The Rose Code

The Rose Code book cover along with quote, "a well-told story that transports readers to the exhausting and intriguing world of enigmas."

Book Review

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Kate Quinn does it again! The Rose Code is a hefty 650+ page read that is so well written and intricately crafted, you don’t want it to end!

The premise:

It’s 1940 and England finds itself at war against Germany. Three young women answer the call to Bletchley Park — sworn to keep their daily tasks secret even from one another. It’s here that the sharpest brains in Britain have gathered in an attempt to break German military codes.

Osla is a beautiful and wealthy debutant — who also happens to be dating the handsome Prince Philip of Greece. Mab, who grew up in east-end poverty and is desperate to make something more of herself. And Beth, painfully shy and under the thumb of an overbearing mother, who soon begins to find herself as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.

Their friendship blossoms but soon war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart. But when a mysterious traitor emerges in the years following the war, the three must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But this Rose Code may threaten not only their relationships but their very lives…

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Things We Didn’t Say

Things We Didn't Say book cover with quote from The 52 Book Club "an impressive debut novel that made me fall in love with epistolary style story-telling."

Book Review

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

From 1942 through 1945, more than 400,000 Axis prisoners were shipped to the United States and detained in camps in rural areas across the country. This relatively little-known historical fact acts as the focal point for this impressive debut novel, Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green.

About: It’s 1944. Linguistic student, Johanna Berglund, has reluctantly accepted a translator position at a camp for German POWs. As she interacts with the prisoners, translating conversations and censoring their letters home to Germany, she begins to see these men as more than just enemies. But advocating for the soldiers’ better treatment leaves townspeople wondering whose side she’s on. Most patriot citizens want nothing to do with the Germans labouring in the camp, or with those who work there. As the lines between compassion and treason become blurred, Johanna must decide where her heart truly lies.

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Roll With It: Author Chat with Jamie Sumner

Chat with Jamie Sumner, author of Roll With It. Photo of Jamie Sumner and book cover.

Author Chat with Jamie Sumner!
Featuring her book, Roll With It

I recently finished reading the middle-grade book, Roll With It by Jamie Sumner. This lovely story follows twelve-year-old Ellie — an irrepressible girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes an unexpected turn when she moves to a new town.

The book is beautifully written, full of heart and charm. Ellie is snarky and vulnerable and has a penchant for baking. She’s also dynamic and reflective and delightfully relatable. For fans of middle-grade stories, Jamie Sumner’s books are definitely ones to keep an eye out for!

After reading, I immediately messaged Jamie to see if she’d be willing to chat with us. And she was! It’s was such an honour to hear more about Roll With It (and see what she’s working on next.) Hope you enjoy!

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21 Book Covers With Women Facing Away

21 Book Covers featuring women who are facing away

The 52 Book Club’s annual challenge is made up of fifty-two fun and unique prompts. Every year, three of these categories are randomly drawn from suggestions made by our 52 Book Club Facebook group members. And one of the 2021 challenge‘s winning categories was “a cover with a woman who is facing away.”

This cover trend has been fairly popular over the past couple of years — particularly with historical fiction. Taking a quick browse around a library or bookstore will produce countless options for this category. But, if you need some inspiration, here are twenty-one covers to get you started!

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February Mini-Challenge

February Mini-Challenge text and hearts over photo of a book

It’s time for a February mini-challenge! Since our December mini reading challenge was such a hit, we decided to continue on with the fun.

We haven’t had a ton of romance-themed prompts in the past, but what better time than the month of chocolates and Hallmark cards? So bring on the roses and tealight candles because this mini-challenge is all about love stories!

NOTE: You don’t have to read a romance novel to fit the prompts. Using our love-based theme, we’ve intentionally picked three prompts that can be interpreted with a wide variety of options. You may use this as a chance to dive into a new love story, a fantasy pick, or even a murder mystery. The options are endless!

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How to Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Tips for reading 52 books in 52 weeks

Studies say that the average person reads somewhere between four to twelve books a year. Here at The 52 Book Club, we like to push our challenge participants a little further by encouraging them to expand their reading and attempt 52 books in 52 weeks.

There are a lot of reasons as to why you should read more. (Expanding vocabulary and knowledge, relaxation, mental stimulation — to name a few.) But we’re often asked how one begins to read more. What are some practical tips for reading a book a week?

To help answer that question, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite ways to read more!

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Before She Disappeared

Book Review

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Before She Disappeared is Lisa Gardner’s first standalone novel in twenty years. (!!!) Readers new to her work will find this an easy book to jump into, while still holding the feel of a classic Gardner read for those long-term fans too.

About the book:

(From the publisher) Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will–searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.

A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family tells Frankie she’s on her own–and she soon learns she’s asking questions someone doesn’t want answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her.

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How To Create A Book Journal

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One of the best things to happen to my reading-life was a book journal. I find immense satisfaction in finishing a book and recording it in my tracker. Not only is it a great way to document my reads and goals from year to year, seeing those books listed out on a page helped motivate me to read more and to try new genres.

While you may find it easier to track reads on something easily searchable (like a word document, excel spreadsheet, or a website like Goodreads), there’s also something really fun about a physical, paperbound journal. Not only is it more personal, you can also get really creative with it.

Ready to give it a try? Here are four, easy steps to creating your book journal.

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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Book Review

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

It’s December 1926 and Agatha Christie has disappeared. For eleven days, England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt. And then, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, she reappears — claiming amnesia.

Was it an elaborate stunt to promote her newest book? A hoax? A “fugue” state? Or something more? While we may never know the truth of those missing eleven days, Marie Benedict explores one of the many possibilities in this carefully crafted work of historical fiction.

A master storyteller whose clever mind may never be matched, Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.

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12 Ways to Make Your Reading Challenge MORE Challenging

12 ways to make your reading challenge more challenging

For some of us, reading fifty-two books in a year is challenging enough. But there are also a few 52 Book Club members who whiz through this challenge every year, completing all the categories by April.

So, for those looking for a way to INCREASE the difficulty of your reading challenge, here are 12 “mini-challenges” to add to any 52 Book Club challenge.

**If this is your first year here, or if you’re not sure you’ll be able to read 52 books, we suggest starting with the basic challenge. (Work your way through the list and match whatever books you like.) These are just some ideas for those who want an extra challenge this year.**

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