April 2020–Part One

Thank you for joining me here!   (Reminder: the page numbers I list here reflect the number of Kindle pages, not paper pages.)  I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Lying Next to MeLying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen (Length: 391 pages).  I’m a sucker for a good psychological thriller, emphasis on GOOD.  I don’t like to figure out the mystery or the twist right away, nor do I enjoy being manipulated emotionally while reading.  This psychological thriller set in a small town outside of Seattle is very much plot driven with a very well-drawn setting, evoking a strong sense of place.  The main characters here aren’t very likeable, but that’s okay.  Detective Lee and one of the main characters had a childhood relationship based on a traumatic event, which results in an interesting dynamic in the investigation.  I did figure out the central mystery pretty early on, but there was still enough here, along with strong writing, that kept me interested and reading to the very end.  

From the publisher:

No matter what you see, no matter what you’ve heard, assume nothing.

Adam and Sophie Warner and their three-year-old daughter are vacationing in Washington State’s Hood Canal for Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect getaway to unplug—and to calm an uneasy marriage. But on Adam’s first day out on the water, he sees Sophie abducted by a stranger. A hundred yards from shore, Adam can’t save her. And Sophie disappears.

In a nearby cabin is another couple, Kristen and Connor Moss. Unfortunately, beyond what they’ve heard in the news, they’re in the dark when it comes to Sophie’s disappearance. For Adam, at least there’s comfort in knowing that Mason County detective Lee Husemann is an old friend of his. She’ll do everything she can to help. She must.

But as Adam’s paranoia about his missing wife escalates, Lee puts together the pieces of a puzzle. The lives of the two couples are converging in unpredictable ways, and the picture is unsettling. Lee suspects that not everyone is telling the truth about what they know—or they have yet to reveal all the lies they’ve hidden from the strangers they married.

Book #2:

Reading PeopleReading People by Anne Bogel (Length: 211 pages).  I am a huge Anne Bogel fan (of her website and her podcast), and have had her first book waiting on my Kindle for quite awhile.  This very short book is an interesting read about how various personality frameworks/tests reveal how we think.  Anne analyzes ways to use the results of these tests as tools to better our lives.  I am a fan of some of these tests, especially the Enneagram (Enneagram type 1, and ISFJ here!) There isn’t much new information in this book but as I’m a fan of the author, this was worth a read to me.  A definite library book pick!


From the publisher:

If the viral Buzzfeed-style personality quizzes are any indication, we are collectively obsessed with the idea of defining and knowing ourselves and our unique place in the world. But what we’re finding is this: knowing which Harry Potter character you are is easy, but actually knowing yourself isn’t as simple as just checking a few boxes on an online quiz.

For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), popular blogger Anne Bogel has done the hard part–collecting, exploring, and explaining the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She explains to readers the life-changing insights that can be gained from each and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life. In her friendly, relatable style, Bogel shares engaging personal stories that show firsthand how understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.

Book #3:

Wrapped in RainWrapped in Rain by Charles Martin (Length: 383 pages).  This is another Charles Martin classic.  During this weird time, I wanted a comfort read that I knew I could get lost in.  I will say the first third of this book is WAY too slow.  There are also scenes with intense childhood abuse, but they’re never exploitative and do further the author’s narrative.  I loved the setting in this novel (Waverly Hall, a plantation in Alabama), as well as the writing, per usual.  This is absolutely worth a read, and it’s a nice long one.  Having said that, however, this is not the book I’d choose to introduce a good friend to this author.  For that, I’d refer them to Life Intercepted, which I reviewed here back in June of 2018.  


From the publisher:

“Life is a battle, but you can’t fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart.”

An internationally famous photographer, Tucker Mason has traveled the world, capturing things other people don’t see. But what Tucker himself can’t see is how to let go of the past and forgive his father.

On a sprawling Southern estate, Tucker and his younger brother, Mutt, were raised by their housekeeper, Miss Ella Rain, who loved the motherless boys like her own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and the boys was the only good thing their father ever did.

When his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, Tucker is forced to return home and face the agony of his own tragic past.

Though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tuck can still hear her voice—and her prayers. But finding peace and starting anew will take a measure of grace that Tucker scarcely believes in.

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