The Bone Code

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I saw this on the new releases shelf and thought it’d be great for my month of thrillers, mysteries, and murder. I read one of the series years ago when I first discovered Bones but couldn’t get into it. Since I’m in the process of rewatching Bones, I thought I’d try again.

It was great, not so amazing I’m going after the series. It’s good to know you can get into it anywhere, while there are character plots, the forensics really are the main point of the book. As Brennan says in the show, “that character stuff is just to denote the passage of time.” And in the book it really is.

A recent case reminds Brennan of an unsolved case from years ago. She wonders how they are connected or if they are. I learned a lot about vaccines and genealogy and DNA testing.

“It can’t be. It was déjà vu. A rainbow déjà vu.”


Before She Knew Him

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And so begins my month of thrillers, mysteries, and murder – this one has all three. Hen and Lloyd move into a new house and go to the neighbor’s for dinner … she sees a fencing trophy and something clicks for her. A cold case. Did Matthew kill the kid?

Lots of twists and turns, some serious mental health issues, and a few killings. So good!

“I think she’s decided I’m a murderer and now she’s out to get me.”


Recipe for Persuasion

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This series of modern retellings of Jane Austen’s work by Sonali Dev is a delight. While the original works are not set in the same universe, these stories are – and it’s a delightful family.

I loved how this installment included so much delicious food and a contest – also a long, lost love who never let go! It’s sweet and just a delight. It’s the 2nd in the series (3 books are out now) – I read them out of order 1, 3, 2 – which is fine, but I knew how this one would end and the full conclusion since I’ve already read #3, so I recommend reading in order if possible.

“The downside of choosing cowardice was there was only so long you could hide. Problems were patient. They always waited you out.”


The Book of Two Ways

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A friend has been raving about this book since she listened months ago and since I have a love-hate relationship with Jodi Picoult I was hesitant to pick it up and use one of my precious hold spots at the library for it. So when I was perusing the new release section while picking up my holds and it was available, I decided to take a chance.

Like every other reviewer says, it’s heavy on Egypt. The first chapter almost turned me away because it felt like a textbook, it under the excellent review of my friend, I persevered.

I’m glad I did. The structure is interesting and feels like two universes based on the real historical book called The Book of Two Ways. I gasped aloud at one point around page 230-250, when I finally understood the structure.

It begs the question of when do you decide who you want to be? And can you ever leave your past behind?

The book is a lot about death and understanding the Egyptian view of the afterlife. The main character is a death doula, which is a fascinating career … but there’s no mention of the Christian version of the afterlife. It felt weird to completely leave it out and base the story on the premise that there is nothing after death. I know it’s not everyone’s view of what happens next, but it felt weird to have zero mentions of such a widely accepted belief system.

“Why are people so afraid of dying? Well, that’s easy. Because it’s hard for us to conceive of a world without us in it.”


Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

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I started this book because I thought it was about a women working in a Catholic Church office. It sort of is, but not really at all. Gilda’s always considered herself an atheist and known since she was 11 that she is gay. She ends up at the Church because after a dozen referrals for a psychiatrist from the ER she still hasn’t seen one. A nun hands her a flyer for free therapy at St. Rigobert’s Catholic Church. When she arrives, Fr. Jeff thinks she’s there for the secretary job and she doesn’t correct him.

But the book isn’t about that – not really at all. That’s just window dressing. The book is an indepth and insightful look into the mind of someone experiencing severe Anxiety and Depression. We hear Gilda’s thoughts and see more of her story as it goes along. What she really needs is someone to pay attention and dig deep into what’s going on with her. Someone to ask more than the surface question of, “Are you okay?” When they here, “I’m okay” they needed to ask, investigate, and really get to know – without letting their own stuff get into the way.

I found myself wanting to sit down with a cup of tea and listen to Gilda, dig deep into her life – and also laughing out loud because she’s so funny. It’s hilarious – but in a very dark way. This book isn’t for everyone – and don’t go into it thinking that it’s a happy story, even though there’s a pretty satisfying ending.

“I wish that I find something distracting enough to occupy my mind with thoughts unrelated to the futility of my existence, or that I die in the least disruptive way possible for my family.”


Catholicism after Coronavirus

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A co-worker sent me a podcast she thought I’d like and the host was interviewing a priest who mentioned he’d just written a book (well, contributed to a book) about what parishes should do after Covid. Due to the work I do, I was doubly interested and did some internet sleuthing to find it. Word on Fire published the eBook and has it available for free on their site.

I was expecting “A Post-COVID Guide for Catholics and Parish” as the subtitle suggests, but I think it was more a collection of essays and reflections rather than a how-to manual. That’s not to say it wasn’t well written, a collection of a variety of authors, or interesting to read. It was all of those things, just not the advertised how-to manual.

I especially appreciated the essays entitled ‘Grief in the Time of COVID-19’ by Beth Hewett, ‘Quenching God’s Thirst for Charity and Justice’ by Fr. Josh Johnson, ‘Spirituality Accompaniment during COVID’ by Julianne Stanz, and “Three Lessons for Parish Communication in the Time of COVID’ by Matthew Warner.

If you’re a parish ministry leader or pastor looking for some good reflections, this is for you!

“In Ireland, where I grew up, we would call this a ‘betwixt and between time’ – a time that straddles the ‘now and the not yet.’ We intuit that life has changed, but we do not yet know how drastically.” ~Julianne Stanz


The Downstairs Girl

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When Anne Bogel recommended this I saw it was going to be months on hold to get the eBook (hello everyone in Reese’s book club reading this), so I tried the audiobook that was immediately available. I hated it – I mean, the narrator is surely a lovely person in real life, but the accent was not for me. So I waited and waited and then had it delivered later a few times before I finally started it.

I wish I hadn’t put it off so long though because it’s a delight – I mean, Hello, it’s a Reese Pick (not always my preference, but there are few duds).

The book is about Jo, a Chinese American, in 1890 – a time after 4 years of war and more than two decades of reconstruction that, in her opinion, isn’t getting them closer to freedom, but farther away. She’s a young woman who is far ahead of her time … or was she? As I read I thought about how she was so progressive and that maybe that’s not how life really was in the late 1890s, but maybe it was and we’ve just squelched those ideas. It’s possible.

There were a few twists and turns in the book but Miss Sweetie, the Bells, and Nathan were my favorite!!

“Interracial marriage is illegal, but no one can legislate family, friendship, or love.”


A Cup of Silver Linings

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This is the second in a magical series set in North Carolina outside of Asheville. It’s sweet and delightful and the perfect amount of magical realism for my taste.

The Dove Sisters have powers around tea and books (two of my favorite things)! The books are each about someone else in town needing them while also sharing so much about the Dove Sisters.

The mother/daughter relationships in the story were so well written. Also the sisters and friends!! Can’t wait for the next installment!!

“We can’t always fix what we break. Sometimes we just have to accept the consequences and let time heal things as well as it can.”



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I’ve had this on hold forever and then put off listening for some reason … I’m glad I started it Friday when I had a few hours in the car because it was fantastic!

I love reading books that give an insight into how the crew and pilot operate on a plane. I really appreciate the extra information about flight crews and this book delivered.

It also reminded me about how important flight attendants are to the safety of the airplane. Giving drinks is their side job so we don’t all get bored waiting for a safety issue to happen that honestly, we don’t never happen.

Which means that us passengers need to treat the flight attendants as the pilot’s representative in the main cabin as they are. The author writes that their six weeks of training included ONE day on service!!

Really loved this book. Heads up it’s about a terrorist taking over a plane, so if that’s not something you’re up for, take a pass.

“Navigate. Aviate. Communicate.”


Love and Other Words

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“A book you can read in a day” is one of my favorite genres. And two good ones in a row!!

Macy and Elliot met when they were 13 and promptly fell in love, but wouldn’t admit it until years later. Now, after 11 years apart, he shows up at a random coffee shop. And the world shifts on its axis. Everything changes.

It’s a delightful read about first loves that last. The dialogue is fantastic. The dad is just perfect.

“When we love, we love for good.”