In Kristina Bergman’s Silenced, a religious couple is found dead in their apartment. Fredrika Bergman and the Criminal Investigation Department soon find out that one of their adult daughters had recently committed suicide and the other cannot be located after taking a 5 week leave of absence from her work. A sub story contains one of the daughters being harassed in Thailand, but neither the woman nor the audience knows whats happening. Another story is following a Iraqi immigrant making his way illegally to Sweden with the help of unknown group whose assistance is not based on pay but on services. How all these storylines fit together got a little confusing at times since some stories didn’t use names and then when the connections were made between stories it didn’t always make immediate sense.

Overall, a very good story, but it lost me a couple of times when I needed to refer back to prior chapters. Well done characters or gaps in storylines? Hard to tell.

Read January 2020

Pretty, Nasty, Lovely

Pretty, Nasty, Lovely, by Rosalind Noonan tells of Emma Danielski, a Theta Pi at an imaginary university in Oregon. Emma’s a neglected daughter of a musician who’s mother died right when she needed her. She pledged Theta Pi to have a new family around her while at university. When one of her “sister’s” dies by suicide, Emma tries to understand how one of the bitchiest upperclassman threw everything away. Emma soon becomes entangled in the police investigation, and she must figure out who’s been hiding what in the sorority, when it seems not all the sisters are as sisterly as they should be.

Quick, fun read.

Read January 2020

Strange Shores

Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason was a great read. Inspector Erlendur is off of work and travels to his desolate childhood home to camp. He’s visited by a ghost-like figure often and is haunted by the memories of his younger brother being lost in a storm. After chatting with a local about the history of the area, he starts researching the disappearance of a woman’s from decades ago. She went missing during another sudden storm where a unit of military also went missing. All the men were found, but the woman’s body never was.

Along the way, Erlendur is dealing with the loss of his brother and looking for any clues possible from where his brother ended up.

This was a dark tale with cold scenes and colder people. How the old stories unravel in the present is disturbing. Erlendur is not working within the law here, but its probably for the best.

Great read! Read January 2020


R.J. Palacio’s Wonder tells the story of 10-year old August Pullman. A boy who’s undergone countless surgeries to correct crania-fascial disfigurements due to a genetic anomaly. He’s been homeschooled his whole life but will now enter Beecher Prep as a 5th grader.

Kids can be cruel and this novel doesn’t hold back and we see it from the victim’s perspective. But kids can be amazing too. Growing up is hard. Growing up with a physical difference makes it harder. Palacio does an inspiring job telling his story of growing up from so many different sides. Each trying to do their best, pushing away friends in the process, and learning about who they want to be.

I started reading this with my 10 y/o and 8 y/o but they both finished it on their own before we could read it together. This is a great book to read with your kids and to talk about the hardships of life and how its easy to be cruel but its always better to be kind.

Read January 2020

Fleishman is in Trouble

Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner tells the story about Toby Fleishman, who is in trouble. Newly divorced, Fleishman discovers what it means to be a middle-aged, reasonable attractive, although on the shorter side, single male in a new digital dating world. Sex seems to come easier than it did during his marriage to Rachel. He seems to be getting a handle on his new life, although with much bitterness towards the ending on his relationship. Then Rachel drops the kids off at his house, unannounced, and disappears. Toby cannot reach her by phone, at her apartment, or her assistant.

This is an interesting story where we hear one-side of the relationship for a good chunk of the book before seeing another side. Toby is so self-involved that he never saw what was happening in his relationship unless it was happening to him.

Funny, sad, but ultimately a true look into the breakdown of a relationship.

Read December 2019

Side note: This was the 52nd book of 2019. I was worried I didn’t hit the mark (again) but then remember I read this in early December and never wrote it down! So yea! Hopefully 2020 will bring lots of new, exciting stories!