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Book Reviews
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Birthday Girl
by Penelope Douglas

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3.5 stars. I liked this better than Punk 57 but I could not get behind their relationship. Not necessarily because of the age gap, I knew what I was going into reading this, but because Pike was really awful a lot of the time. I didn’t really see the change in him when it came to their relationship but I liked watching his character develop outside of it. And I liked Jordan herself, they just didn’t work for me as a couple.

The Longest Line On The Map By Eric Rutkow
by Rutkow

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Enjoyed this one a lot, especially the geographical aspects

Anxious People
by Frederik Backman

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I listened to the audiobook of this novel, and it was a fantastic performance - one of the best I've heard. These well developed characters are completely brought to life and I literally laughed out loud many times during a recent road trip.

Case Histories
by Kate Atkinson

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Enjoyed and did not enjoy this book. The premise was solving three murders, two of which were unsolved and one in which the wrong person was convicted. The detective, Jackson Brodie, is trying to solve all three at the same time multiple years later. The difficulty I had was in following the three narratives. Not only were there three separate stories to keep straight, but the narratives unfolded in different timelines and jumped around. What I did enjoy was the author's narrative style--humorous stream of conciousness.

The Compassionate Carnivore
by Catherine Friend

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The full title of this book is The Compassionate Farmer {Or, How To Keep Animals Happy, Save Old MacDonald's Farm, Reduce Your Hoofprint, And Still Eat Meat} which pretty much tells you everything the book is about. Even though the statistics in it are dated (the book was published in 2008) the points the author is trying to make are still valid. Most of us know by now about the ugliness of how animals are raised in cramped quarters and are not killed in a humane manner at the large corporate or "factory farms". But apparently that also happens on many small farms too. The author educates us on the differences between factory, conventional, sustainable, and organic farms and what all the labels on our eggs and meat really mean, like local, grass fed, cage free, free range, pasture raise, certified organic, or certified humane. I was shocked to learn that "cage free" technically means chickens are not in a cage but they could be crammed together in a building with little room to move! Besides opening the reader's eyes to the different ways the meat we eat is raised and processed what I liked best about this author is that she is not judgmental about eating meat and offers very practical ways to make changes in our consumption and purchasing of meat. I do recommend this book to everyone.

I am watching you
by teresa driscoll

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Love this book - good and creepy!

Where The Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens
by Delia Owens

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It took me three tries to finally get into the story of the book. It is interesting to learn about a little girl who was abandoned by her mother and siblings and how she managed to "raise her self" against all odds. Good story, Good Summer read!

Rule Of Wolves
by Leigh Bardugo

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The last (maybe?) in the Grishaverse series by the delightfully gothic Leigh Bardugo and what a wild ride! I was very satisfied with how the series' hanging threads were woven together. We get to spend a lot of time with the fabulously rakish King Nikolai and the fierce Zoya Navalensky, but characters from the previous trilogy and duology show themselves as well. For anyone who has enjoyed the Netflix show, this is a series well worth diving into, especially as a summer read.

If Not For You
by Debbie Macomber

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There's something to be said for longtime authors such as Debbie Macomber, a veteran of her genre. Especially when you're looking for an easy read. If Not For You, one of Macomber's recent books, fits this description. Beth moves from Chicago to Portland, Oregon, moving away from her controlling mother and close by to Sunshine, her free-spirited artist aunt. There, as she embarks on her new life, a fellow teacher sets Beth up on what winds up being a disastrous blind date, disastrous in more than one way. Beth and mechanic Sam, who was equally less than thrilled at the setup, form a close bond after Beth is involved in a terrible car accident. That initial unease turns into a relationship. Of course, in the back of her mind, Beth knows that her mother's disapproval will eventually become an issue, something that turns out to be true. Many of the characters in this book have unresolved relationships, something good natured Beth wants to help resolve. She quickly learns that some things are better left alone, a lesson that winds up being a painful learning experience for her. Of course, Debbie Macomber doesn't leave loose ends, so almost all is good by the book's conclusion. And that is why I enjoy alternating books by new and emerging authors with writing from authors such as Macomber. You know what you're in for, and the lack of a surprise is sometimes a good thing.

Scythe
by Neal Shusterman

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In the distant future, almost 300 years after artificial intelligence became the all powerful Thunderhead, humanity has been cured of hunger, poverty, disease, and even death. Despite the basic utopia, the population is still growing faster than the planet can keep up. People still have to die (much more slowly than in the Age of Mortality), but it was decided that death was best left to human control, and so the Scythedom formed. Scythe Faraday takes Rowan and Citra on as reluctant apprentices to compete for a place in the Scythdom that neither of them wants. A sci-fi favorite that just adds more with each reread of the trilogy!