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review 2018-01-09 15:10
The Child ★★★★☆
The Child - Fiona Barton,Mandy Williams,Rosalyn Landor,Jean Gilpin,Various

An infant's skeleton is found buried in the back garden of a house being demolished. The story follows several women who have an interest in the mystery of the baby's identity and the circumstances that led to its burial: A still-grieving mother whose baby was snatched from the hospital's maternity ward; a troubled woman with a history of psychiatric problems who once lived in the house where the infant was buried; her mother with whom she still has a rocky relationship; an investigative reporter who is determined to solve the mystery and break the story. 

 

The mystery is not entirely predictable, but I was really more interested in the characters as they were revealed. The only real clunker in this story is really unlikely plot twist where

a rookie reporter finds out a key piece of information about forensics on Wikipedia that neither the forensic lab nor the police had even considered.

(spoiler show)

Even I had that figured out well in advance. 

 

Still, the story was compelling, and the characters well drawn, and the writing is good enough that I didn't really notice that one character's POV was written in the dreaded First-Person-Present-Tense until I was most of the way through the book. 

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library, with an excellent performance by a cast of several. 

 

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review 2018-01-08 19:52
Letters from Father Christmas ★★★★☆
Letters from Father Christmas - J.R.R. Tolkien,Derek Jacobi,John Moffatt,Christian Rodska

What a treat these letters must have been for Tolkien’s children! Father Christmas (and buddies) corresponded with them throughout their childhood, telling all about his home at the North Pole and including thrilling adventure stories of marauding goblins.

 

Audiobook version via Audible, competently read by multiple performers. I think I’d prefer to have this in a bound copy, so I could also appreciate the illustrations that decorated the letters.

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review 2018-01-08 19:50
The Lump of Coal ★★★★★
The Lump of Coal (Audio) - Lemony Snicket,Neil Patrick Harris,Brett Helquist

An adorable anthropomorphic lump of coal goes on a journey to find his destiny. Loved it.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive, with an excellent reading by Neil Patrick Harris, as if he could do anything but provide an outstanding performance of a Lemony Snicket story.

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review 2018-01-08 19:47
Hogfather ★★★★★
Hogfather - Terry Pratchett

I loved everything about this book, from the little fairies that kept popping into existence with a glingle-lingle-ling to Death playing the role of Santa in his very own way, to the Auditors, to the poker. Especially the poker. Hogfather is going to join with Dicken’s Christmas Carol and Dr. Seuss’ Grinch to form my very own Holy Trinity of Christmas stories.

 

Now I just need to find it on audio for my annual re-reads!

 

Paperback version, read for the 2017 Christmas Bingo.

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text 2018-01-06 17:14
Finally finished Flowers for Algernon. Going to be a difficult review.
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

It's taken me...15 months to read this book. Mostly because I only read my ebooks when I literally have no other book available: in shopping lines, surreptitiously in meetings, anywhere I didn't anticipate getting stuck without a book. 

 

But wow, what a disappointment it was to read this one as an adult vs. what I remember of it as a teen. Anyway, I have tons of notes to parse through so it'll be a little while before I post a review. I'm just glad I'm done with it and can move on to another. 

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