Book 4 of 52: Lucky You by Carl Hiassen

About this time last year, I was reading a novel by Carl Hiaasen, the ultimate writer of Florida men, while lounging in the Florida sun. This week, I read a novel by Carl Hiassen while lying under multiple blankets on my couch in New Jersey, a state that feels like it has been stuck on permanent gray for the last six weeks. This photo, which I took in my bathroom, matches the general vibe (though after telling myself I wasn’t making my annual trek south this year, I cracked. Expect a Florida-themed photo on this site next month). This time around, the Hiaasen book of choice is Lucky You, a 1997 novel about two people who win the lottery. One is JoLayne Lucks, an animal lover who plans to use a portion of her winnings to buy and preserve a plot of undeveloped land so it won’t be paved over. The other is Bode, an asshole who wants to use the money to fund a white nationalist militia. They each had a ticket for one $28 million jackpot, but Bode, being an asshole, gets greedy and decides $14 million isn’t enough. He has his equally assholish friend Chub (they go by first names here because they’re “cool” i.e. “dicks”) beat up JoLayne, steal her ticket, and plan to claim the whole prize. This is all set against the backdrop of a fictional town called Grange, whose biggest tourist draw is a panoply of faked religious sights, including a Virgin Mary…

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Friday Folio: January 27, 2023

I’m trying out a new feature on the blog, where I wrap up some book world news on Fridays. We’ll see if this works!  So here’s some news. Spare by Prince Harry has become the fastest selling non-fiction book of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. I imagine I’ll read it at some point, probably listen to the audiobook version as I did with other royal-related books, including Book 26 of 2022, The Palace Papers by Tina Brown. I’ve read bits…

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Book 3 of 52: Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon by Kate Andersen Brower

How about some glamour, darlings? Then let’s dive into Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon by Kate Andersen Brower. This new book is the third biography I’ve read of Taylor. Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger is a biography of Taylor and husband number five (and maybe six, depending on how you count, as they divorced and remarried then divorced again) with a focus on that relationship; and How to…

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Book 2 of 52: Murder, She Wrote: The Maine Mutiny by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

And we’re back on the Murder, She Wrote boat! Or a lobster boat, as is the case with Murder, She Wrote: The Maine Mutiny. This 2005 entry into the Murder, She Wrote literary oeuvre opens with Fletcher stuck in an abandoned lobster boat with a dead body. She doesn’t remember how she got there, thanks to someone (she assumes the person who did the murdering) hitting her on the head. That’s the middle of this story, which then jumps back to what lead to be…

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Book 1 of 52: The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff

Happy New Year! With the turning of the calendar starts a new year of book reviews. Writing this blog last year was a joy, and a much needed kick in the pants to get me to think about writing for writing’s sake — and not writing just stuff I was being paid for (though I do have a tip jar, and I get a cut if you order any books from the links, just putting that out there!) So here I am again, ready to…

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Book 66 of 52: Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath

And here we have it, the last book of the year: Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath. And it's...fine. I wasn't in much of...
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Book 65 of 52: A Gentleman in Moscow

The funny thing about A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is that I've had this for almost three years, but avoided reading it because...
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Book 64 of 52: Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobson

Two warnings on this post. First the serious one: this review is in part about the Holocaust. If you want to skip it given everything...
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Book 63 of 52: Baron by Joanna Shupe

In November, I reviewed a romance anthology for book 55 in this series: How the Dukes Stole Christmas, which included novellas by four different authors....
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Book 62 of 52: The Secret Apartment: Vet Stadium, a surreal memoir by Tom Garvey

Tom Garvey came home from a the Vietnam War with PTSD, and was trying to figure out what's next while going to college and working...
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Book 61 of 52: The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan

When Inspector Chopra retires, he receives an unusual inheritance: a baby elephant. He can't figure out why his uncle left him the animal, but he...
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