I love to acquire, hoard, stack, shelve, smell, read and share books. I review books. I stare at books. You get it, right?
Having to enter all the data for 10 of my 11 January TBR reads was daunting and time consuming. I don't think I will do it again.
For the last year I've become very picky about what I choose to read. I believe I'm very sure about my likes and dislikes at this point. I'm a Literary Fiction and Historical Gal. I really want to read my own books, but have bitten off more than I can chew, in past years, in requests.
Going forward, perusing book websites to acquire more books will be in my past. I want to concentrate on reading what I've already obtained. My concentration will be put on the social media sites that are more of my lane and those are Goodreads and Booklikes. I'm a recovering Instagram scroller and Youtube time waster. This year I will have more focus and drive for what inspires me and allows me to thrive.
Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano
The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozi Obioma
The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benendict
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother and Widow by Lucy Worsley
Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia
The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman
The Orphan Sisters by Shirley Dickson
We Cast A Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
I read more than I thought I would in 2018 and I'm hoping to be back in form in 2019. My reading goal this year is 120 books.
I can't tell you how excited I am for these 8 reads. The reviews that are being posted all over the Internet have been great. Some of these books I have been anticipating for over a year. I hope they live up to all the hype and excitement. I have to give a shout out to the books with most beautiful cover designs; The Children of Blood and Bone, The Silent Companions and Sugar Money. Aren't they wonderful?
I had a really good reading month last month. I read eleven books. They were all short quick reads. There were no literary works in that stack so, I got through them pretty quickly. I know some of these books are pretty lofty in size and in content, but if I stay on task and read daily, I should be fine.
The Silent Companion
The Children of Blood and Bone
The Dragon Queen by William Andrews
The Heart's Appeal
The Flight Attendant
The Parking Lot Attendant
One House Over by Mary Monroe
Divas Don't Cry
The Room on Rue Amèlie
I had a wonderful reading month in February. I read 11 books! I haven't read eleven books in one month in ages. I decided to participate with fellow bookstagrammers and read only black books this month. Here are my ratings;
His Secret Son by Brenda Jackson
Thuggz Valentine by Wahida Clark
Revealed by A.C. Arthur
Games Women Play by Zaire Crown
Her Secret Life by Tiffany L. Warren
Way Too Much Drama by Earl Sewell
Real As It Gets by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Rumors by A.C. Arthur
Taming Her Billionaire by Yahrah St. John
Down by Law by Ni-Ni Simone
All these books I requested from the publishers at Netgalley.com in exchange for review.
This winter has not been kind to me. I've been quite ill. I only managed to read one book in December and four in January. In Bad Behavior, I was only able to finish the story by Kiki Swinson. The second story by Noire is erotica and I don't read that genre. Here are my ratings;
A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White
The Good daughter by Karin Slaughter
Best Laid Plans by Brenda Jackson
Bad Behavior by Kiki Swinson and Noire
Tempest by Beverly Jenkins
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!