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6 new book reviews!


I haven’t had a lot of time to read lately and, unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend some of the books I actually took the time to finish. But there are a handful I think you should definitely read. This is a pretty eclectic selection, so there’s something for everyone.

Enjoy, and please let me know what you’re reading now.

I Let You GoI Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Wait! Stop the presses! I stayed up most of last night reading this book and had to include it even though it’s not in that photo, above. The fact that I couldn’t go to sleep without finishing it is a ringing endorsement in itself. I’m not going to tell you a lot about it because it’s got twists and turns a la Gone Girl, and it will keep you guessing until the end. It’s the story of a hit and run accident in which a little boy is killed. That is seriously all you should know before plunging into this psychological thriller. Be prepared to hold your breath and gasp out loud. Read it at the same time as a friend so you can discuss it as soon as you finish reading.

The Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendThe Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

I have a special place in my heart for books about books, and I was so enamored by this story that I really tried to read it sloooooowly so I could spend more time in the little Midwestern town of Broken Wheel with these quirky characters. Sara, who lives in Sweden, where’s she just lost her job at a bookstore, agrees to come visit her pen pal, Amy, in Iowa, for the summer. Of course, things don’t turn out quite the way Sara had expected but, thanks to her love of books, she manages to overcome her shyness and make herself a valuable part of the community. I savored every page of this book and am now ready to start a movement to make sure every town in the country has a bookstore of its own.

Setting the World on FireSetting the World on Fire by Shelley Emling

What’s a nice Jewish girl doing reading about — to quote the subtitle — “The Brief, Astonishing Life of St. Catherine of Siena?” Well, on our recent Viking Ocean Cruise, we actually spent an afternoon in the village of Valldemossa, Mallorca, where every house proudly featured tiles honoring Santa Catalina Thomas. This made me want to know more about her, which then led me to another St. Catherine — the patron saint of Italy, an early feminist who refused to get married and who actually cut off her hair to show she didn’t care about her physical appearance. The story of how she became one of the most beloved — and well-respected — figures of all time is fascinating, and Emling’s research is impeccable, filled with vivid descriptions that bring you back in time. That being said, this is a surprisingly fast-paced read and St. Catherine of Siena is a surprisingly modern heroine. You can already picture the movie being made.

The Missing KennedyThe Missing Kennedy by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff

This memoir about Rosemary Kennedy is both heartbreaking and inspiring. The “lost” Kennedy sister, Rosemary was sent away by her father, Joe, after the lobotomy he secretly made her have left her severely disabled. The author is the niece of Sister Paulus, the nun who cared for Rosemary for years, and the story is told through her perspective, with many personal photos and anecdotes. It is shocking that Rosemary was hidden away — and probably something that couldn’t happen today. The “silver lining” of Rosemary’s story is that her sister, Eunice, became a passionate activist for the disabled, ultimately creating the Special Olympics and starting a national conversation about mental illness. This is an important story to make sure that conversation continues.

Nowhere GirlNowhere Girl by Susan Strecker

Years after her twin sister, Savannah, is strangled and left to die in an abandoned house, Cady learns that the case has been reopened and that police now suspect she was killed not by a stranger but by someone who loved her. That information is devastating to Cady, who has become a bestselling writer of thrillers and would never have considered the story could end that way. While researching her own book and trying to help find her sister’s murderer, she discovers she’s been lied to and betrayed by those she thought she knew best. Although I guessed who-done-it, the book did keep me turning pages and rooting for Cady, a thoughtful and likable character. I was also intrigued by Strecker’s compassionate perspective of the unique and complex bond between twins.

The Killing ForestThe Killing Forest by Sara Blaedel

Denmark’s “Queen of Crime” returns with a new thriller featuring police investigator Louise Rick. You don’t need to have read any of her other books to become fully immersed in this one but if you read The Forgotten Girls — which you should — you’ve probably been waiting to see what would happen next. Blaedel doesn’t disappoint. This time around, Louise is assigned to find a missing boy, which leads her into the disturbing world of the Asatro, a cult who worship ancient Norse gods and believe in sacrifices, rituals and secrecy. Signature Blaedel, the story is dark, creepy and, oh, so good.


  1. I’m anxious to read them all, thanks! Except for the lost kennedy….her story is so tragic, and Joe Kennedy an absolute monster.

  2. Oh Wow i just found a few new reads. plus a couple to share with my friend. Thank you for showing me these books I love to read.

  3. So first, I went to Amazon and opened up my lists . Then I went back to your post and added most of the books to them. Thank you.

  4. Love the list. Will pass on The Missing Kennedy. Have read so much about her and each time my heart breaks and anger swells that a father would do that to his daughter. Criminal. Am looking up the Clare Macintosh book now! Thanks!

  5. Ooh, I’m interested on Setting the World on Fire by Shelley Emling.
    And The Missing Kennedy!

  6. Michelle says:

    Loved Gone Girl, now you have me checking the library for I Let You Go. Sounds like my kind of read.

  7. Lucky me — I read your review round-up in a library! Making it easy to put a few titles on hold. I agree that every town should have a bookstore. It’s sad that they don’t. I blame the chains. And Amazon. I wonder if indy bookstores will ever come back?

  8. Now I want to read all of them. I must start setting aside more reading time because I am excited by all of these for different reasons. I need a book to keep me up all night.

  9. Thank you! I’ve been looking for some good reads. I added this to my list!

  10. Oh god Lois you had to remind me about how much I love the Louise Rick books–my money should go straight to Amazon!

  11. Time to add to my Goodreads list! Thank you. They all sound wonderful, but I’m especially interested in Rosemary Kennedy’s story. I’m a sucker for heartbreaking but ultimately inspirational memoirs and biographies.

    (PS: When I grow up, I want to be able to read as quickly as you. You amaze me at the piles of books you plow through!)

  12. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    More books to add to my list! There will never be a dearth of good books to read. I’m glad to see your recommendations, Lois.

  13. All of these books sound so good. Pinning to my Books to be Read Board!

  14. My must read list is growing with your wonderful list. I think The Missing Kennedy will be the first one. Thank you.

  15. I am always looking for new books! Thanks for sharing these. I will add them to my list!

  16. I have a couple of these on my goodreads list now! I need to finish my book club book first!

  17. Woo Hoo I love getting book reviews so I can decide. I have three on the list here that I want to read. Thanks!

  18. I
    Great list. The Kennedy book sounds fascinating and so does the St Catherine book since I was recently in Siena.

  19. Great reviews! I’ve added some to my reading list. With summer on the way, I’m hoping to be able to crack open more books.

  20. One book is exciting. Six books is rocking awesome! Thanks for the share!

  21. Oh thank you SO MUCH!!!!!

  22. What an amazing list! I can’t wait to check some of them out! Now I have a summer reading list!

  23. Great recommendations! I have such a difficult time finding books I love- but will absolutely check into I Let You Go and Setting the World on Fire.

  24. Inspiration to get reading through the pile of books next to my bed so I can add a couple of these to the stack! Great list.

  25. I love your list Lois. Can’t wait to read, I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh!

  26. Every one of your reviews earns me lots of points on my bookstore rewards card. As always, great suggestions, Lois. Stocking up for summer reading now.

  27. Thanks…I needed this!

  28. These all sound like great books, can’t wait to read them!

  29. Great write-up, sharing now! The St. Catherine of Siena book sounds fascinating.

  30. Great reviews!! I am going to pin this post so I remember them next time I head to the library. Particularly excited about the mysteries, thanks!!

  31. I jotted 3 to read! Thanks Lois. I love your book recommendations.

  32. Love the list! I have the Broken Wheel book on my Kindle, waiting for me. The others I’ll have to look into! Thanks for the recs!

  33. Thanks Lois, this is a great list.
    I’m snuggling in for some autumn/winter reading months down here in the Southern Hemisphere; and now with a list to kickstart.

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