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Books

I have always been a reader. I learned to read well before school, and was rarely seen without a book or heard for long without the phrase “I read it in a book!” being spoken. Trips to the library were frequent, and one of the first things I do when moving to a new town is to stop by the library and get a new card.

Of course, the older I got the less time there was for reading. There was the desert of law/grad school which made reading for pleasure seem impossible. Then, there was work which was frequently overwhelming and left little mental space for reading something new–especially if it required much thought. One of the few good things about living apart was that I had time to read on the plane–that’s how I discovered John Hart and Tana French, both of whom pull you in and make the time fly. Fortunately, I have the luxury of time again, and reading abundantly is making its way back into my life.

The NYT released its Notable Books of the Year list this weekend, as well as its book critics’ 10 best books of the year lists as part of its Holiday Gift Guide. While I was working my way through it and thinking about books that I would like to read, I wondered what other people do to find their next favorite books.

Also, what is the best book that you have read recently? I just finished a batch of mysteries based on what was available at my branch library from the Edgars nomination and winners list.

The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano – This was an interesting story about a woman in the witness protection program who is torn between safety and danger. However, I would call this a romance instead of a mystery, so I was a little meh about it.

A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield – The main character, who killed her abusive husband, is hired by abused women to set their abusers straight when she isn’t working at her sewing machine repair shop. Stella’s latest case involves a missing child. It is set in rural Missouri, and there is a romance, but this is not a romance novel. This is a solid A for me.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz – We meet the Spellman family through the eyes of the black sheep during a family trauma. The Spellmans are a family of private investigators, and it is a quirky, interesting tale. I think there is a movie coming out soon, and this is the first of a series. This is a great book, but it didn’t click with me for some reason, so I’d have to give it a B+.

Blue Heaven by C.J. Box. Two children witness a shooting and find themselves on the run and unsure who they can trust. This is a crime thriller meets cowboy plot, with an interesting theme about the conflict between old-timers and newcomers in developing rural areas. Another solid A. The Night Following by Morag Joss. A woman involved in a fatal hit and run accident find her life increasingly entwined with the husband of her victim. This was an unusual book in the way that the story was told between two characters, and there is a book-within-a-book. I don’t entirely know what was going on, but it doesn’t matter. An A.

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