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This book was all the rage when I first started blogging, every second person was talking about it and it piqued my curiosity and it was probably in the first batch of books I added to my TBR thanks to other reviews. When I got an opportunity to request the ARC for the latest version, I jumped at the chance and was pretty pleased with being approved. That said, the following review is completely based on my own reading experience and not actually altered by the hype surrounding it.

The basic premise of the story is simple, there is a mysterious entry into Carly’s life- a man who will change her life but not in the sense that the first reading of these words would imply. Without adding too many spoilers I would say it borders on sci-fi  (even if there seem to be open spoilers all over the internet including Goodreads!). The science part of the solution is rather vague and is not a central focus of the tale, it is but a means to an end. Carly is despondent in the wake of the destruction caused to her personal life thanks to the Vietnam war. To top the problems she is having, her unborn child is in danger. A single solution is offered to her and she takes it. What follows are the twists and turns in two parts of the choices she makes. These choices not only impact her but also her immediate family and everyone’s future in one form or another. The people were very fleshed out and although I did not shed a tear with any of them, there were some heart-rending moments which were well written. If some events seemed ultimately too convenient, that is both the boon and bane of the genre.

The narrative is surprisingly fast-paced and covers a lot of ground, lingering on a few more of the moments in between might have wrung those missing tears from me. The story is well written and the people are likeable (which is usually a bonus for someone like me). I would recommend this to those people who like family dramas, and especially those who like the whole mother-daughter relationship to be an important factor.

Book depository Purchase link (Affiliate)

 

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This is the second book of a series but seemed to work well on its own. The background information was repeated enough times to keep the people straight in our mind.

Mrs. Stella Ryman, an ex-librarian who checked herself into a care home is the resident ‘detective’ with the worst sense of direction (something that does not seem to be a byproduct of her age). There are a total of two cases in this but it is divided into further individual parts. One case was more interesting than the other, mostly because I was unable to invest emotionally in the latter one which is introduced early on in the narrative.

In the first half of the book, an unexpected and relatively unwelcome man joins the brood of elderly folk at the care home. He seems to have an ulterior motive and unscrupulous moves to attain the goal and Stella is the only one who seems to be doing anything about it. The second story involves a mahjong box with missing money. The quirks of the people in the care home and some of the jokes were funny but for the most part, this was not a book for me. When I went into a story about a place where so many people live in almost prison-like protection, I expected something different from the tale. If you like quirky characters and the exchange of random conversations, I would recommend you give this book a shot! There is a lot of heart involved in the narrative and that in itself is a good thing.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.

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I am always ready for a good memoir set in a time and place that I am very unfamiliar with. I have read only a few but I end up enjoying almost all of them. This was one such story. The author chronicles his time as a hotelkeeper/owner/sometimes chef, which although began as a forced decision ended up being something that became an inherent part of him.

The stories were all scattered over the timeline that the author ran that hotel and his learning curve, they are grouped together by incidents and move forward and backward in time. This latter aspect threw me off a little because I found it hard to keep my mind on the progression of the people in the story. I would have enjoyed it more if it had been chronological first and then incidents could have been narrated, but that is only a personal preference! The writing style is simple, to the point while maintaining the emotion behind the tale.

This narrative spans more than two decades of the author and the times change around him as he keeps his hotel afloat and improving with the times. Some of the anecdotes were funnier than others but for the most part they were very informative and interesting. It is set in rural England, and gives a window into lifestyles of people that I do not think I would ever be actually crossing paths with in real life, which is the bonus. I highly recommend this to readers of non-fiction who are looking for a lighter look into this lifestyle.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.

Affiliate link to purchase

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I am back after an unexpected hiatus! I originally intended to read a lot, and schedule posts for all the days that I would be offline but life is not clean and scheduled that way. My sister got married last week and that involved a lot of people and noise and obviously, I was not going to be cooped away in a corner reading. That topped off with the fact that I had a nasty cold led me to sleep the time I was not actively engaged in talking meant zero reading on the whole. I do not regret that but it also meant no activity on the blog. I intend to rectify that slowly but surely.

I have reviewed the other books of this series : here

This was probably the best book of the series thus far. By this time, the people and their emotions are an inherent part of the tale and most of them should be familiar (if you have read the previous three stories, which I suggest you do)
This series is one of the cozy series which Rekha and I completely agree on.
Jamie has had a rough patch in the recent past but things are at a steady stage when this book begins. She has her work, her friends and family and her boyfriend Kip. But such ideal times do not last for long. It begins with Kip, who feels suffocated in his current job and is looking at a temporary but long change. Jamie is NOT happy, and turns heavily insecure. Then more than a few cases come knocking at her door causing her self pity to take a back seat.
In the hunt to do the best she can, she puts herself in danger. There are some other events happening simultaneously in the background which are explained neatly at the end.
The way that Jamie conveys her emotions and how she works along with all the word punches she throws (both subtle and in-your-face) that make reading this a treat. There are a lot of things that you can see coming before they happen but you will not grudge the author that fact since it is not an inconvenience in the least.

I highly recommend this series only to get to this point. There are a lot of loose ends tied up, so much so that I can only wonder what the next installment would bring. I will be trying to get my hands on it at some point.

I received this book from the author herself but that has not altered my review which is completely based on my own reading experience.

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I am following my KU review directly with another that I read/listened to via my KU membership.

Narrator: Joe Barrett

I reviewed the last two books of this series here:

This is one series that just gets better with every book. This is an occurrence which in infrequent in my perusal of books. Frost Easton has solved his sister’s murder, but is left with a lingering issue from the previous installment in the for of Tabby.

The story plunges right into intrigue with a man fearing for his life. He ends up at Frost’s door and with his last breath leaves him with a clue-a single word. The word and the investigation into the death of this man (and many others) leads Frost into turbulent waters. His escape into sanity with his (and his friend’s) reputation intact seems to be an impossible feat. I guessed a few outcomes, but closer to the actual reveal, implying that the pacing of the story was pretty great and led my mind down the exact road the author wanted us to go down.

The ending is a cliff hanger which once again you are almost made to expect but it is horrifying either way. This story packs it all in, the cop who does good however high the stakes, secrets in the shadows and a crime ring that stretches its influence through decades and the entire city is within its palm. The people are the kind that you will want to cheer them on and hope the best for. One interpersonal relationship seemed to have been simplified for the best outcome and that alone is the main reason that I did not give this a full five stars. If you are on the lookout for a new series to binge on (if three books can be binged on), look beyond the first book-skip it if required and read the other two.

My queue now looks like this: I replaced this thriller with another thriller. These are all books (except the sandman) which comes with audio included.

     

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Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator),Chris Bachalo (Illustrator),Michael Zulli (Illustrator)

I read the first of this series a while back and liked the colour it added to my usual reading list. We continue to the quest that Morpheus is on, to restore complete balance in the world that had to survive without him. I liked the first story better than this one, my spotty reading spread out over multiple months proves the fact.

We have multiple stories tied up in this and there is a lot more happening now. There are existential questioned posed and pondered during the telling of the tale. The drawings are a little more brutal and not for the faint of heart (although I seem to be using this phrase more often of late, it is very true in this case).

There is a threat hanging over all the stories and the final reveal was startling. I liked the mysterious question dropped into the last few pages which, surprisingly was not addressed earlier!

I recommend this book to those on the lookout for a different read, people who like the author and looking to try graphic novels.Considering that this has been around a long time, I am sure (as I was with the first review) most hard-core fans are familiar with this series’ content.

My last Kindle unlimited book review was : Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

My list now looks like this:(each cover page leads back to the GoodReads synopsis)

      

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I seem to be on a roll with regards to children’s fiction books. It may be that they seem to be smaller and easier to tackle at this time. Some of them hide some unexpected surprises like the two that I intend to tackle in this post.

I reviewed the other books in the series here:

  1. The Swish of the Curtain
  2. Maddy Alone

This third book of the series is written around the timeline of ‘Maddy Alone’, where the children (apart from Maddy) end up at the Academy to get an education about what it means to be an actor and all the other supporting skills people of the theater might require.

It is a realistic look at what the life of an actor(non-cinema) might consist of, all the hard work, the workload and the struggles. The children are on their own and have to find their feet. Their aspirations continue to remain high but what I love best about this series is the reality woven into the dreams. When the kids start thinking of stardom, the real life knocks the door, peeks in and sets them right. They take each of these reality checks with spirit and that is something unique in books written aimed at children and especially featuring such a romantic profession. In the time we see unfold here, the bane of all starting professionals rears its head. It is not surprising to see the situation has not changed in half a century since the book was written, one needs experience to get a starting job and to get experience, one needs a starting job! They learn the ropes of the profession and there are enough to-do steps here to deter children from jumping on to the bandwagon after reading the book if they are not completely committed. Some of them learn harder lessons than others but by the end they have a new goal and a plan in place. I jumped into the next installment with a lot of excitement.

The dream is now a form of reality for the Blue Door team.They have big plans and they set them into motion. There is systematic planning and the sun is not going to shine forever. This book takes the story a step further into seriousness with an odd obstacle coming their way. They have to regroup and access their situation. Their plan may seem extreme and unnecessary but the persevere. This episode might seem to be a little long but the adventure that they face defines them in never ways.

The kids who first started Blue Doors on a whim now have education under their belt and experience with other small companies (for a few of them) and learn about all the kinds of people that make up the real world around them. It is an interesting study of the times and how the trust between a group of people maintains balance in their lives. There is not even one iota of romance in the classic sense in these tales and I think it works well as something younger audience can read (despite the odd cigarette and pipe smoking situation).

I highly recommend this series to anyone who thinks the synopsis or my review is even the remotest bit interesting.

I received ARCs of the reprints thanks to NetGalley and Edelweiss+ and the publishers. My review is completely based on my reading experience.

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This book had a very large scope of possibilities. The children, (although they are teens and one of them drives, their conversations made me feel like they existed in a separate younger world) have been friends since as far as they can remember. The story jumps right into the premise, providing us with information about the strange new job that Pekin has planned and is automatically assuming her friends will be a part of . Although aiming at a younger audience than me, I felt the interpersonal relationship swung between believable and not entirely probable. This was also the case with the public reaction to the new ‘Ghost hunting’ job. Some people took in too well into their stride but the others treated it with such disbelief that it was hard to imagine that all existed simultaneously within the same story. If these descriptions seem a little erratic, it will be accurately telling you of my reading experience.

Pekin wants to run an agency which helps ghosts ‘move on’ solely because she misses the ability to see them in daily life ( that is explained in more detail in the book). They find one job and as they embark on solving the mystery within the Elmwood house, they uncover more than they thought possible. As mentioned earlier, the base was interesting but it did not sustain my interest for too long. The people are the highlight of the narrative however, since they are all very vivid and each play important roles in the their own way.

Overall, a decent start to a series. I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.

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I have read, reviewed and liked the author’s other series:

This one, however, was not really my thing. I have had it on my list for a while and started and stopped it closer to its publication date. On the lookout for a quick read, I gave it another shot.

This is the story of a circus troupe performing in the Christmas village and one of them gets murdered. The search is on for the culprit, and the village ‘elders’ get together to throw ideas around. There is a lot of bumbling around by the law in the town, and although it was funny at times, beyond a point it was little too much for me. There are many, many clues thrown our way to identify the culprit, which I then did and therefore felt the final explanation to drag to the point. I am in the minority over my reaction to the book as Rekha’s Review would indicate.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my reading experience.

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Recently I began making Almond milk, and some form of almond cheese with the leftovers as my part of trying to reduce my waste contribution. I am not making much of headway but I am always on the lookout for new things to do. Since I am finally experimenting, this book came at the right time!

I was so excited by the simple instructions provided in the book, I ordered my own copy on Book Depository (*affiliate link) and I thought I would wait to post the review till I actually make one item in the book and probably accompany the review with it. I understand the complication in ‘reviewing’ a cookbook. Does just the idea suffice or is the confirmation of the taste when following the given instructions critical to the review? With this book, the reasoning felt clear. Even if my finished products do not look as great as the ones in the book, the accompanying detail and the information that go hand-in-hand with the recipes are fascinating. It was worth just reading it in its entirety just to broaden my own horizon. There are more ferments mentioned in this book than I knew existed! The people who put this book together are heavily invested in this lifestyle and it shows in the curation of the collection.

I am waiting till the end of August to get back home where my copy is presumably waiting for me and dabble in the few that I can start off with, without cultures required. I highly recommend giving this a read if you are even slightly curious about this world.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.

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