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Honeybeebooks

Honeybeebooks

Joined January 2019

Reading is elementary.
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Honeybeebooks
Firekeeper's Daughter | Angeline Boulley
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Pickpick

This novel lived up to the rave reviews! Daunis Fontaine is a whip-smart, gifted hockey player excited to begin college. As she journeys to health despite recent personal tragedy her Ojibwe community becomes the center of an FBI investigation of a new dangerous drug. To help her community, Daunis agrees to help the FBI. Her snooping brings danger close and Daunis will be changed immeasurably by the end. Unpredictable with an emotional punch! 5⭐️s

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Honeybeebooks
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As Prince burst upon the music scene, Nick Hornby was smitten. Prince was a prolific creative genius & forged his own path in the industry. As a super fan of Prince, Hornby was struck by the similarities between him & another favorite creative, Dickens. Dickens wrote many of his best works under a stringent serial format that yielded thousands of words & hundreds of pages with little time for editing. Both had a particular genius. Nerdy fun 4+⭐️s.

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Honeybeebooks
The Holiday Switch | Tif Marcelo
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Wrapped this up at the end of the year and am finally reviewing it. Good thing I didn‘t make timely Litsy posts a resolution! This was just fun, although the title is misleading. The “switch” is phones, not bodies, although for high-achieving Lily and secretive Teddy, losing their phone may be scarier. Frustrated first impressions turn into friendship as Lila and Teddy explore Holly NY the setting of the BEST MOVIE EVER! 3⭐️for teen love.

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Honeybeebooks
An Angel for Christmas | Heather Graham
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Mehso-so

One of two holiday themed books I read last year and I am finally finding a few minutes to review. After reading 2/3 of this I realized I had already read it. 🙃 I like Heather Graham but this was different then her usual work. It was underwhelming. It had a sweet inspirational plot but it felt contrived. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
The House on Mango Street | Sandra Cisneros
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I don‘t know how I missed this when it was first published! Sandra Cisneros had me at the introduction of this 25th anniversary edition. Beautifully written, at times funny and poignant, these essays provided a glimpse of a beautiful soul striving to be and be understood. I loved it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
Captive | Iris Johansen
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Solid entry in the series, although it is a bit of a misnomer, Eve Duncan is only mentioned in passing. It does have Jane, Caleb and MacDuff and they always bring out the sass in each other. This time Caleb is the target with Jane the unlucky afterthought. The stakes are high as Jane learns there is a greater reason to stay safe. Throw in a Cira and Fiona mystery and there is enough to keep the gang busy. Three plus ⭐️s for a fast fun ride.

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Honeybeebooks
The House on Mango Street | Sandra Cisneros
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“You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky,…”

Loving this work by Sandra Cisneros.

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Honeybeebooks
The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel | Diane Setterfield
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A celebrated author, Vida Winter, decides it is finally time to tell the true story of her life. She selects Margaret Lea, a young biographer to tell her story. Ms. Winter‘s tale slowly unfolds, but as each chapter is told and secrets are revealed the greater mystery remains. I enjoyed the book but I was left a little dissatisfied.Three ⭐️‘s for an atmospheric, quirky and definitely strange tale.

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Honeybeebooks
The Silent Patient | Alex Michaelides
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Alicia killed her husband. She refuses to defend her self. Her only response is a painted self-portrait entitled Alcestis. Is the myth of a woman that died in her husband‘s place a key to solving the mystery? Theo is a psychotherapist intent on unlocking the secret to Alicia‘s silence. Michaelides‘ debut is an interesting take on the genre. Problems with the narrative can be overlooked. 3 of 5 ⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
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It was a gift to learn about Dara‘s journey as a naturalist. His love of the natural world, teaching others and protecting the planet is profound. His willingness to share his challenges in this journey is impactful. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️+ out of 5

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Honeybeebooks
A Face to Die For | Iris Johansen
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Riley Smith convinces Eve to do a reconstruction on a woman purported to be Helen of Troy. Eve agrees in the hope to finally have the help she and Joe need to take down a powerful enemy. With this set up, cue a wealthy partner with a particular skill set for Riley, a ruthless adversary and a number of challenges to locate, reconstruct and keep the skull safe. Always 💕 Eve & Joe. Liked Riley & Cade. Novel plot with the Helen 📐. ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

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Honeybeebooks
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Panpan

This was almost a DNF but I held on since it was a short listen. Maude is on a trip to Africa but on the way she reminisces about a number of recent and past seeming mishaps in which she has been involved. Even on this trip there is a surprising incident. The story then turns and Maude decides to do some good. Redemption perhaps? It certainly isn‘t justice. Just meh and 2 ⭐️out of 5.

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Honeybeebooks
The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
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Books unite us. Censorship divides us.

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Honeybeebooks
The Case for Jamie | Brittany Cavallaro
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A year has passed since the death of August. Jamie is at school, struggling with PTSD as a new threat looms. Charlotte is staying clean, hiding out and tracking Lucien Moriarty. This time Moriarity makes it personal and the intrepid teens need to join forces just to survive. This installment in the series is an improvement from the last. Darkly emotive with an opaque plot but the duo‘s intense relationship is worth it. It is a pick with 4 of 5 ⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
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Funny, irreverent, change that; funny, reverent (towards BC and his parts at least) look at fandom. For some, an irrepressible love of something/one can bring unexpected joy. The object of Carvan‘s obsession is B. Cumberbatch. (Full disclosure: I am part of the BC as Sherlock fandom.) Taken aback by her fall into obsession, Carvan looks into the science and realizes it is OK to adore from afar. But let‘s be real. It is all about Benedict. ⭐️⭐️⭐️+

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Honeybeebooks
The Book of Lost Names | Kristin Harmel
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Another book club read. Each year we read a WWII novel and almost without exception it leads to a great discussion. The Book of Lost Names is inspired by real heroes of the war that put their talents to work creating new identities and documents for people targeted by the Nazis. Eva and Remy fall in love whilst in the French resistance. Decades later, Eva returns to reclaim the book used to track the young children saved by their efforts. 4/5 ⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
Murder on the Red River | Marcie R Rendon
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Renee, “Cash” Blackbear is only, 19 but has already faced a lifetime of trouble. She works driving trucks for farmers in MN/ND. Her friend, Sheriff Wheaton has been the only one to lend a helping hand since she was a child. The body of a man from the Red Lake Reservation is found in a field. With Wheaton‘s blessing, Cash investigates and follows her dreams to solve the case. ⭐️⭐️⭐️+ for a fresh take on the genre.

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Honeybeebooks
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The second title I have read in the series. In all I liked it but it feels a little overdone. Check on mystery with lots of misdirection, quirky characters, trio development with love of family at the center. I did appreciate the post-pandemic storyline, ‘reasonable‘ solutions and dark scientific research. These topics resonated with me long after I finished reading. That may have been the author‘s purpose all along. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for this one.

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Beautifully translated. Maya Abu Al-Hayyat‘s poems are gritty, evocative and heart-wrenching. It took some time to wade through this work as I was often hollowed out reading each poem. ⭐️⭐️⭐️+

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Honeybeebooks
The Long-Shining Waters | Danielle Sosin
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Three women living near the shore of Lake Superior but separated by hundreds of years struggle through grief and loss in this beautifully written novel. The connection each woman and her family has to the lake is subtle and nuanced. Sosin prefers to suggest these connections rather than force them. We drove from Duluth to Copper Harbor while I read this lovely work. Identifying landmarks from the novel along the way added to the fun. ⭐️⭐️⭐️+

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Honeybeebooks
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“The hater resembles the hater and the murderer, the murderer.”

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Honeybeebooks
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“I am therefore they point their rifles at me.” 😢 I first read this line after a shooting. It was another sucker punch.

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Queen of the Tiles | Hanna Alkaf
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What FUN! (4-1-1) Najwa is back for her first Scrabble tournament one year after her best friend died. It has been a year of grief, depression and anxiety, nevertheless Najwa is ready to be Queen of the Tiles. At the tournament it is difficult to tell friends from enemies and Najwa realizes that her friend‘s death may have been more than a terrible accident. Likable characters and nicely paced. I need to build my vocabulary and play a game! 4+⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
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I appreciated this work and the inspiration behind it. It was enlightening to read about the real fear felt by many women choosing to be a part of van life or just exploring the outdoors. I also liked the trail suggestions by individuals contributing to the work. I have not faced the challenges faced by the author and others but I understand a little better now. 3🥾🥾🥾 (boots in lieu of stars)

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Killer View | Roy Johansen
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I am a fan of Iris but have had a mix of reactions when the mother-son duo have written together. Based on the cover it looks like Roy is taking the lead for some of the work. Both Johansen‘s develop interesting female leads and the supporting characters are often nuanced. Jessie is great and I would appreciate understanding Jake Brice better. Overall a fast and diverting read. Yay strong females! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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A Relative Murder | Jude Deveraux
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The “Medlar Three” are back at it. Family secrets past and present are unveiled in the 4th book in the series. The Sheriff leaves town and names Jack deputy. There is a body, a near death and a return from the dead. Whew! Family looms large in this one but it is always nice to visit Lachlan, Sara, Kate and Jack. ⭐️⭐️⭐️+

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Honeybeebooks
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Relatable, fun and endearing. The “switched” plot is familiar but Harms uses it well to spotlight the fears of parents worried they aren‘t enough for their kids. A bit over the top in dramatic details the plot has heart ❤️. Wendy and Celeste are good foils for each other and as anticipated learn to respect and support each other in the difficult work of parenting. Perfect for a few laughs in the summer sun. 4⭐️

8 likes1 stack add
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Honeybeebooks
The Scent Keeper | Erica Bauermeister
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The beginning had a lush fairytale feel to it. The island and its scents were lovingly described in detail but there was a sense of foreboding throughout the text. There is a real perception of anger and disappointment as Emmeline begins to learn the many secrets her father kept from her. The bullying she endures and the love she finds as she sets out to find her mother and herself is noteworthy but feels a bit forced. Overall a good read. 3+⭐️s.

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Honeybeebooks
Big Little Lies | Liane Moriarty
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I didn‘t know what to expect but I thought the novel would be a little soapy with a lot of drama. “Oh calamity!” I was right. It took way too long for me to care what happened at the trivia night. It was a pick in the end because of the relationships. The trio, Madeline, Celeste and Jane were the key female friends but Moriarty also explored parent/child, wife/husband, sibling and frenemies. The last half was mostly worth the wait. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Love this new series. Greer Hogan has left her old life and a traumatic loss behind. Now she is settling in as a small town librarian, but even small towns have secrets. When Greer discovers a body at the library she sets aside her role as a book pimp to channel Trixie Belden and follow the clues to solve the murder. I like the balance of darkness and light in the plot and the protagonist is relatable. A 4 ⭐️ pick. Ready for #2.

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Mehso-so

I love the series but this latest entry was a bit of a mixed bag. Charlotte is still her inimitable self but this case seemed at turns outlandish and deliberately convoluted. I do hope the series continues but it will take some significant maneuvering to tie up the multiple loose ends after this one. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Love the Scooby gang but the plot was over the top.

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The Snow Child | Eowyn Ivey
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I am tired of the cold weather and can‘t picture myself living in Alaska, especially a hundred years ago so I can‘t relate to The Winter Child, but I can still like it. I did appreciate the author‘s love for her home and the characters she created. There was no suspense but the mystery made up for it and the beautiful but austere setting was balanced by the warmth and charm of the family relationships. For a haunting story of love of a child 4⭐️s.

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Honeybeebooks
The The Last of August | Brittany Cavallaro
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Mehso-so

There is much for me to like in the characterizations of Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson. There partnership feels much more like a true partnership and their chemistry adds depth to each of them. Unfortunately, I find the mysteries themselves needlessly complicated and there is little opportunity to follow along with the two sleuths because the author holds back vital information until the reveal. I hope the 3rd is better. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Although I recognized some of the limitations of this work, how could I not be inspired by a teen girl with an impossible gift? After a terrible accident, Ava saves her best friend‘s life but her act is recorded and people begin to demand she heal others despite the personal cost. A tremendous gift becomes an unbearable burden for Ava. How can she use this talent well? What is her responsibility? Beautiful and heartfelt. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
The Thursday Murder Club | Richard Osman
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A sharp, witty murder mystery. A quartet of pensioners study old murder cases at their Thursday meetings in the jigsaw room of their retirement home. After protesting a new addition that will desecrate a cemetery there are suddenly 1, 2 and perhaps 3 contemporary murders to solve. The friendly and forgiving local police need a little assistance from the feisty and charming quartet. Wonderful characters and a rollicking good story for a 4⭐️review.

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Wonderful introduction to Lillian Pentecost, intrepid detective and her apprentice, Willowjean “Will” Parker. With unique skills and a history of success in solving a myriad of cases, the duo is hired to solve the mystery of a wealthy man‘s suicide and his widow‘s murder. It is a smart setup. The characters are unique and the 1940‘s New York setting adds to a lively, twisty story. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

8 likes1 stack add
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Honeybeebooks
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Two generations of female beer brewers: Helen driven to make beer and put her husband‘s family business back on top no matter the cost and her sister, Edith‘s granddaughter, Diana finding stability and financial independence in a craft brewery. The characters are nuanced with Diana as the center and the grandmothers, brewers and extended family adding depth and humor. The plot seemed neglected but a family reconciliation is Minnesota nice. 4⭐️

Prairiegirl_reading I drove to the liquor store to get craft beer while listening to this one. It makes beer so tempting! 11mo
Honeybeebooks I was impressed with the science, finesse and patience required to craft great beer! 11mo
11 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Honeybeebooks
Hell of a Book | Jason Mott
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The first few sentences left me laughing out loud and ready for an insightful and perhaps hopeful tale of a novelist that wrote a Hell of a Book. Instead, it was a heartbreaking reminder of the injustice and injury suffered by many. I was not always ready to hear the truth and trouble of the author and the boy, but Mott‘s storytelling made me linger, listen and learn a little. It is a pick with 4+⭐️. Be ready when you read.

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My first introduction to Margaret Renkl. I was born in the South but have spent most of my life in the Midwest. I have always struggled to understand the many disparate sides of the South and my loved ones that live there. The author reminded me of the complexity and beauty in people and a place. She writes, “Maybe being a Southern writer is only a matter of loving a damaged and damaging place, of loving its flawed and beautiful people…” 4⭐️s

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Hell of a Book | Jason Mott
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"But happy? No....all you can do is hate your past and, by proxy, hate yourself."

8 likes1 stack add
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Honeybeebooks
The Black Cloud | Fred Hoyle
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This one was suggested to me by my daughter. She is a big SF fan, but I didn‘t know what to expect. Often the detailed math and science were way beyond my comprehension. The basic premise of an anomaly turned sentient being threatening the earth has now become common place but I can understand the appeal of this British classic. The dread and helplessness engendered by an outside threat seemed to echo current events. An atmospheric pick. 3+⭐️

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Re: Conservation — “The lowly Tennessee coneflower tells us there is something to be done. It will not be easy, and it will cost money…But it can be done….A flower that for decades was believed to be gone forever now grows in great profusion on what appears to be pure rock. If ever there was a Lazarus flower, this would surely be it—brought back from the dead, thriving in stone.”

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Fruitcake Murders | Ace Collins
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Mehso-so

I like to read a holiday mystery each year. There is nothing like a murder mystery to enjoy on cold quiet winter nights. The fruitcake Murders had a charming lead, Tiffany Clayton, as an intrepid journalist tracking a story just after WWII. Mix in two ex-marines and would be beaus, as well as three murders by fruitcake tin and it was a cozy mystery with some seasonal cheer. It tried to accomplish a lot but not my favorite read in this genre. 3⭐️s

SRWCF Mmmmm....fruitcake! 😋 13mo
Honeybeebooks A seasonal treat and a killer murder weapon! @SRWCF 13mo
SRWCF @Honeybeebooks 🤣 Bon Appétit! 13mo
5 likes3 comments
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Honeybeebooks
A Study in Charlotte | Brittany Cavallaro
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Last read of 2021! I love most iterations of Holmes and a Charlotte is particularly appealing. This Charlotte and Watson are teenagers with adult vices and problems. I did need to set my usual credulousness aside to accept these behaviors and enjoy the story. Cue boarding school, fast friendship, a murder mystery and our intrepid H & W in peril. Success and survival are in doubt until the end. I 😍it. 2022 may be the year of YA. 4+⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
High Stakes | Iris Johansen
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Mehso-so

I read every suspense novel by Johansen, unfortunately I am less and less engaged with each subsequent title. I was mesmerized by Eve in Face of Deception so I have hung on but I may need to take a break. I had a hard time connecting to the characters and the ongoing themes of abuse and slavery are a turn off. Johansson does suspense well but villains that are merely beasts makes me wish their end would come more quickly. 2+⭐️

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Black Beauty | Anna Sewell
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Mehso-so

This pretty little edition of Black Beauty was given to me as a gift. I loved The Black Stallion as a child but could never get through BB or National Velvet. I bailed a few times on this one too and finally switched to audio to finish it. Much easier to believe in a horse that spoke such proper English that way! Definitely little to uplift your spirit. Much of it was just a bummer. It‘s a classic but not for me. 3⭐️s

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Knowing what was to come made this a challenging read. It was interesting to learn more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s family, beliefs and theological writings. Reading the horrors of the Third Reich never gets easier. It was enlightening to learn about the resistance and disheartening to realize that their plots failed so the regime did not fall sooner. Bonhoeffer‘s impact on Christian theology and a believer‘s place in the world is undeniable. 4⭐️s

Jonathanw That was a good read, just got “Letters from Prison”. Next in the read list. I heard the original biography by his long time friend Bethge. Is even better read. 13mo
Honeybeebooks I am definitely interested in reading some of Bonhoeffer‘s works. I might need to tackle the biography by Bethge too. 13mo
4 likes2 comments
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“We will have to move through a very deep valley, I believe much deeper than we can sense now, before we are able to ascend the other side again. The main thing is that we let ourselves be led entirely and not resist and become impatient. Then it will all go right.” page 374

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Quiet, stoic, sturdy are the words that come to mind about these stories set in southwestern Minnesota. Snow and ice can hide unknown depths as can reticence and mild despair. I loved some of the imagery in “Beneath my skin like honey” and “Blue Snow.” I wish there had been more joy woven through these interconnected stories. 3+⭐️

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Mehso-so

Monsieur Perdu owns a floating literary apothecary where he dispenses books to mend souls. It is a lovely premise and the novel is filled with beautiful language and themes but it is achingly slow especially at the beginning. When Perdu finally realizes that he has lost 20 years of his life due to a misunderstanding, he begins a journey to rediscover himself. The friends and family he finds on that trip make it a worthwhile read in the end.