If the recent snow isn't enough to propel you into holiday spirit, this three-mysteries-in-one certainly will. Popular authors Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meier each wrote a holiday story with a "sweet" theme - twelve days of desserts for a pair of teachers falling in love, a mall Santa murdered with a snowflake ornament, and a jewel heist during a Yule ball - and they all have a flavor of Christmas (as do the included recipes). A mug of tea, a cozy blanket, and this book were a delightful start to the season.
So, Winter in Paradise ended in a cliffhanger. It's been a year since we last left the Steele family, and I was hoping for some level of resolve in Hilderbrand's newest book in the trilogy. Alas...while Irene and her sons, Cash and Baker return to the islands, they continue to find more questions than answers. And although Ayers begins to read Rosie's journals and find why she had twenty-five thousand dollars in cash in a dresser drawer, she too faces too many unanswered questions. Everyone is trying unsuccessfully to not fall in love. The estate's caretakers are arrested. And the book ends - yet again - with a cliffhanger. But this was a really fast and fun read, and I enjoyed visiting St. Johns.
There was way too much information in this book to properly cover in a book review. Broken down to its essential message, however, it's focus is change, especially those small ones at the apex of an idea or trend. How do a couple of Manhattan hipsters revitalize the old-school Hush Puppies company? How does a formerly unknown author become an international bestseller? Tiny changes that lead to the Tipping Point. This book was fascinating, and full of examples and case studies; I was most interested in the idea that it's the smallest of differences that make the most impact.
October seems much too early for Christmas books, but they're starting to arrive (and I did read this ARC in August...). Jennifer Chiaverini continues what she began quite a few years ago with this newest novel in the Elm Creek Quilts series. When a wintry snap damages the church hall that traditionally hosts the annual Christmas Boutique, the ladies of Elm Creek Quilts rally to help by offering Elm Creek Manor as an alternative venue. Of course things don't go as planned, but (also of course) they all pull together in time for a successful bazaar. This book was fun because it gave backstory on many of the main characters, making it easy to pick up even for those who haven't read the rest of the series.
Greta Thunberg is everywhere this month! A sixteen-year-old student from Stockholm, Sweden, she rose to world-wide fame after she skipped school to protest climate change. Alone. And now thousands have marched with her, and millions have heard her speak of her desperation to save the planet. This charming and brand new picture book allows even the youngest readers to join her cause as they learn that even the quietest among us have loud voices when they are moved to action.
I knew the barest of bones about Larry Nassar - I mean, it was MSU, and an unthinkable scandal, and I don't live in a complete vacuum - but I had no idea just how far it truly reached. Pesta tackles this and more, through hundreds of interviews with the young women and girls who became victims not only of Nassar, but the gym coaches who abused and turned their backs on abuse, police who refused to investigate, and a system that allowed them to become brainwashed pawns in the pursuit of excellence. This book infuriated me, but I couldn't help but admire the women who were frank and honest in telling their difficult stories, and the healing that came from bringing down a monster.
This is the first book in the new Two Rivers series set in Great Britain, and it introduces Matthew Venn, who has left his strict evangelical background to become a police detective. Now he's investigating a couple of murders that just may be tied to some unsavory happenings at the local day center, run by Matthew's partner Jonathon. Cleeves has written a beautiful setting; I liked this book a lot and think that it would appeal to those who enjoy Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder series, or Louise Penny's Armand Gamache.
I am very happy that there's a brand new Llama Llama picture book! While Anna Dewdney, the original author, died a few years ago, the Anna E. Dewdney Literary Trust is in full swing, and Reed Duncan, who was her long-time partner, wrote this new book in her style. In Llama Llama Mess, Mess, Mess, little Llama discovers just how hard Mama works to keep their home comfortable and in order. These sweet stories are fun read-alouds.
It’s 1963, and two new ministers - Charles and James - have been hired to take Greenwich Village’s Third Presbyterian Church through turbulent times—within the church, the country, and their own lives. Charles has a solid faith, but his wife Lily lost her parents at fifteen, and doesn't believe in God. James isn't sure about God but feels an urgent call to service, while his wife Nan's father was a minister, and she's spent her life with a strong belief in God.This beautiful story is about faith and the lack of, friendship, marriage, fulfilling one’s calling, getting what you want, and loving what you get. Although the ending was satisfying,I wanted this gorgeous story to go on and on.
I've never particularly cared for recycled characters, especially those I've really loved (and I've had a big ole crush on Hercule Poirot since I met him in junior high). But Sophie Hannah was approached by the Christie family to resurrect him, and I've enjoyed her efforts. This one is twisty - someone sent letter 'signed' by Poirot and accusing the recipient of murder. He knows neither the very angry woman who confronted him nor the murder victim. And when more letters start to appear, Poirot knows he's going to have to get to the bottom of the problem before his reputation is ruined. Hannah certainly give us the essence of much-loved Christie character without making him into a caricature.