Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

Enjoy the View is smart and funny and cute. It's the third in a series but works fine as a standalone. Come December, though, I might go back and read #2. River Lane was a Hollywood starlet, determined to still make movies, she has agreed to make a documentary about the small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. Sounds like an easy light job, but the locals are not welcoming to tourists. Undeterred, River is determined to do what she set out to do - film a documentary. A chance meeting with a mountain guide, Easton Lockett, leads her in the direction of Mount Veil. Naturally, she along with Bree and Jessie (her staff helping her film her documentary) all have climbing experience, so instead of filming the town, they film the mountain climb. Easton and River are adorable together. They're playful and joking but also have each other's backs, which is necessary on the mountain. The town has some quirky sweet characters...
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The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell

The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell

I didn't enjoy The Dogs of Riga. It started off interestingly enough, with two dead men in a life raft. Detective Kurt Wallander picks up the case, but it's frustrating with no crime scene, no motive, and no witness. Eventually, the two are traced back to Latvia and a Latvian detective comes over to Sweden to help. But then it goes off the rails a bit. The Latvian detective goes back to Latvia and gets killed. Wallender is summoned to Riga to "help" with the investigation but gets tangled up with crooked cops, revolutionaries, the widow. He blunders around and feels sorry for himself. By the time I decided to just quit, I only had an hour or so left, so went ahead and pushed through, but it wasn't worth it. Emotional, fish out of water detectiveWish I had dnf-ed it ...
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Wine for Normal People by Elizabeth Schneider

Wine for Normal People by Elizabeth Schneider

Wine for Normal People is such a good book. I enjoy wine — well, some wines — but know very little about it. Wine is complicated, from the color, to the region in which it's grown, to the correct pairing with food, and the temperature at which it's served. I tend to stick with what I know I'll like, but this book has given me a bit of confidence to pick some less safe options. The book is interesting and conversational. We learn how to taste wine, how it's made, how both the winemaker and where the grapes are grown affect that taste. We get a quick tour of wines in both the Old World and New World. The author also gives advice on pairing wine and food, not a list to memorize, but characteristics to take into account. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the author, who also has a podcast by the same name. It felt like a friend...
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A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn

A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn

A Beautiful Place To Die is a mystery/thriller set in South Africa in 1952 right after the Boer government came to power and instituted laws that restricted relationships between racial groups. Emmanuel Cooper, an English detective, is sent to Jacob's Nest, a small town near the border of Mozambique where the chief of police, Captain Pretorius, has murdered. Cooper is tasked with investigating the crime but runs up against roadblocks galore. First, Pretorius was not just the police chief, he dominated the town. He was a prominent landowner, he and his family owned or controlled most of the businesses, he felt free to do what he wanted. He was also a model Afrikaaner. Then, the Security Branch arrives, determined to find the killer but to be sure that it's a killer that suits their needs, effectively pushing Cooper out of the official investigation. Of course, like any good detective, Cooper continues his search. The mystery itself is well done, with a...
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A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette

A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette

A Deadly Inside Scoop is the first book in the Ice Cream Parlor mystery series. Bronwyn "Win" has taken over the family ice cream shop, and she is off to a rocky start with the weather and then finding a body in the snow. It starts to look like her father is a suspect. Win and her friend Maisie team up and do some amateur sleuthing to find out who killed Stephen Bayard, a con man who has a past with Win's family. I love the ice cream shop and the flavors Win comes up with. I also like that it's set in my home state. I've never been to Chagrin Falls, but it sounds like a cute town. I liked Win and her family well enough, especially her grandfather. Win has two best friends, Riya and Maisie. Riya has quite a temper and Maisie is a little ditzy and maybe watches too many mystery tv shows. They are both mostly...
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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

I always say that I don't read time travel books, but really I do, just not often. There has to be a good reason to read it. The author is Claire North is a good reason. I've loved almost everything I've read by here and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is no exception. Okay, I'm not sure Harry August actually counts as a time traveler. He basically lives his same life over and over, but he makes different choices, others like him make different choices, so each time around is at least a little different, sometimes vastly different. The catch is that he remembers each life perfectly, a memory that completely forms between the ages of 4 and 6. So, knowing all he does from 80+ years of living, he has to go through childhood and adolescence again. And again. And again. There are others like him, kalachakra, who have formed a sort of secret club that he joins....
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