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Reading in December 2017

I feel a bit confused. Is it possible I only read eight books in December and nothing between December 11 and December 25? I'm sort of proud of myself for letting my brain rest and letting myself enjoy the holidays. If that's what happened. Well, my kids were both home from school, so they had something to do with it too. I can't nag them with questions about college and read at the same time.

I do have a list (again) of books I didn't read. I borrowed these books from the library, but, alas, didn't like them enough to go on or didn't feel I had the time (I don't like returning books late).

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
I started this one, but I didn't got far. The premise was interesting--a woman is participating in a reality wilderness-survival show when the rest of the world is thrown into some sort of catastrophe, one that she and the other contestants don't know about--but the story didn't hold me. Someone should read it and tell me what happens.

Faithful by Alice Hoffmann
Of course I'm going to read this, I just need more time. I don't read many Alice Hoffman books, but I enjoy those I do. This one takes place on Long Island and I'm looking forward to it.

Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand
This is not my type of book and I don't know why I put it on hold.

When We Were Sisters by Emilie Richards
Another book I started and dropped. It really didn't hold my interest.

The Lost Girls by Heather Young
I have to remember I don't really like psychological thrillers. This one, again, looked interesting, but didn't hold me for long.

And, we might have found out where that week in December disappeared. Moving on! Here's what I did read:

Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes (J, Fiction)
I'm a big fan of novels in verse for kids. They are like short stories: They pack a lot of punch in a small space. Like all of Nikki Grimes' books, this one is a good choice. The overweight protagonist who feels he can never please his dad is one kid to root for.

The Dog, Ray by Linda Coggin (J, Fiction)
A children's book about reincarnation. It's extremely sweet, but sad too. A young girl dies in a car accident and comes back as a dog. She tries very hard to reconnect with her dad, but is unable to do so. Still, things work out. I'm not sure I like that the girl becomes a dog. But this book is so tender it might break your heart. 

Moonglow by Michael Chabon (A, Fiction)
Close to another masterpiece by Chabon. This one will take you some time to read, but it's worth it. I wouldn't say I loved the book, but I did love the writing. I'm continually amazed by this man. 

The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach (J, Fiction)
Two kids -- on a zookeeper's daughter, the other a runaway -- find out some dastardly doings at the zoo. It all works out somewhat at the end, but I would have liked this book more if Lizzie (the daughter) had told her dad the whole truth. Tell the truth, kids! Still, it's well-written, it has good plot and kids will like it. 

The Dead Sit Round in a Ring by David Lawrence (A, Fiction)
It worries me when I don't really remember a book. I just re-read some reviews of this one to refresh my memory and now I'm worried because I can't remember if I actually liked it, or just thought it was OK. I think I'm leaning toward the latter because I gave it only three stars on GoodReads and feel I'm not going to read another in the DS Stella Mooney series). I kind of remember being frustrated by some of the cookie-cutter police procedural elements (female cop being treated badly by her male co-workers, chasing false leads, probably more... I have no idea).

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor (J, Fiction)
What a good book. Perry is being raised in a prison because his mom gave birth to him while she was incarcerated. She is working hard to get out and nearing her parole, when a new politician in town finds out about the arrangement. He thinks he's helping by removing Perry from the prison, but he's not. Perry is cute and smart and maybe a little too perfect, but that won't stop any kid from enjoying this book and learning more about how some other people live.

The Last Time She Saw Him by Jane Haseldine (A, Fiction)
Each and every one of us should beware the words "a novel of suspense." I know I should. This is a sloppy novel with a somewhat unbelievable heroine. She's a crime reporter who takes unbelievable chances with her life -- especially considering she's also a mom and supposed to be intelligent. I know risks make suspense, but in this case, the risks just seemed stupid. I gave it two stars and I will not read the next novel in the series.

Cold Hearts by Gunnar Staalesen (A, Fiction)
Who loves nordic noir? I do! I didn't love the prostitute story or the organized crime angle in this book, but I can't help but like Norwegian detectives. What can I say? Detective Veum is one of the good guys and I look forward to more stories from Staalesen.

That's a wrap. I hope to get to my January books soon.

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