Lapping Up Books

reading, Beautiful Exiles, book reviewsWhen I’m reading a book, I become a Beautiful Exile, not made of Blood and Bone and under no Rule of Law. The only Contract I’m under is between me, the author, and the characters who transplant me Through the Evil Days to a place where I can Hope for the Best and become a Dream Daughter of the reading world.

Non-readers believe that a story is made up of Big Little Lies, but they belong to the Kingdom of the Blind. How I wish I could explain to those who don’t believe in novels that if they read Between the Lines, they’d reach a Reckoning, and even Atonement. For after reading a book, Come Sundown, the Secret Keeper of their hearts and minds would expand, unlike Normal People.Sunwielder, D Wallace Peach, book review, fantasy

We readers lap up books like Energy Medicine; medicine that makes us feel like we’re on a Royal Holiday with every turn of the page. It’s a Calmer Secret, this magic of reading. We become Lighthouse Keepers of books, shining a light like a Sunwielder, even becoming Sunburn at times.

Reading makes us Crazy Rich as we enter the Museum of Modern Love, full of books that contain fantasy or romance, suspense or mystery, literary fiction or Transcriptions of unadulterated life.

A Better Man, Louise Penny, book reviewsMy One Good Deed as I welcome the year of 2020 is to share the list of books I’ve read this past year in hopes that you will also find joy and enlightenment in a title or ten, and become A Better Man or Woman for the reading.

knock your socks off, grandparenting love

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Feel free to share the title of a book that knocked your socks off this past year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books I Read in 2019, in order of appearance (I enjoyed all of these books – those asterisked knocked my socks off). Titles in bold are those used for my storied post:

  • **Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate
  • Seven Letters from Paris, Samantha Verant
  • **Kingdom of the Blind, Louise Penny
  • **Beautiful Exiles, Meg Waite Clayton
  • **Sunburn, Laura Lippman
  • Atonement, Tegan Riordaiin Geneviene
  • The Moth Presents: All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown
  • Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
  • The Contract, John Howell, Gwen Plano
  • The Dream Daughter, Diane Chamberlain
  • Come Sundown, Nora Roberts
  • **Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty
  • *Youngblood Hawke, Herman Wouk
  • The Reckoning, John Grisham
  • Tony’s Wife, Adriana Trigiani
  • **Sunwielder, D. Wallace Peach
  • Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose
  • Of Blood and Bone, Book 2, Nora Roberts
  • **Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
  • The Sober Diaries, Clare Pooley
  • **A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherry Thomas
  • The Rule of Law, John Lescroart
  • Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz
  • Since You’ve Been Gone, Christa Allan
  • Transcriptions, Kate Atkinson
  • Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events, Stevie Turner
  • Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One, Raphaelle Giordano R
  • **The Alice Network, Kate Quinn
  • The Library of Lost and Found, Phaedra Patrick
  • Trudy’s Diary, Amy Reade
  • Fool Me Once, Catherine Bybee
  • ** The Lost for Words Bookshop, Stephanie Butland
  • Native Country of the Heart, Cherrie Moraga
  • **A Conspiracy in Belgravia, Sherry Thomas
  • **The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton
  • Nine Perfect Strangers, Lianne Morarity
  • Between the Lines, Dave Cenker
  • **Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Lori Gottlieb
  • The Summer Country, Lauren Willig
  • Collected Stories, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Shadow of Death, William Tapply
  • The Right Sort of Man, Allison Montclair
  • A Bachelor Establishment, Jodi Taylor/Isabella Barklay
  • **Dead, White and Blue, Amy Reade
  • Once More We Saw Stars, Jayson Greene
  • **City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Flight Attendant, Chris Bohjalian
  • **Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl, Marian Longenecker Beaman
  • **Through the Evil Days, Julia Spencer-Fleming
  • The Wedding Date, Jasmine Guillory
  • Supply and Demand: The story of a young woman trafficked into the sex industry, Roy McCarthy
  • Summer by the Tides, Denise Hunter
  • Normal People, Sally Rooney
  • Sounds Like Titanic, Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman
  • **A Mother for His Twins, Jill Weatherholt
  • Kasey to the Rescue, Ellen Rogers
  • The Bird King, G. Willow Wilson
  • Queen Bee, Dorothea Benton Frank
  • **Carnegie’s Maid, Marie Benedict
  • **A Better Man, Louise Penny
  • **We Are All Welcome Here – Elizabeth Berg
  • *The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Kate Morton
  • One Good Deed, David Baldacci
  • Summerland: A Novel, Elin Hilderbrand
  • **After I’m Gone, Laura Lippman
  • **The Dutch House, Ann Patchett
  • **Calmer Secrets, Jennifer Kelland Perry
  • Energy Medicine, Donna Egan
  • **The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, Hazel Gaynor
  • Hope for the Best, Jodi Taylor
  • A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder, Dianne Freeman
  • **My Dear Hamilton, Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie
  • Royal Holiday, Jasmine Guillory

 

144 thoughts on “Lapping Up Books

  1. What a creative way to tell of your “storied” year. I’m happy to see my memoir made the cut – merci beaucoup! 🙂

    Books we share on the list: *Where the Crawdads Sing,” Delia Owens and Jill Weatherholt’s A Mother for His Twins.”

    May you enjoy 2020 vision for new books in a new decade, my dear!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a clever way to tell us about the books you read. What a great selection as well. I really need to read more. One I read this past year that I really loved was Amy Tan´s The Bonesetter´s Daughter. I love her writing. Marian´s book was right up there as well. Happy Reading in 2020!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ve read some on your list. I read A Better Man (and Kingdom of the Blind), and I read Marian’s book in rough draft, and it’s on my list to buy and read in final form. I also read Kate Atkinson’s Transcriptions, and maybe some others on your list. I don’t keep a list of what I’ve read. Last year I planned to do it on Goodreads, but I find the site so annoying that I never did. I recently read Lara Prescott’s The Secrets We Kept, a novel that focuses on female spies during the Cold War–and the dissemination of Doctor Zhivago.

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    • As soon as I finish a book I add it to the list on my computer file that I begin each new year. Then, the title of the book not only sends me back to the story, but to where I was when I read the book. Kind of fascinating. I do try to add titles on Goodreads as well (but I agree, it’s not user friendly), because I like to give a good book a good review on there. Helps authors so much (and helps readers find an excellent author).
      I’ve added The Secrets We Kept to my list for 2020. THANKS!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I also liked The Secrets We Kept because it tells the story how Dr. Zvivago was written. Red Water by Judith Freeman was an interesting book for me because I am always interested in the history of my adopted country. Another good book I read was People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I loved A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towels . I want to read Woman Rowing North by Mary Piper . Another great post Pam, thanks.

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    • One of the reasons I can’t wait for the new year is to write my annual post of book titles I’ve read over the past year. Weird, huh? I enjoyed your list so much, Amy. You’re smart, reading a lot of books in the genre that you write – MYSTERY.

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  4. Oh Wow Pam, how clever that was to incorporate all those book titles.. I think i have read all of four books this year, but as I told Robbie when she produced her list, my knitting needles have been creating sparks this year instead..

    Books takes us into another realm of existence all together and one I can recommend which was a little different than the norm in regards to our connection with the Earth and each other as soul sisters is this one.. I re read this again just before Christmas, its been on a my bookshelves a couple of years, and while its fantasy, one can imagine all kinds of possibilities given we know we are Energy Beings and when one understands Quantum Physics is possible when we move matter and join the power of Love..

    The Book is called Gaia Codex… By Sarah Drew.. and I enjoyed it from beginning to end, even on the second reading.. 🙂

    Have a wonderful 2020 Pam.. Thank you for your friendship and support.. And so pleased to know that you also found Energy Medicine helpful..
    Love and Blessings..
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I love what you did with those titles. Makes me smile. And I read through your list of books read… but found few that I recognised, which might be because my main reading thrust is fantasy. But it might be because books are no almost as numerous as grains of sand on a shore. Why, I’ll say we’ll never run out of stories to be told. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. What a wonderful way to share books you’ve read Pam! You’ve stirred up my Book Lust and given me lots of good suggestions and a good mix of books. I mostly read fiction books that I can find at the library. I read a lot but don’t track them. It might be fun to do so this year. May our stories be rich in 2020.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Almost all of the books I read are from my library, Brad. I love that a number of libraries are in a consortium, so I can get just about any book I want. Also, my local library gives me a little bag of three books a month that the librarian thinks I’ll enjoy from a sheet that I fill out (about what kinds of books/genres I like). I have discovered a number of authors/book titles that otherwise I never would have read.
      And, ahem, I’m going to recommend Louise Penny books to you. They are mysteries, but totally character-driven and fun to read. But you need to start with the first – Still Life.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pam, I love your expression of “lapping up” the books. As far as I can tell
    you have quite a varied diet that includes a lot of treats. 🙂
    I will go through them closer and see what I would like to add to my non existent list.
    Might give that a go. I read every day so it must build up. .

    Miriam

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Pamela- Wow! What a great list! Thanks for sharing. I just finished another one you might like called “Inheritance“ by Dani Shapiro. Hope you’re doing well-Happy New Year! xox Julia

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Playing with titles and words reflects real Pam, I could see you juggling with those lovely titles, most of them unknown to me. Thanks for sharing Pam. I’ve read – ‘Before We Were Yours.’
    Wishing you a wonderful 2020. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oooooh. What a fun post and long delicious list of books! I’m just tickled to death to see Sunweilder included, Pam. Thank you so much. Happy Dancing and Hugs. Lol. I actually haven’t read many of these books and you’ve intrigued me into doing some browsing. Wishing you a most fabulous 2020, my friend. Happy Reading! (FYI – I set my new goal as 52 books – thanks for the idea). 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy browsing, Diana, and keep up with your Happy Dancing. Helps us during the difficulties of elderly parents and dreary weather (well, it helps me anyway, even if certain family members roll their eyes as I dance around the room). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for enjoying my “title” post. Yes, I’m an extraordinarily fast reader – just been that way since I was 5 and figured out what those squiggly lines meant on the page. I make myself slow down at times to make sure I take in a beautifully rendered metaphor or detailed description. But I do teach my writing students that a good story should be written to not stop the reader (in other words, no fancy words or show-off similies); a well-written book should make a reader want to keep on turning the pages. Happy Reading!

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      • I’m with you. I write with no frills. My first writing instructor at the Senior Center 7 years ago told me to keep my posts around 500 words. It was my first class in writing so I took it to heart. My vision has always been exceptionally poor so reading is a struggle but I’ve learned to feel the story without seeing all the words. Fortunately have never reached the point of needing braille but I do envy people who can read fast. I have so many books I still want to finish. I think I gave you the name of the book “The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back” But you are correct to look to energy medicine “Donna Eden” pioneered that. I think I saw your comment on Sue Dreamwalkers site. We are just beginning to know what the elders knew generations ago.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s wonderful that you take/took some writing classes! Yes, I encourage my students to write up to 500 words per “pod,” or short piece. Do you read any books on Audible? I’ve found doing so can help with my sore eyes. I can order Audibles through my library, too.
          Thanks to you, I have read The Ghost in my Brain, which I found fascinating and disturbing. Helped me understand a lot about my concussion side effect. Now, I’m working on upping my energy with the help of energy medicine. To reading and writing energetically in the best way we can. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • I listened to Ghost in my brain on audible. I’m going that direction almost exclusively. I’m grateful for audible. 🙂 I’m getting back into my energy medicine now that everything from the holiday is put away. 🙂

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  11. Love your clever way of posting the books you read this past year. I’ve read a few, but review so many children’s books that I’m sadly not getting my own reading done. I did manage to read Becoming by Michelle Obama and Home Work by Julie Andrews. But I will stop everything to read a new Kristin Hannah novel. My next read will be A Politics of Love by Marianne Williamson.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. love your reading list, Pam. Several books I must read in 2020. As good as the list is your commentary preceding the list. Reminds of Elie Wiesel’s wise and on-the-mark aphorism, “Somethings are true that never happened.” As always, love the mix of your words and long to read as much as you do. One of my junior high school teachers admonished the class, “Do not speed read books” and I took that to mean savor them, delight in them, have fun with them, let them open you in every way, befriend the characters and perhaps find yourself in one or more of them. I think those qualities are why I like your “The Right Wrong Man,” “Birds of Paradise,” and “Molly Finds Her Purr.” Cheers, dear friend

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love Wiesel’s quote – thank you for sharing! Fiction IS so real to me, and I know that the stores, though fiction, are truer than true.
      You are a dear man to not only read all of my fiction and children’s books, but to enjoy them as well. The best books are the ones in which the characters become our friends, for sure, as well as show us aspects of ourselves (good and bad).

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  13. You’ve read all these? I’m impressed! 🙂 🙂 The last book I completed was Everything I never told you, by Celeste Ng. A good and sensitive read. I’ve been struggling to finish Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, simply because it’s quite long and I interrupt myself to do something else and it sits unread for days at a stretch. 😦 Sad, isn’t it? But Happy New Year to you, Pam!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I read so many Neil Gaiman quotes that are “right on,” but I’ve never read one of his books! Do you recommend American Gods? He is so prolific as an author. I am adding Everything I Never Told You to my 2020 reading list! Thanks. Happy Reading New Year to you, Jo.

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      • It’s a great read, Pam. I started off totally captivated but so many things got in the way and it’s a long read. I just need time to pick it up again, but I’m very easily distracted 😦

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    • John Grisham is not only a good lawyer/suspense author, he’s an inspiration to all authors. He began writing his books (not quite believing in himself) on the train when he commuted to work. And his first book was rejected many times, but he stuck with it. Yay, Grisham. I’ve particularly enjoyed his last two novels.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You are so clever! You had a busy year reading, and you kept track of the books you read. I read so many books I couldn’t keep up with them. Next year I will do better and keep a list on my computer. I loved The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter! Happy New Year, Pam! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  15. This was a clever way to share your reading. I was impressed by the number of books in your post and then I got to your list. Good golly. I’ve found lately my reading goes the way of my NY resolutions – I start off well but then tend to get distracted and never quite go back to it. I’ll try and do better this year and have noted your recommendations which I may get to once I finish reading the five unfinished books on my bedside table…

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  16. Love your end of the year reading round-up, Pam.

    Our lists didn’t overlap much this year. I did read a book by Liane Moriarty, The Husband’s Secret, which I would describe as “not memorable” (or list-worthy.) 😉

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    • I try to read an “easy” book (fun women’s fiction or romantic suspense) in between every other literary or perhaps more challenging book. It’s like when I was a kid and made myself stop reading every single Nancy Drew book in a row. Had to read a different author every other book. 🙂

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  17. Transcriptions, where the Crawdads Sing, and The Alice Network are on my list of (38) books that I read last year, and Big Little Lies and City of Girls are on my “to read” list. I just finished The Kite Runner, and it was wonderful!

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    • City of Girls surprised me, Cindy. I liked it more than I thought I would. On the other hand, Transcriptions did not stir me like other Kate Atkinson books have in the past. Kite Runner made me cry! ❤

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      • Yes! Kite Runner was an emotional experience! Yet beautifully written and so soul-baring. And I learned so much about that part of the world, the culture and even the recent history. I agree with you about Transcriptions; many others stayed with me longer.

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    • Yes, in fact, I may reread Sunwielder – so much in there! I know you’re a big (and fast) reader like I am. Hope you’ve had a great reading year in 2019. Here’s to our next books … that WE write!

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      • I’m moving on to Book 2 of my latest work, but haven’t settled on a blurb for Book 1 yet. I didn’t have as much trouble before, but I suppose it’s because this series is more complicated, being post-apocalyptic and all.
        How about you, Pam? What are you working on now? Forgive me if I missed it or worse, forgot!

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  18. What a clever blogpost, Pamela! I love to read, and I have a nice long list from this year and I’m already compiling the list of books I hope to read this year. I also read several on your list, but see many other titles completely unfamiliar to me. I love booklists, so thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad you enjoyed my book list, Debra. Like you, I enjoy seeing what others have read and enjoy. We all have eclectic tastes in reading; sometimes I’ll try a book that another suggests even though it’s out of my comfort zone or a genre I ignore and discover I love it.

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  19. Oh, my! What a long list you have! I haven’t kept track of what I’ve read, but I notice that a have a few in common with you: The Dutch House, Big Little Lies, Nine Perfect Strangers, City of Girls, Beautiful Exiles, Collected Stories by Gabriel Garcis Marquez, and The Flight Attendant. All good books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We have very similar tastes! Are you a fan of Chris Bohjalian also? Each of his books are so different and have an edge to them so some make me feel uncomfortable, but they are all so well-written I end up learning a lot. The Flight Attendant is a perfect example of that. The Dutch House came with iffy reviews, but I love Ann Patchett’s writing so much that I read it and ended up falling in love with the characters, of course. Happy reading!

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    • Yes, thanks for “liking” my reviews on Goodreads, Elizabeth. Helps me know at least someone is paying attention to my reviews. They are so important for authors. I don’t think I could pull off what your high school roommate does, but I find it fun (and dare I say, easy?) to play around with my reading titles. In fact, it’s kind of like playing with a puzzle. Happy reading in 2020. xo

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  20. Pam, I’m always in awe of your post this time of year! How do you manage to weave so many book titles into the introduction?! 😀 Such a delight to read and yeah, a book list to finish! My favourite type of lists and I’ve already got some reading ideas for this year. Kate Morton is someone I’ve meant to read more of and look forward to checking out her books. Also, I must read Collected Stories, Gabriel Garcia Marquez … I read so many of his books and they are mesmerising and love the idea of just short stories! Happy Reading in 2020 and have a magical year, my friend! Xx 😀❤️🦋

    Liked by 2 people

    • I believe you’re the one who inspired me to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez – I figured I’d start with the short stories. I think you told me some of my stories seemed of the same ilk as Marquez, particularly the “lizard” one and a few other speculative fiction posts. He’s a master at that, for sure. Magical realism. I treat reading a book as a treat I deserve at the end of a working/writing day. Sinking into another author’s imagination is pure magic to me. We both appreciate magic, so I wish you the same – a Magical 2020. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Wow – what a list! We’ve read 9 of the same books. I forgot that you read Youngblood Hawke – congratulations! I hope you liked it. Some of the books you’ve read were already on my TBR and now I’ve added a few more. Happy New Year, Pam!

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  22. How you wrote was so creative, Pam! A huge round of applause from me! Clever clever clever! I saw many books on your list that I have read and many more I have not. I plan on copying this list and putting them in my notes for further study. Ask hubby. You can find me when on break or a down day with my nose in a book. He’s astonished how fast I read. Thank you so much for this share. A good book is priceless!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Impressive list there Pam and I do love the way you introduced the titles into your post.. I recognize a few authors and titles, and it makes me realize I need to go to the local bookstore here. Which is certainly not even close to a Borders or Barnes and Nobles or anything like that. No, it’s a tiny bookstore with a few walls of used books and another of newer titles which are I think reprinted somewhere in Asia and therefore poor quality but very inexpensive and I have found quite a few good reads in the past. Happy reading for 2020. If I only could be so organized as to actually know what I read in a year, and it’s a fraction of what you have!! A mere fraction…..:)

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Aaahhhh … another list of books that gets the literary juices flowing. So many books, so little time. The book that I read this past year that knocked my socks off was “Whistling Past the Graveyard” by Susan Crandall. It’s on the bookcase that just holds novels that I would read again. Tx for the list!

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  25. A fun and clever approach to discuss books, Pam. Yes, joy, enlightenment and I do become “Crazy Rich.” I love getting a list of book suggestions. Some I have read and some new to me. So many books, so little time. I still make the time.🙂

    I appreciate the title of your post, Pam. You remind me how I continue to check amazon.ca for “Molly Finds Her Purr.” Unusual about the 1-3 months shipping. This will likely change. I can see how it is a beautiful book I will share with my grandchildren. I look forward to connecting in 2020!🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  26. You mean you read more than the titles incorporated in this story? Which is such a cool way to share them. I think you did this last year as well? An impressive list!

    I promise I’ll do better this year, reading. So far in 2020, I haven’t been able to pick up a book yet, though. Not sure whether I will make my goal of one book a month. Busy times… Plus, I’m very critical when it comes to finally reading a book. Since it so rarely happens, it better be a good one. 🙂 My favorite of the five I touched in 2019 was “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer.

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    • I’m a huge reader and a fast one, which probably is one of the reasons reading is one of my biggest hobbies. I’m almost totally a fiction reader, though. Non-fiction goes much slower for me. I can easily read a book a week, and usually I read two, since one is on my Kindle or hardback, and the other is on Audible when I’m driving. I feel like I learn SO MUCH about people and places by reading. I think your goal of 12 books/year is perfect. Good luck and happy reading.

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  27. Most clever. You are making the most of your creativity with this post. I’d say the novel that knocked my socks off in 2019 was The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I still find myself thinking about it from time-to-time.

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  28. Pingback: Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk – still my favorite! | Book Club Mom

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