Our Top Reads for 2016

 

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Okay, so I’m a tad bit late for the bandwagon on this post, but it’s here and that’s what counts, right? 😀

I read a lot of books in 2016, some I loved, some I liked, and some I enjoyed but didn’t quite connect with as well as I would have liked. Today, I’m going to list my top reads for 2016, along with the links to my reviews for each book. Not all of these were published in 2016, but most were, and the ones that weren’t were books I read in 2016 or are part of a series that published a new book in 2016.

Continue reading “Our Top Reads for 2016”

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Review: Kill Shot by Vince Flynn (Mitch Rapp #2)

Kill Shot

Vince Flynn

Mitch Rapp #2

385 Pages

Emily Bestler Books | Atria Books | Simon & Schuster

Published February 7th 2012

kill-shot-cover

Book Summary

#1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn is back with another nail-biting political thriller that follows the young Mitch Rapp on a deadly mission to hunt down the men responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack.

For months, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet. With each kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians becomes increasingly clear. He is given his next target: a plump Libyan diplomat who is prone to drink and is currently in Paris without a single bodyguard.

Rapp finds him completely unprotected and asleep in his bed. With confidence in his well-honed skills and conviction of the man’s guilt, he easily sends a bullet into the man’s skull. But in the split second it takes the bullet to leave the silenced pistol, everything changes. The door to the hotel room is kicked open and gunfire erupts all around Rapp. In an instant the hunter has become the hunted. Rapp is left wounded and must flee for his life.

The next morning, the news breaks in Washington that Libya’s Oil Minister has been killed along with three innocent civilians and four unidentified men. The French authorities are certain that the gunman is wounded and on the loose in Paris. As the finger pointing begins, Rapp’s handlers have only one choice—deny any responsibility for the incident and pray that their newest secret weapon stays that way, avoiding capture and dying quietly. One person in the group, however, is not prone to leaving things to chance. Rapp has become a liability, and he absolutely cannot be allowed to be taken alive by the French authorities. But it will soon become clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp.

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Continue reading “Review: Kill Shot by Vince Flynn (Mitch Rapp #2)”

Weekend Reads

Hey guys! I thought I’d start a new weekend feature about what I’m reading. I’d also love to know about what you’re reading, so if you’re so inclined, be sure to comment with your current/past/future reads. I’m always looking for new books and authors so I’d love to hear about books you’ve enjoyed and loved, or even ones you didn’t particularly enjoy. 

So here goes…

th-weekendreadsmeme-currentreadsThe Blind Astronomer’s Daughter

John Pipkin

Bloomsbury USA

480 Pages

Released: October 11th 2016

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Book Summary: In late-eighteenth-century Ireland, accidental stargazer Caroline Ainsworth learns that her life is not what it seems when her father, Arthur, throws himself from his rooftop observatory. He has chosen death over a darkened life, gone blind from staring at the sun in his obsessive hunt for an unknown planet near Mercury. Caroline had often assisted her father with his observations; when astronomer William Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781, she watched helplessly as unremitting jealousy drove Arthur to madness.

Grief-stricken, Caroline at first abandons the vain search, leaves Ireland for London, and tries to forget her love for Finnegan O’Siodha, the tinkering blacksmith who was helping her father build a massive telescope larger than Herschel’s own. But she later discovers that her father has left her more than the wreck of an unfinished telescope: his cryptic atlas holds the secret to finding a new world at the edge of the sky. As Caroline reluctantly resumes the search and confronts her longing for Finnegan, Ireland is swept into rebellion, and the lovers are plunged into its violence.

This is a novel of the obsessions of the age—scientific inquiry, geographic discovery, political reformation—but above all astronomy, the mapping of the solar system, and beyond. It is a novel of the quest for knowledge and also—just as importantly—for human connection. The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter is rich, far-reaching, and unforgettable.

Format/Source: ARC received by Publisher

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Remember Yesterday

Pintip Dunn

Forget Tomorrow #2

Entangled Publishing | Entangled Teen

Released:  October 4th 2016

400 Pages

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Book Summary: Seventeen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries — if only she’d let TechRA study her. But after they kidnapped and experimented on her as a child, cooperating with the scientists is the last thing Jessa would do.

But when she discovers the past isn’t what she assumed, Jessa must join forces with budding scientist Tanner Callahan to rectify a fatal mistake made ten years ago. She’ll do anything to change her past — even if it means aligning herself with the enemy she swore to defeat.

This is the second book in author Pintip Dunn’s Forget Tomorrow series.

I’ll be posting my review for this book on the blog on Wednesday, October 19th, on a blog tour stop.

Be sure to stop back by and check it out!

Format/Source: ARC received by Publisher

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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the-other-einstein-cover the-german-girl-cover kill-shot-cover

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

Releasing October 18th 2016 | Sourcebooks Landmark

304 Pages | Format/Source: ARC received by Publisher

Book Summary: A vivid and mesmerizing novel about the extraordinary woman who married and worked with one of the greatest scientists in history.

What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century.

In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever.

A literary historical in the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe,The Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

***

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa

Releasing October 18th 2016 | Atria Books

368 Pages | Format/Source: ARC received by Publisher

Book Summary: A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel, perfect for fans of The Nightingale, Schindler’s List, and All the Light We Cannot See, about twelve-year-old Hannah Rosenthal’s harrowing experience fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany with her family and best friend, only to discover that the overseas asylum they had been promised is an illusion.

Before everything changed, young Hannah Rosenthal lived a charmed life. But now, in 1939, the streets of Berlin are draped with red, white, and black flags; her family’s fine possessions are hauled away; and they are no longer welcome in the places that once felt like home. Hannah and her best friend, Leo Martin, make a pact: whatever the future has in store for them, they’ll meet it together.

Hope appears in the form of the SS St. Louis, a transatlantic liner offering Jews safe passage out of Germany. After a frantic search to obtain visas, the Rosenthals and the Martins depart on the luxurious ship bound for Havana. Life on board the St. Louis is like a surreal holiday for the refugees, with masquerade balls, exquisite meals, and polite, respectful service. But soon ominous rumors from Cuba undermine the passengers’ fragile sense of safety. From one day to the next, impossible choices are offered, unthinkable sacrifices are made, and the ship that once was their salvation seems likely to become their doom.

Seven decades later in New York City, on her twelfth birthday, Anna Rosen receives a strange package from an unknown relative in Cuba, her great-aunt Hannah. Its contents will inspire Anna and her mother to travel to Havana to learn the truth about their family’s mysterious and tragic past, a quest that will help Anna understand her place and her purpose in the world.

The German Girl sweeps from Berlin at the brink of the Second World War to Cuba on the cusp of revolution, to New York in the wake of September 11, before reaching its deeply moving conclusion in the tumult of present-day Havana. Based on a true story, this masterful novel gives voice to the joys and sorrows of generations of exiles, forever seeking a place called home.

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

***

Kill Shot by Vince Flynn

Mitch Rapp #2

Released February 7th 2012 | Atria | Pocket Books

385 Pages | Format/Source: Print Purchase via Hastings

I am addicted to this series and have been purchasing them all to read in order. If I hadn’t been intrigued by Dylan O’Brien’s casting as Mitch Rapp in the movie version of American Assassin, along with Michael Keaton as Stan Hurley, I might not have found the books, and that would be a shame as I am thoroughly enamored with the characters, Mitch Rapp and Stan Hurley in particular, and the series thus far.

Book Summary:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn is back with another nail-biting political thriller that follows the young Mitch Rapp on a deadly mission to hunt down the men responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack.

For months, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet. With each kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians becomes increasingly clear. He is given his next target: a plump Libyan diplomat who is prone to drink and is currently in Paris without a single bodyguard.

Rapp finds him completely unprotected and asleep in his bed. With confidence in his well-honed skills and conviction of the man’s guilt, he easily sends a bullet into the man’s skull. But in the split second it takes the bullet to leave the silenced pistol, everything changes. The door to the hotel room is kicked open and gunfire erupts all around Rapp. In an instant the hunter has become the hunted. Rapp is left wounded and must flee for his life.

The next morning, the news breaks in Washington that Libya’s Oil Minister has been killed along with three innocent civilians and four unidentified men. The French authorities are certain that the gunman is wounded and on the loose in Paris. As the finger pointing begins, Rapp’s handlers have only one choice—deny any responsibility for the incident and pray that their newest secret weapon stays that way, avoiding capture and dying quietly. One person in the group, however, is not prone to leaving things to chance. Rapp has become a liability, and he absolutely cannot be allowed to be taken alive by the French authorities. But it will soon become clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp.

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The idea for this post came from a  WWW Wednesdays meme post that I saw over at RiverMoose-Reads and that originated with Taking On A World of Words. Instead of doing a WWW Wednesdays post, though, I’m doing my own version of it on Saturdays.

American Assassin by Vince Flynn (Book Review + Movie News)

Hey guys.

I just wanted to take a few moments to talk about American Assassin. You can read my review of the book below, but I wanted to give you a little background on what led me to want to read this book. Because it might seem like it’s out of my normal reading range to you, but in truth, it’s really not.

You see, I have always loved military, political, and spy thrillers. I first found them when I was getting my bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and continued reading them all through college. Somewhere along the way though, I wound up reading a host of other genres, so much so that this particular genre fell a bit by the wayside for me. Until a few weeks ago, that is. When I heard they were making American Assassin into a movie and that it would star Dylan O’Brien (Deepwater Horizon, The Maze Runner, Stiles on Teen Wolf) as Mitch Rapp and Michael Keaton as  Stan Hurley, the man who trains Rapp. From there, a quick search lead me to discover that, though this book was written well after the series started, it is actually the first book in the series, the book that gives the background on Mitch Rapp and his training as an assassin. The summary of the book caught my eye pretty quick and before I knew it, I’d bought the trade paperback on Amazon. And I am very glad I did, too. Because I loved the book and I absolutely cannot wait to see the movie, which actually just started filming (or maybe just pre-production?) this month.

I will no doubt be posting more about this series as I work my way through the rest of the books (and possibly the movie as more comes out about it’s filming). If you’ve read this series, or you decide to read it now, please come back and comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, and what you think about the casting choices. I could totally see Dylan O’Brien as Mitch Rapp after reading this book. I honestly can’t wait to see the intensity he’ll no doubt bring to the role.

Here’s some first look photos of Dylan as Mitch Rapp for those interested in reading more about the movie. You can find more details about the book (along with my review) and the rest of the series below-including how to pre-order the newest release in the series, book fifteen, Order To Kill.

American Assassin

Vince Flynn

Mitch Rapp #1

Pocket Books
Trade Paperback
435 Pages
Published: August 30th 2013

(First Published: October 12th 2010 by Atria Books)

Source: Amazon Purchase

american-assassin-cover

Book Summary

#1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn returns with yet another explosive thriller, introducing the young Mitch Rapp, as he takes on his first assignment.

Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terrorist’s worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world . . . and then tragedy struck.

Two decades of cutthroat, partisan politics has left the CIA and the country in an increasingly vulnerable position. Cold War veteran and CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield knows he must prepare his people for the next war. The rise of Islamic terrorism is coming, and it needs to be met abroad before it reaches America’s shores. Stansfield directs his protégée, Irene Kennedy, and his old Cold War colleague, Stan Hurley, to form a new group of clandestine operatives who will work outside the normal chain of command—men who do not exist.

What type of man is willing to kill for his country without putting on a uniform? Kennedy finds him in the wake of the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack. Two-hundred and seventy souls perished that cold December night, and thousands of family and friends were left searching for comfort. Mitch Rapp was one of them, but he was not interested in comfort. He wanted retribution.

Six months of intense training has prepared him to bring the war to the enemy’s doorstep, and he does so with brutal efficiency. Rapp starts in Istanbul, where he assassinates the Turkish arms dealer who sold the explosives used in the Pan Am attack. Rapp then moves onto Hamburg with his team and across Europe, leaving a trail of bodies. All roads lead to Beirut, though, and what Rapp doesn’t know is that the enemy is aware of his existence and has prepared a trap. The hunter is about to become the hunted, and Rapp will need every ounce of skill and cunning if he is to survive the war-ravaged city and its various terrorist factions.

As action-packed, fast-paced, and brutally realistic as it gets, Flynn’s latest page-turner shows readers how it all began. Behind the steely gaze of the nation’s ultimate hero is a young man primed to become an American Assassin.

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