Currently reading 2/18

Happy Monday. How was your weekend? My Saturday was a little busy, but Sunday was all about naps and PJs. Not bad at all. 🙂

Currently reading

Audio:

Grant by Ron Chernow. I swear, I really am going to finish this book. The story has Grant in the last days of his second term as president. They tried to get him to run for a third term, but he said no. I didn’t know that! I’m at 80% and I’m hoping some of the remaining portion is a bibliography which I can skip. It’s been great, but I’m ready to be done. Will definitely do a review when I’m finished.

Ebook:

The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen. I’ve been reading this one even longer, but this time I don’t mind. It’s one I read when I forget my other books and I always enjoy it. So many interesting stories and fact, and the writing is great.

Print:

Emma Brown by Clare Boylan. I’m doing a little mini challenge to read books off your shelf. My goal is 5 this month and I’ve already cleared off 3. This one is number 4. I’ve had it for several years, but never got around to picking it up. It’s historical fiction, based on an unfinished manuscript by Charlotte Bronte. So far it is really hitting the right tone. It’s been telling two stories, back and forth, and I’m curious about when they are going to link up.

Study in Brimstone (Warlock Holmes #1) by G S Denning. Recently bought, but I swear I have a good excuse! I was looking for my book club pick when this series caught my eye, and I HAD to pick them up. Not very far in, but it is hitting all the right notes with me. Take a look at the cover:

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Sherlock Holmes is a genius. Warlock Holmes is something else.

So many fun details and the writing is really enjoyable. Not far along with this one either, but it’s off to a great start.

In other news, I’ve decided to add a new shelf to my GoodReads : READ SOON. I have 1800+ books on my TBR list there, and when I get to the library or decide to buy something, I get totally overwhelmed. I started a new shelf which I’m limiting to 10-15 books, no more. That way I can remember which books I really, really want to read soon. Then when something sounds AMAZING, I won’t forget about it.

What are you reading? Finished anything great lately? Tell me all about it in the comments and happy reading!

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Book Quote

“There was a little girl … whose bird died. And when Fred came with his puppets, and she told Fred about the death of the bird—when he got the puppets out of his satchel, she found it urgent to tell each of the puppets about the death of the canary. “The children confided to Fred and to his puppets many important things,” she says, and then describes what gave Fred Rogers such rapport with little children: “Fred can recall—and can afford to recall—his own childhood.”

The Good Neighbor:  The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

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Top 10 Tuesday

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I don’t do memes very much, but I’d like to get into them as I think I might get more readers over here. This week’s them is Favorite Couples in Books. It’s hosted by That Arty Girl. Although it isn’t specified, for this list I’m going with couples in the romantic sense. These are in no particular order.

Princess Sarene and Prince Raoden, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

elantris What happens to a society when their gods become monsters? 

I love the slow way that this romance develops. They become allies first, then friends, then more. Individually they are such strong, caring people, but as a couple they are so much more powerful. Knowing he is cursed, Raoden wants to hold back from loving her and revealing his identity, but Sarene just won’t give up. And I love Raoden’s determination to find a way to live instead of just existing. This book is a stand alone, (except for a short story), so if you’ve been wanting to try Sanderson’s writing, this is a good place to start.

Steris Harms and Lord Waxilium Ladrian, Mistborn Adventures, by Brandon Sanderson

24357485 I swear I do read other authors besides Sanderson! But this couple just grew on me so much. It’s meant to be a political match. He’s got the money; she’s got the influence. But they grow on you! I felt like I just didn’t get Steris at first. I kept expecting they would split up. But Sanderson does the unexpected, and instead of putting them with someone more suitable, he revealed the way they really were meant for each other. Steris grows so much over the series that you almost can’t believe she’s the same woman! I love her so much. And Wax learns to let go of his guilt and betrayal over his first wife’s death and realize that he can’t picture life without Steris. It’s just so perfect! Hard ship, right here.

 

Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase, Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan

Going in a totally different direction here, but I mean, come on, you can’t  help loving these two. Percy is a little slower to get there, but when he does, he is 100% on Annabeth’s side. They went through Hell for each other, literally, and if every a young couple deserved a chance to settle down and build a new life, it is these two. All the hearts.

Sir Percy Blakeney and Marguerite St. Just, The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy

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So swoon-worthy! I love the book and the movie version of this couple. Marguerite is passionate and fiery, Percy is daring and brave, and they have to overcome all these obstacles to find true love! The book and the movie have different ending, but each one has Percy rescuing Marguerite from the French Revolution. And they both look fabulous the whole time!

Annis Wychwood and Oliver Carleton, Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer

I had to put a book by Georgette Heyer in here, as she is my favorite romance writer of all time. Finally I chose these two. Annis lives in Regency Bath with a companion. As a lady in her late twenties, she’s obviously a spinster, doomed to a life as a single woman. (How times have changed!) Oliver is a gentleman with reputation as being rude and unconventional. It is, if not quite love at first sight, a definite attraction. They share the same sardonic sense of humor, and that’s kind of my thing, because anyone who makes me laugh has already stolen half my heart. These guys are made for each other.

Amaranthe Lokdon and Sicarius, Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsay Buroker

Trigger warning for attempted sexual assault and torture.

She’s in the Imperial law force. He’s an assassin. She’s sent to bring him in. But it turns out, they both want the same thing – to protect the Emperor. This is definitely a slow burn. Sicarius has a really dark past and he’s very slow to trust. But Amaranthe just won’t give up on him.  I love this series, and it needs more love. If you like found family stories, with lots of humor and plenty of heist action (plus a little steampunk-y goodness), you should totally check it out.

The Entire Cast of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

OMG OMG OMG. I loved these ships so damn much. Wylan and Jesper, Nina and Matthias (my heart!), and especially Kaz and Inej. What makes these work is that each of them is broken in their own way, but they become someone better when they’re together. I don’t need to elaborate too much on this one, because so many people have read these books. If you have, then you know what I mean! Love these guys.

Scarlet Benoit and Wolf Kesley, the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

This one was hard, because I also love Thorn and Cressida, but I think Scarlet and Wolf are a teeny bit better. Scarlet is so feisty and so protective of her family. Once she decides that Wolf is part of her family, they become an unbeatable team. And poor Wolf – he’s been through so much, never dared to hope for anything better. Once he finds it though, he would do anything for Scarlet.

Capt. Cordelia Naismith and Admiral Adal Vorkosigan, Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

Trigger warning for attempted sexual assault.

Cordelia, you badass. They are both amazing characters, but I love that Bujold really gives Cordelia a chance to shine. They’re not a traditional couple – she’s a career officer and he’s the Butcher of Barrayar. But once they decide they love each other, Cordelia especially will let nothing stand in her way of getting a life with the man she loves. Sure, there’s some fun sci-fi stuff in here, but it’s this relationship that makes the book worth reading.

Sarah Agnes Prine and Captain Jack Elliott, These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

Trigger warning for sexual assault, death of a child

It’s been a while since I’ve read this one, but they were so amazing that I have to give them some space here. Sarah and her family are on their way to new home when their wagon train is attacked by Indians and her father is killed. This is not a spoiler, it’s literally in chapter one. That’s your warning right there that this book is not going to be an easy ride. Stuff happens, and it’s hard reading sometimes. What makes it worth it is watching the relationship grow between Sarah and Captain Jack. It was so sweet and tender, and  he was so patient and kind. I just love this series so, so much.



So what do you think? Do we share any favorites? Who’s on your list? Let me know in the comments.

January Wrap Up

A month has gone into 2019 and now is a good time to see how my reading has gone.

 

Started 28 books

DNF 4 books

6 audio books (including one I’m still listening to)

1 graphic novel/comic book

best audio: The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean

Best nonfiction: The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

Best YA: The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

Book club: Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyami

Overall, it was a slightly disappointing month. I didn’t have many absolute stinkers, but I also didn’t have any 5 star books and only a few 4 stars. I hope February will be better.

 

 

What Summer Reading?

Every year for the last maybe 15 years I’ve participated in my library’s summer reading program. When the kids were little it was a great way for them to earn free prizes and keep them occupied when they were out of school. There were even fun prizes for the adults, from free t-shirts to books, candy, and free meals.

This year is the first time I didn’t participate. I signed up all right, but I didn’t finish a single book review. I don’t know what happened. It’s tempting to blame it all on depression, but I’m not aware of being more depressed than say, the year my dad died. It just seems like I haven’t been interested in reading lately.

Things are looking up slightly. I’ve finished a couple of books recently and I’m really enjoying this  month’s book club pick. I don’t know. Let’s hope it was just a fluke and I can enjoy a good book again.

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?

 

What Are You Reading?

Hey bookies! I’m back from a little break and I thought I’d check in and let you know what I’m reading.

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First up is a book I got for Christmas called The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions by David Quammen. I’ve read one of his books before and I really liked his writing. It might sound a little dry, but if you like nature programs or travel adventures, you’d love this. I just finished A section on Komodo dragons and it was fascinating stuff.

I’m also reading The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. This one is for book club and I can definitely say it is not one I would have picked up on my own. It seems like it was written for book clubs, where there’s a lot of vaguely unhappy characters (all White, of course) who don’t do much of anything. Not enjoying it at all.

I hope that you are enjoying your books!

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?

 

Touch – a Review

Touch by Claire North

Kepler had never meant to die this way — viciously beaten to death by a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place.

Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley.

Instead of dying, Kepler has gained the ability to roam from one body to another, to jump into another person’s skin and see through their eyes, live their life — be it for a few minutes, a few months or a lifetime.

Kepler means these host bodies no harm — and even comes to cherish them intimately like lovers. But when one host, Josephine Cebula, is brutally assassinated, Kepler embarks on a mission to seek the truth — and avenge Josephine’s death.

This book is a case of where the idea 💡 was better than the execution. First of all, if I hadn’t read the synopsis, I might have enjoyed the slow reveal a little more. As it was, the description doesn’t really match the spirit of the book, IMO.

As it was, I wish there had been more time in each “skin” before jumping into the plot. I liked the idea a lot, but the ending fell flat for me. I will admit that I found myself thinking about the book for a long time, wondering what I would have done differently