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theokiereader

theokiereader

Joined December 2017

PR Specialist Turned Teacher/ Military Spouse Blog: www.bakingthroughbookclub.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/29678082-mary-wagner
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The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
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theokiereader
Bingo! | Rosemary Wells
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Here is my February 2024 #bookspinsbingo!!! I'm about to start a new job, so I'm not sure how far we'll get this month. We'll see!

La_Cori Good luck on the new job! 😊 2mo
11 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It's hard to find historical fiction from WWII that is set in the Pacific Theater. I absolutely loved this book, which fictionalizes the real story of a group of nuns from the Australian Army Nursing Service as they and other women shipwrecked from the Vyner Brooke try to survive in a Japanese POW Camp.

Full Review and Matching Recipe: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2024/01/15/sisters-banding-together/

12 likes2 stack adds
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theokiereader
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#BookSpin #BookSpinBingo

Type A Alert! I developed some personal rules for my 2024 Bingo cards that make the game work better for my life.

1) Even though I am doing the Bingo card, I will always make the #BookSpin & #DoubleSpin selections a priority.
2) Whatever number is selected for the #BookSpin will be automatically replaced by my book club's monthly selection. The title that was listed under that number will be moved to the #25 spot. ⬇️

theokiereader 3) If I have a book to review for NetGalley, I can place that book in any spot. The title that currently occupies that spot will be moved to #24. If I do not have a book to review for NetGalley, #24 becomes a free space that cannot be moved.

4) I made the #25 spot into a mood read. I can place that book in any spot. The title that currently occupies that spot will be moved to #25. ⬇️
(edited) 4mo
theokiereader 5) Each month will have a theme. This will probably remain “Old Book of the Month Selections” until I‘ve met the first goal of the BOTM Reading Challenge.

6) I will list my oldest, unread BOTMs first, but I will allow myself three newer BOTM selections that I am excited about.
4mo
LiteraryinLawrence It‘s clever to tweak the game so it works more for you! 4mo
9 likes3 comments
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theokiereader
No One Can Know: A Novel | Kate Alice Marshall
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Pickpick

Full Review with Recipe Match: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/12/26/deserve-to-die/

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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theokiereader
Bingo! | Rosemary Wells
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My #bookspinbingo board is ready!! Let's GO!

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theokiereader
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Here's how my #October2023 ended for #BookSpinBingo! I'm still light on my reading due to student teaching, but I only have 4 weeks left! #careerchange #lifegoals #almosthere #bookworminmetamorphisis

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theokiereader
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Today, I'm thankful for #BookSpinBingo! Let's see what gets scratched off my TBR this month!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
5 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
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Here's my #bookspinbingo for the month of October! The books I need to read for book club AND those already in progress are ALL OVER THE MAP. So much for an easy bingo!

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theokiereader
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I'm getting ready for October's #bookspinsbingo! Since I finished by BOTM challenge for the year, I'm focusing on non-BOTM books on my bookshelf until 2024!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 7mo
10 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
The River We Remember: A Novel | William Kent Krueger
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Here's my #BookSpinBingo board for September! Since I am in my student teaching/edTPA semester, I know that realistically I will probably only get to the #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin picks. But, a girl can dream!

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theokiereader
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I didn't get a bingo this month simply because I got schlacked by the beginning of my student teaching semester (Elementary and Special Education). My reading came to a grinding halt when school started! Just a couple more months and I'll have my reading time back! #newcareer #newteacher #lovinglife

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theokiereader
The Phantom Tollbooth | Norton Juster
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1. Next Monday. Our classroom is almost ready!

2. The Phantom Tollbooth

Thanks, @thespineview! #two4Tuesday

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 😘 8mo
12 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
The River We Remember: A Novel | William Kent Krueger
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theokiereader
We Are the Light | Matthew Quick
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Pickpick

Full Review and Recipe that Matches the Book: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/08/12/the-best-of-your-soul/

Although it was a little slow, this book had me in tears. It not only addresses the healing that a community must go through after a mass shooting, but also the difficulty of being a member of the perpetrator's family. What happens when someone you love dies, but you're not allowed to mourn them because of their heinous actions?

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theokiereader
The Cartographers | Peng Shepherd
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Picking a favorite book for July is going to be tough!! There‘s lots of good choices here as I continue to whittle down my BOTM TBR, but I think I‘m going to have to go with The Cartographers.

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theokiereader
The Paris Apartment | Lucy Foley
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My August #bookspinbingo card is ready to go! Let‘s see how many I can read before the school year begins! Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks !!

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Looks fabulous!!! 8mo
17 likes2 comments
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theokiereader
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I just happened to choose books to take on vacation that were aptly-named for our adventures. In today‘s edition, I‘m reading The Spectacular while looking at this spectacular jungle view at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. 🐘 #southasianexcursion #elephants

JenReadsAlot Amazing adventure! 8mo
theokiereader @JenReadsAlot It‘s been incredible! 8mo
14 likes2 comments
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theokiereader
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I wish #botm didn‘t take so long to deliver to APO because I‘m really excited by these books! Plus, it‘s not every day I get to support an author from my home state of Oklahoma!

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theokiereader
The Cartographers | Peng Shepherd
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Our family left our home in Tokyo to embark on an epic 13-day vacation, with part one consisting of a South Asian cruise. 🚢 It took us two days, but my daughter and I finally found the ship library. It seems fitting that I‘m in the middle of The Cartographers 🗺️. #readingatsea

AmyG Wow! Have a wonderful trip. 9mo
marleed Oh have fun! 9mo
theokiereader @AmyG @marleed Thank you!!! ♥️ 9mo
25 likes3 comments
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theokiereader
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After spending 15 years in public relations, I decided to go back to school and get my teaching certification. Now, 2.5 years into my graduate program, I only have my student teaching semester left! I‘m ready to pick up a Litsy challenge for the first time since I began this journey, and I‘m going to start with #BookSpinBingo. @TheAromaofBooks Will you add me to your list for August?

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Glad to have you along!!! 9mo
LiteraryinLawrence Congrats on taking the plunge to become a teacher! 9mo
12 likes3 comments
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theokiereader
Mister Magic | Kiersten White
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Panpan

Full review and recipe that matches the book: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/07/22/the-unmusical-world-of-childrens-en...

Coming August 1, 2023!

This one was a little too cerebral for my liking. If weird books are your thing, it might be for you. I had high hopes for the premise, but it fell very, very short.

TW: Anti-religious

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theokiereader
The Heiress: A Novel | Rachel Hawkins
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Coming in January 2024! This book might challenge The Wife Upstairs as my favorite Rachel Hawkins book!

Read a full review and view a recipe that matches the book here: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/07/23/generational-deceit/

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theokiereader
Dark Corners: A Novel | Megan Goldin
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Pickpick

Full review and recipe that matches the book: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/07/15/influencing-a-killer/

Podcast host Rachel Krall is back in this follow-up to The Night Swim. Rachel must investigate an abduction among the glitz and glamor of a conference for mega-influencers. Can Rachel infiltrate the world of picture-perfect yoga poses and insufferable mealtime photographers to find the missing girl?

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theokiereader
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Pickpick

Full Review and Matching Recipe: https://wordpress.com/post/bakingthroughbookclub.com/1080

Adam Parsons leaves for his daily hike with his son who has special needs and never returns. Woven within the story is the struggle to help people with disabilities, especially those thought to be non-verbal, to find their voice. The ending is a little anti-climactic for a thriller, so I think it's better to consider Happiness Falls a contemporary fiction

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theokiereader
A Likely Story: A Novel | Leigh McMullan Abramson
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Pickpick

Full review and Recipe that matches the book: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/06/19/where-credit-is-due/

A Likely Story is a tale of egotism, self-absorption, plagiarism, and the different paths love can take. It's filled with unlikeable characters, but you can't help but feel sorry for each one at different points. Even the strongest, most self-assured people are crying out for acceptance and love on the inside.

14 likes1 stack add
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theokiereader
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Pickpick

Full Review/Recipe Match: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/06/04/melon-monsters-money-and-mayhem/

Swap Story is the embodiment of Mulder‘s famous poster from the X-Files: I WANT to believe. If you are looking for a light summer read that will make you laugh, Swamp Story is a solid choice. It‘s also a perfect suggestion for people who are occasional readers who just want something to entertain them on vacation.

13 likes2 stack adds
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theokiereader
Only the Beautiful | Susan Meissner
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Pickpick

Full review and a recipe that matches the book: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/04/17/unwavering-devotion-in-unyielding-t...

Set around the time of World War II, Only the Beautiful addresses the horrors of the eugenics movement. Meissner draws an uncomfortable parallel between the United States' practice of sterilizing women who were deemed “dangerous” and what the Nazis were doing to disabled people.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

ashw21 Love Meisser! Can‘t wait to read this one 12mo
Monica5 I'm reading The Stable Boy of Auschwitz and learned that same fact. I had no idea about it. Love reading books that I learn stuff from. 12mo
theokiereader @ashw21 It was really good! I loved Bright as Heaven, so this was an automatic read for me! 12mo
theokiereader @Monica5 I work in special education, so this one hit hard. 12mo
12 likes1 stack add4 comments
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theokiereader
The Last Word: A Novel | Taylor Adams
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Full review and recipe that matches the book: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/03/30/not-a-one-star-review/

As soon as I began reading, I knew I was in trouble.

No, I never thought about rating it one star to test whether I would succumb to the same fate as the heroine.

I was in trouble because my husband was leaving for a business trip, and I could tell that this wasn't a book I wanted to read in an empty house.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Bklover Ooh I loved No Exit! 13mo
theokiereader @Bklover I did, too! IMO, The Last Word is even better! 13mo
11 likes1 stack add2 comments
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theokiereader
American Mermaid: A Novel | Julia Langbein (Art historian)
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Mehso-so

For a full review and recipe that matches the book: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/03/13/making-a-splash-in-hollywood/

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

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theokiereader
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Mehso-so

For full review and themed recipe match, click here:

https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/01/31/some-books-are-not-good-audiobooks/

The Angel Maker has several twists and turns, which makes it very difficult to follow on audiobook if your attention drifts. My attention drifted A LOT.

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theokiereader
Aesthetica | Allie Rowbottom

For all of you wondering about Aardvark Book Club, here is my first experience with them. APO/FPO address holders: You might want to take note! https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2023/01/16/trying-out-aardvark-book-club/

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theokiereader
Hello Beautiful | Ann Napolitano
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Pickpick

Full Review and Recipe Match: https://tdy.es/OVxBe

Hello Beautiful is a tantalizing tale of love. It explores the bonds of sisterly love, parental love, and romantic love, which can be both heartbreaking and life-altering. It addresses the severe impacts that can occur when love is withheld, often breaking open silent wounds that fester as the person slowly dies within. Love is an uniter, a divider, and the glue that bring us back together.

15 likes1 stack add
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theokiereader
The Panacea Project | Catherine Devore Johnson
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Pickpick

Full Review & a themed recipe: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2022/12/29/the-cure-for-cancer/

If your body had the ability to cure cancer, what would be your moral responsibility to society, and what would society‘s moral responsibility be to you?

This is a debut novel, and the writing is inexperienced. However, I loved toying with the ethical dilemmas it presented. Publication is 2/28/23, but you can check it out now on NetGalley.

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theokiereader
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Pickpick

“Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion is the quintessential coming-of-age story, but one that explores the dichotomy of growing up in a religious community while the broader American values of freedom and independence tug at your existence.“

Full Review and Chai Recipe Match: https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2022/12/23/the-search-for-virtue/

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theokiereader
Hang the Moon | Jeannette Walls
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Pickpick

Full Review and Book Recipe Match (Ward 8 Cocktail): https://bakingthroughbookclub.com/2022/12/19/everyone-dies-bootleggers-edition/

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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theokiereader
Meredith, Alone | Claire Alexander
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Pickpick

Meredith, Alone not only discusses the impacts of trauma, but it also shows how different people process it. Some readers will celebrate this as a way to remove the stigma behind trauma recovery. Others might feel uncomfortable (or further traumatized) because of their own background and life experiences. Is it healing for you to hear stories similar to yours, or will that cause you further harm? Overall, I enjoyed the book. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

swishandflick Great review! Sounds like Meredith and I may be two peas in a pod. While I often find some comfort in characters that remind me of myself and my own trauma response, I often have to shift gears into something really light or vastly different right after. I appreciate the heads up though, as this is likely a book I'll have to save for when I'm in a specific mindset 🤗 1y
theokiereader @swishandflick I'm the same way when it comes to books about grief. I unexpectedly lost my dad a few years ago, so I have to be in a mindset where I am willing to confront that grief and allow myself to cry before I can pick it up. Once I get there, though, they tend to be some of my favorite books. 1y
16 likes2 comments
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theokiereader
Other Birds: A Novel | Sarah Addison Allen
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Pickpick

Full Review and a Recipe at: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/12/01/a-wisp-of-hope/

This was a charming book. Despite the terrible childhoods that each character experienced, this book radiated positivity. You found yourself rooting for each character as they began to find the connection they sought with each other. Some portions of the book felt a bit unpolished.

16 likes1 stack add
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theokiereader
Winterland: A Novel | Rae Meadows
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Pickpick

Full Review: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/11/14/the-cold-taste-of-victory/

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Winterland explores the brutality of competitive gymnastics against the backdrop of the USSR in the 1970s. Not everything that glitters is gold.

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theokiereader
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Panpan

Fantasy is one of my least favorite genres. This book felt like fantasy mixed with feminism and a sprinkle of historical fiction for good measure. I had a hard time following the specialized terms, and it made the book feel like a slow read. Plus, Robert and his roommate Freddie were some of the only likable characters in the book. The women were written to sound petty and insufferable. 🌟🌟.

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theokiereader
The Blackhouse: A Novel | Carole Johnstone
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Panpan

Full review at: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/31/high-tide-but-not-my-vibe/

The story moved rather slowly, and there was WAY too much build-up to both Robert and Maggie‘s backstories. The author kept including end-of-chapter cliffhangers, but she didn‘t give the reader any morsels of information that would help them guess what‘s next. It left me feeling frustrated and bored all at the same time. Rating: ⭐️⭐️

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theokiereader
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My #BOTM November 2022 Predictions are up! I'm hoping for Kevin Wilson's new book, and Aethestica sounds intreguing. Grab your tissues for A Quiet Place, but it is worth every one of the ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I gave it. Read the summaries here: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/16/book-of-the-month-predictions-november... #BOTM #BOTMpredictions #BOTMNov2022

Beachesnbooks Would love it if The Cloisters was a pick! I've had my eye on that one 2y
19 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
A Quiet Life: A Novel | Ethan Joella
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Pickpick

Full Review: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/08/a-life-after-loss/

This was an easy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating.

Like A Simple Hope, Joellla beautifully describes the love, sweetness, longing, and deep ache of grief. Be prepared to feel tears prickle your eyes as you follow this beautiful novel.

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theokiereader
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Mehso-so

Full review: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/05/abusive-past-modern-murder/

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the chance to review this book.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

This book adds depth to The Family Upstairs for fans of the book. However, I'm torn between whether I thought this sequel should be it's own book or whether it should have been a couple extra chapters added to The Family Upstairs.

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theokiereader
Killers of a Certain Age | Deanna Raybourn
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Pickpick

Full Review at: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/03/the-golden-girls-assassin-remix/

After decades of working together, the women of Project Sphinx, a group of elite all-female assassins who are in their early sixties, are ready to hang up the Colt .45s and retire. Then, they figure out their organization, The Museum has a hit on them. Grab your fiber supplements, because you won‘t want the action to stop in this quirky thriller!

ReadingOver50 Loved this one 2y
18 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
Goodbye, Paris | Anstey Harris
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Pickpick

Full Review: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/09/30/let-the-music-sway-your-heart/

This book was magical, lyrical, and adorably sweet. You can‘t help but fall in love with the trio of Grace, angry teenager Nadia, and the eccentric, yet wise, Mr. Williams. If you have ever fallen in love with a stringed instrument, this book will whisper to you. I loved every second of it.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

JamieArc I really loved this one too. 2y
15 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
Sign Here | Claudia Lux
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Book of the Month Selections are out! What are you going to choose? I picked Sign Here and Thistlefoot to get in the Halloween spirit!

See the run-down here: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/09/29/book-of-the-month-selections-october-2...

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theokiereader
The Golden Couple: A Novel | Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
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Pickpick

Full review at https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/09/26/therapist-thrillers/

I'm creating a new genre: Therapist Thrillers. If you don‘t read a lot of thrillers, this will be a great book that will entertain you. You might even give it five stars. But, if you are like me and read a ton of thrillers, I would call it a little predictable and lackluster. I still plowed through it and enjoyed the journey.

Not bad for a therapist thriller.

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theokiereader
Eye of the Needle | Ken Follett
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Full Review:
https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/09/26/golden-oldie-catch-the-spy-to-save-the...

Catch the spy to save the war: I was weary when one of my book clubs chose this as a pick. It's old. It's mass-market fiction. And, it's historical military fiction, which is my least favorite genre.

I loved it. This is why we broaden our horizons, friends. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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theokiereader
Hester: A Novel | Laurie Lico Albanese
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Here are my guesses about what's coming to the blue box: https://marybeth1583.wixsite.com/southernersreadtoo/post/book-of-the-month-predi...

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theokiereader
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Pickpick

Full review: https://rb.gy/bonyjg

This book explores the concepts behind generational trauma through the eyes of one family line. While I personally don't believe in the concept of generational trauma, I thought this was a beautifully-written book. However, I did not like how the author chose not to complete the “real“ version of each story arc, instead allowing Dorothy's experiences to rewrite each tale. 3/5 stars