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Posts by Jane J

So much bookish goodness

Cover of Best Books Lists
Best Books Lists

With the announcement of NPR's Books We Love I realized it's that time of year. The lists of best books are pouring in and I know that not only are we interested in them as readers ourselves, they also give us great ideas for books to gift to the other readers in our lives. So for those of you searching for your next read or even more desperately searching for that perfect gift, here is a by-no-means-comprehensive best lists to give you a start.

Nov 29, 2021

Turn back now

Cover of The Collective
A review of The Collective by Alison Gaylin

Camille Gardner's life ended five years ago when her daughter died. The loss alone devastated her. But the lack of justice for her daughter has filled her with so much anger she doesn't have any room for anything else. And she has no outlet for all that rage. Until now. Alison Gaylin explores the depths to which someone might go in order to get justice (or is it revenge) and brings the reader along for the thrilling ride.

Nov 16, 2021

Something for the long nights

Cover of The Starless Crown
A review of The Starless Crown by James Rollins

From what I hear from other readers I'm not alone in, more often then I'd like, struggling with my ability to really sink into a book. I don't know if the attention deficit comes from work, too many devices, or the general stressiness of life, but often I find that I have to work to stick to a book, even if I was sure I'd love it. But one genre lately has really been working for me and that is fantasy fiction. Something about entering a completely different world has just been easier.

Nov 8, 2021

More data needed

Cover of The Mother-in-Law
A review of The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

The Lakeview Mystery Book Group had been meeting in person over the last few months but decided to go back to meeting on Zoom now that the nights are longer and are getting colder. Last week was our return to Zoom and given how the online platform can change the shape of meetings, I was wondering if our talk would be as comfortable and free-wheeling as it had been for our in-person meetings. The answer? It certainly was a relaxed, energetic discussion. But was that the group or the book?

Nov 2, 2021

Saving Godzilla?

Cover of The Kaiju Preservation Soc
A review of The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

I've been waiting to tell you about John Scalzi's forthcoming title for a while now as it was just the antidote I needed for a reading slump. At the time most things I'd been reading were eliciting a tepid, 'ah it was fine' response. And then came the Kaiju. Not only were they a saving grace for me, but based on the author note included in the book, were one for Scalzi as well. He'd been struggling with another book as the pandemic worsened and just couldn't make progress when the idea for this story popped into his head.

Oct 19, 2021

Having her say

Cover of The Good Wife of Bath
A review of The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks

Karen Brooks gives Chaucer's Wife of Bath a chance to tell her side of the story in this vivid and absorbing tale of how a woman could gain agency in her own life in a time when she legally had none.

Oct 11, 2021

Eerie season is almost upon us

Cover of The Stranger Diaries
A review of The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

October and the spooky season are just around the corner and I have the book for you. Elly Griffiths' (best known for her Ruth Galloway series of mysteries) Stranger Diaries is suspenseful and even spooky at times (there's even a ghost) and is a gothic book about a gothic story that is being written about for a book. Okay that sounds like nonsense, I know.

Sep 27, 2021

Edwardian era magic

Cover of A Marvellous Light
A review of A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

There are some books that make me feel like I'm smiling from the first page to the last. I finish the book and immediately want to tell everyone about the delight I had in reading it (I think I've already mentioned it to multiple co-workers). Such was the case with A Marvellous Light, a debut queer fantasy novel full of "magic, contracts, and conspiracies".

Sep 16, 2021

Not as they seem

Cover of No One Will Miss Her
A review of No One Will Miss Her by Kat Rosenfield

Lizzie Oullette has been found dead and no one in her rural Maine town seems to care. It's only when it becomes clear that her husband Dwayne is the one who likely murdered her that people start to show an interest. Dwayne was an admired member of the community until he hooked up with town outcast Lizzie. So if he did kill her? Maybe it's for the best. At least that's what investigator Ian Bird is able to glean from the townsfolk. That and somehow Lizzie's death is connected to a Adrienne Richards, a glamorous blonde Instagram influencer who'd been renting a house from Lizzie.

Sep 7, 2021