January 2022–Part Two

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron (Length: 160 pages).  This is a book of essay about middle-age, geared toward women (obviously, because what man ever worries about neck wrinkles?!). I feel like I read this about 10 years ago and it didn’t hit the same as it does today. This is way funnier and more meaningful now that I’m in the target audience. I adore her writing (of screenplays mostly) and it makes me want to re-watch all of her movies again. This collection focuses on aging, but also on friendship and the joys of living in New York City. Worth a library checkout and would be a great gift for any female friend of a certain age. 😉

Book #2:

The Royal Treatment by Melanie Summers (Length: 281 pages).  I’ve had this on my Kindle for a while and turned to it because I was in the mood for something light after a difficult week. This is the first in a trilogy and is billed as a romantic comedy. Better written than most in this genre in terms of dialogue and plot, I really enjoyed reading about how an anti-Royals blogger is invited to stay at the castle by Prince Arthur of “Avonia” for a 2-month period. Prince Arthur wants to change the blogger’s mind so his family can keep the throne against the changing tide of public opinion. The Kindle editing sucks so be forewarned if that sort of thing bugs you, but it’s absolutely worth a read if you’re in the mood for a well-written, light-hearted romance.

Book #3:

State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny (Length: 506 pages).  I was VERY nervous to start this book as Louise Penny is my all-time favorite literary mystery author, and I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong. I ADORED this book. The plot is incredibly fast-paced and very exciting, and of course, it’s very well-written (how could it not be?). The subject matter seems to be very insider baseball regarding the Secretary of State position, so it’s obvious Hillary was drawing very heavily on her past experiences. The main character in this novel reminds me of the TV Madam Secretary and that’s a good thing. This novel sets it up for a sequel or series and I’m here for it. Do NOT miss the Acknowledgments in the end. (I shouldn’t have to say this but Trumpers will HATE this book as the “former” President in this book is clearly modeled after a similarly intellectually challenged leader.)

Book #4:

The Letter Keeper by Charles Martin (Length: 313 pages). Ugh. I got sucked into this sequel to Martin’s previous novel, The Water Keeper, which I’ve reviewed here previously. Murphy Shepherd is a vigilante commando/tracker of trafficked kids, and this sequel delves more into his (unbelievable) back story as well as his attempts to settle down with his new wife and their three “daughters”. I do think Martin is a great writer as his plots are fast-moving and his writing produces some beautiful gems, but man, I hate feeling like my emotions are being manipulated, and he does that here for sure. The plot is as fast driven as the last one, so you HAVE to keep reading, but don’t fall into any of the plot holes. (For example, why aren’t there surveillance cameras in the delivery bay?) This novel ends on a cliffhanger as well, which is super-annoying. Someone stop me before I get sucked into reading another Charles Martin (I’ve read almost a dozen so there’s a sucker born every minute). 😉

Book #5:

The Christmas Book Shop by Jenny Colgan (Length: 335 pages).  I adore Jenny Colgan’s writing and will read anything she writes. This novel is a book about books and a bookshop so sign me right up! Colgan’s trademark witty banter, deeper than is typical for the genre character development, and fun plots are all present in this novel. When Carmen is laid off from her dead-end retail job in a smaller town in Scotland, her bossy lawyer sister finds her a job in her client’s bookshop in Edinburgh. As the shop is about to go under thanks to decades of mismanagement by the absent-minded elderly owner, Carmen has to put her organizational skills and her book-selling charm to use. Will she rescue this failing business, meet a handsome suitor and mend ties with her sister? A must read to find out!

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