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Shutter Island
by Dennis Lehane

Excellent psychological thriller! I can't summarize the book for you because so much of what happens isn't real....or is it? Even at the very end the reader is not sure. I listened to this book on tape, and if I was rating the tape I would give it only 4 stars because the way reader speaks the Negro parts was offensive to me. But overlooking that the story is terrific. So READ, don't listen to, this book!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson

Saw this book on tape at The Friends of the Library sale and got it because I recognized the title since it had been on the bestsellers list for a long time a few years ago. I knew nothing else about it. Big mistake! I got about one-third of the way through and had to put it down for awhile because there were three very graphic sexual assaults (one very sadistic) described and I was so distressed I didn't think I could read any more. I finally did go back to it and, thankfully, there were no other scenes like that. Of the several mysteries to unravel in this novel I figured two out also in the first third of the book. And though it was satisfying to hear the final mysteries solved, I still would not recommend this book.

Case Histories
by Kate Atkinson

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.

by Mieko Kawakami

This was a hard book to read. It depicts how extreme bullying, verging on criminal, affects those who don't fight back or choose not to. Kawakami's style is beautifully spare, and I understand her intent with debating the philosophical sides of turning the other cheek or not, but I couldn't help but reach a level of frustration in that I was constantly wondering, "Where are the adults in this story??" I was intrigued enough with her style that I intend to check out her debut novel, "Breasts and Eggs."

Fountains Of Silence
by Ruta Sepetys

Sepetys is one of my favorite YA authors. Her historical fiction novels are meticulously researched and chock full of interesting and multi-dimensional characters. This title doesn't disappoint. Set in the post-Spanish Civil War during Franco's reign of terror, it follows the connections forged between an American teen whose family is conducting business in the country and a Spanish teen whose family has suffered under the repressive regime. It sheds light on a long-forgotten and heartbreaking time in Spanish-American relations and adds an incredibly sweet love story!

The Guest List Lucy Foley
by Lucy Foley

What a great book, really character-driven. I don’t normally read thrillers but this was just fantastic. Foley did a great job showing the characters’ introspections and capturing human nature. A well-written and suspenseful thriller. Check for triggers before reading, but I would highly recommend!

Twice In A Blue Moon
by Christina Lauren

Hollywood drama, best describes this book. Tate is the daughter of a famous actor that she is estranged from. She meets Sam in London, their budding romance feels like it could be the plot of a movie. Later in the book we follow parts of making a movie. Paparazzi are swirling in this book and with drama between characters, this book could be a Hollywood movie. I am thankful for review I read here that prompted me to read the book.

A Spell For Trouble
by Esme Addison

A cute cozy mystery about a woman who finds out her family has magic, and has to solve a murder before her aunt is put away for it. Nothing special, but I will be reading the new sequel!

Tuesday Mooney Talks To Ghosts
by Kate Racculia

This is a fast-paced and fun read, an adventure story about treasure hunt in and around the city of Boston with clues based on Edgar Allen Poe elaborately set up by a dying billionaire. Tuesday Mooney is a loner with a ghost haunting her from her past who is drawn into this hunt along with a handsome mysterious heir to a fortune, a teenage neighbor whose mother recently died, and a karaoke/drinking buddy unsure of his real place in this world. Character development is excellent and I came to care about all of these folks. While piecing together the fabulous clues and the underlying mysteries the characters {and hopefully too the readers} learn who and what is really important in life.

The Compassionate Carnivore
by Catherine Friend

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.
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