Love You More by Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner does it again with another installment of the D. D. Warner series. This book is #5 in the Detective D. D Warren series and #1 in the Tessa Leoni series.  In this book Tessa, the protagonist, a Massachusetts State Police officer and mother of a young girl has murdered her husband in their sunny kitchen after a brutal beating.  Her daughter, Sophie is missing from their home. Tessa is arrested after evidence proves she is lying about the details. It is up to Tessa to find her little girl and prove her innocence. Plot twists and information is slowly fed to the reader, as Tessa races to find her daughter. She is amazingly resourceful as she stays one step ahead of Detective Warren.

Gardner’s fast paced writing style and captivating plots make you want to read her stories in one sitting. I however listen them on CD on my hour commute to and from work. I find myself wanting to bring the disk in to my home and office so I can listen to it there too. (I don’t but I want to!)  The reader for D.D. is superb. Kirsten Potter has a direct, bold voice that is the personification of D.D. Warren. Now when I read other D. D. Warren books, I hear her voice in my head.

The author has a list of all the D. D. Warren and Tessa Leoni books in order on her web site, just in case you are interested in following me down the rabbit hole.


The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks

I adored this book with its mix of truth and fiction. It is an account of Carrie McGavock, who finds her home taken over by the Confederate army and turned into a field hospital during the battle of Franklin, Tennessee. She is called the Widow of the South. She did amazing things for nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers killed in the Battle of Franklin. She nursed them while they were dying, and reburied them on her own land when the mass grave field they were buried in was to be plowed. She kept records for every one of them and wrote to their families about their lost loved ones. The cemetery that she protected for them still exists and is kept up by The United Daughters of the Confederacy.  The stories are told with stark honesty, not romanticizing the battle. The straightforward delivery, while at times gruesome in its descriptions, adds realism, and yet poignancy, to horrible situations.

The fictional parts come in with her fascination with an injured young Southern soldier who is wounded when he releases his guns and charges forward into Yankee territory, holding only the flag of his company’s colours. Carrie sees something kindred in the man’s eyes and falls in love with him. He does not coddle her or treat her with the social propriety. He eventually recognizes the fact that she is as injured as he is, even though her injuries are emotional and well-hidden. Together, they are able to heal each other’s physical and spiritual wounds, finding a love that it endures across the decades and miles of separation.

Why I Threw out my TBR List…Sort of….

FullSizeRenderA librarian without a To Be Read list full of books is unheard of where I live. A bibliophile without a stack of TBR books and a list of recommendations of well over one hundred books is a myth. That person exists where the unicorns live.

I have a TBR list of about 265 books. I also have four stacks of books on the floor of my home library, two small stacks in the living room and a medium size stack on my nightstand. I will die before I read all my TBR books in all those locations.

I thought about the fact that every day I add to my list or a buy more books. I felt more and more insane at the thought of how I would possibly read all the books I own, much less manage to read through the list I have too. I guess I could weed the list. Maybe cut it down to manageable chunks of books. I could even categorize them and tackle the most loved and desired first. The amount of the time and work this would take was a daunting thought.

Then it hit me, just get rid of the list and read the first thing that I grab. Read what speaks to me at that moment in that moment. So I was looking at the list. Staring it down like one does a spider you are about to smack with a shoe. It was glaring back with its catchy titles, best seller snobbery and award-winning charmers. As I went to delete the list, I could not do it. I was thinking, what if a person recommends a book and I remember it is on my list. I may need the list to jog my memory. Do I own it? Is it at the library? What was that title? Was it the one with the blue cover? Deleting the list would not work for me. I think I actually saw my list give a smug smile of victory.

I came to the conclusion that I would not be a slave to the TBR list. I will use it for inspiration, but not as a dictator that will force me to read things I may change my mind about reading. My list did not own me, so I consciously changed my thoughts about my TBR list.

As a result, I feel free to read things I pick up at random. I don’t have to check the list to get permission to read it. I do not feel compelled to check the reviews before I read it. I just pick it up buy it or check it out from the library. Then I unapologetically read the book.  I do not feel obligated to write down every title someone passionately suggest even if they say I must read the latest book they can’t stop talking about. If it sounds interesting and I see it, I can pick it up or not. I am not obligated to consult the authority of the list. I am no longer a captive of the TBR list.

I am a free reader.