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Posted on: March 20, 2019

The Paragon Hotel

Paragon Hotel

by Lyndsay Faye

Reviewed by Janet:Fleeing from the New York Mafia during Prohibition, Alice James arrives in Portland with a fresh bullet wound and suitcase full of money. Brought to the Paragon Hotel by the Pullman porter for medical care on the down low,...

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Posted on: May 22, 2019

Chronicles of a Radical Hag

Chronicles of a Radical Hag

by Lorna Landvik

Reviewed by Janet:After columnist Haze Evans suffers a massive stroke, Susan McGrath, the editor of the local paper, decides to re-run some of her old columns in the interim. As selections from 50 years’ worth of work is republished, Haze’...

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Posted on: October 17, 2018

Vox

Vox

by Christina Dalcher

Reviewed by Janet:Imagine you are allowed to speak only 100 words each day – a wrist counter keeps track. And something bad happens when this number is exceeded. In this futuristic United States, women have lost the right to ...

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Posted on: October 3, 2018

There There

There There

by Tommy Orange

Reviewed by Janet:This powerful novel begins as a series of loosely connected short stories, but turns into something so much more in this exploration of the plight of the urban Native American. Each of the characters follows their own path...

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Posted on: July 11, 2018

The Great Alone

Great Alone

by Kristin Hannah

Reviewed by Janet:When Ernt Allbright, who has been scarred physically and psychologically by his time in Vietnam, learns he has inherited land in Alaska, he sees it as a place to begin again. Cora and Leni, his wife and daughter, soon co...

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Posted on: May 16, 2018

The Indigo Girl

Indigo Girl

by Natasha Boyd

Reviewed by Janet:When her ambitious father returns to the Caribbean in 1739 to further his career, 16 year old Eliza Lucas is left in charge of their South Carolina plantations. In the face of great debt left by her father, Eliza attempts ...

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Posted on: April 18, 2018

Something Like Happy

Something  Like Happy

by Eva Woods

Reviewed by Janet:While visiting her mother in hospital, Annie finds herself being swept out of her unhappy life and along with the irresistible force that is Polly. A colorful, irrepressible patient with a brain tumor, Polly has chosen to mak...

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Posted on: February 21, 2018

The Woman in the Window

Woman in the Window

by A. J. Finn

Reviewed by Janet:Anna is agoraphobic, and confined to her home on a residential street in New York City. She spends her time watching classic movies, playing chess online, counseling other agoraphobics, and watching her neighbors. And drinki...

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Posted on: January 24, 2018

Caroline: Little House, Revisited

Caroline

by Sarah Miller

Reviewed by Janet:For those who loved the Little House on the Prairie series as children, this is a perfect opportunity to revisit the Ingalls family as they leave Wisconsin and head for Indian Territory. Told from the perspective of Caroli...

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Posted on: December 27, 2017

The Little French Bistro

Little French Bistro

by Nina George

Reviewed by Janet:After 41 years in a boring, loveless marriage, Marianne wants out.  Led to the coast of Brittany by a hand painted ceramic tile, she finds work in a bistro, starts to learn French, and meets the cast of characters ...

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Posted on: November 8, 2017

The Baker’s Secret

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by Stephen P. Kiernan

Reviewed by Janet:Emmanuelle finds herself baking a dozen baguettes for the officers’ mess every day, by the order of the German Kommandant of the occupying forces in her village. Her secret is that she stretches this daily ...

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Posted on: October 4, 2017

The Nightingale

The Nightingale

by Kristin Hannah

Reviewed by Janet:I don't know how I missed this one when it first came out! This wonderful novel is an evocative and bittersweet story of two sisters in occupied France during World War II. Vianne’s husband is a prisoner of war...

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Posted on: August 9, 2017

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant

by Gail Honeyman

Reviewed by Janet:Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, thank you very much. She is quite settled and safe in her routine, keeping herself to herself, moving from work to home and back, with 2 bottles of vodka on the weekend. Yet her carefu...

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Posted on: May 4, 2017

A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

by Amor Towles

Reviewed by Linda:An utterly charming and moving tale of a Russian count, one Alexander Ilyich Rostov, who is called before a Bolshevik tribunal in 1922 for having written an incendiary poem, and is sentenced to house arrest at the Metropol,...

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Posted on: April 12, 2017

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

by Jennifer Ryan

Reviewed by Janet:When the vicar decides to close the church choir since all the men have gone to war, the women of Chilbury go rogue and form their own women-only community choir.  These assorted women find the support, encourage...

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Posted on: December 7, 2016

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

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by Louise Miller

Reviewed by Janet:When a Baked Alaska disaster forces pastry chef Olivia Rawlings to flee Boston, she never images that refuge with her best friend in rural Vermont would lead her to the Sugar Maple Inn and a new job.  Drawn into ...

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Posted on: September 6, 2016

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

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by Chris Cleave

Reviewed by Janet:The author of Little Bee brings World War II London to life in his newest novel inspired by his grandparents’ love letters. Mary North is assigned to be a teacher after she volunteers at the War Office, which is ...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

American Housewife: Stories

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by Helen Ellis

Reviewed by Janet:These delightful short stories will definitely make you smile – and maybe even laugh out loud. From a war conducted via email about a co-op’s shared hallway to the unusual requirements for joining a book...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film

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by Glenn Kurtz

Reviewed by Janet:In 1938, David Kurtz filmed parts of his trip to Europe for a family film. In 2009, his grandson Glenn found the old film and became intrigued by the segment on a Jewish community in rural Poland. This memoir traces the jou...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

The Truth According to Us

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by Annie Barrows

Reviewed by Janet:Layla Beck is a writer for the Federal Writers' Project and paying lodger with the Romeyn family in Macedonia, West Virginia in the summer of 1938. Charged with writing the town's history, Layla finds herself drawn into t...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

At the Water's Edge

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by Sara Gruen

Reviewed by Janet:It's 1945, and Maddie has come to the Scottish Highlands from America with her husband and his friend, who are determined to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. Far from upper crust Philadelphia, Maddie must confro...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

Station Eleven

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by Emily St. John Mandel

Reviewed by Janet:The onstage death of actor Arthur Leander provides the opening act for a worldwide pandemic that brings about the collapse of civilization. As the novel traces the lives of a handful of people connected with Arthu...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

Lotería

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by Mario Alberto Zambrano

Reviewed by Janet:Lotería is a Mexican game a little like Bingo, where 54 different cards are used, and riddles are used to refer to the images on them. Through memories of events associated with these cards, eleven yea...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

The Rosie Project

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by Graeme Simsion

Reviewed by Janet:Don Tillman is a socially challenged professor who decides it is time to marry. Being a researcher, he decides to use a specially designed questionnaire for the Wife Project, as he calls it. However, things go contrary t...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

The Circle

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by Dave Eggers

Reviewed by Linda:A disturbing and gripping look at a future that is coming at us faster and faster. In his latest novel, the ever-creative Dave Eggers brings us inside a powerful Internet company called The Circle, and shows what a fascinat...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

Red Rising

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by Pierce Brown

Reviewed by Janet:Darrow works underground, mining the helium-3 that will make the surface of Mars habitable for colonists from earth. In an oppressive society that color-codes its population, the Reds are at the bottom, yet are convinced t...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

Delicious!

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by Ruth Reichl

Reviewed by Janet:Billie Breslin moves to New York City to take a job at Delicious!, a food magazine. Yet everything changes when the magazine abruptly closes, and Billie is kept on to answer phones and letters. A discovery in the archives o...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

The Night Circus

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by Erin Morgenstern

Reviewed by Janet:Get ready to enter the magical world of the Night Circus, an incredible traveling show that appears without warning, enchants visitors with its amazing illusions, and then moves on. Two of the illusionists of the circu...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

Bel Canto

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by Ann Patchett

Reviewed by Janet:An elegant dinner party in South America has a tragic end when rebel terrorists overtake the house and hold hostages, including a famed opera singer. During the lengthy hostage situation, unexpected relationships and bonds...

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Posted on: March 9, 2016

Baking Cakes in Kigali

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by Gaile Parkin

Reviewed by Janet:A heartwarming story with a wonderful main character. Angel Tungaraza bakes cakes for special occasions. She has a gift, not only for baking, but of bringing people together and bringing hope into their lives. The setting ...

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