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July 30, 2020
What I’m Reading: This is How I Lied from Jo's Country Junction

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 ...

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July 26, 2020
What I’m Reading: The Water Keeper from Jo's Country Junction

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 ...

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July 23, 2020
What I’m Reading: A Keeper from Jo's Country Junction

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 ...

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July 19, 2020
What I’m Reading: Missing Molly from Jo's Country Junction

I’ve been on a roll for finding good books.  Most of them have been coming from Hoopla.  My latest find is Missing Molly by Natalie Barelli.

Missing Molly
The book was really interesting and really kept my attention.  For awhile I thought the main character was crazy.  Then I started believing her and then I thought she was crazy again.   It was a big back and forth for me now being sure if the main character was believable or not.  I was totally engaged.

Here’s what Amazon has to say:
Everyone has secrets, and Rachel Holloway is no exception. She ...

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July 16, 2020
What I’m Reading: The Secret Letter from Jo's Country Junction

I just finished listening to The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix.  I found it on Audible and initially was really excited about it.  I love mysterious titles…”secret letter”…hmm, what could it be?  On top of that, it’s a WWII book…yep, I’ll read it.

The Secret LetterThe book tells the stories of two girls growing up in Europe during the war.  One girl lives in London and the other in Germany.  Each has a completely different experience.  Years and years later, they connect and that is when the book comes full circle.

Here’s what Amazon had to ...

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July 9, 2020
What I’m Reading: The Lost Orphan from Jo's Country Junction

I found a book that looked interesting…The Lost Orphan by Stacey Halls.

I love historical fiction and honestly have a little trouble finding books that are good that all aren’t WWII related.  I think that the WWII era is the “in vogue” time period to write about now.  I know 25 years ago it was more of the pioneering and Civil War times that many historical fiction books were written about…now, it seems WWII.

This one wasn’t about WWII and was a treat to get to read about a different time.  This was London 1754.

The Lost Orphan: A Novel by [Stacey Halls]
I ...

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June 30, 2020
What I’m Reading/Watching: Defending Jacob from Jo's Country Junction

Do you ever read a book and it sticks with you?  Back in 2012 I read a book Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landy.

It was a really good book.  It’s a courtroom drama and I tend to like them…yep, there’s a twist at the end too.

Andy Barber and his wife Laurie are well respected people in their community.  Andy a District Attorney and Laurie a school teacher are blindsided when their son Jacob is charged with killing a school classmate.  As the trial goes on the book outlines the change in relationships with community ...

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June 11, 2020
What I’m Reading: Of Windmills and War from Jo's Country Junction

I saw this book repeatedly over the last year as a book that was recommended for me.  I bypassed it and bypassed it.  I really don’t know why.  I think partly because I noticed it was a trilogy.  Sometimes I don’t like getting sucked into trilogies.  I feel like the first book is always awesome and the next books..are well, just sequels and not as awesome.  I finally gave  Of Windmills and War by Diane Moody a try.

Of Windmills and War (The War Trilogy - Book 1) by [Diane Moody]I ended up loving the book.  I had several blog readers who had recommended it to me and it ...

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June 4, 2020
What I’m Reading: Nothing More Dangerous from Jo's Country Junction

I have read several books by Allen Eskens and to date, I have loved every single one of them….seriously, they are all on my favorites list and it’s made me put Eskens on my list of very favorite authors.  I saw that he had a book I hadn’t read and I wanted to remedy that immediately so I burned an Audible credit and bought Nothing More Dangerous.

Nothing More Dangerous

The book reminds me much of a 70’s version on To Kill a Mockingbird.  For me, that is HIGH praise as that’s one of my all time favorite ...

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May 31, 2020
What I’m Reading: Sold on a Monday from Jo's Country Junction

I just finished up the audiobook Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris.  The book kept coming up for me as suggested by both Amazon and Audible, so I finally broke down and got the book.  The cover looked like something I’d like and the time period looked like something I’d like so I gave it a try.

Sold on a Monday: A Novel by [Kristina McMorris]

The book takes place during the Great Depression and was inspired by this sign.

What happened to the 4 children who were sold by their parents ...
This book was good in several different ways.  Someone does a wrong and they work to make a right.  I love that theme.  Someone’s former ...

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May 28, 2020
What I’m Reading: The Shadows We Hid from Jo's Country Junction

I saw that Allen Eskens has a new book, The Shadows We Hid.  I have read another book of his and LOVED it.  I highly recommend it and suggest you read The Life We Bury first.

The Life We Bury

It’s the first book of the series and I adored that book.  This new book, The Shadows We Hid, is the sequel.

Both of these books take place in southern Minnesota.  The people live in Austin Minnesota and in the Twin Cities.  They go to college at Mankato State where I went…it’s all familiar and feels like home when I read ...

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May 24, 2020
What I’m Reading: The Girls With No Names from Jo's Country Junction

I’ve had a little more time so I’ve been getting more books off of my Hoopla Digital account.  That’s the online free library I use.  I’ll admit to before being a little impatient and not using the library to my best ability.

I have very much enjoyed Hoopla and highly recommend checking it out.  I’ve heard so many people complain about the waitlist that most on line libraries have.  Hoopla has no wait list.  You get the book, audiobook, music and movies immediately.  It’s awesome.

Anyway…back to my book…  It’s The Girls ...

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May 21, 2020
What I’m Reading: Girls Like Us from Jo's Country Junction

At Christmas time I filled my “holds” list at my online library.  They only let patrons have 10 books on hold at a time.  Many of the books I put on hold had waiting lists of 6 months or more.  WOW!!  So I was surprised have one come up as available….this book, Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger.

I welcome a few cop type mysteries in between all of the other books I read and this one was perfect.  I was drawn in right away and found myself trying to do things so that I could listen.  I always ...

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May 19, 2020
What I’m Reading: Call Your Daughter Home from Jo's Country Junction

I’ve been feeling a little frustrated with my online library options.  I have long used Overdrive for my online listening.  I started doing that when we lived on the farm.  At the time we were in the very south west corner of the county.  Well we moved from the farm to the house in town.  We moved only 3 or so miles.  The move was enough to put us in the Northwest corner of the county below us.  Thus we now live in a different county.

Well a month or so ago after me being so excited that the ...

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May 7, 2020
What I’m Reading: The Last Year of the War from Jo's Country Junction

Right around Christmas time Audible had a great sale on books.  It was like half off or something crazy.  I ended up letting myself get four audio books.  I was so excited.  I’m finally getting a chance to listen to them.  The latest listen is The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner.  It was already in my library and then a blog reader left a comment that said they thought I’d like the book.  Well that prompted me to get in downloaded and listened to.

Here’s what Amazon has to say:In 1943, Elise Sontag ...

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May 3, 2020
What I’m Reading: Have You Seen Luis Velez? from Jo's Country Junction

The book Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde showed up my recommended book list on Audible and I decided to give it a try.  As much as I love historical fiction, I often need a little break from it.  This sounded lighter and just what I needed.

I loved the book..but I can’t say it was “lighter”.   I wasn’t hooked immediately.  It took a few chapters but then I fell in love with the main character, Raymond, and I was “ear to the Audible” the rest of the way.  The book was a story ...

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April 30, 2020
What I’m Reading: Westering Women from Jo's Country Junction

I saw that Sandra Dallas had a new book out called Westering Women.  I am a big Sandra Dallas fan.  Some of my all time favorite books are by her.    I LOVE Sandra Dallas.  My favorite is likely Alice’s Tulips.  I like the older ones best…  Tall GrassThe Diary of Mattie SpenserThe Persian Pickle Club.  The newer ones I don’t like as much.  I was hopeful that this is one I’d like.

Westering Women: A Novel by [Dallas, Sandra]
I love books from this time period.  I love books about traveling west by covered wagon so I was super excited for this ...

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April 26, 2020
What I’m Reading: All the Forgivenesses from Jo's Country Junction

Remember I requested some books from my online library and they immediately came??  One of the books was All the Forgivenesses by Elizabeth Hardinger.  I’ll admit to picking this partly because of the cover.  I love hardscrabble books….books were people live with poverty and rise above.  For some reason, looking at the cover, I hoped this might be one of those.

This was a book I gave you the opportunity to read along if you’d like.  Did you?  What did you think?

All the Forgivenesses by [Elizabeth Hardinger]
I know I’m going to like a book if it catches me in the ...

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April 19, 2020
What I’m Reading: A Fire Sparkling from Jo's Country Junction

Over Christmas I bought a few Audible books.  They were half price and I was treating myself.  I have several books in my Audible library and grab one when I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to look on the free online libraries I use.

The book I recently grabbed was A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean.  It’s a WWII book which has become a favorite period of time for me to read about.

A Fire Sparkling by [MacLean, Julianne]
This book was especially good.  The story follows an age old premise where two story lines are told.  One is the perspective ...

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April 12, 2020
What I’m Reading: Midnight at the Bluebird Cafe from Jo's Country Junction

I had a book on hold and it finally came available.  It was on hold for four months or so.  I didn’t really read they synopsis on the book….I kind of read the book by the cover and title so I hoped it was good.

The book is Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber.

Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe: A Novel by [Webber, Heather]

I didn’t finish the book…
I got about 1/4 of the way into the book and said to myself, “Do you really care what happens to these characters?”  The answer was no so I gave up on the book.  It ...

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