"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, January 31, 2020

January Books

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith -- a good way to end one year and start 2020 is with Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi and the gang in this book from the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Yes, I'm still reading those!

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline -- Maggie is so excited when her daughter contacts her, wanting a relationship after their years of estrangement. Noah is happy to support his wife, but when Anna moves in things get bizarre. Actually Noah ends up on trial! Pretty good story. 

Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson -- The book starts with Shandi and her son Natty leaving her mother's house to live near her father in Atlanta. On the drive there, they - along with Shandi's BFF Walcott - stop at a gas station where Shandi and Natty are involved in a robbery. Well, they are victims of it, not holding people up. William happens to be there as well, and this book is mostly about their developing friendship.  OK read; nothing great.

 The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald -- Abi is woken from sleeping by a police officer informing her that her daughter had had an accident and was at the hospital. Abi is stunned that her good, rule-keeping daughter wasn't home safely in bed. Oh, and Abi finds out her daughter is pregnant, on life support, and must remain on life support until the baby is able to live on her own. This story was told from Abi and Olivia's perspectives. Pretty good story.

All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio -- The books begins with Caroline riding her bike in Paris when she had a bad accident that took away some memories. It alternates between Caroline in modern times trying to recover her memory as she makes a "new" life, and a story of Occupied Paris when CĂ©line, a widowed mother with a little girl named Cosi, helps her Papa run a florist. Good story. 

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin -- a story that touches on Charlotte Baird, Bay Middleton, and Elisabeth "Sisi" of Austria. Pretty interesting.

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson -- Leia travels to Birchville, Alabama, the town her family founded in order to check on the situation with her grandmother, known as Birchie. Leia travels with her 13 year old niece, Lavender, who discovers Leia's secret. Meanwhile Leia's stepsister Rachel is struggling in her marriage to Leia's former best friend. Pretty good story. Rebekka recommended this as one favorite of hers in 2019. 

Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline -- Dr. Mike Scanlon is serving in Afghanistan when he gets the news that his wife died. He travels home for the funeral and to make arrangements for his infant daughter, Emily. Thankfully his wife's sister and her husband agree to take Emily and provide a good home for her. After Mike returns home, he has to adjust to civilian life as a widow and father. Plus he's dealing with issues relating to pain medication and flashbacks of war. Good story.

The Bungalow by Sarah Jio -- I read one of her books recently so I decided to look for another. This was a pretty good story about Anne's trip to Bora Bora in 1942 as a nurse for American troops. She travels with her best friend Kitty, and they make friends with the nurses and some of the soldiers.

Not Our Kind by Kitty Zeldis -- I saw this book while at Barnes & Noble, and then saw it was available at the library so I checked it out. Eleanor is on her way to a job interview after losing her job at a prestigious school, when the taxi she's in is inolved in a small accident. She meets Patricia Bellamy who takes pity on Eleanor and invites her to her house. Later Eleanor goes to work for Patricia as a tutor for her daughter Margaux who refuses to attend regular school due to her crippled leg (polio). The Bellamy family adults and their friends have a bit of an issue with Eleanor being Jewish, but Margaux loves her new tutor. This book was just OK to me.

Learning to Bow by Bruce Feiler -- This book "inside the heart of Japan" wasn't my favorite by this author (I really enjoy the ones where he "walks" the Bible), but it was a pretty interesting way to learn more about Japan during the year he was there as an English teacher.

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith -- Mma Ramotswe is startled when she discovers another Mma Ramotswe whom she has never met - she thought she knew all the Ramotswes in her part of the world. Also, the detective agency helps a lady who feels she was wrongfully terminated from her job.

Running From the Law by Lisa Scottoline -- this is one of the author's first books, and not my favorite, but it was OK. Rita is an attorney hired by a federal judge who is charged with sexual harassment and later murder. Oh, the federal judge just happens to be her boyfriend's father. Nice.

The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Harms -- if you like "chick-lit" types of books, you might enjoy this story of the struggling artist Lily Stewart who is cleaning her junk drawer (because she's being evicted) and sees an official looking form from 10 years prior - you know, back when she married a guy - a stranger - in Las Vegas. The form was for an annulment which she forgot to return. So, yeah, she's been married for 10 years and didn't remember that! Yikes.  This book was OK if you like overly-dramatic books of this sort. It was light reading if not that interesting.

Westering Women by Sandra Dallas -- a pretty interesting account of a group of ladies who traveled from Chicago to California in 1852; good story

Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict -- a story about Winston Churchill's wife; pretty good if you like political happenings.

The Whispers of War by Julia Kelly -- three best friends - Nora, Marie (from Germany, but who lived in England for several years), and Hazel - deal with life just before the outbreak of World War II. As Hitler rises to power, more Britons are wanting Germans sent home and interred. How can Marie avoid this fate? Good story!

Her Mother's Daughter by Daniela Petrova -- At first I wasn't sure I'd like this book. A lady who was unable to have children, who'd had several unsuccessful IVF treatments is looking for an egg donor, and finally finds the right one: she's from Bulgaria just as Lana wanted (since her own mother is Bulgarian.) But things get weird when Lana happens to see her egg donor on a nearly-empty sub, and follows her - and they become friends for about a week. I enjoyed this book! 

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin -- this book begins with an NPR- affiliate podcaster Quentin who is looking for a lady whom he believes was reported dead in 1976 after a fire at a compound in Arizona. The girl in question, April Cooper, was just a young teen when she went on a murdering spree with her boyfriend. Both were said to perish in that fire (and a good riddance), but now there is chance she escaped and has been living a good life on the East Coast all these years. Meanwhile Robin is checking things out from her angle. Pretty interesting story!

The Secret Guests by Benjamin Black -- A rather hush-hush operation as two young girls (well, 14 and 10) are moved from London to a house in Ireland during World War, II.  Some say they are the future Queen and her little sister!  This book was just OK for me.

The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen -- Not my favorite from this author by far, but it was a fairly good story about a young lawyer who travels to Belle Island after a partner in his law firm is murdered in London. Could the murderer be the lady who folks say hasn't left the island in ten years?

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain -- Anna Dale won a government contest and gets to paint a mural for a post office! She didn't win first place so instead of painting in her native New Jersey, she is traveling to a small town in North Carolina - Edenton. There she meets some friendly folks, and also some who aren't quite sure about this northern girl who has come south to paint. This book also follows Morgan Christopher in modern times as she gets out of prison and is tasked to restore the mural on a tight deadline. Good book!

The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester -- I read most of this one while traveling to and from the beach and while we were there. It was OK, not a favorite, but not terrible. Estella Bisette sets sail from France during World War II after her mom tells her that she has an American father and thus papers so she can be safe in New York City rather than staying in Paris. Estella takes her love of fashion and sketching and teams up with Sam and Janie to produce a line of clothing American women will love - they hope!

1 comment:

Myrna said...

You read so much! Lucky! I am going to have to pick up reading the Alexander McCall Smith Ladies' Detective Agency series again! I have missed some good ones, I think!