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MallenNC

MallenNC

Joined May 2016

I love mysteries, narrative nonfiction, and reading new authors. Feel free to add me on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1147715-melyssa
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Black Wolf: A Novel by Juan Gmez-Jurado
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MallenNC
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This is the latest book in my favorite detective series, and it did not disappoint. The mystery was complicated and the ongoing story of Maeve‘s personal life moved forward in interesting ways. The mystery was solved but the book also ended in a giant cliffhanger! I can‘t wait for the next one!

This was my #DoubleSpin for April

lazydaizee Looks interesting. 1w
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1w
25 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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MallenNC
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For @dabbe here are my Kate and Pippa. Pippa is the tuxedo in the back and Kate is the tortie. They prefer naps to reading.

CatLass007 😻😻😻 2w
currentlyreadinginCO torties 🤩🤩 2w
31 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
All Her Fault | Andrea Mara
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I thought this was going to be about one thing, but it turned into a lot more (I don‘t want to spoil!) and I really enjoyed it. Some of the twists were kind of crazy but i thought they were earned by the story. I have been enjoying a lot of Irish crime novels lately, and will definitely look for more by this author, who was new to me. This was my #BookSpin for March and I never reviewed it. I wanted to make sure I did!

26 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
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I absolutely loved this memoir. Journalism was my major so I love reporter memoirs. I had put this one off because I thought it was going to be strictly about mothering kids about to leave home. It is about that, and those parts were very engaging, but there‘s also a lot about her work as a journalist. A standout chapter covers her infamous interview with then-Sec. of State Mike Pompeo. I finished the audiobook in two days.

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MallenNC
The Princess of Las Vegas | Chris Bohjalian
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My #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin picks for this month are two very recent releases. I‘m excited to have a chance to read them before something else catches my eye! I‘m especially excited for the Jane Casey — I love her Maeve Kerrigan series.

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Enjoy!! 3w
22 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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Sharing my March #BookSpinBingo results. I finished 10 books, including my BookSpin, and got one bingo. I‘m still working on my double spin, which was a nonfiction book that‘s a slower read. Ready for more reading in April!

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Fantastic month!! 3w
16 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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I reserve the right to change this list before April, but these are the #BookSpinBingo books I‘m planning for next month. I‘m allowing a little flexibility too. Looking forward to seeing everyone else‘s book picks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4w
19 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

This was a fun spy story featuring a woman with amnesia. It starts really well and a some fun twists. It reminded me of the Findlay Donovan books. The audiobook was narrated well too.

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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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My #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin picks for March! I am hoping to dive in to All Her Fault today.

Librarybelle I have The Palace on my to read list and may actually have a #NetGalley copy! Looking forward to your review! 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Enjoy!! 2mo
21 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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I didn‘t get a bingo but February was still a good reading month. Eight books finished. A couple of nonfiction, one romance, the rest mystery/thriller. On to March!

#BookSpinBingo

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MallenNC
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This gets a soft pick from me. I think my expectations were too high based on some of the hype this got. The story is good but for reasons I‘ll spoil in the comments I thought something was missing. The female narrator wasn‘t great either — her voice didn‘t show a lot of emotion.

MallenNC I was annoyed that Ruthie didn‘t find out she was kidnapped until after her parents had died or gotten dementia. There was no real fallout from them doing something terrible. 2mo
25 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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I still plan to use my extra day in February to maybe finish another book, but here‘s my March #BookSpin list! Just thinking that it might feel like spring by the time I make my next book list.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
23 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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I enjoyed this but not quite as much as some of the author‘s other books. What I liked was the unusual reason the two leads meet up — gelato! — and the male MC‘s family and the female MC‘s friendship with her boss. But the whole time just wanted to scream, tell the truth, just tell the truth. I know that would‘ve made for a shorter story, but I didn‘t love that plot device. This was my #BookSpin for February.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I agree!! ❤️💙🤍 2mo
30 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
The Rachel Incident: A novel | Caroline O'Donoghue
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#Two4Tuesday

1. Chocolate or jewelry

2. They‘re a little dysfunctional but I would say Rachel and James in the tagged book are a good example.

Thanks @TheSpineView for the tag. I hadn‘t done one of these in a while!

TheSpineView You're welcome and thanks for playing! 3mo
21 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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This was a re-read for me, prompted by its inclusion on the #AuldLangSpine list I got from @Amiable. I couldn‘t quite get it finished in January! When I read this the first time, even though I knew what would happen, I found myself hoping things would turn out differently on that Memphis balcony. I felt the same again. This is one of the best nonfiction books I‘ve ever read.⬇️

MallenNC Side note: I‘ve visited the Lorraine Motel, which is now a civil rights museum and highly recommend it. The room is just as Dr. King left it, which is very moving. 3mo
Amiable Such an amazing read! I‘m still thinking about it several months later. 3mo
44 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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My #BookSpin picks for this month have a bit of a winter/cold theme. I‘m pretty sure that‘s all these two books have in common. Thanks as always to @TheAromaofBooks for organizing this!

OriginalCyn620 I read A Winter in New York last month and really liked it. Hope you do too! 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Enjoy!!! 3mo
MallenNC @OriginalCyn620 That‘s great to hear. I like that author! 3mo
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MallenNC @TheAromaofBooks Thanks! I better get busy reading. 3mo
Megabooks Very interested to read what you think of Cold People! 3mo
36 likes6 comments
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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My picks for next month! Some carryover from January, some nonfiction, and books that might be fun.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3mo
17 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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Now that I‘ve caught up in my January reviews I can share my #BookSpinBingo card. I got one Bingo and finished 10 books, including my #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin picks. It was a great reading month, especially with the #AuldLangSpine picks I got from @Amiable I will be carrying over a few more of her recommendations to February.

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MallenNC
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I loved The Switch and The No-Show and at first I didn‘t think I was going to enjoy this story. It‘s about two bickering coworkers at a hotel that is on its last legs, and as it went on I grew to like it. I especially liked the quirky hotel setting and the efforts everyone was making to keep it going. O‘Leary writes light fiction that always has a little bit of seriousness added in, and this was the same.

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MallenNC
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I only finished one nonfiction book in January, which is unusual for me. I really enjoyed listening to NPR reporter/host Ari Shapiro‘s memoir. He shares experiences from his early life and his reporting work, along with his sideline as a singer with Pink Martini. As an avid NPR listener, some of these stories were familiar, and it was nice to get more details and his reflections on them. The audiobook is great, as you might guess.

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MallenNC
Between Us: A Novel | Mhairi McFarlane
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I‘ve enjoyed all the Mhairi McFarlane books I‘ve read so far. The story was an interesting one — what do you do when your TV writer boyfriend uses secrets you‘ve shared in his show? Roisin was a good MC and I was happy to spend a few hours in her life.

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MallenNC
Fireworks | Alice Lin
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This is a light pick. I mostly read this because it fit a #PopSugar challenge prompt, but I did like the story of the return of the KPop star next door. It took a while for it to really get started, though, and it ended a little abruptly.

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MallenNC
Malibu Burning | Lee Goldberg
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This author is also a screenwriter and that comes through in all his books. Last year I read all of his Eve Ronin series, and this one features different characters in the same Malibu setting. I still prefer Eve as an MC, but this one was fun too.

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MallenNC
The Deep, Deep Snow | Brian Freeman
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This was a twisty mystery with a resolution I didn‘t expect at all. The story kept me turning pages! A lot of the main characters have secrets or truths that they aren‘t facing, which gave it some layers. I thought the author stretched a little to make the town quirky but those were small annoyances.

27 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
The Postcard | Anne Berest
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This book, which is a fictionalized take on the author‘s family history, was highly recommended last year. I finally got around to reading it, and the story here is even more timely now. There‘s a mystery element to the story that I thought was resolved well. The final lines are haunting.

This was my #DoubleSpin for January

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
33 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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S.A. Cosby is a great writer. I read Razorblade Tears but thought it was a little too violent. It took me longer than usual to finish this one because it was too disturbing to read close to bedtime. I really liked the lead character and his family dynamics. I felt like this had maybe one or two too many things going on but I enjoyed the story overall. This was another pick from my #AuldLangSpine list from @Amiable

Amiable His books are definitely violent, that‘s for sure! I‘m always mesmerized by his ability to write realistic dialogue. I love a book with characters who sound like real people you might know. 3mo
MallenNC @Amiable This one was actually less violent (on page) than Razorblade Tears but the case was more disturbing. And yes, his dialogue is very well done. I am from NC, so his Virginians seemed very real to me. 3mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Hey! I am loving this book but I have a question! Did I miss what happened with Titus and DeLacrain??? 3mo
MallenNC @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks In one of the later chapters Titus tells his brother what happened. It‘s toward the very end. I can tell you but you may not have gotten there yet. 3mo
37 likes4 comments
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MallenNC
The Latecomer | Jean Hanff Korelitz
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Overall I really enjoyed this novel about dysfunctional rich people. It was a lot more in depth than I expected— I thought more of the book would be what the last 1/3 was — so I might have cut a little of it. My main criticism is there was no explanation for why the triplets were so awful to each other. I wanted to toss a couple of them into the sea. I enjoyed this #AuldLangSpine pick from @Amiable

Amiable Funny, I didn't think about the “why“ of the triplets' rocky relationships. Probably because my own family is so dysfunctional with people who hold grudges for years for no discernible reason! It seemed perfectly normal to me. 😄 I just relished the juicy awfulness of them all. What that says about me I'm not sure! 😬I'm glad you found the book worthy of the investment it took -- it is a bit chunky, especially in hardcover.. 3mo
MallenNC @Amiable I know IRL there sometimes isn‘t a reason for dysfunction! In this one I felt like she was implying either that the fourth child could‘ve fixed everything if they‘d been born with the others OR that IVF babies don‘t really bond. So I wanted some introspection I guess. It was fun to read! I like terrible characters in fiction. 3mo
Amiable @MallenNC It's an interesting question to ponder -- if the 4th child had been born with the triplets, would she have been a different person? Less agreeable? I mean, she had the same parents, but she grew up in a different situation and time period. Her personality was more pleasant than the triplets -- more the peacemaker. Discussion for the nature-nurture debate, I guess. 3mo
MallenNC @Amiable It would make for a fun book club discussion! She definitely had a different upbringing 3mo
33 likes4 comments
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MallenNC
Small Mercies | Dennis Lehane
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Mary Pat Fennessy has learned two things from her Boston neighborhood— how to hate and how to fight. This compelling novel follows what happens as Mary Pat tries to find her daughter, and the city deals with the aftermath of suspicious death. It‘s very hard to read the explicit racism in this novel, but it was certainly true of the time and place. Lehane really brings her to life and she‘s a character I know I‘ll keep thinking about. ⬇️

MallenNC I‘ve never read Lehane before but I can see why so much of his work has been made into movies. This was my #BookSpin for January and my first #AuldLangSpine book. 3mo
Tamra Oh I just loved this novel and Mary Pat! Agreed, very cinematic. (edited) 3mo
MallenNC @Tamra I loved that a woman was given the storyline this book has. It‘s much more typical of a male character I think. 3mo
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Tamra @MallenNC yes, very strong willed and speaks her mind. (edited) 3mo
Suet624 Legate knows how to keep you invested in a story. Mary Pat was 🔥 3mo
Amiable I totally agree about the subject matter being tough to read. Lehane‘s writing is so authentic—you feel like these are people you could know. I love his books —if you want to give him another go, I‘d suggest this one that (yes!) was made into a movie: 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 3mo
40 likes1 stack add7 comments
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MallenNC
The Latecomer | Jean Hanff Korelitz
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Not the prettiest picture but here are a few of the #AuldLangSpine choices I picked from @Amiable (there will be a couple more once my library holds come in). I think I‘ll start with the tagged book since it is due back first. Hellhound on His Trail is my copy, and it was quite an adventure to find it on my disorganized shelves!

fredthemoose I really liked The Latecomer and read and enjoyed Hellhound on @Amiable ‘s recommendation. Looks like a great stack! 4mo
Amiable Oh, I loved all of them! I hope you do, too. 🤞🏼 4mo
MallenNC @fredthemoose Hellhound will be a reread for me. It‘s one of my all-time favorite nonfiction books. I‘m looking forward to revisiting it and starting The Latecomer. 4mo
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MallenNC @Amiable Getting ready to dive in! 4mo
Amiable @MallenNC I should have warned you —I hope you don‘t need to like all of the characters in a book? Because these people are all terrible. 😄 But I loved the book nevertheless. 🙂 4mo
MallenNC @Amiable Thanks for the warning but that‘s ok with me. I used to need to “like” characters but now I‘m ok with terrible people and chaos (in books, not in life!). 4mo
30 likes6 comments
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MallenNC
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Litsy is where 125 books read seems average! I finished a book today just in time to get to this nice number. My total is thanks to #BookSpinBingo, audiobooks, and the lack of TV thanks to the Hollywood strikes! Looking forward to another great year of reading.

Ruthiella Awesome! 👏👏👏 4mo
Amiable That‘s an impressive page-count total! I was aiming for 40,000 pages but fell a bit short. Have to increase my chunkster reads this year! 4mo
MallenNC @Amiable Thanks! I want to pay more attention to page count this year to see how it ends up. 4mo
30 likes3 comments
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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Two weeks of vacation made for a great reading month! Finished 15 books and got three bingos. I enjoyed most of these. Standouts were The Rachel Incident, Small Things Like These, and None of This is True. Memory Police, which I read with the #SheSaid group, was outside my comfort zone but I am still thinking about it.

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Fantastic month!! 4mo
17 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
Winter Solstice | Rosamunde Pilcher
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Last book of 2023! I hadn‘t read Pilcher before and didn‘t realize I started with her final novel. It‘s a bit too long and some of the main characters‘ emotional reactions (particularly to deaths) were a bit unreal to me. And two of the side characters are flawed almost to the point of being villains. But despite these issues, I really enjoyed reading this found family story set in Scotland. The ending was quite lovely.

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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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My first #BookSpin list for 2024. Several of these are from the #AuldLangSpine list I got from @Amiable and others are library books that have come in or books that work for the PopSugar reading challenge prompts. Looking forward to another good year of reading starting tomorrow!

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MallenNC
The Rachel Incident: A novel | Caroline O'Donoghue
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This was a very anticipated book for me because I‘d heard great things. I stayed up really late to finish it in one day, so it definitely lived up to the hype. Rachel deals with complicated relationships during a time of chaos in Ireland, when the economy had crashed and there was a lot of struggle. It‘s funny and dramatic, and I loved it. I think it really captures that sense of desperation and confusion.

This was my #BookSpin for December

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
37 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
Untitled | Unknown
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At almost the last minute I finished my #Nonfiction2023 bingo card. I really enjoy nonfiction and appreciate this challenge for helping me prioritize it. Thanks @Riveted_Reader_Melissa for putting this together!

This year was full of memoirs! It‘s funny that I read two books called Tell Me Everything in the same year.

TheBookHippie Well done! 4mo
Amiable Yay! Fabulous job! 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa That is really a cool coincidence! 4mo
29 likes3 comments
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MallenNC
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I am so ready to exploring the #AuldLangSpine list provided by @Amiable I love narrative nonfiction so I‘m excited to choose a few of those. Book 1 is the only one from her list that I‘ve read but it is one of my all-time favorites so I think I‘ll use this as an excuse to revisit it. 4 and 5 are available at my library so I‘ll choose one of them too. The fiction choices that I‘ll start with are 9, 11, & 12, which have been on my radar.

Chelsea.Poole Great list @Amiable !! I am super intrigued by these NF titles! 4mo
Amiable “All the Young Men” was on my 2023 list from @Deblovestoread —it‘s a great read, and I‘m thrilled that it keeps getting passed along via #AuldLangSpine ! 4mo
Amiable And also — “Hellhound” was my favorite book of the year, hands down. Such a phenomenal book! 4mo
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Amiable @Chelsea.Poole Definitely recommended! 4mo
Deblovestoread Such a good book! 4mo
Sapphire Travels with Charlie is one of my all time favorites 4mo
36 likes6 comments
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MallenNC
A Christmas Carol | Charles Dickens
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I really enjoyed Hugh Grant‘s narration of this Christmas classic. I listened to it for the first time last year and decided to do it again this year. I try to read or watch A Christmas Carol in some form every year.

OriginalCyn620 I love this version! Hugh did a great job. 4mo
MallenNC @OriginalCyn620 He really did! He has just the right amount of grumpiness in his voice for it. 4mo
Librarybelle I may have to try this since Hugh Grant reads it! 4mo
MallenNC @Librarybelle Let me know if you do! I wish he narrated more. 4mo
Librarybelle I just added it to my Audible library, so I‘ll listen to it next! 4mo
36 likes5 comments
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MallenNC
The Raging Storm | Ann Cleeves
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I have watched all the TV shows based on Ann Cleeves‘ detective series but I haven‘t read many of them. With this newer series I‘ve stayed caught up with their releases. I enjoy the recurring characters in this series, especially the main detective. You get a lot of their background and inner thoughts. The setting is also well done, and plays a role in the mystery.

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MallenNC
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This was my favorite in this series so far. The mystery was fine, but the best parts were the friendships between the main characters, especially as Elizabeth deals with a sad turn of events. Not even a retired super spy can stop time. I know Osman says he‘s taking a break from this series but I hope it‘s not too long.

Another November read that I‘m catching up reviewing.

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MallenNC
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I‘m catching up on my November reviews. I do not recommend reading this during the festive holiday season.

I‘ve mostly stopped reading true crime but decided to read this one because Polly Klaas‘s case made a lasting impression on Americans of my generation. This books focuses on the investigation and on how mistakes made in this case changed law enforcement procedures. It‘s not easy to read but I thought it was well done.

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MallenNC
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I‘m excited to do another year of #AuldLangSpine hosted by @monalyisha who does a great job matching readers. And I like seeing other people‘s lists too. It‘s a good way to start my 2024 reading off right.

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MallenNC
Making a Scene | Constance Wu
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This is a memoir in essays, so you get glimpse of different parts of her life, including the ups and downs of her Hollywood career. Constance made news a few years ago for seeming ungrateful when her TV show was unexpectedly renewed. Now that she‘s telling her side of the story, that seems more understandable, and is a reflection of how we often see celebs from a distorted lens. This is well written and thoughtful.

TheKidUpstairs Ooh, I didn't know she had a book out. I love her, stacked! 4mo
MallenNC @TheKidUpstairs I knew she had a book but had forgotten until a bookstagramer I follow posted it recently. I hope you enjoy it. 4mo
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MallenNC
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Lisa Jewell is almost always a hit for me. This one may be my favorite now. The title really sets you up for a wild ride and the book delivers. The audiobook is the way to go, I think. I‘m not sure how it reads on the page. And I love Nicola Walker, who does the voice of Alex.

This is my #BookSpin #DoubleSpin for December

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
30 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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I read this b/c it was the book club pick for The Stacks podcast. I thought I knew what had happened in the story until I listened to the podcast episode about the book and I started questioning it. One thing that I‘m certain about is that it was weird to read a book written pre -COVID about pandemic life. She imagined some of the real life response very accurately. I‘m going to read this again someday.

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MallenNC
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I really enjoyed this historical fiction about the future Jacqueline Kennedy‘s time studying abroad in Paris. Though the author does a good job including what is known about this time in Jackie‘s life, it almost didn‘t matter who the main character was because what was most interesting was getting a look at life in post-war Paris.

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MallenNC
Let Us Descend | Jesmyn Ward
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No one needs me to convince them that Jesmyn Ward is a great writer. I don‘t know that I grasped all the literary references in this one but on a sentence level it is excellent.

I listened to the audiobook and it is narrated by the author. I think she did a great job, and it was a good experience hearing her words in her voice.

This was one of the books I read in November.

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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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I just realized I never posted my #BookSpinBingo card from November! I finished 10 books and got one bingo. I need to do reviews for most of these.

Megabooks What did you think of Stamos‘ memoir? Worth a library borrow? 5mo
MallenNC @Megabooks I borrowed it from the library. I thought it was a good celeb memoir. He‘s honest in it about ego issues he had during Full House and how he learned to appreciate that experience and also how he‘s changed since his first marriage. There‘s more Beach Boys and Don Rickles than I personally needed but that‘s part of his personality. I liked his friendship with Bob Saget. 5mo
22 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
The Burnout: A Novel | Sophie Kinsella
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I think I‘ve read all of Sophie Kinsella‘s stand-alone books, and several of the shopaholic series. I enjoyed this one, which has a little depth to go with the rom-com. It would be a fun book to read in January because there‘s a “new year, new you” theme.

24 likes2 stack adds
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MallenNC
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This was a good sequel to The Christmas Bookshop. I‘d love to visit this shop in real life it it existed! Some of the conflicts between the MC and others in the book were a little contrived but I still thought it provided the kind of story I was looking for.

26 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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My almost last minute #BookSpin list. A lot of seasonal reads and a few others I‘d like to read soon-ish. I can‘t believe we‘re at the end of another year.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 5mo
19 likes1 comment