Secret of a Charmed Life

January 26, 2020 by

indexKendra, a college history major spending a term at Oxford, is interviewing Isabel, a 93 year old who survived the Blitz, for a term paper. But she is shocked to discover that Isabel is not the woman’s real name, nor is she 93. Susan Meissner spins the story of two sisters separated after a relocation from London to the British countryside in 1940. The novel is written in alternating time frames between the 1940s and the present, and provides a window into wartime England from a young person’s point of view. I enjoy this author’s writing and would definitely recommend this novel for fans of historical fiction.

The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay

January 25, 2020 by


Kelly Harms has penned a light-hearted romance about Lily, an artist who doesn’t like change very much. So she is horrified when she finds a set of annulment papers that she never filed, after a quickie Vegas marriage ten years ago. After a single night together, Lily hasn’t seen Ben, her “husband” since. So she decides to track him down, and explain the situation to him in person. Can you predict the outcome? I found this to be a very satisfying read, with themes of friendship and empathy threaded throughout the novel.

M.C. Beaton

January 23, 2020 by

A longtime favorite British author of mine recently passed way on December 31st, 2019.  M.C. Beaton (Marion Chesney), age 83, was popular for her Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin series along with her earlier romance books.  Her latest Agatha novel (“Beating about the Bush”) was released this past December and was a television show (as was the Hamish series).  Beaton wrote over 150 books and was known for her cozy mysteries and humor.  I will miss her reliable 2 titles per year and always wonder if Agatha would have married Sir Charles in the end? We will never know….

Beating About the Bush: An Agatha Raisin Mystery (Agatha Raisin Mysteries) Death of an Honest Man (Hamish Macbeth Mystery) The Dead Ringer: An Agatha Raisin Mystery (Agatha Raisin Mysteries) Death of an Outsider (A Hamish Macbeth Mystery) Death of a Perfect Wife (A Hamish Macbeth Mystery)

Pay Attention, Carter Jones

January 22, 2020 by

indexCarter Jones is trying to navigate the chaos in his house on the first day of school when he answers the door and finds an authentic butler standing outside. Mr. Bowles- Fitzpatrick becomes an integral character in the ensuing chapters, as he provides much needed support to the family in the wake of the dad’s leaving. Gary D. Schmidt uses various cricket terms as chapter headings to chart Carter’s growth in maturity as the novel progresses. The Rockland County children’s librarians has chosen this title as their choice for the 2020 Newbery contender. Stay tuned, the winner will be announced this coming Monday…

More Than Anger

January 19, 2020 by



This middle-grade novel-in-verse is a thoughtful look at a common issue: parents who are fighting.

It is no secret that Anna’s parents are going through a rough patch. When that rough patch turns positively volatile, Anna starts to wonder why her parents are staying together at all. Will their anger destroy everything Anna has ever known? Can Anna allow herself to fall in love when she sees how it can turn so easily to hate?

This book explores Anna’s attempt at balancing her chaotic life and home and her life at school with her friends. I’m sure  many tweens and teens can relate to her feelings on the matter – and it was a nice read as well.

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