Another nonfiction! Yay me! Another book I was reading intermittently for months. This is a really interesting history of Timbuktu as a North African cultural center, of Abdel Kader Haidara’s efforts to collect ancient manuscripts from the desert, and the efforts he went to in 2011/2012 to keep the manuscripts from the invading Al Qaeda guerilla army. Tightly written and action-packed read about saving the books! Also, a really good description of Al Qaeda’s activity during that time.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson
I had a taped from TV movie version of this book that I watched a lot as a kid. I don’t think I read the book version, but I was in the mood. It’s a quick, delightful story about a church Christmas Pageant that seems to be going all wrong, until it goes beautifully right.
Hens Dancing, by Raffaella Barker
I had to hunt down this book after hearing about it in a Georgette Heyer facebook discussion. In diary format, a woman recounts a year as a newly single mom living on a rural homestead. From her disgust at her ex to her wacky mother to a blossoming romance with a local builder, Venetia (yes, named after the Heyer heroine) gives us the highs and lows in one of the lowest years of her life. A delight.
I Hope You’re Listening, by Tom Ryan
When Dee was seven, her best friend was kidnapped in front of her. Now 17, she’s still struggling with that trauma, running a successful podcast about other missing people. When another girl is kidnapped from her old home, new information about her friend’s kidnapping comes to light. This leads her to hunt down the people who might have taken her and to finally get the answers she has always been seeking. Really good YA mystery. I enjoyed the audio.
Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
Unlike Stephen King, I get why Liane Moriarty is so popular. Her stories are seemingly straightforward, but stick with you for awhile afterwards. She writes people—their thoughts and underlying feelings—really well.
Merry Inkmas, by Talia Hibbert
A (guilty) pleasure. I do like Hibbert’s romances, even though they are a little too steamy for me. When Bailey loses her job because she’s kind to a homeless man. Cash steps in and hires her as the receptionist at his tattoo parlor. They had the hots for each other before they start to see each other every day and now the thermometer is maxing out.