Tuesday, November 30, 2021

You’ll Be the Death of Me


Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Delcorte Press

Year: 2021

📖 𝗛𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆 𝗣𝘂𝗯 𝗗𝗮𝘆! 📖

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off but make it murder. 

Over the past few years, @writerkmc has cemented her reputation as one of the go-to author of young adult mysteries. Her streak of hits continues with her latest novel You’ll Be the Death of Me. Three former friends try to capture the magic of an epic skip day, but stumble into a murder instead. They spend the rest of their ditch day trying to solve the murder and figuring out why their tight knit-bond ended before they made it to high school. 

There’s plenty of twists, secrets, and  even a bit of romance to satisfy any reader. The three main characters are personalities that teen readers will easily recognize and relate to. Ivy is a stressed out overachiever who was just knocked down a peg when she lost the student council election to the kid who treated the election as a joke and who happens to be the murder victim. Mateo is the brooding hunk. His family’s business went under and he works two jobs to help out. Cal is a shy, artistic loner who always seems to fall for the wrong person. Can they overcome the past mistakes of their friendship to work together to find the murderer or will they become the next victims? 

Thank you to @netgalley and @delacortepress for the complimentary digital ARC. You’ll Be the Death of Me is on sale today. 

Happy Tuesday! Can’t believe November is at an end. What was your favorite book this month? 

#youllbethedeathofme #karenmmcmanus #delacourtepress #publicationday #thriller #mystery #crimefiction #teenreads #yafiction #friendship #ireadya #youngadultbooks #youngadultfiction #youngadultmystery #anotherbestseller #ditchday #skipday #murder #murdermystery #bookstagram 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Currently Reading


And just like that our house is quiet again. 

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, food, and dogs. Our daughter and her husband were here with their two dogs. Our son and his gf visited with their dog. We spent Thanksgiving day at my sister’s with her whole crew and my parents. The kids and their fur babies have all gone back to their homes. Pretty sure our two dogs are going to spend the rest of today sleeping after all the running around and playing they did with their pals. 

Back to reading for me. I’m #currentlyreading Her Name is Night by Yasmin Angoe. The main character is an assassin and there’s lots of intrigue! Trying to finish this up by the end of the month. What book are you trying to finish up before November ends? 

Happy Hanukkah 🕎 to bookish friends celebrating the holiday! Wishing you all peace and light! 

#currentlyreading #hotchocolate #hotchocolateandcurrentlyreading #hernameisnight #thomasandmercer #yasminangoe #assassin #thrillerbooks #thrillersuspense #kindle #kindlefirstreads #kindlepaperwhite 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Do No Harm


Author: Christina McDonald

Publisher: Gallery Books

Year: 2021

A woman is willing to cross any line to save her son. 

Emma, a doctor, and her husband Nate, a police detective, learn their son Josh has a rare form of cancer. The already financially strapped couple worry about how to pay for Josh’s treatment. Nate puts all his effort into solving the murder of a local drug dealer and earn a promotion. Emma knows they need the money now. She coerces an old boyfriend into helping her sell illegal opiates. Emma is soon caught in the the crosshairs of Nate’s investigation with deadly results. 

This is part family drama, part police procedural, part indictment of our broken healthcare system, and part examination of the opioid epidemic. There’s a lot going on and author Christina McDonald makes it all work. It’s interesting to see how Emma’s attitude about opioids shifts and changes as she gets deeper and deeper into the drug trade.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have one little complaint. The forensic pathologist is described as “a small mousy woman, quiet, more like a librarian than a pathologist”. Really?! It’s almost 2022. Can we please stop stereotyping librarians as quiet and mousy? Librarians and loud and fierce. We have to be, especially now. Librarians are leading the charge against the recent rash of book banning. There is nothing quiet or mousy about today’s librarians. We’re advocates for books, authors, our patrons, and the freedom to read. We can’t afford to be quiet and mousy. 

Ok, I’ll climb off my soapbox now. Our kids and their partners will be here for Thanksgiving. We’ve been cleaning and trying to get things straightened up before their arrival. I’m cooking the turkey tomorrow since I have to bring it to my sister’s house on Thursday. Are you traveling or staying home for the holiday? 

#donoharm #gallerybooks #christinamcdonald #thriller #suspensethriller #crimefiction #doctor #policeprocedural #opiodcrisis #opiodabuse #bookstagram #bookworm #booknerd #librarybook #lovemylibrary #librariansrock #igreads 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

As if on Cue


Author: Marisa Kanter

Narrator: Tara Sands

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2021

🎧𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄🎧

Thank you @simon.audio for the #giftedbook. 

It’s band kids vs. theater kids in this enemies to lovers YA romance. 

Natalie is a theater kid with her heart set on directing the school’s first student-written production- a play she co-wrote with her best friend. Reid is the band’s most talented musician and Natalie’s biggest rival. Budget cuts to the school’s arts program force Natalie and Reid to turn the play into a musical and co-direct the production. The rivals must find a way to work together in order to stage a musical that will wow the school board and save the arts programs. As Natalie and Reid work on the musical, their feelings for each other grow. But there are some bumps along the way- both artistically and romantically. 

Reid is an incredibly talented musician and dreams of attending a prestigious music conservatory and a composing career after high school. Natalie loves to write and direct, but worries that following that dream would lead to a financially unstable future. At the beginning of the book, Reid seems a little selfish and uncaring. As long as the budget for the band isn’t slashed, he doesn’t care what happens to the theater, visual arts or chorus programs. As the story developed, he grew on me and I ended up rooting for him. Natalie, however, was a horrible person throughout the book. She was incredibly selfish, annoying, and quick to judge. What she does to Reid toward the end of the book is flat out cruel and spiteful.

Tara Sands provides a wonderful narration for the audiobook, striking the right notes of teenage snark and heartbreak. This book will have lots of appeal for teens. I think the YA market needs more books featuring kids who play in the school band and perform in the plays. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy Friday eve! Happy news- my mom’s facility has opened after a two week lockdown! Going to spend the day at my sister’s house with my mom and dad. They haven’t seen each other in a few weeks, so it will be nice to reunite them for a few hours. What’s on your agenda today? 

#asifoncue #marisakanter #tarasands #simonaudio #yabooks #yaromancenovels #bandkids #theaterkids #savethearts #highschoollife #musicaltheater #schooltheater #ireadya #bookstagram #bookworm
#bibliophile #audiobook #audiobookreview 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Left Handed Twin


Author: Thomas Perry

Publisher: Mysterious Press

Year: 2021

📖 𝙃𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙮 𝙥𝙪𝙗𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙙𝙖𝙮! 📖

Jane Whitfield is the person you need if you need to disappear and start a new life. Jane teaches her clients basic safety tactics, gets them a new identity, and helps them settle in a new town. Jane agrees to help a young woman running from her revenge-seeking boyfriend. When the boyfriend enlists the help of Russian mobsters, Jane becomes the target of ruthless hunters. 

This is the ninth book in the series by Thomas Perry. I’ve enjoyed several of Perry’s stand-alone books, but hadn’t read any of the Jane Whitefield series. I had no trouble jumping into the series at number nine. There was enough of Jane’s backstory so I never felt lost and it helped give an immediate sense of her character. Jane is smart and definitely a no-nonsense and resourceful woman. She cares deeply about the people she helps and is willing to risk her life to keep them safe. 

I really enjoyed this one. I liked Jane and I found her career intriguing. The plot moves quickly with plenty of action throughout the book. I’m going to have to check out the previous books in this series. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to @netgalley and @mysteriouspress for the #gifted digital review copy. The Left Handed Twin is available today. 

Happy Tuesday! My excitement for today is picking up my new glasses. My prescription changed a little bit so I’m excited to get my new specks. I even treated myself by getting new frames that have the easy on/easy off magnetic sunglasses attachment. Am I the only person who gets excited about new glasses? 🤓 

#thelefthandedtwin #thomasperry #mysteriouspress #thrillerbooks #crimefiction #suspensethriller #thrillerfiction #giftedbook #bookreview #bookstagram #igreads #booknerd

Monday, November 15, 2021

Currently Reading


Happy Monday! 

Hope y’all had a good weekend. I’m #currentlyreading Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay. I’m enjoying it! I’m taking Gracie to the groomer this afternoon. She’s in desperate need of a bath and a cut. While she’s having her spa day, I’ll run some errands and visit the bookstore. Probably a more fun afternoon for me than Gracie! 

My sister asked me to cook the turkey and stuffing. Our family tradition is to stuff the turkey with potato dressing instead of the traditional bread stuffing. It’s an old family recipe I remember watching my grandmother make when I was a kid. My sister never got the hang of making it. She’s a good cook, but I think this is the only dish I can make than she can. Does your family have any Thanksgiving traditions? 

#everylastfear #alexfinley #minotaurbooks #thriller #librarybook #currentlyreading #crimefiction #bookstagram #booksbooksbooks #igreads #bibliophile #bookworm #alwaysreading 

Friday, November 12, 2021

The First Day of Spring


Author: Nancy Tucker

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Year: 2021

“𝙄 𝙠𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙖 𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙩𝙡𝙚 𝙗𝙤𝙮 𝙩𝙤𝙙𝙖𝙮.” 

This is a heck of a first line that would grab any readers attention. Discovering that the main character who says it is an 8 year old girl, that line lands like a punch to the throat. 

The story is told from two points of view- Chrissie’s and Julia. Chrissie is a smart, confident, and often funny little girl. She’s also neglected and pretty much ignored by her mother,  while her father only makes sporadic appearances in her life. Chrissie’s need for attention, lack of manners, and sharp tongue wear down her peers and the other adults in her life. Julia is grown up Chrissie. It’s twenty years after the murders. She’s done her time and her name is changed to protect her privacy. She also has a child of her own now. At first the thought of the child killer having a child of her own is chilling. But as Julia’s story unfolds, it’s obvious how much she loves her daughter and how hard she’s working to be a good mother. 

It would be easy to assume this is a nature versus nurture story, but it’s more nuanced than that. This is an intense and disturbing novel that will give you lots to think about. Nancy Tucker has created a character who is both horrifying and sympathetic. Chrissie is a character you won’t soon forget. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy Friday! What are you reading this weekend? My library hold for Every Last Fear is ready so I’ll be diving into that. 

#thefirstdayofspring #nancytucker #riverheadbooks #thriller #psychologicalthriller #murder #childhoodtrauma #crimefiction #bibliophile #bibliophilelife #librarybook #bookworm #alwaysreading #igreads 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Girl, 11


Author: Amy Suiter Clarke

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 

Year: 2021

A podcaster investigates a cold case of a notorious serial killer who confounded authorities for decades. 
The latest season of Elle’s podcast investigates the The Countdown Killer (TCK). Two decades before, he abducted & murdered girls according to a strict pattern. But he suddenly stopped killing & was never caught. When a listener with a tip about the case is murdered right before Elle can interview him, it begins a chain of events that pulls Elle deep into the investigation and into danger. 

This is a solid debut thriller from Amy Suiter Clarke. I thought incorporating Elle’s podcast worked really well in keeping the plot moving. The book’s timeline does move from present to past to give the backstory of how TCK came to be. TCK kidnapped & killed in a series-three girls over the course of seven days. Each murdered girl was a year younger than the previous victim. The killer’s ritual was so elaborate & rigid that I kept wondering how he found & stalked his age appropriate victims in pre-Internet/pre-social media days. I sometimes have a problem with the super smart, all knowing serial killer troupe. Elle’s isn’t the most likeable main character. I thought she was too selfish & her too demanding know it all attitude, especially when she was dealing with the police, was annoying. Maybe if her motivation for solving the case was revealed earlier, I might have been more sympathetic. The twists are obvious and the ending was built on a series of coincidences and was predictable. This was an okay read for me. I liked the premise but I think the execution of the story could have be better. This could be a good choice for readers who enjoy true crime podcasts and anyone who likes stories featuring serial killers. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Yesterday was a good news/bad news day. The good news was that I found flooring for your remodeling project. Bad news is my mom’s facility is on Covid lockdown for two weeks. Hoping it opens & we can take her home for Thanksgiving. So, tell me some good news you have. Big news or small doesn’t matter- just something good. 

#girl1 #houghtonmifflinharcourt #thriller #crimefiction #serialkiller #podcast #coldcase #igreads #bookstagram #librarybook #lovemylibrary #kindlepaperwhite #ebook #bookworm #readreadread #booknerd 

Monday, November 8, 2021

State of Terror


Authors: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny

Narrator: Joan Allen

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2021

🎧𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄🎧

Thank you @simon.audio for the #giftedbook. 

In State of Terror, former media titan Ellen Adams is the new Secretary of State for the recently elected president- a man she doesn’t see eye to eye with. A series of bombings in England, France, and Germany lead to a credible threat against the United States. Adams must go toe to toe with the country’s political allies and rivals to unravel the truth. Can she and her team stop the threat of nuclear bombs going off in American cities? 

This is a solid political thriller from real life best friends Louise Penny and Hillary Rodman Clinton. There’s a lot to like about the book. Adams is a good main character. My favorite character was her best friend Betsy, a woman described as looking like June Cleaver with the ability to curse a blue streak. Although, I do wonder if younger readers will know that reference. The plot was well thought out, but did get a little convoluted and dragged a smidge in the middle. The story picked up towards the end and had some twists and turns. I was on the edge of my seat for the last quarter of the book. Long time fans of Penny’s Three Pines series will be happy to see her beloved character Chief Inspector Gamache make a cameo appearance in the story. 

The very talented Joan Allen provides the narration for the audiobook. Allen’s voice has the gravitas for the role of Secretary of State and it was a compelling listen. This is perfect for readers who love political thrillers or espionage stories. Readers interested in world politics will be interested in the peek behind the curtain aspect of the State Department. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy Monday! Trying to get all my ducks in a row for the week. The big goal for the week is to coordinate with my sister to arrange a visit with our mom and dad. The other goal is to finish priming the living room and paint the ceiling. What’s at the top of your to do list this week? 

#stateofterror #louisepenny #hillaryclinton #simonaudio #joanallen #politicalthriller #thriller #audiobook #audiobookstagram #audiobooksofinstagram #statedepartment #secretaryofstate #terrorism #nuclearthreat #fiction #fictionbooks 

Friday, November 5, 2021

White Smoke


Author: Tiffany D. Jackson

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Year: 2021

Happy Friday! 

White Smoke is a haunted house story featuring Mari and her newly blended family. In need of a fresh start, they leave their California beach town and settle in a Midwestern city. Mari’s mom, a writer, received a grant from the city to live rent free in a newly renovated house. It’s part of the city’s new plan to revitalize a blighted neighborhood. 

Mari notices weirdness the minute her family moves in. The neighbors aren’t welcoming, the contractors finishing the house are scared, and things go bump in the night. Is it Mari’s imagination or is the house really haunted? Are ghosts scarier than truth and history?

Kudos to Tiffany D. Jackson on her first foray into horror. This is just creepy enough to make you wonder about the creak you just heard in your own house, but it’s not a gore fest. I don’t want to give anything away. It’s better to go into this book without knowing too much. 

Mari is dealing with a lot. She feels guilty for the events that precipitated her family’s move to a new city. She’s battling anxiety and an OCD issue concerning bedbugs. Her parents really fail her in getting help with her anxiety. But she’s strong, smart, and determined. 

A macabre house, a sinister town, neighbors hiding something and always on the edge of fear, people in power who on the surface seem to be do-gooders, but there something insidious slithering under the surface of it all. It all adds up to a creepy great read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Any fun plans for the weekend? We started to put primer on the new drywall in the living. We’ll work on that and watch football. 

#whitesmoke #tiffanydjackson #katherinetegenbooks #horror #yahorror #ireadya #spookyseason #betweenfriendsbookclub #creepyread #hauntedhouse #bedbugs #anxiety #booknerd 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Man Who Died Twice


Author: Richard Osman

Publisher: Penguin 

Year: 2021

The Thursday Murder Club is back with a new mystery to solve

The Thursday Murder Club was a surprise favorite for me when I read it this summer. I’m not usually a cozy mystery fan, but the charming characters and setting won me over.  There’s always the worry of a sophomore slump after a bestselling debut, but I’m happy to report The Man Who Died Twice hits it out of the park. 

The gang is back in action after a mysterious man from Elizabeth’s past turns up at their retirement village seeking her help. He made an impulsive decision and now he’s in danger. When the bodies start piling up, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim spring into action searching for stolen diamonds and thwarting a dangerous monster. They also help Chris and Donna with a local drug dealer and settle a score for Ibrahim. 

The mystery provides lots of twists and turns, but, like the first book, the fun is the delightful main characters. They are smart and funny. They still have much to prove and contribute to a world that dismisses and underestimates senior citizens. While murder and mayhem are the main themes, the story also looks at aging with dignity and grace, loneliness, staying relevant, and forging new friendships. There’s lots of gentle humor sprinkled throughout the book too which adds to the overall charm and delight of the deadly going’s on the Cooper’s Chase retirement community. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Happy Wednesday! Woke up to our first frost of the season this morning. I’m not ready for winter to settle in just yet. I think it’s a good day to make lasagna for dinner tonight. What’s on your menu?

#thursdaymurderclub #themanwhodiedtwice #richardosman #penguinbooks #cooperschase #retirementvillage #mysteryfiction #crimefiction #murdermystery #thriller #stolendiamonds #mobster #bookstagram #cozymystery #cozyread #bookrecommendations #greatreads #bibliophile #bibliophilelife #kindlebook #amazonkindle #readerlife #booknerd 

Monday, November 1, 2021

October Reading Wrap Up 🎃


Welcome November! I can’t believe we’re starting the second to last month of 2021. 

October was a good month. Our remodeling project marched onward. We ended up hiring someone to put up the drywall, do the mudding, and the sanding. Now we can move on to the next phase- cleaning up the dust (still!), priming and painting. The day after the drywall was finished, the dogs and I hit the road to meet my hubby at the beach. We had two perfect weather weeks at the Outer Banks of NC. It was wonderful! 

I read 14 books for the month and enjoyed all of them.
The Man Who Died Twice 📖
White Smoke 📖
The Best American Mystery & Suspense 2021 📖
As If on Cue 🎧
The First Day of Spring 📖
Girl, 11 📖
State of Terror 🎧
The Last Line 📖
Bad Girls Never Say Die 📖
Trashlands 📖
The Body 🎧
The Witch’s Heart 📖
The Night She Disappeared 🎧
Mary Jane 📖

Thank you Simon & Schuster Audio, Macmillan Children’s, Harlequin Books, Mariner Bookd, and Amazon Original Stories for the #gifted copies. 

What’s your first book for November? I’m reading Do No Harm. 

#readingwrapup #monthlywrapup #monthlyreadingwrapup #october #bookstagram #igreads #audiobooks #ebooks #librarybooks #audiobookstagram #bookworm #booknerd #alwaysreading 

Under Your Spell

  Author: Laura Wood Narrator: Ellie Heydon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Year: 2024 🎧𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄🎧 Many thanks...