Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble -- This book was a murder/thriller type without the real scary aspect which was fine. It wasn't as good as some books of this type, but not too bad. I think some of the characters are from past series as I noticed LOTS of them by this author. In this book Harper meets her half sister, Annabelle, after a DNA test matches them. Both ladies have a mystery surrounding the deaths of their moms. Also both women are suddenly being sought by someone with sinister motives.
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold -- Bridget and her mom both recommended this book last year, and I got it for my birthday. Although much of the book is speculation based on social norms and "what people often do in these situations," a lot of it is fact-based due to all the research on census forms and registers. I enjoyed learning more about this interesting period in history. I noted the soldiers' lives and their women (pg. 77), abstinence from drink pledges (pg. 109) and how sex workers were checked by local officials for syphlllis and other STDs (pg. 148, among others.) There was lots more in the book, but for some reason I noted those pages.
Liberation by Imogen Kealey -- I read a book about Nancy Wake a few months ago, so this was a nice surprise to open up to read it and discover it talked about her some more. Since I'd read the earlier book, I knew most of what would happen, but it was a nice refresher course. She was a brave lady! I admire how she did things despite her fears and the many obstacles in her way!
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah -- an interesting look at the Kenai Peninsula area of Alaska in the mid-70s! Leni's father came home from Vietnam a changed man. The family was never able to settle in one place for long until one day when the Allbright family is informed about a bit of land and a cabin left to her father in a remote area of Alaska. The family moves there, and learns how to be Alaska Tough (which all that was rather fascinating to me!). Leni's father continues to struggle with nightmares especially in winter when they only get a few daylight hours each day. A good story!
Officer Clemmons by Dr. François S. Clemmons -- This is a memoir by the man who played on the popular children's program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. He discusses a bit about his childhood in the South, and their relocation to Ohio to escape his father. He also talks a lot about his music education and career, his friendship with Fred Rogers, his experiences as a black man and a gay man. (I'm listening to him sing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot on YouTube as I type this. He loves old Negro spirituals.)
The Wrong Man by Kate White -- When Kit hooks up with a stranger while she's in Key West, she never knows showing up at his apartment in New York for a second date will be an extremely disturbing experience. The guy who answers the door and answers to the name of the guy she met in Florida is NOT the same person! Somehow Kit ends up involved in some mystery where two people are murdered.
Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette -- book 3 in the Cities of Refuge series; In this book Rivkah is betrothed to her late husband's younger brother who is two years younger than herself, but she doesn't want to marry Malakhi because she remembers what a teasing, troublesome child he was. When her friend Nessa decides to flee the city to escape her own betrothal, Rivkah joins her. What awaits them in Laish, and beyond?
Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters by Jennifer Chiaverini -- a somewhat interesting look at Mary Todd Lincoln and her family through the eyes of her sisters - Elizabeth, Frances, Ann, and Emilie. It went from present (to them) time to flashbacks when Abraham Lincoln was a rising political figure. Several parts were quite a good way to learn about his character.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty -- this book centered around a kindergarten class and their parents. A new kid in town, Ziggy, is accused of bullying at kindergarten orientation and that rep follows him and his mom, Jane, as they try to make friends in town. Madeline believes Jane, whereas other powerful moms circulate a petition to get Ziggy thrown out of kindergarten! Another good story from this author!
Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer -- I felt like I'd read this book before because so much of it seemed familiar, but I checked my blog and my paper list of books I've read and didn't find it. And there were enough new things in it, but wow, there must be a very similar story out there. It was somewhat predictable (as are many books), but it was a good story about doctors who are engaged, and Lexie's sister Annie calls her when she's having trouble with her pregnancy. Annie hadn't told her sister she was pregnant. Not only is she pregnant, but she's been taking about a gram of heroin a day. Poor baby having to get off that stuff. This is a very touching book and would probably be very sad for readers especially if you know someone struggling with drug addictions.
Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette -- final book in the Cities of Refuge series; Tirzah gets a role as a spy for the Hebrews; meanwhile Liyam vows to avenge the death of his little girl who was run over by a trader. A look at what that area might have been like during the time of the Judges.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis -- I like how this author tells the story of an interesting building - in this case the New York Public Library - by creating a cast of individuals to make it come alive. Laura Lyons lives in the apartment within the library with her husband and two children. Laura's desire is to become a journalist, but in 1913 it's a tough career for a married mother. In more contemporary times, Sadie works at this library where her great grandmother lived. When a series of book thefts happen on her watch, she delves into her family's past to learn more about them and their former home - the library.
The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield -- using Gustav Kleinmann's cryptic diary, his son Fritz's short memoir, plus many other sources, the author shares a gripping tale of this father and son from Vienna who survived over 5 years in concentration camps. I was amazed at their resourcefulness and found it interesting to learn about life within the camps, kindnesses that kept them going, yet I was once again saddened by the evil of many Germans and other people at that time who thought that this cleansing was acceptable and needed!
Shamed by Linda Castillo -- I decided to try this author, and enjoyed this suspenseful novel which takes places in Holmes County, Ohio, among an Amish community. The chief of police is a former-Amish lady, and Kate Burkholder is trying to figure out who committed a gruesome murder of an Amish grandmother, and took a seven-year-old girl.
Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War by Tony Horwitz -- Unlike most of his books, in this one the author doesn't mix history with his present travels, but tells the story of John Brown. While I missed the Tony aspect of the story, he really kept my attention sharing intriguing facts about John Brown, his family, his beliefs, friends, supporters, and so forth. Good story. I still hate that Tony Horwitz died last year, as I really enjoy his books. I think I've read most of them now. My library didn't have this one, so I got it for my birthday.
East Coast Girls by Kerry Kletter -- Blue, Maya, Renee, and Hannah were best friends in high school, but after a tragedy, the girls have had a hard time staying connected the last twelve years. When Blue informs Maya of her grandmother's plan to sell the family cottage where the girls used to go each summer, Maya wants to recreate those wonderful days one last time.