Around the Dark Dial

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I remember reading Ray Bradbury as a kid and being totally captivated. That rush of immediate childish wonder - of starry nights and worlds out there to be discovered - and lurking in the sidelines, the terror of the unknown, the darkly magical, and just what could be out…

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I Found My Heart

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Reviewing this book of poetry is like reviewing raw emotion - as it’s impossible (and inherently wrong) to review another’s pain, or joy, or anger, or lived experience - all that can be done is to consider the reach, or “trueness” of the words expressed in their journey to…

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Elise

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Elise Morgan is ninety years old, has lived the vast majority of her life in Cornwall, and as her eminently capable daughter points out, “has a good, balanced view of things”, including, (alone among her contemporaries), a lack of panic at the large-scaled housing development threatening the sanctity of…

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Brother

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Devastating in its quiet truth, “Brother” is a book about love, about hope, about wanting the best for your family and the future, and the insurmountable odds that may make the ordinary, the safe, and the comfortable completely out of reach. Michael and his brother, Francis, live with their…

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Dragon(e) Baby Gone

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ What a hoot! “Dragon(e) Baby Gone” is a side-splitting, rollicking ride of urban fantasy mayhem - a glimpse into a world where illegal magic can at best be loosely controlled as “extra-planar” creatures, teeming with malevolence and greed, and aided by extraordinary powers, seep across the earthly planar divide…

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The Ballerinas

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 I am a fast reader. It will typically take me a day, perhaps two, to read a book, obsessively finding the time to squeeze in more reading for a book that I am particularly enjoying. This book, “The Ballerinas”, broke my pattern apart. Hooking me from the very…

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October Storms

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Meticulously researched, “October Storms” tells the tale of Louise Hawkes, a young woman living in central Illinois in 1897, with her two young children, Randall and Becca. The history of the time period comes alive beautifully in the author’s carefully detailed descriptions of the hardships, lifestyle, and communities that…

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Message in the Sand

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Sinking into this book on a rainy afternoon with a cup of tea and a cozy blanket; meeting with these characters, their beautifully articulated world and and their mesmerizing stories; I could not imagine a better place to be. Wendell Combs, a strong, somewhat austere military veteran has…

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A Change of Circumstance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Easily one of my all-time favorite detective series, Book 11 in the Simon Serrailler series, “A Change in Circumstance” is every bit as wonderfully engaging as its precedents. Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler, a complex man who is something of an emotional enigma, has an exceptionally close relationship with…

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The Glory Road

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Fascinating and heart-breaking, this wonderful immersive look at the true-life experiences of a gypsy gospel child, raised in the deeply restrictive Pentecostal faith by ordained pastor parents, both of them musically talented, who practice their faith primarily through the participation and organization of traveling musical revivals that celebrate…

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