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review 2018-01-16 02:19
Paris for One and Other Stories ★☆☆☆☆
Paris for One and Other Stories - Jojo Moyes

Et tu, Jojo?

 

I've found books by Moyes to be light escapist romance-ish fiction, always good for lifting my spirits. So imagine my sense of betrayal to find that she's jumped on the First Person Present Tense bandwagon. 

 

Just say "no", Jojo. Please. 

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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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