Amy’s December 2022 Picks and Pans

  One December not that long ago, I read some terrific books. They were different genres set in different places—Florida, England, Colorado, Maine, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Mexico, Connecticut, and Texas—but most had one thing in common: great writing. Enjoy my reviews; I hope you find something to add to your TBR list!   Once Upon a Wardrobe Patti Callahan “No matter your age, may you never, ever grow too old for fairy tales.”—Pattie Callahan, Once Upon a Wardrobe. I couldn’t have loved this book more. It started and ended with a flourish in moving, heartwarming, and magical prose. I loved learning about Jack Lewis’s life (you probably know him as […]

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The Madness of Crowd

  Louise Penny just keeps getting better. The Madness of Crowds is number seventeen in her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, and I am now just one book away from being caught up. So many books to read, too little time! As always, she’s composed a multilayered novel with the diverse, well-drawn characters I’ve come to love. It’s best to read her books in order, but she does a fine job referencing events from previous books to keep new readers in the loop. The Madness of Crowds is about man’s inhumanity to man (or woman’s inhumanity to woman, whatever the case may be). Chief Inspector Gamache’s winter holiday is interrupted […]

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Fox Creek

  Another fabulous novel by Edgar winner William Kent Krueger! Fox Creek is the nineteenth installment of the Cork O’Connor series and my twenty-first book by this talented writer. Do I enjoy his work… you bet as we sat here in Minnesota! In Fox Creek, Cork races against time to save his wife Rainy, Ojibwe healer Henry Meloux, and a mysterious woman from violent mercenaries. Dolores Morriseau has come to Henry for guidance. When men fill the woods trying to capture her, Meloux leads them to safety deep in his beloved Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Well over 100 years old, he must do his best to outwit the mercenaries who […]

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Overkill

Former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Zach Bridger is shocked to receive a call from the hospital about his ex-wife, Rebecca Pratt, who is on life-support following a violent assault. He hasn’t seen her since their volatile marriage fell apart five years earlier—why does he still have medical power-of-attorney? Zach must make an impossible choice: keep her on life support or pull the plug. Unable to decide, he walks away, and her vegetative state continues. Two years later, Rebecca’s attacker gets an early release from prison. State prosecutor Kate Lennon is determined to put him back behind bars. But that would take a murder charge, and the only way to do […]

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September 2022 Picks and Pans

No five-star reads this month, but The Happiest Man on Earth was definitely life-changing. I gave one novel a 2-star rating, which is rare for me. I read two books set in the Philippines, which is totally random. I’ll be curious to hear what you have to say. Circle back to Facebook and let me know!   The Happiest Man on Earth By Eddie Jaku “Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you.” Eddie Jaku, The Happiest Man on Earth. In this uplifting memoir in the vein of The Last Lecture and Man’s Search for Meaning, a Holocaust survivor pays tribute to those who […]

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Mercury Pictures Presents Review

This family saga follows Maria Lagana from Mussolini’s Italy to 1940s Los Angeles. As a child in Rome, her father takes her to the cinema instead of church and she develops a lifelong passion for films. When Giuseppe is arrested and imprisoned by for subversive activities against the fascist regime, Maria and her mother Maria immigrate to safety in Los Angeles. Maria rises from the typing pool to associate producer at Mercury Pictures, a creator of B-movies. The studio is always on the verge of bankruptcy and under the thumb of the Production Code for affronting the sensibilities of the movie-going public. “I can’t show a husband and wife faithfully […]

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Amy’s Reads: June 2022

Uff, another delayed book post. This has been an eventful summer with vacations, family visits, writing and pitching a book proposal for one client and pitching a historical novel of my own. I still read, though, just not as much! In June, I enjoyed thrillers, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, Christian fiction, self-help, memoir, relationship fiction, and mystery. So here they are, my June 2022 reads and reviews. There’s something here for everyone! Lights Out by Natalie Walters “Choose fear or choose faith, but only one choice will bring peace.” — Natalie Walter, Lights Out As a CIA analyst, Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and invited members of […]

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The Hotel Nantucket Book Review

There’s nothing quite like lying on the beach soaking up some vitamin D with a great summer read. It may be the third week of August, but summer isn’t over yet—why not grab a fun beach read before daylight hours shrink too much? Elin Hilderbrand’s books are a perfect distraction. New York Magazine dubbed her the “queen of beach reads” for good reason. They are just fun… period. The Hotel Nantucket is a 2022 LibraryReads Favorite, which means librarians voted it one of the year’s best books. I concur. Synopsis: After a tragic fire in 1922 that killed 19-year-old chambermaid, Grace Hadley, The Hotel Nantucket went from a gilded age […]

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The Recovery Agent Book Review

In this fast-paced series debut by the author of the wildly successful Stephanie Plum series, recovery agent Gabriela Rose must come up with a large sum of money to keep her family’s home from being wiped off the map after a powerful hurricane. As a recovery agent, she’s hired by individuals and companies seeking lost treasures, stolen heirlooms, or missing assets, and she’s hoping her new job will save them. Inspired by an old family legend, Gabriela sets off for the jungles of Peru in pursuit of the Ring of Solomon and the lost treasure of Cortez, long-lost treasure of her ancestor Blackbeard the Pirate. The problem is her ex-husband, […]

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The Lincoln Highway Book Review

“… in your time you shall do wrong unto others and others shall do wrong unto you. And these opposing wrongs will become your chains. The wrongs you have done unto others will be bound to you in the form of guilt, and the wrongs that others have done unto you in the form of indignation. The teachings of Jesus Christ Our Savior are there to free you from both. To free you from your guilt through atonement and from your indignation through forgiveness. Only once you have freed yourself from both of these chains may you begin to live your life with love in your heart and serenity in […]

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