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Rick Kitchen

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8 hours ago, Madding crowd said:

“He kissed me and said I taste like the moon”. The romance scenes are just over the top.

If a guy said that to me after a kiss I'm pretty sure I would laugh in his face. I wouldn't be able to stop myself. That is just too much.

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4 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

What does that even mean? The moon's surface is a bunch of dirt. That's not exactly a compliment.

Some people think it's made of cheese. Maybe she'd just had a nice grilled cheese sandwich and didn't have time to brush or pop a mint before the kiss. Or it was the "cheesiest" like he could think of. Get it, moon made of cheese, cheesy line...yeah, no, it really makes no sense and is certainly not what I would call a compliment. 

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Well the same narrator hugged a guy and he “smelled like Europe” so I guess it’s supposed to be all so romantic. Lol

Edited by Madding crowd
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1 hour ago, Madding crowd said:

Well the same narrator hugged a guy and he “smelled like Europe” so I guess it’s supposed to be all so romantic. Lol

Europe has a LOT of smells. Are we talking a tulip field in the Netherlands, a vineyard in Italy or more like a back alley in a crowded city after a rain when the stray cat urine stench has started to rise off the hot, wet pavement and the fetid air has the remnants of five day old trash? 

I wonder if the author used MadLibs to write the story. 

She tastes like (noun), smells like (place), looks like (animal), sounds like (verb), feels like (adjective). Or just took sensual way too literally and is going to work his/her (forget who wrote it) way through the 5 senses. 

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I've been reading non-fiction these past couple of months. Bertrand Russell has always been a favorite: his writing's lucid, stimulating, and incisive. Been reading Russell since we were introduced to his contributions to Logical Atomism and the Analytic trend in college. Also deeply appreciate his writings on mathematics.

Currently reading: Russell's In Praise of Idleness - The titular essay is a delight. Very apt reading given the enforced quiet of the lockdown. Might also help some readers to deal with the anxiety a surplus of time can bring forth. I'm also presenting the Preface and Introduction to Russell's The Principles of Mathematics for a class. Of course we're doing it online. Looking forward to that, really. To that end, I'm also reading a simple account of inductive logic.

I hope I can get back to reading fiction soon. First on my to-read list is Yann Martel's Beatrice and Virgil :)

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20 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

What does that even mean? The moon's surface is a bunch of dirt. That's not exactly a compliment.

Maybe he meant a moonpie.  That's a thing, right?  Or maybe he meant a butt, like when someone moons someone.  Because everyone wants to know they taste like butt.

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3 hours ago, Katy M said:

Maybe he meant a moonpie.  

I'm hearing MeeMaw's voice from Young Sheldon which just adds to the romance.

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So I am really excited - I just got an email announcing that our county library system will re-open on July 7th! I have been spending way too much money on buying books that I will never read again so the library will allow me to return to normal frugality and keep going through all these awesome British mystery writers (I read all 26 of the Peter Robinson "DCI Banks" series, and now I'm starting Ian Rankin - his very first is on the way, while continuing with Val McDermid's Karen Pirie series). Any recommendations for more in this vein gratefully accepted! (I have already read all published Elizabeth George, P.D. James, Dorothy Sayers, Deborah Crombie and Martha Grimes.)

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2 hours ago, isalicat said:

Any recommendations for more in this vein gratefully accepted!

How about Colin Dexter's Morse books, or the various Ann Cleeves series? I tried Cleeves after I became a fan of the tv shows Vera and Shetland. I've only read 2 of Cleeves's books so far (both in the Shetland series), and was really impressed. I've made reading the rest of the series a priority.

I've also heard really good things about Nicci French's Freida Klein series, but haven't read them yet myself. The main character is a psychotherapist who works with the police and I believe there are 8 books in the series.

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Thanks for the suggestions! No, I have not read any Josephine Tey...but I just went and looked her up and will definitely seek out her books at the library in a week or so (before I spend yet more money on line 🙂  I watched all of the Inspector Morse TV shows as they were aired back in the day and now that I have BritBox I was planning on watching the Vera series but will look for Ann Cleeves' books as well....I have been binging on the Midsomer Murders series (up to halfway through Season 5 now) and I love it so much! BritBox is really my "crack"!

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Marisa de los Santos has a new book out!  I loved her first two, thought her next two missed a step, and thought her last one was getting back on track, though not as good as the first pair.  Keeping my fingers crossed on this one!

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On 6/26/2020 at 5:34 PM, isalicat said:

So I am really excited - I just got an email announcing that our county library system will re-open on July 7th! I have been spending way too much money on buying books that I will never read again so the library will allow me to return to normal frugality and keep going through all these awesome British mystery writers (I read all 26 of the Peter Robinson "DCI Banks" series, and now I'm starting Ian Rankin - his very first is on the way, while continuing with Val McDermid's Karen Pirie series). Any recommendations for more in this vein gratefully accepted! (I have already read all published Elizabeth George, P.D. James, Dorothy Sayers, Deborah Crombie and Martha Grimes.)

I second Josephine Tey.

You might also like M.C. Beaton. She has a few series. They are light/humorous but definitely have that British mystery feel.

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On 6/16/2020 at 11:57 AM, truthaboutluv said:

But what baffles me about Green's books though is how lauded they are and so then I'm just left going, "I don't get it. What's all the hype about?'

I think Green's books are the sort where if you first read them when you're 12-15, there is a much higher likelihood of thinking they're incredibly insightful than if you read them as an adult.

I just finished Real Life by Brandon Taylor. It's intense but very well written. Almost all the characters feel like fully formed people.

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2 minutes ago, theatremouse said:

I think Green's books are the sort where if you first read them when you're 12-15, there is a much higher likelihood of thinking they're incredibly insightful than if you read them as an adult.

Sometimes you read exactly the right book at exactly the right time. It's really great when that happens, but it's also a bummer when you revisit that book later and the reaction is, "What was I thinking?" Heh.

I finished Circe and LOVED it. The mythology nerd in me was in heaven. Now I'm reading a quick thriller, Need to Know, about a CIA analyst who discovers her husband is a Russian sleeper agent.

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isalicat, I recommend Jane Casey's Maeve Kerrigan series.  The 9th in that series is due to be published in the US soon.  I also strongly recommend Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' Bill Slider series.  Other authors I enjoy are Simon Brett, John Harvey, Susan Elia MacNeal and Jacqueline Winspear.

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Thanks for the Jane Casey recommendation, Calvada! I just went to Amazon and read a bit of the first chapter of the first book in the Maeve Kerrigan series and yes, it is just the kind of thing I like! Now of course I must curb my enthusiasm until the library opens again next Tuesday to see which ones they have available or can get from another branch. I am generally a patient person but not when it comes to a book I long to read which is why I have spent way too much on books the last few months since the libraries closed 😞

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7 hours ago, isalicat said:

Thanks for the Jane Casey recommendation, Calvada! I just went to Amazon and read a bit of the first chapter of the first book in the Maeve Kerrigan series and yes, it is just the kind of thing I like! Now of course I must curb my enthusiasm until the library opens again next Tuesday to see which ones they have available or can get from another branch. I am generally a patient person but not when it comes to a book I long to read which is why I have spent way too much on books the last few months since the libraries closed 😞

You're welcome!  I hope you enjoy the series.  FYI - you will definitely want to read them in publication order.  She also wrote a standalone that was published before the Maeve Kerrigan series, The Missing, which is quite good too.  

My public library is one of the things I missed most during the shutdown.  Now I have access to curbside pickup (still can't go into the library) which is wonderful, although at limited times.  They quarantine books for 3 days after being returned, and interlibrary loan takes a lot more time than it used to, but it's been wonderful to get books again.  

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Just finished Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer. It was fair. Not a complete waste of time, but not really good either. The writing is solid, but the main character keeps doing stupid things. Like trusting a man whose full name she doesn’t even know. Blurting out stupid things to suspects. Being just fine with grifters. 

I probably won’t read a second one.

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I just completed The Price of Salt (aka Carol) by Patricia Highsmith. I'd already seen the film when it came out a few years ago and absolutely loved it (of course Cate Blanchett is a goddess that can do no wrong as an actress, in my opinion) but never got around to reading the book. This is a rare case of the movie was better than the book for me. In fact, I didn't really like the book at all.

Spoiler

The greatest flaw in the book for me, is an issue I've been having with many of the books I've recently read. I simply don't care for the main character. I either plain can't stand them like that god-awful The Other Woman book or just find them dull and uninteresting, as I did with Therese. 

There was just something so lacking in her. I get that Highsmith was trying to show that Therese was very young, figuring out who she was and the relationship with Carol was almost like an awakening and a birth of sorts for her. I get all that. But at times young woman blossoming was done too well to where she just came across as immature and insipid. 

And I think the biggest issue I had with the story was how it felt like Therese didn't seem to care a lick about Carol's daughter. Obviously I wouldn't expect her to love the kid or immediately want to play psued-step parent. But she just didn't seem to have much curiosity or interest about her at all. 

And so the ending left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth where Carol of course essentially had to lose her daughter to be with Therese. And I get that it was honest to the times of how LGBTQ relationships and people were treated but I don't know, I just didn't like how it seemed the message was "well she lost her kid but she got the 20 year old girlfriend she'd just started dating, so happy ending". 

 

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I'm reading the first book in the Chronicles of St. Mary's series, Just One Damned Thing After Another, by Jodi Taylor. It has a Thursday Next vibe, and since I loved that series, I'm hoping this one is as entertaining. So far I'm not disappointed.

I've got some heavier books coming, notably King Leopold's Ghost and My File (about a British man who lived in East Germany and sees his Stasi file), so this break is nice.

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Finished Marisa de los Santos’ I’d Give Anything.  I loved her first two books, did not enjoy her next two, and thought her last one was getting back to form.  When I finished this novel my initial thought was that it was fine-3 stars.  The more I talked about it, though, the more I realized I was dissatisfied.  2 stars at most.  Disappointing.
 

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A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd. Look... I can see what he was going for - a kind of colonial Catch-22 that sends up British attitudes to "the natives" and skewers the sort of superiority and white saviour complexes that they had. But the book was written in 1981, and Boyd's attitudes are barely any better than those he's mocking. There's some problematic stuff in here, without even taking into account the fact that every character is reprehensible and impossible to like.

But it is an easy read. I got through half of it in one day. Hopefully Boyd's later books are better.

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I finally read Saint X and it was pretty good, though I figured out that

Alison hadn't actually been murdered and that it was either an accident or suicide. Poor Clive got his life ruined for nothing

About to read Rodham and thanks in advance to those who warned about the sex scenes. That's gonna be awkward as hell.

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So thank you for the Ian Rankin recommendation - I just finished the first one and it was great! Had planned to go to the library today to look for more and come to find out although seven branches of my county library system are opening today, my branch is not. And the next closest one is only by reservation and they are discouraging browsing (so, like forget it....I go to a library to wander the stacks - its like going to church for me).

I guess I'll keep enriching the used book sellers for the nonce.

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I finished Rodham and....wow. It felt like an episode of The Twilight Zone, but one of the bittersweet ones. 

I really wish I could say more but I can't. Though I'm pretty sure the others that have read it on this thread know exactly what I'm thinking.

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12 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

I finished Rodham and....wow. It felt like an episode of The Twilight Zone, but one of the bittersweet ones. 

I really wish I could say more but I can't. Though I'm pretty sure the others that have read it on this thread know exactly what I'm thinking.

Yep!

By the way, my friend is currently listening to the audiobook and has basically been live texting me as she listens.  It was pretty clear from her texts when she hit the sex scenes.

 

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On 7/9/2020 at 9:34 PM, OtterMommy said:

Yep!

By the way, my friend is currently listening to the audiobook and has basically been live texting me as she listens.  It was pretty clear from her texts when she hit the sex scenes.

 

Oh God, I had to skim through those parts. Talk about TMI!

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On 6/23/2020 at 3:06 PM, MaggieG said:

Just finished Home Before Dark by Riley Sager and it was pretty good ghost story with a twist.

I bought this one yesterday and finished it today. I loved it! Very glad I purchased it instead of waiting on the wait list for my library because I can totally see myself rereading it, probably more than once.

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So, finally a week ago finished with S. King's IT. Yep, all it took was half a year. Definitely, will not be returning to this book ever again.

Now, I'm currently reading Boleslaw Prus "FARAON" (Pharaoh). It's a historical fiction set in Ramesis the Twelfth time, and is revolving around his heir. First time I tried to read it, I was still in school, and did not like it for some reason (may because it didn't had too many dialogues or something), but moving many years forward, this book is quite interesting.

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7 hours ago, Rushmoras said:

So, finally a week ago finished with S. King's IT. Yep, all it took was half a year. Definitely, will not be returning to this book ever again.

Now, I'm currently reading Boleslaw Prus "FARAON" (Pharaoh). It's a historical fiction set in Ramesis the Twelfth time, and is revolving around his heir. First time I tried to read it, I was still in school, and did not like it for some reason (may because it didn't had too many dialogues or something), but moving many years forward, this book is quite interesting.

I just ordered The October Horse by Colleen McCullough. I love Egyptian/Roman history.

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I finished The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton--which I kept on my kindle and made a point of taking to the beach for the requisite picture of me holding it up against the ocean for a background (and then forgot to take said picture.  I am the worst bookstagrammer ever).  I haven't had great luck with Cleeton's earlier novels, but I did like this one.  I think because it was less romance (although there was some very stereotypical romance in it) and more fast-paced survival story.  I am incredibly grateful that I do not live in an area where hurricanes are a thing!

Now, I'm splitting my time between The Vanishing Half, which I started earlier and then had to put away until my new lenses for my reading glasses came in (it is in print...I've been having to stick to eBooks during this time) and Between the World and Me, which I've been meaning to read for forever, but there is no better time than the present.  Truly.

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I finished Louise Erdrich's The Night Watchman over the weekend, and loved it.  It is a beautiful love letter to her grandfather and the people of the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota while also illuminating a sad chapter in American history.  

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Rereading Belushi A Biography by Tanner Colby finally got me to buy my own copy of Samurai Widow by Judy Belushi Pisano off Amazon. It came today and I've been going through it again. I don't know why reading about John Belushi has always so fascinating to me. I mean, yeah he was one of the funniest guys anywhere and his overdose was a shocking tragedy...but there's just something about all the stories about him from friends and family, the warm, funny, non-drug stories -- fuck you, Bob Woodward -- that I just can't get enough of. 

Samurai Widow is an emotional read, since it recounts how Judy dealt with his death, etc. They'd they'd been together since high school, and the photos of them in Belushi were so cute. Even though it ends on a hopeful note, unfortunately she and her second husband split up a couple years ago. I guess that's life though. I follow her Twitter sometimes and she's really cool. I admire how she remembers John with gratitude for all the love and friendship he brought into her life.

So yeah, I highly recommend both books.

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I read the new David Mitchell, Utopia Avenue, about an up-and-coming band in the late 1960s.

It's mostly a much more traditional novel than his last few, with the exception of one segment which goes fully into The Bone Clocks territory while also being a direct follow-up to The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. That whole bit feel like it would be impenetrable to anyone who hasn't read The Bone Clocks.

Outside of that, the book has a bit too much of the thing that happens in novels like this where the characters keep interacting with real-world musicians of the time. It mostly makes sense in context, but it feels a bit self-indulgent to have real musicians keep talking about how much they like and admire these fake musicians. It just happens too often, and it starts to lose its impact fairly quickly.

Being a David Mitchell book, there's also a lot of interactions and appearances by characters from his other books. Some of these are obvious, like

Spoiler

a main character being a de Zoet, the leads from The Bone Clocks showing up, or having one of the band members date Luisa Rey, but we also get Bat Secundo, the talk radio host from Ghostwritten, a name check of Felix Finch, the critic killed in Cloud Atlas, or a brief appearance by Aphra Booth, a very minor Bone Clocks character, and a cameo from a very young Crispin Hershey, also from Bone Clocks.

Like the real world celebrity stuff, it sometimes gets a bit too self-indulgent and unnecessary, where it occasionally feels like a character shows up just to say their name for recognition's sake without impacting the story at all, but it mostly worked for me.

It's not my favourite of his books, but I was extremely happy to have another David Mitchell novel to read, and look forward to re-reading it already.

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My library ha reopened (yay!), so I now have a stash of books I have had on hold since March:)

I am currently reading The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James, and it's pretty good! As an insomniac, I find it oddly soothing to be reading a book that is all about people doing their every day living/jobs at night.

I also read Marian Keyes newest book, Grown Ups, which honestly wasn't that great. I forced myself to finish it, because I bought it, but this one and her previous were both disappointing. They both seemed super choppy, convoluted, and barely edited. It was weird. As a matter of fact, I don't think her previous one was even published in the U.S. (I got a copy of the book from my visiting sister who had purchased it in England), which is also weird.

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I recently did a re-read of Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer.  Man, I always liked this book.  I listened to it on audio this time and it is wonderfully narrated.  It is a lovely romance of two poor outcasts during the Great Depression leading to WWII.  It is such a feel good romance, beautifully written with such a strong sense of setting, a little but of humor , and a fantastic third act. 

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6 hours ago, Starleigh said:

My library ha reopened (yay!), so I now have a stash of books I have had on hold since March:)

You are so lucky!  We still only have curbside delivery and if I put something on hold it might take weeks to actually get an appointment for delivery.  Better than nothing though.

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14 hours ago, DearEvette said:

I recently did a re-read of Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer.  Man, I always liked this book.  I listened to it on audio this time and it is wonderfully narrated.  It is a lovely romance of two poor outcasts during the Great Depression leading to WWII.  It is such a feel good romance, beautifully written with such a strong sense of setting, a little but of humor , and a fantastic third act. 

I need to re-read this one.  It was the first book by LaVyrle Spencer that I read and I remember loving it.

I did recently reread Bitter Sweet and that was...and experience.  It was incredibly dated, sometimes in a weird way.  It was written in the late 80s but everyone talks like they are from a movie from the 40s.  Then there were also these really strange bits where some, um, uncomfortable 80s references are made and are so painful that they are funny.

Spoiler

But what struck me is that I must have completely blocked out that the hero rapes his antagonistic wife in it.  I was completely shocked when I got to that!  I don't know how I "missed" it when I read it in the 80s/90s.   As much as I hate to admit that I may have ever thought this, my only guess is that I somehow "excused" it because they were married.  If that was the case, I am so ashamed...

 

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4 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I need to re-read this one.  It was the first book by LaVyrle Spencer that I read and I remember loving it.

I did recently reread Bitter Sweet and that was...and experience.  It was incredibly dated, sometimes in a weird way.  It was written in the late 80s but everyone talks like they are from a movie from the 40s.  Then there were also these really strange bits where some, um, uncomfortable 80s references are made and are so painful that they are funny.

  Reveal spoiler

But what struck me is that I must have completely blocked out that the hero rapes his antagonistic wife in it.  I was completely shocked when I got to that!  I don't know how I "missed" it when I read it in the 80s/90s.   As much as I hate to admit that I may have ever thought this, my only guess is that I somehow "excused" it because they were married.  If that was the case, I am so ashamed...

 

I highly recommend Morning Glory.  Yeah, there is a character written is such a way that some might think it is slut shaming and at first on re-read a I was a little uncomfortable with her, but then I realized the character is a flat out sexual predator and that it isn't only male characters that can be written as such.

Also, YIKES!  on Bitter Sweet. I know that I also counted that one as a favorite, but I have not revisited it since, maybe the early 90s?  So I probably also glossed right over that part as well.  Now that I am woke on so many things it is hard to go back sometimes.  There is a Catherine Coulter book from the 80s that I just... had no words about how horrified I was reading it recently.  a double Yikes!

Edited by DearEvette
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I just read Memoirs and Misinformation by Jim Carrey.

What.

The.

FUCK?!

I knew it wasn't going to be a memoir but I wasn't expecting THAT.

Edited by Spartan Girl

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4 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

I just read Memois and Misinformation by Jim Carrey.

What.

The.

FUCK?!

I knew it wasn't going to be a memoir but I wasn't expecting THAT.

Do tell.

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47 minutes ago, Pachengala said:

He’s a pig. But I too am curious. 

I'm a little curious, but not enough to actually read the book.

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2 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

Do tell.

All I can say is that it turns into an apocalypse kind of story. And Nic Cage is involved. 

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6 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

All I can say is that it turns into an apocalypse kind of story. And Nic Cage is involved. 

I don’t believe that an apocalypse is possible without the involvement of Nicholas Cage.

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Just finished: The Guest List by Lucy Foley, a pretty standard murder mystery with multiple POVs that takes place at a wedding being held on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. The setting was equal parts wonderful and spooky, the characters were all interesting and three-dimensional, and just when I thought I had things figured out, there were some delightful twists. Besides not knowing who the murderer is, you don't even know who's been murdered at the start either, which adds another layer to the intrigue. Definitely recommend if you're looking for a quick, fun read.

Next up: The Last Flight by Julie Clark.

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