Book Talk Thursday:

Once more, I’ve read a ton of good and great stuff, so I’m going to post some quick reviews. Check back next week, I’ll have some more. I was on vacation and got to read some really good books! Also, I only review books I enjoy and recommend.

THE SISTER EFFECT by Susan Mallery (hard cover)

I’m a sucker for:
Susan Mallery books
Family drama books
Smart and capable heroine books

The Sister Effect has all that and more! I laughed and cried and had all the feels.
Finley is raising her niece, Aubrey, while Aubrey’s mom works on her sobriety. She’s determined to keep Aubrey safe and happy, while also trying to keep her sister from drinking again. Then Finley’s estranged grandfather moves in with Finley, her mom, and Aubrey. Finley has vowed to never forgive the man for something that happened two decades ago.
While working through the issues with her sister and grandfather, Finley is also developing feelings for local developer Jericho, who has his own family drama to deal with.
I really enjoyed this latest from Susan Mallery and I’m looking forward to her next book!

I received an advance copy of this from the publisher, but it did not induce me to post a review, favorable or otherwise.

PLEASE, SORRY, THANKS by Mark Batterson (ebook)

I love Batterson’s transparency. (Previously I’ve read and loved DRAW THE CIRCLE, and WIN THE DAY.) He shares personal stories and solid teaching in a relatable way. Each of the important words has the potential to change hearts and restore relationships.
Batterson writes with warmth, humor and humility. Yet this book isn’t an “easy” read. I was challenged and convicted by the idea that a simple word of apology or gratitude could have a profound impact on someone else. A few quotes I especially loved:“Nothing opens doors like please. Nothing mends fences like sorry. Nothing builds bridges like thanks.”

“The best predictor of success in life, in love, and in leadership is your proficiency at please, sorry, and thanks.”

“Legacy is not what you accomplish. Legacy is what others accomplish because of you.”

Overall, I loved this book and I highly recommend it!

I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley, from the publisher, but that did not induce me to review it, favorably or not.

DEAR HENRY, LOVE EDITH by Becca Kinzer (audio)

I enjoyed this one a lot. It’s original and includes some fun characters. Edith is a young widow who needs a place to live until her passport arrives and she can leave for her mission trip to Africa. Henry’s niece inveigles him to let Edith, the “elderly widow” volunteering in town to have his upstairs room. Henry has injured his leg and has been living downstairs only as it heals.

Both Henry and Edith think the other is elderly and leave notes as they keep missing each other. The book is part epistolary, part narrative. It’s set in a quirky small town and many misunderstandings ensue.

(I bought and paid for this one. No advance copies here!)

FRASER by Susan May Warren (ebook)

Another book I bought and paid for. And Susan May Warren is another author I love and I auto-buy everything she writes. FRASER is the first in her newest series, The Minnesota Marshalls. We previously met another branch of the family in The Montana Marshalls series.

Fraser is the oldest in the Fraser family. He’s ex-Navy SEAL, injured, and trying to figure out what’s next. He gets a panicked call from his kid brother, Creed, who then disappears in Europe. Fraser goes to find Creed, because that’s what he does.

Pippa is about to ready to tie down Princess Imani. Pippa is the princess’s security as they’ve been traveling the world for the last year. But when Imani disappears on Pippa’s watch–along with the young American man she met in Switzerland–Pippa must join with the man who claims to be that young man’s brother if she wants to find her princess and keep her job.

I loved this and can’t wait for Jonas’ story, out next month.

POIROT AND ME by David Suchet (ebook)

A few months ago I started listening to a podcast called ALL ABOUT AGATHA. The two co-hosts break down Agatha Christie novels and short stories, discuss them, and rate the novels. They also talk about any film adaptations. The podcast started in about … 2014? I think. I’m listening to the episodes in order, from the beginning. I’m up to about 2017. (SPOILER ALERT: One of the hosts died very suddenly near the end of 2021. They were close to finishing the last of Christie’s works and the remaining host chose to go ahead and finish without the other. I expect to be a basket case when I get there, eventually. The remaining host still posts occasionally about goings on in the Christie universe.)

Because of the podcast, and because they discuss screen adaptations, I got curious about the British series, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, and Stud Muffin and I started watching them (available on BritBox through Amazon Prime). Then I decided to read this book, POIROT AND ME, a memoir by the actor who played the Belgian detective.

This is filled with details about Suchet came to get the role, how he prepared for it, how the series evolved, which episodes he loved, which he didn’t, what was going on in his personal life, and so on.

I enjoyed this glimpse into a character actor’s life and it made me like Suchet enough that I will probably also read his autobiography and will definitely look for other movies he’s made.

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING by Julia Whelan (ebook)

This author, Julia Whelan, is also an audio book narrator, so she knows about she writes.

Sewanee was an up and coming actress until she left show business and became an audio book narrator. She got her start in Romance, but has moved on and doesn’t do Romance novels anymore. Until she’s made an offer she can’t refuse. And she gets to work with a male narrator who’s super popular and completely anonymous. They hit it off via emails and texts.

There’s a pretty big “twist,” that any romance reader will know right away, but that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of this fun read.