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Chapter 12 - Among Friends

I love customer recommendations. When a customer tells me about a book he or she has loved and suggests I read it, it is like being introduced to a new friend. As you know I read lots of reviews and do quite a lot of research before I will read a book. I read Bookmarks and Publisher's Weekly to get a handle on the new and notable. I do this because life is too short to read a bad book and generally, from the synopsis of the book, I'll have a good idea of whether I will like the book.

So far my customers have never disappointed me in their recommendations. I don't always get to read their suggestions in a timely fashion as my TBR (To Be Read) stack is so large I may never finish it in my lifetime. Usually I sandwich these books in between others as often they are different from what I've been reading and provide a good break. Here are some of the best recommendations I've had so far this year.

River of Darkness by Rennie Airth - One of my Canadian customers recommended this book. John Madden is a Scotland Yard inspector who is called it after a family is found slaughtered on their estate. The book takes place immediately after World War I and I would suggest it for anyone who enjoys Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series.

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke - This is a book about a black Texas Ranger, who, after having been suspended, is asked to quietly investigate a murder in a small town in Texas. This is the first of the series. I'd recommend it for either a C.J. Box/Joe Pickett fan or Craig Johnson/Walt Longmire series fan.

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margo by Marianne Cronin - While having sad overtones, this story was still very uplifting. Lenni and Margo are two women in a hospital in Edinburgh. Margo at 83 is awaiting a heart operation and Lenni at 17 is in the terminal ward. Between them they decide to paint their combined 100 years of life. As they are painting their memories, they tell the story of why they chose that particular life event to paint. The book reinforces that friendship comes in all forms and ages. This would be a terrific book for people who enjoy Frederick Backman books.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren - Christina Lauren is actually two people Christina and Lauren who write together and do it very well. With over 17 best selling novels to their name, it was a surprise that I'd never read their books before. The Soulmate Equation is about a geneticist who believes he can find people their perfect match with algorithms based on their DNA. When a test candidate makes a perfect match with him, his colleagues are excited as his company is about to launch an IPO and this makes for great marketing - or does it? I recommend this book for those who enjoy Jane Green or Beth Harbison stories.

Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand - I've enjoyed many of Hilderbrand's books but kept hearing mixed reviews of this one which was published last summer. One of my very reliable customers told me she thought I'd like it so I read it recently. She was right. The story centers around a woman who has been killed in a hit and run. When she gets to heaven she is given the opportunity to see how her family is doing without her and to nudge them to make the right decisions. I'd suggest this book to readers who enjoy a little magical realism like Rebecca Serle's books or Alice Hoffman's.

Do you have any good recommendations for me? Please share if you do!


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