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Monday, March 30, 2020

The Scent Keeper... #Bookreview

About the book:
Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won't explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world - a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.

Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.

Emmeline grows up on a remote island in British Columbia, unaware of the world outside. Her father is full of magical stories about mermaids and focused on the art of capturing scent memories. When the day comes that Emmeline must leave her island, she must learn to navigate a strange new world, and it is scent that guides her.

I was captivated by Emmeline's story from the very beginning and I had no clue how it was going to end, but I was happy to be along for the ride. Scent and memory are forever intertwined for people. Smells hold memories and allow us to travel through time.

Her father often said, "Let the smell introduce itself. Now open the back of your mind. Listen to the story." So, Emmeline learned to read people and situations because of scent. "Sometimes there were those unreal perfumes, jumbling and talking too loudly--but underneath them I could always find the person." 

As Emmeline finds her path in this strange, new world, she also discovers what is important. "People lie Emmeline, but smells never do." 

I so enjoy Erica Bauermeister's writing. Her beautiful, lyrical way with words. They are rich and sumptuous and bring with them a magical way of looking at the world.

I have never been disappointed with an Erica Bauermeister novel. I appreciate the Kindle copy for review, but now I need to buy a print copy so I can highlight it.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Erica Bauermeister here and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Read 3/20

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore...#BookReview

About the book:
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.

But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead "checking out" impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra.

The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he's embarked on a complex analysis of the customers' behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what's going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.

Growing up in the Bay Area, I love when a book is set in San Francisco. Add a bookstore and quirky people and you have my attention.

I didn't know what to expect when I started this book, but I couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened.

Clay Jannon loses his job doing web design for a bagel company and lands a new job as the night clerk in a weird 24-hour bookstore. Rarely selling, but often logging in details about the odd visitors who borrow old books from high up the shelves. Books he isn't supposed to open.

I don't usually enjoy a first person narrative, but I liked Clay's voice and his observations. The story is very much like a puzzle to be solved, as you follow Clay's creativity in finding answers to his curiosity.

From old books and ancient cloaks, to fancy tech toys and Google, Mr. Penumbra's Bookstore is where secret, ancient societies meet technology and the result is whimsical delight.

And, the cover glows in the dark.

I purchased my own copy.

Read 1/20

* * * * *
5/5 Stars