Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Right Swipe

This was an enjoyable novel by Alisha Rai that I picked up off the popular picks shelf in the library.   I didn't really know what to expect other than it was probably related to a dating app in some manner.  I ended up enjoying the book and look forward to reading the next book in the Modern Love series,

Rai created a very strong  female character that has been successful in her professional life but not so much in her personal life.  Her vulnerability is uncovered  as we pregress therough the movel but it is also a wonderful development in her personality as well. 

The book covers some intense topics but in a way that it's too in your face.  They are central to the plot but are not the focus, rather they explain the reasons  Rhiannon and Samson both are the way they are in life and relationships. 

There are some very explicit sexual scenes so if this isn't your cup of tea you may want to skip over them or pass on this novel

The Right Swipe (Modern Love, #1)The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A juicy book that addresses some serious topics. I thought Riad did a great job of addressing sexual harassment and dating woes in a manner that was fitting for a fiction novel. It wasn't too in your face about the issue but did leave you thinking about it and the courage it can take to stand up to improper and immoral behavior. Ra left her character Rhiannon as a strong and successful leader but still had her address the acceptability of being vulnerable and asking for help and support.

The are some very detailed bedroom scenes so this is definavoiitely and adult novel and not for those who prefer to avoid this detail in their reading choices

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book  #79

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Midnight Snacks are Murder

This is the 2nd installment in teh Pappy McAllister series by Libby Klein.  This book was another engaging cozy mystery.  We find ourselves drawn further into the lives of Poppy and her Aunt Ginny.   We also get a bit more glimpses at the competitive attempts to win Poppy's attention by Tim and Gia.   This book felt like it had more comedic moments and we met a few new characters. while getting visits from most of the characters in the Class Reunions are Mulder book. 

if you  are looking for a fun and light cozy mystery with a bit of a romantic flair this is a great series to read.   I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Restaurant Weeks are Murder.

Midnight Snacks are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #2)Midnight Snacks are Murder by Libby Klein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good follow up to the first book in the series. Poppy is still in Cape May and is living with Aunt Ginny. Trouble continues to find them at every turn. At least this time Poppy isn't the one accused of murder. The book continues to develop the characters and their relationships as introduced in the first mystery. This book has more comical scenes and sheds a bit more light on Poppy's past.

The book is able to be read independently of the first book in the series but the relationships are better understood if you read hte first installment prior to this book.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #78
  2. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book #61 
  3. Cruising through cozies -  Free choice
  4. Medical Examiner-  1 Toe Tag 
  5. Six Shooter- 2nd shot 
  6.  20 in 20 #Read20in2020 #4 a book with day/night in title

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Christmas Shopaholic

I always enjoy reading a book by Sophie Kinsella.   This is the 2nd book I have read by her this year.  She my review of Undomestic Goddess for my previous read this year.

This book brought me back in touch with Becky, the shopaholic, that was my oringinal introduction to Kinsellla's fun and lighthearted style.  I have missed a few books int eh series but that really didn't impact the enjoyment of the book.

Becky, is up to her usual shopping self, only she is no longer living in a major metropolitan area.  The book is full of comedic moments and misunderstandings.  We get to see Becky's quirky personality and witness her evolving relationship with her husband.

As expected Christmas is a time of stress and shopping.   Kinsella lets us in on the confusion that surrounds Becky and hre universe.  It wasn't terrible to read the books out of order but it would probably be a bit more enjoyable to have read all the previous books in the series as there are references to the other book s and life events.

All in all a fun lighthearted read.

Christmas ShopaholicChristmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

another fun installment in the life of Becky Brandon nee Bloomwood. This is a fun book if you are looking for a distracting read from all the serious news around us. It is not imperative to read the other books first but it does help to know what the story references and to experience life events in order.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #77
  2. Monthly Motif   #MonthlyMotifGXO- around  this world  - country different from your own

Such a Fun Age

This debut novel by Kiley Reid has been getting lots of attention on book groups and boards, and rightfully so.  The book is written with a great pace and strong storytelling while also providing thought provoking material that is very timely given today's race and social justice discussions.

 I think the points that really hit home for me in the book is that often times people think they are doing the right thing and inadvertently cause harm instead.   I also think the book pointed out people approach the same situation with different perspectives based on their backgrounds and past experiences and this can often influence how they see a situation.  Reid does a very good job at highlighting this in her story. 

I did feel that there are times when things are judged as being a race difference but could also be perceived as a socio economic difference.   This is alluded to in Reid's story when she discusses Emira's friends and their financial standing versus her own.   They are Black and Hispanic but seem to be doing better financially than her at the beginning of the book,  most of them have found their calling in life and have started down that path whereas Emira still seems to be searching for her calling. 

Reid's story definitely highlights the fact that word choices can greatly impact how a comment is received.   Tasking the time to ensure our statements aren't judgmental can go a long way toward inadvertently insulting or hurting someone. 

If you are looking for a thought provoking, well written story then be sure to read this book.  Reid delivers a fast pace book without being too judgmental or preachy.

Such a Fun AgeSuch a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an enjoyable and thought provoking book. It has an interesting and forthright approach to the topic of race. I did see some aspects of the situations where you could understand how something that is seen as being helpful can actually be perceived as a derogatory move. The phrase the best laid intentions kept running through my head at different points in the book. I think besides race disparities/perspectives this book also highlighted the disparities in socio-economic views to different situations.

All in all this is a very thought provoking book which leaves you thinking about it long after you finish.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #76
  2. Wizarding World Tour  possible categories
    • Beauxbatons: blue on the cover

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Cabs, Cakes, and Corpses

I stumbled upon this cozy mystery through one of the emails I receive with deals and freebies each day.   I am so happy I found it as Jennifer Joy does a wonderful job of combining a cozy mystery with a travel novel.

Her descriptions of Banos, Ecuador make me want to hop on a plane and travel there right now.  Her prose describes the waterfalls and cane fields with such detail you cannot help but see yourself right there along with the protagonist, Jessica James. 

She also does a wonderful job of setting the stage for a cross between excitement and fear for a first time international traveler.  It is a realistic representation of how someone not accustomed to travel overseas could find themselves with a certain amount of trepidation and homesickness. 

All this is intermingled with a charming and believable cozy mystery.  Plus throw in some humor and Latin hunks and you have a quirky and fun book.   I cannot wait to catch up with this series and see where Jessica's adventures take her going forward.

This is a great easy escape read if you are looking for a fun book to take your mind off things.

Cabs, Cakes, and Corpses (Murder on the Equator #1)Cabs, Cakes, and Corpses by Jennifer Joy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyable read with wonderful scenic descriptions

This book is set in Ecuador and the author does a fabulous job of describing the scenery, culture and characters in the book. You can absolutely feel Jessica's emotions about being in a foreign country and experiencing international travel for the first time. The characters are endearing and I cannot wait to read more about their adventures

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Literary Escapes-  Ecuador
  2. Around the Year in 52 Books- #7 set in Southern Hemisphere
  3. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  60
  4. Cruising through cozies -  Travel #2
  5. Medical Examiner-  2 Toe Tag 
  6. Six Shooter- new target
  7. 2020 TBR  #2020TBRReadingChallenge #16 S. America
  8. Monthly Motif   #MonthlyMotifGXO-  around or out of this world-  set in Ecuador 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Class Reunions are Murder

This is the first installment in the Poppy McAllister series by Libby Klein.  Poppy is a recently widowed woman who travels home to Cape May, NJ to attend her 25th HS reunion.  Like many, she was dreading the event and only attended to support her friend.  Little did she know that her arch nemesis from back in school would be murdered after having a very public fight with her in front of many witnesses.

Klein does a wonderful job of creating a relatable character in Poppy.  Her anxiety and uncertainty of returning to High School and facing the group of mean girls who tormented her and her friends was something many readers can probably relate with.  Klein also does a wonderful job of showing Poppy recovering from the death of her husband of 20 years and how she struggles to move forward in her life.   Poppy's relationship with her Aunt Ginny is a wonderful show of the strength of family and how willing people can be to help those they love.  Aunt Ginny and her senior friends and neighbors provide a bit of comedic relief as well.

Anyone who attended high school in the 1980s will really appreciate this book and the flashbacks it provides to that era.  The book made me think of the movie Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion and was an enjoyable read.

I look forward to finishing the rest of the books in the series as soon as I am able.

Class Reunions Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #1)Class Reunions Are Murder by Libby Klein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An enjoyable New cozy series. Fun to watch Poppy McAllister reconnect with her friends and neighbors in Cape May NJ

Poppy is a lovable character struggling to find her way after being widowed. Anyone who remembers HS with some measure of trepidation will enjoy the flashbacks and anxiety associated with class reunions. Cannot wait to read about more of Poppy and her Aunt Ginnys adventures

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #75
  2. Literary Escapes-  New Jersey
  3. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book #59
  4. Cruising through cozies -  Free choice 16
  5. Medical Examiner-  1 Toe Tag 
  6. Six Shooter- 1st shot on Target 21
  7. Mystery Bingo
    • Clues:  perfume; life insurance
  8. 52 Books in 52 weeks   #5 A character who is a senior
  9. TBR Book #39  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Cobblered to Death

This Rosemarie Ross' first book in a cozy series about Courtney Archer, a TV chef.  This book is based at a resort in the Poconos while Courtney is involved in filming a Baking Challenge on location.  There are several side mysteries that occurred during this story that keep the reader guessing as to the motive for the crime and the guilty party.  Courtney is faced with some personal dilemmas during the story,  making her character very relatable and endearing.

I look forward to reading more of the series as it is published.  The next installment is due out in Dec 2020.

Cobblered to Death (Courtney Archer #1)Cobblered to Death by Rosemarie Ross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very enjoyable debut in a series. The book centers around Courtney Archer, who is the host of a cooking program based upon a persona of a Farmer's Daughter. Problem is this isn't really who she is and this public persona is becoming a challenge to keep up. Add to it a murder while hosting a baking challenge in the Poconos and there are lots of suspicions being cast her direction. She is a very relatable character who is struggling to do what she feels is the right thing without jeopardizing her career. The reader cannot help but root for her to get her way and to solve the mystery. I look forward to reading more in the series.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #74
  2. Literary Escapes-  PA
  3. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  #58
  4. Cruising through cozies -  Free choice 15
  5. Medical Examiner-  1 Toe Tag 
  6. Mystery Bingo
    • Red Herring :  Gloves

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Grim Reader

I read this book by Kate Carlisle because it was a library hold I had received.  I didn't realize it was the 14th book in a series when I put it on hold.  I decided to read it anyway, something I usually avoid doing with a series.  I generally start with the first book in a series and work my way through them.  I enjoy it when I find a series that has many entries that I haven't read previously because I find it enjoyable to read them consecutively.  It's the literary version of binge watching a tv show.

The Bibliophile series centers around a bookbinder, Brooklyn Wainwright.  In this particular installment Brooklyn and her new husband have gone home to her childhood home, Dharma, CA for a book festival chaired by her mother.   The only frustrating part of reading out of order was the lack of knowledge of the previous relationships of the characters with Brooklyn.  It was often confusing to keep their stories clear.

I enjoyed reading about Brooklyn and her husband, Derrick as they helped determine who murdered her mother's festival co-chair.  There are plenty of clues that lead to different suspects in the crime.Carlisle does a great job of tying the different pieces together and solving the crime in a believable manner.

I look forward to going back and catching up on the series.  The 13 previous books in the series should provide an interesting binge read.

The Grim Reader (Bibliophile Mystery, #14)The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very enjoyable book. I had not previously read any of the other installments in the series but that wasn't too much of an issue. The only real issue was keeping characters and their relationships to Brooklyn and Derrick. The characters are all very likeable and Carlisle does a great job at casting suspicion on various characters to keep the reader guessing on who the guilty party is.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #73
  2. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  #57
  3. Cruising through cozies -  Free choice 14
  4. Medical Examiner-  2 Toe Tag 
  5. Six Shooter- 1st shot for Target 20

Dead in Dublin

This is the first book in the Dublin Driver series by Catie Murphy.  It is an enjoyable cozy centered around the character of Megan Malone, an American  who relocated to Dublin.   The story is full of references to the city and its charms.  If you have visited you will enjoy reliving the various spots you have seen.  This book was perfect for me after having visited Ireland and Dublin for the first time last Fall.  I could easily visualize the locations as Murphy described them and even pulled out the google map to look up where the Molly Malone statue was located versus some of the landmarks I remembered seeing in Dublin. 

The characters in the story are presented in a manner than causes reactions to them as intended by the author.  You cannot help but root for Megan to determine who the guilty party is and to feel empathy for the parents and widower of the victim, Elizabeth Darr.   There are several side cover ups that the investigation uncovers that add to the suspense of the story.  They help mislead the reader and create a surprise ending on who the murderer is and their motive.

All in all I enjoyed this book and look forward reading more in the Dublin Driver Series.

Dead in Dublin (The Dublin Driver Mysteries #1)Dead in Dublin by Catie Murphy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This mystery set in Ireland was an enjoyable read, especially since I just visited Dublin last September. The story took a bit to get flowing but was an enjoyable mystery with clues pointing to many suspects The actual guilty party was a bit of a shock when revealed but the story pieces were tied together well in the end. The characters are quite charming and enjoyable, and you find yourself rooting for Megan and want her to charm her petulant boss I look forward to reading more in the series.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #72
  2. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  #56
  3. Cruising through cozies -  outside US #2
  4. Medical Examiner-  1 Toe Tag 
  5. Monthly Motif   #MonthlyMotifGXO- around this world  - country different from your own
  6. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #73  Shot #1

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

June Recap

June Reading Progress

General Tracking

AtoZ  and  Alphabet Soup #AlphabetSoupChallenge  - June letters :  none
completed previously - A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, N, O, P, R,S, T, U, W, Y

Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge- June letters: G
completed previously A, B, C, D, E, F, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, V, W

Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2020  Tracked Here  completed 6/5 in total
  • Series read in June:  
    • Women's Murder Club- 20th Victim
    • Stone Barrington- Hit List
    • Murder She Wrote-  The Murder of Twelve 
    • Cupcake Bakery-  Pumpkin Spice Peril
  • Previously read: Abbie McCree;  Cackleberry Club; Food Blogger; Hannah Swensen; Hat Shop Mystery Series; Library Lover's Series;  Murder She Wrote;  New Orleans Scrapbooking Series;  Private; Stone Barrington; Teddy Fay; Under Suspicion;

Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Tracked Here  69/36 books read  (16 books in June/ 53 previously)

Literary Escapes  (Destination)  Visited in June: States: AZ, KS, ME  Countries: Canada, Russia

visited previously CA, CT, FL. HI, IL, LA, MA,  MI , MN, MO,MT, NC, NY, NV, OH, OR, TN, TX, VT, WA
plus Australia, China, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, USVI, Wales, Yugoslavia

Specific Criteria

PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge  completed in June # 31 (Medical Thriller), 42 (twenty in title)
completed previously # 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 38, 40, 41, 43, 44,  46, 47, 48, 49, 50

Around the Year in 52 Books  completed in June - none
completed previously # 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 51

52 Books in 52 Weeks completed in June #9 (set in space)
completed previously  #1, 2, 4,  6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32,  34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 42, 43, 45,  46, 47, 48 , 52

BooklistQueen completed in June - none
completed previously #3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17,  20, 21, 23, 27, 28, 31, 32, 36, 37, 39, 40, 42, 43, 46, 48, 49

20 in 20 #Read20in2020 completed in June #3 F (mostly white cover) 4NF (day/night in title),

completed previously #1F, 2 F/NF, #5 F/NF, 7 F/NF, 8 F/NF, 9F, 10F, 13F, 15F, 16F, 17F, 18F,

NJM Book Challenge  #NJMBookChallenge2020   completed in June None
completed previously #1, 2, 3,  4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23,  24, 25

Wizarding World Tour
  • Beauxbatons: 1 new prompts in June set in France
    • 4/7 prompts completed previously
  • Castelobruxo- 0 new prompts in June 
    • 6/7 prompts completed previously
  • Durmstrang:   Completed Tour May 
    • 7/7 prompts completed previously
  • Hogwarts:  0 new prompts in June 
    •  5/7 prompts completed previously
  • Ilvermorny-  0 new prompts in June 
    • 6/7 prompts completed previously
  • Koldovstoretz- 0 new prompts in June -  ; 
    • 5/7 prompts completed previously
  • Mahoutokoro-   1 new prompt in June - exquisite cover
    • 3/7 prompts completed previously
  • Uagadou-  0 new prompts in June 
    • 6/7 prompts completed previously

While I was Reading  in June- #8 non human narrator (All Systems Red)
completed previously- #1, 2, 4, 11, 12

What's in a Name 0 new prompts in June -
completed previously- An Antonym, Given/First Name; reference to children; one of 4 natural elements

Color Coded Challenge Completed in May

Monthly Motif #MonthlyMotifGXO  name or number
Monthly Keyword #MonthlyKeyWordGXO-    Keyword  And, Beach, Number, Wish, Down, Word

  • Do not complete

    Monthly Book Awards #GXOAwardReadingChallenge - Locus Award 2013

    TBR Based Challenges

    2020TBR #2020TBRReadingChallenge: completed in June- # 16 (Asia)
    completed previously  # 1, 5, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16 (n america, australia, europe), 17,  20, 21

    Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020  completed 3  books in June ;  1 new bingo square: #6- wish it had a sequel

    completed previously 18  bingo squares:  #1, 2, 4, 5,  8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

    Back List Reader  #Backlistreader Tracked Here  37/24 read  (32 read previously)

    Start on Your Shelfathon  #StartOnYourShelfathon Tracked Here  37/5  thru June 2020

    Mount TBR  #MountTBR2020 Tracked Here  37/24 read  (32 read previously)

    Genre Specific

    Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2020  Completed challenge in May
    previously a prompt in 12 months-Jan, Feb Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul,  Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec

    Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal - Mysteries Tracked Here  54/25 total comp (41 prev)

    Craving for Cozies  Tracked Here  25/26 total completed  (21 completed previously)

    Cruisin thru Cozies  completed  #4 (paranormal),  3 freebie;   25/30  total completed (updated goal from 20);   (21 completed previously)
    previously read culinary(2), animal(2), craft(2), outside US (1), career (2), holiday(1), travel(1) and 9 freebie

    Historical Fiction  #2020HFReadingChallenge  Tracked Here  4/5  (2 completed previously)

    Memoir  total completed 6/5  Read   # 14(written by someone under 40)
    previously read memoir for the Food memoir category; Mental Health/Illness, person who identifies as LGBTQIA, humorous,  Lab Girl fits multiple prompts using for under 300 pages

    Wednesday, July 8, 2020

    Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant

    I selected this memoir by Roz Chast to fit the graphic novel memoir prompt for the challenge.  I ended up finding this book very relatable.  The author discusses caring for her aging parents.  She points out some of the aspects of handling it that are unique to being an only child so I could especially appreciate this piece.  The family dynamics can me pause and allowed me to reflect on my own family and to see the situation from a different perspective.

    I am glad I read this memoir.  Her humorous approach helped discuss a tricky topic in a good fashion.

    Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    This book was a very interesting approach to a difficult topic. I suggest anyone with aging parents read this book. It does a great job of showing that you are not alone in this progression and Chast does a good job of presenting the material in a funny manner without belittling the topic

    Glad I read it

    View all my reviews

    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #71
    2. 20 in 20 #Read20in2020 #17 illustrated book
    3. Wizarding World Tour  possible categories
      • Mahoutokoro: Graphic Novel
    4. Memoir  Graphic Novel Memoir
    5. Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020 #24 indie book
    6. TBR Book #44 #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon

    Sunday, July 5, 2020

    Left Fur Dead

    This was a different style cozy by J M Griffin than those I normally read.   In this case the main character, Jules, has the ability to telepathically communicate with her rabbit, Bun.   Bun is an active participant is trying to solve the mysterious death of an acquaintance of Jules.  He is also an active player in discovering who is behind some unexplained activities at Jules' Rabbit Farm.   I enjoyed the book more than I expected because I am not generally a fan of the supernatural style cozy mysteries.  I think I would continue to read the series to see what further adventures the two amateur detectives find themselves involved in going forward.

    Left Fur Dead (Jules & Bun Mystery #1)Left Fur Dead by J.M. Griffin
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    While I did end up enjoying this cozy mystery, I did have a hard time getting engaged in the story. I found the beginning a bit slow and at times the dialogue between Jules and Bun felt forced. It created an unnatural flow to the story telling at times. That being said it was a nice cozy set among the rabbit farm in a small town in New Hampshire. The characters were endearing and the plot twists were unique even if you figured out the who the why provex to be an interesting component.

    View all my reviews

    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #70
    2. Literary Escapes-  NH
    3. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  #55
    4. Cruising through cozies -  paranormal #2
    5. Medical Examiner-  1 Toe Tag 
    6. Six Shooter-  1st shot Target 23
    7. TBR Book #38  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon

    Saturday, July 4, 2020

    All Systems Red

    This is the first in the Murderbot books by Martha Wells.  I was pleasantly surprised by this novella.   I selected it for a challenge prompt to read a book in a genre you don't normally read.  I am definitely not a science fiction reader but I think I will be trying to read more of this series.  The main character is a non human but definitely seems to show some human like traits at times.  The book actually points our some of the idiosyncrasies of human behaviors at times.  I think I found this book enjoyable because it had elements of a mystery and suspense novel and wasn't just a science fiction story.   I definitely found myself liking and disliking characters based on their actions and behaviors toward the SecBot aka murderbot.  The ending definitely leaves opportunities for furture installments in the series and I am curious to see if they are about the same Bot or different ones of its kind.

    If you are looking to try science fiction without a huge commitment this novella is a great choice.

    All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)All Systems Red by Martha Wells
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    I don’t usually read sci fi but I really enjoyed this book. It’s a great length for getting a feel for the genre without a huge commitment. It had a bit of a mystery/suspense angle to the plot as well. The character interaction was very well done and kept your interest as the reader. Definitely going to check into more of the series

    View all my reviews

    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #69
    2. Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  #54
    3. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #9 set in space
    4. While I was Reading #8   with a non-human narrator
    5. Monthly Book Award-   #GXOAwardReadingChallenge  Locus Award Best Novella 2018
    6. TBR Book #37  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon

    Wednesday, July 1, 2020

    The Holdout

    This was the second novel I have read by Graham Moore.  It is very different from The Sherlockian which was the first one I had read.  I am glad I read this one.  One of the underlying topics of the book is racism and what constitutes it.  The author represents the discussion from multiple perspectives and I found it to be a well rounded, thought provoking approach to discuss the topic within the context of a fiction work.   He does a great job of taking different approaches to the topic and different perspectives without it being an in your face black vs white issue.  At the heart of it he has a black character state it isn't about the color of the accused, rather whether you can see the good in the person.   I firmly believe this is at the core of what is wrong in our society today.  We need to treat each other with respect and assume that we are all good people.  I try to hold this to heart until someone proves otherwise to me. 

    We can always find the bad or guilt in everyone if we look for it or look at a single aspect in an isolated vacuum.  This is another theme that Moore hits on in the novel in the context of whether someone is guilty or innocent in a court case.   He points out the media plays a role in the story as well, especially if they only report the piece of information that fits the dialogue they are looking to express.

    All in all this was an excellent book that left me thinking about many of the topics that surround our legal system today.  I can highly recommend the book.  It has plenty of action and substories to keep the reader engaged and a big twist that makes it an interesting finish til the end.

    The HoldoutThe Holdout by Graham Moore
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    This book does a wonderful job of balancing a thriller with a twist will including discussion of many perspectives relative to current events. I enjoyed the fact the story bounces between the trial 10years earlier and present day. The reflection in the past alternates between different jurors as the narrator. This was a very good story that approached a sensitive topic from different perspectives while being respectful and well rounded. The characters represent many perspectives and are developed in a manner such that the reader has emotional responses to them while also absorbing their perspectives to the same events. The twists to the story are very unexpected and make a great bonus to the novel

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    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #67
    2. Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  #53
    3. Medical Examiner-  2 Toe Tags