Quote for the Day: January 27th, 2022

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Human beings need loyalty. It does not necessarily produce happiness, and can even be painful, but we all require devotion to something more than ourselves for our lives to be endurable.

Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: January 24th, 2022

Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown, Ph.D., MSW

There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise.

Brené Brown, Ph.D., MSW, Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Today’s quote is especially meaningful to me because I, like so many millions of people all over the country and around the world right now, am stuck in quarantine. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I tested positive for COVID-19 on January 15th. Since then, both of my parents have tested positive as well. I’m grateful to be able to have the time off work to recuperate and to have subordinates who can do the work while I’m not able to, but it’s also put a great deal of financial stress on me and my family because my job doesn’t offer paid sick leave and I have bills to pay and groceries to buy. I’m also extremely grateful that while all three of us are a little the worse for wear, we’re all vaccinated and able to ride out the storm together, at home.

I’m grateful to be able to have the time off work to recuperate and to have subordinates who can do the work while I’m not able to, but it’s also put a great deal of financial stress on me and my family because my job doesn’t offer paid sick leave and I have bills to pay and groceries to buy.

It would be nice if, instead of spending hundreds of billions of dollars each year on defense, the United States would invest more in social infrastructure, on programs that would lift people out of poverty and help them during times of crisis (like, say, a global pandemic). If we’re being honest, the pandemic would already be over (or at the very least would be more manageable) if we could have been paid to stay home while the government built up our healthcare infrastructure and shored up basic social services. It is easy to tell what a society values by what it spends its money on, and by who is authorized to make decisions for the rest of us.

It is easy to tell what a society values by what it spends its money on, and by who is authorized to make decisions for the rest of us.

Instead, we are now in our third year of the pandemic and our government cannot (or will not) even provide clear guidance on testing, quarantining, or living with the after-effects on infection. Instead, we’re thrown bones. We got a measly stimulus payment in March of last year that for most Americans didn’t cover (or barely covered) a month’s rent, and now the government has announced that it will mail out four COVID-19 tests to each household. That’s great, but not for multi-generation or multi-family households which are most likely to be BIPOC. So, just so we’re clear: $1,400 and four tests to be split up among however many people live in your household.

I’m reminded of a scene in Michael Bay’s 1998 doomsday science fiction film Armageddon, where deep-core oil driller Harry Stamper (played by Bruce Willis) is commissioned by NASA to help prevent an asteroid the size of Texas from colliding with Earth. He’s talking with NASA executive Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton) about NASA’s contingency plan should something go wrong:

Harry Stamper: What’s your contingency plan?
Truman: Contingency plan?
Harry: Your backup plan. You gotta have some kind of backup plan, right?
Truman: No, we don’t have a back up plan, this is, uh…
Harry: And this is the best that you-that the government, the U.S. government could come up with? I mean, you’re NASA for crying out loud, you put a man on the moon, you’re geniuses! You’re the guys that’re thinking shit up! I’m sure you got a team of men sitting around somewhere right now just thinking shit up and somebody backing them up! You’re telling me you don’t have a backup plan, that these eight boy scouts right here [gestures to USAF pilots], that is the world’s hope, that’s what you’re telling me?
Truman: Yeah.

We are all Bruce Willis right now shaking our discombobulated heads at the government.

We are all Bruce Willis right now shaking our discombobulated heads at the government. I mean, not to get on my soap box or anything, but what are they truly doing to help us right now? They won’t pass voting rights legislation. They won’t protect a woman’s right to choose from draconian state houses just waiting for Roe v Wade to be overturned (or weakened beyond repair), and they won’t help their most vulnerable citizens through the most dire public health crisis of our time. What are they willing to do? A concerned (and sick) citizen would like to know.

What are they willing to do? A concerned (and sick) citizen would like to know.

Despite all of this, I know that living through COVID-19 has made me a stronger person. It’s also made me grateful to be as privileged as I am with relatively good health and people who love me and can take care of me when I’m sick. I know that my life could have looked very different had just one or two things been shifted by a measure of a couple degrees. I hope that this is over soon. I am tired of people getting sick and dying, of getting sick and staying that way, of losing their jobs and their homes and their loved ones, of an indifferent government ran by charlatans, of a night that refuses to end. But still I rise.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: January 23rd, 2022

The Alchemist (25th Anniversary Edition) by Paulo Coelho

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist (25th Anniversary Edition)

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: January 20th, 2022

Beautiful people spend time discovering what their idea of beauty on this earth is. They know themselves well enough to know what they love.

Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior: A Memoir

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: January 19th, 2022

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (20th Anniversary Edition with a New Letter from Charlie) by Stephen Chbosky

We accept the love we think we deserve.

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (20th Anniversary Edition with a New Letter from Charlie)

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: January 18th, 2022

On My Own by Diane Rehm

I don’t believe in closure. What does it really mean? Does it mean the closing of a door, the locking up of memories, the refusal to allow a flow of consciousness that may involve some measure of grief?

Diane Rehm, On My Own

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: January 16th, 2022

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia: 10th-Anniversary Edition by Elizabeth Gilbert

A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia: 10th-Anniversary Edition

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: January 13th, 2022

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy.

Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Hot Off the Presses: New Book Releases for November 30th, 2021

Ever since I started working in a bookstore, Tuesdays have been my favorite day of the week because that’s when most new releases hit shelves. Now, that’s not a strict rule. For example, James Patterson’s titles almost always come out on Mondays. I guess when you’re the world’s highest-paid author you can grease the wheels a little for a tad more exclusivity than your peers are afforded.

Featured below are eight new titles (with links for purchase included, of course) that are sure to bring loads of delight over the holiday season. If you’re looking for gift ideas, there’s a little something for everyone here: romance, mystery, science fiction, business, personal growth, and more.

Wish You Were Here: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

Wish You Were Here: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Page Count: 336

Synopsis: Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.

Bonus

Check out the free downloadable pdf Book Club Kit available on Jodi Picoult’s website.

Girls of Fate and Fury (Girls of Paper and Fire, #3) (James Patterson Presents) by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Fate and Fury (Girls of Paper and Fire, #3) (James Patterson Presents) by Natasha Ngan

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Page Count: 437

Synopsis: “Don’t struggle, Lei-zhi. It’s time to take you back to the Hidden Palace. You’re going home.

The final pages of Girls of Storm and Shadow brought a jaw-dropping conclusion that had the fates of Lei and Wren hanging in uncertainty. But one thing was certain – the Hidden Palace was the last place that Lei would ever consider home. The trauma and tragedy she suffered behind those opulent walls would plague her forever. She could not be trapped there with the sadistic king again, especially without Wren. The last Lei saw of the girl she loved, Wren was fighting an army of soldiers in a furious battle to the death. With the two girls torn apart and each in terrorizing peril, will they find each other again or have their destinies diverged forever?

Girls of Fate and Fury is the epic conclusion to the “glittering” and “adrenaline-soaked” series by Natasha Ngan, hailed as “a stunning, new talent” for her “beautiful, lush, lyrical” writing.

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown, Ph.D., MSW

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown, Ph.D., MSW

Publisher: Random House

Page Count: 336

Synopsis: In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.

Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown’s singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice.

Brown shares, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”

Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success by Gary Vaynerchuk

Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success by Gary Vaynerchuk

Publisher: Harper Business

Page Count: 224

Synopsis: In his sixth business book, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and investor Gary Vaynerchuk explores the twelve essential emotional skills that are integral to his life—and business—success and provides today’s (and tomorrow’s) leaders with critical tools to acquire and develop these traits.

For decades, leaders have relied on “hard” skills to make smart decisions, while dismissing the importance of emotional intelligence. Soft skills like self-awareness and curiosity aren’t quantifiable; they can’t be measured on a spreadsheet and aren’t taught in B-schools or emphasized in institutions. We’ve been taught that emotional intelligence is a “nice to have” in business, not a requirement. But soft skills can actually accelerate business success, Gary Vaynerchuk argues. For analytical minds, it’s challenging to understand how to get “better” at being self-aware, curious, or empathetic—or even why it’s important to try.

In this wise and practical book, Gary explores the 12 human ingredients that have led to his success and happiness and provides exercises to help you develop these traits yourself. He also shares what the “half” is—that emotional ingredient of leadership he’s weakest at and makes the most effort to improve. Working through the ideas and exercises in the book, he teaches you how to discover your own “halves” and offers insight on how to strengthen them. 

Gary’s secret to success is using these twelve traits in varying mixtures, depending on the situation. But how do we know when to balance patience with ambition? Humility with conviction? Gary provides real-life examples involving common business scenarios to show you how to use them together for optimum results. 

This iconoclastic book will help you refine your ingredients and improve your leadership capabilities. When implemented in the proper situation, these ingredients can help leaders land promotions, retain core employees, move faster than competitors, win the loyalty of customers, and build successful organizations that last.

Gentleman Seeks Bride: A Hazards of Dukes Novel by Megan Frampton

Gentleman Seeks Bride: A Hazards of Dukes Novel by Megan Frampton

Publisher: Avon

Page Count: 362

Synopsis: It’s a well-known fact that when a man is in search of a bride, a good dowry is never a hindrance.

Thomas Sharpe is handsome, well-bred, and desperately in need of a wealthy bride. His father has lost their income, his sister needs looking after, and so to save them all from a life of poverty he travels to London in search of an heiress.

Enter Lady Jane Capel. After her fiancé ended their engagement two years ago, Jane boldly left her parents’ home and moved in with her half-brother Percy. What does one more scandal matter to a family with such a curious reputation? Jane is independent, but not as well versed in life—and love—as she wants. 

The two of them strike a deal: Thomas will show her all there is to know about the world —and intimacy—and Jane will help him find a bride. But the more time they spend together and the closer they get, the two of them soon realize that things aren’t so simple when it comes to men and women…

Nanny Dearest: A Novel by Flora Collins

Nanny Dearest: A Novel by Flora Collins

Publisher: MIRA

Page Count: 336

Synopsis: In this compulsively readable novel of domestic suspense, a young woman takes comfort in reconnecting with her childhood nanny, until she starts to uncover secrets the nanny has been holding for twenty years.

Sue Keller is lost. When her father dies suddenly, she’s orphaned in her mid-twenties, her mother already long gone. Then Sue meets Annie. It’s been twenty years, but Annie could never forget that face. She was Sue’s live-in nanny at their big house upstate, and she loved Sue like she was her own. 

Craving connection and mothering, Sue is only too eager to welcome Annie back into her life; but as they become inseparable once again, Sue starts to uncover the truth about Annie’s unsettling time in the Keller house all those years ago, particularly the manner of her departure—or dismissal. At the same time, she begins to grow increasingly alarmed for the safety of the two new charges currently in Annie’s care. 

Told in alternating points of views—Annie in the mid-’90s and Sue in the present day—this taut novel of suspense will keep readers turning the pages right up to the shocking end.

Bonus

Check out my recent post The Nefarious Nannies Reading List to find readalikes for Flora Collins’s new novel.

Leviathan Falls: The Final Volume in The Expanse by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Falls: The Final Volume in The Expanse by James S.A. Corey

Publisher: Orbit

Page Count: 528

Synopsis: The Laconian Empire has fallen, setting the thirteen hundred solar systems free from the rule of Winston Duarte. But the ancient enemy that killed the gate builders is awake, and the war against our universe has begun again.

In the dead system of Adro, Elvi Okoye leads a desperate scientific mission to understand what the gate builders were and what destroyed them, even if it means compromising herself and the half-alien children who bear the weight of her investigation. Through the wide-flung systems of humanity, Colonel Aliana Tanaka hunts for Duarte’s missing daughter. . . and the shattered emperor himself. And on the Rocinante, James Holden and his crew struggle to build a future for humanity out of the shards and ruins of all that has come before.

As nearly unimaginable forces prepare to annihilate all human life, Holden and a group of unlikely allies discover a last, desperate chance to unite all of humanity, with the promise of a vast galactic civilization free from wars, factions, lies, and secrets if they win.

But the price of victory may be worse than the cost of defeat.

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Page Count: 336

Synopsis: From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand-new pulse-pounding thriller. It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder when three old friends relive an epic ditch day, and it goes horribly—and fatally—wrong.

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day. Type A Ivy lost a student council election to the class clown, and now she has to face the school, humiliated. Heartthrob Mateo is burned out from working two jobs since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up . . . again.

So when the three unexpectedly run into each other, they decide to avoid their problems by ditching. Just the three of them, like old times. Except they’ve barely left the parking lot before they run out of things to say. . .

. . . until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school—and follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse. It turns out Ivy, Mateo, and Cal still have some things in common…like a connection to the dead kid. And they’re all hiding something.

Could it be that their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all?

Note: All synopses in the preceding post came from their respective publishers.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: November 13th, 2021

The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary by Mark Sanborn and John C. Maxwell (Foreword)

…one of the most exciting things about life is that we awake each day with the ability to reinvent ourselves. No matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day. While we can’t deny the struggles and setbacks, neither should we be restrained by them.

Mark Sanborn, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

The more you grow as a person, the more you’ll have to share with others. Think of personal growth as the modeling clay of your reinvention. The more clay you have, the larger and more detailed a sculpture you can create. The more you learn—not abstract knowledge, but practical education—the more raw material you will have to shape your personal work of art.

Mark Sanborn, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

Once again, I’ve cheated. Today, I decided to share two quotes from the same work on the same day. I love The Fred Factor. I don’t normally put a lot of stock in leadership-y books that are basically How to Be an Incognito Republican 101, but The Fred Factor is the real deal. It is insightful, succinct, and free of self-congratulatory pablum. Plus, my name is in the title. What more could you possibly want from a book? The Fred Factor can be purchased wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.