The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

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“Reading isn’t the only thing in the world, Nina.”
“It’s one of the only five perfect things in the world.”
“And the other four are?”
“Cats, dogs, Honeycrisp apples and coffee.”

Nina is a bookworm who works in a bookstore and lives a quiet and well planned life. She has her book club, trivia team, and loyal cat, Phil. But her world gets a little chaotic once she learns of the passing of her father, a man she never but but who has named her in his will. Now, she finds herself surrounded by a family she never knew she had, and one that consists of numerous siblings and nieces and nephews. While she is content with her life just the way it is, she finds that this new concept of family is not a totally unwelcome one, as she slowly starts to get to know all the strangers that feel so very familiar. Throw a potential new love interest into the mix and Nina has to figure out how it all fits into her carefully planned schedule. Continue reading “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman”

Wrap Up: Agatha Christie Classics

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I love mysteries, and Agatha Christie novels were some of my favourites growing up. Also, my favourite tv show was Murder She Wrote so it’s pretty fair to say I had a bit of an obsession with whodunnits. Over the years I have read a lot of Agatha Christie novels but not all, so I decided that I needed to look up lists of the must-read AC novels. Three of those that came up consistently, and ones I never read were: Crooked House, The ABC Murders, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I ended up enjoying all three novels and completely understand why they are regarded as some of the best. Here is my own ranking from not best to best (I can hardly refer to any of them as worst!) based on my reading experience. Continue reading “Wrap Up: Agatha Christie Classics”

The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

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“It’s like everyone around you has a copy of the script of life, but no one gave it to you so you have to go in blind and hope you can muddle your way through. And you’ll be wrong most of the time.”

In 1991, Annika is an English major at the University of Illinois. She struggles with social situations, finding the behaviour of others confusing, which contributes to her anxiety. The calming and comforting forces in her life are books and the solitude and challenge of chess. When Jonathan transfers to the University of Illinois and joins the chess club he is drawn to Annika and over time the two develop a relationship that turns into a love story, one where they are planning a future together. That is until a tragedy changes everything and their lives go in separate directions. A decade later, a chance encounter brings the two together. Annika is in her dream job as a librarian and Jonathan is the Wall Street businessman he strived to be, fresh off a divorce and seeking a new start. The attraction between them is still very much there, but they need to confront their past, what drove them apart and the fears and anxieties that still persist. Continue reading “The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves”

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

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“For the longest time, I thought the power of positive thinking would get me by. And it helps, that’s for dang sure. But it takes more than thinking and hoping and wishing and praying. You need a whole lot of doing.”

After being completely charmed by the movie version of Dumplin‘ I couldn’t help but pick up Puddin‘, the companion novel that follows two supporting characters from the first novel. In Puddin‘ we follow Millie Michalchuk and Callie Reyes. Mille has decided that this is the year she pursues her secret dream and what she wants to do rather than following her mom’s expectations. Also, to kiss her crush. Callie is a popular girl in school, and is aiming for the dance team captain spot next year. While the two girls live separate lives at school, an incident brings them together, and over time they find common ground and an unexpected friendship develops. Continue reading “Puddin’ by Julie Murphy”

Circe by Madeline Miller

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“But there was something in me that was sick of fear and awe, of gazing at the heavens and wondering what someone would allow me.”

In her own take on the greek myth, Madeline Miller gives us the story of Circe. The sorceress and daughter of Helios, the god of the sun, is most known for the role she played in the famous tale of Odysseus. But this story is all her own. Born without the look and voice of a goddess, she is ignored, taunted, and isolated by her siblings and family as a whole. Slowly over time, Circe discovers her own power and talent with witchcraft. When she casts a dark spell and her true nature comes to light, she is banished to an island where she is to spend her life in exile. Over the years she develops her skills of witchcraft and many gods and mortals pass the shores of her island. What unfolds is the story of Circe, one that is uniquely her own. Continue reading “Circe by Madeline Miller”