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Barnes & Noble Book Haul!

Hello! I recently started as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, and so far, it's been disastrous to my bank account (and a big change from what I was doing before). Here are the books I picked off the shelves during my first week!

The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

The Camelot Betrayal is the sequel to The Guinevere Deception, which I featured in my Historical Fiction Recommendation post! In the first book, Princess Guinevere goes to Camelot to marry King Arthur. Little does anyone know, Guinevere is a changeling, parading as the true princess to save Arthur from enemies who want him unseated.

In Camelot, where Arthur outlawed magic and Merlin to please his political allies and his people, Guinevere must keep her abilities secret in order to save herself and the young King.

I'm super excited for book two, and was even more excited (and confused) when I saw it on the B&N shelves last week. Technically, it isn't released until tomorrow, November 10th; however, I had my manager check that it was alright to sell early before I bought it. I know release dates are super important for some books, because sometimes the sale numbers prior to that release date aren't counted, so it impacts whether more copies of the books are printed, etc.

If I didn't have prior commitments (i.e. books to review for publishers), I'd dive headfirst into The Camelot Betrayal and figure out what's happening for Arthur and Guinevere at this point!

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Unsurprisingly, I've been in political mode for days (and weeks) now. Now that the election is over, and I can breathe again, I finally picked up Michelle Obama's Becoming. I read an excerpt of this book online awhile back, but the price of it kept me away. Now with my discount, I grabbed Becoming first thing.

Michelle Obama is someone I really look up to. We're both from Illinois and grew up with a lot to overcome to become who we want(ed) to be. She went on to accomplish things I could only imagine, and she did it with strength and poise. She's who I think of when someone says "First Lady." I think she embodies what this country should strive for.

This autobiography tells the story of her childhood, her parents, her education, meeting Barack, and becoming the First Lady of the United States. From what I read in the excerpt, Michelle Obama is a born story-teller. Her writing and her history are captivating, and I'm eager to learn more about how she became the person she is today.

The Witch Hunter by Max Seeck

This is one of B&N's monthly picks for November! Max Seeck is a debut Finnish author, (who my coworker says is "along the lines of Stieg Larsson"). The Witch Hunter is a mystery that follows a detective as she hunts down the perpetrator of multiple gruesome murders, only to discover that 1) the murders are following the story of a best-selling novel, 2) the first victim is the author's wife, and 3) there's more than one murderer.

Detective Jessica Niemi is following the trail of multiple ritual sacrifices, piecing all the parts together to track down the clan of witches before they take their next victim.

This book appealed to me because of the author aspect! The name of the book within this books is also The Witch Hunter, so I'm curious to know how and why the murders begin copying the murders in the fake book. It's a very meta concept (especially with naming the real-world book The Witch Hunter as well), but I think it makes it multi-layered and brings so much into the overall idea!

When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann

When Time Stopped is a historical nonfiction book that tells the story of the author discovering her family's history. The author grew up in Venezuela, knowing nothing about her father's life prior to him moving there and starting a successful business. In fact, she didn't even know they were Jewish.

When her father died, Ariana inherited a hidden box filled with letters, diary entries, and memorabilia that painted the history of an entire family she never knew about. Grieving the death of her father, Ariana discovered the horror he faced in his life, and the lives of family he never spoke about but never forgot. Out of thirty-four family members in Czechoslovakia prior to WWII, twenty-five were murdered by the Nazis. The rest? Only the author and her box of history can say.

When Time Stopped is about legacy, discovery, war, and family. Through putting together this book, Neumann finally gives her ancestors a place in history, and she also begins to understand the war her father faced every day.

WWII has always called to me, because my grandparents lived through it and lost family when the Russian invaded. My Oma, who I didn't really know but who was close with my mother, left Germany with her husband and daughters soon after the war, and my Opa washed almost every bit of German from their culture, assimilating entirely into the U.S., too afraid to be different and be ostracized after WWII.

I've never been able to find the family that survived in Germany, so Neumann's story calls to me. Her father, who let his own story remain untold, kept safe the stories of his family, giving his daughter the chance to one day name them all.


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