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Showing posts from 2020

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

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This is a really interesting take on differing perspectives between the narrator and his Pakistani family and friends. They discuss subjects such as politics, religion, and immigration in America and how life is in Pakistan. Some have made a complete break and other cling to their homeland. Billed as a novel, this rings more like a memoir.

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

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I'm a fan of Kevin Kwan because his books are just plain fun to read. He doesn't disappoint in this story of the filthy rich Asians and their unabashed  consumerism. Full of name-dropping and fun little end notes explaining himself, the story moves right along as you follow the main character Lucie, about to make a horrible mistake by marrying the wrong man. It make you want to scream at her and say, "No, not that one!"  Enjoy.

Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals by Becky Mandelbaum

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Ariel's mom, Mona, runs an animal sanctuary outside a small town in Kansas. Ariel hasn't been back home in years but after she learns of a barn fire at the sanctuary, she makes the trip back home to see if she can help. A story about the family baggage we keep close, letting go, and going home again.  A good debut and a quick read.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

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How much can true love endure? Can it endure alcoholism, mental illness, infidelity, cancer, disfigurement to name a few? Ask this question again after you read this engrossing novel. Very good.

Night Train by David Quantick

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Imagine your worst nightmare where you are on a moving train with two others, it is always night, you can't get off and you don't know really who you are. Story or metaphor?  Sharyl this one's for you! Very good!

Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

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Not your ordinary vampire story! A neighbor inserts himself (after the death of his supposed aunt) into the lives of Southern women who have a book club. Their trust among friends and spouses gets tested when the neighbor lady suspects him of being a vampire. A fun read.

End of October by Lawrence Wright

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In light of what is happening in the world today, it may be a bit early in our war against a virus to be reading this novel. Did Wright have a terrible insight or were his publishers just waiting for the right time for this book? Uncanny!

Paladin by David Ignatius

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CIA boss sets Michael Dunne, a talented CIA hacker, up to infiltrate a dark web organization in Europe that produces fake news. Things go wrong and manufactured pictures ruin Dunne's life, both personal and professional. After a stint in jail there is only one road to take. REVENGE.  Good!

Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

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A science fiction novel with post apocalyptic
librarians who search for information and books to digitize and make available to people who need them after most library collections have been destroyed. This group of tough, fighting librarians team up with strong, hunky, mercenaries trying to become free from a cyber company who is in control of most things. Throw in a little romance and let it take you away.
"A mercenary librarians novel."  First in a series. Enjoy

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

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This story opens with the rape and beating of an Hispanic girl out on the oil patch range of Odessa, Texas. The young man who did it gets off because, well, he is a man and it is the 1970s. The first woman who helps the victim is inundated with threatening calls about her testimony against this man. The story touches upon the lives of the 4 different women and  their daughters that live on a particular street in Odessa and their struggle living in that man's world without a voice.  Very good!

Hidden Valley Road: inside the mind of an American family by Robert Kolker

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This is a very readable book on the psychology of schizophrenia. It is a story of the Galvin family who raised 12 children during the 50s thru 70s in Colorado. Out of the 10 boys, 6 developed schizophrenia and were in and out of mental health institutions for many years. The book takes a look at their home life and also delves into the history of the study of schizophrenia and all the controversy surrounding it's explanation. Nature versus nurture.  The Galvin family is the first family to be studied where samples of DNA could be taken from multiple family members to shed light on the possible inherited nature of the disease. Very good!

Falcon Thief : a true tale of adventure, treachery and the hunt for the perfect bird by Joshua Hammer

Smuggling live Falcon eggs on commercial airlines to sell to wealthy Arabians. Who knew it was even a thing!! This true story of a particular smuggler and the English cop who pursues him is very entertaining and enlightening. Obsessed with the birds and their eggs there are those who go to unbelievable lengths to collect them. I recommend this book and if you like it then watch the documentary movie "Poached" (2015).  I think you can find it on Amazon prime video. Enjoy!

Blackwood by Michael Farris Smith

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A dark novel. A dying Mississippi town, a homeless family, a haunted man, missing people, and kudzu everywhere. Smith masterfully weaves a story of hunger and regret and something sinister hidden under the kudzu. A very good quick read!

Highfire by Eoin Colfer

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Knowing that Eoin Colfer has been a very popular children's author for awhile now,  I really didn't know what to expect reading his adult novel "Highfire". Enter, the Mississippi bayou where an ancient dragon lives and goes by the name of Vern. He really just wants to be left alone other than having someone deliver the necessities to him. Then there is a local kid, Squib, who runs up and down the river making deliveries for his legitimate employer and a drug smuggler. But then there is the crooked constable who has the hots for Squib's mother, and who wants to control all the drug traffic on  the river. Well I won't say anymore but you will definitely love the banter between the characters. Honestly it was one of those books that makes you laugh out loud! A just for fun read!

Mountians Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

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A historical novel set in Viet Nam by yes, a Vietnamese author! It is a multi-generational story of the struggles of a North Vietnamese family during the war. I loved it and recommend this book!

First Cut by Judy Melinek & T.J. Mitchell

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This novel is about Dr. Jessie Teska's busy new job as a medical examiner in San Francisco, her busy case loads, and cause of death findings. Jeopardizing her new job and life, she becomes obsessed with the connection of several bodies to a new and deadly drug, a drug dealer, a money laundering scheme  and a co-worker's involvement in it all. I loved all the medical jargon and findings but the graphic descriptions of autopsy is not for everyone.

Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

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"The Unspoken Name" is a new fantasy novel with a strong female character and imaginative places. There are 4 divinities and human-like beings vying for power and the secret to everlasting life no matter the cost.
Action and description keep the reader engaged. Very good.

Half Broke by Ginger Gaffney

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In her memoir, "Half Broke", Gaffney, a horse trainer, recalls getting a call for help from a ranch in Northern New Mexico, where a group of horses have terrified the people charged with their care. Pairing up individuals with horses that also have problems was quite a challenge but was not without its rewards.
Very Good.
An entertaining look at the way horses and troubled humans respond and benefit from each other.

Tenant by Katrine Engberg

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A Danish murder mystery that takes place over the course of one week. Full of many interesting characters, suspects, and that ending we couldn't guess. Good and a quick read!