Jody reads an eclectic mix of non-fiction, cozy mysteries and southern fiction...and, well, just about anything else.  Come pick her brain...

Eight Perfect Murders: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062838209
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - March 3rd, 2020

Malcolm Kershaw, bookseller and owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, lived a pretty quiet life until an FBI agent turned up at his door. Turns out, a clever murderer was using an old article Mal wrote entitled "Eight Perfect Murders" as inspiration for their own serial killing spree.  And now Mal must offer his assistance to the FBI agent in order to get himself off the top of the list of suspects. Author Swanson pays homage to several of the classic mystery greats, including Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, and John D. MacDonald, and he includes enough clever twists to keep up with their ranks. I loved this one!

The Authenticity Project: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984878618
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Published: Pamela Dorman Books - February 4th, 2020


Julian Jessop, a formerly well known artist and eccentric septuagenarian, is lonely. And he felt that people simply weren't honest with themselves or others, so he wrote his truths in a notebook, labeled it "The Authenticity Project", and left it in the local cafe owned by the rather rigid Monica. Monica read Julian's entry, reluctantly added her own, and set off a chain of relationships that began to intertwine in a fashion both funny and heartbreaking. This book was charming, and a terrific reminder that while complete honesty is scary and unnerving, it can also lead to great happiness and contentment. 

Dear Edward: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984854780
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Published: The Dial Press - January 6th, 2020

Twelve year old Edward Adler was flying across the country with his family when the plane crashed, killing his older brother, parents, and 183 other passengers. Edward is the lone survivor. He struggled to cope, but he's captured the nation's attention and can't escape the bond he continues to feel with his fellow passengers. How does one find purpose when all is lost? This lovely novel asks and answers that profound question, and many others.


Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, The Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804186315
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Published: Clarkson Potter - April 2nd, 2019

Even today, few names evoke the essence of luxury like Ritz and Escoffier. Young Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz was determined to create the world's most luxurious hotel, and Auguste Escoffier, arguably the first 'celebrity chef' to popularize French cuisine, was the man to help him. Together they recreated the Savoy, where  anyone who was anyone wanted to be seen. But the pair was soon embroiled in scandal and retreated to Paris, where they created The Paris Ritz, epicenter of glamour during France's'Beautiful Age'. This reads like the best novel, and was a wonderful escape into the luxury and opulence of the famous Ritz.

Love from the Crayons Cover Image
By Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781524792688
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Published: Penguin Workshop - December 24th, 2019

I love crayons. Always have. Especially a brand new box of 96 Crayolas. In this delightful book, crayons give love back! They express themselves with their own special colors because after all, love comes in all shades. A companion to the bestselling The Day the Crayons Quit, this is the perfect Valentine for your love - it even comes with its own special padded mailer.


The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316346627
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Published: Back Bay Books - January 7th, 2002

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. 


What Happens in Paradise Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316435574
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Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 8th, 2019

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.


Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg's Call to Save the Planet Cover Image
By Jeanette Winter, Jeanette Winter (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534467781
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Published: Beach Lane Books - September 24th, 2019

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.

The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down Cover Image
ISBN: 9781580058803
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Published: Seal Press - August 6th, 2019

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.

The Long Call (The Two Rivers Series #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250204448
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Published: Minotaur Books - September 3rd, 2019

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.