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Showing posts from July, 2022

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

  Publication Date:  November 6, 1939 Length: 272 pages In my last Agatha Christie review I said I wasn't sure if I was ever going to like her books. This one changed my mind! It was unique, full of plot twists, and kept me guessing. So I have decided I'll continue to give her another try and see what everyone loves so much about her novels. True, the ending to this book is fantastical and mind bending, but then a lot of the novels I read require suspension of belief in order to appreciate the way the author explains events. And she used all of her imagination for this one. I read somewhere that she said this was her hardest novel to write and that she hoped she'd done a good job. I think she succeeded.   When eight people are summoned to a small island off the coast of England for a luxurious summer vacation, they are simultaneously excited and apprehensive. The host of the mansion is mysterious and vague as to who they are and why they are inviting the guests. Calling him

Why Reading Books Is Still Important

  BOOKWORMS UNITE Sometimes I'll be talking with someone and they'll mention how they don't like to read books. They'll say, "well, I read....just not books.  I mean, I can find everything I need in an online article or Netflix show. Why would I waste time reading the book?" And while it's true that you can get information much more quickly on Wikipedia or a documentary or a news story, I still argue that reading actual books is so important. I don't feel like myself if I go to bed without having read something from a book that day. On my busiest ones I might literally only squeeze in 10 minutes of reading time but it makes me cranky if I find I've not carved out any book time at the end of the day. I love my Bible app, I love to read news articles and I'll spend way too much time scrolling on Facebook or Instagram. But I always, always come back to books when I need to just escape the day and its drama. I have tried to figure out exactly why I

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

  Publication Date:  June 1, 1991 Length: 640 pages I started this book in 2003. I probably picked it up, started reading, and put it down a half dozen times. At one point I said I'd never finish it, that I wasn't interested. Then one day, inexplicably, I plowed through it and that was it. I.was.hooked. I read the whole series (Book 5 was the latest out at that time) and continued to collect and read them all as they were published. Then I moved on to the spinoffs with Lord John Grey and the novellas in Seven Stones. I cannot wait for Book 10 to be released in the future. It is safe to say I'm a die hard Outlander fan.  This is the original...the one where it all started. Claire Randall is on her second honeymoon in Scotland in 1945. She is fresh from the war as a combat nurse and is trying to get reacquainted with her husband, Frank, who has also been away in the war working in intelligence. The two attempt to forget that they've been apart for most of their short marr

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (A Hercule Poirot Mystery)

  Publication Date:   June 1926 Length: 312 pages I finished this book last week but it's taken me several days to get up the courage to write this review. I'm afraid I'm going to stir up a hornet's nest with the Agatha Christie lovers but I'm going to be honest.....I keep trying and I don't know if she's my cup of tea. I read somewhere recently that if you don't like this book, you won't like anything by her. That is discouraging because I really, really want to like Christie's books. I mean, c'mon...her books are only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare according to the stats. Maybe what made it worse with this book was that I'd read other reviews about the ending and while they didn't give it away, it was too much hinting so that I figured it out way before I'd finished reading. That's a bummer with a murder mystery! Our story begins with our first person narrator, Dr. James Sheppard. He discusses the sudden suicide of Mrs

Crocodile On the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody Book One)

  Publication Date: 1975 Pages: 352 I've been on a huge mystery kick lately. Especially cozy, historical mysteries. This book is number one on my list for summer mystery reading fun! It is strange that it sat in my Kindle to read list forever. I don't know why but I'd look at the cover and just think "yawn, not yet". Now that I finally gave in and read it I am kicking myself for wasting time. This is going to be an entertaining series. The sad part is that Elizabeth Peters (real name Barbara Mertz) passed away in 2013 and will not be writing more books. When I read up on her life after finishing the book I was absolutely fascinated. She earned a Ph.D. in Egyptology (didn't even realize that was a thing) in 1952 when most women normally wouldn't even dream of going to college for four years let alone the time it would take to earn a doctorate. She said later that writing gave her a way to earn money and be a stay at home mother. I could go on but this is a

A Very English Murder by Verity Bright (A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery) Book One

  Publication Date: April 3, 2020 Length: 300 pages As a Mom of two very busy teens I mistakenly thought, "oh during summer I'm going to get so much reading and reviewing done!" Wrong! I'm so behind on the Historical Fiction Challenge I'm embarrassed but.....I also have found it has been great for me in a new way to feel like I'm not able to read constantly. And that silver lining is that I have discovered so many adorable, short, easy to read books, especially cozy fiction and cozy mysteries that I am enjoying these shorts bursts of reading when I can knock out a book or two in a relatively short amount of time. Normally I feel pressure to read either long books or deep, meaningful books but as I get older I'm realizing it's okay to read things that are fun and quick!  This book is a delight. It is like reading a mystery that takes place in Downton Abbey. And if you are familiar with the show you know that everyone loves Mr. Carson, the butler. In thi

Strawberry Shortcake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery (Book 2) by Joanne Fluke

  Publication Date: March 1, 2001 Length: 296 pages I admit I had already watched all the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries movies starring Alison Sweeney when I read the first Hannah Swensen book. So I had a pretty biased view of what the main character would look like, sound like, and act like. I also didn't start with book one because that exact story had been made into a movie and I figured I already knew how the mystery was solved. I plan to read it eventually as I think there are some small details one misses when jumping into the second book. These books are just fun! If you are going to the beach or maybe are just looking for a totally easy read to fill a long afternoon then I recommend reading one. You could almost classify them as Young Adult Fiction because they really are simplistic in dialogue and plot. But when you add in the charming aspects of small town life, recurring characters, recipes, and the murder mystery I'd say they are cozy mystery fiction for anyone. The