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2023 Reading Goal

28% complete! Lynn has read 14 of 50 books.

Review of 'Buried Secrets' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is almost like reading a mystery detective novel, only it's a true story about real people. It's amazing how a creative search for records, in addition to fortuitous encounters with just the right people at just the right time, can unlock stories that have been carefully hidden for decades. If you like mysteries, or you're interested in the process of genealogy, you should enjoy this.

Last Remains (2023, HarperCollins Publishers) 5 stars

Review of 'Last Remains' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I didn't mean to read this in one night, but I find Ruth and her friends difficult to leave halfway through a case, and so read it in one night I did. Something about this one feels like it might be the final book; it doesn't feel sad, but it feels . . . resolved. If this is true, The Last Remains is a worthy conclusion to one of my favourite modern detective series.

Homecoming (Hardcover, 2023, HarperCollins Publishers) 4 stars

The highly anticipated new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Clockmaker’s …

Review of 'Homecoming' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was thoroughly enjoyable. Having read a number of Morton’s books, I foresaw the first major twist, concerning one of the main character’s identity. After that, however, it became, I felt, overly complex. The story hangs together, but perhaps the conclusion would have been more satisfying if there weren’t so many twists, and if there were fewer strands to the overall thread.

In any case, Morton’s books are all worth reading, and the fact that I read the whole 500+ pages in only one day shows the difficulty I had putting it down!

She Lies in Wait (Hardcover, 2019, Random House) 4 stars

Review of 'She Lies in Wait' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Lately I’ve found it difficult to stick with books, even when they sound like something I would like. This was different. I really, really enjoyed this. It was just very well done. The pace with which information was revealed was just right, and the balance of present-day action with flashbacks to the night of the crime was perfect - so many times such novels get sidetracked by extensive dips into the past that I find distracting and unnecessary. The author included brief glimpses of the crime as it progressed, but only enough to give it a minute-by-minute feel that added to, rather than distracted from the overall story. The most enjoyable thing I’ve read in some time.

Our First Civil War (2021, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 4 stars

Review of 'Our First Civil War' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was interesting, but it was much less the story of the Patriots versus Loyalists than the Continental leaders (wealthy people like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington) versus the British government. The Loyalists were sort of mentioned in passing on occasion, but they were not given anything like the extensive examination afforded to the Continental leaders or the British government.

A much more thorough treatment of this topic - featuring not only the average farmers and small businessmen who made up most of those fighting on both sides but also the Spanish, the French, and the Indians (all of whom were independent actors rather than side characters, with their own motivations and influence) - is Alan Taylor’s American Revolutions, still by far the best book I’ve ever read about this fascinating conflict.

The most enjoyable part of Brands’ book for me was the pre-revolution section, in which he detailed …

Review of 'Vanish Like Water' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Interesting. I enjoyed it more the further back in time it went, and I suppose there was a compelling human drama in the heart of it, but to characterize it as a detective story is a stretch. Most of the action involved organized crime, and most of the characters were weapons dealers. That world does not appeal to me, and those are not people whose company I enjoy.

The Maid (Paperback, 2022, Random House Large Print) 4 stars

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the …

Review of 'The Maid' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I enjoyed this. It was more drama and less cerebral than I usually read, but the main character was likeable, and she had good people around her when she needed them - which is pretty much all you need, really.

I got distracted about halfway through with some research, so perhaps I enjoyed it a bit less than I would have done had read it straight through. But it was still worth reading.

Review of 'Delving into My Bitterroots' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Much of what this book suggests, as far as using history to better understand our ancestors’ lives, seemed basic to me because I was an historian before I was a genealogist. However, there are many genealogists who haven’t thought about, for example, looking at the laws that were in force in the time and place our ancestors’ lived and how these would have impacted their daily lives. These suggestions, and the helpful charts and checklists in the back, will surely enrich the research of many readers into their families’ history. I found the assessment of personality traits and skills to be a bit more dubious as such things are rather hard to qualify, but perhaps the thought processes the author suggests around these topics will be of use to some readers.

For me, the most interesting thing about the book was the history of the author’s own family, as she …

The knowledge of the holy (1985, Harper & Row) 4 stars

Review of 'The knowledge of the holy' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This tiny book was written in 1961 and reads like it. However, each very short chapter is filled with wisdom for those seeking a renewed vision of a God Who transcends not only poisonous US culture but humanity as a whole. There is just so much packed into this book. I have finished reading it but I expect I will continue to study and meditate on it for some time.