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[personal profile] hestergray2017-09-05 02:13 pm
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2017 August Books

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro 3/5
Right after finishing the first book, A Study in Charlotte, I started this second book in the trilogy.  I like this modern version of Holmes and Watson.  I didn't score this one as high as the first book because the end was super confusing.
 
The story takes place shortly after the end of the first book.  (The first book was pretty much their fall semester at boarding school.)  This book takes place during their winter break.  Charlotte and Jamie spend their break together, first at Jamie's house and then at Charlotte's.  However, while at Charlotte's house, her uncle Leander goes missing, and they must solve the mystery of where he is and rescue him.  Leander was in the middle of trying to solve his own mystery about art forgeries in Germany, so Charlotte and Jamie travel to Berlin.  They figure if they can solve the art forgeries mystery, then they'll also find Leander in the process.  Keep in mind these are 16-year-old kids traveling around Europe and doing detective work by themselves, but whatever.  It's fiction.
 
And now I have to wait until next March until the final book comes out.
 
Running with a Police Escort: Tales from the Back of the Pack by Jill Grunenwald 3/5
I stumbled on this while on a sub shift at the library.  I saw in the upcoming events booklet that "This Cleveland librarian will be talking about her new book..."  I was intrigued because she's a local author, and she's a librarian, and she's a runner who is usually one of the last people to cross the finish line.  I thought I'd like to read her book and go to the author event.  I did both!
 
I liked the book, but not enough to buy it and have her sign it at the author event.  She writes about what her life was like before she started running, and why she started running.  (Jill's sister had sent her an email expressing concern for Jill's unhealthy habits.)  She wrote about getting started with running and building endurance.  Then she wrote about each race in pretty much the same way.  "I couldn't believe I signed up to do a [5K, 10K, half-marathon].  I thought it was going to be really hard, but I trained anyway.  Turns out it was really hard, but I finished.  And I was in last place."  The races had some differences of course, but it seemed repetitive.
 
I think part of the interest for me was that Jill lives in a Cleveland suburb, so I was fairly familiar with all of the places and landmarks she referred to.  I also like how she doesn't worry that she doesn't look like a runner, or that she's so slow at running.  That part is inspiring.
 
The author event was cool.  Not huge - about 40-45 people.  Jill talked about her story of running, which I already knew from reading the book.  Then she read an excerpt, which was neat to hear in her voice.  The best part was the Q&A because people asked questions that weren't answered in the book.
 
A Mile in My Flip-Flops by Melody Carlson 1/5
In choosing another modern Christian romance, I guess I got confused.  I thought this was the same author as the really good one I liked last month.  It wasn't.  Lots of annoying things in this book, but I was still prepared to give it 2 stars until the end.  Then the ending was really stupid.
 
The story is about Gretchen, a 32-year-old kindergarten teacher.  18 months earlier, her fiance broke up with her four weeks before the wedding.  She still hasn't quite gotten over it.  Now it's the end of the school year and she decides to spend the first part of her summer break flipping a house.  She knows exactly how to do this because she watches HGTV all the time and her dad is a retired contractor.  Her dad has some health problems so it turns out he can't help her much with the renovations.  Instead, he recommends she hire Noah to help.  Noah is a carpenter and a single father.  Gretchen's dad tried to play matchmaker six months ago and get them together, but she wasn't interested because he's too gorgeous (?) and also divorced.
 
Annoying things about this book:
  • There are tedious conversations going over every detail of a plan.  And tedious descriptions of taking care of pets.  I don't need to know every time she lets her dog out or feeds her dad's cats.
  • The timing of events seemed way off at the beginning.  Like saying school ended in a week, and today is Wednesday, but later, school ended on a Friday.  And she has six weeks to renovate the house - the first week is clean-up, then she takes a week off (on such a tight deadline?), but somehow she still has five weeks left.
  • Gretchen buys Noah's daughter some clothes so she can help at the house without worrying about getting her nice clothes dirty.  The new outfit consists of overalls, a t-shirt, and flip-flops.  And Gretchen buys flip-flops for herself too.  Why are these people wearing flip-flops while renovating a house?
  • How does Gretchen not know what a circuit breaker is?  Even I know and my dad is not a retired contractor.
  • Gretchen is really judgmental.
  • Gretchen's response to new information is always, "Oh."
  • Gretchen calls her best friend Holly to come RIGHT NOW and look at this house she wants to buy.  Holly can't come right this second because she has plans.  It's her father-in-law's birthday.  Gretchen gets angry and jealous about this.  She's seriously mad that Holly isn't available at a moment's notice.
  • At this point, I'm sure none of you are going to read this silly book, so I'll tell you the ending.  Noah secretly puts in an offer on the house, but he has one condition.  Gretchen goes to the house to talk about the condition with her potential buyer, and she's surprised to find Noah there.  Then he proposes marriage and she says yes.  While I believe it's possible for a whirlwind six-week romance to result in many years of wedded bliss, that isn't exactly what happened here.  They weren't dating or romantic with each other during the six-week renovation.  They had one semi-date when Noah offered to escort Gretchen to a friend's wedding.  But she wasn't even considering it a date.  And a couple weeks later they shared one kiss.  And the next thing you know, they're totally in love and engaged?  That's pretty far-fetched.
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[personal profile] kiwiria2017-09-03 11:53 pm
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Kiwiria's August Adventures

A lot of rereads in August. I decided to return to my beloved witches which always makes for a great month, readingwise :)

Read more... )
Book of the Month: Tough choice - SO many good books! Probably Lighter Than My Shadow though.
Biggest disappointment: What Does Consent Really Mean. Extremely cringe-worthy.
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[personal profile] hestergray2017-08-01 02:11 pm
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2017 July Books

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick 3/5
I had listened to The Boy Most Likely To a couple years ago, not knowing that it was a second book that focused on different characters. This book was the first.  While I knew some of the events of this book before I read it, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of it.  It's about 17-year-old Samantha, whose life seems so easy and perfect.  Her mom is a state senator.  They have a big, luxurious house, and Samantha attends a private school.  However, Samantha isn't such a fan of her pristine world, and instead, longs for the world of her next-door neighbors, whom she watches from her bedroom balcony.  Her neighbors are a big family with eight kids.  They're always playing in the yard, swimming in their pool, and being generally noisy and rambunctious.  Then, Samantha meets Jase, the neighbor boy who is also 17.  They start dating, but she has to keep it a secret from her mom.  Then things happen that force everyone, especially Samantha, to make difficult choices.
 
I'd put this in the genre of teen romance drama.  It's a good story, and well-written.  The drama doesn't really come from the romance though. Samantha and Jase are basically perfect as a couple from the start. The drama comes from other events that happen to them.
 
Away with Words: An Irreverent Tour Through the World of Pun Competitions by Joe Berkowitz 4/5
Pun competitions are a real thing!  I had no idea.  I saw an article online about this author and his new book.  I thought it sounded really interesting!  And it was!  This book focuses mainly on two pun competitions: the monthly Punderdome 3000 in New York City and the annual O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships in Austin, Texas.  The two competitions have different structures, but the basic idea is that contestants have a topic and a time limit, and they have to come up with as many puns as they can.
 
One of the cool parts about this world of pun competitions is that there are contestants who are well-known in that world, and I was able to find YouTube videos of them competing.  So I could read about their stories and then also see them on YouTube.  
 
The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin 4/5
I read an advance copy of this book through NetGalley.  It's a contemporary Christian romance, which I was in the mood for, and this one was really good!  Mia is a 29-year-old nurse practitioner in Denver.  She's had two broken engagements and isn't in a hurry to meet anyone new.  Her 18-year-old sister, Lucy, calls her with the news that Lucy is pregnant and going to Las Vegas to marry her boyfriend, Sam.  Mia is shocked, but flies to Las Vegas to be the maid of honor.
 
Sam's mother was a police officer, but she died three years ago in the line of duty.  Sam asks his mother's former partner, Jake, to be his best man.  So Jake also flies to Las Vegas.
 
Then Mia and Jake meet and it's all cartoon hearts.  Except that Mia is planning to permanently join a medical mission group and she'll be sent to a different country for the foreseeable future.  So she tries not to get involved with Jake.  Plus, due to past relationships, she has trust issues.  But with her feelings for Jake and her commitment to the mission group, she is torn about what to do.
 
It's a book about wanting to follow God's plan, but not knowing exactly what that is, and about learning to trust.  I felt like the characters and story were relatable, and not eye-rolly.  I'm interested in reading other books by this author.
 
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro 4/5
Technically finished this book this morning (August 1), but I don't care.  I want to talk about it now.
 
16-year-old Jamie Watson is the great-great-(etc.)-grandson of Dr. John Watson, the friend and colleague of Sherlock Holmes.  Jamie is sent from London to a boarding school in Connecticut on a rugby scholarship.  There he meets Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-(etc.)-granddaughter of Sherlock.  When one of their schoolmates turns up dead, Jamie and Charlotte are the prime suspects, and they have to work together to clear their names.  Charlotte, like her ancestor, is already very good at noticing details and piecing clues together.  Jamie, on the other hand, is new to the business of solving murders.
 
I thought this idea for a modern Holmes and Watson was very clever.  The story is interesting too.  Some of the reviews on Goodreads are from people who already love all things Sherlock, and they tended to think this story didn't bring anything new to the fandom.  Maybe my perspective is different because I'm not familiar with all things Sherlock.  I've read some of the original stories, and I liked them, but I haven't watched the movies or TV shows.
 
This is the first book of a trilogy and I'm looking forward to reading more!
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[personal profile] kiwiria2017-07-31 10:01 am
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Kiwiria's July Journeys

14 books read this month, and not a bad one among them! In fact, I've read some of this year's best books! It's been an excellent month, reading-wise :-) I'm pretty sure 14 is a record for this year, but it's all due to two pretty awesome Christian series.

Some really terrific books this month! )
Book of the Month: A Soft Breath of Wind - actually possibly the best book I've read all year.
Biggest disappointment: Alexander Hamilton - while not bad, it was slightly on the dull side.
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[personal profile] hestergray2017-06-30 04:32 pm
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2017 May and June Books

May 2017

Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer 3/5
I didn't realize Chris Colfer was an author!  He's Kurt from Glee!  Apparently, he also has a series of children's books.  This is a YA novel.
 
This book is about Cash Carter, a 22-year-old TV star, and four friends who have just graduated from high school.  The four friends are big fans of Cash's TV show, and they're very surprised when Cash takes them up on their (joking) offer for him to join them on a pre-college road trip.
 
All five of them have a secret that they haven't told the others, so of course, the secrets are all revealed by the end.  It was a good story.  The writing was fair, but not great.  I'm a fan of Chris Colfer, but maybe he wasn't the best choice as the voice for the audiobook.  There were too many times where it sounded like he was reading the book instead of acting the book.
 
The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion 3/5
Adam Sharp is a professional database architect and amateur pianist from England.  He and Claire have been together for 20 years, but never married.  They seem to have let their relationship drift into the realm of friendly roommates, rather than two people in love.  22 years ago, while working in Australia, Adam fell for a actress named Angelina.  A lot of the first part of the book is a flashback to show the time that they were together.  In the present, Angelina emails Adam out of the blue.  She is married to another man, but the emails quickly become flirty.  Angelina invites Adam to spend a week in France with her and her husband.  Then there are unexpected turns everywhere, and it all works out in the end.
 
This is the same author of The Rosie Project, and boy, these two books are verrrry different.  Where The Rosie Project was funny and charming, The Best of Adam Sharp is nostalgic, and full of characters making questionable choices.  I was engrossed in the story, despite the questionable choices.  The relationships were well-written, and the emotions were complex.  But if you read it, just don't expect The Rosie Project.
 
 
June 2017

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak 4/5
The Birch family is rarely all together for holidays anymore, especially since the older daughter, Olivia, is often away on medical mission trips.  It's almost Christmas, and she is about to return from fighting an epidemic in Africa, and has to be quarantined for seven days.  Her family decides to be quarantined with her, so they spend Christmas together at the old family estate in the country (somewhere in England).  The dad, Andrew, used to be a war correspondent, but now he reviews restaurants.  The mom, Emma, is dealing with a medical issue that she's keeping a secret.  The younger daughter, Phoebe, has just gotten engaged.  It's amazing how much happens to them and how many surprises they get during this one week of their life.  But that's why it's an interesting story.  I liked the format and how the secrets were revealed to different characters at different times.
 
A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams 3/5
This is a love triangle set in 1920's New York City.  Theresa is a married 40-something woman with a 20-something boyfriend, Octavian.  He wants to marry her, but she prefers their current arrangement, since divorce is so frowned upon in high society.  Theresa's brother is all set to marry 19-year-old Sophie, and it seems that Sophie is willing to marry him, until she meets Octavian and falls for him.  Octavian can't help but be swept away by Sophie too.  Throw in family secrets and a murder trial, and this is now quite a story.  I liked it, but I thought it got confusing near the end.  I understood how it all turned out, but the way it got to that wrap-up lost me a bit.
 
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch 4/5
This is different from the books I usually read.  It's a suspenseful, mind-boggle of a story.  Jason has a happy life with his wife and teenage son in Chicago.  He is a physics professor at a small college.  One night, he is abducted and taken to an abandoned warehouse.  The next thing he knows, he wakes up in a lab facility and the life he knows is no longer reality.  His wife isn't his wife.  They have no son.  A bunch of scientists seem to know who he is, but he has no memory of them at all.  Jason has to figure out where he is, who he is, what is real, and how to get back to the life he knew.  Ultimately, it's about the choices we make, and how each choice, even small ones, shape our lives.
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[personal profile] kiwiria2017-06-30 09:35 am
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Kiwiria's June Jaunts

Only 5 books finished in June!! :-O However, that's mostly because I'm in the middle of a behemouth of an omnibus (1079) and I still have a couple of hundred of pages to go on that one. It'll make my numbers for July awesome though.

I'm going out tonight, so the chances of me finishing any more books before June's out are slim to none, so I figured I might as well post this now.


Something New - Lucy Knisley, 4/5, 292 pages
My sister is all kinds of awesome and got me this as a "just because" present :-D

It totally lived up to my expectations, and I found myself choking up on more than one occasion. I'm really glad my wedding was a lot simpler though! I don't blame Lucy for getting stressed out by all the things she had to get sorted.

A very feel-good memoir that will have a lot of good advice for a bride-to-be and which can't help but make those already married think back fondly on their own wedding :-)


The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck - Sarah Knight, 3.5/5, 179 pages
I decided to pick this up after watching a TED-talk with Sarah Knight and really liking the way she presented herself and her ideas.

Unfortunately the book itself couldn't quite live up to my expectations. While Sarah's theories were very interesting, I found it hard to relate to the things/concepts Sarah herself decided to no longer give a f*ck about, and therefore couldn't quite figure out how to apply it to my own life.... or perhaps I'm just fortunate enough that I don't give many unwarranted f*cks when it comes to things, friends and family :-D

Either way, I'm glad I read it, as it did provide some useful tactics (e.g. the NotSorry method), but it probably won't have as large an impact on my life as I'd hoped after watching the TED-talk (which can be found here).


Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas, 4/5, 431 pages
A lot darker than the first one, that's for sure. But in its own way, I think it was better written (fewer instances of "two months went by where this happened"). I had a very hard time putting it down, and turned straight to the third novel in the series.

I thought the relationships seemed more believable in this one - or more fleshed out at least. I'd seen the so-called 'twists' coming a mile off though.


Little Fuzzy - H. Beam Piper*, 4.5/5, 252 pages
Just as good the second time around :) But it did have a rather surprisingly graphic depiction of violence later on in the book, which made me happy that I reread it myself before recommending it to my niece. Even as an adult it made me shudder.


Emerald House Rising - Peg Kerr*, 5/5, 336 pages
Didn't have quite the same sensation of not being able to put down the book on my second time around, but I still really enjoyed it, and read the last 150 pages in one sitting. It's a bit slow to start, but once it does it's greatly enjoyable and I really got to care about the characters.

Such a shame the sequel never happened. I would have loved to read that!


Book of the Month: Something New
Biggest disappointment: None :-) I enjoyed all the books I read this month.
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[personal profile] kiwiria2017-06-01 09:47 am
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Kiwiria's May Madness

15 books - most very short though. )
Book of the Month: Sleeping Giants. I was totally fascinated and couldn't put it down.
Biggest disappointment: Uplink. Not bad as such, I just didn't care for it much.
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[personal profile] hestergray2017-05-03 12:25 pm
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2017 April Book

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer 2/5
I thought the premise sounded interesting.  The main character is on the run from her former employers.  She works hard to stay anonymous and sets booby traps in her house every night, in case they have found her and have come to kill her.  This has been her life for three years when one of her former co-workers contacts her.  He says they have one last job for her, and if she helps them, she will be free to live a relatively normal life with no one chasing her.  The book started off so well.  It was interesting and mysterious.  There was suspense for a while.  And then it went downhill.  A sudden, unrealistic romance was introduced.  There was way too much description of everything from emotions to what was inside a toolbox.  It got too long and tedious.  The mystery and suspense were gone.  Overall, it was just okay.
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[personal profile] kiwiria2017-05-02 09:41 am
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Kiwiria's April Adventures

14 Books Read )
Book of the Month: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You...
Biggest disappointment: XY - the end kinda ruined it for me.
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2017 March Books

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak 3/5
A book of short stories by that writer/actor from The Office.  Some of the stories are very, very short.  Overall, they are creative and have an element of surprise.  I really enjoyed reading this.

Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living by Nick Offerman 3/5
I liked listening to this book read by Nick Offerman (AKA Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec.)  He's interesting and funny.  He told about his childhood and how he got started in show business.  He's also fairly vulgar.  I didn't realize that he's married to Megan Mullally, who played his ex-wife on Parks and Rec.  It's funny how in many ways, he's a lot like his Ron Swanson character.  He has woodworking skills and likes to be out in nature.
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March books

Whispers and Lies - Joy Fielding
Terry senses something isn't quite right when Allison moves into her spare cottage, but loneliness and boredom cause her to befriend the free-spirited young woman anyway. This is a suspense novel, but it kind of dragged for awhile. I was frustrated about some things, but by the end most of it gets wrapped up pretty well, although extremely oddly. (I still have questions, though.) It wasn't what I expected, but mostly entertaining throughout. Fielding is a very good writer, even though some of her topics can get dark.

One False Move - Harlan Coben
5th book in the Myron Bolitar series. I enjoyed this a lot!

2017 books: sadly I'm at 5 for the year, so far. NOT a very read-y year so far. Maybe the second half will be different.
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Kiwiria's March Reads

I'm not likely to finish any more books today, so here are my books for March!

Cut because I care )
Book of the Month: In Arcadia - very satisfying to hear more about Cass and her family :)
Biggest disappointment: The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane - just not what I had expected it to be.
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2017 February Books

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple 3/5
Bernadette is a genius architect who hasn't created any buildings in a long time.  Her 15-year-old daughter, Bee, goes to a private school in Seattle.  The other moms of kids at the school think Bernadette is eccentric, but she didn't seem that weird to me.  Just kind of a recluse.  Which is okay for the most part, because her husband makes lots of money working at Microsoft, and Bernadette can hire out most of her tasks to a virtual assistant in India.  Bee starts planning a family cruise to Antarctica.  Bernadette has some altercations with the other moms.  And her husband thinks that maybe Bernadette needs to spend some time in a mental hospital.
I liked that this book made me care about Antarctica.  Honestly, I didn't even know that regular people could take a cruise to Antarctica.  I thought only scientists went there.  I wasn't a big fan of how most of this book is told through letters, emails, faxes, and other correspondence.  I don't mind that in some books, but not so much this one.  (For example, there was a part where two spouses were faxing each other, and I thought that was weird.  Why weren't they talking in person, or at least emailing?  This book isn't set in the past when faxing was common.)  Also, Bernadette was the best character, and, as you can tell from the title, she goes missing, so she wasn't even around for a big chunk of the book.  I mean, Bee is the main character, not Bernadette, but Bernadette was my favorite.  Anyway, it's a good story, clever, well-written.  The things that bothered me meant that I just liked it, not loved it.
Black River by S. M. Hulse 3/5
For my library internship, my supervisor wanted me to attend a book discussion.  I searched for one that was at a fairly close library branch, was being held at a time that I could attend, and would be discussing a book I was willing to read.  Also, bonus if I could find the book on the shelf at the library where I'm interning, instead of having to request it and wait.  This was the book, and I liked it.  The main character is Wes Carver.  He used to be a corrections officer at a prison.  About 20 years ago, there was a riot at the prison and Wes was held hostage and tortured by one of the inmates.  Now, Wes's wife has just passed away, so he's on his way back to their hometown of Black River, Montana, to spread her ashes.  Coincidentally, this is at the same time that the inmate from the riot is up for parole, and Wes has the opportunity to speak at the parole hearing.  It's not the kind of book I would have chosen on my own, and in many ways, it was very sad.  But overall, very well-written and thought-provoking.  I can see why it was chosen for a book discussion.  Also, going to the book discussion made me like the book even more, as we examined the character relationships and certain plot points.  It just got me thinking about it more than I normally would have.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld 2/5
This is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set in Cincinnati, and there was a lot that annoyed me.  The parts that I liked were the ones that were most true to the original book.  The modernized parts didn't improve anything, and usually didn't make any sense.  I didn't find much to like about Liz.  She's very pushy with her family, taking charge of things that really aren't her business.  For example, her parents are deep in debt, so it's clear to Liz that they need to sell their big house and downsize to something smaller.  But instead of letting her parents handle it, she gets a real estate agent and starts decluttering the basement herself WITHOUT TELLING THEM.  Liz doesn't even live there anymore!  Why is she getting involved?  And later, her actions are praised as an example of how she selflessly takes care of her family.  And her family was just the worst.  Only Jane was likable.  I liked Liz and Darcy together, but it was hardly enough to redeem the book.  Overall, I didn't think it was well-written, and the chapters were ridiculously short, often ending abruptly.  I guess the 2 stars are because at least it kept my interest.
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My February reads

Hester Browne – The runaway princess 4,5/5
Amy Wilde, a simple Yorkshire girl, is trying to fit in in the London high life. When she meets Leo, she can't believe her luck. A man who understands her and likes her for who she is! But soon the discovery that he is actually a prince turns her life upside down. Suddenly she has to deal with glittering galas, her supermodel mother-in-law and the press interest in her life and family.

Such a charming and lovely story! And what a recognizable character Amy is with her enjoyment of simple pleasures and her love for her parents. I loved the relationship between Leo and her, all the sweet things he did to win Amy over. He really is a dreamboat of a guy! Despite the typical rom-com storyline (girl meets secret prince), this novel felt actually mostly realistic, probably because it stayed so close to Amy and how she felt and underwent everything. A definite recommendation for anyone wanting to read a sweet, warm and funny romance.


Read more... )
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Kiwiria's February Fictions

Read more... )
Book of the Month: The Obsession
Biggest disappointment: Follow Me Back
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My January reads

Jennifer Worth – Shadows of the workhouse 3,5/5
Jennifer Worth was a midwife and district nurse in East London during the '50s. The popular BBC series Call the Midwife is based on her memoires, of which this book is the second part. In the book, Jennifer describes multiple cases of people she took care of whose lifes were marked by their time in the workhouse.
Read more... )
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2017 January Books

Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot 3/5
I finally got around to reading the last Princess Diaries book! (It is the last, right?) It was cute and I liked it. Not as funny as the earlier books, but maybe that's because Mia is 25 now. No longer a teenager. The books are so much better than the movies. I love Julie Andrews and all, but Book-Grandmére is a much funnier character.

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer 4/5
It's difficult to describe what this book is about.  There are characters, and they do things, and things happen, but there isn't an overarching plot.  I guess it's a character-driven novel?  The characters are the Bloch family - Jacob and Julia, with their three boys: Sam, Max, and Benjy.  They live in Washington, D.C.  Jacob and Julia's marriage is rocky.  They are planning Sam's bar mitzvah, even though Sam doesn't really want a bar mitzvah, and neither Jacob nor Julia feel particularly religious.  But they are Jewish, and that's what you do when you're Jewish.  Jacob's cousin from Israel comes to visit.  While he's visiting, there is an earthquake in Israel.  The book is about the characters, and their relationships.  It's kind of sad, but beautiful.  Jonathan Safran Foer is an excellent writer.  I like character-driven novels when they're well-written.
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Kiwiria's January Reads

13 books already! I am off to a good start. And I got long-winded with some of the reviews. )
Book of the Month: A toss between The Lightning-Struck Heart and The Chemist. Both amazing books in VERY different ways.
Biggest disappointment: Again a toss between Thirteen Hours and The Last to Die. The former was worse, but at least it was short and quickly over. The latter had more potential and therefore disappointed more.
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January book

The Weekenders - Mary Kay Andrews
I don't care enough to give a decent summary of this book. There's a woman and her missing husband. Their daughter. An island in the south. This is basically a typical Mary Kay Andrews book with a bit of mystery thrown in. With each book I keep thinking I'm not going to read another of hers, because they have such dumb aspects. But despite the annoyances, they entertain me pretty much from start to finish, so I'll probably keep reading anyway. :)

Slow start on 2017: 1
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2016 book totals

Hi! It's been several months since I posted any kind of book list, so this covers the last three months of the year. I felt all year that I wasn't reading very much, but in the end my total was fine. Not as high as some years, but totally acceptable.

Hoozah! )


Books for Oct - Dec: 11
Books for 2016: 55

I feel like I had a decent year for reading. I really enjoyed the Bernard Cornwell stuff (thanks to the gal at work that introduced me to it!) and am looking forward to reading more of his stuff. This year is bringing just a few changes so I don't know what my reading will be like this year but hopefully I can hit at least 50 books again.