Category Archives: Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

The four main characters in Killers of a Certain Age are so well-developed and fun and interesting people I’d want to be friends with… other than the whole trained assassin thing. While there is a lot of (not very graphic) death going on, there’s so much humor that it doesn’t feel heavy. The plans the women come up with to kill people are very creative, too. While the basic outline of how the book goes is pretty obvious from the start, there were a couple twists I wasn’t expecting. Everything in the present is written in first person while the flashback chapters are written in close third person (focused on Billie, who narrates the present day chapters). I found that to be very effective, much more effective, I think, than today’s Billie recalling the things that happened decades ago. The pacing is slower than most thrillers, but steady throughout the book. The slower pacing made sense given the ages of the women. Speaking of their ages, it was great fun to read a book about sixty-something women being totally awesome. I recommend this book to all adults, and especially to adult women of a certain age.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 57
Pages Read in 2023: 18,249

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Filed under Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge, Reason: B&N Book Challenge, Reason: Book of the Month, Reason: Flourish & Blotts Reading Challenge, Thriller

You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson

You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson

Phoebe Robinson is hilarious. While she is very funny in her essays in You Can’t Touch My Hair, she is also very real. She doesn’t shy away from difficult topics (racism, vaginas, and so much more). She gets her point across with humor but also honesty that will have Black women nodding their heads and white women sometimes nodding and sometimes checking themselves. I very highly recommend this book to all women.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 56
Pages Read in 2023: 17,896

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Filed under Memoir, Non-Fiction, Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Verity by Colleen Hoover

It’s easy to see why so many people say Verity is their favorite Colleen Hoover book. It’ll have you questioning everything you think you know and even after you’ve finished reading it you’ll wonder if your assumptions are correct or if you have it all wrong (this goes double if you read the new bonus chapter/epilogue). The story drew me in and I wanted to read it as fast as I could to find out what was going on and if my guesses as to how it would turn out were right (some were, some weren’t). More than once it made my heart race. The only problem I had with the book is the sex scenes are just a bit more graphic than I like. I recommend Verity to adults who enjoy psychological thrillers.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 49
Pages Read in 2023: 16,121

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Filed under Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge, Reason: B&N Book Challenge, Thriller

Xamnesia by Lizzie Harwood

Xamnesia by Lizzie Harwood

Xamnesia is one crazy memoir. The author spent a few years working for the ultrarich in an undisclosed Middle Eastern country. And it was a seriously crazy time with seriously crazy things happening. The whole thing is written with an incredible sense of humor so even when she’s describing appalling things you can’t help but laugh at least a little bit. I recommend this book to adults who enjoy memoirs.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 47
Pages Read in 2023: 15,549

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Filed under Memoir, Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge, Reason: Grim Readers

Quackery by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen

Quackery by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen

The humor and sarcasm surrounding all the facts in Quackery is what makes it such an enjoyable book. A couple of the later chapters were mostly missing that humor and I found that part rather dreadful to read. The humor came back before the end of the book, though. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys learning about the history of medicine.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 45
Pages Read in 2023: 15,011

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge, Reason: B&N Book Challenge, Reason: Flourish & Blotts Reading Challenge, Reason: We Be Book'N

Dead Line by RJ Patterson

Dead Line by RJ Patterson

While there are some minor plot holes in Dead Line, overall it’s an exciting thriller. It reads super fast. The idea that the FBI would ask a small time sports writer to help them/be used as bait just because he happened to see something is kind of crazy and totally unlikely, but as long as you can suspend that disbelief the book is great. I recommend it to adults who enjoy thrillers.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 43
Pages Read in 2023: 13,952

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Filed under Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge, Reason: Flourish & Blotts Reading Challenge, Reason: Grim Readers, Thriller

Zero Cool by Michael Crichton (John Lange)

Zero Cool by Michael Crichton (John Lange)

Zero Cool is a very early Michael Crichton novel. The plot is very well developed and had me guessing the whole time. I both expected and didn’t expect the final twist. The dialogue was not realistic, though. It sounded way too formal and not like how people talk to each other. Otherwise I enjoyed it very much. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 41
Pages Read in 2023: 13,317

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Filed under Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge, Reason: B&N Book Challenge, Reason: Flourish & Blotts Reading Challenge, Thriller

Who Killed My Daughter? by Lois Duncan

Author Lois Duncan’s daughter Kait Arquette was murdered. There is no question the Albuquerque police botched the investigation. But Who Killed My Daughter? is basically a poorly written concoction of what the family assumes happened, mainly because of multiple psychics they consulted. Most of the psychic transcripts included are so vague that it’s kind of funny that they decided the psychics meant certain things because what was said could have meant virtually anything. I’ve read a lot of true crime and this was the dullest I’ve ever read. While the author stated her purpose was to encourage someone who knew what led to Kait’s murder (which is still unsolved today) to come forward, it felt more like a mother wanting to tell the story that she has decided led to her daughter’s murder and happens to have a platform where she could do so. It’s not worth anyone’s time to read this book.

1 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 68
Pages Read in 2019: 18,536
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge, True Crime