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betsyhaddox

betsyhaddox

Joined January 2020

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betsyhaddox
Whose Body? | Dorothy Sayers
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Mehso-so

I really like murder mysteries and silly British characters, but this missed the mark for me. I think because (a) it‘s from a different time and some of the language around Jewish people had me like “yikes” and (b) the mystery wasn‘t mysterious enough. Too easy to see the connections. So it wasn‘t a good enough book for me to work past some of my discomfort for the sake of enjoying what the book was when it was written. If that makes sense. :)

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betsyhaddox
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Pickpick

Fun and imaginative! For some reason when I was thinking just now of how to describe it I came up with “like hogwarts for adults, but instead of a secret world of wizards, it is a secret world of sleuths” and I‘m stuck on that description, though I don‘t think it‘s perfect. I think this is a good book to enjoy and not think too much about. :)

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betsyhaddox
Concrete Rose | Angie Thomas
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Pickpick

I love when books can help me see how someone else lives. 🌹🌹🌹
This book follows a teen boy who becomes a dad. Not having had this experience myself, I can‘t say if it was accurately written, but it felt real when I was reading it. The characters and relationships were deep and complex and so fulfilling to follow through the story. Well written, wouldn‘t change a thing. Thanks to the author for sharing this world with me! :)

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betsyhaddox
Mexican Gothic | Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Pickpick

This book was a lovely read. I recommend it if you think you‘ll like a bit of an eerie, suspenseful read about young woman trying to escape a sinister family and their moldy, old house. She‘s a clever heroine who you can root for to the end, and her confidence in herself is refreshing. Go, Noemi!

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betsyhaddox
Lonesome Dove: A Novel | Larry McMurtry
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Pickpick

I‘m going to say it‘s a pick, but be warned: This book is long. The audiobook was nearly 37 hours long.
I‘ve only read a couple of westerns, and I‘ve heard that this is a very good one, so I thought I‘d see what I thought. I‘m honestly not sure, but I got into a rhythm with the book, and thought that McMurtry did a good job of describing thoughts and emotions. It was defs a long, long journey, though. Almost as long as it is from Texas to Montana.

Blueberry Sooo good. The whole series is. 14mo
7 likes1 comment
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betsyhaddox
Who Is Vera Kelly? | Rosalie Knecht
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Pickpick

The modern soy novel with a smart, complicated lady as its hero that you‘ve been waiting for. Try it out, if you don‘t like the first 20 minutes, it‘s not for you. :)

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betsyhaddox
We Are Not from Here | Jenny Torres Sanchez
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Pickpick

This book... well, it‘s just such an emotional read. You follow three kids/young adults try to get to the US to escape a violent life. The challenges and violence they see along the way... I mean, this is a must-read, because it makes the struggle of fighting for your life, and fighting for a better life so tangible. Don‘t forget your tissues in this one.

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betsyhaddox
Crashed | Timothy Hallinan
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Pickpick

THIS BOOK. This book and the other six in this series are my exact pot of tea. A smart and incredibly funny thief with a moral compass keeps getting himself out of the wildest situations. Wonderful, funny mysteries. Junior Bender is like who Archie Goodwin would be in today‘s world. 12/10. LOOOOOOVE these books.

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betsyhaddox
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Pickpick

This book was so fun! I‘m totally going to read other Longmire books because of the taste this gave me. The world is real, the characters even more so, and the stories inventive. I would return to this book again and again.

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betsyhaddox
Pickpick

This book on how to be a good boss is helpful because it really hammers home what all good bosses have in common: that they listen to and care about the people working for them. And also that they make decisions and don‘t waffle! The straightforward writing was appreciated. :)

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betsyhaddox
Westering Women: A Novel | Sandra Dallas
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Pickpick

I don‘t typically read westerns, but I wanted to give them a shot. This book about a group of women going west was a great intro to the genre. The description of the hardships and all they did without made me wonder at all we have today. Interesting read.

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betsyhaddox
First Test | Tamora Pierce
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Pickpick

The four books in this series are soooo fun to read! Kel has the bravery and integrity to always do what‘s right, which is a great inspiration for me these days when I feel like I have to stand up a lot for what I believe in. Fun, distracting read. Like if Hogwarts was just for boys, but a girl attended. And instead of magic, it‘s learning to be a warrior.

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betsyhaddox
Bailedbailed

Even though I am also a young person who cares deeply about climate change and engages in activism for that cause, I couldn‘t handle this book. It felt, just, too dramatic? I may be way off-base with this rating. Curious if y‘all have another opinion?

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betsyhaddox
Daja's Book | Tamora Pierce
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Pickpick

I loved reading Tamora Pierce books when I was young, and I loved listening to this book and getting a taste of that world again (medieval-ish world with magic). I love books that make me believe in the goodness and bravery of young people.

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betsyhaddox
Red, White & Royal Blue | Casey McQuiston
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Pickpick

Now, this book is really good. Yes, it‘s one of those romances where someone falls in love with someone in the royal family, but check it: There is growth, there is pain, there are real conversations, etc. This book is, I‘d say, longer and a little more content-rich than other romances, but I think it‘s well worth it.

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betsyhaddox
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Mehso-so

This book was alright. I thought some of the scenarios were a little too derivative to be enjoyable, but I like the characters alright. I see that this author has a couple of other books in this world. For me, one is enough.

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betsyhaddox
Where We Go From Here | Lucas Rocha
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Pickpick

Wow. Moving book about three men who live with HIV. Lovely pastiche of courage, growth, love, and acceptance.

2 likes1 stack add
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betsyhaddox
Black Flamingo | Dean Atta
Pickpick

Recommend for a quick read.

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betsyhaddox
Date Me, Bryson Keller | Kevin van Whye
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Mehso-so

Wow. This book is way more thoughtful and beautiful than it could‘ve been. Stupid premise that would never happen in real life, but kind characters who emulate good listening, acceptance, and love. A good YA LGBTQ+ book to have at hand.

2 likes1 stack add
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betsyhaddox
Unravel the Dusk | Elizabeth Lim
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Pickpick

Wonderful second half of the two-book... series? This book, like it‘s predecessor, does not ever seem to go where I think it will. So fun to read! 10/10

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betsyhaddox
Spin the Dawn | Elizabeth Lim
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Pickpick

This book rocks!!! It‘s like Mulan meets Project Runway, but it doesn‘t end there. I loved this book. Wonderful and imaginative YA read.

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betsyhaddox
The Heir Affair | Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan
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Mehso-so

This sequel is just as good as the first, but it‘s easy to fall into if you‘d like another escapist follow-up with the same characters.

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betsyhaddox
The Royal We | Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan
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Mehso-so

For a romance about a normal girl and a prince falling in love, the characters actually seemed pretty realistic. This is a fun, quick read for a little escapism.

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betsyhaddox
When You Were Everything | Ashley Woodfolk
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Pickpick

WOWOWOWOW Just finished listening to this, and it was SO GOOD! Y‘all. Go read this right now. (If you want.) The author does such a good job of writing REAL teen characters (who are smart, passionate, and diverse), writing REAL friendships (that start and change and end and mend and everything else), and beautifully addressing family and loyalty and the images we all have of each other in our head. Please read this so I can talk to you about it!

LiteraryinLawrence This is on my list of books to read in August! It's waiting on my shelf... maybe I'll start it next... 1y
betsyhaddox @LiteraryinLititz ooh, yes, please! I‘m eager to hear your thoughts. :) 1y
4 likes2 comments
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betsyhaddox
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

What a fun book! It goes back and looks at the LA library fire in 1986, and the author did such interesting research. Like, the fire got up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, and was so hot it was not yellow, not blue, but clear! And she looks back at some library history, does a case study of the main suspect for the fire, and just generally paints a really interesting picture of the LA public library, the fire, and all its context. Defs a pick!

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betsyhaddox
Meet Cute | Helena Hunting
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Panpan

I hoped this book would be better than it was.
Kailyn, a very smart and ambitious lawyer, holds a big grudge against Daxton, who was the child star in her favorite TV show growing up, because he handed in her paper late in law school and she wasn‘t valedictorian because of it. She holds this grudge for five years even though it doesn‘t affect her life or job prospects at all. Then his parents die and he needs help with a custody battle (👇🏼)

betsyhaddox over his little sister, who is 13 and the author treats as 8. The worst part is, Kailyn herself proclaims she knows she fell in love with this guy when his sister got her first period and he, an adult man, does not know how to buy feminine hygiene products. So Kailyn has to drop her plans and do it for him. WHATTTT??!!! If my boyfriend or brother couldn‘t do that, then I would have a serious talk with them, and certainly not find it adorable. 1y
8 likes1 comment
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betsyhaddox
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Susan is quite unemotional, or so she thinks. It‘s amazing to see how she and her life change as she navigates pregnancy, romance, death, resentment, shame, and uncertainty over her family‘s love for her. Belonging and family are what she makes of them. No surprise. :)
This audiobook is very well narrated. The main character‘s orderly and straightforward way of thinking come through perfectly. I would recommend the audiobook of this title.

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betsyhaddox
SLAY | Brittney Morris
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Pickpick

Five stars! I really liked this book. A fun and engaging book about a black teen girl (in Bellevue!) who has developed a huge online MMORPG, and then becomes shocked and troubled when someone in the game gets killed in real life. The book focuses on Kira (hope the spelling is right, I listened to this book) and her relationships as she navigates who to tell about her stresses. This book surprised and delighted me.

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betsyhaddox
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Panpan

This is another book that drove me crazy(!!!) with its portrayal of characters who seem to be such great feminists, but still demean women all the time! For being called “No Judgments,” this book certainly has a lot of judgments about women. And then on top of it, crazy things happen! Like, there‘s a scene where two guys watch leading lady walk into room with another guy, her with a gun, then she shoots the gun, which they cannot see, (cont.👇🏼)

betsyhaddox but can defs hear the gunshot because she‘s nearby, and then NEITHER OF THEM COME FIND HER, like, are you craaAAAAZZYYYY???? What if she just got shot? I mean, these people care about leading lady in theory and don‘t do anything. Also, most of the attraction in this book is based off the adopting and caring for more and more pets. ? This is surely alluring to some, but I hazard to say that Cabot could‘ve built up the relationships a bit more. 1y
2 likes1 comment
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betsyhaddox
Sex and Vanity | Kevin Kwan
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Pickpick

First and foremost, I have to shout out the narrator of this book: Lydia Look, you‘re amazing. She‘s gotta be one of my favorite narrators ever, and I‘m going to seek out other things she‘s read.
The book itself is very beautifully written. This is my kind of writing. And of course it is fun to imagine the super-luxurious settings the characters live in. I found myself not liking the main characters much at the end... thoughts?

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betsyhaddox
The Dinner List | Rebecca Serle
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Pickpick

I‘m a bit of a crier, and this book made me cry at the end. To me, it feels a bit overwrought, but nonetheless touching. A lovely look back on the importance of holding on, and more importantly, letting go. If any of you read it, I‘d be curious if you could tally how many bottles of wine are drunk in this book. I‘d wager.... 40? Haha!

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betsyhaddox
Braiding Sweetgrass | Robin Wall Kimmerer
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Pickpick

This book is a collection of stories from the author‘s life of plants, teaching, and the value of reciprocity. This book made me think beyond sustainability, to giving to the earth first before taking anything at all.
Altogether, a pick, but I wish the book was shorter. Kimmerer could‘ve gotten all of this across in half the words. Maybe pick this book up for a chapter here and there? Reading it all at once is kinda a lot.

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betsyhaddox
Catch and Kill | Ronan Farrow
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Pickpick

Wow, an amazing account of the reporting behind especially the Weinstein and Lauer sexual assault and harassment incidents. Complete with spies tailing the reporter‘s boyfriend. To hear the whole story makes my heart ache again for the women who suffered, and makes me so proud of brave journalists, like Farrow and Remnick, who don‘t stop reporting when powerful men threaten them.

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betsyhaddox
The Bride Test | Helen Hoang
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Mehso-so

I thought this book was okay, but prefer Hoang‘s other book, The Kiss Quotient. This book is a little too unrealistic for me, with many plot points resolving at once right before the heroine walks down the aisle. But it gets props for being inclusive about autism and grief, and I really like how the main character is really well fleshed out: she has lots of goals and interests besides her romantic side. This book is a steamy, dreamy escape.

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betsyhaddox
Fumbled | Alexa Martin
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Pickpick

This is the best romance I‘ve read this year. Beautiful character growth in the book. Real. Exciting. Lovely woman of color heroine.
Other faves from the last four months (last list!):
Nadine Jolie Courtney-All American Muslim Girl (finding out who you are as a Muslim teenager); Philip Pullman-The Book of Dust (Golden Compass universe, well-paced adventure); Philip Pullman-The Ruby in the Smoke (super fun girl detective, great villains)

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betsyhaddox
Gravity | Sarah Deming
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Pickpick

LOVED THIS BOOK. So lovely and authentic and... just wonderful. Great plot and relationships.
Other books I loved over the last four months that I am happy to review separately if requested:
Patrick Rothfuss-The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man‘s Fear (best books I‘ve read in the last decade); Tricia Levenseller-Daughter of the Pirate King, Daughter of the Siren Queen (fun teen girl ruthless pirate books)

SW-T The Rothfuss books are so good! If you like female pirates, this one is different: 1y
betsyhaddox Thank you so much for the recommendation, @SW-T ! Added to my stack :) 1y
SW-T @betsyhaddox Welcome 😊 1y
3 likes3 comments
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betsyhaddox
Gone Girl | Gillian Flynn
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Mehso-so

My favorite of the so-so-ish books I read over the last four months. This was a surprising read.
Other so-so books from the last 4 mo:
Maisie Dobbs series-Jacqueline Winspear (British lady detective, WW1-2 era); American Panda-Gloria Chao (Asian-American family, college romance); Puddin‘-Julie Murphy (unlikely high school friendship); Philip Pullman-The Secret Commonwealth and The Shadow in the North (each a sequel in adventure series)

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betsyhaddox
Well Met | Jen DeLuca
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Panpan

The characters are all bad communicators, but the characters (and the author!) are not aware of it. It‘s superficial and unironic and so frustrating to read. Every character takes themself so seriously... it‘s like reading “Ugh, no one, like, understands me,” 50 times in a row. I want to scream at them, “Everything isn‘t about you, ya psycho!”
Other recent reads I didn‘t like:
The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen, Intercepted by Alexa Martin.

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betsyhaddox
Three Women | Lisa Taddeo
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Pickpick

I last posted four months ago, and in that time I‘ve started 24 books, 22 of which I finished and 2 of which I abandoned. I am going to make four posts to review all 24, and this book stands apart. I need to make special mention of this book; it‘s not the typical type of book I gravitate towards, but it was wonderful and interesting to read.

This nonfic book explores women‘s sexuality, and I highly recommend to women, and also to men. Plz read!!

Reggie I felt so horrible and angry for Lina and Maggie. And though I don‘t think I would want her lifestyle I was happy for Sloan. I especially liked her thoughts about how you can give a man a grocery list and he will always forget one thing. And you could focus on that but sometimes he takes the dog you don‘t have for a walk and he does other stuff. 2y
betsyhaddox @Reggie lol, yes! Yeah, I was pretty happy for her, too, but then I was also disappointed when she didn‘t share what her experience with what‘s-his-fave‘s wife when they talk in the car. She allows resentment for herself to grow, and thinks she‘s doing her duty to the men she‘s with, but it just perpetuates a misunderstanding of the situation. And then all the responsibility is hers, and not the men‘s. Did you think that, too? (edited) 2y
Reggie @betsyhaddox I think the writer was doing everything in her power to make the reader feel sympathy for Sloan but personally I kinda felt like “you knew she didn‘t know” just take the verbal lashes. In a perfect world I think all 4 of them have a discussion at the same time. But at the same time Sloan knew her. She wasn‘t some stranger. And isn‘t that part of girl code. (edited) 2y
Reggie You‘re right though, Sloan took the brunt. When the community talks they won‘t say Wes or the husband is a manwhore they‘ll say Sloan is the slut. Which isn‘t fair. (edited) 2y
8 likes4 comments
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betsyhaddox
Still Me | Jojo Moyes
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Pickpick

I really liked this book! Romance, friendship, truth, and what it means to stand up for yourself. I thought the ending was beautiful. Recommend if you want something easy to read and engrossing for a few hours. :)

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betsyhaddox
Birds of a Feather: A Novel | Jacqueline Winspear
Pickpick

Excellent detective pick with a lovely heroine and great historical details (post-WWI England). On to the next in this series—I‘m addicted!

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betsyhaddox
Birds of a Feather: A Novel | Jacqueline Winspear
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I think people are trying to forget the war, don‘t you, Miss? My cousin ... He said that it was one thing to be remembered, and quite another to be reminded every day. He didn‘t mind people remembering what he‘d done, you know, over there. But he didn‘t want to be reminded of it. He said that it was hard because something happened to remind him every day.

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betsyhaddox
Paradise Lodge | Nina Stibbe
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Pickpick

This book is so funny!! It‘s about a teen working at an old folks home and going to school and it is just sooo funny about love and death and family and stuff. Very dry British humor. Definitely a pick, highly recommend!

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betsyhaddox
Panpan

Okay. I love cozy mysteries. That‘s my genre. I even love things like Murder, She Wrote, so don‘t get me wrong. I can get down with middle-aged, well-mannered sleuths with no real reason to be trusted by the police.

As such, I kept thinking I would get into this book. But, no. This book is as stimulating as a jar of mayonnaise, as entertaining as a single elderly fish in an otherwise empty tank.
Sorry to be such a downer, but I do not recommend.

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betsyhaddox
The Kiss Quotient | Helen Hoang
Pickpick

Another solid book to read if, like me, you‘re on a modern romance novel kick. I like the easy, authentic way the scenes with the families feel. I am not sure about the portrayal of autism because I don‘t know (or, at least, don‘t think I know) anyone with autism, but I liked reading those parts. Also cool to see consent at every stage in this book.

Overall, easy, steamy, fun read!

SW-T 😊 2y
8 likes1 comment
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betsyhaddox
The Wedding Party | Jasmine Guillory
Pickpick

Another hit from J. Guillory. This one has some more saucy scenes than the other book of hers I read, and I feel like it‘s plot and the relationships were a little less complex. But it was still a treat.
The narrator for these audiobooks is incredible!! Highly recommend listening to these books.

SW-T 😊 2y
3 likes1 comment
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betsyhaddox
Cremains of the Day | Misty Simon
Pickpick

Fun book! This heroine is sassy and realistic, which made this book fun.

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betsyhaddox
The High Tide Club | Mary Kay Andrews
Panpan

This book was way too long.

But the bigger problem from my POV is how the author treats the black characters. The main character is white and has lots of white fragility but is portrayed as a good ally. And then crazy things happen to black characters. Like, at one point they ask a black person in the book if she can tell if someone is mixed race because none of the white characters can. Good god. Does this stuff strike anyone else as annoying?

Laurenabeth What the actual f 2y
betsyhaddox Also has the unironic line, “It‘s not his fault. I‘m the one who let myself get pregnant” regarding an unplanned pregnancy. Modern day setting. 2y
SW-T Oh dear....😳 2y
1 like3 comments
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betsyhaddox
A Keeper | Graham Norton
Mehso-so

This was a bit of an unsettling book in places, so it‘s not the most easy-going read, but it was still really interesting. The two timelines tie in perfectly. The author did a good job of revealing the final pieces of the puzzle.

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betsyhaddox
The Proposal | Jasmine Guillory
Pickpick

Fun and sexy. So nice to have deep, real women of color throughout this book.

marleed I thought so too! 2y
SW-T 😊😊😊 2y
7 likes2 comments