JULY PAGE-TURNERS: Reviews of fiction and non-fiction reads by Janet Oliver, LOL contributor

I don’t know about you, but I make lists for everything. Most are contained on my smartphone so it’s easier to locate—no more pieces of paper. It amazes me my daughter still uses pen and paper for her list-making, yet uses her phone for virtually everything else. But like me, she is a planner.
So this month, as I searched my list of reading options, I thought, I really need to share this list with my followers. I don’t know when I’ll get to all these marvelous books I’ve seen worming their way onto my social-media pages, but I can always give it a good try. So if you’re in a slump, I hope something will catch your eye, and you’ll have a good book experience. And if you have read something on the list, I encourage you to share your thoughts. And check out Goodreads and see my review of a book I won.
Happy reading!

THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE
BY AMY REICHERT
I’ve read “The Simplicity of Cider” and look forward to “Luck, Love, and Lemon Pie.” Yes, the books are mouthwatering, and you’ll definitely need a sugar rush to get you through, but the characters are as delicious as the sweets. Just don’t read them all at once if you’re concerned about weight gain.

ALWAYS
BY SARAH JIO
I have read all of Sarah’s books except the last one. Ms. Jio writes beautiful love stories with the perfect setting. In this case, the character, Kailey, is engaged, and living a wonderful fairy-tale dream. But an old flame returns in the form of a homeless man.
I can’t wait to read this one. Thanks, Sarah!

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER
BY JENNY COLGAN
If you read book reviews, you’ll notice how many authors are avid supporters of libraries. Many will make no bones about the essential role librarians had and still have on their lives and writing careers. So when a book is written about a librarian, as a retired librarian I want to check it out … literally and figuratively.
Nina Redmond moves from the big city to a sleepy village, and feels she must continue providing the service of pairing books with readers. The country, however, is different than the city, but the needs are the same, and Nina discovers there are those that require her skills.
For more fun, check out Jenny Colgan’s “Little Beach Street Bakery” series, too.

THE BRONZE HORSEMAN
BY PAULLINA SIMONS
This is book one of “The Bronze Horseman” series. Tatiana and Dasha Metanova share a small apartment with their brother and parents when Hitler begins the Siege of Leningrad. Alexander is a young officer in the Red Army. While the two worlds of Tatiana and Alexander collide, their love may not withstand the war and their secrets.
Author Paulina Simons was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, but has lived in London and the US where she now resides.

DOWN RIVER
BY JOHN HART
“Down River” is definitely on my list after reading Hart’s latest, “The Hush” (check out my full book review on LovelythingsNC.com). After a 5-year exile, a violent Adam Chase returns home. Dead bodies immediately begin to emerge and after layers of secrets are revealed, Adam is in a flux of returning to his former life or allowing the secrets to destroy him.

ENCHANTRESS OF NUMBERS: A NOVEL OF ADA LOVELACE
BY JENNIFER CHIAVERINI
Love, love, love this author! I have read her for years—my favorite being the “Elm Creek Quilt” series, but she has written many wonderful historical fiction novels.
For this one, Ada Lovelace is the only legitimate child of her famous father, Lord Byron, and her mathematician mother, Lady Anne Isabella Noel Byron. Lady Byron is the backbone of this marriage, and removes her daughter, Ada from any frivolous inclination only to pour into her an education steeped in mathematics and science. But when Lady Ada is introduced into London society, just how will she use her knowledge to calculate the realities of men and love?

WOLF: A JESSICA JAMES MYSTERY
BY KELLY OLIVER
Most of my readers are familiar with Goodreads. A few months ago, I won an eBook from them: “Wolf: A Jessica James Mystery” by Kelly Oliver. It was so simple to load the Kindle app on my iPad, and once I opened it, there was the book. Thank you, Goodreads!
“Wolf” is the debut novel of Kelly Oliver (no relation), who is a professional philosopher at Vanderbilt University. She grew up in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Her upbringing and work history is reflected in her protagonist Jessica James. Jessica is on scholarship at Northwestern University, working on her master’s thesis when her adviser, Professor Wolfgang Schmutzig, is murdered. Jessica and her pothead friend, Jack, and his girlfriend, Amber, discover the body, but leave the scene in a haze after their small attempt to break into his office for a pot-respite from college life.
While there, Jessica discovers a letter from her professor recommending her as unfit for the program, which sends Jessica into a tailspin. Their moves are somewhat comical, but when the Russian janitor almost discovers their antics, they have no idea their actions will lead Jessica on the trail of lost art worth millions and danger.
My favorite part: the religion of art. The book is jam-packed with action, well-researched and fast-paced, so read carefully lest you miss something good— just the way I like a mystery. LOL
Janet Oliver is a retired librarian for NHC Public Library. Follow her on Twitter: @LovelyThingsNC