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In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers.
This book wound up being completely different than expected, but I really enjoyed it. It is a history lesson in NW Africa, specifically Mali. Hammer talks about the history of the precious documents that Haidara was saving. How the myth of the uneducated African is just that, a myth. Centuries old manuscripts that talk about medicine, astronomy, politics, legal matters and much more are proof of a proud, educated history in Mali and the Western Africa region.
This book also looks at the history of the rise in terrorism in the region and how that played into the Spring Uprising and Haidara’s need to smuggle out the manuscripts.
Parts of the book read like an adventure novel while other parts read like a history lesson. Together they create a fascinating story!
Mary Alice Brannigan doesn’t believe in the supernatural. Nor does she expect to find that Dreamland, the decaying amusement park she’s been hired to restore, is a prison for the five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world. Plus, there’s a guy she’s falling hard for, and there’s something about him that’s not quite right.
I listened to this audiobook on my latest road trip and thoroughly enjoyed it! There was a big cast of characters, but I was able to keep track of them throughout the book. The characters are interesting and enjoyable, the setting is fun, and the plot is crazy! But, they keep you hooked to the end!
Ben Ripley is a normal kid. Well, a math whizz, but otherwise pretty normal. That is until the FBI shows up and invites him to join Spy School. But, nothing about Spy School is at it seems. From the moment he arrives, someone is trying to kill him. But, who is it? And, more importantly, why??
Not sure who he can trust, Ben fumbles his way through school and tries to stay alive!
This is the first book in a series. Good for 3-6th graders. Fun, fast-paced and interesting!
Princess Theodora is pretty sick of being a princess. Four months ago her finance’ stood her up at the altar, and for that, she got 4 months of exile on a remote island.
Now she’s back, but nothing is easy or better. She’s gotten mixed up with sexy Scot Nick and wishes she could just be a normal woman. But, she’s not and everything about Nick is a mystery! Now they are trying to figure out what happened to her fiance’ because he hasn’t been seen since the wedding.
This is a fun rom-com with some interesting twists and turns. Nothing too heavy, but it was a great plane/vacation book!
This book is fun, nerdy and every book lover’s dream – being locked in a library!
Prior to the grand opening of the new town library, 12 children are chosen for a mysterious lock-in. They must solve the mystery, figure out the clues and find their way out of the library.
This book is fun, interesting and has lots of references to other books. So, as you’re reading, you may want to make note of books along the way that you want to read!
This is one of my favorite children’s books! It is a chapter book and well worth using as a read aloud with your children!
Edward Tulane is a beautiful porcelain rabbit. He was made for and belongs to 10-year old Abilene who loved him dearly. One day, Edward was lost . . . his journey is beautiful, sad and transforming. He learns the true meaning of loving someone.
Through his journey he meets a remarkable cast of characters, both good and bad. He finds value in others and learns the hard lessons of loving others.
I highly recommend this book!
Another fun cozy mystery, this time set in the Scottish Highlands. New owners of Yon Bonnie Books, Janet, newly divorced and moving from America to start a new life, Tallie, Janet’s daughter, Summer, Tallie’s friend who’s ready for an adventure, and Christine, friend and local, find themselves in the middle of a mystery.
Before she can even move into her home, a murder is discovered on Janet’s property. With the motivation to move into her home and get this cloud from over her head, Janet and her friends “help” Constable Hobbs look for clues and try to figure out this murder. With a growing list of suspects, the ladies bumble their way through their first murder mystery. All the while, trying to figure out who they can trust, trying to figure out their new business and make a new life in a beautiful new country.
I found this book fun and entertaining for the most part. There were times I got confused with all the characters because there are a lot of them, but overall it was a fun read.
This book was one of the choices for the Book Lover’s Book Club in January, so it was one of the books I read. I had never read Bailey Cates before, but I enjoyed it.
Set in Savannah, Katie Lightfoot has just moved to the city to start her dream job of opening a bakery. She’s in partnership with her aunt and uncle, long time Savannah residents. But, before they can even open the doors to their new bakery, someone has been murdered right out in front of their shop. And, Katie’s uncle is accused of the murder!
While trying to help clear her uncle’s good name, Katie discovers a few family secrets that are unsettling. She finds out that her aunt is a witch, and well, so is her mom and dad, and yep, so is Katie! It takes her a little while to settle into this news, but it comes in handy while looking for a murderer!
I feel like this is one of those books that you either love or you don’t! For me, not so much! The title held such potential for me. And honestly, it wasn’t a bad story – just not what I was expecting.
I was expecting a lighthearted story about a French bookshop. But instead, it was a story of disappointment, grief and stepping back into life and love. It was much heavier than I was prepared for and therefore took quite a bit longer for me to read.
The story is Jean Perdu is the owner of a book barge, moored in Paris. He leads a very flat, deprived life. For the past twenty years, he has intentionally deprived himself of any of the beautiful things that life has to offer – fun, friendship, love, warmth. Instead, he sells his books and lives in his spartan apartment.
Twenty years ago, Maron, the love of Jean’s life, left him and he decided he did not want to experience that kind of pain again, so he hasn’t felt much of anything! Then one day, he decides he has finally wasted enough of his life and he needs to live again. He unmoors his barge and sets off on an adventure. With a cast of unlikely characters, he finally lets himself grieve the loss of Maron and move back into life.
I felt the “set up” in the story took way too long. Once the adventure started, the story was interesting and I started feeling something for Jean. If you can push through the beginning, it winds up being a good story! And, George does a beautiful job describing their journey through France!
I love this story! While it is somewhat formulaic, I personally don’t feel that takes anything away from it. I read this story a couple of years ago and came back to it this month. It was just as fun and beautiful the second time around as I remembered it to be.
Adler does a beautiful job describing the scenery of the Provence region, and it just makes me want to visit! The storyline is mostly about Franny Martin, a veterinarian living in California. Franny’s life is crumbling around her! Just when she thinks things are going great with her boyfriend, he sends his wife out to break things off with her. Not exactly what she was expecting. Also not what she was expecting is the friendship that comes from the ex-lovers wife, Clare, and an invitation to Provence to meet family she had no idea even existed.
I enjoyed the complicated (and somewhat unrealistic) plot. There are twists and turns, there are sweet friendships and relationships that bloom. In the end, this story just makes me feel good!
Nora Roberts is like comfort food for me. I’ve read most of her books at least once, and there are a few that I enjoy re-reading! Like most of Nora Roberts books, the plot is somewhat predictable and uncomplicated. But, I supposed, as with most books in the romance genre, that’s why we read them!
Re-reading this book in December was a bit of an escape for me. Life was extraordinarily busy, and this book specifically gave me a beautiful place to escape to. A good bit of the book is spent in the mountains of Colorado during the winter, and the hero and heroine are both escaping from their own troubles. So, I suppose I could relate even though my “troubles” were very different from theirs.
If you enjoy romance, the expectation of happily-ever-after, and an enjoyable hero and heroine, you’ll enjoy this offering from Nora Roberts. It gives you enough complication to keep the storyline interesting without making it tense or burdensome.
Or, if you are looking for an escape into the snowy moutains of Colorado for a brief time, this is the book for you!
This book is the second in the Mercenary Maidens series. I’m typically not a huge historical fiction fan, but I am really enjoying this series. The women are strong, clever and daring. The men are of course handsome and strong, but they are also human with faults and emotions.
This series takes place in the UK in the 1600’s. Women are recruited to be spies and they are very good at what they do! I got caught up in the adventure and storyline very quickly and had a hard time putting it down!