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Bookboss

Bookboss

Joined May 2016

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Bookboss
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All my library holds came in at once!

Suet624 Gah! And 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2d
LiteraryinLawrence Eeee! Which to read first?? 2d
40 likes2 comments
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Bookboss
Nuclear War: A Scenario | Annie Jacobsen
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Jacobsen takes us through a scenario of the USA response to a nuclear attack. As she tells the story, she details the research she has done into the USA‘s defenses and plans for counterattacks. She includes sidebars that explain the history of policies and procedures. She includes a section of notes and an extensive bibliography. I would like to do more research into the accuracy of her information, but she is convincing. This book is terrifying.

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Bookboss
Horror Movie | Paul Tremblay
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In the 90s, a group of young filmmakers set out to make a Horror Movie. Due to problems on the set, the film never gets released, and gets a reputation for being cursed. Years later, one of the actors is offered a part in a reboot of the film. Tremblay alters between timelines as well as between prose and sections of the original movie script. While this structure works for creating suspense, it didn‘t round out the characters. Still, very creepy.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 4w
37 likes1 comment
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Bookboss
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In most short story collections, a couple of the stories are great, most are good, and a few are disappointing. Not Uncle Stevie‘s stories! Every single story had me absorbed and racing to get to the ending. I loved all of the stories!

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Bookboss
The Reformatory | Tananarive Due
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This horror novel is set in a haunted reformatory in Florida in the 1950s. The ghosts in the reformatory are nowhere near as scary as the people running the place. The racism and hatred in this book left me breathless. The author includes references to historical people and cases, which had me looking up the true stories. The characters are well-rounded and the writing is propulsive. I am looking forward to reading more of this author‘s work.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 1mo
33 likes1 comment
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Brotherless Night: A Novel | V. V. Ganeshananthan
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This is on the Women‘s Prize shortlist, and won the Carol Sheilds Prize for Fiction. The story traces a family through the Sri Lankan Civil War. The setting is immersive and terrifying, the characters are well-drawn and interesting, and the language is clear yet descriptive. I finished this days ago, and I am still thinking about it and searching for more information about Sri Lanka. Unforgettable.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
BkClubCare Oh, sweet kitty 2mo
Bookboss Thank you! 2mo
44 likes3 comments
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Bookboss
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I love book mail!

30 likes1 stack add
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Bookboss
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When I was a kid in the 70s I used to daydream about bringing the characters from the Little House on the Prairie books into the modern day. This book reminded me of those daydreams. An agent with the Ministry is assigned the task of watching a polar explorer from 1847 and acclimating him to modern London. This is a time travel love story, and it is compelling and enjoyable.

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Bookboss
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My library holds came in! Where should I start?

SamAnne Great Divide is at the top of my list! 2mo
Bookboss @SamAnne It looks fabulous! 2mo
41 likes2 comments
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Bookboss
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Happy Independent Bookstore Day! I visited four bookstores and managed to limit myself to one book per store!

38 likes1 stack add
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Bookboss
James: A Novel | Percival Everett
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I purchased Everett‘s novel The Trees at Ann Patchett‘s bookstore in Nashville, and I loved it. Last year I went to Patchett‘s book signing for Tom Lake, and she told the audience that they had to watch out for Everett‘s next book, James. I preordered a copy from her bookstore, and I believe this novel will be at the top of my best books of 2024 list. Everett‘s retelling of Huckleberry Finn from the perspective of James is a modern classic.

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Bookboss
Dune | Frank Herbert
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I first read Dune in high school. I remember that I enjoyed the strong female characters, the world building, and the sand worms;however, I was bored with the political and religious elements. Reading it over 40 years later, I am struck by how relevant the political and religious elements are today. I plan to read at least the next two or three in the series.

MaGoose I've never read this book. I guess I need to correct that at some point. 3mo
39 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Bookboss
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This book shifts between two time periods: Malaya is 1935 and in 1945. The story follows a family living through the Japanese occupation of Malaya. The brutal horrors of war on civilian populations are fully described, so this is not a book for sensitive readers. I was somewhat disappointed in the writing. At times I would have preferred more nuance and subtlety.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 6mo
39 likes1 comment
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North Woods | Daniel Mason
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After reading many reviews, I borrowed this book from the library twice and returned it unread. I bought the ebook and tried again. I am so glad I did! This story of a house and its owners through the years surprised me. It was much darker and stranger than I had expected. The reviews praised the excellent writing, so I didn‘t expect much plot. Not only is the writing brilliant, but the plot, characters and setting are fascinating and compelling.

BarbaraBB Great review! 6mo
Bookboss Thank you! 6mo
Reggie I was on my first break at work when I read the part where Mary kills Alice with the axe and I went back to work with my mouth open and just shocked thinking ohhh this happens in here???!!!! lol great review! 6mo
Bookboss Thank you! This book was fabulous! 6mo
Suet624 Yes to all of this. 6mo
42 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Pickpick

This story of a girl possessed by a demon was a re-read for me. I came across a documentary on the making of the movie, and decided that I needed to visit the novel again. It is an excellent exploration of the faithful and the secular, of grief and guilt, and of good and evil. Most remember the shocking and gruesome bits of the film, but forget the careful building of suspense of the book. This book is not for everyone, but it is well done.

AmyG I read this as a kid and loved it. 6mo
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Bookboss
In Memoriam | Alice Winn
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This is a touching love story of Gaunt and Elwood, two young men who leave school to join the army during WWI. The battle scenes are heartbreaking, vivid and horrific. Some of the scenes reminded me of WWI poetry, and in the author‘s note Winn gives credit to all of the poems and books that she used when writing the novel. I did feel that the story turned a bit melodramatic at times, but overall the book is wonderful.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 6mo
Leftcoastzen Kitty!🐈‍⬛ 👏 6mo
38 likes2 comments
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Bookboss
Real Tigers | Mick Herron
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Real Tigers is the third in the Slough House series, and it does not disappoint. I love these characters, and I enjoy spending time with them. The TV series is excellent, and I can watch the third season now that I have read the third book! I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator is superb.

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Bookboss
Prophet Song | Paul Lynch
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I read this because it won the Booker Prize, and I had been expecting The Bee Sting, which I loved, to win. I also love this. It deserves the award. Prophet Song is devastating, heart-wrenching, and terrifying. The language conveys the relentless claustrophobia of the situation. In a near-future Ireland an autocratic regime is challenged, and civil war erupts. A woman with four children and an elderly father has to survive the violence. Brilliant.

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The September House | Carissa Orlando
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This horror novel about a haunted house that goes into overdrive every September is one of the best haunted house books I have ever read. Orlando doesn‘t just provide tension and dread, but she frames it in a larger observation of abuse and relationships. The story was riveting, and the characters were well-developed. I listened to the audio, and looked around for things to do so I could have an excuse to listen. Warning for violence, gore, abuse.

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Bookboss
I Will Find You | Harlan Coben
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I haven‘t read a book by Harlan Coben in a long time. I raced through this fast-paced thriller and remembered what I loved and what I didn‘t love about Coben‘s books. This story is a superb example of plot and suspense. Even though the plot is far-fetched, it is compelling. This is not a book for character development, grand themes, or exquisite language. It is sheer escapist entertainment, and it is excellent in that that regard.

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Eastbound | Maylis de Kerangal
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A woman hides a Russian soldier in her train compartment so that he can avoid military service. This is a novella focused on language more than plot. The descriptions were interesting, but I struggled to understand why the book has garnered so much acclaim. Perhaps I need to read it again.

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Bookboss
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When Sally Diamond‘s father tells her to throw him out with the trash after he dies, she does exactly that. We learn that Sally was adopted after she suffered a childhood trauma, and that she has no memories before the age of seven. Her behavior and understanding of the world has been altered by this trauma. This thriller is compelling, but also substantial in its topics of trauma, grief, friendship, and forgiveness. Excellent.

37 likes1 stack add
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Learned by Heart | Emma Donoghue
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I love Emma Donoghue‘s prose, and picked this up because it is based on the life of Anne Lister. While the writing is lovely, and the characters well-drawn, I was a bit disappointed. Donoghue focuses her novel almost entirely on the teenage years of the characters. While this will appeal to many, the novel reads as a YA romance. I rarely enjoy YA books, and romance is not one of my favorite genres. It‘s a well-written book, just not for me.

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Bookboss
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This is an excellent account of a man who escaped from Auschwitz, and his determination to warn the world of the genocide. He was positive that once the world was aware, they would put an end to the death camps. He did not account for people‘s unwillingness to believe the unthinkable, or for political maneuvering. This is an important book about the atrocities committed by the Nazis, and the heroism of those who fought them.

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Vaster Wilds | Lauren Groff
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I have a tenuous relationship with Lauren Groff‘s work. I found Fates and Furies to be pretentious and unbelievable, but I loved Matrix. The Vaster Wilds falls somewhere in between. I enjoyed the writing and the story of a girl struggling to survive in the wilderness of colonial America. I didn‘t find anything new or eye-opening thematically. It reminded me of The Island of the Blue Dolphins, which I loved as a child. I will try Groff‘s next work.

SamAnne Good review. I had the same experience with Fates and Furies and Matrix. My library hold just came in for Vaster Wilds and I‘m looking forward to it. 9mo
Suet624 Beautiful photo! 8mo
41 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Bookboss
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When I was a kid, I watched Godzilla movies on Saturday afternoons. I have always had a fondness for these films. I am so excited to read the original novels translated by Shigeru Kayama!

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Bookboss
The Luminous Dead: A Novel | Caitlin Starling
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I thought this would be a science fiction/ horror novel, and because Alien is one of my favorite horror films, I thought I would love this. The Luminous Dead is not a horror novel, and the science fiction elements are light. The book is a claustrophobic psychological suspense novel that takes place in tunnels on another planet. Conversations between a caver and her guide on the surface make up most of the book. It‘s not what I expected.

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Leviathan Falls | James S. A. Corey
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About ten years ago I read Leviathan Wakes, the first in this series. I did not keep up with the subsequent books, but I kept thinking about the characters from the first book. This year the hosts of the podcast Book Reviews Kill decided to read the series. I decided it was time to tackle it as well. Nine books, all of them over 500 pages, and I finished! I loved each book, and I will miss the Rocinate crew!

Bookzombie This series is high in my list to get too. Although I‘m thinking my not until next year. Lol. 10mo
30 likes1 comment
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This Other Eden | Paul Harding
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Paul Harding‘s previous novel, Tinkers, was exquisite. This book has Harding‘s same attention to language and interior life. A group of mixed raced families are forced to leave their homes on an island off the coast of Maine in the early 1900s. This is a fictional account based on the history of Malaga Island. I had no knowledge of this island or it‘s history before picking up this book. The novel explores racism, poverty, family, and education.

44 likes1 stack add
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I had to run to the bookstore to pick this up! Kate Atkinson is an auto-buy author!

Ruthiella Ooh! For me too! 10mo
ErikasMindfulShelf Found this at the library today. 10mo
33 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Bookboss
Lone Women: A Novel | Victor LaValle
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This is an excellent horror story that features a black lone woman staking a claim in 1915 Montana. She carries with her a mysterious burden. The characters, setting, and writing is riveting. It has much to say about women, racism, and relationships. I read most of this book on an airplane, and absolutely enjoyed the ride!

SamAnne This one is so good! 10mo
ReadingOver50 Love this book 10mo
DocBrown Great review! 6mo
46 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Holly: A Novel | Stephen King
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Returned home from vacation yesterday to find this waiting for me in the mail!

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Mouth to Mouth: A Novel | Antoine Wilson
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Two college acquaintances run into each other at an airport, and one decides to tell the other of how he saved a man‘s life. This reminded me of Patricia Highsmith‘s books and Alfred Hitchcock‘s films. The writing is excellent, and the characters are well-developed. I loved it!

Suet624 I really liked this one too. 11mo
Megabooks Me too! 11mo
BarbaraBB And me! 11mo
39 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Whalefall: A Novel | Daniel Kraus
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This was one of my highly anticipated summer reads. A young man while diving is swallowed by a whale. Chapters describing his struggle to get free are interspersed with flashback chapters that describe his relationship with his father. The structure, premise, and pacing were fabulous. I had trouble with the characters and prose. The narrator of the audiobook was quite intense, which may have contributed to my problems. Still, a compelling book.

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Tom Lake: A Novel | Ann Patchett
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I had the pleasure of attending Ann Patchett‘s event and book signing! She is a delightful speaker and a gracious author. I loved the book with its connection to Our Town and its setting in my home state. The novel explores the relationships between parents and children, the challenges of becoming an adult, and friendship.

BkClubCare Yay! 11mo
49 likes1 comment
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The Quiet Tenant | Clemence Michallon
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This is a compelling thriller told from three viewpoints. A victim, a family member, and a potential love interest narrate their relationships with a violent criminal. Although the three narrators sometimes made frustrating choices, they were not unbelievable choices. If you are sensitive to reading about murder or violence this book may not be for you.

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Lone Women: A Novel | Victor LaValle
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Great day at the library!

Chelsea.Poole Ooohh yes it is! 11mo
34 likes1 comment
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Bookboss
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Connie Willis is one of the great science fiction writers of our time. This book is a light-hearted road trip with a found family and a bit of romance. I loved it. Francine goes to Roswell to be the maid of honor at her friend‘s wedding. She is hoping to talk her friend out of marrying a UFO conspiracy theorist. Alas, she is abducted by an alien. Road-trip and shenanigans ensue. It was silly, but adorable and compelling!

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The Weight of Blood | Tiffany D. Jackson
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I taught high school for over twenty years, so I avoid YA unless the book is incredibly popular. I don‘t dislike YA, I just have spent enough time with teens, and I want to read about grownups. I also love Stephen King‘s novels, so when I saw this retelling of Carrie, I had to give it a try. This is an excellent retelling that brings in the topics of race, exclusion, parenting, and bullying. The audiobook is fabulous!

Reggie I really liked this, too. Instead of flat out telling you, she let everything show through the thoughts and interactions of students. I thought it was great. 12mo
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Wow, No Thank You | Samantha Irby
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My first Samantha Irby! I enjoyed her humor, and I was stunned by her openness. She candidly talks about her medical issues, body fluids, and worries. Her voice made her story of hard work and success fresh and engaging. The audiobook was read by the author, which showcased her storytelling abilities.

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Bookboss
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S.A. Cosby does not sacrifice character development for plot. In both Razorblade Tears and his latest novel, he keeps the action and mystery bubbling, yet at the same time creates well- rounded, fascinating characters. This book is a mystery rather than an action adventure like Razorblade Tears, and it contains even more disturbing elements. If you are sensitive to any type of violence or death on the page, this book is not for you.

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Good Night, Irene | Luis Alberto Urrea
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I attended a reading by Urrea a number of years ago, and I found him a compelling, delightful speaker. I loved this novel about the American Red Cross “Doughnut Dollies” during WWII. The story is inspired by the experiences of Urrea‘s mother. My dad served in the army in WWII, and Urrea gets the snappy dialogue just right. He also captures the “We can do it” tone of that generation. The writing is beautiful as always. Loved it.

JamieArc I Heard him speak about this book and do a reading from it, which wasn‘t really a reading because he had it memorized and was performing it. It was pretty wonderful to experience. 13mo
Bookboss He was in a nearby town a few weeks ago. I really wanted to go, but I am a teacher, and it was a school night! 13mo
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Bookboss
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I went on a short road trip to celebrate the end of the school year, and stopped at four independent bookstores! I‘m not sure where to start with this stack!

Ruthiella Excellent haul! 👍 13mo
46 likes1 comment
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Fourth Wing | Rebecca Yarros
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I love book mail!

BekaReid gorgeous edges! 14mo
32 likes1 comment
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House of Leaves | Mark Z Danielewski
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I had a great Independent Bookstore Day! I visited three stores, and purchased five books! Two of the stores were giving away ARCs, so I picked up another two books!

Tonton Great stack! 1y
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Olga Dies Dreaming | Xochitl Gonzalez
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At first I resisted this book because the description made the book sound like a fluffy romance, and that‘s not my genre. The audiobook came available at the library, so I thought I would give it a try. I am glad I did. At it‘s heart, it is a romance, but it is a complicated story with complex characters. It deals with trauma, race, homophobia, sexism, and the messiness of relationships. The narration is superb.

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Dinosaurs | LYDIA. MILLET
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A man walks from New York to Arizona after a bad break-up and moves into a castle-like house. Next door is a house with glass walls, and he becomes friends with the couple and their children who live there. I was worried that the story would turn creepy, but instead it focused on relationships with neighbors, partners, and grief. This is an excellent book that I still think about.

42 likes2 stack adds
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The Unquiet Dead: A Novel | Ausma Zehanat Khan
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This mystery weaves the murder of a wealthy man with the history of the Bosnian War. I am sorry to say that I know little of the war, so I was grateful for the history in the novel. I‘m not sure the mystery element worked. The characters were not as fleshed out as I would have liked, and the two detectives were frustrating. All in all, I liked that this book had me reading other sources for more information on the war.

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Jar of Hearts | Jennifer Hillier
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This thriller begins at the end. Geo has agreed to testify against her boyfriend in the murder of her best friend 14 ago in exchange for a 5 year sentence as an accomplice. She has admitted to helping him hide the body, and for remaining silent. The story goes back and forth in time, and shifts in perspectives. This is a dark book that borders on horror. I wasn‘t interested in all of the parts, but together they paint a stunning portrait of evil.

Reggie Great review. Stacked. 1y
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Bookboss
Nettle & Bone | T. Kingfisher
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I loved T Kingfisher‘s What Moves the Dead, so I was happy to pick this up for the Sword and Laser‘s February book club. Nettle & Bone is a much different book in tone and subject. This is a fairy tale. Although it includes dark and horrific subjects, the overall tone is light. I am impressed that Kingfisher managed to maintain a lighthearted tone without dismissing the darkness and horror.