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Lizwarnerpdx

Lizwarnerpdx

Joined April 2019

There's always a book to read. 2020 = 99 books read, 2021 = 90 books read, 2022 = 76 books read
review
Lizwarnerpdx
Spare | Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex
Pickpick

Autobiographies are not my thing. But my husband bought this & it showed up in our shared library, so I read it. It‘s quite interesting and eye opening. Not the best writing, but heartfelt memories. Obviously the book will help find his life, but I also felt he came across as truthful. Really lowered the respect I have for other royal family members. I‘m glad they did what they did to stay safe and take care of themselves.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Mehso-so

I loved the idea of this book: a woman taking a year off to explore America‘s national parks, without the foresight of knowing what 2020/covid/pandemic would bring to things. The story was less about the travel & parks & more about the author‘s struggles with romance/anxiety/life in general. Life is hard and 2020 increases that tenfold, and Emily shares all of it in a real way. Just wasn‘t the story I expected.

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Lizwarnerpdx
No One Knows Us Here | Rebecca Kelley
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When I saw this book was set in Portland I knew I had to read it. Rosemary is in a dead-end job, living with too many roommates, & suddenly needs to take care of her little sister. A fancy, rich tech bro offers her a deal she can‘t refuse. But things don‘t go as expected & rosemary has to deal with the consequences. There‘s some drama, some thrill, some romance..what more do you need.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Metropolis: A Novel | B. A. Shapiro
Pickpick

This was different than The Muralist or The Art Forger. It was set in current times & the artist wasn‘t the main character. The way so many people‘s lives were intertwined throughout each other and the storage unit they were set in was really intriguing. I loved reading how the different storylines found their own endings.

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Lizwarnerpdx
The House of Fortune | Jessie Burton
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It‘s 18 years after The Miniaturist ends and life is about to change again for Nella, Otto, and Thea. Different mistakes, plans, strategies but the same fear, wanting to uphold their reputation & standing. But Thea is a different woman than Nella and will lead this family somewhere else.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Mehso-so

As I‘ve said in other reviews, autobiographies aren‘t my preferred genre. That being said this book was ok but didn‘t stand out for me. I‘ve heard Iliza‘s sets before but, for me, it didn‘t translate into the page and while it was relatable it felt like a long rant.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Mistress of Rome | Kate Quinn
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I‘m used to her more recent work like The Alice Network, but this story of the Roman Empire was a good read. Emperors, royalty, slaves, gladiators…and all the ways their lives are intertwined.

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Lizwarnerpdx
The Miniaturist | Jessie Burton
Pickpick

I read this years ago, but there a ‘sequel‘ out so I wanted to re-familiarize myself with it. So glad I did. It‘s 1680‘s Amsterdam, about a young wife learning the secrets of her new family & a mysterious miniaturist. I hope I get to learn more about the miniaturist in the sequel!

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Lizwarnerpdx
The Sky Below | Susy Flory, Scott Parazynski
Pickpick

Interesting story. This has been in my kindle library forever & I‘m not sure how it got there. It‘s much more autobiography/documentary than story.

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Lizwarnerpdx
The Ragged Edge of Night | Olivia Hawker
Pickpick

A little slow, but a great story about a little German village during WWII. The authors note at the end exposing that this is based on a family member & which parts were true vs adapted for the street was the icing on the cake.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Midnight Sun | Stephenie Meyer
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The first twilight book, but from Edward‘s perspective. It makes me want to re-read twilight and line up the stories. It‘s been years since I read them but I think this filled in some gaps. I wish there were more.

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Lizwarnerpdx
A Passage to India | E. M. Forster
Bailedbailed

Boring.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

This was a quick read and all I can say is: don‘t underestimate teenagers. They love life harder than anyone else, feel all the feels, take all the risks, and mistakes won‘t necessarily ruin their lives.

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Lizwarnerpdx
The Fireman | Joe Hill
Pickpick

This book surprised me. I‘m not sure how it ended up in my kindle library, but I‘m glad it did. I do enjoy a good end-of-the-world pandemic/apocalypse book and the twist in this one was really interesting. I laughed, I cried, and I enjoyed following along with Harper et al.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

The main theme throughout this book is FGM…google it…you‘ll be infuriated that this is a practice still continuing today. As typical Elizabeth George, Lynley, Haversian, Nkata, Deborah & Simon are all part of the story - and quite the journey does this story take you. But, can I just say I wouldn‘t mind a spin-off just Barbara Havers and her personal life? Lo Bianco does make an appearance or two…

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Lizwarnerpdx
Stranded | Sarah Goodwin
Pickpick

The full title of this book says it all: “Stranded: A completely unputdownable psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist”. I could not put this down. While Mandy had a bit unusual upbringing and was a bit awkward, it was so easy to picture myself in her place. How would you handle being stranded on an island with strangers for a year for a reality tv show/social experiment? What about if they all hated you & blamed you for their troubles?

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Lizwarnerpdx
Lost in Arcadia | Sean Gandert
Bailedbailed

I tried, but could not get into this book. The chapters were from different characters point of view, there are a lot of characters, and I‘m not totally sure how the all relate. The story revolves around an online simulated world called Arcadia that everyone seems to be tuned into at all times - which is kind of depressing. I made it 18% before giving up.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

I loved this story. The way Oscar‘s journal entries entertained with present day happenings in Bindu, Aly, & Cullie‘s lives. And their love & three generation relationship is beautiful. This story made me laugh, made me cry, made me frustrated about life…and it was beautiful. Highly recommend.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

WWII, uncertainty in life and love, upper class vs lower class…I liked this book but it was very, very similar to the one I read before it (by the same author). I guess I read them to close together because I noticed so many similarities.. grumpy old ladies, posh grand houses, men away at war… they tended to blend together.

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Lizwarnerpdx
The Victory Garden | Rhys Bowen
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Finding love by chance during war, not knowing who will come back from war or where life will take you. A lot of it is a love story, also a lot on different classes of people, and of course the Great War.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Like Me: A Novel | Hayley Phelan
Pickpick

This was a psychological thriller. The chapters just run on and on. This isn‘t the first book I‘ve read where the character(s) are completely obsessed with their social media brand. I sure hope the world doesn‘t make this a reality. Living in a delusional, narcissistic, egotist way to get all the likes is no way to live.

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Lizwarnerpdx
The Long Shadow | Loretta Proctor
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This book needed more editing, lots of little typos. But otherwise an interesting story following first Dorothy as she heads to Greece as a nurse in the Great War. Then later as her son Andrew heads to Greece to find his way in life. That part of the world has been just trampled by so many, the struggle & strife is so much. But through it all is love, music, and beauty.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Keeper of Enchanted Rooms | Charlie N. Holmberg
Bailedbailed

I don‘t mind magical books, or time travel, or a combination of both…but I had to bail on this one. Just too much magic as part of everyone‘s natural capabilities.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

While I feel this could‘ve used more editing, it was overall an entertaining story. One of those the truth is wilder than you can imagine. The wealth, privilege, scandal, love, deception. A wild ride of a real-life story that happened in the near past.

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Lizwarnerpdx
No Ordinary Thursday | Anoop Judge
Pickpick

A story of Indian Americans and family & societal traditions, tragedies, what real friendship and love are…and so much more.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Mehso-so

I found this a little hard to follow at first with so many different points of view. But the more that I read, the more questions I had. Who do you believe? What is the truth? What really happened? Who did it? If the truth comes out, is it better or worse.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Token Black Girl: A Memoir | Danielle Prescod
Mehso-so

This was a hard read. A lot of it felt like a rant (a well deserved rant). I appreciated the afterword and am thankful that Danielle has been able to do therapy & breakaway from a lot of negativity and self-harm. The fashion industry & beauty culture are extremely unhealthy, and racist, as DP calls out. I hope the movement continues for more diversity, inclusivity, and real-world beauty. I also hope we move away from fast fashion.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

What a beautiful story! There were two different storylines going on - both interesting & full of characters I liked and wanted to know more about - and they finally cross paths in the best way they could. I absolutely loved dancing drome, Sunshine, and the lovely cup of tea she made.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Triumph of the Sun | Wilbur Smith
Bailedbailed

Book #12 in the Courtney family series. Smith makes the transitions between generations pretty seamless- the son takes over when the dad dies & continues on…a lot of repeating storylines/themes. Just the generation, and maybe location, changes. But there‘s gaps/overlaps between family branches that I wish were more clear. I had to bail & will quit this series now because at this point it just feels like it‘s on repeat.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Blue Horizon | Wilbur Smith
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Book #11 in the Courtney series. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Talk about tides turning and changes of fortune…the Courtney‘s ride a loop-de-loop in this adventure.

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Lizwarnerpdx
And Now She's Gone | Rachel Howzell Hall
Pickpick

This book was a bit hard to follow at first, but once I got a handle on who was who it was a thrilling read of private investigation, deceit, betrayal, abuse, etc. the main character was black, in fact many of the characters were, which was a nice change of pace.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Monsoon | Wilbur Smith
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Book #10 in the Courtney series. This one was much more entertaining than the last. Tom, Dorian, and Guy have each had their life take wildly different paths. And when those paths cross is quite interesting. Still very much about seamen and horsemen…the Courtney brothers live a life of adventure as they grow up.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Birds of Prey | Wilbur Smith
Mehso-so

Book #9 in the Courtney family series. This book goes back to the beginning of the Courtney‘s of Africa. All the way to the 1660‘s where Hal has to grow up fast. A lot more of sailing in the seas, religious wars, piracy and not a lot of the African interior. If this was the first book I read in the series I‘d be too bored to continue. But since I know how things are in 200 years I‘m keen to read how the Courtney‘s got there.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

This book had everything: romance, mystery, grief, spooky, beautiful old homes, the French quarter, swamps, family, love, and lies. Charlie starts having visions of dead kids & is trying to help while dealing with her own grief and loss of her son. It is a journey.

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Lizwarnerpdx
A Time to Die | Wilbur Smith
Bailedbailed

Book #8 in the Courtney family series. I was unable to get a digital copy of this anywhere & due to hand issues am not able to hold paperbacks…so instead of reading the whole book I read the plot on Wikipedia. I wish I could‘ve read the entire thing as it sounds interesting.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Golden Fox | Wilbur Smith
Bailedbailed

Book #7 in the Courtney family series. I was unable to get a digital copy of this anywhere & due to hand issues am not able to hold paperbacks…so instead of reading the whole book I read the plot on Wikipedia. I wish I could‘ve read the entire thing as it sounds interesting.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Rage: The Courtney | Wilbur Smith
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Book #6 in the Courtney family series. I read these books first over 20 years ago, and while I still find them enjoyable I am not as naive as I was then. The racism, white elitism, white supremacy, colonialism, etc stand out so much more now. A quote from the last page “There are heroes and there are monsters, but most of us are ordinary mortals caught up in events too turbulent for any of us.”

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Lizwarnerpdx
Power of the Sword | Wilbur Smith
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Book #5 in the Courtney family novels. Move over Centaine, this book is all about the ups and downs of Shasta & Mandred. South Africa is very caught up in all the things surrounding WWII and the two boys are on opposite sides of the spectrum.

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Lizwarnerpdx
The Burning Shore | Wilbur Smith
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Book #4 in the Courtney Family series. This is the book I remember from so many years ago…. It made me fall in love with the landscape of Africa then, and again now. All the variations from the coast to the desert and everything in between. This is about love and loss, and everything between. The timeline is confusing as is michael‘s timeline, but many of these characters were not in the last which was past this one…some major changes are in play.

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Lizwarnerpdx
A Sparrow Falls | Wilbur Smith
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Book #3 in the Courtney Family series. This book is mainly from a non-Courtney point of view, although Mark Ander‘s is close enough to almost be considered family. There is war in this book, but mostly it has to do with the plummeting wildlife and efforts to create a refuge. Along with all the family, political, and romantic drama of course.

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Lizwarnerpdx
The Seed Keeper | Diane Wilson
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I loved learning about the seeds and their history. At the same time, this was a difficult story to read. While it barely scratched the surface on the atrocities whites have done to natives in this country, those it did touch on were really hard. Gave me a lot to think about.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

Book #2 in the Courtney Family novels. This one had a lot of war…I tend to find the descriptions of war maneuvers boring and it felt like half the book was about it. Sean and Garrick‘s lives are still very different, but now they are in the same place and their lives intersect a bit. Michael has grown into a great man, Dirk is spoiled & rotten, and so far Storm seems to live up to her name…but she‘s quite young still.

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Lizwarnerpdx
When the Lion Feeds | Wilbur Smith
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Book #1 in the Courtney Family novels. The series begins in the 1860‘s in South Africa, following twin brothers Sean and Garrick. The two could not be more different and part 1 shows that. Part 2and 3 follow the path that Sean has chosen - to take off to places unknown and explore…gold mining, elephant hunting, and more.

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Lizwarnerpdx
I Must Betray You | Ruta Sepetys
Pickpick

I know very little about the Cold War & iron curtain, but this glimpse into Romania in 1989 was eye opening. Very fast-paced and short chapters made it hard for me to put down. Absolutely riveting. It‘s so hard to imagine how a dictator can pull the wool over their citizens so easily, and sadly it isn‘t. Power & control.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Happy Is on Hiatus | A. C. Arthur
Pickpick

While the main topic was infidelity & divorce, I enjoyed reading about how these strong, resilient black women overcame any obstacles in their path. The Johnson girls were great role models for women to understand that taking care of yourself first, and making sure you are happy, is a top priority. I loved the strong family connection of multi-generational women.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

Such a fun book! Meena inherits an apartment from someone she doesn‘t know. She‘s left little notes to try to figure out the secret of why. I loved learning about the Indian and Indian-American customs & traditions. The characters were fun & that apartment sounds amazing. Highly recommend!

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Lizwarnerpdx
Full | Julia Spiro
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TW I almost quit this book because earring disorders aren‘t my thing. But I kept reading for two reasons: there was just enough mystery to keep me interested (re: social media troll) and because the main character did a bunch of therapy to learn what her triggers were & what memories planted the seeds that led to her disease. I hope I can use this info to not pass body/food insecurities on to my daughter.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

Definitely a beach read. While some of the plot twists were obvious to the reader, the story was entertaining. Maybe a little light on character development etc. but a fun read.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Aloysius X. L. Pendergast: A Mysterious Profile | Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
Pickpick

A very short ‘interview‘ by the authors with info on how they developed Agent Pendergast‘s character as well as a few insights into them, how they met & started working together, & their style. Quite informative & insightful.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Summer Island | Kristin Hannah
Pickpick

Kristin Hannah books always make me cry. But in a good way. She brings real emotions to life. This story of a mother & daughter, estranged for years until now. Lost loves, lost lives, complexities of life and marriage.