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4/29/20 6:19 P

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The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, Noah Taylor
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams
The Trouble with Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson
Church of the Dog by Kaya McLaren

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3/15/20 12:53 A

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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, 5 stars. Beautiful writing!!

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives--presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.



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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 18,074
3/2/20 6:37 A

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Pottery Barn Living Rooms
3 stars
Some good, basic decorating advice.

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2/29/20 5:44 P

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Disappearing Earth
By Julia Phillips
3 stars
Disappearing Earth has a strong finish. It also presents in a most interesting manner the social hierarchies of an area of Russia previously unknown to this reader. There are many characters; unfortunately there are too many to keep track of, and none that this reader felt connected to. Until the finish; the last few chapters, which center around the mother of the missing girls, are really great - visceral and gripping.
Worth reading, but it is not a page-turner, if that is what you are looking for.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/29/20 6:55 A

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Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
First in a series of cozy mysteries about caterer Goldy Bear. Slow start, got a little better as the story progressed.

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2/28/20 5:02 A

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Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer 4 stars

Weird book without a tidy ending, but tidy enough for me. In fact, from reviews of the other books that follow this one, I'd prefer to leave this series right here.

There is a lot going on in such a short book. This seems like the kind of book you love or you hate. The narrator is unreliable but given the situation, that doesn't seem unexpected. Some thoughts I had while reading:

H.P. Lovecraft, but with a slower burn.
The spread makes sense.
This reminds me of how bacteria/viruses work/evolve.


~ Cheryl

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2/27/20 4:28 P

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The Quiet You Carry
By Nikki Barthelmess
1 star
Foster children and abuse; I thought it might be gripping but it just didn’t work for me.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/27/20 4:23 P

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News of the World
By Paulette Jiles
5 stars
An honourable reader-of-the-news in his seventies and a frightened ten-year old girl, displaced not once, but twice, must traverse the untamed Texas landscape of 1870s America. The dangers they face come in all forms; with courage and inventiveness they face all comers. The ending is deeply satisfying, but comes all too soon.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/27/20 11:28 A

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The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton 2 stars

I don't know, I mean, I want to like it, but I just can't. I didn't hate it, but it was predictable. Was it less so when it was first published? I know how I'm supposed to read it, but there is just something about the way she writes her stories that doesn't work for me.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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2/26/20 2:11 P

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Castle of Water
By Dane Hucklebridge
3 stars
I wanted more details regarding HOW they survived on this remote island; that is what I love about survival stories! Still, there were a couple of lovely moments, and the ending satisfied

Edited by: JOANNEJI at: 2/26/2020 (14:13)
~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/25/20 12:41 A

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Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore - 3.5 stars. It wasn't bad, but not as good as the first book in this series. Definitely still a few laugh out loud moments, but the humor felt a bit forced at times. I read this one for the PopSugar prompt "A book with a pink cover".

In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing—and you know that can't be good—in New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore's delightfully funny sequel to A Dirty Job.

Something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Death Merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else. He's trapped in the body of a fourteen-inch-tall "meat" waiting for his Buddhist nun girlfriend, Audrey, to find him a suitable new body to play host.

To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall death merchant Minty Fresh; retired policeman turned bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; and Lily, the former Goth girl. Now if only they can get little Sophie to stop babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind...

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2/22/20 6:03 P

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Halsey Street
By Naima Coster
2.5 stars
I am not sorry I read this book (for a book club) but it isn’t one I would recommend with great enthusiasm. The writing was a bit confusing at times, and the characters were not particularly likeable until the end of the book.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/20/20 7:29 P

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Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw 3 stars

It took me a bit to get into this one, but once I did I felt engaged. I didn't feel good enough about it to continue with the series, although I am intrigued by this version of "monsters" and would like to know more about them - just not enough to continue on. Why? Because the budding romance doesn't feel right to me at all. I would so much rather this band of misfits to become a family than to ruin it with a romance that feels out of place.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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2/20/20 7:10 P

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Redemption Road
By John Hart
4 stars
Brutal. Gripping. Solid characters.
Truly enjoyed it!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/20/20 5:56 A

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Ella Enchanted (Ella Enchanted #1) by Gail Carson Levine (Goodreads Author), Eden Riegel

3 stars

My biggest problem with this book was the audio. The voice was too child-like and maybe that would be good for the audience it was written for, but it was driving me batty. It's hard for me to listen to a girl that sounds 8 or 9 years old talking about love and marriage. I understand the character was young (though in her teens) and I also get that there are adults who do sound like they are children because of the sound/pitch of their voice. I even convinced myself that her voice was because of her stature with the bit of fairy blood in her genetics - tiny feet, child-like voice, but it still was painful to listen to.

This title was picked because it fit a Popsugar prompt - book containing a made-up language and I thought of all the books that are audible, one with a made-up language seemed ideal. I may have enjoyed this more if I'd just read it instead. Because of that, I rounded up to 3 stars.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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2/19/20 10:56 P

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Finished The Mountain Between Us 02/01
The Light Between Oceans by M.L.Stedman, Noah Taylor
The Bone Garden by Tess Garretsen
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Right Turn at Machu Pichu by Mark Adams

Edited by: JPISME at: 2/22/2020 (06:17)
I believe in you.
Have a Happy Day! HUGS
JPISME formally peanutsmom96


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2/18/20 3:46 P

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The Secret, Book, & Scone Society by Ellery Adams 2 stars

I didn't love this book. I knew when I picked it up that it wasn't my kind of book, but sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised and this one had a premise I really liked. As I was reading it, I was sort of liking it, but then I thought I really liked the bookstore and the caboose cottage.

There were a few things that just didn't feel right to me, but I think what ultimately made me go with 2 stars rather than 3, was my inability to recall which character I was dealing with. The individual voices sometimes had me thinking it was one when it was really another.

The smaller things... I love name dropping of books, but after a bit, it seemed like too much, too often.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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2/17/20 6:25 P

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The Bookshop n the Corner by Jenny Colgan
4 stars

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2/16/20 5:57 P

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This Tender Land
By William Kent Krueger
5 stars
I saved this book until I knew I could read it with total attention, and I am glad I did. William Kent Krueger understands the human heart. He also paints with words. Krueger has such a way with language that I often forget I am reading, as I am swept away with the story. Set during the Great Depression, a group of orphans escapes from an abusive children’s “school” and takes to the river in a canoe. On their quest to reach St. Louis and what they hope will become their longed-for home, they encounter evil and goodness, face their pasts and their futures, and find many truths about themselves and each other.
An amazing book, and a satisfying read!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/12/20 11:07 A

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They Both Die at the End
By Adam Silvera
3 stars
This is a YA novel.
If you knew for certain that you were going to die today, with what would you fill your last hours. With whom would you spend them? An intriguing concept, and thought provoking, but being an oldie, I did have trouble relating to the youth in this book. But I loved how it made me think about what it means to be alive, and how we take it for granted.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/11/20 8:02 P

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Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou 4 stars

Let's see... a non-fiction book about a subject I'm not especially interested it. I expected this to be a bit of a drag, but I was wrong. It really is a page turner.

I learned a lot. About a lot of things. I kept thinking if the company had been run properly, research done well, just maybe this would have been a pretty good product someday.

Truly can't believe how blind some were to the obvious red flags.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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2/9/20 3:11 P

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After the End
By Amy Plum
2 stars
This is a YA novel and book one of two
Juneau is living in a remote community in Alaska, cut off from the rest of the world following the apocalyptic results of WWThree... or is she? Her entire life has been a construction of lies, and Juneau wants to know why.
I don’t know... this one just didn’t click for me. The premise is interesting, but the characters just didn’t have the depth I look for in a YA novel, and their “growth” just didn’t ring true... That, and perhaps the fact that the ending wasn’t really an ending, but a coercion into reading the sequel in order to find out the true ending, just sort of ticked me off...

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/8/20 8:47 A

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Wise Children by Angela Carter 3 stars

I didn't mind the rambling story telling at all. I recognize it. It's how my brain works. I enjoyed the Shakespearian influences throughout. It was funny and it was completely unrealistic. Entertainment, and that is what this book was, doesn't have to be realistic. This was Midsummer Dream realism, so yea, not at all how things work in the real world...

And yet, the weirdness of families, the secrets that are kept, the mythologies told, are as real as ever in a lot of ways.

But it just wasn't a 4-star book for me. Nearly so for most of the book, but in the end, just not enough to push it to a 4 star review. It might have been that one scene at the party even though every sign had been thrown up to prepare me before it happened. It might have just been too much for my puritain soul (I kid, consenting adults and all that, but still.).

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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2/7/20 5:28 P

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Two Brothers
By Ben Elton
4 stars
Nazi Germany from the inside - pretty horrifying. Two brothers; one a Jew, and one adopted, not a Jew, but raised in a Jewish family. And some twists that made me sit up and pay attention... I was going along thinking that the book was a 3-3.5 until the last 100 pages, when it became more gripping and harrowing. In the end, it deserved a 4 star rating from me.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/6/20 9:58 P

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The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier
By Scott Zesch
4 stars
Hard to believe these events happened just 150-ish years ago. Fascinating stories, well told, apparently well researched, and presented in a balanced manner which made for sympathetic understanding of all sides.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/5/20 2:12 P

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I am the Messenger
By Markus Zusak
3.5 stars
I wish I could figure people out the way Ed Kennedy can...

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/5/20 7:34 A

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Ghost Boy, the Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius
5 stars


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Possession by A.S. Byatt 3 stars

Some parts of this story, I really loved. Other times I was reading and felt like I was stuck in mud - the kind that keeps your boots in when you manage to lift your foot out.

The poetry was nice (not trying to damn it with faint praise - just wanted to separate it from the two stories). I preferred the historical portion of the book. The present day antics were not all bad, but when I had to push myself, it was always in the modern day part of the story.

The ending wrapped up tightly (well as tight as it could be). There were no lingering questions that mattered.

~ Cheryl

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2/3/20 7:30 A

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Passing by Nella Larsen 5 stars

A short book that seems so far ahead of its time. She certainly packed a lot of issues in such a small book and she did it very well. I gave it an extra star for that reason. Short, but complete enough to feel satisfying. Short, but dealing with questions about race, settling, our place in the world as women. We haven't even touched on jealousy!


~ Cheryl

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2/3/20 7:06 A

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The Better Liar by Tanen Jones - 4.5 star. I sincerely couldn't put this one down. Was hoping for a bit of a different ending but overall I really enjoyed this book!

Robin Voigt is dead. If Leslie had arrived at her sister’s cramped Las Vegas apartment just hours earlier, this would have been their first reunion in a decade. In the years since Robin ran away from home as a teenager, Leslie has stayed in New Mexico, taking care of their dying father even as she began building a family of her own. But when their father passed away, Leslie received a rude awakening: She and Robin would receive the inheritance he left them together—or not at all. Now her half of the money may be beyond her grasp. And unbeknownst to anyone, even her husband, Leslie needs it desperately.

When she meets a charismatic young woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Robin—and has every reason to leave her past behind—the two make a reckless bargain: Mary will impersonate Robin for a week in exchange for Robin’s half of the cash. But neither realizes how high the stakes will become when Mary takes a dead woman’s name. Even as Mary begins to suspect Leslie is hiding something, and Leslie realizes the stranger living in her house, babysitting her newborn son, and charming her husband has secrets of her own, Robin’s wild, troubled legacy threatens to eclipse them both.


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2/2/20 10:52 P

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Reading The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz. Actually rereading it, started reading it last year then got sidetracked. I'm almost at the point where I stopped reading it so it will be new. I really like this series of books.

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Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams 4 stars

I love reading books written by Douglas Adams. I'd not read this one before, but I enjoyed every bit of it. Oddly enough, I only felt a smidge confused once or twice. Only briefly. It's like he wrote in ways my brain thinks.



~ Cheryl

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2/1/20 6:44 A

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This is where we can keep track of the books we read this month and rate them. This is similar to the “what are you reading” thread, but we will include only those books we finish reading in the month. If you start a book the previous month but finish in the current month, it counts for the current month. Please list the title, author, and your rating. You can also add a short review if you’d like.

Let’s use a 5-star rating system:

1 star * Hated it~Not worth your time
2 stars ** OK~There were some redeeming qualities
3 stars *** Liked it~Enjoyable read
4 stars **** Really liked it~Definitely worth reading
5 stars ***** Loved it~Great read and would recommend to others

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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