EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT INDIANS BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK (Young Readers Edition) by Anton Treuer


Publisher: Levine Querido
Release Date: April 6, 2021

“Why are Indians so often imagined rather than understood?”

Ojibwe author and professor Dr. Anton Treuer tackles this question and dozens more in this engaging and informative book, perfect for young readers and adults alike. I learned so much from this book, including Indigenous history and the lives of Natives today. The Q&A format makes the information easily accessible, while the author’s personal writing style will keep readers interested.

There were so many eye-opening parts to this book, covering topics like mascots, stereotypes, sovereignty, blood quantum, and residential boarding schools. A personal story the author shared about his treatment by police after being stopped while driving with his wife really stuck with me. Also, I went to the University of Kansas, and I had no idea about the cemetery and its history at Haskell Indian Nations University, which was just down the street.

I borrowed this book from the library, but I’m planning to get a copy of my own. This would make a wonderful reference guide for social studies classrooms too. โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR by Anne Rivers Siddons


Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: July 3, 2007 โ€” Reprint edition
(First published in 1978)

I’ve seen THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR on so many “Best of Horror” lists, and now I know why. It’s an enthralling blend of Southern gothic fiction and quiet horror. The creepy, slow-build kind that makes you question what’s really going on, something sinister or is your mind playing tricks?

This book was originally published in the 1970s and is set during that time. Colquitt and her husband Walter live in an upscale Atlanta neighborhood. There’s a lot of tennis at the club, parties with the neighbors, and day drinking for these folks. Don’t get me wrong! I liked Colquitt and Walter.

For many years an empty wooded “unbuildable” lot sat next to their house, and that’s how they liked it. Then one day, a talented young architect finds a way to build newlyweds their modern dream home on that lot. Neighbors don’t like it, but what can you do? They welcome the couple into the fold, then have to stand back helplessly while their dream home becomes a nightmare. And this happens over and over, tragedy finding each family that moves in.

“In the moonlight the ice-sheathed trees tossed and tinkled like great crystal hands fingering the sky, weaving and reweaving an incantation over the sweetly sleeping shape of the house next door.”

I greatly enjoyed the author’s haunting, beautiful writing and her flawed & memorable characters. I especially loved trying to figure out that malevolent house and its terrible influence on the occupants & neighbors. This is the first book by Siddons I’ve read, and I understand her other books are more contemporary Southern fiction โ€” probably wonderful, but I so wish she had written more horror like THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR. Fantastic! โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

Check out the different covers over the years, from 1978 to 2007. Such big difference! From horror to mystery/suspense to women’s fiction, maybe? I don’t think the most recent cover fits the story at all!

THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME by Laura Dave


Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 4, 2021

Wow, I loved this book! THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME is an unputdownable twisty suspense novel and family drama that hooked me right away.

Owen and Hannah have only been married a short time when he suddenly disappears. Owen’s last message to Hannah was a note saying, “Protect her,” and she immediately knows he’s referring to his 16-year old daughter, Bailey, whose own mother died when she was very young.

Hannah and her stepdaughter have a chilly relationship, with Bailey wanting nothing to do with her. However, their quest to figure out what happened to Owen and what he’s been hiding begins to change their dynamic.

This is one of the best domestic suspense novels I’ve read, with realistic characters and a believable story. I enjoyed the author’s wonderful, absorbing writing. The last line of the book got me choked up a bit! Highly recommended. โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

๐Ÿ“š Find THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME on Goodreadsย ๐Ÿ“š

THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain


Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Release Date: January 5, 2021

โ˜… BOTM Club Pick โ˜…

Wow! I’ve seen THE PUSH getting a lot of buzz on Instagram, and I can certainly see why. The subject matter is chilling and flat-out tragic, but I couldn’t quit reading.

The story is told in second person, with the narrator being Blythe, and the “you” she’s taking to, her husband, Fox. Blythe’s own mother, and her mother before her, were cold & neglectful. Was it mental illness, or simply a lack of desire to be a mother? Blythe wants to give her new baby, Violet, the love and affection she missed as a child. But, things don’t go as planned, and Blythe soon senses that something is wrong with Violet.

This book tackles the struggles of motherhood, generational trauma, and the “nature versus nurture” debate in a gripping way. My mind kept wrestling over Blythe and Violet’s characters, wondering if there really was something “off,” or whether it was imagined. Either way, what a devastating situation to be in.

THE PUSH is a remarkable debut novel from Ashley Audrain, and she’s definitely going on my auto-buy list! โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

๐Ÿ“š Find THE PUSH on Goodreadsย ๐Ÿ“š