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 some 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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52 Book Club T-Shirt Giveaway

T-Shirt for 52 Book Club giveaway

Who’s ready for a giveaway?

As 2020 draws to a close, we just wanted to say how thankful we are for all of YOU — our 52 Book Club members! This year has been a big one for the 52 Book Club. We launched this website, saw several thousand new participants join the challenge and rebranded. (Hello, 52 Book Club!)

So to celebrate the end of another successful reading challenge year, we’re giving away a 52 Book Club t-shirt!

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The Open House

Book Review

The Open House by Sam Carrington

Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…

In the midst of a divorce, Amber and her ex-husband Nick are selling the family home. But for such a desirable location, it’s curious that there’s been no interest.

When her real estate agent suggests an open house, Amber is less than enthusiastic. The idea of nosy neighbours snooping around her home leaves her uncomfortable. But Amber is motivated to sell — a newly blossoming relationship means that she’s ready to pack up her sons and move on.

But Amber has more problems than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people go into her house that afternoon, but only twelve come out.

Soon, the strange events in Amber’s home set her on edge. Is someone trying to prevent the house from being sold? Could it be her overstepping mother-in-law? A shifty real estate agent? Or the neighbourhood gossip?

Amber doesn’t know why, but someone will do everything they can to stop the sale. And after the open house, nothing will ever be the same again.

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The Passing Bells

Book Review

The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock

(From the publisher) Before Downton Abbey, there was Abingdon Pryory, the elegant country home of the Grevilles—a titled English family who, along with their servants, see their world turned upside down when England goes to war. Once their well-kept lawns and whirling social seasons give way to the horrors of World War I, no one, upstairs or downstairs, is left untouched. For fans of sweeping historical fiction, the reissue of Phillip Rock’s New York Times bestseller The Passing Bells is a breathtaking family saga not to be missed.

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The 52 Book Club’s 2021 Reading Challenge Guide

The Official 52 Book Club 2021 guide

We are so excited to take a closer look at our 2021 Reading Challenge! In this post, we’re going to examine each of the fifty-two prompts on the 2021 challenge. If you’re stuck on a prompt or have a specific question about it, this is the place to check first!

Before reading the 2021 guide:

  1. We recommend that you first check out our original 2021 challenge page. You can find a downloadable copy of the list there too!
  1. Don’t forget to stop by our rules and list of FAQs to get better acquainted with how this challenge works!
  1. Keep in mind that we always encourage participants to get creative with the prompts. You never have to take them exactly at face value. Think outside the box and have fun with it!

We’ll be adding to this list throughout the year as we see new and creative ideas pop up — so feel free to check back or add your own ideas in the comments.

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The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus book cover in front of white bookshelf filled with books

Book Review

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

(From the Publisher: ) 1928 — The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day — The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than she could have ever imagined.

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