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The Nine Tailors: A Lord Peter Mystery

The Nine Tailors: A Lord Peter Mystery

Critics have argued that this mystery–set in 1934 England–is the greatest detective novel ever written. I’m not the judge of that, but I do know that Sayers’s mystery novels keep me turning the page until way past my bedtime. The Nine Tailors is one of the 11 Lord Peter novels and the one Nancy Pearl recommends you start with. I'm a big fan of this series; no need to read these in order. We've read anchor text Gaudy Night in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club. More info →
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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

From the publisher: "A New York Times bestseller: The 'magnificent' memoir by one of the bravest and most original writers of our time. Jeanette Winterson’s bold and revelatory novels have established her as a major figure in world literature. Her internationally best-selling debut, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, tells the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents, and has become a staple of required reading in contemporary fiction classes. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a 'singular and electric' memoir about a life’s work to find happiness (The New York Times). Witty, acute, fierce, and celebratory, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a tough-minded story of the search for belonging—for love, identity, home, and a mother." More info →
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The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside your Door

The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside your Door

From the publisher: "Once upon a time, people knew their neighbors. They talked to them, had cook-outs with them, and went to church with them. In our time of unprecedented mobility and increasing isolationism, it's hard to make lasting connections with those who live right outside our front door. We have hundreds of 'friends' through online social networking, but we often don't even know the full name of the person who lives right next door. This unique and inspiring book asks the question: What is the most loving thing I can do for the people who live on my street or in my apartment building?" More info →
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A Curse So Dark and Lonely

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

A reader (hi, Donna!) alerted me to this unputdownable book. Harper, a modern day 17 year old girl, is going through a terrible time when she gets sucked into a fantasy world. Prince Rhen, heir to the throne of Emberfall, is cursed, turns into a beast, and destroys everything he holds dear (sound familiar?). This Beauty and the Beast retelling is delightfully modern, features a character with cerebral palsy, and straddles reality and fantasy in a refreshing way. I recommended this one to Keren on episode 193 of What Should I Read Next because of its clever twist on a familiar story. More info →
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The Annotated Little Women

The Annotated Little Women

When I asked what books every woman's gotta read, Alcott's 1869 novel about New England sisters growing up in the Civil War Era was an overwhelming crowd favorite. I only recently learned that Alcott herself didn't want to write Little Women: when a publisher asked her to write a book for girls, she put aside the thrillers she'd been writing and wrote about the only girls she knew— her sisters. The book's unexpected success changed her life and literary career. More info →
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