Category Archives: Good Books

What I’m Reading: Before She Was Found

The last book review I did was for Heather Gudenkauf…this review is for another book by her, Before She was Found.  Gudenkauf is an Iowa writer and I always love her books.  Picking this one to listen to was an easy selection as I’ve never had a book by her that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.  You might remember that I just finished another book by this same author, This is How I Lied.  I loved that book and was hopeful that I would love this book too.

Before She Was Found: A Novel by [Heather Gudenkauf]
I was reading along..I thought I had figured out whodunit….but surprisingly, I was wrong.  That usually doesn’t happen for me, but after reviewing the story, I could see how I might have missed a few clues as to who was the real purpetrator.  I loved the book…seriously, I always love her books.

This story was told through the perspective of many and I really appreciated that.  To often in life when a tragedy happens, we forget that many are affected by a single event.  This book was a good reminder that many feel the impact of a single event.

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What I’m Reading: This is How I Lied

I am a HUGE Heather Gudenkauf fan.  She’s an Iowa writer and most, if not all, of the books I’ve read by her take place in Iowa.  I love how she “masks” the names of towns but I can identify with the what the “real” name of the town is.  I am a huge sucker for a books that take place in “my neck of the woods”.  On top of that, Heather Gudenkauf is straight up, an awesome story teller.  If you haven’t tried her yet..DO!  Here is a LINK to other books of her’s that I’ve reviewed.  When I saw that Hoopla had two books of her’s in audio form, I checked both of them out.  This review is about This is How I Lied.

This Is How I Lied: A Novel by [Heather Gudenkauf]

This book was really good.  I listened to it over the course of 48 hours.  Every moment I had to listen, I listened.

She often writes in first person and that is my favorite way a story is told.  I like that there were several different suspects and listeners really didn’t know whodunit until the very end.

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What I’m Reading: The Water Keeper

I’ve long been a Charles Martin fan.  It started some time ago.

Some of you likely don’t know but when we first moved to Iowa (Kramer and I are both originally from southeast Minnesota) we moved to Lawler, Iowa.  Kramer was working on the farm but we lived in a neighboring town about 7 miles away.

Lawler had an awesome small town library and the librarian was awesome.  Seriously, she was the best librarian.  Her name was Jane.  She worked to know her patrons and she truly served us.  There was rarely a time that she didn’t say, “The book you were interested in was just returned.  Let me get that processed quick so you can take it with you.” or “I just got this book in.  I was thinking being you liked this author, you might this author as well.”  She was that way with everyone including my kids.  She did that for each member of our family.  We all loved Jane.

Later we moved to the farm.  Waucoma was closer so we tried the Waucoma library.  My heart wasn’t in it and I missed Jane terribly so we often went to both libraries.  That was a nightmare to keep track of books for me and five kids for two different libraries.

Well before long Jane retired.  The Lawler library was truly never as good.  The new librarian tried but there was only one Jane.  To this day, much of the love my kids have for books I attribute to Jane.  She was always finding or ordering books she thought they would love…and amazingly, she was always spot on.  They did love those books…I did too.

A couple years I happened to be in the grocery store and Jane was shopping with her husband.  She stepped away from the cart and came over to greet me.  I was so happy to see her.  I hadn’t in all this time.  She said, “Jo.  I have an author that I know you’ll love.  His name is Charles Martin.  Just remember two guys first names together.  Charles-Martin.  I know you’ll love his books.”  That was Jane.  A born and breed librarian to the very sole even in retirement.  I can’t tell you how special that moment was for me.  I just love people who are truly passionate about what they do…Jane sure was!!

…and that’s how I got hooked on Charles Martin books.  I read everyone as soon as they come out.  I preorder most of them.

Charles Martin’s latest book is The Water Keeper.  Of course I had to get it.

Did I like it…YES.  I did find the first couple chapters hard to follow.  I listened as an audiobook and I think the speed was set to high.  Typically I listen at 1.5 speed..but with this narrator, I had to slow it down.  Once I did…it was great.  The story content was wonderful as always.  Martin has an ever present theme of redemption and forgiveness…a topic I think is good for all of us.  I’ve seen his books classified as Christian Fiction but I really don’t consider them that.  If you’re a atheist you might think they are but an everyday person I don’t think would.

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What I’m Reading: A Keeper

I finished the audio book A Keeper by Graham Norton.  I had told you earlier about my frustrations with my library card being revoked as I wasn’t living in the county anymore.  I was able to get one for the library in the county that uses the same online library service so I’m back to being about to use them again.  This was the first book I put on my waiting list after getting the new card.

Cover image for A Keeper
The book is a bit of a mystery.  The fastest overview of the book is this: mother dies…a daughter finds a mystery to the identity of her father…daughter goes on a hunt to find her parentage.  Daughter veals a whole story she never knew.  It’s a common premise but it’s one I often enjoy.

Here’s what Amazon had to say: Continue reading