Tuesday, May 31, 2022

What We're Reading

DEBORAH CROMBIE: We had so much fun with our "recommends" yesterday I thought we'd extend our chat to WHAT WE'RE READING–always a big fave here on Jungle Red. We love nothing more than talking about our latest finds.


I'll start with BLOOMSBURY GIRLS by Natalie Jenner. Set in 1949 London in a bookshop in Lamb's Conduit Street (the location of Duncan's police station in the present day–how could I not want to read this book?) three very different women navigate a changing world.



The male characters are very well done, too, and lots of famous literary figures are woven into the plot. I loved this book so much that I read Jenner's previous (and debut) novel,  THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, as there is some character and plot crossover. I enjoyed it, too, although I didn't adore it as much as BLOOMSBURY GIRLS.


Another big thrill for me was a new book by Ella Risbridger–you may remember me raving about MIDNIGHT CHICKEN last year. This one is called THE YEAR OF MIRACLES and is ostensibly a cookbook, but it is so much more. The subtitle is "recipes about love + grief + growing things) and is a journal of Risbridger's year following the death of her partner. It's also an accounting of the first year of the pandemic, as it begins in January, 2020. Risbridger's writing is absolutely gorgeous and it's a very inspiring and affirming book. The book is beautiful, too, so I'd highly recommend the hardcover. It will be a keeper even if you never cook a single recipe. (NOTE: It won't be released in the US until July 26th but it is out in the UK and you can order from Book Depository. It's fast and no more expensive.)



And one more! I somehow ran across a book called THE NOTHING GIRL by Jodi Taylor. We've mentioned her CHRONICLES OF ST. MARY'S series before, as Julia and I are big fans. Do not be put off by the invisible talking golden horse!! This is a gem of a novel about an isolated young woman who agrees to marriage as a business proposition and gets much more than she bargained for. It's laugh-out-load funny, touching, suspenseful, AND it's on Kindle Unlimited at the moment!


I also thoroughly enjoyed Connie Berry's latest Kate Hamilton mystery, THE SHADOW OF MEMORY. This series just gets better and better. Connie will be here Thursday to tell us more!


LUCY BURDETTE: I’m betwixt and between. I have just finished Alicia Bessette’s SMILE BEACH MURDER and I hate to leave the Outer Banks! Last week I hated leaving Julia Child’s Paris. I have a lot of books ordered, including Krista Davis’s newest and Sarah Stewart Taylor’s newest and Paula Munier and Kristan Higgins, and I have a million books on my nightstand. But still, sometimes it’s hard to dive into something brand new. Any recommendations for THE PARIS LIBRARY or THE TASTE OF GINGER or FENCING WITH THE KING?



HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Absolutely do not miss Sulari Gentill’s THE WOMAN IN THE LIBRARY.  It’s a meta-literary mystery and I cannot say anything more, but just–read it.




Along those same lines, ish, THE APPEAL by Janice Hallett. Those books both delve into the workings of a writer’s mind, and a reader’s too, and they’re marvelous and hilarious and brilliant, both of them.  And I am getting ready for THE MURDER RULE by Dervla McTiernan.   Also LOOK CLOSER, by David Ellis, one of my favorite authors ever. And I am reading JAMES PATTERSON by James Patterson–in preparation for interviewing him in June!  Reds and readers, this autobiography is AWESOME and wonderful and charming and unique.


DEBS: Hank, what fun! I sat next to James Patterson at the Bouchercon Dallas GOH dinner, and he was so nice. A very charming and interesting man.


JENN McKINLAY: I’ve been enjoying a wild variety lately. ALLOW ME TO RETORT: A Black Guys Guide to the Constitution by Ellie Mystal. Fascinating book mostly about the amendments and why they need to be revisited. DOUBLE SHOT DEATH by Emmeline Duncan.




A terrific cozy mystery set in Portland about a coffee cart owning amateur that really captures the PNW vibe. THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS by Lisa Jewell. Delicious suspense novel about three families and deep dark secrets. So good! 


RHYS BOWEN:   Rhys, the blurb queen here. It seems like a never-ending stream. They are mostly good reading but sometimes I’d like to choose.

I’ve just finished another upcoming book to blurb called The Spying Eye by Michelle Cox.



Quite good

And now I’m embarking on a non fiction about women’s lives around the world called Women’s  Work by Megan K Slack. Fascinating so far.


JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: The heat has been climbing into the 70s and even 80s here in southern Maine, I've been mowing daily for the past five days (yes, I have that much lawn) so for me, it's beach read time! First up, THE HOMEWRECKERS by Mary Kay Andrews. If you've ever read her, you know she describes home renovation and decorating like a dream, and when I saw she had come up with that's basically about a young widow getting her own HGTV-like show, you know I had to have it. 




Next on my TBR pile, NEVER COMING HOME, a delicious domestic thriller from Hank's First Chapter Fun buddy, Hannah Mary McKinnon. Here's the start of the jacket copy:

Lucas Forester didn't hate his wife. Michelle was brilliant, sophisticated and beautiful. Sure, she had extravagant spending habits, that petty attitude, a total disregard for anyone below her status. But she also had a lot to offer. Most notably: wealth that only the one percent could comprehend.

For years, Lucas has been honing a flawless plan to inherit Michelle's fortune. Unfortunately, it involves taking a hit out on her.
Sounds awesome! I love rich people behaving badly.



Finally, this summer's book from my friend Nancy Thayer, SUMMER LOVE. It doesn't feel like summer until I've read one of Nancy's tales of heartache and hope, set on the idyllic island of Nantucket. SUMMER LOVE is about a reunion of people in my age bracket, which I love, accompanied by their twenty-something kids, which my daughters love. Something for everyone.



HALLIE EPHRON: I’ve just started reading Susan Orlean’s ON ANIMALS. She’s a wonderful essayist, musing on everything from household pets (hers) to the animals we eat to her experiences keeping chickens and critters further afield (Moroccan donkeys)… and on and on. It’s a book for animal lovers and perfect for the summer because you can savor it in chunks.

 

READERS, what books have tickled your fancy lately?


115 comments:

  1. I am so grateful to you Jungle Red Writers! I started reading the Hank Worth mystery series because of your recommendation and I basically did not stop till I had read all of them. Of course I have long since read all of your books (not maybe all the most recent so I still have ones to look forward to!). But what a great list this is. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  2. Hank, I really enjoyed THE WOMAN IN THE LIBRARY and LOOK CLOSER . . .

    What have I read lately? WHAT SHE SAID by D.S. Butler . . . MOON DEEDS by Palmer Pickering . . . SHE’S GONE by David Bell . . . POWERLESS by Jeff O’Handley . . . ALIAS EMMA by Ava Glass . . . CHILD ZERO by Chris Holm . . . REFRACTION by Andrew Van Wey . . .

    Right now I’m reading THE LAST ORPHAN by Gregg Hurwitz . . . .

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    1. Oh, so glad to hear that, Joan! xx I'm interviewing Chris Holm today, in fact, at 4 on A MIGHTY BLAZE--eager to hear the scoop about CHLD ZERO.. SO scary.

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    2. I bought Child Zero on Julia's recommendation, but haven't gotten to it yet.

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  3. As usual, I'm reading a bit "ahead" so I have time to finish the books and write reviews. And June is an ARC heavy month for me and, at least at the beginning of the month, new series heavy.

    Over the weekend, I finished BAYOU BOOK THIEF by Ellen Byron. I enjoyed this new series debut. I'm currently about 2/3 of the way through THE NAVIGATOR'S DAUGHTER by Nancy Cole Silverman. It's different from what I expected, but I'm enjoying it as well.

    Next up will be THE TUESDAY NIGHT SURVIVORS' CLUB by Lynn Cahoon. I'm a little ashamed to admit, this will be my first book by Lynn.

    And yes, I also have an ARC of Sarah Stewart Taylor's THE DROWNING SEA and Barbara Ross's MUDDLE THROUGH for this month.

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    1. Nancy Silverman is our Friday guest this week, Mark.

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  4. My reading mojo is still not normal but I have similar books/ARCs to recommend:
    THE WOMAN IN THE LIBRARY by Sulari Gentill
    BAYOU BOOK THIEF by Ellen Byron (new cozy series set in NOLA, June 7 release date)
    Three new thrillers by Canadian authors:
    IN THE DARK WE FORGET by Sandra Wong (June 21)
    POISON GIRLS by Katie Tallo (her first book DARK AUGUST was one of my top 2020 reads)
    NEVER COMING HOME by Hannah Mary McKinnon
    some newest books in long-running series that are coming out in June:
    DEATH BY BEACH READ by Eva Gates (June 7)
    MUDDLED THROUGH by Barbara Ross (June 28)
    I'm still doing better listening to audiobooks:
    DAUGHTER OF THE MORNING STAR by Craig Johnson (Longmire #17)
    and for the nerds out there
    STILL JUST A GEEK by Wil Wheaton (yes, from Star Trek: TNG)

    And my newest foodie find is JOSHUA WEISSMAN. He is a 24-year-old chef and YouTube culinary star @Joshua Weissman is an expert in breaking down complex recipes into easy-to-follow steps. AN UNAPOLOGETIC COOKBOOK by Joshua Weissman is on my coffee table and I can see why he has 6.42 million Youtube subscribers.
    https://www.youtube.com/c/JoshuaWeissman

    and an ARC that is waaay down in my TBR pile but am so looking forward to reading:
    THE LAST ORPHAN by Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X #8, coming out in February 2023)

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    1. FYI, for those who enjoyed watching SLOW HORSES, I also listened to DEAD LIONS (Slough House #2) in May and loved it. Dead Lions won the CWA Gold Dagger award a few years ago. I plan to slowly work my way through the rest of Mick Herron's books.

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    2. Grace: I am one lamenting that we don't have AppleTV so I can't see the adaptation, but I absolutely loved the books and would recommend them to anyone!

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    3. I've read five of the Slough House books and listened to a couple of them as well. I had to take a break but will start back with Joe Country. Herron is such a terrific writer, and the audio books are narrated by Gerard Doyle, who reads mine.

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    4. SUSAN: I binge-watched SLOW HORSES using the 7-day free trial on Apple TV. There's only 6 episodes in season 1.

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    5. DEBS: Yes, the audiobooks for Slough House #1 &2 I listened to are narrated by Gerard Doyle. He's did a great job.

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    6. STILL JUST A GEEK is downloaded for my vacation this week! Lisa in Long Beach

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    7. LISA: Enjoy! It's a LONG memoir, 21+ hours! I am slowly listening to a chapter every few days.

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  5. I'm reading A KILLING IN COSTUME by Zac Bissonnette, coming in August. Just finished LOOK TWICE by R. Franklin James (coming in August) and DEATH BY BUBBLE TEA by Jennifer J. Chow (coming in July)

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    1. Ooooh yes, I am looking forward to Jen's bubble tea series & thanks for the heads-up about Rae's newest book.

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    2. Eager to hear about ZAc's book--I have that right here! xx

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  6. Great suggestions. I mentioned yesterday how much I loved FATAL REUNION by Annette Dashofy. Next up is THE BANGALORE DETECTIVES' CLUB by Harini Nagendra, Ellen Byron's BAYOU BOOK THIEF, MURDER IS NO PICNIC by my Cape Cod buddy Amy Pershing, and Barb Ross's MUDDLED THROUGH at the end of the month. Lots of great reading ahead.

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    1. Edith, I loved The Bangalore Detective Club
      Danielle

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    2. I have Murder is No Picnic pre-ordered--so looking forward to it! I have Sarah Stewart Taylor's The Drowning Sea pre-ordered, too. Can't wait!

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    3. I have several books coming in June including Murder is No Picnic and Jenn' s The Attraction Distraction, which I may read the day it arrives!!

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    4. I look forward to the Bagladore Detective Club thanks for the tip. I also recommend the Vish Puri detective series by Tarquin Hall. Stories from the "files of Vish Puri, India's Most Private Investigator."

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  7. Lucy, I loved FENCING WITH THE KING. I was disappointed with THE PARIS LIBRARY.

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    1. That's helpful, though I'm sorry to hear about THE PARIS LIBRARY!

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    2. and ps I started THE TASTE OF GINGER last night and it kept me up way too late!

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    3. As a counter balance, though, I loved The Paris Library. It reminded me of the work of Kate Quinn.

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  8. I've recently finished MURDER ON AN IRISH FARM by Carlene O'Connor and MARGARET TRUMAN'S MURDER AT THE CDC by Jon Land. I'm currently reading DEATH IN A BLACKOUT by Jessica Ellicott with plans to follow that up with COLD SNAP by Marc Cameron, SECRET IDENTITY by Alex Segura as well as whatever ARCs come my way from Mystery Scene magazine.

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  9. Thanks for all of these suggestions. This is my favorite day of the month!
    I am reading an arc of James R. Benn's latest Billy Boyle WWII mystery, From the Shadows. Put it on your "must read" lists for September!!
    I am catching up on Kate Carlisle's Bibliophile Mysteries but still have a few to go. I just love her kooky characters!
    Deanna Raybourn's Impossible Imposter is terrific. That series is one of my favorites.
    After Jeff Cohen/ E. J. Copperman visited here, I knew I had to begin his series, so I grabbed Inherit the Shoes. Totally fun. What is it about Jersey girls?
    Jenn's Strawberried Alive is great fun! I LOVE this series. So good to get the gang back together! The Deluca brothers are such a kick!
    Annette Dashofy's Fatal Reunion is gritty and dangerous. County Coroner Zoe Chambers is such a good character. Of course, she and her new husband, Chief of Police Pete Adams must conduct their own investigations into the rape and murder of a young woman that much resembles similar crimes from 20 years earlier. Heart pounding climax!!
    William Maz's The Bucharest Dossier is a Fairy Tale romance inside a spy novel, including a history lesson.
    I am listening to The Garden of Lamentations. Oh, Debs, this one is one of your absolute best! Before that, I listened to To Dwell in Darkness. I had only been listening to one Deborah Crombie book per month, but had to get right into the next one after that!
    Otherwise, I have been listening to other favorite authors' books and some very sexy romances. Audible Plus has been a very good investment;-)

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    1. JUDY: Great suggestions! I LOVE Kate's Bibliophile series & am almost caught up. And I have Jenn's STRAWBERRIED ALIVE and Annette's FATAL REUNION on my short stack TBR pile for June.

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    2. Thank you, Judy!! Yes, you have to start right into the next one after To Dwell in Darkness!

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  10. Thank you, all of you so far (I'll check this site tomorrow, too, to see what got added!) for these recommendations. Recently I keep starting books and even sometimes finishing them, but I haven't been able to lose myself in a terrific novel for a while. Debs and Julia, I, too, am a Jodi Taylor fan, and I also recently discovered and devoured the quirky but moving "Nothing Girl." Thanks to Hank and Joan, I'll try "The Woman in the Library," and I just bought "The Murder Rule" (because McTiernan's previous book, "The Good Turn," was outstanding). Jenn, you've gotten me interested in "The Family Upstairs," especially since I thought Jewell's "I Found You" was totally gripping (the only other one of hers I've read so far, but I gather there are lots and lots.)

    These are not necessarily recent, just recently read by me and highly recommended:
    Mystery: Jane Harper's THE SURVIVORS
    Historical novel (with a hint of fantasy): Diane Setterfield's ONCE UPON A RIVER
    Historical novel: David Benioff's CITY OF THIEVES
    Memoir: Trevor Noah's BORN A CRIME
    Novel: Maggie Shipstead's GREAT CIRCLE


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    1. Kim, I enjoyed reading your book
      Danielle

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    2. Kim, don't miss the sequel to The Nothing Girl, The Something Girl. There are a couple of Frogmorton Farm short stories, too.

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    3. That's great news, Debs. I'll get it.

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    4. And thank you very much, Danielle! I'm so pleased you liked "Pesticide."

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  11. Oh NO! I'm reading this post and the comments through squinted eyes with my mouse fingers tied behind my back to prevent random ordering! I am determined to clear my Kindle backlog and have taken to reading one new/one old (in terms of Kindle purchase date) books. It has been a revelation how many fabulous books are languishing on my Kindle!

    Best of the bunch so far - Annette Dashofy's Fatal Reunion - So nice to catch up with Pete and Zoe, of course, but more than that, the book is fabulous and so intricately plotted. It's hard to keep a series interesting after the characters marry. Few manage to do it successfully - Julia did it with Clare and Russ, and Annette has done it with Pete and Zoe. In both cases, the deepened relationship adds to the story.

    Hank's Her Perfect Life. I couldn't put it down. The story is so compelling and so nuanced that I had to keep reading. I want to follow these people around. Just Perfect!

    Joanne Guidoccio's A Season for Killing Blondes. Oh, my. This had been on my Kindle since 2015. It is fabulous. I loved the characters from the git-go and the mystery, sort of a new take on locked room mysteries, was compelling and 100% believable. I'm glad this was the start of a series - gives me more books to devour.

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    1. Kait, you got a morning laugh here again. I vowed to read one from the pile I own (Kindle or paper) and one from the library pile before bringing home any more...then I bought a book yesterday. Is there a cure?

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    2. None that I've found, Judy, but maybe we could start a support group! It's a lovely addiction to have :)

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    3. My name is Deb and I am a Bookbub addict... I will never manage to read all the books on my Kindle.

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    5. Same here, DEBS. And I think we already have a support group here at JRW for the book addicts.

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    6. If encouraging one another to buy more books is in any way comparable to the support addicts are supposed to get, Grace. Hah!

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    7. JUDY: Yeah, I was being sarcastic. But do we really want to hang out with people who don't want us to read (more)?!

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  12. Yesterday, I finished The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra that we received here. I loved, loved it. The characters are so endearing. I liked discovering Bangalore’s life in the twenties.
    I also read Pesticide by Kim Hay who comments and also posted here. I was curious about the Swiss police and enjoyed the book.

    Next are books from two other guests: Reservation for six by Lindsey Palmer and When We Let go by Rochelle B.Weinstein.
    Danielle

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  13. Nancy Tucker's THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING. Based on a sixties' true crime case in England, Tucker writes a dual narrative from the perspective of an abused eight-year-old child and her adult persona. Beautiful prose which seamlessly flows between past and present.

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  14. So many great suggestions, so little time! I'm not much of a sci-fi reader, but last year I read the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells and just loved it. My sister loaned me a couple of more Murderbot books, so I just started Network Effect and am finding Murderbot to again be thoroughly delightful.

    I just finished Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs on a friend's recommendation and loved it. Looking forward to the others in the series. It reminded me a lot of the War at Home series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles which I devoured last year.

    A recent book group read was A Burning by Megda Magumdar. It's a powerful novel focusing on scapegoating, mob violence, corruption, and politics in India. I'm looking forward to our discussion this Sunday.

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    1. You're in for a treat, Gillian. Winspear's books get better and better throughout the Maisie Dobbs stories.

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    2. Thanks Karen! I can't believe I didn't find these years ago! I forgot to mention that I am still working on El Amante Japonés by Isabel Allende for my Spanish class. We read a chapter a week and for homework, each student (there are two of us) has to give an oral summary of half the chapter. It's really challenging our ability to think and speak fluidly in Spanish. I am really enjoying the book, highly entertaining and touching on serious topics too (romance between races and classes, the internment of the Japanese during WWII)

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    3. Gillian, I hadn't read the War at Home series. Just bought the first book!

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  15. I really love your recommendation essays, and am always so disappointed when some of the authors are not available through Canadian libraries (I have 5 library cards, and read mostly audiobooks). I usually try and read them, and have enjoyed many.
    I just finished two “made you think” books that I would like to discuss in book club. Both are Canadian, but universal in their topics. Both use a fiction format to tell a non-fiction story.
    The first is Seven by Farzana Doctor, which is a story about ‘cutting’ of female genitalia. It is set in modern times as well as the past and presents the topic with dignity.
    The second is Looking for Jane by Heather Marshall. She explores the story of abortion and motherhood in Canada from the 60’s forward. I will say that I am old enough to remember well all the landmarks in history. This book does not take a pro or anti-abortion stand, but as in the aforementioned book covers the topic with dignity. The topic is well researched.
    In between I read WW1 (looking forward to Jacqueline Winspear’s latest), WW2, and many mysteries. There is a British author Peter Grainger for those who like British procedurals. His books are available from Amazon or Audible – I have never seen them in the library. Put your name on the mailing list and he send you a note to tell you when the next book is out.

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    1. MARGO: I feel your pain re: Canadian libraries. I miss having access to the TPL (Toronto Public Library) system which has the largest collection in North America. Ottawa's public library system is pretty good but I still buy a lot of books & read ARCs for many American & British authors. Hopefully you will be able to get some of the new titles I listed later this year (half of my suggestion books were for Canadian authors).

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    2. Sorry, I don't know how to reply to just Grace. I would love a TPL card. I have my 5 cards as gifts from my children who signed me up to their local libraries - the best two are Vancouver and Ottawa. Audiobooks are great for two reasons - they are quick to read (I wear the ipod all day long and listen as I work - a book is usually about 2 days), and they are good, as I find my vision and comprehension is not what it used to be.

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    3. Ah, I was wondering how you got access to 5 libraries....that's cool! And yes, I have been listening to more audiobooks since I got long-COVID in 2020. Before that, I was able to read 3-4 books a week. Now my reading speed is more like 1 book every 6-8 days.

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    4. Grace or anyone else, but the book may be only available in Canada. Try Prairie Ostrich by Tamai Kobayshi. It is set in Manitoba written from the viewpoint of a young Japanese girl. The author does a remarkable job of writing from the girl's point of view. It was only available in audio or e-book form for a while.

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    5. Just wanted to chime in with my agreement about the books of Peter Grainger!

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    6. Margo, I'm a Peter Grainger fan, too.

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    7. MARGO: thanks for the tip about Prairie Ostrich. I can get the ebook via OPL. And I will check out Peter Grainger.

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    8. Thanks for the rec, just checked out the PRAIRIE OSTRICH e-book from the LAPL - Lisa in Long Beach

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    9. Another Peter Grainger fan here. I write police procedurals, and good ones like his are inspiring.

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  16. After many years of making a New Year's resolution to log all my reading, this year I'm actually doing it. (Pause to pat self on back.) I'm not reading nearly as much as I used to, before bingeing BritBox and Acorn and Netflix programs every night, but it's interesting to look back at the actual lists.

    Not much in the way of mystery getting read lately, although I'm in the middle of listening to Elly Griffiths The Zig-Zag Girl, which I thought I'd already read.

    For book club, I read The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker. About a quarter of our members enjoy sci-fi (which I really dislike), but this was pretty good, if implausible. The story was compelling, but I kept getting tangled up in similar names. The same was true of another compelling story, The Sisters of Alameda Street, by Loren A. Hughes. All the women in the book had names that began with the letter A, a plot device, but it was so confusing.

    A super fun, wild and crazy book is Palm Beach Finland, by Antii Toumainen. The title says it all.

    I think I need more mysteries now, palate cleansers!

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    1. I've been using Goodreads to log my reading for a few years now (after trying and failing to keep a reading journal) The advantage to Goodreads is that I am able to see what my friends are reading and read their reviews.

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    2. Karen, the narrator of the Elly Griffith Brighton Beach Mysteries is one of the best. I love his voice! Good stories, too.!

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    3. Yes, he is very good. I especially like his Max Mephisto voicing.

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    4. I adored James Langton, who reads all but the latest of the Brighton mysteries. However, with the latest, The Midnight Hour, she switched to a female narrator. I suppose it was understandable as the focus is much more on the female characters, but I was so disappointed that I didn't listen to it.

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  17. Taking notes as fast as I can write, folks! I also just finished Connie Berry's The Shadow of Memory and enjoyed it. Also, Framed in Fire, the latest in Iona Wishaw's series--I think this was my favorite so far. Most recent title is Death and Hard Cider, Barbara Hambly's latest Benjamin January book. I have to say that I'm a longtime fan of this series--love the main characters, the setting, the time period, the minor characters. But, the series seemed 'off' to me since a change in publishers several books back. However, this one was right back on track with all of my favorite characters along for the ride. Still waiting for Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron and Death in a Blackout by Jessica Ellicott.

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    1. ooh! So glad to hear that she's back on track with the latest Benjamin January. I thought that series was wonderful for awhile.

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    2. I haven't read this series. A new one to add to my list!

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  18. Such wonderful suggestions to add to my already staggering TBR pile! Hallie I read ON Animals and loved it also.

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  19. Iona Whishaw's Framed in Fire is on top of my pile. I keep moving it aside for quicker reads but it's such a fabulous series I need to clear a week for it. Next month for sure!!

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    1. I had been saving this one for when I had time to enjoy it. I read the first few pages last night.

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  20. Thanks Debs for the cookbook. I think I will buy it for my sister who has a couple of rough anniversaries coming up this month.

    Quite the varied list of titles here. I'm going to have to look up _Allow Me to Retort_, _The Home-wreckers_ and _On Animals_. Thanks, Red.

    I have begun the purge in preparation for moving and finding old texts. I'm looking at _Critical Elections_ by Walter Dean Burnham. A political science classic that underpins much of political analysis and reporting but not a title I expect to create a great deal of buzz. Just finished _The Bangalore Detective's Club_ by Harini Negendra. What a joy! Last night, I loaded up _Love and Saffron_ by Kim Fay.

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    1. I have the Bangalore Detective Club on the top of my pile. I hope you'll enjoy Love and Saffron, and your sister the Ella Risbridger.

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    2. Hope you enjoy Love and Saffron as much as I did
      Danielle

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  21. So many wonderful books to add to my list! I am especially looking forward to The Year of Miracles as I am now going through Midnight Chicken, which I was happy to discover here a few months ago. Thank you all!

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    1. You might want to have The Year of Miracles on hand for when you finish Midnight Chicken!

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  22. I should never read the comments when we do book recs. It just kills my budget for the month. Oh, well, do I really need electricity when I can read by candlelight? -Julia

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  23. As always, thank you so much for these wonderful recommendations! I have added several to my TBR list.

    My only recent read that was both wonderful and maybe not known to you all already was Frederik Backman's MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE'S SORRY. This is the first Backman book I have tried since reading A MAN CALLED OVE, and I have to admit I was fearful that no one could capture that magic more than once. I needn't have worried.

    The protagonist is a wise, odd, brave 7-year-old. Her beloved grandmother and best friend is one of those larger than life characters with no filter. The grandmother dies early in the book, and sends the granddaughter on a quest delivering letters of apology. She learns and grows a lot in the process. Though altogether different from OVE, this book had the same heart. (BTW, this is a book from. 2013, but timeless.)

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    1. I’ll try this one Susan, I’m never disappointed when I read your suggestions, especially when you are so enthusiastic.
      Danielle

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    2. Thank you, Danielle! I'm really touched by your comment. Isn't this Reds community amazing?

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    3. I read BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE by Backman and loved it, looking forward to reading other titles. Lisa in Long Beach

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  24. I could never manage to keep a reading journal. Every year I start one and then forget to log books. But a couple of years ago I started adding what I'd read every week to my weekly planner and I've kept it up religiously.

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    1. Goodreads has worked well for me. I use the Book Challenge, which conveniently groups my books by calendar year. And I have adopted a discipline of writing at least a brief review as soon as I finish a book.

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    2. I usually remember to add the books I've read to my Goodreads page. But what works even better for me is a free paper calendar from the bank. I put down the title in the appropriate box and add a rating number. This is copied from what my mother did. However, she went a step further and typed them up as a list at the end of the year. I just save the calendars.

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  25. FOR DEBS and others (like me) who only stream, here's how to watch Julia documentary without cable:
    https://www.nj.com/tv/2022/05/julia-on-cnn-free-live-stream-how-to-watch-online-without-cable.html

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    1. Thanks, Grace. It's also available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime, which is probably what I'll do as I don't want to sign up for free trials on Sling or Direct TV.

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    2. DEBS: That's good to know.Due to weird licensing rules, JULIA is not available to buy/rent on PrimeVideo (Canada). Also, others who may have missed last night's live CNN premiere can apparently get it via the CNN app or on CNN.COM on demand.

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  26. I just finished the 13th(!!) installment of Robert Jordan's WHEEL OF TIME series. Only one more to go!

    I've been alternating WOT with mysteries and now am reading Annette Dashofy's FATAL REUNION (re-reading, technically as Annette is one of my critique partners so I get to read everything she writes while she's still in the process of writing it, but I always like to read the final product straight through). Next will be DEATH IN A BLACKOUT and/or THE SAVAGE KIND.

    Hank, I read half of James Patterson's memoir when I was at the Pennwriters conference in early May. Annette lent me her copy as she's interviewing him in July. So fascinating - and funny! I loved his story about winning Best First at the Edgars. LOL

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    1. Thanks, Liz. Actually, I'm interviewing him in JUNE! Eek!

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  27. Currently reading THE CARTOGRAPHERS by Peng Shepherd. A mystery with maps? Yes please!

    Just finished NOOR by Nnedi Okorafor (africanfuturism) on the heels of THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE by Abi Dare for book club. Interesting to get two different looks at some common issues in Nigeria. Lisa in Long Beach

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    1. Is it good? I thought about buying that one.

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    2. Yes, I’m enjoying it.

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  28. I just finished an ARC of Allison Montclair' s The Unkept Woman. I love this series and how the two women in it have evolved, personally and in their friendship. It is set in post-war London and the two hit it off at a wedding and decide to go into business together as matchmakers. This is definitely not a cozy! One is trying to "officially" regain her sanity, her son, and her finances which she lost as a widow. The other is trying to stay out of the intrigue of her former job which cannot be named. Official secrets act, you know. There is a wonderful ongoing cast of characters including playwrights, gangsters, Scotland Yard detectives, and spies. I really enjoyed Karen White's Tradd Street series so I started her spinoff series set in New Orleans. The first book is The Shop on Royal Street. I loved it and want the next one. Now. Ugh. I think I am anonymous again. This is Pat D.

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    1. Pat, the Allison Montclair book sounds right up my alley!

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  29. In a period when it's been hard to engage in reading - first timein my whole life! - and I am mostly looking for entertainment? The most compelling book in a long time was raw, sad, and violent. Go figure. It is SA Cosby's Razorblade Tears and it is every bit as good as you've heard. Compelling plot and characters you have to care about in spite of their many, many flaws. I slammed through it in 2 days. Triss Stein

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  30. Oh, I wish I'd gotten to post earlier, because I am reading such a wonderful book right now and would like everyone to know about it. It seems that every so often (not even every year, but close enough) a fiction book comes along that's not in my preferred mystery/crime genre that touches my soul, connecting with me on a special level. Last year it was The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams. The year before it was The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. Others over the years have included The Girls by Lori Lansens, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, Moloka'i by Alan Brennert, State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, and more. The one I'm reading now is Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. One of the main characters is a favorite creature of mine, an octopus. Marcellus is a giant Pacific octopus living at Sowell Bay Aquarium in Washington state. Tova Sullivan is a widow who started working the night shift to tidy up the aquarium. Their bond and the bonds with others in the book are the stuff of reading magic. I so hope that others will read this amazing book. I have about a fourth left and can see where it's headed, or where I hope it's headed. And, really there is some mystery to it, involving the death of Tova's son thirty years ago.

    I need to mention Annette Dashofy's 11th Zoe Chambers, too. I was so happy to get a new Zoe and Pete book, and it absolutely delivered. Fatal Reunion is my new favorite in the series. My review should go up on The Reading Room today. And, I received the new Justice Jones book by Elly Griffiths yesterday, A Girl Called Justice: The Spy at the Window. It's #4 in the children's series, which isn't just for children at all. I'll be reading Nancy Cole Silverman's The Navigator's Daughter next, the first in her new series. So many, many great books waiting at my side.

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    1. Rest assured that at least a few of us will have come back to read the final entries on this page. Thanks for the list of older titles that have wowed you -- a few of those are books I never got around to reading and may now swing back to on the strength of this recommendation.

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    2. Susan, thanks for letting me know you read my comments. I'd love to know if you read any of the older ones.

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  31. So many books, so little time! I've been on a lighter book diet recently, while dealing with some annoying health issues. Nothing dark or harrowing for me. I've gobbled up the new Iona Wishaw/Lane Winslow mystery, "Framed in Fire," and Jenn's "Strawberried Alive," plus the latest by Nora Roberts, "Nightwork," which is about an international jewel thief--a career aspiration of mine back when I was in high school. I've also enjoyed Darcie Wilde's Rosalind Thorne series: definitely recommended for fans of Regency romances and really good historical mysteries.

    But I have to say that I've found my best refuge from this sad crazy world in Rhys' Lady Georgie books. I have been "chain reading" them--starting a new one as soon as I finish the last--and I love them! I had read a couple of the earlier ones before, but for some reason they just hit to spot for me in this particular moment. Last night I recommended them to a friend who is also looking for fun reads, and now she's a fan, too. Thanks, Rhys!

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    1. Oh! Yes! And Connie Berry's "The Shadow of Memory" is so, so good!

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    2. Oh, yes. Lady Georgie is a wonderful straight-out escape. A current favorite.

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  32. Hi Gigi, hope you are feeling better! Rhys's Lady Georgie books are definitely a balm! I read them through and then bought all the audiobooks, too. Framed in Fire is on top of my TBR pile.

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  33. Hank, I don't know if you've gotten to the place in James Patterson's book yet, but he gives you a lovely shout-out.

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  34. I read Every Cloak Rolled In Blood by James Lee Burke in two evenings. It nearly broke my heart. It’s largely autobiographical, dealing with the loss of a child. Don’t miss it. Be sure to bring tissues.

    Therefore I’m reading only Reginald Hill sat present. Well written, funny, delightful, and they don’t reduce me to tears.

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    1. I would love to reread Reginald Hill. His books were just brilliant. My treat at the moment is listening to Dorothy Sayers books on Audible, starting at the beginning.

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    2. I read every Reginald Hill and was very sad when he died. It would be a brilliant idea to go back and listen to them in order, as you're doing with Dorothy Sayers.

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  35. The Home Wreckers is at the top of my TBR!!!

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  36. يعد الحجر الهاشمى الهيصم من افضل انواع الاحجار الهاشمية حيث يتميز بمجموعة من المميزات التي جعلته من افضل أنواع الأحجار وذلك لانه صلب وقوي ومتين وذات مظهر متميز ولائق، كما يتم استخدامه في صناعة الكرانيش التي يتم تزين الابواب والشبابيك والبلكونات بها، وهذا النوع من الحجر موجود من قديم الزمان حيث كان يستخدمه القدماء المصريين.

    سعر الحجر الهاشمى الهيصم فى مصر
    قد يختلف اسعار الحجر الهاشمى في مصر وذلك باختلاف اسعار الاحجار الهاشمية والفرعونية، وذلك لان السعر يتحدد بناء على الألوان والأحجام ، كما تعتبر الخامات لها دور معين في تصميم وتزين الاعمال الديكورية في المنازل والقصور، حيث أن حجر الواجهات يختلف من منزل إلى منزل حسب احجار الاساس أيضا وذلك لأنه قد يكون صلب أو لين، كما يجب أن يتحمل جميع عوامل الطقس المختلفة، كما يوجد حجر ناعم وخشن، كما يوجد أنواع من الحجر يتعامل مع الماء بكل سهولة، وهناك نوع آخر ضد الماء.
    واجهات منازل طوب فرعوني

    اسعار حجر هاشمى كريمى
    تعتبر اسعار الحجر الهاشمى الكريمة من الأسعار المناسبة لجميع العملاء في تشطيب الواجهات الخارجية للبيوت والمنازل، كما أنه يتميز بجميع المميزات التي توجد في الحجر المصرى، وتعد أسعار هذا النوع من ارخص اسعار الحجر الهاشمى كما أنه يتحمل اقصى الظروف الصعبة وذلك عكس الحجر الهاشمي في مناطق الرطوبة.

    لقد أصبح حجر الهاشمى للواجهات أكثر صلابة ومتانة، كما أنها سهلة التنظيف كما يمكن تنظيفها بالماء دون حدوث أي ضرر، كما يتمتع بمسام يمتص من خلالها ما هو فائض، ويعتبر الحجر الهاشمى ممتاز وهو من أفضل مواد الطبيعة التي تعمل كعازل للحرارة في واجهات القصور والفلل.

    ديكورات حجر هاشمى في مصر 2020
    هناك مجموعة من الأشكال الجديدة للحجر الهاشمى، حيث تم تطوير هذا الحجر وأصبح يتناسب مع كافة الديكورات الخاصة بالحجر الهاشمى، ويتم تقديم الحجر بأشكال مبتكرة ومصممة على اعلى مستوى من التقدم والتميز، كما يقوم بتركيبه مجموعة متميزة من العمالة وذلك تحت إشراف هندسي متميز، كما تقدم الشركة أفضل الأسعار وتقديم الخصومات للعملاء الذين يطلبون الحصول على كميات كبيرة.
    تركيب حجر هاشمي

    يتم تحديد اسعار الحجر الهاشمى 2020 داخل مصر على مجموعة من العوامل مثل المصنعية الخاصة والتي يتم قياسها بالمتر، وقد لا تختلف اسعار المتر فى الفرز الأول عن الفرز الثاني كثيرا، كما أن تحديد السعر الخاص يتأثر على حسب الاقتصاد حول العالم مما يجعل أسعاره غير مستقرة ولا يمكن تحديدها بسهولة
    واجهات منازل حجر طبيعي

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