Reading Goals

How are all of you coming along with your reading goals for this year? I didn’t have a lot of goals, exactly, but I had my GoodReads goal of 250 books this year. So far I’m at 139 finished (and it includes books I DNF). That puts me at 56% of my goal already.

Now of my books I was hoping to get to this year. I’m not doing so great at reading the books off my shelves. I keep getting distracted by new releases, books from the library, even new purchases. I need to do better at that. I have gotten rid of some books, though, and I have a few more I need to find a new home for.

I also made some progress on the book video front! We finished filming the video – I won’t tell you what book it is but it’s a YA western – but we’re still editing it. It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it so far, as a first try.

As far as writing goes, I have barely started a new book and I am not doing so well at keeping up with my writing goals. I need to carve out more time on the computer to actually work on my book.

What about you? How are your reading goals for 2018 coming along?

 

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Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness – a review

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Title: Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness 🐓

Author: David Casarett

Meet Ladarat Patalung – the first and only nurse detective in Thailand. 
Two nights ago, a young woman brought her husband into the emergency room of the Sriphat Hospital in Thailand, where he passed away. A guard thinks she remembers her coming in before, but with a different husband – one who also died.

Ladarat Patalung, for one, would have been happier without a serial murderer-if there is one — loose in her hospital. Then again, she never expected to be a detective in the first place.

And now, Ladarat has no choice but to investigate…

The first novel in a captivating new series by David Casarett, M.D.

Ladarat at works at a large hospital in the tourist town of Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is  a nurse ethicist, which means she helps with tough decisions that doctors and patients make every day. She enjoys her job, but when a friend who is a police officer asks for her help investigating a sudden death at the hospital.

A woman arrived at the emergency room with her dead husband and her marriage certificate, asking if she could get a death certificate. Very odd, she thinks. Even more mysterious when she discovers that the same woman had visited the hospital a few years earlier, with a different dead husband, one with the very same name. The police think it was murder, and that in fact, the woman might be a serial killer. Ladarat isn’t sure she’s cut out to be a detective, but surely finding a killer is an ethical thing to do? Meanwhile, she’s also helping the family of a dying tourist and preparing for a coming inspection by the health department.

I really enjoyed this book. The setting was so refreshing. I found myself drawn deeply into the world of the busy tourist destination. Then the hospital was a great place for the story too – so much human drama. The writer is always comparing the  Thai and American culture.

My one concern – I would have enjoyed this book more of it were an Own Voices book. This was written by an American doctor, so it’s no wonder that he got the hospital part right. But I really wondered how accurate the whole Thai setting was.  In the end though I liked it enough that I would probably read another book by the same author.

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Wednesday Wisdom

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For today’s post, I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes. I

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

“Books may well be the only true magic.”
― Alice Hoffman

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
― Lemony SnicketHorseradish

Can I ask you something?

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Hey bookies! Are you  an author? I’m looking for writers who would like to get a wider audience and might be willing to do an interview, a giveaway or raffle, and promote their work! One thing about the book community, we love to talk about books! So if you have something great to share, we’ll be happy to help. You can contact me through this page or through Twitter @cindy_bohn.

Currently reading, April 4

I’m a little late with today’s post, but still here! I’m currently reading Fire Watch by Connie Wills. I love Connie Willis. She is a science fiction writer whose books focus more on relationships and how they are impacted by technology than laser blasts and weirdo aliens. This book is a collection of short stories and I’m really enjoying it so far.

I’m also struggling through Jodi Lynn Nye’s book The Unexpected Apprentice. This one was published in 2007, but I feel like it’s kind of showing its age. That’s not really that long ago, but IDK, it just feels a little dated. She’s an author who started around the same time as Willis did, maybe a little earlier, but I always saw her work in anthologies and as a co-writer. This is the first one of her solo books I’ve read, and it’s not bad, it’s just not really good either.

I’m currently listening to H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. This was recommended to me by someone on Library Thing and it’s not what I expected. It’s memoir about the author dealing with the loss of her father by adopting and training a hawk for hunting. It’s kind of a random subject, but it’s been a surprisingly emotional read for me. This week marks 7 years since my dad’s death, so the timing is really perfect.

What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments.

Top 10 Tuesday!

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Characters I liked That Were In Non-Favorite/Disliked Books

This is my first time joining in the fun here, but I needed a good topic today and I figured there was no time like the present to start with this one.

This was a hard one. Normally if I don’t like the characters, I don’t like the book. So the reverse is kind of true also. If I like the characters, I generally like the book.

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One – Detective Harry Bosch – The Black Echo by Michael Connolly. Connolly did a great job creating a MC that was complex, dark, with a compelling back story. The book however, was too dark for me to really enjoy. If you like the dark detective types, then I would recommend it.

Two and Three- Tommy and Tuppence – Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie. This was a case for me of where a good author writes a really bad book. Tommy and Tuppence, a team of married detectives, are now much older and have slowed down. But I don’t think that was the reason I didn’t like the book. There was just no plot. So disappointing, because I loved the previous books.

Four – Mr. March – March by Geraldine Brooks. In this retelling of the classic story Little Women, Reverend March is away with the Union troops during Civil War. It’s a great premise for a story. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like the book. The author throws in a love triangle for no apparent reason, besides changing the familiar characters into people I didn’t like.

Five – Ozma The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige. Oh, this series. It had so much potential. But the writer was problematic, the second book let me down so hard, and the whole thing became such a mess. Such a shame. It could have been great.

Six – Sherlock Holmes – A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This is where it all began, but it really wasn’t such a great book. It’s got some major plot holes, some serious pacing issues, but the characters became icons.

Seven and Eight – Mrs. Jeffries and Inspector Gerald Witherspoon in Mrs. Jeffries Stalks the Hunter by Emily Brightwell. This is sort of an obscure series, but I remember being so disappointed by the end of the series. She took characters I’d come to love and just stuck them in this lame book.

Nine – Don Quixote in the same book by Miguel de Cervantes. It was actually BECAUSE I liked the character so much that I lost patience with this book. Every single other character treats him like crap, but it’s OK, because he’s crazy. Listen, I have so many issues with this book, I could go on for hours. But I’ll stop there.

Ten – Mary Russell in Mary Russell’s War by Laurie R. King. Another case of a bad book by a good author. It’s a collection of short stories that all should have been left in the bin. Stick to the novels in this case.

 

Top 10 Tuesday – New YA

It’s Tuesday and I thought I would do a list of 10 new or new-ish YA books I’m looking forward to reading. I don’t read as much YA as a lot of bloggers do, but I do like some, so here goes!

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The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. This sounds like a fun book with an #ownvoices author and diverse characters. It’s not available until May, but the reviews are really positive, so I think this one will be worth reading.

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Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis. Again, a YA contemporary with #ownvoices representation. I was sold on this because the description, a girl moving in with an estranged parent into a religious household. This one also releases in May.

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Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. I love the cover on this one! I follow this author on Twitter and this story of a Pakistani girl forced into servitude sounds really compelling. I think this one will get a lot of attention. Out in May.

A Blade So Black by L L McKinney. This one has been getting a lot of buzz, not all of it positive, because of some controversial statements by author about race. However, I’m intrigued enough by the idea of Alice in Wonderland as a POC that I’m willing to wait until the September release and then decide for myself.

Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg. This one comes out in July, and it sounds like a Western fairy tale kind of thing. I like this author enough to put this on my list right away, without waiting for reviews.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw. Finally we come to a book that is actually available now! A stand alone book about three sisters who are witches and some creepy stuff going on. Reviews are good and it sounds like a cool setting.

Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron. Unlike the others, this one is the final book in a series that I’ve already read and enjoyed. Set in a future or parallel world where dragons live among humans and basically rule the world, I really hope this wraps up all the conflicts and has a satisfying ending. Also available now, but I haven’t downloaded it yet.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton. I am a sucker for Shakespeare retelling and this one sounds promising. Add magic in, give the sisters more of a personality than in the play, and then a creepy poison ritual (according to the book description) and it’s no surprise that this goes onto my list.

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson. This one came out last month and the reviews are a little mixed, but I think it sounds interesting enough that I want to give it a try. I haven’t read all the descriptions, because everyone says it’s better to just jump in with this one, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. A Viking- inspired story with a female MC. How cool is that? She’s fierce, and she’s angry, and there’s an girl holding an ax on the cover! OK, shallow maybe, but I’m still going to read it.

And one more, because I’m excited about this one and I just barely heard it was coming out!

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. I loved Uprooted, and it sounds like this one is set in the same world, although with different characters. I can’t tell for sure, but it sounds like there’s a Jewish MC, which you don’t see a lot (like ever?) in fantasy, and I think that’s really cool. But even if I’m wrong, I can’t wait to read it. But I have to, because it’s not out until July.

Wow, I’m kind of surprised that I was able to come up with 10 books for this list; I was afraid I would only have 4 or 5. But it looks like I will have plenty of YA to keep me happy, not to mention all the hundreds of other books on my list and the books I have piled up literally in every room of my house. What new books are you looking forward to reading? Let me know! Happy reading!

Book Haul

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I love new books! 💓💖💕💟💞 Nothing like nice new books to make you to get all the books you are supposed to be reading, right? I am working on a Net Galley book right now, but that didn’t stop me from getting a few new ones for myself.

A Dead Liberty by Catherine Aird. I have mentioned this author before. She writes dry little English police mysteries that I really love. Her older books have been out of print for a while, but they are available now on Kindle so I’m slowly buying the backlist. This one is about a woman who may have poisoned her lover, but the police can’t get her to talk.

The Clever Woman of the Family by Charlotte Yonge. This was described as an early feminist satire on marriage and courtship. I don’t know much more about it, but this edition was free, so I thought it was worth looking at.

Trespassing by Brandi Reeds. This was my Kindle First pick of the month. Some of those have been great, some not so much. This book sounds like a creepy domestic thriller. I’m not totally sold on it, but it appealed to me more than the other choices, so we’ll see.

Beasts and Queens by Suzanne Roundtree. I follow this author on Twitter, so when she shared this collection of fairy tale retellings I was interested. The settings are all different, but they sound really good.

I know these are not the super popular books everyone is reading, but maybe some  of them will appeal to you too! What have you bought recently?

 

Major Lord David, a review

Major Lord David by Sherry Lynn Ferguson


Decades of war with France are over and Napoleon Bonaparte is safely confined on Elba. Yet Major Lord David Trent finds his homecoming far from peaceful. His father, the Duke of Braughton, is determined to see his son wed, and he has a very specific bride in mind: his neighbor’s daughter. David cannot recall that the neighbor even has a daughter, much less one he might find appealing! And after years spent fighting on the Peninsula, he is in no mood to be ordered to court anyone.

Wilhelmina Caswell has always been in love with Lord David, as her family is well aware. Her preference, and the designs of both their fathers, would seem to make the match inevitable. But as the spring of 1815 advances along with an emboldened Bonaparte, a looming battle threatens thousands of lives and one growing love at Waterloo.

It’s funny how sometimes when you’re reading, all your books 📚 sort of align. I’m listening to a book about Napoleon in Egypt and then I started this one, which is about an English officer in the war against the French, and the in Touch there was a section about his life in Egypt.

This is a neat little historical romance between two lovers who grew up as neighbors and then fell in love. 💓 My problem though was that the conflict between the two was more annoying than believable. Billie was too afraid of her feelings or something to admit them. I got tired of that. It was really sudden on David’s part, but too slow on hers.

Some reviews mentioned not liking the descriptions of war in a romance book. I didn’t have any problem with that. The synopsis made it pretty clear that was was a major theme in the book. I’ve read other books set in the era that have similar passages, notably The Spanish Bride by Georgette Heyer. If you wanted pure romance, then this will probably not satisfy. I thought it was good enough that I want to read the next book in the series. All of these so far have been clean as far as sexual content, so if you like it steamy this book is not for you.