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review 2020-07-02 17:29
The Mystery of the Blue Train
The Mystery of the Blue Train - Agatha Christie

I re-read this previously back in 2014. I gave it 3 stars then, but gave this 4 stars now since I appreciated this one a bit more the second time through.


Previous review:


We have the famous Hercule Poirot on the scene again investigating who murdered heiress Ruth Kettering.


When the novel begins we are introduced to many characters who will come to play some importance in showing how and why Ruth Kettering was murdered on the Blue Train she eventually takes for a rendezvous.


Though I am happy with the pains Ms. Christie took to provide depth and understanding to all of the characters I felt myself impatient since I wanted to get to Hercule Poirot.

After the disappointment of the "Big Four" I was glad to see that this was a classic who dun it and we don't have Poirot investigating a crazy crime syndicate in this one. However, there was still some disappointment.


A character we are introduced to in this novel, Katherine Grey, takes up a great portion of this story. She apparently is just one of those women that when a man meets falls instantly in love with her. I wish that there was some other reason for that since I myself couldn't see it. Though it was nice to read about St. Mary's Mead (home of Miss Marple) I rather would have had Miss Marple and Poirot meet in this novel and she help him solve the murder.


Additionally, when we get to the final who and why of the murder it makes no sense. Frankly for all of the pains that were taken the murderer could have taken up other means to get what they wanted without murder especially when you find out the person's reputation.


I was not at all surprised to find out that this was one of Christie's least favorite stories. This just didn't have quite the same oomph of her other novels. I still say my least favorite is "The Big Four" though.


One funny thing that I read was there was the discussion of trains and how "journeys end with lovers meeting" which quickly made me think of "The Haunting of Hill House" which creeped me out quite a bit.

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review 2020-07-01 22:26
Twisted Twenty-Six
Twisted Twenty-Six - Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum, Book 26

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continue the series

The Characters:

Stephanie Plum:
Joe Morelli:
Carlos “Ranger” Manoso:
Grandma Mazur, Lula, Connie,

The Story:

It has finally happened. Instead of having a Plum book waiting for me I now have to wait for them. *sigh* It’s okay I’ve enjoyed this series so much. Each installment brings me joy. Stephanie and crew are very special characters, especially Lula and Grandma. The series just wouldn’t be the same without them.

The Random Thoughts:


4 Stars

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text 2020-06-30 21:25
2020 Library Love Challenge Master Post - Update #2

Original Goal: Read 24 books from the library, any format (Thrifty level).

New Goal (July 1st): Read 36 books from the library, any format.


Update #1 - The first third of the year I managed 14 books. 

Update #2 - Sitting at 23 books by mid year. Decided to go up a level. 



1. The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

2. The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks on Race edited by Jesmyn Ward

3. Poppies of Iraq by Brigitte Findakly and Lewis Trondheim

4. Anchor in the Storm (Waves of Freedom #2) by Sarah Sundin

5. Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope

6. The White Darkness by David Grann



1. When Tides Turn (Waves of Freedom #3) by Sarah Sundin

2. Candy: A Century of Panice and Pleasure by Samira Kawash

3. Educated by Tara Westover



1. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

2. Golden in Death (In Death #50) by JD Robb

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot



1. Beauty Queens by Libby Bray

2. The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped Our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby



1. The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

2. War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence by Ronan Farrow

3. Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh

4. The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan Mallery

5. The Dead & the Gone (Last Survivors #2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer



1. Wytches: Volume 1 by Scott Snyder et al

2. Wonder Woman: Warbringer the Graphic Novel by Leigh Bardugo, Louise Simonson, and Kit Seaton

3. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

4. This World We Live In (Last Survivors #3) by Susan Beth Pfeffer














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text 2020-06-30 21:16
Library Love - June 30, 2020





I DNF'd Beneath the Ruthless Sun by Gilbert King. It was too dense with every person who ever lived in Central Florida being mentioned and no real narrative - it was dry historical look at the event. I just couldn't get into it.


Kids picked up their third prize of the Summer Reading Program - Sophia chose Winnie the Horse Gentler #5: Unhappy Appy by Dandi Daley Mackall; Joshua picked up Who Would Win? Hammerhead Vs. Bull Shark. We borrowed some kids graphic novels and a couple of non-fiction books to fill the last two prompts for one side of the kids' version of the SRP. 


Yesterday, I started One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson and it's so good - much more readable than Ari Berman's Give Us the Ballot (although Anderson's work does reference and quote Berman's book some). I also started The Ghost Map and while the first chapter does a lot to set up the class structure of life in Victorian London, it is just started to get going. Since I finished both graphic novels that I borrowed last week, I picked up two new ones - Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson and Leila del Duca and Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart. I have had my eye on the Catwoman one for some time, but I had no idea LHA wrote a WW graphic novel and had to read it. 


Sorry no books attached - BL is being a right pain in the ass and slow as fuck. 



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review 2020-06-30 16:56
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
I Picked Up This Book Because: I’ve liked the author’s previous work.

The Characters:

Lydia Bird:
Jonah Jones:
Freddie, Lydia’s sister, Lydia’s brother in law, Lydia’s mother

The Story:

I’m not sure I’d agree with the blurb and say this book is thrilling and I barely think it’s romance. It was unfortunately just an okay read for me. I shouldn’t say unfortunately because okay is not bad it just wasn’t amazing. Lydia’s grief is palpable and her desire to visit a world where her fiance, Freddie, still exist is understandable. The realization that reality has changed her is one of the most important points in the story and letting go of that world while difficult was also necessary. I feel like her romance with Jonah was barely a thing, especially since she spent most of the book not wanting to talk to him.

The Random Thoughts:


3 Stars
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