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Tackling the TBR 1: Mort by Terry Pratchett

Mort by Terry Pratchett
Pub. Date: 1987
Source: Borrowed from the library
Summary: Death comes to Mort with an offer he can’t refuse — especially since being, well, dead isn’t compulsory. As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won’t need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he’d ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.
Genre: Fantasy, Humor

Last week I announced a new series, Tackling the TBR, in an attempt to combat my ever-growing stack of books once and for all. I used a random number generator to make the picks for me and the first round couldn’t have been better! With an assortment of new releases and older titles, a fantastic range of genres, and varying age groups, I was so excited to dive in and my first read was one I had been eager to try – and more than slightly intimidated by – Terry Pratchett’s Mort.

I’m a Discworld newbie and though I’ve been dying to jump in for years, I was so overwhelmed at where to start. Do I read them in order of publication? There are so many series within the Discworld universe, do I pick one and start there? (side note: there’s an incredible Tumblr post detailing each book and series and made narrowing down my selection so much easier!) Mort is the first in the DEATH series, while it’s the fourth Discworld novel, and I have a fondness for books where Death/the Grim Reaper decides to take a break and hands the job off to some poor, totally clueless mortal.

Enter, Mort. Or rather, Mort. A 16-year-old boy who is sent to a medieval job fair where he hopes to become an apprentice. Unfortunately, midnight is nearing and the other young hopefuls have begun filtering out with their prospective new masters. Just as the final bells ring, a rider appears with a job offer for Mort. This rider? Death. The fierce steed? Binky. So begins Mort’s apprenticeship.

When I first read one of Jasper Fforde’s novels, I couldn’t quite get into it. Words like zany, quirky, wacky, came to mind and it simply wasn’t what I had been interested in at the time. Years later I happened to pick up that particular book again and devoured it. Mort (and I’m assuming the rest of the Discworld series) seems to feature much of the same humor and I’m thrilled I’m reading this book now, rather than a few years ago when I don’t think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much.

Mort, Death, Death’s daughter (don’t ask), a number of wizards and other side characters, a princess whose death upset the fabric of time and reality itself, each character was fantastic though, naturally, I had took a particular liking to Death. He, in turn, took a liking to cats and attempting (and failing) to blend in with humans by trying his hand at all number of activities in our world. I’m ecstatic Death is featured in so many other novels!! He’s a great character and I can’t wait to seem him again.

The humor is really what drives Mort. I giggled countless times throughout the novel, though I never had any full on belly laughs like I had been expecting. Still, I was grinning like a fool while reading.

The only issue I had with Mort was that it seemed to lose steam toward the end. What should have been the exciting climax to the story instead had me skimming – and I never dreamed I would be skimming a Terry Pratchett novel!

Despite the unsatisfying ending, I enjoyed Mort immensely and have already added the next book, Reaper Man to my to read list (…so much for tackling the TBR!) Mort was the PERFECT way to kick off this project and I’m excited to see how the next nine picks go! Have you read any of them? Which one would you recommend for my next read??

TACKLING THE TBR ROUND 1
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
A Dark-Adapted Eye by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine
Mort by Terry Pratchett
The Dark Deeps by Arthur Slade
Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman
Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer
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weekly wrap-up 11/26

• Short work weeks are the best work weeks! Both my sister and Matt have birthdays next week so I took a VERY long weekend and am so looking forward to it. I’m still recovering from Thanksgiving – I pretty much have been living in jeggings and yoga pants since Thursday #noregrets

• I had been stuck in a reading rut for a while and I think I’m finally out of it! Though I won’t reach last year’s total of 200 books, I’m pretty happy where I am right now: 119, with less than 100 pages to go in book 120. I think believe last year’s releases were WAY better (I currently have 7 5-star ratings which is really high for me, but only 2 of those are for 2017 releases).

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? Lily Anderson’s follow-up to last year’s AMAZING The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You was good, but didn’t grab me nearly as much as her debut. Still, it’s Lily and full of nerdy romance: Not Now Not Ever.

My TBR list of embarrassingly out of control and to combat it, I’m introducing Tackling the TBR, a series I’ll be doing where I’m using a random number generator choose my reads for me. In this post I shared the 10 books it selected and I am SO ready. When I mentioned how I’m nearly finished reading book 120? It’s one of the books mentioned in this post! One down, nine to go, and if they’re anything like the first, this is going to be a VERY successful round!

FOR REVIEW
The She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Ten years after her teenage daughter disappears, a woman crosses paths with a charming single father whose young child feels eerily familiar. With Lisa Jewell’s novels, you always know you’re in for a good, twisty ride. Lisa herself says this is her darkest book and was on such a roll when writing that she completed the whole novel in an astounding ten weeks! Thank you, Atria!

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Tackling the TBR 1: THE PICKS

Winter is made for big reading goals – at least that’s how it seems to be for me. Last December I did a two-part post about series I wanted to read (part one was all about Adult novels, jumping from Agatha Christie to Stephen King to Tana French and more while the second part focused on YA reads, highlighting authors like Susan Cooper, Patrick Ness, and Brandon Sanderson). There’s just something about the cold, snowy weather that screams for curling up for one long binge read.

As I type this, I have a whopping 1122 books shelves on my To Read list on goodreads (though in my defense, the last 150 or so are all upcoming 2018 releases that look interesting) – and that’s not even counting the books I have gathering dust on my bookcases! Back in 2014 I made a book jar that I used to do my very first Tackling the TBR alll the way back in 2015!

Unfortunately I don’t have a big enough jar to hold over 1000 origami stars. Instead, I opted for a random number generator: whatever number was chosen, I’d find it on my goodreads list and that was the book I’d read. Easy peasy, no? I selected these picks just before Thanksgiving and already 6 of them are waiting for me at my library!

I will say that I would have liked to have had more picks come from my own shelves, rather than checking out Pittsburgh’s entire library system, but I’m excited for these! Out of the 10 selected, only 2 are novels I already own.

THE PICKS

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

One of the quintessential horror novels! I hadn’t realized how short this book was (just under 150 pages??) so I’m expecting to zip right through it, though I wonder if I’m a month too late to really sink in to the creepy, gothic-ness.

The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
Newly orphaned Peggy Grahame is caught off-guard when she first arrives at her family’s ancestral estate. Her eccentric uncle Enos drives away her only new acquaintance, Pat, a handsome British scholar, then leaves Peggy to fend for herself. But she is not alone. The house is full of mysteries and ghosts. Soon Peggy becomes involved with the spirits of her own Colonial ancestors and witnesses the unfolding of a centuries-old romance against a backdrop of spies and intrigue and of battles plotted and foiled.

Back in 2012 I fell head over heels for The Perilous Gard and immediately went and bought The Sherwood Ring, Pope’s only other novel. Since then it’s been sitting on a shelf and I’m thrilled to finally read it!

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck
Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. Above them looms Blackåsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow.

While herding the family’s goats on the mountain, Frederika happens upon the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson. The death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbors’ strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson’s widow, Maija is drawn into the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Blackåsen. Young Frederika finds herself pulled towards the mountain as well, feeling something none of the adults around her seem to notice.

Sweden, the 1700s, murder. Yes, please.

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

SO many friends and bloggers absolutely adore Pierce and her novels, especially Alanna. I feel like I would have devoured them as a child, but somehow they never crossed my path. Adventure! Magic! Girls who want to become knights! I can’t wait to (finally!) discover this series.

A Dark-Adapted Eye by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine
When Faith Severn’s aunt was hanged for murder, the reason behind her dark deed died with her. For 30 years, the family hid the truth–until a journalist prompts Faith to peer back to the day when her aunt took knife in hand and entered a child’s nursery.

There’s a version of this book with a delightfully disturbing cover: a knife plunging through a doll’s head. I’ve heard SO MUCH about Ruth’s novels but have yet to read one. Winter is my favorite time to read mysteries and this one sounds GOOD.

Mort by Terry Pratchett
Death comes to Mort with an offer he can’t refuse — especially since being, well, dead isn’t compulsory. As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won’t need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he’d ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.

Sir Terry! Discworld is one intimidating series, mostly because there are an absurd number of series within the series. Mort, for example, is the 4th Discworld novel, but the 1st in the Death series. I love the idea of Death seeking an apprentice and can’t get enough of novels that feature a character actually taking on the role (Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job remains one of my favorites). I’m expecting to have a VERY good time with Mort, it’s Terry Pratchett after all!

The Dark Deeps by Arthur Slade
Transforming his appearance and stealing secret documents from the French is all in a day’s work for fourteen-year-old Modo, a British secret agent. But his latest mission—to uncover the underwater mystery of something called the Ictíneo—seems impossible. There are rumors of a sea monster and a fish as big as a ship. French spies are after it, and Mr. Socrates, Modo’s master, wants to find it first. Modo and his fellow secret agent, Octavia, begin their mission in New York City, then take a steamship across the North Atlantic. During the voyage, Modo uncovers an astounding secret.

Eek, SIX YEARS AGO (!!) I read the first book, The Hunchback Assignments, and have been eager for a dip into the second novel ever since. Think a Steampunk YA version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame here. There are secret agents, robotic machines, shape-shifting, and one VERY snarky 14-year-old boy.

Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
A startling and eye-opening look into America’s First Family, Never Caught is the powerful narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave who risked it all to escape the nation’s capital and reach freedom.

I first mentioned this one back in January when I highlighted the nonfiction novels of 2017 I needed to get my hands on. Sadly, Never Caught is only one of two nonfiction books for this round of Tackling the TBR (I’m a HUGE nonfic nerd!) but I’m looking forward to reading this one and I think it’ll be a nice segue into a themed reading challenge I’m planning on starting in 2018!

The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage. Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?

The second of the two novels I already own, this one being an ARC. I’ve had VERY good luck with Tyndale releases this year and you really can’t go wrong with historical fiction! 1700s, a suspicious fire, revenge that blossoms into romance. Yep, I am definitely looking forward to spending a weekend curled up with this one.

Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer
When you think of serial killers throughout history, the names that come to mind are ones like Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy. But what about Tillie Klimek, Moulay Hassan, Kate Bender? The narrative we’re comfortable with is the one where women are the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrators. In fact, serial killers are thought to be so universally, overwhelmingly male that in 1998, FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood infamously declared in a homicide conference, “There are no female serial killers.”

Lady Killers, based on the popular online series that appeared on Jezebel and The Hairpin, disputes that claim and offers fourteen gruesome examples as evidence. Though largely forgotten by history, female serial killers such as Erzsébet Báthory, Nannie Doss, Mary Ann Cotton, and Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova rival their male counterparts in cunning, cruelty, and appetite for destruction.

I mean, do I really need to explain myself here???

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Not Now Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Not Now Not Ever by Lily Anderson
Pub. Date: November 21, 2017
Source: ARC via publisher (Thank you, Wednesday Books!)
Summary: Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn’t going to do this summer.

1. She isn’t going to stay home in Sacramento, where she’d have to sit through her stepmother’s sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn’t going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn’t going to the Air Force summer program on her mother’s base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender’s Game, Ellie’s seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it’s much less Luke/Yoda/”feel the force,” and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn’t appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she’d be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she’s going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer’s going to be great.
Genre: YA, Contemporary

Lily’s debut, the super quirky, uber nerdy The Only Thing Worse than Me is You, was one of my Top Reads of 2016 and I was practically counting down the days until her follow-up came out. Cutting right to it here: Not Now Not Ever was fun and entertaining, but didn’t grab me nearly as much as its predecessor.

Elliot comes from a military family and it’s not even a question of whether or not she’ll be following in their footsteps – it’s a given. What her family doesn’t know is that Elliot has no interest whatsoever in enlisting in the Air Force or their summer boot camp. Instead she hatches an elaborate plan (including a name change) and heads to an academic competition camp where she’ll be in the running for a full scholarship to her dream college aka the only one that offers a degree in Science Fiction.

Elliot Gabaroche has been shed like an old skin and Ever Lawrence emerges, ready to take down her fellow campers (even the cute boy who carries a typewriter everywhere and might possibly be a ghost) all in the name of chasing her dreams. That is, until her cousin shows up. Both Ever and Isaiah have run away from their predetermined military careers and in order for them both to not get caught, they need to pose as siblings, as twins, for the next few weeks. Easier said than done, right?

Lily Anderson is fantastic at crafting characters. In my review of The Only Thing, I mentioned how I wanted to be friends with Trixie, with Ben, with their entire group and the same holds true here. Lily writes real characters, genuine and flawed to the point that I could easily believe they’re actual people. In Not Now Not Ever, characters from her debut are back, college-aged this go round, and are working as the camp counselors. While it’s a joy to see familiar faces, the focus instead is on the campers. These super genius kids are cutthroat, happy to make friends, but each one vying for a full scholarship to an incredibly elite college.

I live for Jeopardy, trivia nights, board games. Matt and I are currently binging on all incarnations of The Chase. Odd facts and obscure knowledge make me swoon. The reason I mention that? The summer camp and its absurdly rigorous competition is a giant trivia game. Sure they have races mixed in, but at the start each camper receives a massive binder full of facts they’re expected to memorize. Who coined the term impressionism, name three Baroque composers, who are the Hugo Awards named after, the list goes on and on and I delighted in this side of the novel!

The book seamlessly weaves together a romance, family drama, and finding yourself. I was there for every second. The one thing I did take issue to, however, was that the book read a little as being diverse for diversity’s sake. Ever is African-American and comes from a blended family. Her mother lives and works on a military base in Colorado, while Ever calls California home with her dad, her (White) stepmom, and younger brother. Her roommate at camp is mixed race; there’s the token gay couple; naturally there are the cliques of Mean Girls, hipsters, goths; there’s a fellow camper only ever described by her hijab. The multicultural, multi-ethnic group of campers was great, but it never felt organic to me. It came off as though Lily had a checklist of x and wanted to make sure everyone was accounted for.

Despite that minor issue, Not Now Not Ever was a quick and fun read. There are plenty of nerdy jokes and references and, once again, Lily has written a great group of kids I would have loved to have been friends with in high school. It’s interesting, though: at one point in the novel, Ever and Brandon discuss sequels (specifically Ready Player One and Armada) and the comment is made how second books are never as good, that they’re always a letdown. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call this one a letdown, it definitely didn’t captivate me as much as Lily’s debut. Still, it was a delightful follow-up that I’m positive will find many fans!

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weekly wrap-up 11/19

• We had our first snow here in Pittsburgh early this week. And by snow I mean itty bitty barely noticeable flurries that melted before they hit the ground. And I am a-okay with that! Thankfully it warmed up to the 50s the rest of the week, though we might be more snow today ugh.

• This morning an indie bookstore I follow on facebook shared this article: Our Love Affair with Digital is Over.

“Sales of old-fashioned print books are up for the third year in a row, according to the Association of American Publishers, while ebook sales have been declining. Independent bookstores have been steadily expanding for several years. Vinyl records have witnessed a decade-long boom in popularity (more than 200,000 newly pressed records are sold each week in the United States), while sales of instant-film cameras, paper notebooks, board games and Broadway tickets are all growing again.”

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? I am WAY late to Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy series, but I’m thrilled to say I’m absolutely hooked! The Ghost of Christmas Past is quick and highly entertaining: 10 years ago, a 3-year-old girl wandered out into the snow and was never seen again. …on Christmas Eve, however, a young girl appears at the door and claims to be that same girl. SO good.

On a Cold, Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell
As the Titanic sank, three women (a con artist, a wealthy American, and a Swedish farm girl) watch from a lifeboat. Twenty years later a sudden death brings them back together. The blurb mentions secrets they share and yessss I am SO there. Thank you, Lake Union Publishing!)

The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
I was so impressed with The Ghost of Christmas Past that I immediately requested this! A standalone about a woman who uncovers secrets about her father’s past. In 1944, a British soldier is badly wounded, he seeks shelter in a monastery, there’s a forbidden romance. 30 years later his estranged daughter returns home for her father’s funeral and finds an unopened letter that leads her to Tuscany. Thank you, Lake Union Publishing!)

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The Ghost of Christmas Past by Rhys Bowen

The Ghost of Christmas Past (Molly Murphy #17) by Rhys Bowen
Pub. Date: November 14, 2017
Source: e-ARC via publisher (Thank you, Minotaur!)
Summary: Semi-retired private detective Molly Murphy Sullivan is suffering from depression after a miscarriage following her adventure in San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906. She and her husband, Daniel, are invited for Christmas at a mansion on the Hudson, and they gratefully accept, expecting a peaceful and relaxing holiday season.
Not long after they arrive, however, they start to feel the tension in the house’s atmosphere. Then they learn that the host couple’s young daughter wandered out into the snow ten years ago and was never seen again. Molly can identify with the mother’s pain at never knowing what happened to her child and wants to help, but there is so little to go on. No ransom note. No body ever found. But Molly slowly begins to suspect that the occupants of the house know more than they are letting on. Then, on Christmas Eve, there is a knock at the door and a young girl stands there. “I’m Charlotte,” she says. “I’ve come home.”

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Historical Mystery

Last week in my 5 things I’m loving right now post, I mentioned Rhys Bowen. While she’s new-to-me as a reader, when I was a bookseller we’d see her books by the truckload! The Molly Murphy series alone has 17 books! She always seemed the an author I would enjoy…and I’m so thrilled to say I was right. Not only did I tear through The Ghost of Christmas Past, but I’m already itching to dive into the first novel and do a serious binge read!

After suffering a miscarriage, Molly Murphy is just now beginning to slip from her depression. When she and her husband Daniel are invited to a friend’s grand mansion for Christmas, they readily accept, eager to spend the holidays among their friends. At first, everything is pleasant: Molly’s toddler Liam and her mother-in-law’s companion Bridie and new maid Ivy are all thoroughly overwhelmed (and positively enchanted) by the house’s vast size – both Bridie and Ivy were raised in an orphanage and have certainly never seen anything so luxurious and massive before – yet quickly take to exploring the mansion’s many rooms and Molly discovers her two good friends happen to be staying at the hotel that’s practically next door.

It’s one of these rooms that leads to the reveal of a terrible tragedy. A nursery, untouched for years, full of any and every toy a little girl could ever want. Molly learns their hosts for Christmas, the Van Aikens, once had a daughter named Charlotte. On Christmas ten years ago, the 3-year-old simply wandered out into the snow and, despite an intense police investigation and search, she was never seen again. …until now. Exactly ten years to the day, there’s a knock at the door revealing a young girl claiming to be the Van Aikens’ daughter.

While a returned child long thought dead would be a cause for celebration (and Mrs. Van Aiken, Winnie, certainly is wasting no time lavishing her daughter with attention and love), Molly isn’t as readily accepting of the girl’s story. Where she was, how she escaped and came home, something doesn’t add up – particularly after Molly learns an elderly aunt’s recent passing most definitely was not due to natural causes. With the help of her police officer husband, Molly is determined to uncover the girl’s true identity – and finally learn what became of Charlotte the night she wandered out into the snow.

The Ghost of Christmas Past was such a great read – short and quick, absolutely perfect for a newcomer to the series and I’m sure would be a great read for longtime fans as well. Because I hadn’t read the previous novels, the circumstances behind Molly’s miscarriage were unknown to me, as was Bridie’s history as an orphan turned maid turned beloved companion, but I was easily brought up to speed and before I knew it, I was completely attached to these characters!

The mystery itself was so intriguing: a little girl seemingly vanished into thin air and now a decade later a young girl turns up and claims to be that same missing child. Um, sign me up! Because this is a cozy, there’s next to no gore at all (I can see other mystery authors writing a MUCH darker story – and I would read each and every one of them), but I was still captivated. Because I hadn’t read the other novels, I wasn’t familiar with which characters were new and which ones already had established histories, but there was one scene where I immediately knew what the Big Reveal would be. In no way did my correct guess take away from the story. In fact, I think I enjoyed it even more, I wanted to see how Molly would work it all out!

I’m ashamed it’s taken me this long to finally read a Rhys Bowen novel – the first Molly Murphy book came out in 2001, her debut was released in 1997! – but it’s safe to say I’m absolutely hooked! The Ghost of Christmas Past was a highly entertaining read that completely sucked me in and had me turning pages as a rapid-fire pace. I was instantly drawn to Molly and her family and couldn’t be happier this series is so long – I can’t wait to have more Molly Murphy in my life!

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weekly wrap-up 11/12

• Another short and sweet wrap-up! After the excitement of buying a new car last week, I kept up the newness with a gorgeous winter coat (if you follow me on IG I shared a picture in my stories!) and yesterday I had about a foot of hair cut off and decided to go blonde. ♥ love it.

• A few days ago I shared my armchair travels through my recent reads: the Great Depression, the 1600s, the early 1900s, the Russian Revolution, I even spend an afternoon in space! Every few months I’ll post on facebook about these armchair adventures and I truly can’t imagine how someone could hate to read.

MISSED IT THIS WEEK? I shared 5 things I’m loving right now, from new-to-me authors to something I’ve been adding to my hot chocolate!