Show Us Your Books (Sept. 2020): Mysteries, Memoirs, and More (+ Giveaways)

Posted September 8, 2020 by shooting in Book Review / 28 Comments

Somehow it’s already the second Tuesday in September, and that means it’s time for Show Us Your Books, hosted by the awesome Jana and Steph.

If you’re new to these posts, the basic idea is that I’ll share mini reviews of books, links to other book reviews I’ve done, and I’ll share any Instagram photos that I have to go along with various books!!

*All purchase links are affiliate links, so I get a small % of any sale at no extra cost to you – and you’re helping independent bookstores* 

You’re Next by Kylie Schachte

copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

First off, I really enjoyed this mystery and found myself wondering just where it was all leading. However, I have to note that this felt a bit like a sequel (and it’s not). There’s a whole story of Flora finding a dead body and how she launches an investigation on her own and it leads to all sorts of trouble. This happened in the past though. In the present, Flora finds the body of her ex, Ava McQueen, and she’s still determined to investigate.

It took a bit to get the full picture of Flora and her past, but apart from that, I thought You’re Next was an intriguing mystery. There are are a mix of things happening so you get little reveals here and there. I’d be curious to read more about Flora and her investigations! Plus, I really loved her best friend and family (her younger sister and grandpa) and I thought those relationships were written well.

Little Disasters by  Sarah Vaughan

copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own 

Forewarning: if you had a traumatic pregnancy, or are unable to read about any sort of violence toward children, then I would avoid this book. Now, I’m not saying anyone is going to enjoy reading about violence – or the idea of violence – toward children, but I know that’s a personal trigger for some more than others.

Little Disasters was an interesting look about mental health, especially post-partum mental health, and how it’s not always obvious to people. The book follows a few different perspectives throughout, but it’s mostly friends Jess and Liz. Jess had a third child, and she’s not coping well, but all her friends see her as the perfect mom. Liz hasn’t been around as much with this third kid, Betsey, so she assumes Jess is doing okay, until she shows up at the hospital with her baby – who has a battered skull and a non-believable story. This book definitely has some mystery to it as it’s not entirely obvious what actually happened to Betsey or who the real threat is in the situation. I gave this one 4 stars on Goodreads, but it was more of a 3.5 for me.


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Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death by Gyles Brandreth

personal copy; all opinions are my own

This is a six-book series with Oscar Wilde as the main character. I actually read the first two books years ago, so I wanted to re-read these and then continue the series. Unfortunately, I read Ring of Death first when it’s really the second book. Oh well, they can all essentially be read out of order (and this is according to the author who commented on my Instagram post!) so it’s not a big deal, but just FYI. In this book, Oscar Wilde invites a group of friends to a monthly dinner party, and this month, he plays a game called Murder. Everyone writes down who they would most want to murder, place it in a bag, and then the names are read. Of course, this “fun” is ruined when the people on the list begin turning up dead.

This is a really intriguing mystery, and it’s one I would definitely recommend. I love the character of Oscar Wilde (one of my favorite classic authors in general) and how he’s a bit of a Sherlock Holmes in this book. What’s funny is that Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, is also a character in the books – as is Dracula author, Bram Stoker. Despite having read this book before, I didn’t remember who done it, so it was still fun to try and figure out the mystery.

If you’d like to read this book, the American title is Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder. My copy is a British edition, so it has a different title.


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Traitor by Amanda McCrina

copy from publisher; all opinions are my own

Traitor follows Tolya and Solovey, two young men dealing with a war they were essentially forced into. McCrina’s novel shines a light on Polish and Ukrainian soldiers, focusing on an aspect of WWII that I didn’t know anything about. This book definitely gives new meanings to the word “traitor.”

To help promote Traitor, I have a post with my top 5 favorite WWII-era books. You can purchase a copy of Traitor by Amanda McCrina as well!

The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

copy for review; all opinions are my own

I absolutely adore this author’s work. I’m a huge mystery/thriller fan and I think he does it so well. He uses modern styles of detective work, but the book tends to have different twists and turns that I didn’t see coming – or couldn’t quite unravel before the end. The latter is definitely true of The Suicide House. It follows the perspective of various characters – kind of an omniscient point of view- allowing the reader to get the full story, piece by piece.

You can read my full review here.

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

library copy; all opinions are my own

While reading, I realized the book reminds me of a mash-up between With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo and Love & Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford – books about family, curses, first loves, food, and other countries and cultures. Rosa’s family isn’t great at communicating, so while they have this whole curse surrounding them, Rosa doesn’t actually know how it’s affected her mother and Abuela (grandmother), and it’s important for her to know these things. She lives her life under this cloud, of sorts, and yet she doesn’t feel like she can even talk to the people who would know best what that cloud feels like.

You can read my full review here.


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Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

personal copy; all opinions are my own

There was one aspect of the overall story that I saw coming but there were still plenty of revelations that kept me surprised and that’s always fun. ⁣Plus!!! The main character, Sophia, is a lesbian and I’m all for amazing LGBT+ rep! This fantasy novel was full of diverse characters and I loved it!

If you want a chance to win this beautiful copy (with painted edges) then enter on my Instagram by September 12. U.S. only unless you can help with shipping!

You can also purchase your own copy online – minus the fun painted edges, but it’s still a beautiful cover!


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A Paris Year: My Day-To-Day Adventures in the Most Romantic City in the World by Janice MacLeod

personal copy; all opinions are my own

I’ve never been to Paris, but it’s a city I hope to one day visit…and this book makes me even more excited to finally go! A Paris Year is a journal of one year in Janice’s life while living in Paris. It’s more a love letter to the city than anything deeply personal about the author. Going through the year, Janice gives fun facts, shares photographs she took, and watercolors she painted. ⁣It’s a beautiful book!

I highly recommend for bookworms, fans of coffee table-esque books, artists, and fans of Paris. Grab a copy today!

What did you read last month?

I read Don’t Date Rosa Santos earlier this year, but I just recently posted my review. However, I read the rest of these books much more recently, and there were a lot of great ones! Did you see anything new you want to read? Have you already read any of these? Let me know!

Also – don’t forget to enter my two blog hop giveaways (look on the right hand side of the blog). U.S. only and they both end on September 15. Here are the photos of what you could win-

28 responses to “Show Us Your Books (Sept. 2020): Mysteries, Memoirs, and More (+ Giveaways)

  1. I have heard good things about Little Disasters. I’d like to read Cinderella is Dead – going to enter! How do you do those little info boxes for each book?

  2. OOH! What a wonderfully eclectic selection, several of these books really appeal to me; Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death (I’ve read one of the other books in the series, will have to check which one) and Cinderella Is Dead particularly so.

    Felicity Grace Terry recently posted: THINGS IN JARS.
  3. Don’t Date Rosa Santos and Little Disasters both sound interesting. August was a rough reading month for me, but I think I got my groove back!

  4. I haven’t read any of these but so many sound good! I’m especially intrigued by My Paris Year, because I studied French in college and went to Paris–I’ve been wanting to go back ever since!

  5. Oh, the Cinderella book looks good. I love fractured or versions of fairy tales. Always enjoyed teaching fairy tales in the library to my babies. So many of the little ones these days only know the Disney versions!! Need to check this one out. My Paris Year sounds good, too. You find books that are often under the radar. Thank you for sharing!

    • shooting

      Aw, thanks! I try and focus on a mix of books, but it’s something I enjoy and I know not all of my readers love the same genres or age levels, etc.

  6. LOL! I love the idea of the Oscar Wilde series. That’s so neat! I want to read Cinderella is Dead, and that copy is beautiful! I’m just so bad at Instagram I rarely enter those contests unless it is as simple as following and commenting. This is a neat post, I like how you combined your Insta posts. I keep thinking I’m going to do that at least in my monthly wrap-up posts, but forget. Maybe I’ll try to remember for the end of this month for any of my own pictures that I really like.

    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted: Blog Tour Review: Say It Ain’t So (SWAT Generation 2.0 #9)
    • shooting

      I’ve been trying to show my Insta photos on here when I can, because I really like how some turn out. If you ever want to enter an Instagram giveaway, and they make you tag a friend, you’r welcome to tag me. I don’t mind at all!!

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