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review 2018-12-09 19:17
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief - Wendelin Van Draanen

tl;dr: Good middle grade mystery. Characters you'll like. Sammy is a girl.


I read this at the same time I was reading Lincoln Jones, and I couldn't understand how Sammy Keyes was so good and Lincoln Jones was so bad (that's a lie... I know why, it's just disappointing). I never read Sammy Keyes before because I thought Sammy was a boy. One of our children's librarians assured me that Sammy is a girl and that I had to read these books.


She was right (of course). I've only read the first so far, but it was really good. I liked the characters and the mystery kept me guessing. I won a copy at our Lincoln Jones book club, got it signed and passed it on to the eleven-year-old. No word yet on whether she liked it or not. I think if she reads it she will like it, but she might have moved on from mysteries.


Storytime: One time in the last hour of work (8p-9p) a kid came in looking for Sammy Keyes (for school I think?). I showed them the book and they were really thankful and super nice, but I couldn't stop wondering if the kid also had to read the book that night. They seemed really desperate.

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text 2018-12-03 19:03
October and November wrap up
Escape Journey vol 1 - Tanaka Ogeretsu
The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
Jar of Hearts - Jennifer Hillier
Skin - BB Easton
44 Chapters About 4 Men: A Memoir - BB Easton
A Court of Frost and Starlight - Sarah J. Maas
Merry and Bright: A Novel - Debbie Macomber
wotakoi love is hard for otaku 3 - Maki Fujita

Apparently I forgot to do my October wrap so I combined October and November 


Favorite from October jar of hearts 

Favorite from November a court of frost and starlight 




1 manga 

2 audiobook

1 library 

2 ebooks




1 manga

2 audiobook 

1 library 

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review 2018-11-28 18:47
Devil's Thief -- not as good as book#1
The Devil's Thief - Lisa Maxwell

I would like to start off by thanking Goodreads and Lisa Maxwell for giving me this amazing opportunity to receive Devil's Thief in exchange for my honest opinion. It has taken me quite a bit longer than expected to get through this one and chime in with my 2 cents BUT life happens and it often impedes my ability to escape through the pages. Anyway, without further ado, here is my most humble opinion on the matter at hand.

My first impression, upon opening the parcel, was of the books' size... it is MASSIVE...this made me a bit giddy because I love love LOVED The Last Magician!! Next impression was about 25% into the book and already I found myself dragging...mentally sloshing through which made me profoundly sad. Undeterred and looking to resurrect my initial interest, I decided to spice things up a bit by purchasing the Audio book. Wellllll......I have to admit that the audiobook helped but not to the extent I had hoped. The alternating POVs were annoying. HEY, sometimes dueling POVs work and sometimes they go down in a blazing comet of confusion. This book, to my deepest chagrin, was the latter.

There were some good aspects though like the writing and world building, both were done well. The historical aspect seemed to be researched extensively and depicted authentically. Another bonus was that there were twisty turns, a story element that I not only look for but venerate.

On the otherhand, my search for a connection with any of the characters proved futile. There was a serious disconnect. This happens to be a major pet peeve of mine (after poor grammar) because it is one of those things that niggles and chafes. If I don't connect with the characters then I don't connect with the story as a whole and that is an unforgivable transgression in my opinion. I won this book through a GoodReads contest and I would have LOVED to rant and gush and rave about Devil's Thief but sadly I cannot.

Over all, this was a decent book. The writing and world building were well crafted and nicely detailed BUT I am saddened to report that it did not come close to the awesomeness of the first book. I might venture on to book# 3 with hopes of some sort literary revitalization but with my TBR pile teetering it seems unlikely.

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review 2018-11-28 03:15
Mystery off the Beaten Paths
The Pot Thief Who Studied Billy the Kid - J. Michael Orenduff

In my opinion, no one writes better beginnings than Orenduff. The opening chapter is a masterpiece. Lured to one of New Mexico’s remote ancient cliff dwellings by a stranger who gives him directions and a unique pot to sell, Hubie Schuze gets into an almost impossible-to-get-out-of situation, stranded in a remote place with only his dog and a wounded coyote for company, after he encounters a dead person’s hand in his search for pots. Having acquired only a single shard, he attempts to get out and ends up with a chipped tooth, a sunburn, and a sprained ankle. And then someone steals his truck.


But of course, he survives to tell the tale to his friend Susannah over margaritas in Albuquerque. A hiker claiming to be a doctor gave Hubie a ride home and treated the uninsured and medically uninformed Hubie by making a cast for his injured ankle with Hubie’s potting clay and telling him to stay off it for six weeks. Doubting that a real doctor would do this, I wanted the  guy to turn out to be a grave robber or another pot thief, but he vanishes with a hundred bucks from his “patient, ”and the absurd cast ends up as a comic prop.


Though Hubie learns a lot about Billy the Kid—information which inspires him to solve the mystery of the body at the cliff dwelling—he starts out studying New Mexico territorial governor Lew Wallace’s books, including Ben Hur. His commentary on Wallace’s writing is so funny, I will never be able to read Ben Hur. I discovered hidden aspects of New Mexico history along with Hubie, including what happened between Wallace and The Kid.


The balance between humor, drama, and deep human connections is outstanding. One of the tiny, isolated towns of New Mexico plays an important role in the plot, and Hubie and Susannah’s visits to La Reina—to the bar, the church, and the curandera’s home—are colorful, funny, and at times deeply moving. The nature of the mystery connected with this town is quite unusual for the genre, as far off the beaten paths as La Reina and the cliff dwellings.

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text 2018-11-20 16:35
Reading progress update: I've read 36%.
The Child Thief - Brom


My memories of Peter Pan and The Mists of Avalon may never recover.

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