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Just Books

Long overdue book reviews which I know is what some of you like best of all. Please comment with your recommendations! Some of these are repeats but I haven't been great about sending out emails when I post so you get some of these again.

Life and Other Near Death Experiences

Camille Pagan

This is a fun, sweet story. My kind of romantic read. Libby is just fun made moreso by the fact that she runs off to the beach after receiving bad news about her marriage and her health. There isn't much in the way of suspense here, you see where this one is going pretty early on, but it does all the expected things in a very lovely way with little sweet sips of hilarity.

Every Last Fear

Alex Finlay

I'm so far behind in my reviews that I can review my IRL bookclub book here! This one was just alright for me. It has a good amount of mystery and I definitely wanted to find out what had happened to Matt's family, but there's not much memorable about it. In a year, I doubt I even remember it.

Mr. Nobody Catherine Steadman

If you read Something in the Water, this is the same author which is what brought me to it. (I love a good psych thriller to listen to while I walk the Urban Farm Mutts.) Dr. Emma Lewis is invited to asses a stranger who shows up without any identification or memory. But yet he seems to know things about Emma -- things that have long sense been sealed up and stored away. Great suspense and several twisty turns.

The Rain in Sapphire

Kayla Rose

A mysterious woman moves into the stately, yet, slightly run down house next door? Man, those two things are JFoBookBait for sure. How could I not read this one? Minty Judson the mysterious and stand-offish neighbor intrigues Mia from the moment she pulls up in her red truck and unloads that trunk. Mia struggles with some typical coming of age tropes like following her own dreams vs. those of her mother. In finding her way she connects with Minty and with the "golden boy" of the town, Daniel. Mia's lesson is that things are rarely what they appear. Everyone has their own story to share if you take time to hear it.

Turtles All the Way Down

John Green

This YA book had been on my TBR (to-be-read) list for a long time so I finally downloaded the Audible version earlier this spring. Then a local billionaire named Russell Pickett goes missing Aza and her fearless friend, Daisy, set out to claim the reward that leads to his return. Along the way they meet up with Davis Pickett the son who has complicated feelings about his father's disappearance. Wrap all of this up in Aza's spiraling thoughts about being a good friend, daughter, student and person. This would be a great mother-daughter summer read!

Happiness for Beginners & Things You Save in a Fire

Katherine Center

I look forward to Katherine Center books like I look forward to dessert -- then I consume them voraciously! I find myself saving them. They are full of joy and good triumphing bad. I read that the Dallas Morning News describes her books as "soul-nourishing" and that's a pretty perfect description. I've read two of them this spring:

Happiness for Beginners Helen signs up for a survival adventure only to learn that her brother's annoying best friend is also coming on the trip. Helen is determined to stay away from Duncan. She's assigned to the slowest group, makes mistake after mistake and often feels like her purpose is to merely be the "bad example" to the group. But in the end, her determination and perseverance to find joy win out.

Things you Save in a Fire Cassie is a firefighter in Austin Texas when two unrelated events set her life into a tailspin. A call from her mostly-estranged mother presents an ask that Cassie is NOT willing to consider. Not until the second event puts her once white-hot firefighter career on the back burner.* Fast-forward to a life split between old-school, male centric firehouse and and her mother's quirky house.

*See what I did here? Fire? White hot? Back burner? I crack me up!

Ok reader friends - get busy. Please comment below with what you're reading or tag @UrbanFarmTX in your review of these or other books.

Have a great week.


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