Week 48 – 2016

I’m not getting caught up very quickly, am I? Week 48 covers November 28 – December 4. As always, feedback is encouraged. Let me know what you think.

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Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. This kept coming up as a suggestion in book club. This book is all kinds of awesome. A new social worker is assigned cases that include young girls that are being considered for the sterilization program that was an actual real life thing that happened in the southern US, through the 1970’s. Poor and uneducated women (and sometimes girls) were sterilized by the government in order to cut down on the number of poor, mentally ill or genetically substandard (not my opinion, the government). Minors were given the surgeries without their consent or knowledge as long as a guardian was willing to sign a form. This is the story of a social worker and a young girl that she does her best to try to save from this fate. I loved it. I’m giving it 4 stars.

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Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Norwood Public Library. It’s cute. I liked it. This is definitely YA fiction and I’m not the intended audience, but I quite enjoyed it, regardless. So Dash finds a red Moleskine in the stacks at his favorite book store. Inside the challenge begins. Dash and Lily dare each other to do unusual things while passing the book back and forth, usually via a 3rd party listed in the dare or clue. It’s a fun concept. I hope it inspired creativity in teens who read it. I’m giving it 3 stars.

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How to Kill Friends and Implicate People by Jay Stringer – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. It is Sam Ireland #2. I requested this book because of the title. I thought it was clever. As a result, I actually ended up reading a very entertaining mystery novel. Sam is a PI/ bike messenger in Glasgow and she finds herself entangled in a rather complex murder mystery. There are mobsters, dirty cops, corrupt politicians, and don’t forget the hitman. As Sam and Fergus unravel the mystery and try to stay among the living, they also start an internet romance that is bound to be a bit of a failure once they find out what each actually does for a living. I definitely recommend it. I may even go back to read the first one in the series. I’m giving it 3 stars.

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Jackaby by William Ritter – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This is Jackaby #1. I don’t know how to describe this one. Think Sherlock Holmes investigates Jack the Ripper, except he turns out to be supernatural (obviously not telling you what happens), like a vampire or something you would only know about because you have read way too many Laurell K. Hamilton books. Don’t let that scare you, however. This is not a bodice ripper and no one has sex with a tiger. (I’m starting to question some of my life choices here.) I swear this is totally PG, unlike my mind apparently. I’m giving it 3 stars.

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Havisham by Ronald Frame – I also borrowed this from the BPL as an e-book. It was something I recommended. It’s an imagining of Great Expectations from the perspective of Miss Havisham. Except it’s sort of a prequel. Because her story starts much earlier than her encounter with Pip Pirrip. It’s good. Give it a whirl. I’m giving it 3 stars.

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In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This follows the true story of the American ambassador to Germany and his family at the beginning of Hitler’s reign. Dodd was not a typical diplomat and pledged to live within the means of his diplomat salary, which caused a lot of ire amongst his colleagues and peers. He also took a post that most people were turning down. And he wasn’t afraid to voice his opinions. This was not a popular dude. The whole family was fairly controversial. I like the way this piece of history is told from their perspective. Though this is not fiction in any way, it reads like it is, making it thoroughly entertaining while extremely informative. I’m giving it 4 stars.

Ta-da! That’s week 48. I must have been hiding in my apartment to have finished so many in a week. Let me know what you think or if you have any ideas about what should be next.

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