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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
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- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
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- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
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- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
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- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Moo A Gentle, Heartwarming Tale of Kindness

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Reena, a 12-year-old who's just moved from the city to rural Maine, isn't sure what to expect from her new home.  Blueberries, lobster, boating—that's about all she knows of the state.  Farming is not on the list.  But when Reena's parents suggest she and her brother offer to help their cantankerous neighbor, Mrs. Falala, with her animals, that's exactly what she finds herself doing.  Zora, the old woman's ornery cow, quickly becomes Reena's arch nemesis.  No matter what she does, nothing seems to go right.  Reena's fed up with it all—Maine, Mrs. Falala, the animals, everything.

Then a strange thing happens.  The more time Reena spends helping her neighbor, the more invested she becomes.  Can a little kindness win over both a stubborn old woman and her disobedient cow?  How about a city girl with a bad attitude?  Reena is about to find out ...

Told in a blend of poetry and prose, Moo, a new middle grade novel by Sharon Creech, is a sweet, tender story about the magic that can happen when we dare to step outside of our comfort zones.  The characters are likable, the book's format intriguing.  Fun word art makes the text come alive, making it more meaningful.  Overall, the tale is a gentle one.  Not super exciting, but engaging nonetheless.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Moo from the generous folks at HarperCollins.  Thank you!

Atmospheric Shetland Thriller Another Exciting Installment in Compelling Mystery Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Red Bones, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Shetland books.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Hattie James, an English post-graduate student working on a PhD in archaeology, is as surprised as anyone when she discovers human remains at her Whalsay dig site.  The locals are intrigued—is this an ancient skeleton or one with a more recent pedigree?  When an old woman is killed nearby, accidental though the death seems to be, the spot seems cursed.  Not long after, Hattie's dead body is discovered in one of the trenches at the site.  Everyone knew the intense young woman loved Shetland—did she commit suicide so she'd never have to leave it?

Three deaths in the same locale cannot be coincidental.  Detective Jimmy Perez knows there's something more to the story.  But what?  What did Hattie dig up?  Did her discovery lead to her death?  Perez is determined to find out whose bones were buried at the site and what, if anything, they had to do with the other deaths.  In the process, he'll discover lurid secrets kept bottled up by tight-lipped islanders.  Can he use this insider's knowledge to crack the puzzling case?  With his girlfriend away in London, Perez has all the time in the world to solve it ... or does he?

Red Bones, the third book in Ann Cleeves' mystery series set in the Shetland Islands, is another compelling, atmospheric thriller.  Blending an intriguing plot with complex characters and fascinating glimpses at island culture, it's an engrossing read.  Although the story builds slowly, it's never boring.  I cared about its people and was surprised by the identity of the killer.  I've enjoyed the first three books in the Shetland series; I can't wait to see what happens in the last four.  

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Shetland series [Raven Black; White Nights; Blue Lightning; Dead Water; Thin Air; and Cold Earth]; also reminds me of Peter May's Scottish thrillers)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated: 


for language (one F-bomb, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

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Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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