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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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MallenNC
The Woman on the Ledge | Ruth Mancini
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This book is so good! I‘m about halfway done and all I want to do is read it to find out what in the world is happening. I brought it to work with me in hopes of catching opportunities to read a few more pages!

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MallenNC
Reykjavk: A Crime Story | Ragnar Jonasson, Katrn Jakobsdttir
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this cold case mystery set mostly in 1986. It gave the reader a nice sense of the setting, and it had a couple of surprising twists.

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MallenNC
Girls and Their Horses | Eliza Jane Brazier
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I was a little put off by this title but ended up loving this mystery. It‘s one of those stories where you know someone is dead at the beginning but the author teases out the who and the why as the story comes together. The pacing was very good and it‘s a great look into the horse world.

This is my #BookSpin for June

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MallenNC
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Seeing D-Day commemorations today inspired me to start this audiobook. Oral histories are my favorite way to learn about the past.

23 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
Readathon: Occasional List : Geleentheidslys | Gauteng (South Africa). Education Media Service
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I forgot to report how #20in4 went for me! I didn‘t get to read as much as I‘d hoped but I finished two of these books and made progress on the third one.

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MallenNC
Girls and Their Horses | Eliza Jane Brazier
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My #BookSpin picks for this month don‘t have a lot in common!

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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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Sharing my May #BookSpinBingo card before turning to June! It was a great reading month with 15 books finished and two bingos. My favorites were probably We Are the Brennans and Expiration Dates.

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Fantastic month!!! 2w
MallenNC @TheAromaofBooks Thanks for leading BookSpin every month! It‘s very motivating. 2w
TheAromaofBooks Thank you for playing along with me!!! 💕 2w
23 likes3 comments
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MallenNC
Readathon: Occasional List : Geleentheidslys | Gauteng (South Africa). Education Media Service
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I‘ve been looking for an excuse to focus on reading for a bit! I am off for the weekend so I can get started. My goals are to finish these three books that I‘ve started and maybe to start another one from my June BookSpin. #20in4

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck 😊 2w
23 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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I‘m still hoping to finish at least one more book for May but here‘s my #BookSpin list for June. Looking forward to seeing where our numbers lead my reading!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3w
21 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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I love a graphic memoir. It‘s such a cool way to take in someone‘s story. This was about an American girl‘s changing relationship with her father and step-family in Egypt, told through snapshots of her summer visits. I really enjoyed it.

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MallenNC
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Not a lot of reading today because I was seeing a matinee of The Lion King. It‘s been years since I‘d seen the show and the production was just as impressive as the first time. I love the way it uses puppetry to tell the story.

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MallenNC
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Really enjoyed this Sixth & I event with George Stephanopoulos event for his new book. Sadly I was only there virtually! I am really looking forward to reading this book.

JenReadsAlot I love him and pre-ordered the book! 1mo
MallenNC @JenReadsAlot Same. But I ordered it through this event so it won‘t arrive to me for a little while still. (edited) 1mo
Librarybelle My copy arrived at the library, and I hope to pick it up this weekend. It‘s a very interesting topic. 1mo
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MallenNC @Librarybelle It is. And he said tonight that a lot of it comes from the duty officers who have worked there so it‘s really an inside look. 1mo
Librarybelle Awesome! 1mo
KadaGul I wish I could attend author events like you do!#AuthorEvents 1mo
MallenNC @KadaGul They are a lot of fun! This one was online but it was still enjoyable. 1mo
KadaGul @MallenNC Because of my book club, I have started looking for online book clubs and author-led events organized by local libraries. Keep posting your meets, it gives me hope 🙏. #AuthorEvents 1mo
MallenNC @KadaGul Good luck! I will post when I have another one. 1mo
KadaGul @MallenNC A Big Thanks 🙏, All the way from Windy 🎐City, Chicago. 1mo
26 likes10 comments
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MallenNC
Come and Get It | Kiley Reid
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This was my #BookSpin and I‘m giving it a soft pick. At first I didn‘t like it at all because it took forever to introduce all the characters and I couldn‘t figure out what she was doing with them. The climax of the story is absolutely crazy and I did not expect it at all. I think she‘s trying to make a point about money, power dynamics, and bad choices but it got very messy. I‘m still thinking about it, so that seems worth something.

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MallenNC
Come and Get It | Kiley Reid
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My #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin for May! Getting started ASAP.

Thanks to @TheAromaofBooks again for always organizing this for us!

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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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My final April #BookSpinBingo card: 15 books finished, and 3 bingos! It was a great reading month despite April being the busiest month of the year at work. I think this is mostly thanks to audiobooks and reading while watching baseball on TV. I really enjoyed The Women, First Lie Wins, and Funny Story.

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MallenNC
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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Ready for another #BookSpin even though yet again I can‘t believe a new month is nearly here.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
22 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
Funny Story | Emily Henry
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I got the chance to listen to this one so I went with that even though this wasn‘t on my TBR for the month. It‘s not actually funny, but I enjoyed the story a lot. It‘s got a romance but more than that, the two MCs work on themselves and the ways they‘d been affected by their childhoods as well as their grown-up choices. I also loved the MC‘s job at the library. That‘s always fun to read about.

OriginalCyn620 Good review! This is an auto-buy author for me, so I‘m glad to hear that you liked it! 2mo
MallenNC @OriginalCyn620 I‘ve only read this one and Book Lovers! But I enjoyed them both. 2mo
27 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
First Lie Wins: A Novel | Ashley Elston
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Pickpick

This finally came in for me at the library, and by then I had almost forgotten what I had heard about it. I thought I was a really fun read, especially if you like stories about con artists. There were some interesting twists but what I liked the most was how the MC became a new person for her assignments. Like a lot of Reese‘s picks, I think this would be a fun TV show.

OriginalCyn620 I really need to move this one up to the top of my TBR! 2mo
MallenNC @OriginalCyn620 It was a really quick read! 2mo
26 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
The Women: A Novel | Kristin Hannah
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Believe it or not, this was the first book I‘ve read by Kristin Hannah. I really enjoyed it even though a lot of traumatic things happened. I think she did a great job using one character‘s story to draw attention to the real life experience of women who served as nurses during the Vietnam War and especially how they were treated when they returned. I hope to read more nonfiction on this topic.

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MallenNC
The Princess of Las Vegas | Chris Bohjalian
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This was a fun one for me. It‘s a bit of a slow burn (after starting with a bang). I loved all the Vegas details and the main character‘s job as a Princess Diana impersonator. I was lucky to get to meet the author at my local bookstore recently with @OriginalCyn620 and @Graciouswarriorprincess

MallenNC This was my #BookSpin for April @TheAromaofBooks 2mo
OriginalCyn620 Glad you liked it! Maybe I can get to this one in May. 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
38 likes3 comments
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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. 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
26 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 😻😻😻 2mo
currentlyreadinginCO torties 🤩🤩 2mo
33 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!

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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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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!! 3mo
23 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!! 3mo
17 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!!! 3mo
20 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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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! 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Enjoy!! 4mo
22 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. 4mo
26 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!!! 4mo
24 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!! 4mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I agree!! ❤️💙🤍 4mo
31 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! 4mo
22 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. 4mo
Amiable Such an amazing read! I‘m still thinking about it several months later. 4mo
45 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! 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Enjoy!!! 4mo
MallenNC @OriginalCyn620 That‘s great to hear. I like that author! 4mo
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MallenNC @TheAromaofBooks Thanks! I better get busy reading. 4mo
Megabooks Very interested to read what you think of Cold People! 4mo
37 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!! 5mo
18 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.

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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!!! 5mo
34 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. 5mo
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. 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Hey! I am loving this book but I have a question! Did I miss what happened with Titus and DeLacrain??? 5mo
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. 5mo
38 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.. 5mo
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. 5mo
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. 5mo
MallenNC @Amiable It would make for a fun book club discussion! She definitely had a different upbringing 5mo
34 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. 5mo
Tamra Oh I just loved this novel and Mary Pat! Agreed, very cinematic. (edited) 5mo
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. 5mo
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Tamra @MallenNC yes, very strong willed and speaks her mind. (edited) 5mo
Suet624 Legate knows how to keep you invested in a story. Mary Pat was 🔥 5mo
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: 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 5mo
41 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! 6mo
Amiable Oh, I loved all of them! I hope you do, too. 🤞🏼 6mo
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. 6mo
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MallenNC @Amiable Getting ready to dive in! 6mo
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. 🙂 6mo
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!). 6mo
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! 👏👏👏 6mo
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! 6mo
MallenNC @Amiable Thanks! I want to pay more attention to page count this year to see how it ends up. 6mo
30 likes3 comments