Let’s go for a drive!
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-iOI2XnNwS-2ce3U7Ow1UlIw59L13TkawxGBM0/?igshid=4ezxjpgmm7nq

She was, quite simply, a nice lady who’d raised a family and now lived quietly with her cats and grew vegetables. This was both nothing and everything.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This book wasn’t for me. I picked it up because two friends (who didn’t know each other) were both reading it at the same time. I found Eleanor character a difficult character to sit with, and when it was revealed why, I felt bad for not being more patient with her, but I still didn’t like her so much. SPOILER: I also didn’t like that her behaviors stemmed from an incident in her past, as if there needed to be validation for her mental illness, without it just being something that existed. Sorry, Eleanor: many people love you, and I’m sure you and your author will be just fine.

(WP) The Monster’s Demands

               The
forest had been taken over by a dragon, a winged creature of smoke, heat, and
flame; no one could actually prove the rumor, as no one had actually seen it.
For my part, I thought that this was ridiculous. There was nothing, absolutely
nothing, to indicate that the forest’s new denizen was there.

               But
that had been before the mayor of our village had declared a state of emergency;
just about all the adults had lost their heads at the mere mention of the
beast. The whole of the village was buzzing by the time that we reached the
square.

               The
mayor was a fat, portly little man with a fondness for fine suits and rich
foods, and it showed. Someone had to put a crate behind the lectern for him to
stand on. Even before he addressed the public, he was dabbing at his perspiring
brow with a handkerchief, his face bright red. The talk was such that he had to
slam a gavel just to get everyone’s attention.

               At long
last, silence reigned, and the mayor coughed. “My dear people, I have called
you all here today to discuss the monster that lives in the forest. It must be
appeased with flesh.”

               At this
statement, cries went up: mothers tucked their children behind them, holding
their babies close, as if they feared the creature would burn the village
around us.

               “I don’t
understand!” I called out, and much to my surprise, the crowd hushed; clearly,
they wanted to hear the answer to my exclamation.

               “My own
son went to the heart of the wood and asked the dragon what he wanted. Other
than a place to live, well…” He hesitated, gulping. “It has also demanded two
children. Not one, not three, but two children. In exchange, the village will
be left untouched.”

               Standing
beside his father, the mayor’s boy nodded, confirming his words. It was decided
that all of the village’s children would be put in a sort of lottery; one of
the ladies kindly lent her hat to hold it all.

               My name
was called, and so was the baker’s son’s. We were given one last day with our
families before we had to depart for the forest at dawn. I spent the day with
my parents and siblings, and they helped me choose what I would take with me.
There were only a few things: some books, a packet of paper and a quill, and a
necklace I’d been given at birth. I said my tearful goodbyes to my family in
the morning.

               **

               I found
the baker’s son, Ronan, standing outside of our cottage before the sun had even
come up. I shouldn’t have been so taken by surprise; his trade caused him to
keep all kinds of hours. His face was pale, and his lips were twisted in a thin
line. Despite the cool air, he was sweating.

               “Ready
to go?” He asked, and I nodded, not trusting my voice. We walked in silence,
only birdsong and our steps, keeping time.

               When we
reached the wood, it wasn’t a dragon we found; at least, not exactly. It was a man,
young, but older than us; in his early twenties, I might have guessed. There
was a man there with bright, gleaming ruby eyes, sitting in between the trees.
We almost didn’t see him.

               “Are
you going to eat us like everyone says?” Ronan asked, gulping audibly.

               “Of
course not, boy. I’m going to raise you and teach you all the secrets of my
kind. But you mustn’t ever return to the village. After all, you’re one of my
children now. Welcome home.”

               **

lastnutbender:

When a woman falls for the bad boy, she ends up on the run, but when the man tells her, that he knows where her parents are. She must do as she is told. The story takes a turn close to the end of the book, but things all turn out better for everyone.

Seriously, so many good books.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-fuftcHhQt4aZSe0RCNJYS1vpqx2Z9amDJReI0/?igshid=32qugjizsjix

I have a problem… I have too many really good books to read.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-ftHYCHE4KMErQF74M4o0WL-pYIgJL2GpBw8g0/?igshid=gdiaubxkdlqh

When a woman takes revenge on a man who killer her mother, she winds up in jail, where she hatches a plan to get out. Once out she goes on a hunt to get all the men that did something to her in life. Soon it becomes a cat and mouse game between and another man. Which one will end up on top?

(WP) Murder on Drury Lane

               The
muffin man’s body was discovered by his poor widow, who had awoken the village
with her scream.

               “Somebody,
help! It’s my husband—he’s been murdered! Please, somebody call the
authorities!” Mrs. Baker hollered; her voice thick with tears. One by one, the
neighbors were roused from their sleep; shutters banged open, windows were flung
wide.

               The
police were called. An officer stood outside of their small cottage with his
wife, draping a blanket over her shoulders. “I’m so sorry for your distress, ma’am,
but I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you a few questions.” She nodded, tears
still pouring down her face.

               “Did
you see what happened, ma’am?”

               She
shook her head, and it took her a few moments to speak.

               “I didn’t.
I was upstairs sleeping. Silas hadn’t gone to bed yet. He likes to stay up late
and work on special projects.”

How odd it was to her memory, that
strange, cloying scent of sugar and cinnamon mixed with the metallic tang of
blood. Try as she might, her memory of the night before was foggy. It was like
trying to hold water in her cupped hands. They’d had dinner, and she’d taken a
bath, spent the rest of her evening reading. By the time she’d gone to sleep,
Silas still hadn’t come upstairs.

That in and of itself wasn’t
unusual; Silas liked to deal with his anxiety by creating delicious treats. But
it was more than just a hobby for him. His family’s recipes had been passed
down several generations, and there had been rumors circulating for years that
her husband did more than fill empty stomachs with his confections.

He’d been so cautious of her at
first, certain that she’d sought him out for his recipes, and the power and wealth
that he’d received as a result. She was curious about him and his talent,
certainly, but that had been all. Sneaking into his family’s restaurant had
been the craziest thing she’d ever done.

Other officers left the crime
scene; Mrs. Baker was promptly deposited into a squad car and taken to the
station to finish up her interview.

The crime scene techs were stunned.
The violence of the scene—blood splattered across the walls, viscera everywhere,
the victim’s mangled body limp on the floor—didn’t match the plainness of the
house itself. They’d all speculated as to why the poor guy had gotten knocked
off.

You had to find some kind of humor
in this job, or it would eat you alive.

               But no
one could figure it out, even by listening to the few scraps of information
given by the vic’s wife. The guy was a baker, for God’s sake, not a mafia boss.
But if nothing else, they all had job security because of these things.

               You
could depend on a lot of things, but one of the steadiest ones was human
nature.

               It was
all there, whether you realized it or not.

               **