Friday, March 29, 2024

A Bookish Trio...


Deaf Utopia by Nyle DiMarco

Nyle DiMarco is a proud Deaf man. He is so eloquent and passionate about the Deaf world, it's culture and history, and the richness, beauty and expressiveness of ASL. It's such a fascinating language! I took a class in it once and loved how you can say so much with just one sign. I also loved reading Nyle's story. He chronicles his growing up years and later experiences with honesty and humor. And I really admire his mother for her strength and determined activism. She's a remarkable woman. And Deaf Utopia is an amazing book.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Give Me A Sign by Anna Sortino

Lilah doesn't feel "deaf enough" to identify as Deaf--she isn't even fluent in ASL--but her hearing loss means she doesn't fit in the hearing world either; she always feels like "the odd one out, the one who always has to explain or adjust." Except when she's at Gray Wolf, a summer camp for the deaf and blind. And this year, she's not just a camper, she's a junior counselor. Sortino, who is deaf herself, has written a sweet coming-of-age story that explores the complexity and richness of being Deaf. It's a very engaging YA novel.   ⭐⭐⭐⭐

True Biz by Sara Novic

Immersive and impressive! I got caught up in the lives of Charlie (a deaf teenager with hearing parents; she has a cochlear implant that doesn't work very well and still hasn't learned ASL), and February (a CODA who's fluent in ASL and is headmistress of the River Valley School for the Deaf in Ohio). This book deals with the importance of ASL, Deaf schools, the tug-of-war between the hearing and Deaf, cochlear implants, and Deaf culture. I couldn't put it down; though I did think the ending was a little abrupt.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

What's up?

This post is supposed to be a review. At least that's how I planned it out in my head at the beginning of the month. But as you can see, I have no review to post today. The last book I finished was Dread Journey by Dorothy B. Hughes, which I loved, but I decided to write a haiku review for that one because it was easier.

I also recently finished The Love Plot by Samantha Young which is a sweet and steamy grumpy vs. sunshine fake-dating romance that I liked. So why didn't I review that one? *shrugs*  I guess I'm not feeling too motivated to write these days. But I am reading. 

Right now I'm in the middle of three books:  True Biz, Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries, and The Wind in the Willows. They're each unique and entertaining in their own way, and I'm enjoying all of them. Hopefully, I should have some short reviews ready to go for my next post. Until then...

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 22, 2024

Haiku reviews...

Fish Out of Water by Katie Ruggle

City girl blackmails
grumpy hermit to help her 
track down her sister.

Romance .... 311 pages .... 3/5 stars.
(Some plotting inconsistencies; and while I liked Dahlia and Winston, their relationship felt like a total repeat of Ruggle's characters George and Ellie from Gone Too Deep.)

Lone Wolf by Gregg Hurwitz

Evan Smoak's mission:
find a lost dog...and track a killer
before she kills him.

Thriller .... 383 pages .... 5/5 stars.
(Evan Smoak, otherwise known as Orphan X and The Nowhere Man, is still one of my all-time favorite characters. Another action-packed and suspenseful read.)

Dread Journey by Dorothy B. Hughes

Not everyone will
survive this train ride from 
Hollywood to New York.

Psychological suspense .... 181 pages .... 4/5 stars.
(Loved Hughes' writing as well as the cat-and-mouse game between the passengers.)

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's theme is BOOKS ON MY SPRING TBR LIST. 

The only trouble I had this week was limiting my choices to just 10. Here they are:

The War Magician by David Fisher

Vanishing Edge by Claire Kells

Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith

The Final Twist by Jeffrey Deaver

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

My Side of the River by Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea

Just a Regular Boy by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Now You See Us by Balli Kaur Jaswal

What You Are Looking For is in the Library by Michiko Aoyama

I also plan on reading books by Catherine Cowles, Katherine Center, Abby Jimenez and K.A. Tucker this spring, but I haven't quite figured out which of their books I'm going to read first. Stay tuned...

Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Keeper of Enchanted Rooms by Charlie N. Holmberg

Setting:  Rhode Island, 1846
Main characters: 
WHIMBREL HOUSE -- Some say it's enchanted, or maybe haunted. Either way, it really doesn't seem to like Merritt. Built on Blaugdone Island in Narragansett Bay, it's been alone and uninhabited since 1737.

MERRITT FERNSBY -- Disowned by his father and burned by love, Merritt is a non-magical writer in his early 30s who has just inherited Whimbrel House. He thinks it will be a great place to write his next novel, but he doesn't know what he's in for. 

HULDA LARKIN  -- A confirmed spinster in her 30s, she has a small talent in augury, and works for the Boston Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms (BIKER) as a housekeeper. She's come to Whimbrel House to help tame it. But she wasn't expecting to find Merritt quite so charming. 

SIMON HOGWOOD -- a power-hungry necromancer who has learned how to siphon magic from other people...and from places like Whimbrel House. 

My thoughts:  This is an enchanting and fun fantasy. I love the role Whimbrel House plays in this one. From the melting furniture to the shrinking rooms, all the tricks it plays on Merritt, especially when it refuses to let him leave, are very humorous and sometimes a little frightening. I also really enjoyed Hulda's and Merritt's investigation into what, or who, is enchanting the house. They made an engaging team, even if neither one is very good at communicating their feelings. I also liked all the magic, and how Holmberg captures the time period. It's a captivating read with some good suspense at the end. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose

The plot:  Molly Gray is now the Head Maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. Her private life is going well, and she's taken the new maid, Lily under her wing. But then there's another murder at the hotel. The famous and reclusive mystery author J.D. Grimthorpe is about to make an important announcement when he drops dead on the hotel's tearoom floor. Poisoned. And of course, Lily, the maid who served him his tea quickly becomes a suspect. Molly herself is keeping a secret--she knew J.D. Grimthorpe from when she was a child and her grandmother worked as his maid. Many more secrets are going to come out before the investigation into Grimthorpe's death is through.

My thoughts:  I loved The Maid, Nita Prose's first mystery, and this sequel is almost as good. Molly is neurodivergent; she's organized and has a true eye for detail, but she often misses social cues and struggles with normal interactions with other people. I loved how we get to see moments from her childhood in this one, especially all her interactions with her grandmother. She is truly a unique character. The mystery involving Grimthorpe had some nice twists. I enjoyed following Detective Stark's and Molly's investigation, especially how at odds they are in the beginning, but how well they work together at the end. This is another well-plotted, character-driven, page-turning mystery. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 10, 2024

March's bookish art...

Hermann Jean Joseph Richir--Young Woman Reading

"You know you've read a good book when you turn to the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend."
--Paul Sweeney

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Two quick recommendations....


Network Effect by Martha Wells

Pesky emotions and even peskier humans keep troubling Murderbot. Figuring out the right thing to do all the time is hard work. Then something terrible happens to ART, the highly intelligent bot transport Murderbot calls a friend, and Murderbot must discover what happened and why...all whle trying to save ART's favorite humans. I love Murderbot! This is another thrilling and entertaining adventure with lots of humor. Murderbot's love of soap operas and all its snarky thoughts and asides makes me laugh out loud. 

The Boy Who Cried Bear by Kelley Armstrong

Casey Duncan and Eric Dalton are running Haven's Rock, a sanctuary town hidden in the vast Yukon wilderness. It's a refuge for those on the run. Like ten-year-old Max and his older brother and mother. Then Max disappears. Was it the grizzly bear he thought he saw in the woods earlier? Or a crazed wildman dressed in bear pelts? Or did someone from their own town take him? Casey and Eric won't rest until they find the truth. ... What a great book! To say I love these characters and this series would be an understatement. This is another 5-star read from Kelley Armstrong. And one of my favorites of the year.

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 4, 2024

Midnight Creed by Alex Kava


This is the eighth book in one of my favorite mystery series. Ryder Creed is a former marine K9 handler; now he owns and runs a dog rescue center in the Florida panhandle where he rehabilitates and trains dogs as scent and search-and-rescue dogs. His best dog is a Jack Russell terrier named Gracie. He works with Jason, another veteran, and Brodie, his sister, and lots of dogs. He and Gracie are recovering from some injuries when he gets called in to help search for a missing boy. 

Maggie O'Dell is an FBI agent working a case in Washington D.C. that involves a serial killer who's been targeting the homeless. She and Ryder have worked several cases together, and their friendship has developed and deepened over the course of the series into something more. When Maggie tracks her killer to Florida, they find their two cases intersecting. 

Alex Kava always writes an interesting and engaging mystery. She creates great suspense, but it's her characters that really elevate these books. I especially love Ryder's relationship with his dogs and how they work together to solve each case. He can't help but rescue every stray that comes along. I like the way he and Maggie work together, too. I spotted the connection with the murderer early on in this one, but it didn't stop me from enjoying this book. It's a well-written and fun ride. 

Happy Reading!

Other Ryder Creed posts:

Friday, March 1, 2024



One of my bookish goals
this year is to read more Golden Age mysteries. I have several British Library Crime Classics and Otto Penzler's Classic American Mysteries on my TBR list. I hope to read at least one a month, and I started in February with Ngaio Marsh's A Man Lay Dead. It's an entertaining mystery that takes place during a weekend party at an English country house. And it involves a Murder Game. I quite enjoyed it. This month I'll be reading Dorothy B. Hughes's Dread Journey. 

Seven other library books I'm hoping to read this month:

Deaf Utopia by Nyle DiMarco
True Biz by Sara Novic
The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose
The Murder Wheel by Tom Mead 
Wonderland Trials by Sara Ella
Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
Keeper of Enchanted Rooms by Charlie N. Holmberg

And if I'm lucky, my library hold on Hurwitz's newest, Lone Wolf, will also come in this month because I'm eager to read the latest Orphan X novel as soon as possible. 

Three things that have made me glad recently:
  • Two days off from work....which always makes me happy.
  • New episodes of Ghosts and So Help Me Todd (two of my favorite TV shows); also that new show Tracker has been really good, too. Yay for something new to watch on TV.
  • I found a great 15-minute cardio workout I can do in the morning before work that's low impact but gets the heart rate up. I've been doing it for 3 weeks now and not only is it helping me to get in better shape for summer, but I've even lost a little weight. 

Happy Reading!