Fredrik Backman’s Beartown series

If you want to read a series about a hockey town that has seen better days set in the forests of Northern Sweden, Frederik Backman has got you covered.

In the first book, Beartown, a sexual assault by beloved hockey player, Kevin, causes unexpected consequences in the hockey obsessed down. It turns out that the victim of the assault is Maya, the daughter of the General Manager of the hockey team, Peter Anderson. Even though Maya knows the rape accusation with tear the town apart, she finally decides to tell her parents a week after it occurred. They are furious and go to the police. The repercussions are wide spread and, to me, infuriating. To find out what happens, you will have to read the book.

Us Against You continues the story of the hockey town rocked by controversy. After the events in Beartown, it looks like the hockey team is going to fold. This makes the former Beartown hockey players who now play for the rival team in Head, very happy.

When a new arrival gives the team hope. With their fastest player, Amat, their lone wolf, Benji, trouble maker, Vidar, and the eager to please Bobo, the team begins to rally. As the final game approaches, not-so-innocent pranks between the two rival town come to a head and a tragedy occurs. The two communities begin to wonder if hockey will ever be the same.

The Winners (due for release in the US on October 4, 2022) is the third and final book. A terrible storm hits both Beartown and Hed, causing the destruction of Hed’s hockey rink. Those in charge of the Beartown hockey rink, offer to let the Hed teams practice at their rink. Of course, the town of Hed takes this as an insult. When a beloved barkeep dies during the storm, her loved ones come together for the funeral. This includes Maya, who went off to music college, Benji, who left town broken, and Amat, the former NHL hopeful who returned a humiliated recluse.

A journalist tries to get to the bottom of corruption within the hockey board of directors, a couple tries to save their marriage, and an angry young boy wants to avenge his sister’s death.

Both towns in this series are filled with interesting and unforgettable characters.

I hope you will read the series, as well as the rest of Mr. Backman’s wonderful books.

Thanks for reading!


Review: Upgrade by Blake Crouch

This was my second Blake Crouch book. I read The Pines several years ago and thought it was a very well-written book. While I enjoy Mr. Crouch’s writing, I hadn’t read any of his other books until Upgrade caught my eye. I have never been a big Sci-Fi reader. I’ve dabbled in it (The Martian, The Pines, and Project Hail Mary) but it is not a genre I seek out. If Mr. Crouch continues writing Sci-Fi that draws me in, I may have to rethink that.

Upgrade tackles the science of genetic engineering. Set in the future, shortly after a miscalculated experiment caused millions to starve, the Gene Protection Agency (GPA) is a CIA-like entity that keeps track of and regulates scientists involved in the study of genes. Logan Ramsay, son of the scientist that caused the “great starvation” is a GPA agent hunting down rogue scientists.

When Logan investigates the location of a suspected gene editing operation that a suspect provided him, his life is changed forever. An explosion of a device causes shrapnel to puncture his hazmat suit and he becomes infected with a virus dispersed by the explosive device.
Once he recovers from his injuries and the virus which caused a high fever and crazy nightmares, Logan believes he is fine, until his body begins to change. He has better concentration, night vision, memory, increased muscle mass, and higher pain tolerance. He basically becomes superhuman. Now, Logan must find out who did this to him and why.

An action-packed pursuit begins, as Logan finds out who he can and can’t trust. His superhuman abilities as well as some of the characters he encounters make for a fast-paced, action-filled, sci-fi mystery.
Make sure you read the epilogue!

The book is scheduled to be released on July 12, 2022. You can pre-order it at your local independent bookstore, like Copperfish Books, at Amazon or your favorite bookstore.

Thanks for reading!

I was provided with an advance reader copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis

I love it when I read an advance copy of a book by an author I’ve never read before and love it. I love it even more when I find out that they have MORE BOOKS for me to read! This is what happened when I received an advance copy of The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Twenty-one year old Lillian Carter has been modeling for artists since she was fifteen. Under her mother’s guidance, she became Angelica, the most sought-after artist model in New York City. When her mother succumbs to the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1919, she is lost. When her landlord’s wife is found murdered with a flirtatious note Lillian sent her husband, she is wanted for questioning. Instead of complying, she runs with hopes to get out to Hollywood to become a movie star.

Lillian stumbles into a job interview for the personal assistant of Miss Helen Frick of the daughter of the infamous industrialist, Henry Clay Frick. She manages to not only get the job but become a valued member of the Frick household. When the patriarch of the family dies, Lillian is caught up in a scandal unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

This book, with it’s many detailed descriptions great art, New York society and it’s landmarks, was an interesting look at how life would be for a young woman with a so called scandalous profession at the time. Flashing back and forth between 1919 and 1966, the book manages to tie up all the missing pieces without being trite.

If you like historical figures and locals mixed with a good fictional story, this book is for you.

The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis is scheduled for publication on January 25, 2022. You can preorder from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent book store.

Thanks for reading.