What I Read: January 2017
What I Read- January 2017

I didn't read much in December, so I am combining those two books into this post, since they did not need their own post. Additionally, since I am participating in Erin's Reading Challenge, I separated the reviews by books for the challenge and how many points they were worth and then books that I read for fun! If you read my post with my predicted reads for the challenge, you'll see that I read almost entirely different books!





reading challenge

Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley (Agatha Raisin #4)

agatha raisin



+ 5 points. Freebie book

Rating: 4

Review: Great mystery that didn't differ much from the TV show, but I watched it so long ago that I had forgotten the ending.

Die Laughing (Daisy Dalrymple #12)

die laughing

+ 20 points. Homonym book

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Finally, maybe some new characters! I love Daisy's new friends.



The Bookshop on the Corner

the bookshop on the corner

+ 15 points. Mostly green cover book

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I can't figure out where the title came from. However, it was much better than I expected. It's no great work of art, but the entertainment value was high.

I will add that the author's forward is worth reading. It's super cute and will resonate with all book lovers!



The Wrong Side of Goodbye

the wrong side of goodbye

+ 20 points. Favorite author book

Rating: 5 stars

Review: One of my favorite Harry Bosch novels!



What She Knew

what she knew

  • 10 points. Starts with a "W" book

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: 3.5 at best. It's not one of the better psychological thrillers that I've read. I chose to read this because I haven't read a thriller in awhile. Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment. While the ending was a surprise, I just didn't care.

The author didn't make me care about the mother or the detective. By including two narrators and barely flushing out the detective, I hated the police force.

I only finished it because I needed it for a reading challenge.



The Things We Wish Were True

The Things We Wish Were True +10 points. Six word title book

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Strong 3.5. I didn't rate it a 4 because that's for a book that I would think about a lot. This was above average, though. I loved the way the author connected everyone in the neighborhood--even through hardships. Maybe redefining family.







other novels

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Wow. What an amazing story. I thought it was a bit slow going at first. I didn't love parts of it, but I was probably identifying with Arthur, who wasn't loving parts of it either! In the end, it's a story of enduring love and his journey to realize that. And although he may have lost someone, he gains many more people in the end. That's not a spoiler. And it was inspiring.



Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own

spinster

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: While I don't share the same worldview as the author, it was interesting to a) learn a lot about famous women of the past and b) how they shaped her worldview. In fact, I couldn't be much more different from the author, other than my love of reading and writing. The author is a proud Yankee who has had several serious relationships in her life, but now that she is in her 40's, she is unmarried. I am a month shy of 29, dated a bunch of guys not seriously and married my first real boyfriend when I was 25.

I didn't take away a lot of facts and dates about the authors she researched. Instead, I took away an overall impression that a woman can be herself, artisticly or otherwise, with or without a relationship--despite what the author might have been trying to communicate.



Modern Lovers

modern lovers

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I wanted to love this novel, but I cringed a lot. It was like... get it together people! Why are you all so spoiled and self indulgent?

Along the Infinite Sea (Schuyler Sisters #3)along the infinte sea



Rating: 4.5

Review: I couldn't put this novel down! While it was supposed to be about Pepper, it is mostly about an American who grows up in France and then marries a Nazi. I like that all three Schuyler Sister novels have different formats. Book one vacillates between the past and present, and this third book picks up where Pepper left off in Tiny's story of book one; book two is a straight forward narrative; book three is finally the furthest in time, around 1966, but is mostly filled with the memories of a woman that Pepper meets.

The tangential connection between the Nazis, Germany, and France is that the woman that Pepper meets has American cousins, who are the very political family that Tiny married into. I loved the story, but I would have loved a novel that centered more on Pepper, since I love reading about the Schuyler sisters!





I've never really explained my thought process behind the criteria below, so here it is.

Read These: These are books that I would recommend to almost any friend or person without knowing much about their reading habits.

If You Have Time: These are books that I would recommend to someone, if I knew about what he or she liked to read. These books are more genre specific or niche books. Or, they are books that I would not tell people not to stay away from, but they aren't high on my recommendation list.

Don't Bother: These are books that I would never recommend to a friend. They are usually books that I wish that I hadn't finished reading!

read these

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Along the Infinite Sea (And the entire Schuyler Sisters series)

if you have time

Daisy Dalrymple Series

Agatha Raisin Series

The Bookshop on the Corner

don't bother smaller

What She Knew

Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own

Modern Lovers

 




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Categories: What I Read Last Month Tags: , , ,
What I Read: November 2016
What I Read November 2016  

The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin #2)

the-vicious-vet-agatha-raisin-2

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I enjoyed this quick little story. It is nice to read one of these every few novels.

The Girls

the-girls

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: I absolutely loved this novel. I am kicking myself for waiting months to get it from the library instead of just buying it, considering the glowing reviews that my friends were giving it. Do yourself a favor and buy this. If you've ever been a teenage girl/woman navigating the dating scene or interacting with men in the workplace or really men in general, so much of this novel will resonate with you. Cline's observations are spot on. Her thoughts are beautifully woven into an interesting tale of a 1970s cult and murder.

Elizabeth Is Missing

elizabeth-is-missingRating: 3 Stars

Review: I started reading this because I was in the mood for a thriller, which is a genre that I have not read and I have while. This is a touching and sad story, it is not a thriller. It's a good book, but it would not be one of the first that I would recommend to my friends. If you are in avid reader who reads widely and is running low on things to pick up, then pick this up.

I was definitely disappointed because it had been on my list for you while and someone on MMD's podcast said it was one of their current favorite novels, so I was expecting something a little more spectacular.

Scrappy Little Nobody

scrappy-little-nobody

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Review: So funny! The reading guide at the end was a treat! I listened to the audible version that Kendrick read herself, which made it even better! I could write an entire post on this book, but I don't want to give away the good parts. Just read it.

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener(Agatha Raisin #3)

agatha-raisin-and-the-potted-garden

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Loved this little book. I can't quite remember, but I think it has a different ending than the TV show, which I watched first, so that was even better.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

hillbilly-elegy

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: Do yourself a favor and read this. I don't really want to give anything away, but I love how the author started his memoir with grandparents and their early lives and then followed his own life. He ties his own story into a larger narrative about people from Appalachia, using studies, statistics, and anecdotes.

Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters

take-six-girls

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Very thoroughly research. It was an interesting look at the sisters, as well as the time period. I would recommend reading Nancy Mitford's novels before picking up this book, but it is by no means necessary. Two of her later and more popular novels are sitting on my bookshelf unread, and I did not know that they wore her later novels or even her more popular novels before I read this biography. I do think I would have appreciated the story more, though, if I could have drawn on the plots of her novels, which are thinly veiled stories about her family.

However, the author of this biography does a wonderful job of taking snippets from all of her novels, which I would never take the time to read or probably be able to get my hands on, and interjects them into the narrative of the biography.

When I do read Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love, The fiction will mean a lot more to me than it would have before. Also, I am inspired to track down a few of her earlier works. Additionally, other sisters did write, so you could always pick up one of their books.

read these

The Girls

Scrappy Little Nobody

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

  if you have time

Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters

Agatha Raisin Series

  don't bother smaller  


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Categories: What I Read Last Month
What I Read: September and October 2016
It's been a long time since I've done any book reviews. I thought that I would talk about the books that I read in the last two months! Then, I have a few more ideas for book posts on my favorite summer reads, series that I've been reading, etc. I won't try to review everything that I read this year.

what-i-read-september-october-2016-resized


As usual, I am breaking up the novels between Contemporary and Classics for the Classic Book Reading Challenge!

Contemporary

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

the-storied-life-of-aj-fikry

Rating: 5 Stars

Wow! I don't know how I left this sitting in my audible queue for so long! What a touching story about books. If you don't mind a happy cry, a sad cry, and all the emotions in between, and are a true believer in the power of books, you have to read this. Pick this up ASAP--if you are on the late train like me!

Be Frank With Me

be-frank-with-me

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: One of my favorite books this year! Touching, funny, and a bit eccentric. I HIGHLY recommend this novel.

The Idea of Love

the-idea-of-love

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! It was a light, but more complex than I thought it would be. In fact, when I thought it would be over, it got even more complex! Again, this one has been on my Kindle for almost a year, and I can't believe that I waited so long to pick it up!

The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6)

the-trespasser

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I picked this up the day it came out. While it wasn't my favorite in the series, I am still glad that I read it. The twist in the plot was VERY unexpected!

The Sugar Queen

the-sugar-queen

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I love Sarah Addison Allen! Her books are like magic. They are magic. This novel is about Josey, who is a Southern Belle, who hasn't moved out of her mother's house, so she is there to take care of her all of the time. Josey, who has never had a close friend before, bonds with a new friend, and struggles with romance along the way.
Like all of Allen's novels that I've read so far, I recommend this one completely!

Commonwealth

commonwealth

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I love Ann Patchett. While this was no Bel Canto, it was a great novel. There were so many characters that I had a hard time tracking the story at first, since I listened to the audiobook. However, I did like story and how it came together as a whole.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

the-secret-history-of-the-pink-carnation

Rating: 3 Stars

Review: I picked this novel up because I read all of Lauren Willig's novels and I loved them. Once I ran out of her stand alone novels, I started in on this series.

I loved this novel--I read it in two days. I will read the next one in the series. I deducted a whole star for gratuitous sex scenes. Historical novels with gratuitous sex is so cliche. I want the history and mystery, just like this novel. I even love the romance. Just stop the awkward sex.

With that being said, I am going to read the second novel in the series and give it another chance.

The Lola Quartetthe-lola-quartet

Rating: 3 Stars

Review: Not my favorite novel. I really loved Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven so much that I picked up another novel that she wrote. To be honest, I wasn't impressed. I really loved the dystopian feel of Station Eleven. However, I do want to read the rest of the novels.
While this wasn't my favorite, you might like it. So, read the synopsis on Goodreads and figure out if you might like it!

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin #1)

agatha-raisin-and-the-quiche-of-death

Rating: 3 Stars

Review: I loved this novel. It's not bad, but it's not fantastic--I would recommend this series to anyone who loves cozy mysteries. I was a huge fan of the TV series and this was different and good.

My Name is Lucy Barton

my-name-is-lucy-barton

Rating:5 Stars

Review: Do. Not. Read. This. When. You. Are. Already. Sad. Or tired. This is so beautiful and haunting.
Like a short version of The Gilead. It's interesting to have someone write a "biography" for a fictional character.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-night-time

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: Why did I wait so long to read this?! This novel is amazing. Aside from laughing so hard that the chapters were all numbered in prime numbers, the entire story was terrific! The story was entertaining, plus the underlying message was so touching. To read about a young man who struggled to connect with his divorced parents, plus deal with Asperger's, left a tear or two in my eyes while I also laughed a lot.

Heartburn

heartburn

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: This was the first novel by Nora Ephron that I had read. It wasn't very long, but it was very full of emotion! I totally recommend this!

When to Rob a Bank

when-to-rob-a-bank

Rating: 3 Stars

Review: Since I don't read the Freakonomic's blog and I only just started listening to the podcast, this was a great way to catch up on what the authors have been thinking about since the first book came out. It's not a work of genius, but it poses some great questions. I particularly liked the guest post about what real former gang members thought about The Wire. I loved the first season, but never finished it!

Mistletoe and Murder (Daisy Dalrymple #11)

mistletoe-and-murder-daisy-dalrymple-11

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I love this series! I won't give any of the plot away, but like usual, Daisy helps her husband Alec, solve a murder! Who is glad that Daisy and Alec are finally married?! Me!

That Summer

that-summer

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: More of a 4.5! It wasn't a great work of art, but I really loved the story. It also didn't have the "everything works out for everyone" quality that a lot of the popular non-linear novels have. The people where more flawed and love was bittersweet. But I really couldn't put it down!

The Life We Bury

the-life-we-bury

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: A college student who doesn't have many relatives, shows up at a nursing home hoping to write a biography for a class assignment. However, most of the residents are senile. There is one resident, though, who isn't. The college student, Joe, meets Carl Iverson.
Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran--and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

Joe's life is never the same after writing the story of Carl's life. And The Life We Bury challenges us to look at life differently, too.

Pick. This. Up.

The Peach Keeper

the-peach-keeper

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I love the magical quality of all of Allen's novels, but this one, which touched on the relationship between grandmothers and granddaughters was quite special.

classics

Lady of Quality

lady-of-quality

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I love Georgette Heyer novels. Like all of romance novels set in the Regency period, this one was wonderful. If you like her novels, read this. It wasn't my favorite, but it's good.

Little Women

little-women

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: This classic novel is always a great read. I reread it for book club.


read these

The Life We Bury

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

Be Frank With Me

My Name is Lucy Barton

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Heartburn

if you have time

That Summer

The Idea of Love

The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6)

The Sugar Queen

Commonwealth

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin #1)

don't bother smaller

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

The Lola Quartet

When to Rob a Bank




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Categories: What I Read Last Month Tags: , ,
What I Read: January 2016
Well, I read a lot of Phyrne Fisher novels, since I want to catch up with the TV show. I tried out a new series. And I picked up a few new authors, too!

what i read january   Contemporary

Some Luck

some luck

Verdict: A great look into the 1920's to 1950's. Must read for saga-lovers.

I loved this novel. I can see why it Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize winner. Not only was the story highly entertaining, but the prose was beautiful. The story was amazing! It followed so many people, who went through so many changes. During the time of the novel, America went through a ton of changes. Since the family started on a farm, but slowly integrated technology.

The Book of Speculation

the book of speculation

Verdict: Not what I expected. Great for learning about circuses.

I thought that this novel would be more about books. It was about a librarian, but a former librarian. The novel is really more about how an old novel intertwines with a family of circus performers. While I liked how the novel was written, it wasn't what I was expected. I was thinking something more along the lines of Charlie Lovett's novels.

The Green Mill Murder (Phryne Fisher #5)

the green mill murder

Verdict: Another fun, quick, mystery.

The Green Mill Murder was interesting because it was based on Phryne's attendance at a dance-a-ton. It reminded it me a little of that Gilmore Girl's episode where Rory dances with her mom and that thing happens with Dean... but at least there wasn't murder there!

Blood and Circuses (Phryne Fisher #6)

blood and circuses

Verdict: A fun Phryne Fisher novel where she leaves the life of luxury.

Phyrne leaves the life of luxury to help her friends in the circus to find out what keeps hurting the circus. Along the way, Phryne has to pick up a new name, learn a new trade, exchange her clothes for used and mended ones. It was nice to see how she acted with a different place, with a different personality, and not in a position of authority.

The Longest Night

the longest night

Verdict: Williams made a statement, but it lacked entertainment value.

I couldn't fault the great statement that Williams made about morality standards imposed by society, but it lacked entertainment value. It was dry, boring, and I couldn't quit cringing. The novel skipped around among narrators as it followed Nat, an Army wife, her husband, Paul, a young Army Specialist, and his boss and his boss’s wife. The most cringe-worthy moments were in the young husband's mind. I am hope it was meant to be slightly cringe-inducing when he describes meeting his wife and thinks of her as loose, but then over the course of their marriage, never gets a chance to know the real her and why she acts the way he does. His temper flares whenever Nat does anything that embarrasses him, even having fun in front of strangers. The shame follows her wherever she goes, even when he is gone.

Overall, the setting, which is in the middle of nowhere, and involves nuclear energy, radiation, cover ups, affairs, Indian reservations, and apparently a lot of Mormons, who are all new and confusing to the Army people, was also bizarre and slightly off putting from a reader’s perspective. I ended up getting the audio-book from the library, so I heard a different voice for every narrator, so that could have influenced my perception.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing an ebook copy to review.



American Housewife

American Houswife

Verdict: Smart, biting, and funny. Must read for women with a sense of humor.

I couldn't put this down! I thought that it was quick, funny, and insightful. My favorite story was about the reality show. The final story almost felt like a horror story. I had the audio version of this novel from my library, which was fantastic. There were several narrators who were familiar because they read books that I listen to a lot.

I let my husband listen to a few of the stories, which he loved, too.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing an ebook copy to review.



The Crossing

the crossing

Verdict: A must read for Harry Bosch or Lincoln Lawyer fans.

I look forward to Michael Connelly's fall release every year. This year didn't disappoint. Harry Bosh worked as an investigator for his brother, defense lawyer Mickey Haller. Bosh was torn about working for the defense, but like any good homicide detective, he didn't want to just prove that the defendant was innocent, he wanted to find the guilty. It was made more interesting because the guilty party was very dangerous.

Since Bosch is now retired and Connelly combined Bosch and Haller in a single novel, I have to wonder if Connelly will move to just write about The Lincoln Lawyer.

Austenland

austenland

Verdict: Great entertainment for Austen fans who are looking for light fun and romance.

It's not a genius piece of writing, but it's incredibly entertaining. If you like Jane Austen (like you can recall the plots to all of her novels), plus quirky main characters and romances, this is for you. You can easily read it in a day or two. I had a lot of fun finding the parallels, which were sometimes laid out by the author for less well-versed readers, but the entertainment value is certainly high. I think I need to read the sequel!

Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law

Verdict: Great for people who like mysteries who keep you on edge!

I fell in love with Rhys Bowen's mysteries when I read the Her Royal Spyness series. So, I picked up this series about Molly Murphy, who is on the run from Irish authorities and found a way to America. Unfortunately, there was a murder that complicated her entry, but it introduced her to a handsome detective. I loved Molly's determination to find the actual person who committed the murder and make her way in New York City.

Death of Riley

death of riley

Verdict: Great follow up!

If you like Murphy's Law, Death of Riley is a great follow up! Molly finds herself learning from a real private investigator and living with the artsy crowd. I loved it! I can't wait to keep reading the series. I had to make myself read other novels, or I would have finished the entire series within a week or so!

Eight Hundred Grapes

eight hundred grapes

Verdict: A great light read!

I read a lot of reviews that were 50/50 on this. Some people hated it, but others loved it. I liked it. I thought it was a touching story about family, figuring out what matters, and making the life you want.

Ruddy Gore (Phryne Fisher #7)

Ruddy Gore

Verdict: A big change for Phryne

I have been reading as many Phryne Fisher novels as possible, so I can watch the television show, since the shows are not in the same order of the books. I can't wait to finish watching the show, since it is so well done.

This novel was a big change because Phryne actually finds a man that she seems like she wants to keep!

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

The Poisoner's Handbook

Verdict: A must read!

I have wanted to read this novel for a long time. I love the Jazz Age, but this novel gives an amazing look at the underbelly of society. It also talks more about how life really was for most people, not just the glamorous people, of the Jazz Age.

On Netflix, I watched a documentary based on the novel. The documentary puts pictures and videos to a lot of what went on in the novel, However, the novel was redundant, since the documentary focused more of a few of the cases touched on in the novel, while the novel expanded greatly on the fight against prohibition, since the bootleg liquor was killing so many people, as well as gave insight into other parts of how hard Dr. Norris and others fought to legitimize forensic sciences.

Thornwood House

Thornwood House

Verdict: An haunting search into the past

I couldn't put this novel down. I would dare to put this novel into the Gothic category. Since it was Australian, I thought that made it more interesting. The main character, Audrey, inherits an old house on an enormous amount of land in a small, quiet city from the father of her child and the only man she ever loved, after he commits suicide. However, she didn't even know that he had the property or any living family. She moves there with her 11 year old daughter. There, Audrey becomes obsessed with the house and the surrounding property. She becomes enthralled with the home's former resident, who appears to her in dreams, as she tries to find out if he really killed his wife.



Normally, I wouldn't have touched a book like this. And as I read this novel, I kept asking myself why I was so enchanted with it. Finally, I realized it was Gothic and Southern Gothic literature is my favorite. If I could have my dream job, it would be as an English professor, specializing in that. So, that's why I think I found Thornwood House so enthralling.



classics

The Warden (Chronicles of Barsetshire #1)

The Warden Anthony Trollope

Verdict: The shortest Trollope novel that I've ever read!

This isn't my favorite Trollope novel, I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

  read these

American Housewife

Austenland

Eight Hundred Grapes

Some Luck

if you have time

The Poisoner's Handbook

Murphy's Law (Or the entire series!)

don't bother smaller

The Longest Night

The Book of Speculation

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads You can read my past monthly round ups: December 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

 

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading?

 

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!



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Categories: Book Review, What I Read Last Month Tags: ,
What I’ve Been Reading

I have been too sick to read as much as I wanted the past few months. In fact, I watched the entire Gilmore Girls series and Fringe, until it got too weird. So, I decided to wait until now to sum up November and December together. It really breaks my heart that I was so sick because sharing what I read each month is the post that I look forward to the most!

2016 What I've Been Reading



Girl Waits With Gun

Girl Waits With Gun

Verdict: I wanted to like the novel.

You can read my full review here. My quick summary: I wanted to like this novel. I was so excited to read it, but I could only chip away at it, 30 minutes a night for a month.

Overseas

overseas.jpg

Verdict: High entertainment value, yet cheesey

A bit cheesy, I still couldn't put it down. I read it during every opportunity, which says a lot for the entertainment value! It was a nice book to read after reading some slow, arduous reads.



Pretending to Dance

Pretending To Dance Review by Back to Carolina

Verdict: An interesting novel

I wrote an indepth review here. This is a quick summary: If you are a Diane Chamberlain fan, you should definitely pick it up. Otherwise, it is kind of a run of the mill fiction novel that employs the popular technique of slowly unraveling a story by switching back and forth between the past and the present. It certainly wasn't innovative.

Secrets of a Charmed Life

secrets of a charmed life

Verdict: Didactic, yet a good read.

I cried a lot at the end, but it was a beautiful ending. While the moral of the story was VERY directly spoken by the characters, it was still nice. The rest of the novel didn't feel too didactic.

The Lake House

the lake house

Verdict: A must read for all Morton fans!

You can read my full review here! Here is a quick summary: My favorite Morton novel yet! While it was highly complex, and I did complain to a friend about that at first, it proved to be worth all of the subplots because they came together beautifully in the end. There was one that I would have liked to have flushed out more, but the novel was so long that I definitely would have chosen to leave it out, too. And, for what it's worth, I've been taking about a month or so to listen to much shorter novels, but I finished this one within several days because the characters, mystery, and overall story were so compelling. I couldn't put it down.

Named of the Dragon

named of the dragon book cover

Verdict: Kearsley fans will pick it up.

I wrote a full review that you can read here. Here's a summary: Not my favorite Kearsley novel, plus I would only rate this as an average or slightly below average fiction book. I've read worse. At least this novel was note resting enough to keep me reading, and at a rather fast pace, because I was sure it was going to get better. And the ending didn't suck.

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine

Verdict: I read it in a day. That says a lot!

You can read my in-dept review here, but this is a quick summary: I listened to the audiobook in a single day. It was such an inventive scenario. I've never read anything like it - and I wasn't expecting it, but it was a pleasant surprise. I highly recommend it!

After You

after you

Verdict: The perfect follow up!

I wasn't sure how to feel about this novel. Me Before You felt like it was perfect, but Moyes nailed it again with the ending of this novel. The meat of the story was interesting, plus the way the story finished couldn't have been more fitting.

One Step Too Far

one step too far

Verdict: Interesting storytelling technique!

I really had to pay attention, since the narration switched between the first and third person, also switching who each chapter was about. Furthermore, the narrative jumped back and forth in time, but it made for a really interesting way to tell the story. I thought it was an interesting story that was made better through the narrative technique.

I loved the way that the main character's secret slowly unraveled and made sense to the reader through telling the story out of sequence and switching narrators. I wish I had the talent to tell a story like that!



read these

After You

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine

The Lake House



if you have time

One Step Too Far

Secrets of a Charmed Life



don't bother smaller

Girl Waits With Gun

Named of the Dragon



What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads You can read my past monthly round ups:

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading?

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!





Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.
Categories: What I Read Last Month Tags: , , ,
What I Read Last Month: October 2015
What I Read October 2015 So, I kicked last month off with the last published novel in my favorite series, (it took me 10 days to start reading, though). After that, though, I kicked off a huge spree on another series, so bear with me! Then I didn't read very much because I totally dragged my feet on a final book. Contemporary

A Dangerous Place

a dangerous place

Verdict: Maisie has a lot going on in her life.

A lot happened between the book before A Dangerous Place and A Dangerous Place. Her life was completely altered, so she was getting it back together. It was interesting and full of new characters, so it wasn't the same old, same old. But, part of me longed for a book about what happened in between or the same old, same old that I get whenever I pick up a Dobbs novel.

Royal Spyness Mysteries 3-9 royal spyness 1

  Royal Flush (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #3) 

Royal Blood (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #4) royal spyness 2 Naughty in Nice (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #5) 

The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #6)   royal spyness 3 Heirs and Graces (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #7) 

Queen of Hearts (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #8) malice in the palace Malice at the Palace (Royal Spyness #9) 

So, I sure read a ton of these novels last month! Really, a lot of them. I liked the first two that I read, but I was really caught up in the Maisie Dobbs series. Once I finished those, I had to pick up Her Royal Spyness again. The romance in them kept me reading and reading. I can't wait for the next release!

Summer Secrets

summer secrets

Verdict: Average summer novel

Not much to say other than I learned a little bit about alcoholism and addiction. I listened to the novel read by the author. I wouldn't recommend that you rush and put this at the top of your TBR list.

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3)

career of evil

Verdict: A great 3rd novel in the series!

I enjoyed this novel a lot more than the second novel in the series. I loved the first one, but the second one bothered me. It was all sorts of weird. It takes a lot to weird me out. This one was released at a great time, right before Halloween!

So, I spent many, many weeks reading another novel, so I never got to more novels. Plus, pain had me watching more TV than normal. I meant to read some classics... oops!

read these

The Royal Spyness Series

if you have time

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3)

don't bother smaller

Summer Secrets

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads You can read my past monthly round ups: September 2015 

August 2015 

July 2015 

June 2015 

May 2015 

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.
Categories: What I Read Last Month Tags: , ,
What I Read Last Month: September 2015
What I Read September 2015 Well, I really didn't read as much as I wanted to last month, plus this post is much later than I expected it to be! I only read a few, and by read, I mean listened to books! My symptoms are getting really bad, so I'm burning though TV shows and movies like crazy. If you've been following me on Instagram, you've seen that I went to a cervical dystonia conference at the beginning of October, so, the end of September was spent slowly packing and then watching more TV.

So, as my health deteriorates, I watch more TV and read less. I hope that October's report will have a few more books. I am hoping to get better treatment soon. Contemporary

The Sisters of Versailles

The Sisters of Versailles

Verdict: I was glad to read something other than British historical fiction...

I wrote an entire post, which you can read here!

Leaving Everything Most Loved

leaving everything

Verdict: Another great addition to this series

This novel won't stand alone, but if you are a fan of this series, then I would recommend it!

The Rose Garden

the rose garden

Verdict: A different kind of time travel.

This novel was another Kearsley novel centered around the Jacobites (so far, both novels that I've read by her were written about that time period), but her twist on time travel made the romance novel suspenseful and fun.

We Never Asked for Wings

we never asked for wings

Verdict: For people who like good books.

I don't write that verdict lightly. You can read my full review here!

Everybody Rise

everybody wise

Verdict: I cringed a lot.

I don't know if the cringing was because the writing was really good, so I could feel the embarrassment for the character, or if the scenarios were like an I Love Lucy episode, minus the punch line. There was nothing funny about this book, but I did like the ending. A+ on the ending.

The Royal We

the royal we

Verdict: A lot more involved and complex than I thought it would be!

I really liked this novel, honestly. I thought it would be light-hearted and fun, but it was more complex and long. The novel was a coming of age story that dealt with things like class, money, and trust in relationships. It was really more of a relationship complicated by royalty than a fairy tale, which I liked. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending, but it was still good, and I would still recommend it.

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

Verdict: An interesting narrative non-fiction piece!

I love narrative non-fiction novels. I don't want to give anything away, but I loved the way that everything came together in the end. The story was so intriguing, and the fact that it is based on real life, since it seems so fictional, makes it even more sensational!

An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford #2)

an impartial witness

Verdict: An average second installment of another World War mystery series.

I don't love and I don't hate Bess Crawford mysteries. They are pretty vanilla with tons of loop holes. Like, how does this lay person, just a nurse, happen to stumble across so many mysteries and solve them? If I worked for the police, she'd be my suspect!

The Ashford Affair

The Ashford Affair

Verdict: For fans of Kate Morton

I haven't read a ton of Lauren Willig's novels, but this particular one should be a hit with Kate Morton fans! I enjoyed it. classics

Why Shoot the Butler?

why shoot the butler

Verdict: Mystery + Love Story?

I won't lie, I had higher hopes for this one. As a huge Heyer fan and a huge mystery fan, I thought this would be perfect. However, unlike her Regency novels, which can be downright hysterical, this one was cold and a bit scary. I have another mystery novel that she wrote that is part of a different series (with a different investigator) that I will try out, before I write her mystery novels off all together.

read these

We Never Asked for Wings

if you have time

The Ashford Affair

The Royal We

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

don't bother smaller

The Sisters of Versailles

Everybody Rise

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads You can read my past monthly round ups: August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

   


Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.
Categories: Reading, Uncategorized, What I Read Last Month Tags: , ,
What I Read Last Month: August
What I Read August So, I did not read many classics in July - at least ones that weren't written by Georgette Heyer. This month I didn't read a single classic novel, but I'm almost at my goal of 50 novels in 2 years, but it's only been about 8 months! Instead of star ratings, I've put "verdicts" of read or don't read under each novel. Star ratings are too subjective for each reviewer! I'm still ranking the books at the bottom for definitely read and read if you have time. It's hard to rank novels that are parts of series, too. So, I hope you'll get some ideas. I'm really indebted to some bloggers for rating novels from series, though, because I've found tons of hours of entertainment. Contemporary

Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs #6)

Among the Mad

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

This novel was a slight departure from the normal narrative. While we didn't know who the "bad guy" was during the novel, there were excerpts of him writing to himself in his journal. I likened it a little to when you know who the unsub is in a Criminal Minds episode. Not as good. However, the overall message about war ravaging the mind hit home. Although, I am not sure if the author is beating a dead horse at this point. PTSD is a huge problem (and was after all wars, even when it wasn't recognized), but I wish she would find a mystery for Dobbs that doesn't involve shell shock. I will say that the further I read into the Maisie Dobbs series, the less New Age it seems. There just isn't room for all the weird stuff from the first few novels.

Days of Awe

days of awe

Verdict: Don't Read

Ambiguous endings can be perfect. However, I think there needs to be some type of moral or life lesson/takeaway from the ambiguous ending. Without some type of lesson-learned for the main character, it's just a shitty way of ending the novel quickly. You can read my full review here...

Luckiest Girl Alive

luckiest girl alive

Verdict: Read

Luckiest Girl Alive is the perfect foil for Days of Awe. While it seems like Luckiest Girl Alive would be super trashy and smutty, it wasn't, and neither was Days of Awe. The difference is that while neither had neat or tidy endings - and you really aren't sure what the main character of Luckiest Girl Alive is going to do, you do know that she learned something about herself and life from her experiences. I don't want to spoil the other book, but I just wanted to return it to the writer and demand more. I wanted to know what Iz learned about the nature of life, love, relationships, or even just herself. But the ending was a cop out. Obviously, I feel personally offended because I thoroughly enjoyed everything up until the last page. Wink

The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs #7)

The Mapping of Love and Death

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

I particularly liked this installment of the Maisie Dobbs series because Maisie is learning more about herself, solving more complex mysteries, and my brain works overtime trying to keep up, which is fun, since a lot of mystery novels can be fairly trite.

A Desperate Fortune

A Desperate Fortune

Verdict: Read

My mom recommended this novel to me. I've seen tons of Kearsley novels pop up on book review link ups, but I've never read one. I frequently read phrases like "Kearsley is an automatic buy for me," so when my mom mentioned that I might like the historical mystery being solved in the present, which is slightly reminiscent of a Morton novel, I had to say yes. I enjoyed the ensemble of characters. The main character was quirky, sweet, and endearing, and the rest of the characters range from domineering to completely laid back. I like that Kearsley can create such a variety of characters. Also, the mystery and history were fascinating.

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (The Grantchester Mysteries #2)

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night

Verdict: Check out this series and read it!

I actually got my husband to listen to this one in the car! We are watching BBC television series, where they turned the first novel into a six part, I think..., series. I've read that this novel is currently in production! I definitely loved the follow up!

A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness #2)

A Royal Pain

Verdict: Give this quirky series a chance!

This was a funny follow up to the first novel in the series! I am looking forward to reading more because I love how the main character is developing, and of course, I want to see how her love life develops, too!

The Fifth Gospel

The Fifth Gospel

Verdict: Don't Read

I wanted to like this novel. I really did. I liked Caldwell's first novel so much! This novel was so long. If I hadn't been listening to the audio, I would have put the paperback down. I was confused a lot because I don't know much about the hierarchy of the Catholic church or their internal justice system. It was really, really tedious in parts.

Go Set a Watchman

go set a watchman

Verdict: Read

I wasn't sure what to expect with this novel. It was a lot to process. It can probably mean a lot of different things to different people depending on a lot of different factors. Personally, I thought the novel was a nice way of saying that idealism sounds good and we should strive for a better world, but it doesn't happen overnight. But, for a short novel, barely more than a short story, there was a lot there.

Dexter Is Dead (Dexter #8)

dexter is dead

Verdict: Undecided

I was always a fan (I watched the whole series!) of Dexter on TV. When this novel came out, I read that you could read it without reading the rest of the series, if you'd seen the TV show. There are some major discrepancies between the show and the TV series, based on reading the last novel, so I want to go back and read the series. I read the novel because I wanted to know how the author wanted the series to end, rather than the TV writers/producers. Overall, I have to say, I'm more of a fan of the personality of the TV Dexter than the book Dexter. It's interesting how the the show interpreted the character (maybe made him more likable?) than the novel. I am only basing this on one novel, though.

Trunk Music (Harry Bosch #5)

trunk music

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

So, I've been reading the Harry Bosch series out of order for years. I decided to fill in some gaps. Now, as I write this post, I realize, I'm juggling a lot of series! I just watched all of the Harry Bosch series on Amazon, which is much different than the later Harry Bosch novels, so that rekindled my interest. I plan on reading/listening to many more! I always look forward to the fall/winter of each year, when Connelly seems to be alternating the release of a Bosch or Lincoln Lawyer novel.

A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8)

a lesson in secrets

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

I waited almost the entire month for this novel to come in from the library! It was a departure from the normal Dobbs mystery. Instead of taking of a client, she worked for the government in the capacity of a spy, but of course, she couldn't help but solve a murder too. I liked the advancements in her personal life, too!

The Murderer's Daughter

kell__jkt_all_r1.indd

Verdict: Don't Read

I really thought the title was misleading. Not bad enough for me to quit reading, but not good enough for me to recommend. I wrote a full review here, if you want know more, in case you do want to read it.

A Window Opens

A Window Opens

Verdict: Read

Wow! I felt like I was back in college... I read this novel for Netgalley, which meant that it archived on August 25. I waited a bit late to start reading, but I was rewarded. The novel started slowly, but, it sped up and got better! Read my full review here!

The Secret History

the secret history

Verdict: Read

This novel took me a really long time just to listen to, so I can't imagine reading it! I mentioned to a friend how much I enjoyed The Likeness by Tana French, so she suggested this novel. I also happened to already have enjoyed Tarrt's second novel, so this was on my TBR list.

Bream Gives Me Hiccups

bream gives me hiccups

Verdict: Read

This novel of short stories was hilarious! I read an advanced copy from Netgally, but I couldn't stop thinking how funny the novel would be on audio, read by the author! When I looked at Audible, I saw that Jesse Eisenberg would be reading it, when it gets released. I was laughing a lot at Eisenburg's use of stories told through different mediums, like emails, text messages, and restaurant ratings. My full review will be coming soon! The book will be available September 8!

Angels Flight Harry Bosch #6

angels flight

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

So, I'm reading more Harry Bosch novels to fill that void left by the end of the Amazon television series and to catch myself up to where I was. Don't you hate when you read series out order? Especially over the course of years?

Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs #9)

elegy for eddie

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

This was a touching story of Maisie finding justice for a friend with whom she grew up. Sadly, along the way, time is passing and WWI is getting further away and England is getting closer to entering WWII. Anyway, as I am continuing to battle this fever, this series is an easy listen (I'm so glad that my library has all of the novels on Overdrive!), plus Maisie's personal life is shaping up, so it's also something to keep me interested in the series! I was never much of a series person before, but now I like learning to love characters as they grow, plus each novel has an interesting storyline.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Verdict: Read!

Ok. I know I am REALLY late reading this novel, but wow! I loved it. I laughed. I cried. My heart was full by the end of the novel. I know this novel was published years ago, but I missed reading it. First of all, I absolutely love reading novels written in the epistolary style. Secondly, this book was funny, and full of love. I wanted to live on the island (after the Germans left, of course).

read these

Go Set a Watchman

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Secret History

Bream Gives Me Hiccups

if you have time

Luckiest Girl Alive

A Desperate Fortune

A Window Opens

don't bother smaller

The Fifth Gospel

The Murderer's Daughter

Days of Awe

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads You can read my past monthly round ups: July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 And other archived roundups here!

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

(My TBR List has 500+ books on it... and I keep picking up more books. Do I have a problem?!)

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

 
Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.
Categories: What I Read Last Month
What I Read Last Month: July
What I Read: July 2015 >>> Seriously, Sarah? I over-requested from NetGalley, so I spent most of July reading those novels, not that I'm complaining. I was able to read some new novels from authors I already liked, plus find some new books! Most of these were audiobooks, which helped me read more novels. I've been extremely sick, so I've had a lot of time to listen! Contemporary

Somebody I Used to Know

Somebody I Used to Know You can read my full review here. The short synopsis is that I was very surprised to find that this was not a novel of a new writer once I finished the book. I liked it, but I would have expected a tighter plot from someone who has published many more novels.

Birds of a Feather

birds of a feather I read a paperback copy of the first novel in this series as part of a summer reading challenge. Through my library, I was able to listen to this through Overdrive. I liked the first novel because it gave a ton of necessary background on Maisie Dobbs, but the "mystery," in the novel wasn't very great. This mystery was much more intricate, since space wasn't taken up with background, of course. I can't wait to read more of this series!

Love May Fail

love may fail

Silver Linings Playbook is one of my favorite books ever. I've thought about reading some of his other novels, so when the Goodreads' newsletter notified me that Quick had a new book coming out, I knew that I had to read it. I quickly put it on hold at the library and listened ASAP!

I read the book in two days. I absolutely could not put it down! I recommend it (AND Silver Linings Playbook, if you haven't read it).

Pretty Baby

9780778316558_RHC_SMP.indd

This was an interesting follow up to Kubica's first novel, The Good Girl, which I thoroughly enjoyed. You can read my full review of Pretty Baby here.

Among the Ten Thousand Things

Among Ten Thousand Things

This is a beautiful novel about love, life that ruins love, family, and what's leftover when life is done. You can read my FULL review here! This new release is definitely worth your time, even though there aren't a whole lot of reviews on it yet. I got an early copy from NetGalley - but early by about two days. So, in my typical fashion, I used my accumulating Audible credits to pick it up because I was loving it, but my new medications have my sleep messed up.

I have a short window during the day that I can read physical books/ebooks before I start to lose the ability to follow along and need to lay down and at least shut my eyes. I don't sleep at night, but I lay there for 8 or so hours before I finally get what I loosely term "sleep." Therefore, having audiobooks to listen to while I close my eyes are the BEST. I don't have bluelight messing up my sleep, not that I have the energy to navigate a computer, plus there isn't much on TV/Netflix that I want to watch, especially in the middle of the night. Oddly enough, books make me feel less alone and sad.

So, since I had to put down the ebook one night, I got the newly released audible and thoroughly enjoyed every second of the book - even when I shed a tear or two.

I don’t know if other readers will appreciate this part like I did, but Simon, the 15 year old son, is a wonderful representation of a teenage boy. He reminded me so much of my moody, angry, teenage brother with a bad attitude! It made me laugh a lot. The novel reminded me of the humanity in all of us. Parents are people. Kids see more than we know. And kids turn into adults who will perpetuate the cycle.

The Litigators

The Litigators

Average, average, average. If you haven't read BJ Novak's short story about John Grisham, you need to. If you can listen the audio version where Novak reads it, even better. The Litigators embodies everything in Novak's witty story.

Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)

Case Histories I enjoyed this more than the regular police procedural mystery because it wasn't neat and tidy. Not only was it a hell of a lot more complicated, there wasn't a cliff hanger or an ending packaged with a bow. I want to read more of the series to see how Jackson Brodie progresses, since I felt like some of his clients had such strong personalities/characters that they impeded my "getting to know" the main character. However, they were funny. If I read the novel correctly, and wasn't just confused, Atkinson played with time, like she did in the only other novel that I've read by her, Life After Life. There were scenes that were written where I was like "ah! This scene is the scene that happened a few chapters ago...! And the characters overlapped." I will be reading more of the series and checking out the television series, if I can understand the accents 😉

Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3)

Pardonable Lies I loved how this novel fully fleshed out the characters in the series more. Maisie took on more cases in this novel, which made for a much more interesting novel.

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1)

Cocaine Blues

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the heroine of this series while she solved multiple mysteries. I enjoyed that she flies in the face of convention, which I know is easier to write from the future looking back, but it is fun to imagine someone like Phryne Fisher with an enormous intellect, unlimited funds, and a daring sense of social propriety solving mysteries, while genuinely caring about the neglected and poor. Oh, and a shoot out in a mystery novel with a female detective earned the author some bonus points!

Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher #2)

Flying too High Long story, but I ended up reading the first, the third, and then the second novels in this series. While this novel still helped established who the main character is, the third was the most enjoyable because it dug into the mystery without wasting time on character development.

Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher #3)

Murder on the Ballarat Train Phryne Fisher is an interesting character. She adopts abused children, solves crimes, and I can't wait to see how she develops more! This is a really easy-listening series. I like to listen for 30 minutes or so before I try to go to bed.

Death at Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher #4)

Death at Victoria Dock I liked this follow up, but I'm still trying to adjust to that kind raunchiness in a story that takes place when women couldn't even be doctors alongside men!

(The Grantchester Mysteries #1) Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

The Shadow of Death This novel was pretty good. I confused by how many mysteries Sidney Chambers solved during the one novel that weren't necessarily related. I do plan on reading more of the series because I am interested in the main character as a character. I even watched an episode from PBS of the TV show they created from the novel. It was the exact same story, not like Amazon's Bosch, which is an entirely new storyline, loosely based on the series.

Summerlong

Summerlong The "meat" of the novel was good. The overall impression was horrendous. Every time I thought of the novel, I went back to Goodreads and removed a star.

A Duty to the Dead

A Duty to the Dead I love Maisie Dobbs mysteries, but they have a touch of a new-ageness that kind of freak me out. Bess Crawford is the perfect answer to Dobbs! It's much darker, though. Bess Crawford is not trained to solve mysteries in any way, but she's a naturally curious and smart woman who who is a nurse during WWI. I'm interested in reading more of the series, which only has a few novels. Charles Todd, the author, is actually a mother and son team. They've written 17 or so novels in another mystery series. I just got the first novel from Paperback Swap, so I'm looking forward to seeing if I like Inspector Ian Rutledge!

If I Stay

If I Stay This one made my cry. Really sobbed at first. I thought that it was rather though provoking for a Young Adult novel, which made me glad. I hope that teen girls read it and think harder about their own lives and why they live--and maybe even purse more things like art, music, and family time. I am looking forward to reading the second novel!

Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs #4)

messenger of truth I enjoyed the mystery here more, plus a little more resolution on Maisie's personal life. Had to read books 3 and 4 very quickly because I had them on loan from the library - audio version - on overdrive. There is someone who was one book ahead of me and VERY slow. I waited on hold forever for book 3, so while I was waiting, I checked books 4-6 out. Now, I'm ahead of this other person because I listen to books a lot faster than they do. That person took almost all 21 days. I was afraid they just checked it out and let it sit/didn't know how to return it. As soon as I finished book 4 (quickly), I returned it, so they could have it, but now I'm ahead. Boom!

An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs #5)

An Incomplete Revenge This was an interesting look at how Londoners picked hops on estates with for two weeks each fall; while there, Gypsies were camped on the edge of the town. It was specifically interesting because the novel gave an insight into Maisie's Gypsy heritage and hinted that it had something to do with her "third" sight.

Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness #1)

Her Royal Spyness Obviously, I've started listening to and reading a lot more British (or Australian) mystery novels that take place around the World Wars. This was a cute story/mystery, so I think I will try out the next novel!

The Stories We Tell

The Stories We Tell I enjoyed this novel because it takes place in places that I know and could picture. I liked this novel, but I didn't love it.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon

The Girl Who Chased the Moon This whimsical novel was a great read/listen for the summer. I haven't read anything else by Sarah Addison Allen, but I have some on hold!

In the Unlikely Event

in the unlikely event I absolutely adored this novel! I thought it was an odd summer release, since the majority of the action takes place in the middle of winter; however, I it is a great novel no matter the time of year because the story does take span over the course of the main character's life - if you can call her that. The novel does follow a ton of characters! classics

Romolaromola

Really preachy and not very entertaining. Maybe if I had done more research on the time period that it was written about, I would have liked it more, but I didn't...

The Bostonians

the bostonians This novel took a few tries. It wasn't bad, but the first time that I tried to read it, I had to move it to "finish later," because I just wasn't in the mood for a James novel. You have be in the right frame of mind, I think. The thing is, though, is that there are so many Henry James novels to chose from! And to be honest, I enjoyed the novel a lot more once I read a summary that told me that the novel was satire about the women's movement. It made what seemed slightly absurd actually quite funny.

Friday's Child

Friday's ChildI loved this novel a lot more than some of Heyer's Regency Romances. It had the humor of novels like Arabella and Fredrica, but it was slightly longer with more substance than those novels. Friday's Child didn't stop at the marriage of an out of place woman in high society, but rather examined the ramifications of the marriage, which were not easy on either party, like I am most likely to imagine as some of Heyer's books come to a close, and I move on to other novels. Friday's Child may move into my most recommended Heyer novel because the main character, Hero, who is aptly named, challenges social conventions, is true to her word, but also displays a depth of feeling that some other Heyer heroines lack. Overall, this novel had the greatest set of well developed characters in all of the Regency Romances that I've read so far, and I've read quite a few!

April Lady

April Lady Another tale of marriage between two people who don't realize that they love each other and full of misunderstandings. I am glad that we get married a little differently now. Not my favorite Heyer novel, but I did like it.

Cotillion

cotillionThis is one of my favorite Heyer novels now! Like most novels, a naive woman asks an improper favor from a "rake," but doesn't realize it. He says yes, and it is fun to watch him slowly change... 🙂

Black Sheep

The Black Sheep

I liked this one, too! Surprise!

The Corinthian

The Corinthian

This was a good Georgette Heyer novel, but nothing to write home about.

read these

Love May Fail

Pretty Baby

Among the Ten Thousand Things

Friday's Child - If you are a Heyer fan, pick this one up!

In the Unlikely Event

if you have time

Somebody I Used to Know - This was a fairly interesting interesting psychological thriller/love story.

Birds of a Feather - If you haven't tried the Maisie Dobbs series, you should try it. I thought that this was a great follow up.

A Duty to the Dead

don't bother smaller

The Litigators

Romola

Summerlong

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads You can read my past monthly round ups: June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 And other archived roundups here!

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

 
Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.
Categories: What I Read Last Month Tags: , ,
What I Read Last Month: June
What I Read Last Month: June 2015 >>> Seriously, Sarah? I worked a little bit on my Summer Reading Challenge and TBR Pile Challenge this month. Also, I decided to read a few classics and fun novels. Basically, I was all over the place! Contemporary

Life After Life

Life After Life

Honestly, a few weeks after reading this novel, I barely remember it. I know it got a ton of awards and lots of people love it, and maybe it was too difficult for my brain to understand during that time period, but... it didn't stick with me.

The Kind Worth Killing

The Kind Worth Killing The story was simple and an exploration of moral dilemmas, but I think it was overrated.

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

The Plantagenets This was a looooooooooooooooong one. However, I really liked it. I don't read/listen to a lot of non-fiction history books, but this one was really helpful. I've read historical fiction novels about the beginning of the Plantagenent family through the end of the reign of Richard the Lionheart and then novels that pick back up with the War of the Roses, but there are several hundred (almost a thousand) years of history that I didn't know about. This book filled that in for me! There is a sequel to this book. I am thinking about listening to it. Reading? No way.

Where They Found Her

Where They Found Her I found this novel more "adult" than the author's first novel, Reconstructing Amelia, which seemed more young adult. It wasn't the best novel that I've ever read, but I liked it. It kept me guessing until the end. I read the hardback instead of listening, since I read that the novel would be told through several mediums - like Reconstructing Amelia, which used text messages, instant messages, emails, and many types of prose. There weren't as many in this novel, but I still liked it.

Recovery and Renewal:

Your Essential Guide to Overcoming Dependency and Withdrawal from Sleeping Pills, Other 'Benzo' Tranquillisers and Antidepressants

Recovery and Renewal I found this book extremely helpful. I am always being switched around on my medications, so it is no secret that I have gone through withdrawal a few times. I'm not addicted, but physically dependent. As the author of the book points out, the people who post on the internet about their withdrawals are usually the ones with horror stories or who did not cope well. The author actually had an extremely horrific withdrawal, but as a counselor, she utilized her formal training on herself (the author is also in the UK where the medical system is different). Anyway, I recommend this for anyone who is tapering or going to be tapering off of a benzo.

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris

Lessons from Madame Chic I read this for the Summer Reading Challenge. I picked it up as a book that I had never heard of before. It seemed interesting. While it would be really easy to make fun of, I still didn't mind it terribly. I did think it was interesting to read about an entire society of people who live with "capsule" wardrobes. [I've never been to France and cannot vouch for the validity of any of the book.] I hardly have one, but my closet has been whittled down due to the fact that I've lost weight, so a lot of clothes went upstairs because they were too big and don't need that many different outfits anymore, anyway. [Summer Reading Challenge: 10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before.]

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect I chose this novel because it has alliteration in the title. It was the shortest one I could find - I am kicking myself for reading Dear Daughter before the start of the challenge! It was funny and fit. Not to spoil a book that came out 20 years ago, but I don't think the ending was very realistic, but I'm not a professionally trained counselor. [Summer Reading Challenge: 30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it’s worth the most points!)]

Second Life

second life It took over half of the novel for the story to start to "come together." And by "come together," I mean that the torrid affair scenes cooled down enough for the story to move forward. In the end, Watson made a good point about life, but it got lost in pandering to trendy literature. [Note for other readers: This book is not PG-13. It might test the limits of R ratings, if you're not comfortable with reading that. And some of it was gratuitous, whereas some added to the plot.]

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1)

maisie dobbs #1 Solid 3.5, so I'm rounding up, since I rate everything a 3! I put it down a few times, so it wasn't as compelling as I would have liked, but I'm kind of burned out on books that take place during the World Wars. The "mystery" wasn't as much of a mystery as I would have liked, but I think it introduced readers to the main character and her background, nicely. I intend on reading the next book in the series! [Summer Reading Challenge: 25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books. There are at least 11 novels in this series so far.]

The Black Album

The Black Album I purchased this novel with the short story at the end back in 2010 or 2011. I really bought it for the short story. I read that. So, for the summer reading challenge of reading something that's been on my shelf for 2 years, I chose this novel. [Summer Reading Challenge: 10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (If you’ve had a Goodreads account for 2+ years, this will be easy to figure out. If you don’t, do your best to pick a book you’re pretty sure you’ve been wanting to read for years.)]

Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How & Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications

your drug may be the problem This book mostly focuses on antidepressants, but I picked it up with the hopes that it would talk more about benzodiazipines. However, some medications marketed as antidepressants have been given to me over the years as neurological medications, as well as the benzos. I guess it is obvious from what I'm reading that I am trying to educate myself more on what medications could be doing to me. I'm just an English major, but as a professional patient, who has been reading medical literature online for years, I decided to graduate to books.

Modern Romance

Modern Romance I laughed, I learned, and how the heck did I end up married? I listened to the book (so I didn't get to see all of the funny charts that Ansari was putting on Instagram), but his asides to the listeners were hilarious. It seemed well researched and even if it wasn't, the excerpts from the focus groups were hilarious.

Hausfrau

Hausfrau I think there was a lot to learn from this story, but the ending left me wanting more concrete details. Like Second Life, I think a lot of the story was obfuscated by the endless affairs for me, but unlike Second Life, this novel did a better job of actually getting to "the point." Essbaum is a wonderful writer who wove the main character's therapy sessions (and psychological theories) with language, how we use it (and how it might reflect our personalities - I loved that part), and just more than I can fit in this review.

The Rule of Four

The Rule of Four I really enjoyed this novel. It was a less complicated and less adventurous DaVinici Code or National History [I only watched the movies... and National History was just a movie I liked. Don't judge 😉 ]. classics

Ruth Ruth

Why so many sad stories for the Victorians? Hardy? Wharton? Stop it. I liked this right up till the end. Ruth, I love you.

[Summer Reading Challenge: 15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)]

Where Angels Fear to Tread

where angels fear to tread

I didn't love this novel, but I didn't hate it. It was kind of sad.

The Reluctant Widow

the reluctant widow

This novel had a lot more murder and intrigue than I'm used to in Heyer novels!

The Nonesuch the nonesuch

A typical Heyer novel, but in a good way.

Drumroll... it took me two months this time...

finished summer reading challenge

You can read my projected list here, but my actual list is here! They aren't very similar, like my winter lists. I want to thank Megan for hosting these seasonal challenges because they stretch me, and I look forward to them!

read theseThe Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England - If you like historical fiction, this was a wonderful companion to help make sense of the novels, but it is not a light read.

Modern Romance - Listen if you can!

if you have time

Where They Found Her

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1) - if you like "cozy mysteries." (Apparently this is a genre).

don't bother smaller

The Kind Worth Killing

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads You can read my past monthly round ups: May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 And other archived roundups here!

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

-
Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.
Categories: What I Read Last Month Tags: , , ,