). Charlotte Sloan is a widow who works for her living skewering the rich and powerful as a political cartoonist under the pen name of A.J. Quill. But there is more than meets the eye to these two. I re-read the series, the most recent book being Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens, published September 28, 2021. A sixth book will be released in September 2022. They are good reads and have interesting characters.


Now for two books that are upcoming and worth looking for when they are available.

           First is a book called Welcome to the Grief Club written by Janine Kwoh, published by Workman Publishing and coming out February 1, 2022. The book was written by the author in an attempt to explain her own grief journey after losing her partner in their twenties. Illustrated by the author, the book uses humor to help people feel like they have permission to grieve in the ways they need to and in the time that they need. An example includes “supremely unhelpful things that people say”, giving the grieving person a chance to understand that there is no one right or wrong way to grieve. It also validates all of the conflicting feelings that arise with the loss of a loved one. For those who are grieving, it is well worth a look.


    Finally, the last book is The Messy Lives of Book People written by Phaedra Patrick, published by Harlequin Trade Publishing and coming out June 28, 2022. Have you ever wanted to be someone or do something else than what you are doing?

Liv Green works as a cleaner but one of her jobs is for her personal hero, a reclusive author, Essie Starling, who has written a series that Liv loves. Liv and Essie develop a tentative friendship and then Essie suddenly dies. Essie’s last wish: for Liv to complete the final book in the series that Essie has written. The request leads to secrets upon secrets and a deeper connection that changes Liv’s life.


Well, that is the scoop from these fearless readers for this week. Let us know what you are reading!?

Tuesday, January 4, 2022


You’re Reading What!? January 4, 2022

Welcome to the inaugural post to the Too Fond Of Books blog. We (Tom and Val-the owners) have always meant to have a blog but it has taken us a while to get started.

           Today’s post is in memory of Val’s mom, Linda Lee Green Reese. Linda was a lover of the English language in both its spoken and written form. A vociferous reader, starting at the age of three, Linda read between 10-12 books a week until the last few years when failing eyesight meant she could only get through 5-6 a week. Linda’s favorite books last year were the following: The Searcher and Billy Summers. Linda said she had read all of Stephen King’s non-science fiction books and as far as she could tell, Billy Summers was the very best. She also liked the New England writers, John Cheever and John Updike as well as numerous other writers. She loved British authors and had recently started reading Scandinavian authors as well. She enjoyed mysteries and thrillers and popular science.

           Linda left us on December 16, 2021, for ports unknown and we miss her dearly but hope she finds lots of wonderful libraries and bookstores to browse.

           Today Val wants to highlight two advanced reader copies and one recently published book that she has had the pleasure to read over the last few weeks.

           First up is A Coin For the Ferryman. This book will be published February 28, 2022 by Imbrifex Books. The author is Megan Edwards and she has written other books including The Copper Black mysteries, Strings: a Love Story, and Roads From the Ashes.  

           Imagine that you could bring a famous person back to our time for four days. The catch is that that you must know the exact circumstances of that person’s death in the past. You have four days with that person, to question them, observe their habits, find out everything you can. The second catch, at the end of the four days, you must send that person back to the exact time of their death and you can’t tell them about what is getting ready to happen. That is the premise of A Coin For the Ferryman. As you might expect, the mission is a whole lot harder than you might imagine and things go awry.

The book is a great read. The person they pick is interesting and the circumstances of the whole experiment are exciting. As much as most of us want to meet famous people or travel back or forward in time, this novel tells us that it is fraught with trouble.

           Second up is The Library. This book was published September 2, 2021, by aria fiction, an imprint of Head of Zeus. The author is Bella Osborne.

           The story tells of love, loss, redemption, and the value of friendships. A young man at loose ends and straining not to follow his father into work at the dog food factory, discovers a friend and compatriot in books in an elderly pensioner. Set in rural England, it is a story about the love of books, the value of libraries to communities, and how friendships occur in the most unlikely places and between the most unlikely people. The book is a sweet and uplifting story and well worth the read.

Finally, the third book is The Cartographers. The book will be published March 15, 2022, by William Morrow, an imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers. The author, Peng Shepherd, is the author of the award-winning book, The Book of M.

           How do we know what is real and what is not? Can putting a place on a map make it real? That is the premise of this book about Nell, the daughter of two renowned cartographers and map conservationists. When there are deaths and a break-in at the prestigious New York Public Library’s map division, Nell is drawn into a mystery that only gets deeper and stranger than one can imagine. Why is a gas station map from the 1930s sought after by some of the world’s richest collectors? What is so special about it that copies have disappeared from everywhere? A great novel that mixes the art and history of cartography and maps with magic.

Well, those are some of the books we are reading right now. If you are interested in the two books that have not yet been published, please contact Too Fond Of Books and we can do a pre-order for you.

We will try and publish a couple of times a week and Tom and Val will also invite guest bloggers to talk about what they are reading.

  You’re Reading What!? January 26, 2022            Dear Readers-somehow Tuesday got away from us but here are some of the books we have b...