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Book Reviews
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Split Level
by Sande Boritz Berger

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Split Level kept popping up as a book suggestion on my Kindle, so I decided to give it a try. It made me somewhat grateful that I wasn't around in the 1970s for dating and early marriage. Alex Pearl, the narrator, is a bored New Jersey housewife living in a suburb with her husband and two young kids. Maybe the magic has gone out of the Pearls' marriage. Maybe it was never there in the first please. The two head for a weekend marriage retreat, something that was apparently de rigueur during that era, and come out of the weekend at Marriage Mountain with more advice than they bargained for. Alex's husband Donny is more than on board with the recommendations another retreat attendee made, which eventually leads to the couple becoming entangled with another husband and wife from their community. Can a married couple temporarily leave monogamy behind and emerge unscathed? That's the dilemma the Pearls face, with their lives unraveling at the same time as Richard Nixon experienced his downfall. This was an interesting departure from the typical summer beach reads and a nostalgic look back, for those who lived through it, at an era with much change and tumult.

La Ninfa De Porcelana Isabel Allende
by Isabel Allende En Español

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Great good short read! The story of the Porcelain Ninfa takes you away from the conventional fictional characters to a completely unrealistic personification of a companion for the main character of the book. I enjoyed th ending and how the story ends making me smile and daydreaming of all the possibilities.

Home With My Sisters
by Mary Carter

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A wonderful story of a family reunited at the invitation of their grandmother who is dying. Ms. Carter takes us through a Christmas gathering and three sisters spending time and sharing memories, healing old hurts and renewing their relationships. This is an easy and enjoyable read.

Project Hail Mary
by Andy Weir

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I loved this book! Great science fiction story. Though there is a lot of math that was way over my head I could skim through those parts and still completely understand the story. Highly recommend this to everyone, but especially science and math nerds!

One Last Stop Casey Mcquiston
by Casey Mcquiston

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A really great book! Found family, a cute romance, and a hint of sci-fi. A perfect fun summer read!

Meghan And Harry The Real Story
by Lady Colin Campbell

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I take celebrity tell-all novels with a grain of salt, but I still read them. Lady Colin Campbell's long awaited book about the Duke and Dutchess of Sussex (aka Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) comes via interviews from numerous palace insiders and friends of Meghan from her pre-royal days. This book is quite clearly slanted in favor of the Royal Family, not Meghan and Harry. The author makes no secret of her disdain for both. While the book is gossipy and doesn't rely upon on the record sources, I have no doubt that there is a lot of accurate information here. This book brings to mind the saying about there being three sides to a story. I'll have to check out the other new book, slanted in favor of Meghan and Harry, to balance things out.

Mostly Dead Things
by Kristen Arnett

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Wanted to love this book, but had some issues with it. I love Kristin Arnett -- she's dark, funny and sometimes irreverent. A tale about a family of taxidermists and one that celebrates LGBTQ relationships is a good change of pace for me. But, the "mostly dead" appellation here describes how I felt when reading about the relationships in this novel -- they just left me cold. It's set in Florida, so has some resemblance to Karen Russell's work and it did it's best when it reflected on the main character's connection to her dead father and his love of how to take dead things and give them more life.

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.

Ranger in Time, Rescue On the Oregon Trail
by Kate Messner

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I loved the book and read it to my son!

The Final Twist
by Jeffrey Deaver

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The third book in the Colter Shaw series. Best read in order because there are some surprises in this book that go back to the 2 prior books. I'm sure, though, it would be just as good as a 1st read of Colter Shaw. There are many twists in this like only Deaver can create. Fast paced and ultimately satisfying.