None of This is True by Lisa Jewell

Narration by: Ensemble Cast

☕️☕️☕️/ 5

Narration: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️/5

One night, two women are out celebrating their 45th birthdays. Separately. A chance encounter in the bathroom leads to the two women meeting and making a podcast, The Birthday Twins. Things start to turn south, and The Birthday Twins podcast turns into a true crime podcast. 

None of This is True is full of suspense. It makes you want to keep reading. It was predictable, but the writing made you want to continue. There were twists and turns, ups and downs. Although shallow and typical, the intriguing characters made you want to read more. I can’t say I liked any of the characters, but I cared what happened to them (unlike in Bad Summer People).

I couldn’t give this book 4 or 5 stars because a section toward the end blamed a teenager for seducing a 43-year-old man. Even if the teenager was a psychopath and tried to seduce the man, he should have said no; this is inappropriate. There was clearly a power imbalance between a 43-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl.

I recommend this book if you enjoy thrillers and stories with unreliable narrators. I also really enjoyed how the story was presented. It was in chronological order, but some were from the character’s point of view, while other parts were clips from the podcast and documentary. 

The narration for the audiobook was excellent. It was well done, easy to tell which character was talking, and there were music interludes before/after the podcast clips. It was very easy to follow along and understand the story. 

The Travel Photography Book by Scott Kelby


Interested in learning about Travel Photography? This book is for you!

Scott Kelby is back with another easy-to-follow photography book, this time all about travel! Each page has a photo with information on how to get that kind of shot while traveling. He explains it to you in terms that are easy to understand like you are shooting and talking about photography.

The book is well-written and easy to follow. The information was very similar to Kelby’s courses at the Travel Photography Conference, but if you didn’t attend, it would be new info for you! I enjoyed it as a great reminder for myself. 

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their photography, especially when traveling!

Christmas Presents by Lisa Unger

I received this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.


True Crime writer/podcaster Harley Granger arrives in a small town where ten years earlier, Evan Handy was convicted of the murder of a classmate and attempted murder of another on December 23rd. The same night, sisters Ainsley and Sam went missing and were never found. Granger wonders if an accomplice took the sisters as more women have disappeared over the years.

Madeline Martin, the surviving victim of Handy, runs a bookstore in her hometown and takes care of her father, who recently suffered a stroke. He also happened to have been Sheriff when the murder and disappearance happened. He never believed Handy acted alone and was still working on the cold case up.

Christmas Presents is considered a novella, but it actually felt like a novel. It was an easy book to read, and there was enough intrigue for me to want to keep reading. It felt easy to figure out where the story was going, but because it was so well written, I didn’t mind being able to predict the outcomes.

There were a few things about the book I did not like. The first was the transitions between the characters’ points of view. It went very long and then suddenly switched. I didn’t realize it and was very confused. I had to go back and see if I missed something. There was nothing to indicate a change of point of view. I wish it had been more obvious.

The other is very nitpicky. Madeline Martin uses the term “this town” multiple times to show how small it is, but it’s unnecessary. Plenty of other information and descriptions show how small it is. 

Overall, I enjoyed the story and recommend it to people who enjoy thrillers. And people who enjoy thrillers are set at Christmastime.

Chaos Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill

Narrated by Kevin Stillwell


Narration ☕️/5

I had high hopes for this book and wanted new information. Instead, I got a boring regurgitation of everything already floating around, and there wasn’t anything new for me in this book.

The narrator was boring and monotonous. I usually listen at 1.5 speed, and I had to boost it to 1.75, which was still boring.

I cannot recommend this book. I barely made it through. 

Happy Place by Emily Henry


Harriet travels to her Happy Place to spend the week with her best friends, Cleo and Sabrina. She hasn’t told them that Wynn dumped her months ago. Imagine her shock when Wynn is there. Harriet and Wynn pretend like they are still together for the sake of the friend group. It’s harder than either imagined. 

For me, this book isn’t good, but it’s not bad either. It was “meh”. The characters sometimes drove me a little nuts because it seemed they could have just… talked? And all the issues wouldn’t be issues.

The characters were a little much. The author made way too much about their perceived flaws. Like we get it, Wynn isn’t that confident. We don’t need it specifically written out every other page. The book is from Harriet’s point of view and man she prattles on way too much about her, Wynn, and Sabrina’s issues. Like we could cut out half of the book, and we’d still get it.

I had a feeling how the book would end and I was glad most of it I was right about. There is one part I wish was slightly different, not sure how the author missed the opportunity. It would have been an easy thing for Harriet to suggest to Sabrina. I don’t want to say too much to avoid spoilers.

If you like cute romances with communication conflicts, this might be a good book for you! I need a bit more com in my roms. It is listed as women’s contemporary, contemporary romance, and rom-com but it doesn’t really reach rom-com levels for me. It was more sappy.


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.