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5 Books That Have Been Gifted to Me that I Haven't Had Time to Read

5 Books That Have Been Gifted to Me that I Haven't Had Time to Read

5 Books That Have Been Gifted to Me that I Haven't Had Time to Read

1. The Man Who Made the Movies by Vanda Krefft

HBL Note: The author emailed me a description of this book and asked me if I was interested in reading it - the book sounded right up my ally! As I said in my email response to her inquiry, I love love love reading biographies, especially about those who've contributed to our culture in unique and creative ways. What I failed to account for is my fear of commitment - at 750 pages this book is a big commitment. I will tackle this book some day...until then it is sitting on my shelf as a challenge. I am still so intrigued by the subject and in awe of the research that must have gone into this book.

From the publisher: A riveting story of ambition, greed, and genius unfolding at the dawn of modern America. This landmark biography brings into focus a fascinating brilliant entrepreneur—like Steve Jobs or Walt Disney, a true American visionary—who risked everything to realize his bold dream of a Hollywood empire.

Although a major Hollywood studio still bears William Fox’s name, the man himself has mostly been forgotten by history, even written off as a failure. Now, in this fascinating biography, Vanda Krefft corrects the record, explaining why Fox’s legacy is central to the history of Hollywood.

At the heart of William Fox’s life was the myth of the American Dream. His story intertwines the fate of the nineteenth-century immigrants who flooded into New York, the city’s vibrant and ruthless gilded age history, and the birth of America’s movie industry amid the dawn of the modern era. Drawing on a decade of original research, The Man Who Made the Movies offers a rich, compelling look at a complex man emblematic of his time, one of the most fascinating and formative eras in American history.

Growing up in Lower East Side tenements, the eldest son of impoverished Hungarian immigrants, Fox began selling candy on the street. That entrepreneurial ambition eventually grew one small Brooklyn theater into a $300 million empire of deluxe studios and theaters that rivaled those of Adolph Zukor, Marcus Loew, and the Warner brothers, and launched stars such as Theda Bara. Amid the euphoric roaring twenties, the early movie moguls waged a fierce battle for control of their industry. A fearless risk-taker, Fox won and was hailed as a genius—until a confluence of circumstances, culminating with the 1929 stock market crash, led to his ruin.

2. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

HBL Note: My sister-in-law gave me this book for Christmas. If you haven't heard of Jo Nesbo, you've been living under a rock. This author is hot right now - I can't scroll through Instagram without seeing a handful of Jo Nesbo books. In addition to The Snowman, Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series includes 10 other books plus he has five additional thrillers. 

From the publisher: Inspector Harry Hole tracks a Norwegian serial killer in this installment of Jo Nesbø’s New York Times bestselling series. Now a Major Motion Picture starring Michael Fassbender.

One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy named Jonas wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day.  Inspector Harry Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he’s received. The case deepens when a pattern emerges: over the past decade, eleven women have vanished—all on the day of the first snow. But this is a killer who makes his own rules . . . and he’ll break his pattern just to keep the game interesting, as he draws Harry ever closer into his twisted web. With brilliantly realized characters and hair-raising suspense, international bestselling author Jo Nesbø presents his most chilling case yet—one that will test Harry Hole to the very limits of his sanity.

3. The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

HBL Note: Ashley Gilliam, the Online Marketing Manager from Simon and Schuster (who also sent me The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger) sent this one to me. And because The Choice ended up being one of my favorite books of the year, I am eager to read this one. Ashley has yet to lead me astray. 

From the publisher: A captivating tale of humanity pushed beyond its breaking point, of family and bonds of love forged when everything is lost, and of a heroic young woman who crosses a frozen landscape to find her destiny. This debut novel is written in a post-apocalyptic tradition that spans The Hunger Games and Station Elevenbut blazes its own distinctive path.

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she’s forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.

Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

Simultaneously a heartbreakingly sympathetic portrait of a young woman searching for the answer to who she is meant to be and a frightening vision of a merciless new world in which desperation rules, The Wolves of Winter is enveloping, propulsive, and poignant.

4. Walland and Seeds of Intention by Andrea Thome

HBL Note: The Literary Publicist who sent me these two books found me through the Windy City Blogger network (I miss my Chicago peeps!) She asked if I'd be interested in a "bookish surprise" featuring a Chicago author - um, YES! Then one of my fave book bloggers, The Trendy Reader, featured Walland on Instagram. I'm bummed I haven't been able to review  these, yet. I guess featuring them in my list of books I haven't had time to read is the next best thing.

From the publisher: (Walland) Can broken hearts risk love again? India’s life has always gone according to plan. But when she decides to call off her high-profile wedding and take time off from her network television job, everything turns upside down. A tranquil resort in the moody Smoky Mountains of Tennessee was supposed to be a place she could hide out and lick her wounds. Instead she finds herself questioning everything she ever thought she wanted. Wyatt is a man with scars that run deep. He’s built a careful life for himself, and he has no intention of letting anyone get close to him . . . again. But what happens when two people who are running away from love run right into one another? Will the intense chemistry they feel be enough to overpower their fears? Or will their time together in the Smoky Mountains end with broken hearts?

(Seeds of Intention) Is it more important to have roots, or wings? Garrett Oliver has just settled into his job as heir apparent to one of the most renowned master gardeners in the country. After a difficult few years, he’s found a home and a renewed purpose at a famed resort in the secluded Smoky Mountains. The stars seem to be aligning for Garrett as he plans a future with his college sweetheart and envisions a simple life with her in the mountains of East Tennessee. Willow Armstrong, fresh off a painful breakup, is coming home to Knoxville to care for her ailing father. She finds herself in the right place at the right time, landing a dream job alongside Garrett—as his boss. As they are thrown together by their work, an undeniable magnetism grows between them, despite the fact that Garrett is ready to start a future with someone else. Circumstances persist in drawing them closer, and an unexpected opportunity in Colorado prompts Willow and Garrett to wonder if a life together out west might be beyond anything either of them had dared to imagine.

5. You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart

HBL Note: My Grandma gave this book to me for Christmas. Yep, you read that right...my Grandma. I pretty much have the coolest Grandma in the world, and she'll be the first to tell you that she isn't like "normal" Grandmas. She said she thought of me as soon as she saw it, which I took as a huge compliment: books and cocktails. I'm in.

From the publisher: Mamrie Hart is a drinking star with a Youtube problem. With over a million subscribers to her cult-hit video series “You Deserve a Drink,” Hart has been entertaining viewers with a combination of tasty libations and raunchy puns since 2011. Hart also co-wrote/co-starred in Dirty Thirty and Camp Takotawith Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart.

Finally, Hart has compiled her best drinking stories—and worst hangovers—into one hilarious volume. From the spring break where she and her girlfriends avoided tan lines by staying at an all-male gay nudist resort, to the bachelorette party where she accidentally hired a sixty-year-old meth head to teach the group pole dancing (not to mention the time she lit herself on fire during a Flaming Lips concert), Hart accompanies each story with an original cocktail recipe, ensuring that You Deserve a Drink is as educational as it is entertaining.  
 
With cameos from familiar friends from the YouTube scene and a foreword by Grace Helbig, this glimpse into Hart’s life brings warmth and humor to the woman fans know and love. And for readers who haven’t met Mamrie yet—take a warm-up shot and break out the cocktail shaker: you’re going to need a drink.
 

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