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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

10 books I enjoyed, recommended to me by my sister

My sister, Donna, is my most frequent recommender. We share many of the same tastes in reading so frequently make recommendations back and forth. Every once in a while we get it wrong but we get more right than wrong, so we just keep sharing. She reads quite a bit more than me so I can't always keep up with her suggestions, but I try. In no particular order, here are just 10 of the best ones she's recommended over the last couple years.

This weekly theme is provided and the round up is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. It's a great opportunity to meet other avid readers and bloggers, but I have to warn you. There's a danger of your TRB list exploding!

Blue Heaven by C.J. Box

Genre: Mystery

Edgar award winner

Published 2007, 352 pages

We both love good mystery/thriller stories and she introduced me to this author. This is more thriller than mystery because the bad guys are pretty obvious from the beginning - totally engrossing and one of those kind of books that plays like a movie in your mind as you read.

Reviewed here.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Alexie Sherman

Genre: General Fiction, YA

winner of several YA awards

Published 2007, 230 pages

This book was actually on my shelves forever; it took Donna recommending it to make me pull it down and read it. It was surprisingly good! Well written, entertaining but insightful about the trials and tribulations of a young Native American boy going to a white school to improve his education but not fitting in anywhere.

Reviewed here.

The Never-Open Desert Diner #1 by James Anderson

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2015, 295 pages

This book is why I love getting her recommendations - I would have never picked it up on my own, and it is delightful. The setting in Utah is familiar to me, the main character is the epitome of a loner but with a big heart, a couple mysterious secondary characters, the mystery small but's worth a read!

Reviewed here.

I read two Stephen King books on her recommendation this year - On Writing, (review) his nonfiction reflections on his craft with some personal side trips included; and Different Seasons, (review) 4 "short" stories. (King doesn't really do 'short', but these are relatively short) None of them are horror stories, a little creepy maybe - my favorite by far is Shawshank Redemption, which the movie is based on.

The Widows of Malabar Hill #1 by Sujata Massey

Genre: Mystery

Published 2018, 385 pages

This cozy mystery is engrossing and set very evocatively in India. I loved learning a bit about the culture while being carried along in the mystery. And the protagonist is a wonderful female character!

Reviewed here.

The City #1 by Dean Koontz

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2014, 398 pages

Donna and I both usually really like Koontz's books, but some of his more recent ones have been hit or miss for me. This came highly recommended by her, so I started with high expectations. This is one of the rare ones that we didn't agree on. She loved it; I thought it was just okay. The COA story of a young piano prodigy who crosses paths with some unsavory types and how he grows and copes. Koontz definitely has a way with words!

Most Dangerous Place #13 by James Grippando

Genre: Mystery

Published 2017, 480 pages

Returning to our favorite genre and one of our favorite authors, this mystery is a winner. It's a legal thriller with his ongoing character Jack Swyteck. Even though this is the 13th book, Grippando does an excellent job of making each in the series practically a stand-alone book. Start anywhere and enjoy them all!

Reviewed here.

The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni

Genre: Legal Thriller

Published 2016, 336 pages

Another of our favorite authors is a local lawyer and writes excellent legal mystery/thrillers. When she recommended this one, I couldn't wait - and she was right on. Sharp dialog, excellent characters, quick pacing. A boy is killed in a shelter and a priest is accused. The lawyer working the case is hassled by an aggressive cop......all good fodder for a great story.

Storm Front #1 Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Published 2000, 384 pages

This one was truly a surprise. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. He's a wizard advertising his investigative skills! I love the magic and the mystery is excellent as well. I will definitely be reading more in the series!

Reviewed here.

Stone Rain #4 by Linwood Barclay

Genre: Mystery

Published 2007, 448 pages

The final entry in the mystery genre - another fave author, Linwood Barclay. The main character in this series is an average guy reporter who finds himself embroiled in a murder investigation. One of the things I love about Barclay's stories is how he portrays average, normal people rising to the occasion in extraordinary circumstances. They don't have Green Beret or Seal skills, they aren't marksmen or former FBI agents.....just ordinary people trying to get out of a mess. I love that premise and he does it consistently well.

Here's where I give Donna a big thank you for all the years of recommending good books and broadening my awareness of authors and sometimes even different genres. Hope you'll keep it up - I look forward to many more years of sharing good books with you!

Take a minute and visit That Artsy Reader Girl to see some of the other books people have read due to recommendations - I bet you'll find something you can't wait to read!

Welcome to Bookshelf Journeys.

It's my goal to provide real reviews of the books I read without totally rehashing every plot. I'll never spoil a story by giving away a plot twist! Hopefully you'll find one or two of interest and will discover a new book or author to add to YOUR TBR list.  Take a moment to explore, read a couple reviews, and let me know what you think.


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The review ratings are based on a 5 star  (1/2 stars sometimes) system with a 3 being an average read for me. I hope you find that helpful. Knowing, of course, that all opinions are just that - my opinion!  Let me know if you agree or disagree - I'd love to hear from you.

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