Unfamiliar Fishes

by Sarah Vowell

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

This is another book I picked up for research for our family trip to Hawaii in 2016. I’m already a fan of Vowell, and at this point I’d already done a fair amount of research so I was excited to add Vowell’s perspective. I knew there were certain things I could count on in a Vowell history. 1- She was going to be cutting. 2- She was going to find the ridiculous. 3-She might eviscerate the colonists. I was right on all counts. Read More »

The Song of the Quarkbeast: the Chronicles of Kazam Book Two

by Jasper Fforde

The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde loses no steam with his followup to The Last Dragonslayer. In the last book we discovered a few things. The Mighty Shandar is kind of not a nice person. Jennifer is a berserker. Big Magic is back. Read More »

The Last Dragonslayer: The Chronicles of Kazam Book One

by Jasper Fforde

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

I have a love/love less relationship with Jasper Fforde. One of my favorite books ever Shades of Grey (not to be confused with 50 Shades of Grey) was written by Jasper Fforde. I started out strong with the Thursday Next series, and loved the Nursery Crime series and was fully expecting to read all the books in the Shades of Grey series, only there have been no more books. Read More »

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d

by Alan Bradley

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd by Alan Bradley

If you recall we last left Flavia de Luce on her way back to England after a brief sojourn at a Canadian boarding school. I must admit, I was excited to see where the series would go once Flavia returned. But I am getting ahead of myself. Read More »

Americana: Dispatches from the New Frontier

by Hampton Sides

Americana: Dispatches from the New Frontier by Hampton Sides

I have some go-to non fiction writers that I rely on to provide a variety of real life events or stories that I know will educate, enlighten, entertain, and always be great. Erik Larson, Sarah Vowell, Nathaniel Philbrick, Amy Stewart. And Hampton Sides. It was a happy day when I discovered this man. One thing I LOVE about Sides is that his books are so varied, and still so interesting. There is no better example than Americana. Read More »

Rebel of the Sands

by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Okay, I am warning you right now this is the first book in what looks to be a YA fantasy series so it could go on forever. I didn’t know that when I bought this book. I was hoping for a quick little one off. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) this book was good enough that now I am going to have to continue reading the series. The problems of a person that reads a lot of books… Read More »

Assassination Vacation

by Sarah Vowell

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

I don’t know what it is about the darker moments in US history that people find so fascinating, but perhaps it is that psychological warm blanket of knowing that an awful thing happened while you are safe. I could ponder this all day but you came for a review and a review you are going to get.  Read More »

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins

Full disclosure, this is usually the type of book that I really dislike. The characters are awful, I mean AWFUL. Flawed, and petty, and one dimensional, but for whatever reason I really enjoyed it. Possibly because all the characters are loathable so I wasn’t rooting for or against any of them.  Read More »

Listen, Slowly

by Thanhha Lai

Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai

So, I am not Vietnamese, but I am multi cultural. My mom is Chilean, so I understand what it is to float between two cultures, to be American and something else. I’ve rarely read a book, fiction/non-fiction/YA/Adult that captures so well what it means to embrace the beauty of two different cultures to understand what it means to be a person. Read More »

Hellhound on His Trail: The Electrifying Account of the Largest Manhunt in American History

by Hampton Sides

Hellhound on His Trail: The Electrifying Account of the Largest Manhunt in American History by Hampton Sides

I’m a fan of Hampton Sides, if he writes it, I’m going to read it. (I’m currently reading Amercana: Dispatches from the New Frontier and loving it) I read this book at a challenging time which made it a very heavy read. Read More »

Me Before You

by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Oh, yes I did. Yes I DID pick out a cheesy/romantic book to read. Did I read it in a day? Yes. Did I cry? Yes. How did I fall into this trap, you ask? That is a very interesting question. Read More »

Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii

by James L. Haley

Captive Paradise by James Haley

Way back in the early days of 2016, my husband and I decided that we would do something spectacular for his four week sabbatical rather than the yard work and errands that we’d initially talked about. Then randomly we decided we’d go to Hawaii, and we’d take the kids. I’ve never had a lot of interest in Hawaii, it seemed too touristy, too obvious, too not my kind of island, but once we decided we’d go (and take three kids aged five and under) for 2+ weeks in paradise, I threw myself into research mode. Read More »

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder

by Daniel Stashower

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower

Congrats to Stashower for introducing me to a true crime that I knew next to nothing about. Sometime, somewhere, in some article or book or other I knew that Edgar Allan Poe had based one of his stories on the murder of Mary Rogers, but that is about it. I looked forward to learning a bit more about the whole affair. And MAN, affair it was. Really this book tells two stories. The first is of Edgar Allan Poe, a lonely, kind of ungratious, impetuous writer. The second is of Mary Rogers, a young girl with secrets who happens to get killed and to this day no one knows exactly who did it. I hate to admit it, but the Poe stuff was very secondary and when the story switched to follow him it always took me a couple paragraphs (or pages!) to actually care again. Not a good sign, but overall, I enjoyed the book.

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Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission

by Hampton Sides

Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides

I keep telling you I am going to stop reading books about World War II, and I keep reading books about World War II. I am in that vicious Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop cycle. Apologies again and always, but I love me some World War II books, and spoiler alert, I’ve started reading spy books about that era so you are going to be in for it for a long time. Read More »

The Quickening Maze

by Adam Foulds

The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds

Another Man Booker finalist. I distrust them but keep reading them. The Quickening Maze is an interesting book that I found well written and compelling. Notice I didn’t say it was enjoyable, because I find it hard to enjoy mental illness, and Foulds deftly created a world that indeed felt like a maze. Read More »

Bastards

by Mary Anna King

Bastards by Mary Anna King

I come from a stable home. Two parents who are still together and just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Four kids. A few regular ups and downs but certainly my childhood was filled with a sense of security and well-being if not full of ponies and sweet sixteen parties. My life could not be more different than King’s but I enjoyed reading an account of someone who was able to reconcile a tumultuous childhood and examine it in front of the world. Read More »

Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running

by Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner

Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running by Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner

I used to be am a runner, but until I regain my former running glory, I made the goal to read one running book a month to keep the inspiration alive as I’ve battled through an IT band injury, knee-injury, various pregnancies (okay, only three), and the sleep depravation associated with having three kids 5 and under in my life. Read More »

M is for Malice

by Sue Grafton

M is for Malice by Sue Grafton

It seems like Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone is always getting involved in uncomfortable family dynamics in these books.
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I is for Innocent

by Sue Grafton

I is for Innocent by Sue Grafton

Another of the earlier Kinsey Millhone books. This time has Kinsey picking up mid investigation for a PI who died of a heart attack while working on a civil suit (or did he die of a heart attack… dun dun dun…)  Read More »

Deep Blue

by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

You may have noticed that I’m reading a few more YA books than usual. Guilty. Now that #1 is in pre-school he comes home with all these book orders and I can’t resist. I’ve also noticed that when I graduated from University (Go Cougs!) I shortsightedly got rid of my ‘frivolous’ reads and now that my kids are getting ready for real books I am sad that I gave away all my hardcover Harry Potters… So I’ve been trying to get current on what good middle grade or YA books are out there. Read More »

Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked

by Chris Matthews

Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked by Christ Mathews

No secret. I LOVED Reagan. Loved. Him. Sure I was about a month old when he was elected to office, but he was my first president. I always had an interest (some would say unnatural) in politics. I remember watching the Oliver North trials by choice! Not the average activity of choice for a little kid. Whenever I see that there is a new book out featuring the Reagan presidency, I gobble it up. I was a bit skeptical because Chris Matthews is not well known for fair minded political reporting, but it had REAGAN on the cover so I couldn’t resist.

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The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence

by Stan Lee and Stuart Moore art by Andie Tong

The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence by Stan Lee, Stuart Morre and Andie Tong

I have been looking for books that might interest my son when he gets a bit older. As his interests right now include super heroes, I thought this might be one to check out. I am pleased I did. Read More »

Women of Faith in the Latter Days: Volume One, 1775-1820

edited by Richard E. Turley Jr. and Brittany A. Chapman

Women of Faith Volume One Edited by Richared E. Turley and Brittany A. Chapman

I’d actually read several excerpts of this book and following volumes and had wanted to sit down and read the entire book. I also hope to get to the rest of the volumes when time permits. Read More »

W.A.R.P The Reluctant Assassin: Book 1

Eoin Colfer

W.A.R.P. the Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

YA sci/fi fantasy isn’t always my go to fiction choice. Lately, though, I’ve started reading a bit in order to find things that I’d like to read with my kids once they get bigger, or things that they’ll be able to read when they want to. I am a book buyer. Some say hoarder, but hey, I like books. Read More »

The Liar’s Club

by Mary Karr

the-liars-club-mary-karr

How to review a book of this nature? It is basically like casting judgment on someone’s life and what they have gone through. I’m in a memoir phase lately, which in and of itself is a bit of a surprise. I’ve always maintained that if you write an entire book about yourself you should definitely have done something mildly noteworthy. Is having a crappy childhood, and equally crappy adolescence noteworthy?
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Paper Valentine

by Brenna Yovanoff

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yavanoff

This isn’t the sort of book that I usually pick up, or at least, supernatural YA books don’t always appeal to me, but I was pleased to find that Paper Valentine is no mere YA book.
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Black Chalk

by Christopher J. Yates

Black Chalk by Christopher Yates

So, the tag on this book said, “A new Stephen King, albeit with a British Accent” and I thought. Oh. Gag. I don’t dislike Stephen King, it just isn’t my thing. BUT, my husband had read about this book somewhere and I am always looking for a good new thriller/suspense type book to read so I kept an open mind.  Read More »

The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science

by Douglas Starr

The Killer of Little Shepards by Douglass Starr

I’m sure I’ve talked before about how my husband thinks I am extremely macabre what with my reading of murder books all the time… I can’t help myself. I love history and there is also something about looking at the horror of a murderer and what makes them tick. It is like standing close to a monster, but not getting eaten. Read More »

C is for Corpse

by Sue Grafton

C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton

Yes, back to the BEGINNING of these Sue Grafton books. For those who don’t remember, I am not reading these in any order other than the order that they come into my hands. I think the first of the Alphabet Murder books I read was N is for Noose. I’ve acquired various others along the way. One day I’ll get through all of them, perhaps before she writes Z. Read More »

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 5: The Unmapped Sea

by Maryrose Wood

The incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and the Unmapped Sea by Maryrose Wood

Okay, I’ma ’bout to get nit-picky. Between books four and five they changed the style and design of the cover art which is no surprised as they changed artists. They also went from the deckle edge paper to regular old straight edge paper… UGH. It appears from her website that future releases of the books will have different cover art most likely using the current artist. I am not a huge emoticon user, but let me describe my face right now. I am frowning. My eyebrows are furrowed. Basically, my face is the annoyed emoticon. Read More »