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Honeybeebooks

Honeybeebooks

Joined January 2019

Reading is elementary.
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Honeybeebooks
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
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Pickpick

Chou‘s work is at turns farcical and revelatory. Ingrid Yang at the behest of her advisor has spent years dutifully researching and writing her dissertation on a celebrated Chinese poet. No matter she has hated it. She stumbles on a clue that sends her on a mission to learn the truth about the poet and her own life. Thought provoking, but a little uneven…3+/5 ⭐️.

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Honeybeebooks
The Mystery Guest | Nita Prose
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This was a great follow up to The Maid. The MC, Molly, blossoms as her self-confidence increases. Juan is away to visit family and Molly is on her own planning and delivering impeccable service at a special reception. The event is marred, when the guest of honor drops dead. Molly‘s attention to details reveals the guest‘s darkest secrets and a killer. It‘s a 4/5 ⭐️ pick for this celebration of family, friends and understanding our differences.

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Honeybeebooks
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Lucy Cooke imbues this well-researched work with humor and joy. Her love for the natural world and her work are evident. No matter if they are called bitches or queens the fascinating animals Cooke features in this work demonstrate that much of our understanding of many species has been influenced by an unnecessarily narrow definition of sex. I read this more slowly than some other nonfiction works. It was a 3 of 5 ⭐️s read for me.

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Honeybeebooks
Lessons: A Novel | Ian McEwan
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Mehso-so

I wanted to love it, but it was often a slog. Roland Baines is alone at boarding school in the 1950‘s. He is a gifted pianist, but his relationship with his music teacher will haunt and hurt him throughout his life. Until the piano lesson reveal, I had no sympathy for the self-indulgent MC. After, I kept hoping that Roland would find something that would jolt him out of his lethargy. Only 3⭐️for verbose, but lovely prose. My first McEwan. My last?

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Honeybeebooks
Wandering Stars | Tommy Orange
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Prequel - sequel call it anything you like, Wandering Stars is heartbreakingly beautiful. Looking back to the Sand Creek Massacre and following the family line to the contemporary Red Feather family, Tommy Orange examines the generational injury and trauma that often leads to addiction. Orange‘s powerful prose made this work my first 5/5 ⭐️ pick of 2024.

Honeybeebooks The cast for the audio version is phenomenal! 1mo
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Honeybeebooks
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The Thursday Murder Club is back! Someone from Elizabeth‘s past arrives at Cooper‘s Chase asking for help and Ibrahim is attacked. The clubbers are on the job to find justice for their friend, solve some murders and cash in on a financial windfall. The characters are well written, the plot twisty and the friendships stronger. The narrator, Lesley Mann breathes life into Osman‘s delightful novel. 4/5 ⭐️ for our witty clubbers.

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Honeybeebooks
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Twins raised in a small town that values fair skin, even when light skin cannot protect them from racism. Two teen girls run away from home, but one gives up everything to pass and the other, after pain and heartache returns home. Two halves taking two paths that have unforeseen consequences for them and their families. A fascinating premise and intriguing characters made The Vanishing Half a 4 ⭐️ read for me.

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Honeybeebooks
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I pick this up to read each night and can‘t get through two pages without laughing out loud. Cooke‘s humorous descriptions of just about everything in the animal kingdom is fresh and fun. Too many quotes and few will get through any filters.

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Honeybeebooks
The River Knows | Amanda Quick
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I needed a change of pace from other recent reads. This audiobook offered standard Quick characters and plot. It hit the right easy notes. It is a challenge for a single narrator to voice a variety of characters. Of course, I probably shouldn‘t listen at 2x speed then! A woman with a terrible secret and a wealthy man of the nobility thrown together to solve a murder and only The River Knows. Escapist fun and 3 of 4 ⭐️ for this soft pick.

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Honeybeebooks
The Night Watchman | Louise Erdrich
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Inspired by Erdrich‘s grandfather and the Turtle Mountain people‘s fight against legislation that would terminate their treaty, The Night Watchman is an unflinching multilayered novel of individual resolve and community strength in the face of ongoing oppression, poverty and threat of dispossession. Each character‘s personal story brings depth and heart to the whole. A 4 ⭐️ pick for the audio version.

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Honeybeebooks
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Just as it took years and thoughtful work to create the Oxford English Dictionary this novel took time to bring the story of Esme to life. Growing up in the Scriptorium, Esme learns the importance of words and their meanings. Later working for the OED, she realizes an entire lexicon is being ignored and begins to collect the words of women and the poor. Esme‘s quiet fortitude and love of words earns this slowly paced novel 3.5 ⭐️. Worth the read.

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A reminder.
“You are not the arbiter of knowledge, sir. You are its librarian.” “ It is not for you to judge the importance of these words, simply to allow others to do so.”

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Honeybeebooks
Dirt Creek: A Novel | Hayley Scrivenor
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Estie and Ronnie are best friends. One hot day, they begin their after school walk, but only Ronnie reaches home safely. Where is Estie? The answer is slowly revealed as Ronnie, Estie‘s mom, the investigator and others from Durton tell of dark secrets and remember that fateful day. It is a pick for this atmospheric mystery. 3+/5 ⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
Linked | Gordon Korman
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My granddaughter suggested this title. She did me proud. A middle school in a small CO town is shaken when a swastika is painted on a wall. The ugly symbol of hate stirs up fear, resentment and old secrets, but the students devise an audacious plan to honor and remember individuals lost in the Holocaust. I laughed a little and cried a little more. This pick is 4+ of 5 ⭐️for reminding me of the potential for all of us to make the world better.

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Honeybeebooks
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When a man chokes on a grape, Iona breaks one of her cardinal rules for commuting. What can you do? With this first breach, Iona proceeds to break every rule in order to help her train mates and herself. A little predictable, but the journey is a joy. A 4+ of 5 ⭐️ pick for this gem of a story.

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Honeybeebooks
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This is fun! “The grape of wrath” kicks off a wonderful story of friendship and acceptance.

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Honeybeebooks
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Just as I belatedly downloaded this audio for a cozy holiday read, I realized a little late that this title was part of a series. It worked, but I missed out on backstory for the large cast of characters. Meg Langslow is hobbled with a sprain, but that does not slow her down as she looks to solve a murder close to home. Gifting it 3+/5 ⭐️ for a merry “Ho Ho Homicide” story.

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Honeybeebooks
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Joanna, the daughter of Sherlock, her husband, John and his father, Watson are tasked with locating a document that will be of vital importance as Europe heads towards war. Complex mystery, but the Edwardian era dialogue feels stilted. It keeps me from being invested in the action. It is a soft pick, so I am giving it 3 of 5 ⭐️.

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Honeybeebooks
A Question of Holmes | Brittany Cavallaro
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Charlotte and Jamie are in Oxford for the summer to take a few classes and look into a mysterious disappearance. They can also finally begin to learn what they could be together, but a murder upends their plans. This was a delight. I will miss Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson. It was a wonderful way to begin my 2024 reading journey. 4+/5 ⭐️for an excellent ending to this series.

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Honeybeebooks
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Mehso-so

A short story to finish out 2023. A young woman seeks water for her drought stricken village, but she must face the Thief of Memory to earn her wish. This myth was interesting, but it might have benefited from being a little longer to give the story and the characters more space to develop. It felt a little rushed especially at the end. Three of five ⭐️s.

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Honeybeebooks
Three Can Keep a Secret | M. E. Hilliard
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The village of Raven Hill is a dangerous place. Anita Hunzeker, library board trustee and a local academic are both killed the same night. Librarian, Greer Hogan uses her inventive research skills as she seeks to solve the murders. In her investigation she uncovers long hidden secrets and learns that a dear friend has been searching for answers regarding the murder of Greer‘s husband, Dan. Four of five ⭐️ for the love of libraries and mysteries.

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Honeybeebooks
The Book Eaters | Sunyi Dean
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Loved this novel! Devon is a rare female in one of the reclusive families of book eaters. They gain sustenance and knowledge from the books they eat. Girls, like Devon are raised on fairytales as they prepare for marriage. In this dwindling species, some children, including Devon‘s son are born needing to eat minds to survive. Seeking freedom from the families, Devon goes on the run with her son. This gritty, inventive novel deserves 4+/5 ⭐️s.

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Honeybeebooks
The Book Eaters | Sunyi Dean
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“But, I do I know we can only live by the light we‘re given, and some of us are given no light at all. What else can we do except learn to see in the dark?”

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Honeybeebooks
The Book Eaters | Sunyi Dean
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“What price do you put on love, Devon Fairweather?” She knew that answer by heart. “No price. There isn‘t one. Love doesn‘t have a cost. It‘s just a choice you make. “

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Honeybeebooks
Warrior Girl Unearthed | Angeline Boulley
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Back to Sugar Island! Daunis‘ twin nieces are sixteen and interns at the island cultural camp. Pauline is the dedicated student and Perry is the free-spirited one. Working at the museum, Perry learns that tribal ancestors and other Anishinaabe objects are not being returned to Sugar Island. At the same time, indigenous women are going missing including Perry‘s friend. Perry cannot rest until her ancestors and friends come home. A 4/5 ⭐️ pick.

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The Book Eaters | Sunyi Dean
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“How did one give shape to absence? Fill a black hole with light?

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Honeybeebooks
Crossings | Alex Landragin
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Panpan

A clever premise and with interesting elements and structure. The cleverness and creativity did not make up for unlikeable selfish characters. The MC tried to rise above and to justify their actions, but ultimately stole from others indiscriminately and with little remorse. I wanted to give it a So-So rating, but as I am writing this review I am changing it to a Pan and 2 of 5 ⭐️. I wouldn‘t want to get coffee with any of the MC iterations.

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Honeybeebooks
A Master of Djinn | P. Djeli Clark
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Egypt is a super power in 1912. Much of the world is careening towards war. In Cairo, Fatma el-Sha‘arawi, is a celebrated agent in the ministry tasked with managing the many magical entities and objects let loose many years ago. With the assassination of the members of a secret brotherhood, a new threat arises. Fatma must stop an impostor before Cairo erupts into a maelstrom of fire. Four of five ⭐️ for a rollicking fun steampunk story.

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Honeybeebooks
Song of Achilles | Madeline Miller
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Another great novel by Miller. Achilles the half-God hero of the Greeks during the Trojan War, was celebrated as an almost unbeatable warrior in mythology. The Song of Achilles tells us of the gentle musician that will do almost anything for his childhood friend Patroclus. I liked that so many characters from Greek myth were a part of our heroes‘ story. The end was unexpected, but I appreciated it. Achilles is a pick with 4 of 5 ⭐️.

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Honeybeebooks
Christmas Mittens Murder | Lynn Cahoon, Lee Hollis, Maddie Day
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Mehso-so

Three novellas starring murderous mittens. Nothing too weighty, except for a mittened swathed bocce ball and nothing too sweet. Two+ of five ⭐️ for this so-so holiday themed book.

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Honeybeebooks
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Gardens are writ large in mystery works past and present. McDowell is an expert gardener and murder mystery buff. In this slim volume she explores the world of gardening as inspiration for murderous settings, means and motives for many writers. Three of five ⭐️ for a quietly entertaining sojourn into the beautiful and often deadly potential found in the backyard.

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Honeybeebooks
Conviction | Denise Mina
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Not quite half way through. The plot is off the rails, but I do want to know what happened to Anna (Sophie?) and how Gretchen is involved. I don‘t think I will like it.

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Honeybeebooks
Shutter | Ramona Emerson
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Debut novel and a definite pick. The MC is Rita Todacheene, a young forensic photographer in Albuquerque. Rita is talented and through her lens captures details that help solve cases. Since childhood she has seen spirits, most are harmless, but some insist she help them. A particularly gruesome death and unhappy spirit keep Rita from sleep and drive her headlong into danger. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of five.

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Honeybeebooks
There There: A novel | Tommy Orange
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A 4 of 5 ⭐️ novel of intertwining lives, generations and personal stories as a group of seemingly disparate people make their way to the Oakland Powwow. Most are searching for self, family and tradition, but others are going with dark intentions. I listened to the audio. A large voice cast made each character distinct. Each character‘s story was powerful as the plot amped up the tension to the end. It‘s a pick. Looking forward to Orange‘s next.

LoverOfLearning Just finished this audiobook and discussed it in my book club! A get book to review I think! I really enjoyed it. Solid 4 stars for me. 3mo
Honeybeebooks @LoverOfLearning It was amazing in audio. I am looking forward to discussing it with my book club in a few weeks. 3mo
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Honeybeebooks
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It was a day to sip tea and savor lovely poetry inspired by other great poets. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ pick for the illustrations and poems.

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Honeybeebooks
The Violin Conspiracy | Brendan Slocumb
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This was an entertaining read. Despite an unsupportive environment, Ray embraces the world of music becoming a virtuoso violinist on his family heirloom. When the violin is recognized as a Stradivarius and disappears before an international competition, Ray must locate his instrument and show the world that music is for everyone. I marveled at Slocumb‘s ability to share complex musical descriptions and keep a compelling pace. A pick & 4 ⭐️.

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Honeybeebooks
The Water Dancer: A Novel | Ta-Nehisi Coates
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Loved the magical realism of this novel of Hiram‘s journey from tasked to freedom and back! Hiram is the child of a Virginia slave owner. He possesses perfect long-term memory; a gift that moves him to the owner‘s house to learn and then to serve his half-brother. After a terrible accident, Hiram seeks freedom and finds much more as he seeks to master his gifts and save his enslaved family. Beautiful narration and prose made this a 4 ⭐️ pick.

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Honeybeebooks
The Four Winds: A Novel | Kristin Hannah
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Elsa is a woman often denigrated by her family. She embarks on a hasty affair. When she becomes pregnant, she marries into a Texas wheat farming family. After years of plenty, the drought begins and the dust storms devastate the farm and family. Elsa drives to California with her two children, but instead of opportunity they find hardship, hunger and hatred. This was a difficult read in the best way. A powerful painful novel. A 4 ⭐️ pick.

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Honeybeebooks
Tempest at Sea | Sherry Thomas
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Charlotte is forced into hiding, but if she retrieves a dossier for the Crown she may be able to return to her life. The inquiry leads her to an undercover journey on the RMS Provence. On a stormy night at sea, a wealthy man is killed. The ensuing investigation could expose Charlotte to Moriarty if she and Ash don‘t intervene and solve the case. Ash and Livia had all the feels as foils for Charlotte. It was odd, but I still love C. Holmes. 4⭐️fun.

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Honeybeebooks
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This novel is a real charmer. Eudora is 85. She has worked hard all of her life and is ready for some peace and quiet. But, what Eudora needs is Rose, the joyful, vivacious 10 year old girl that moves in next door. Rose, Eudora and neighbor, Stanley are an unlikely trio as they wring every drop of joy out of summer with their adventures. A nearly perfect (for me) read with 4++⭐️ out of 5 for this heartfelt novel.

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Honeybeebooks
The Water Dancer: A Novel | Ta-Nehisi Coates
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The narrator, Joe Morton is a force. I am transported when he sings a song from the field.

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Honeybeebooks
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I both read and listened to the story of bent, but not crooked Ray Carney. Ray is an entrepreneur. He owns a furniture store that caters to his Harlem neighbors. Cash is tight so he sometimes needs to sell gently used items or move other merchandise. Ray has his own family, but he often has to cover for his cousin Freddie‘s misdeeds. HS is a love letter to Harlem, furniture and reminds us what it means to take care of family. A pick with ⭐️⭐️⭐️+

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Honeybeebooks
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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“…and looking at the stars didn‘t make Carney feel small or insignificant, the stars made him feel recognized. They had their place and he had his. “

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Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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“Good old American know-how on display: We do marvels, we do injustice, and our hands were always busy. “

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Honeybeebooks
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My first Naomi Novak novel. In the Scholomance, survival is the only way to graduate and in a school trying to kill everyone, El is the scariest thing in it. When Orion, the school hero saves her life, 1,2,3…times (who‘s really counting?), El needs to figure out how not to kill him in retribution. It would look bad, especially if they are dating. A Deadly Education cast a weird wonderful spell on me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Honeybeebooks
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Cooper pairs insights from his birding adventures and his journey as a queer black nerd (blerd!) to entertain and enlighten. Using stories from his past to illustrate his birding tips was interesting, but it did not make for a linear storyline. Cooper is generous in his retelling of the infamous Central Park incident, but it was my least favorite part of the work. Compelling and infectious makes for a 4 ⭐️ read.

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Honeybeebooks
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Mehso-so

My second Sittenfeld title. This collection had solid writing and some interesting characters in many of the disconnected stories. “Plausible Deniability” is the most interesting. A bachelor enjoys flirtatious emails with a mysterious woman. Unfortunately, for many of the stories, I didn‘t think it so I didn‘t need her to say it. ⭐️⭐️+ out of 5.

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Honeybeebooks
The Survivor | Iris Johansen
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Read this a few weeks ago and forgot to review I should learn not to delete images until I am certain I don‘t need them anymore!
Riley is back and this time she is hunting for evidence of a female warrior from the ancient world. The usual ruthless villain that will stop at nothing is also on the hunt. Another pretty solid entry into the Eve Duncan universe, but as always gimme more Eve! It is a pick with 3 ⭐️.

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Honeybeebooks
Exiles | Jane Harper
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The final installment in the Aaron Falk series. A woman abandons her infant and disappears from a busy festival. Her shoe is found near a treacherous drop. A year later family and friends gather for a christening and to mourn. Aaron and Raco search for answers to the disappearance and another older mystery. Aaron‘s story comes full circle, but not until he helps two families heal. Harper‘s works are always a great listen. It‘s a pick at 4+ ⭐️s.

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Honeybeebooks
Thief of Fate | Jude Deveraux, Tara Sheets
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The final part of Liam‘s and Cora‘s story. Liam is trying to save his soul, but Cora is the woman that holds his heart. Asking her to love another is an impossible task for a thief born two centuries ago. It is a race against time as Cora and Liam strive to bring a thief and murderer to justice. Nice pacing for both timelines with increasing tension and some surprising revelations throughout the series. A satisfying end and a fun teaser for 4 ⭐️s.