I love to acquire, hoard, stack, shelve, smell, read and share books. I review books. I stare at books. You get it, right?
Very excited for these December releases. Almost all of these books are by authors I have read and enjoyed their work. Considering it is December, I think I will be able to get all six books read. The Girl in the Tower is book two in The Winternight Trilogy so, I will need to read The Bear and the Nightingale first.
The Ladies of Ivy Cottage (Tales from Ivy Hill #2) by Julie Klassen
The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden
His Secret Son (The Westmoreland Legacy) by Brenda Jackson
House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright
Bad Behavior by Kiki Swinson and Noire
Ziegfeld Girls by Sarah Barthel
If at all possible I will try to read books in my personal library that are 150 pages or less. Have an awesome reading month friends and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa.
I read six books in October and five books in November. I'm pretty pleased about my progress. There were a few books that I thought I'd love and a few that I was unsure of that after reading became favorites. Here are the reading results:
5 Star Reads
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
*I listened to most of it on audio and then switched to the ebook. This book is worth all the hype. It is an unforgettable read. I will definitely re-read this book and I highly recommend if you enjoy WWII books and stories about family.
The Longest Memory by Fred D'Aguiar
*This was definitely a hard read. There's family betrayal, heartbreak and the harsh realities of plantation life. The characters in this book will stay with me for some time.
4 Star Reads
The Diamond Empire by K'wan
*Crazy characters, violence and deception all play into great entertainment. I love this series and can't wait for the next book. K'wan knows how to keep you captivated, on edge and panting for that next read.
An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League) by Alyssa Cole
*Absolutely more than I anticipated. I loved the premise, characters and the writing. This book has interracial love, familial love and characters that stand for what they believe in. Another that I highly recommend to lovers of romance and historical fiction. Alyssa Cole is an author I will continue to pick up.
A Hope Divided (The Loyal League #2) by Alyssa Cole
*Loved it! Just as great as the first, but I fell in love with Socrates (Ewan). Marlie and Ewan had their own personal struggle, but manage to fight for what's most important, love.
Perennials by Julie Cantrell
*I listened to the entire book by read-to-me function on my Kindle Fire during the seven hour ride to Las Vegas. Perennials is what I call a slow burn. There's much going on throughout the book, but it all comes together like an intricately weaved fabric at the end. I love family books. This book was heartbreaking and sweet.
Brazen by Katherine Longshore
*I'm trying to clear out the last of my YA books. I read the first two books in The Royal Circle trilogy and enjoyed them so, I decided to read Brazen before I donated it. I'm finding that the YA books I purchased are truly written for a very young audience and I can't read them. The writing is too juvenile in language and tone. However, I was able to read this and enjoyed it. It was a fun engaging read.
3 Star Reads
The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
*Okay, but completely forgettable read. I would've preferred someone to have just told me the story and saved my money and time.
Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata
*Another okay read that I had too high expectations. I get the parts about the importance of traditions with the tea ceremony, but even that wasn't enough of a grab to save this little book. Someone could've just told me the plot and I could've skipped it.
None Rated Books
The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines
*This definitely didn't turn out the way I thought it would. It's strange it's a book in my opinion. I don't read short stories, but I would call this one. I'm baffled and don't have much to say. Another book I could've skipped.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
*This is the third book that I've tried to love by Ms. Ward. I just don't think we get along. The first book I read of hers was Salvage the Bones. After I tried The Men We Reap. I found it to be slow and melancholy to the point of distraction. My mind would wonder while reading the words. I get the point of the books or what's trying to be conveyed. I just don't enjoy the process of getting there. I find her books have the same formula. Therefore not agreeing with my tastes. Many readers love Ms. Ward and she's won numerous awards. I'm sure she'll continue with much success and I do wish her well.
I've updated the post that I started some days ago. If you care to go back and read what I've written, please do.
HAPPY NOVEMBER EVERYONE!!
This isn't a review. These are my quick early morning thoughts. The Nightingale is an unforgettable story written so well your able to completely immerse yourself in it. I never read the author notes or book club questions, but I read it all. This book took me some time to finish. I started listening to the audiobook last summer 2016. I think the size of the book put me off. I'm so happy I hunkered down and finished it. This is definitely a re-read and a book I will undoubtedly shove down everyones throat. However, it's as graphic as a slave narrative. Thank goodness I am a huge fan of both.
At 70% I started on my Kindle.
Hi everyone, I'm trying desperately to catch up on my postings. My brain has allowed me to read more, but writing is still difficult. So, I thought if I did everything in the posts tonight except the writing/details, I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed. I think this will work. I know I won't be able to write each post back to back. That will be too much, but will get them done by Tuesday at the latest. You all always welcome me back and I'm so grateful for this community.
I'm super excited for these reads. It's a good variety. I have very high expectations for A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole. I will need to read the first book (I do have it) An Extraordinary Union. I read The Diamond Empire last month and loved it! I gave it 4 stars. K'wan knows how to draw you in and keep you there. Moonlight Over Manhattan will be my first read by Sarah Morgan. So many readers love her books. Since I'm familiar with the works of authors Jen Turano and Katherine Reay I know these will be awesome. Over the years I've seen the works of Barbara Taylor Bradford in bookstores and have been curious about her writing. Finally, I can see why she's so beloved. The big book of the month is Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race. This book has been read widely and is being promoted everywhere. Overly hyped books scare me and I usually try to keep them for some time to not be influenced by frenzy.
Beyond Freedom: Disrupting the History of Emancipation by David W. Blight
A Tangled Web: Mata Hari: Dancer, Courtesan, Spy by Mary W. Craig
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim
The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano
Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto by Bryan W. Van Norden
Perrinials by Julie Cantrell
Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart
Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sara Morgan
A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole
I read 6 books in October and am pleasantly surprised. I thought I'd only read 2 or 3. Has that ever happened to you? My highly anticipated read was The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Earnest J. Gaines. It was also my biggest disappointment. I was not wowed by it and the interest I had for the build up in this short novellla wasn't and was what I thought it would be. The other shocker was Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. I connected with only one of the characters (the son Jojo) and the story was a bit of multiple stories I'd read before. I didn't enjoy Salvage the Bones by her either. I think I stopped 75% through. I don't think her style of writing is for me. However, she is well regarded, loved and accoladed.
The Nightingale and The Longest Memory were the "show stoppers" this month. These stories gutted me. Oh, the pain I felt. These two books I would highly recommend to anyone. It doesn't matter if you pick them up today, next month or years from now. Put them on your tbr or wishlist and read them! You won't regret it, I promise. I'm clearing out my YA shelves and have donated hundreds to date. This last purge I decided to keep some series that I started and loved, but didn't finish. Brazen (Royal Circle) is one of those I decided to keep. I had already read Guilt and Tarnish and enjoyed them. Brazen didn't disappoint. I do love historical fiction. Longshore wrote these in a style I could enjoy as well as her intended audience.
I've been listening on and off since 2016. I'm currently reading the ebook and hoping to finish by Monday. Definitely will miss this book when its over. The Nightingale is a slow read and is reminiscent of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. They both give me the same cold, dark and ominous effect.
I will list the rating and to the side add commentary.
Breakfast in Bed by Rochelle Alers (solid read)
Seeking Sarah by Reshonda Tate Billingsley (solid read)
To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander (fantastic story, pleasantly surprised)
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebeyo (unforgettable stand out read)
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy (Liked this, LOVE book)
Surrender to Me by Donna Hill (solid read)
Pretty, Nast, Lovely by Rosalind Noonin (interesting story)
Gravel Heart by Abdulrazak Gurnah (good story)
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
* I've been thinking what to say about my displeasure with this book. It was an okay read for me. Such a hyped book that I did everything possible to get my hands on it for months; giveaways, egalleys and such. To only be disappointed. There's nothing new here for me. It definitely wasn't what I expected in terms of the storyline. Maybe it's my age. I've read a lot of books and many heavy hitters at a young age. It takes a lot to impress me in story and writing. However, both don't have to be great. I'll take a good story with subpar writing or a well written book with just okay plot. Many love this one. It just wasn't for me. Beautiful cover and great publicity with a new up and coming author, I do believe Ms. Bennett is definitely one to watch!
Lots of really good books on Amazon today. Take a look!
Loving it! There are multiple storylines with each character that keeps it interesting. There's the town itself and its people, the railroad, a horrible accident and freed blacks trying to educate at Fisk University.
I want Gage! Can I find a human with his character traits? Tonya and Gage's relationship is realistic, mature and slow (for romance novel). So nice to revisit the ladies friendship and to read about all the yummy Louisiana Cuisine. I'm a foodie and need to visit The Big Easy in the near future.
I love Kindred by Octavia Butler. I chose it for World Book Day, when the U. S. was participating, and everyone that I followed up with enjoyed it. So, when I heard that there was going to be a graphic novel of the book I was very hesitant to give it a try. I saw pics of the drawing on Instagram and wasn't impressed. Just like movie adaptations, I didn't want the graphic novel to taint my love and disappoint.
To my surprise, I'm really enjoying it! I have a few issues, but so far so good. I thought reading it would be a nuisance on a Kindle, but it working out great on my Fire 8.
I'm super excited that I was able to read 7 books this month. I've been struggling for a long while. My health and not having a good system in place has affected me greatly, but now I think I have a good one. I talked about it in a previous post. I will listen up to 5% of each book for the month and those that immediately grab my attention will go to the top of the list. And since I will already be interested, I will be able to move to the next book without hesitation.
Sin of a Woman
A Name Unknown
The Cartel 7
Where The Light Falls
Kiss The Ring
Seducing Abby Rhodes
About an hour ago I finished Where The Light Falls by Allison and Owen Pataki. It was an emotional 4 star read. Not what I'm accustomed to, but well with it! I will start The Diplomat's Daughter by Karin Tanabe tonight. I absolutely loved The Gilded Years. I'm excited to get to The Address by Fiona Davis and hope it lives up to all the hype. A weekend filled with historical fiction is a great one indeed.
What are you reading this weekend?