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Just a quick roundup of what I’ve read lately. After some consideration, the Bookworm’s ratings will be on a five-chomp scale.*

The Valley of Amazement, Amy Tan

3 chomps

One of Tan’s best, and without the back and forth between two stories that sometimes makes her books heavy going. This one sticks, more or less chronologically with only occasional flashbacks, to the story of a young Eurasian girl in China prior to the Boxer Rebellion. At times the plot strains credulity, as Violet’ s fate closely follows the more lurid incidents of her mother’s before her, but it’s definitely hard to put down.

Rain Girl, Gabi Kreslehner

3 chomps

Attractive, quirky detectives with personal problems, an interesting Scandinavian setting, and a mystery whose solution I didn’t guess until the end. I’ll be looking for more by Kreslehner.

Help for the Haunted, John Searles

5 chomps

An amazing psychological thriller about a teen trying to figure out the deaths of her exorcist parents, as well as the deeper mystery of their lives.

The Jinni and the Golem, Helene Wecker

4 chomps

There are both a jinni and a golem in this book, yes, but what really stuck with me were the amazing descriptions of turn-of-the-last-century life in NYC immigrant communities.

Hoping to hear your thoughts, recommendations and suggestions too. Happy reading!

*The dratted computer keeps changing this to “chimps.” Damn you, autocorrect!