The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

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My Review:

If you love the 80s, music, tradition, England and love, you will want to read The Music Shop right away!  Frank had an odd childhood; growing up he called his single mother by her first name and, the only thing his not so nurturing, nontraditional mom ever taught him about was music.  Now, a single man outside of London, Frank owns a small music shop on a run down street.  He only sells vinyl records; refuses to keep up with the times and offer cds or even cassette tapes.  He has given up on the possibility for love and seems content in his role in life as a music expert. Frank matches customers and friends to songs he thinks they need to know.  He is quirky and old fashioned, but likable and has a reputation for being a good man and helping lots of people.

One day a beautiful, mysterious woman shows up at his shop
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One Station Away by Olaf Olafsson

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My Review:

Reading this book I was pleasantly surprised…it was not what I expected, knowing the author, Olaf Olafsson, a successful businessman, is the Executive Vice President of Time Warner and was responsible for introducing Sony PlayStation.

 One Station Away is a thoughtful story about Magnus, a Yale neurologist, and three important women in his life; his patient, his fiancé and his mother.   He conducts research on head trauma patients who appear to have no mental capabilities but in fact may be conscious and communicative.  He spends many evenings holding his patient’s hand and feeling powerless to help as he thinks of ways to try and connect with her.  Magnus struggles with the recent loss of his
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The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak

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My Review:

The Last Suppers is a captivating novel set in a Louisiana penitentiary where Ginny, young daughter of a murdered prison guard, is now all grown up and cooking for the inmates at the jail.  She meets with the prisoners on death row to find out what they want for their last meal and does her best to create the requested dishes.  The drama began two decades prior, when her father was killed and his supposed murderer was put to death while she and her mother were present.  Her dad’s best friend, Roscoe promised to take care of Ginny and her mother, and now, Ginny and Roscoe, currently the jail warden, work together and are a couple, intimately involved.  Despite the age difference, their comfortable routine has been beneficial to both of them over the years but things change when Ginny learns more about the man who paid the price for her father’s murder.
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Green by Sam Graham-Felsen

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My Review:

It is the 1990s and Dave, son of Harvard educated hippies, is one of only a few white kids in his Boston middle school.  Having a difficult time connecting with the other students, he becomes drawn to Marlon, a black kid from the projects who seems to have similar interests; video games, the Boston Celtics and getting into the better high school.  They become friendly but both are ashamed of their home life and there is always a distance between them even as they become closer.  They spend hours watching vintage basketball games and have
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Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake

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My Review:

Suspense/thriller Author Rebecca Drake takes us to a suburban town where four close friends each hide dirty secrets that are slowly revealed as the fast paced story in Just Between Us unfolds.  This domestic drama, similar in some ways to Big Little Lies, showcases their perfect, small town existence, but behind the public facade, there is darkness.

Three friends believe the other is in an abusive marriage and when the husband is found dead,
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Educated by Tara Westover

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My Review:

The author’s coming of age in Educated is incredible, tragic, praiseworthy and monumental.  From a young girl loving and believing everything her parents tell her to questioning their logic and actively pursuing different answers and other ways of thinking, Tara Westover has the inherent desire to know more.  Reminiscent of The Glass Castle, Tara lives with her survivalist family in the mountains of Idaho, and similar to  Leah Remini’s account of her time as a scientologist in Troublemaker, Tara begins to realize all she is told may not be the truth and although she is fiercely loyal to her parents and siblings she feels trapped and begins to question their nonconventional, way of life.
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Hum If You Don’t Know The Words by Bianca Marais

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My Review:

Hum If You Don’t Know The Words is one of my current favorite debuts!  In 1976 apartheid South Africa where racism was a way of life, we meet Robin, a 9 yr old white girl who was daughter to a miner and his wife.   Robin’s father did not always treat blacks fairly and, tragically, both parents were murdered, leaving the little girl alone.  Then we meet Beauty, a 50 year old, educated, black, single mother of  3; 2 teenage boys living with her in a small village and a daughter who had been living with a relative’s family so she could study in the city.  When Beauty finds out her daughter has run away to train for the resistance and she is in danger, she travels to the city to find her.
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