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MallenNC

MallenNC

Joined May 2016

I love mysteries, narrative nonfiction, and reading new authors. Feel free to add me on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1147715-melyssa
review
MallenNC
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Pickpick

This was a fun listen, especially since I knew nothing about this treasure hunt. The author becomes involved in the search so this is a mix of his experience, the story of the search, and some history of other treasure hunts. It‘s a little long and it kind of skirts past some controversies about the man who started the hunt but overall a strong pick.

29 likes2 stack adds
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

I expected this to be more of a history of a family and how this rare item, and its story, was able to be passed down against all odds. But it‘s really more of a history using the items in the sack as its frame. It‘s interesting but the structure made it kind of repetitive.

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MallenNC
Weather Girl | Rachel Lynn Solomon
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Pickpick

I didn‘t love this as much as The Ex-Talk, mostly bc that book‘s public radio setting was great to me. But this is another workplace romance that had some deeper topics woven in, which made for an enjoyable read.

OriginalCyn620 I‘m reading this right now! 4d
MallenNC @OriginalCyn620 It came in for me at the library. It was a quick one. 4d
35 likes1 stack add2 comments
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MallenNC
Parachutes | Kelly Yang
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Pickpick

Before reading this I‘d never heard of parachutes, which are wealthy students from China who come to the US alone to attend private school. This book is about sexual assault and harassment which means it‘s not a fun story, but it was very readable. I‘m definitely going to read more of Kelly Yang.

31 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

I thought this was great. I liked the way deaf history lessons and ASL was woven into the story of a deaf boarding school. It mainly follows two students and the headmistress with one other supporting characters. The ending is unresolved, which I didn‘t mind bc that‘s how life is.

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MallenNC
The Locked Room | Elly Griffiths
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My #BookSpinBingo card for April. I meant to post this yesterday but I was finishing my last minute final book! I finished 14 books, my Spin & Double Spin, and got two bingos. I enjoyed all these books. I think the tagged was my favorite bc it‘s part of my favorite series. Black Cake and The Love Hypothesis are the runners up.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Fabulous month!! 3w
26 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
Bingo! | Rosemary Wells
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I‘m looking forward to another fun #BookSpin month! I‘ve messed around with this list and I think I just need to go with this! Im trying to read some of my newer books, library checkouts, and PopSugar prompts.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3w
19 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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Not a super cute picture but here are the books I got for Independent Bookstore Day. I was left to my own devices so I bought more than I intended. I shopped at my local store, Quail Ridge Books.

Julsmarshall I bought Mary Jane today too! 3w
MallenNC @Julsmarshall I‘ve heard such good things about it! 3w
32 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
The Party Crasher | Sophie Kinsella
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Pickpick

Recent Sophie Kinsellas have been a little hit or miss for me, but this one was good. Like a lot of lighter fiction, this could‘ve probably been finished in chapter one if people would talk to each other, but what‘s the fun in that? I liked the premise of the MC not going to the last party at her family home but then ended up being there in secret. This was a fast read, and I may not remember much of it, but it was fun.

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MallenNC
Black Cake | Charmaine Wilkerson
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Pickpick

A lot happens on this book — it‘s got estranged family, secrets, flashbacks, settings in several countries, new identities, everything. I really liked it because I think all the threads came together well.

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MallenNC
The Dating Playbook | Farrah Rochon
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Pickpick

I read this without reading the first in the series, but I still enjoyed this one and will probably read the first one now. This is a fake dating story, which I find fun. I liked that Taylor (the female MC) dealt with financial issues and the challenges of not having a degree, bc I think those are realistic challenges. I also liked how her friends supported her.

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MallenNC
The Locked Room | Elly Griffiths
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Pickpick

This is my favorite mystery series, so much that I get a copy from the UK so I don‘t have to wait for the U.S. publication. This one covers the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was interesting to see how Ruth, Nelson, and all dealt with it. The police trying to solve a case during the lockdown was really interesting. As always, catching up with the longterm characters was my favorite part.

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MallenNC
Run, Rose, Run: A Novel | James Patterson, Dolly Parton
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Pickpick

I don‘t read James Patterson, but I can‘t resist Dolly Parton. That‘s good bc this is mostly about the business of country music. You can really tell those are Dolly‘s parts of the book. The thriller aspect is only sprinkled in. The MC, AnnieLee, is stubborn to the point of annoyance but still I wanted to see how things turned out, and what her secret was. Ruthanna, the Dolly stand-in, was fun. If you liked the show Nashville you will like this.

MallenNC This was my #DoubleSpin for April. 4w
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3w
38 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
Untitled | Unknown
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I had a successful #AwesomeApril Readathon. I finished five books (two I had started previously). All except one were library books so I meet my goal of getting my checked out books a little more under control. These were all ebooks, though, so my stack of physical books still needs some attention! But the due dates for those are in my favor.

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MallenNC
Loveboat Reunion | Abigail Hing Wen
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Pickpick

This is a sequel to a book I barely remember, but I very quickly bought into the new storyline. I think several plot points could have been resolved with some honest conversation but isn‘t that always the way in soap operas, which this book has a lot in common with. Overall good read. I was especially rooting for Xavier.

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MallenNC
Rage Becomes Her | Soraya Chemaly
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Pickpick

I forgot to do a review of our last #SheSaid book. I had this on TBR forever and am glad I finally read it. A lot of what the book covers has also been in some of our other #SheSaid selections. What I liked most about this one is how she blended her personal experiences and those of her family along with solid research. Her grandmother‘s story in particular will be something I think about for a while.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m so glad we got 1 off of your to-read shelves! 1mo
38 likes1 stack add1 comment
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MallenNC
Music Is History | Questlove
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You have to consume Questlove‘s books on audio to get the little extras — sound effects, song clips — but at the same time I wish I had it in print to underline more. I‘m enjoying this walk through music history as part of my #AwesomeApril readathon.

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MallenNC
Readathon: Occasional List : Geleentheidslys | Gauteng (South Africa). Education Media Service
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My library holds all came in this week, and I also picked up two more books during my multiple trips to the library. I‘m going to use this readathon to try to get this under control! My goal is to finish at least three of these books this week.

#AwesomeApril @Andrew65

Andrew65 Good luck, and hope you enjoy it 😊👍 1mo
31 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
The Love of My Life | Rosie Walsh
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Pickpick

The premise of this book is so intriguing. A professional obituary writer starts researching his wife for the kind of story that publications keep on file for notable people. In the process, he finds out what he thinks he knows about her isn‘t true. The reasons for the secrets were not what I expected and the resolution was a little messy, but it was a page turner that I read in just a few days.

MallenNC I‘m not entirely sure what the author was trying to say about motherhood and adoption. It seemed more complicated that the story allows for. I might keep thinking on this. 1mo
Tamra My current audio at 63%! 🤞🏾 Hoping for an unexpected resolution. 1mo
39 likes1 stack add2 comments
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MallenNC
The Love Hypothesis | Ali Hazelwood
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Pickpick

This book was really hyped, but for me it lived up to it. I think fake dating is one of the best tropes. Is it realistic? No, but it is fun. I also really liked the STEM/academic setting. Her challenges there were all too real. One negative is the overuse of the MC crying silently and only realizing it when she noticed her face was wet. It happened multiple times!

shanaqui I don't know that I've ever not noticed myself crying except once when I was in shock, so it always seems so odd in fiction! 1mo
MallenNC @shanaqui I don‘t think I have either. It‘s one of those things that probably seems dramatic to an author. I‘d let it go if it were only in the book once but it was at least four times. 1mo
42 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
The Nothing Man | Catherine Ryan Howard
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Pickpick

I think this is the earliest in a month I have finished a #BookSpin. This was so creepy that I finished it fast both because I wanted to know what happened and because I wanted to get it out of my head. I liked the concept of a book within a book and the role the book played in the story. This author does a good job with thrillers.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
32 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

This is another book I read in March that I enjoyed. I read it for a #PopSugar challenge (Tiger on cover) without knowing much about it. I enjoyed this, which weaves in Korean fairy tales and a modern story about a girl and her aging grandmother. It was interesting and the narrator was great.

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MallenNC
Bingo! | Rosemary Wells
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Ready for April now! Here‘s my #BookSpin list for next month.

tpixie Fun!! 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
24 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
The Violin Conspiracy | Brendan Slocumb
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My March #BookSpinBingo was a success! I got two Bingos, finished both of my BookSpins and read 13 books. My favorite was the tagged book, and I also loved Milkman and Anatomy.

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MallenNC
Thursday Murder Club | Richard Osman
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Pickpick

I loved the characters in this book! Especially Elizabeth and Ibrahim. The resolution of the mystery wasn‘t what I expected, and some of the way it ended seemed both unnecessarily complicated and too simple, but I enjoyed reading. I have seen that people say the new sequel is even better, so I hope to read that one soon.

This was my #BookSpin #DoubleSpin for March!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
43 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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MallenNC
Milkman | Anna Burns
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Pickpick

I‘ve had this in my TBR forever, and finally its turn came! I think this is a love it or hate it book, and I loved it. I think listening to it is key. It‘s quirky in that none of the characters are called by names, but by descriptors like third brother in law and maybe boyfriend. It‘s got serious things happening but I also laughed out loud at parts. I don‘t normally love book prize winners but I see why this one won.

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MallenNC
Rachel's Holiday | Marian Keyes
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Pickpick

I read this years ago before I tracked my books, and decided to reread it because a sequel is coming out later this year. Rachel is a challenging MC because she‘s dealing with an addiction that she‘s not honest with herself about through much of the book. She‘s also pretty mean at times. But I ended up rooting for her again.

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MallenNC
A Mercy | Toni Morrison
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Pickpick

No one needs me to tell them that Toni Morrison was a great writer. A few times as I was listening there would be a line that made me stop and kind of marvel over it. I read this because it‘s the Stacked podcast book club pick for March. I‘m looking forward to the discussion episode because I know a lot of this went over my head.

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MallenNC
The Violin Conspiracy | Brendan Slocumb
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Pickpick

I loved this book about a musician‘s prized violin being stolen for ransom. But it‘s more of a story about a Black man‘s career in music and all the racism he faces in trying to be as successful as his talent deserves. The author is a classical musician and based the character‘s experiences on his own life. A lot of the tension in the story comes from wanting him to succeed. I thought the resolution to the mystery was good too. March #BookSpin

Liatrek This sounds good! Nice review adding to my stack ❤️ 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 2mo
42 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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MallenNC
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#Two4Tuesday

1. Evicted was really eye opening about what leads people to be evicted from their homes and the way our systems keep people from moving up. Highly recommend.

2. Not really. I wear green if I think of it. My ancestry is Irish but this holiday hasn‘t ever been big for us.

@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 🍀🍀🍀 2mo
23 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

Of Elly Griffiths‘ three mystery series, this is my third favorite. I just haven‘t connected with the characters as much as with the Ruth Galloway cast and those in the Stranger Diaries and its sequel. But I still liked it because the story is well plotted and the fairy tale/panto parts of the story were unique.

This one works for PopSugar prompt reflected image/mirror in title

29 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
Anatomy: A Love Story | Dana Schwartz
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Pickpick

First of all, this cover is awesome. I didn‘t even notice the woman at first, just the heart. This is a Frankenstein-inspired book about a privileged young woman in 1817 who wants to be a doctor. It started a little slow but overall I liked this. There is mystery and a bit of romance but the love in the subtitle is of Hazel and medicine/science. Plus that whole Frankenstein thing!

42 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
Distress Signals | Catherine Ryan Howard
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Pickpick

This was only my second book by this author but I am really liking her. I wouldn‘t read this if you ever want to go on a cruise. It took a little while for all the parts to come together but it was a good ride!

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MallenNC
Reckless Girls: A Novel | Rachel Hawkins
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Mehso-so

I‘m not mad I read this but I needed it to have more suspense. The pacing was off for me, with more time spent in the set up than I needed. More creepy things needed to happen on the island and the suspicious characters needed to do more. I did like the “before” chapters but the story didn‘t live up to its potential.

Megabooks Just finished this and agree 💯 3mo
36 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
The Violin Conspiracy | Brendan Slocumb
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Now that I‘ve caught up on my February reviews, I can start my Book Spin for March. These are the picks! I‘m looking forward to both.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
37 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
Saving Savannah | Tonya Bolden
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Pickpick

This YA historical fiction follows a prosperous African American teenager during a pivotal time in the early 20th century. I liked how the author sprinkled real people in the story. The author‘s note at the end about the real people was very interesting. I didn‘t realize this was a sequel until I finished it. I may still read the previous book.

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MallenNC
Girl, Serpent, Thorn | Melissa Bashardoust
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Pickpick

I don‘t read much fantasy but this one, which is based on a Persian fairy tale, kept my attention. The tag line on the cover “sometimes the princess is the monster” grabbed my attention! I‘d read more of this author.

39 likes2 stack adds
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

This was hard to read! I read it for the social horror prompt for the PopSugar reading challenge, and I wouldn‘t have otherwise. It was creepy and sad, but I kept turning the pages!

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MallenNC
If I Never Met You: A Novel | Mhairi McFarlane
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Pickpick

I read this author for the first time last year, and I have really liked her work. This book is probably marketed as a romance, bc it centers on the fake dating trope, but I think you‘re better served if you think of it as contemporary fiction. My main interest in this was that she get revenge on her ex! I did like that friendship ended up being an important theme.

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MallenNC
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Pickpick

This is a well-written book but it had a lot of violence and sadness. I liked the novel, but I definitely had to read it in short spurts.

32 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

This was my favorite book from February. I normally don‘t like sentimental stories, but this one was great. I liked all the characters and I enjoy stories that unfold gradually like this one does, with the good and the sad moments of their lives. The audiobook was especially good.

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MallenNC
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

This was my #BookSpin for February. I am glad I finally read it after having it on my shelf forever. I thought it was interesting and I care enough about the characters to read the sequel. The sister character got on my nerves so much, until I remembered that she was only 13.

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MallenNC
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#Two4Tuesday
1. The tagged book has gotten great reviews and I just picked it up from the library.
2. “It is what it is”

@TheSpineView

kamoorephoto I hate that phrase!! My ex used to use it and I‘m like…NO. 3mo
TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 3mo
JenReadsAlot I picked that same phrase!! 3mo
MallenNC @JenReadsAlot @kamoorephoto I hate it bc it‘s used as a way to cut off any attempt to change! 3mo
26 likes4 comments
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MallenNC
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I still need to review all my February books, but here‘s my #BookSpinBingo card for the month. I got a bingo, finished my BookSpin, and read 10 books. The tagged was my favorite of the month.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Fantastic month!! 3mo
31 likes1 stack add1 comment
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MallenNC
Bingo! | Rosemary Wells
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My picks for March #BookSpin. I always look forward to my “reading assignment.”

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
27 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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I was happy to receive a book kit for the NC Humanities Council‘s North Carolina Reads program and to listen to the presentation for the first book, Soul City. I‘m looking forward to learning more about this part of the history of my state. The March book is The Last Ballad, which I already read and loved, but the rest of these books are new to me.

35 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
Girl, Serpent, Thorn | Melissa Bashardoust
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I checked this book out last year and had to let it go back before I could finish. I was reminded of it today and checked it out again. Libby‘s estimate on my finish date makes me LOL.

GondorGirl 😂😂😂 I'll stop back in a few years for your review! 3mo
MallenNC @GondorGirl Maybe I should review at the halfway point in five years. 3mo
Karisa 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
34 likes3 comments
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MallenNC
The Guncle | Steven Rowley
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#Two4Tuesday

1. I will say flowers because they‘re special and I only trust a few people to buy books for me!
2. I recommend The Guncle. It‘s not a romance but it is about love.

@TheSpineView Thanks for the tag.

TheSpineView You're welcome and Thanks for playing! 💜📘 3mo
22 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
New Year, New You | Steve Pacer
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My #NYWD wrap up. I was able to read seven books from the list @Cinfhen shared & enjoyed all. The Guncle was my favorite but I loved The Storyteller almost as much. I am glad to have been introduced to Early Morning Riser, The Anthropocene Reviewed, and the Helen Ellis essays because they were not on my radar. The rest had been on my TBR so this was the push I needed to read them! Thanks to @monalyisha for hosting and for a great match.

Cinfhen I‘m so glad you enjoyed your books!!! Did you listen to The Guncle??? I had so much fun with your list band I‘m looking forward to reading a few more 4mo
MallenNC @Cinfhen I really enjoyed your list! It had a great variety, and as I said here, introduced me to some books I wouldn‘t have gotten to otherwise. I read The Guncle in print, but I would love to listen to it. I don‘t reread often, but I think I would with it. 4mo
29 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

This is a soft pick. I listened to this because it‘s narrated by Joanne Froggatt (Anna from Downton Abbey) whose work I really enjoy. I liked the book and wanted to know what would happen but it had A LOT of characters and different timelines so it was hard to follow. I‘m not certain I understood it.

GondorGirl While Kate Morton is an insta-buy author of mine, this wasn't my favorite of her books. 4mo
MallenNC @GondorGirl I have only read this one and The House at Riverton. I‘ve heard from other readers that Clockmaker‘s Daughter wasn‘t her best. I will definitely read more of her! 4mo
GondorGirl @MallenNC My two favorites are 'The Secret Keepers' and 4mo
MallenNC @GondorGirl Awesome! I will try one of those next. 4mo
27 likes1 stack add4 comments