#EmptyShelf20: December

The Art Fiasco (Poppy Denby Investigates, #5)The Art Fiasco by Fiona Veitch Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think I’ve now read all of this series up to date … and I’ve really enjoyed them all – feels like the characters are now very established and settled (not in a boring way), and there’s lovingly placed historical detail that helps give the story context, along with modern insights to an era that was not used to women in working roles. The murder mystery weaves in and out of the lives of the characters to a satisfying end. It’s not a heavy read – was perfect for a day when I was just feeling exhausted and wanted something enjoyable to read.

The Girl in Times SquareThe Girl in Times Square by Paullina Simons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was left feeling a bit ‘empty’ by this huge book – but clearly interested enough to finish it. The characters are complex, well written, and there’s a lot going on … but it does feel a bit like observing a number of different lives undergoing random events – then stuck with massive cancer storyline right in the middle (which, as someone with incurable cancer…) hmmm

Who We Were BeforeWho We Were Before by Leah Mercer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is not an ‘enjoyable’ lightweight read, but I found it very intriguing, and wove the characters together well. I cared about what happened to them, which is always a sign of a good book. The book bounces between timelines that make sense as we get to see what really happen and how two people struggled with blaming themselves and each other…

Radical Gratitude: Recalibrating Your Heart in An Age of EntitlementRadical Gratitude: Recalibrating Your Heart in An Age of Entitlement by Peter Maiden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought there was a lot of useful and thoughtful information in this book, and particularly echoed with the thought that God doesn’t give me cancer, but that having cancer gives different ‘opportunities’ in life if we look out for them … The author of this book discovered he had terminal cancer as he was writing it, and died this summer after it was published. I’m always wary of anything that may be ‘toxic positivity’ – but this is not that. Not a v long book, easy to read, and some interesting underlying biblical principles.

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