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VictoriaB

VictoriaB

Joined February 2018

Engineer ~ mom of middle schooler ~ crafter and reader of all things
review
VictoriaB
Holy Sister | Mark Lawrence
Pickpick

Mark Lawrence is one of my favorites and he did not disappoint. Abbess Glass truly did play the long game, and it was rewarding to see throughout this final book exactly how far ahead she had schemed and planned. And Nona‘s loyalty to her was heartwarming even as she kicked butt all over Abeth.

TrishB One of mine too 👍🏻 1mo
3 likes1 comment
review
VictoriaB
Manhattan Beach: A Novel | Jennifer Egan
Mehso-so

The last 100 pages were the best part, but it was a slog to get there. I thought the diving aspect would be fascinating, but it was a pretty minor part of the book. Some interesting inner conflict with the main character, Anna, and her inability to fit into the expectations of women at the time.

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VictoriaB
Pickpick

Poirot encounters a serial killer working his way through the alphabet, and is given advance warning ahead of each crime. But as each victim seems to be unconnected, how can he stop the next one? I‘m not sure what it says about me that I find murder mysteries to be palate cleansers in between other books, but an Agatha Christie novel is perfect.

8 likes1 stack add
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VictoriaB
Pickpick

The fly-tying underworld? Who knew? This book was fascinating and disturbing because of what people would do to acquire the feathers of protected and endangered birds just to tie a fly that won‘t even be used.

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VictoriaB
Washington Black | Esi Edugyan
Pickpick

George Washington Black starts his life as a slave on a plantation in Barbados. He catches the interest of the plantation owner‘s brother and joins him on his scientific research journeys. Absolutely beautiful writing, and much to think about on the “white rescuer” attitude and the nature of true freedom. But I just didn‘t get hooked into the story like I so usually do, and the ending was more of just a stopping. Falls between a so-so and a pick.

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VictoriaB
Nine Perfect Strangers | Liane Moriarty
Pickpick

Nine people head to Tranquillum House to sort themselves out from various issues. But Masha, the resort‘s owner and director has her own plan for their total transformation.

Pretty good, though I found the audiobook‘s narrator to put more of a whiny tone to Frances‘ voice, so I found her to be an irritating character. I probably would have enjoyed Frances more had I read the print version as I may have interpreted her differently.

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VictoriaB
Dune | Frank Herbert
Pickpick

A reread for me. This has all the things that I love about fantasy books, but in a sci-fi package: richly detailed worlds and cultures with a decent helping of the mysterious.

rretzler I need to reread the series. I barely got through God Emperor of Dune and felt overdosed on sand worms and sand, so I stopped. Loved it up to that point. (edited) 2mo
4 likes1 comment
blurb
VictoriaB
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1. 😂🤷🏼‍♀️👍🏻
2. Not this year
3. Work, hopefully not too much. Maybe some yard work if it ever stops raining for more than a day.
4. Oldest of 3
5. 👍🏻

#friyayintro
@howjessreads

Julsmarshall 😄😘❤️ 2mo
Sharpeipup Our emojis nearly match 😂🤷‍♀️😁 2mo
10 likes2 comments
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VictoriaB
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
Pickpick

One of my best reads this year! I loved the interview format and felt that it really gave you the different perspectives of events from each member of the band. I loved Daisy‘s “I‘m not here for you” attitude, but also her vulnerability.

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VictoriaB
Pickpick

A pick for book club. I wasn‘t expecting to like it as much as I did, as I don‘t normally care for romance novels. It was definitely difficult and thought provoking reading. However, I seem to be really bothered by Louisa‘s parents‘ and sister‘s low expectations for her and the way they speak to her throughout the book, until the ending.

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VictoriaB
Us Against You | Fredrik Backman
Pickpick

A friend from college used to say “It ripped out my heart, threw it on the floor, and did the tango on it.” This book is a lot like that. But so good. I feel like Fredrik Backman portrays everything so well: people, places, communities, careers, families. And so many of his observations are spot on. I grew up in a small town where my father was a high school coach, and was practically yelling “Yes, this!!!” throughout the entire book.

blurb
VictoriaB
Us Against You | Fredrik Backman

Being a mother can be like drying out the foundations of a house or mending a roof: it takes time, sweat, and money, and once it‘s done everything looks exactly the same as it did before. It‘s not the sort of thing anyone gives you praise for. But spending an extra hour in the office is like hanging up a beautiful painting or a new lamp: everyone notices.

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VictoriaB
Good Omens | Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
Pickpick

The Antichrist has been born, and the end of the world is near. But an angel and a demon, who are somewhat acquainted over their thousands of years on earth, kind of like things the way they are. Pretty darn funny.

For my neighborhood book club. We have one neighbor that is a hard-core Pratchett fan. She suggested this one as a break from all of the serious subjects that we usually read about, so Armageddon. 😂

rretzler Loved the book and can‘t wait for the Amazon Prime show! 3mo
7 likes1 comment
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VictoriaB
Pickpick

Emma returns to Camp Nightingale 15 years after her cabin mates disappeared without a trace. She hopes to find out once and for all what happened to them, following clues that one of the girls left behind. Decent suspense with a great ending, but relies heavily on an unreliable narrator.

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VictoriaB
The Word Is Murder | Anthony Horowitz
Pickpick

After this book and The Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz is now up there as a favorite author. This time, he writes himself into the story. As himself. Really cool concept done very well, and a fun mystery on top of it all.

LiteraryinLititz I agree that‘s he‘s awesome! A new one is coming out in the next few months, I believe. 😁 3mo
rretzler I haven‘t read any of his books yet, but I discovered that he‘s written a few shows that I‘ve enjoyed so I plan to read The Magpie Murders soon. I‘m sure I‘m going to enjoy it. 3mo
9 likes2 comments
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VictoriaB
Pickpick

Wow. Michelle McNamara‘s research into what she called the Golden State Killer was exhaustive, and yet did not sensationalize the victims. What a loss her death was; her writing was superb, and showed the advances that police detectives have been able to make with technology and better communication between precincts.

RvnclawWhovian So sad she wasn‘t able to see him brought to justice 3mo
6 likes1 comment
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VictoriaB
Once Upon a River | Diane Setterfield
Pickpick

A stranger bursts into an inn on the Thames, holding the drowned body of a young girl. Hours later, she is alive, but who is she? Apparently, I‘m drawn to these moody, atmospheric, almost Gothic type novels. This was one of the best.

LiteraryinLititz Sounds intriguing! Is it a sequel or a stand alone story? 3mo
TrishB A great read 👍🏻 3mo
9 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
VictoriaB
Sense and Sensibilty | Jane Austen
Pickpick

I got this as a daily deal from Audible. Rosamund Pike was the perfect narrator. I normally would have found the husband-hunting antics of Elinor and Marianne extremely tedious, but Ms. Austen‘s snark saves the day. Overall, a lovely way to spend the train ride on our way to Chicago.

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VictoriaB
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd | Agatha Christie
Pickpick

It‘s easy to see why this is considered one of Christie‘s best. What a twist at the end! Honestly didn‘t see that coming.

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VictoriaB
Pickpick

Kya the “Marsh Girl” has been abandoned by her family to live alone in their shack in the marsh. Her refusal to leave her home and her resilience in the face of the loneliness brought on by her abandonment and being shunned by the townspeople makes her a compelling character. Her marsh is so detailed and lovingly depicted that not only do you feel you were there, but wish you could witness its magic for yourself.

blurb
VictoriaB
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1. Suburban Detroit, Michigan
2. It‘s funny, but I‘m good where I‘m at. I love to visit a lot of different places, but Michigan is lovely.
3. The marshes of North Carolina.
4. Typical food can be anything - it‘s pretty diverse around here. But specialties are Detroit deep dish pizza, coney dogs, Vernor‘s, and since Fat Tuesday was not that long ago, paczki. Definitely not for everyday eating. 😂
5. 💕
#frideas
@SailorMoon

SailorMoon Thanks for playing!!! 💕🤟🏻🌙 4mo
13 likes1 comment
blurb
VictoriaB
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1. Among many others, but this is a top pick.
2. Nope. But other than that I‘m a neat freak. 🤷🏼‍♀️
3. 43F. And snowing. 😜
4. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
5. 👋🏻
#friyayintro
@howjessreads

review
VictoriaB
Mehso-so

Hal receives a letter stating that she is receiving an inheritance. Except she knows that she‘s not the person that they‘re looking for. But she‘s got a sizable debt to a loan shark and she‘s desperate. So she decides to try to claim what she can, but soon discovers that Mrs. Westaway‘s family is far from normal. This started off well, but most of the middle is Hal‘s agonizing over her deception. The ending was great, and almost redeemed it.

review
VictoriaB
Why Didn't They Ask Evans? | Agatha Christie
Pickpick

No Poirot or Miss Marple in this one! This mystery involves two amateur sleuths investigating the death of a mysterious stranger and his final words. Not one of Christie‘s best, but still a fun read.

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VictoriaB
Educated: A Memoir | Tara Westover
Pickpick

Powerful memoir of a girl from a prepper family in Idaho that struggles to get through college despite a woefully lacking homeschool education.

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VictoriaB
The Princess Diarist | Carrie Fisher
Mehso-so

I received this book as a gift, so I didn‘t know much about what it was about. I was really expecting more behind-the-scenes type stories, but it really is mostly about her affair with Harrison Ford.

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VictoriaB
Educated: A Memoir | Tara Westover
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We‘re done with the volleyball game, soccer practice, and homework, so now we read.

12 likes1 stack add
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VictoriaB
The Murder at the Vicarage | Agatha Christie
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Pickpick

Typical Agatha Christie: suspects that keep you guessing and red herrings, but by far the best part of this one is the Vicar. His sense of humor and gentle sarcasm made this mystery so enjoyable.

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VictoriaB
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Pickpick

So beautifully written and atmospheric. Birchwood Manor is a character in its own right. I loved all the connections between those who lived or stayed there. I didn‘t have too much trouble with the multiple storylines, though I had to pay attention to the who and when of what I was reading. My only complaint is that the ending was a little smashed together, which sort of clashed with the slower pace of the rest of the book.

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VictoriaB
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Pickpick

AJ Fikry‘s life is a mess. He spends his days in his failing bookstore and his nights mourning his late wife. Everything changes when a baby is left in his bookstore with a note asking him to care for her.

Enjoyable read, but a bit Hallmark movie-ish. The characters are not as developed as I would have liked, but I still cried.

blurb
VictoriaB
Dune | Frank Herbert
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Fantasy, the only sci-fi I‘ve really loved so far is tagged
Galaxy bound
Tea fuel
Scientific prowess
Salty rivalry
Both!
Dystopia
Animal sidekick
Nope
Both
Some YA, not too much though

hermyknee 🙌🏼 5mo
8 likes1 comment
blurb
VictoriaB
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1. Holly the huskimo
2. Watching @alex.b.17 play soccer, the rest of the weekend is free and clear. Which means I‘ll be doing laundry. 😂
3. Historical and contemporary needlework
4. Olympic NP/Seattle, Alaska, Hawaii
5. What‘s a book you thought would fit your personality perfectly - until you read it. And didn‘t like it. For me it‘s the tagged book. Read it two years ago and I‘m still shocked that I didn‘t get the hype.🤷🏼‍♀️
#friyayintro

wanderinglynn One that has been recommended to me multiple times & the premise is right up my alley, but I just couldn‘t get into it. I DNF‘d 5mo
CouronneDhiver Ugh. I finished it, but didn‘t care for that one at all! @wanderinglynn 5mo
SailorMoon I guess it would be... 5mo
14 likes4 comments
review
VictoriaB
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Pickpick

This book switches back and forth between a corporate team-building trip during which Alice Russell has come up missing, and the investigation into her disappearance. I thought that this was less of a twisty mystery than a character study of how the women react when things go so very wrong in the wilderness, though Aaron Falk‘s investigation moves things along with plenty of red herrings.

8 likes1 stack add
blurb
VictoriaB
The Belgariad | David Eddings
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❤️ A bit of a trip in the wayback machine, but still my favorites: Belgarion and Ce‘Nedra
❤️ Freesia
❤️Chocolate. The darker, the better
❤️ 💕💖💕

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VictoriaB
Next Year in Havana | Chanel Cleeton
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Pickpick

My favorite part about this book was the wealth of information on Cuba past and present. I liked the dual storyline between Marisol and Elisa, but I found both of their love at first sight romances a bit of a stretch.

10 likes1 stack add
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VictoriaB
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Pickpick

Pretty good, and the narrator did a great job. I knew what to expect - YA dystopian and there were really no surprises there. Interesting concept to divide the population by traits, and the Chicago backdrop was cool. But Lake Michigan as a marsh? Hmmmm. 😂

9 likes1 stack add
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VictoriaB
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Pickpick

Historical fiction about a WWI mostly-female spy network. These women led gritty and dangerous double lives and took full advantage that most men would never dream that a woman would take such risks. I especially liked the intersection of Eve‘s WWI and Charlie‘s WWII stories.
#popsugar novel based on a true story
#aroundtheyearin52 a book on an NPR Best Books of the year list

blurb
VictoriaB
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1. Get your urban paranormal and paranormal romance out of my fantasy section at the bookstore. 😂
2. A bit of both.
3. Victor and Maxine, Andrew and Beth. All no longer with us except Beth, who is a very spry 97.
4. Star Wars
5. Chicago is always a favorite.

#friyayintro
@howjessreads

Alfrazier21 Chicago is one of my favorite places! 5mo
TheBookHippie Chicago my heart 💙 5mo
CouronneDhiver 97 - awesome! 👏🏽👏🏽 5mo
howjessreads Spry 97 ❤️ — What we all aspire to, right? 😍 5mo
LoverofLit My husband and I honeymooned in Chicago and it is still my favorite city we have visited out of all of them now. 5mo
14 likes5 comments
blurb
VictoriaB
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❄️ -15F, no wind chill. Yet.
❄️ 75F, so I‘ve got a while to wait.
❄️ Normally 70F, but now 68F, and maybe going down further. There was an explosion that damaged one of the natural gas compressor stations and is hampering supply. Many auto factories are closed to help conserve.
❄️Any weather, but reading outside in pleasant weather is so nice!
#hellothursday @wanderinglynn

wanderinglynn Thanks for playing! 💜 And stay warm! 🥶 6mo
8 likes1 comment
blurb
VictoriaB
Welcome | Barroux

Please welcome my kiddo @alex.b.17 to Litsy! She‘s a middle schooler that likes middle-grade and YA, so she‘s looking for people to follow who like the same. I‘ve been informed that I should tell you she likes baking and dogs. 😂

review
VictoriaB
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Pickpick

I love fantasy based on folklore, so this was a natural pick for me. Perfect for reading during our cold and stormy nights that we‘ve had recently.
#popsugar a book inspired by myth/legend/folklore
#aroundtheyearin52 a book with a strong sense of place

blurb
VictoriaB
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❄️ Overall, epic fantasy, though I‘ve diversified the last few years
❄️ Heights, when on ladders, fair rides, and other wobbly things
❄️ A teacher or an artist
❄️30F, but it‘s going to get cold over the weekend
❄️Hi to everyone! 😀
#friyayintro
@howjessreads

review
VictoriaB
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Pickpick

Not bad, but not amazing. The romance was sweet, but a bit contrived. I found the details about the “evacuation” of the Japanese from Seattle to the internment camps the most interesting part, as I didn‘t know anything more specific than the fact that it happened. I wish that we had the chance to visit my SIL during the time that she worked at the Heart Mtn. Interpretive Center.

#popsugar A book with salty, sweet, bitter, or spicy in the title

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VictoriaB
Pickpick

Aiden Bishop has eight days and eight “hosts” that he inhabits to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle.

Such an innovative way to approach a murder mystery. The decaying English estate was the perfect atmosphere. I loved the complex plot and trying to keep up with all of Aiden‘s hosts and their interactions. A wild ride and a lot of fun.
#popsugar A book that takes place in a single day
#aroundtheyearin52 A book with a weird or intriguing title

6 likes1 stack add
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VictoriaB
The Broken Girls | Simone St James
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Pickpick

Loved it!A ghost story and two murder mysteries all wrapped up together at a creepy boarding school for girls.

#popsugar 36. A ghost story
#aroundtheyearin52 6. A book with a dual timeline

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VictoriaB
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Pickpick

A decrepit bookstore and its mysterious owner. A secret society and the mystery they are trying to solve. I should have loved all of this. But it dragged in the middle and so many solutions popped up a little too conveniently. The last third of the book redeemed itself and regained the feeling of suspense that had been missing. I‘d put this more between a Pick and a So-So.

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VictoriaB
The Dry | Jane Harper
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Pickpick

A good page turning mystery. I really wanted to read Force of Nature but picked this one up first. I‘m glad I did - I devoured this in two days.

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VictoriaB
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Pickpick

This was so good! I had no interest or knowledge of rowing, and yet this book was so compelling. The boys‘ struggle to stay in school, find their place in their crew, and then attempt to get to the Olympics was inspiring.

5 likes1 stack add
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VictoriaB
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Pickpick

This audiobook wraps up both my PopSugar and ATY challenges for the year! Very imaginative world building and story; I liked it more than I thought I would. Definitely going to read the next ones.

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VictoriaB
Night | Elie Wiesel
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Pickpick

Horrifying recounting of the author‘s experience in a concentration camp. This should be required reading for every human. Difficult reading, and necessary.