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I just finished reading "Wine & War - The French, The Nazis & The Battle For France's Greatest Treasure".

As a wine enthusiast and history buff , I found this book very interesting indeed. Most of the stories are told by the children and grandchildren of the people who were involved in the struggle to protect France's precious wine stocks from the greedy hands of Goering and the Nazis. Some of the accounts are humorous while others are heartbreaking.

The book is well researched and far less dry than most historical non-fiction.

If you like the subject of the book , I highly recommend it.

8/10

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"This Is Where I Leave You" - Jonathan Tropper

A father's last dying wish is for his family to sit Shiva (A Jewish mourning ritual where the family sits together for 7 days) for him. Well, his wife and 4 grown kids can hardly be in a room together for an hour without a fight, and now, they all come with baggage and issues.

It's a little like Seinfeld and a little like "Meet The Fockers", and it's funny, funny, funny. 8/10

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"Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk" - David Sedaris

Short stories about animals that are way too much like people. Their conversations, emotions, foibles, etc. all play out in these little stories. A twisted Aesop's fables without the moral lessons. 8/10.

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"Saints Of The Shadow Bible" by Ian Rankin

Rankin is back with another tale involving his rule-bending, curmudgeonly Scottish detective John Rebus. In this book, the formerly retired Rebus is back on the force, although with a big demotion. Rebus and his partner are investigating what at first appears to be a simple road accident involving a young woman who is found unconscious behind the wheel of her wrecked car. However, not all is as it seems.

Meanwhile, as Rebus conducts his investigation, a 30 year old cold case is reopened. The actions of Rebus, who was a young detective at the time, and those of his colleagues who also worked the case all those years ago are called into question. Rebus and his colleagues are suspected of corruption and worse. Rebus finds himself caught between loyalty to his comrades and a search for the truth.

Ian Rankin is one of those writers who seems incapable of writing a dull sentence. He is one of the best crime writers in the business. If you like crime fiction and are unfamiliar with Ian Rankin, do yourself a favour and become acquainted with his work. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

9/10

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"Open House" - Elizabeth Berg

A woman is reeling after her husband leaves, struggling to make money, find her identity, and keep her sanity. A good light read 6/10

Now I am reading "The Abstinence Teacher" by Tom Perrotta. Looks good so far.

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"The Abstinence Teacher" - Tom Perrotta

Ruth loves her job as a health teacher for high school, educating kids about safe sex. A hardcore Christian group moves into town and pressures the school into teaching abstinence, which Ruth thinks is ridiculous.

She clashes with a local church member at her daughter's soccer game, and to fix the problem they agree to talk. Once they get to know each other, they start to find common ground. 7/10

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Dare Me - Megan Abbott

A look into the world of teenage girls, cheerleaders in particular and what can happen when a queen bee feels like she's losing her power over the other girls, her best friend in particular. Makes me happy that my daughter isn't into all that. 8/10

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I am being such a thread hog, but I've been doing a lot of reading lately

With or Without You - Domenica Ruta

A memoir about a woman who grew up with a drug addicted mother. Although they were disadvantaged, Domenica's mother always tried to get her ahead, but addiction grips them both hard. Domenica has to try and break free from her mother to get her life together. It is a memoir written not with rancor, but clarity. 8.5/10

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no worries, Jenny! I've picked up some reading material because of your reviews. :grin: Can't say I've had time to read anything besides short magazine breaks in the recent weeks, but I do have a veritable mountain of to-be-read books on my nightstand. It may one day collapse under the weight.

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I had one more book from the library and I just took it back. I go from stages where I devour books to one where I just want to do magazines or short stories. I have now entered that second phase. Came home from the library with a stack of magazines

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Tenth of December - George Saunders

A book of short stories, with so many interesting characters....a war veteran coping with his return home, a prisoner who undergoes experiments, a cancer patient contemplating suicide. Kind of sci-fi, surreal-ish...hard to describe, but certainly engrossing. Reminded me of "Welcome to the Monkey House", by Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite books

8.5/10

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The Shadow Tracer - Meg Gardiner 8/10

This is one of those books I had trouble putting down.

Sarah Keller, the book's protagonist, is a skip tracer living anonymously in Oklahoma City with her five year old daughter Zoe. There is just one problem. Zoe is not Sarah's daughter. Zoe's biological mother, Sarah's sister Beth, was murdered shortly after Zoe's birth and Zoe's father is missing and presumed dead.

When a bus accident sends Zoe to the hospital, medical tests reveal the secret Sarah has been hiding: Zoe is not her daughter. With no way to prove her innocence, Sarah must abandon her carefully constructed life and go on the run.

Pursued by police, the FBI and the religious fanatics responsible for Beth's death, Sarah must use all the skills she acquired as a skip tracer to protect Zoe and evade capture.

A very well-written book that kept me entertained throughout.

Edited by Guest

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I just finished "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston. It is the true story of ebola and its cousin Marberg and the scientists who worked to find its origins and keep it from coming to America back in the early '80's. Scary, but interesting. Do not read during your lunch hour, either, some parts can be disgusting. 8/10

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Tomboy - Liz Prince

An autobiographical graphic novel about Liz's experience with not fitting the "girl" mode. Not preachy, but more a journey of self discovery and self acceptance. 8/10

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You seem to read quite fast Jenny! :)

---

I'm a very slow reader. For months I've been reading a book called "The Martian" by Andy Weir. It's about an astronaut stranded on Mars after a disastrous mission failure and he has to try and survive. So far it's really interesting. If you're into science fiction and space exploration, then I'd recommend it.

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I heard about that one, sounds interesting. I can be a fast reader, especially if the book interests me.

I just finished "The Silver Star" by Jeanette Walls. Nothing earth shattering, but a nice story about two young girls who visit their uncle after their flaky mother leaves them unattended and the authorities start poking around. They discover their family and come to terms with their mother's instability. 7.5/10

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I just finished "Shutter Island" by Dennis Lehane. It's about a US Marshal named Teddy Daniels who is investing a missing mental hospital patient. However, once on the island, he and his partner get trapped in a storm and then things get really weird. 9/10

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I just finished reading a book called Terminal City by Linda Fairstein. It's about a killer whose victims all have some connection to Grand Central Station. It's not one of her better books, but it does provide some fascinating information about the history of one of NYC's most famous landmarks. 6/10

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"The Husband's Secret" by Lianne Moriarty.

I literally could not put this down. A suburban wife finds a note from her husband only to be opened after his death...well, curiosity gets the best of her and she reads it. The novel connects her story with the stories of two other women who in the end also get affected by the secret. Wow. 9/10

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"Blue Monday" - Nicci French

22 years after a 5 year old girl disappears without a trace, a five year old boy's disappearance catches the attention of a psychiatrist when her patient has dreams about a boy who is the missing boy's spitting image. If you pick this book up, make sure you have lots of free time, because you will be hooked. 9/10

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Boy, Snow, Bird - Helen Oyeyemi

A girl named Boy escapes her abusive father and ends up in a small Massachusetts town where she meets a man named Arturo and his daughter, Snow. Snow is adored by everyone who meets her. Boy marries Arturo and they have a daughter named Bird, who is born dark-skinned, which outs Arturo's family as black trying to pass as white. Boy begins to see how race affects family dynamics. 7/10

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Me again,  I have read several books since my last post:

Killing Me Softly by Nicci French:

Alice is seduced by a mysterious stranger, leaves her boyfriend for him and soon learns that her new man is obsessive and has dangerous secrets 8/10.

Sophie's Choice by William Styron:

A young writer just recently moved to Brooklyn from the south meets an intriguing couple, Sophie and Nathan.  Through his friendship with them, he discovers Sophie's secrets and why she hangs on to the troubled relationship she has with Nathan.  I really enjoyed it, but I felt more interested in Sophie's story than the writer's, he just seemed like a wimp.  8/10

The World According to Garp by John Irving:

Another writer's story, but this one full of unusual characters and situations.  Garp is born to a single mother, marries his first love, suffers infidelity, loss, and violence, but succeeds in creating a close knit family.  8/10

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