Thursday, July 5, 2018

June Reading Receipt

What's this?  I'm actually getting this done in a somewhat timely manner?  That's what happens when you have seven days a week off work instead of two, I guess.

You also have time to read more books.  Four, to be exact.  This month I can recommend three out four with no reservations.

First in June was Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams.  This was the one I was kind of lukewarm about this month.  I had read the very enjoyable Tiny Little Thing by Williams two years ago, so I bought Cocoa Beach when it was on sale for Kindle a ways back.  This dragged for me, and I didn't care for the ending, although I did feel compelled to finish it to see who was lying.

 Another amazing Kindle deal was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  What a treat this book was!  Why don't people write letters anymore?  Never mind, I know why.  But this book made me long for a time when people did.  This story is told entirely (very nearly) through letters.  It is a love story but also a history lesson about the German occupation of Guernsey (which I knew nothing about).  Loved it.  LOVED.  IT.  It's been brought to my attention that this has been turned into a movie for Netflix (to release soon).  My hopes aren't high because I think it would be the perfect fit for a mini-series instead of a movie, but I'll watch it regardless.

Next was The Lying Game by Ruth Ware.  The Woman in Cabin 10 was my BOTM club introduction to Ruth Ware last year.  I liked it, but I read her previous release In a Dark, Dark Wood after Woman and enjoyed it even more.  I also got The Lying Game through BOTM several months back, but I didn't hear much buzz about it and wondered if it would be as good.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be my favorite of Ware's so far.  I'm on the waiting list at the library to read her latest.

Speaking of library waiting lists, I put Stephen King's The Outsider on my list at the library after it was released and was happy that I didn't even have to wait two weeks to have my turn.  This was Classic King that I slipped into like a pair of perfectly fit jeans.  This is the first time I've read a NEW release by King right when it came out (last year I read 11/22/63) since Doctor Sleep was released.  I've forgotten how much fun that is.  Is it weird that a horror novel is fun?  Never mind, I know the answer to that too.

Monday, June 11, 2018

April/May Reading Receipts

Why, yes, I am behind on this again.  Thanks for noticing.  Here's what I read in April and May, along with a few personal highlights.

In April I read Melanie Benjamin's latest historical fiction, The Girls in the Picture.  I'm not sure if it was a coincidence, but with all the #metoo stories coming out of Hollywood, this story was really timely and interesting.  It focused on the lives of silent movie star, Mary Pickford and her screenwriting bestie, Frances Marion.  There were supporting roles from Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, and Douglas Fairbanks, but what these two women did in their day and age really and how they accomplished it, was extraordinary.  I haven't read a Melanie Benjamin book that I didn't like yet.

My other book for April was Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee.  This story showed how one person's mental illness affected everyone around here, and although this was some heavy subject matter, this book read like a dream.

April was busy. It's one of those months that just about sucks me under every year, it seems.  It started with Easter, took a detour to winter, involved a choir trip for the boy and my husband, and ended with nice weather, a concert dream fulfilled, and hatching chickens.  Looking back, I'm amazed I read two books.

In May, I can often see the light at the end of the tunnel with the school year ending and start to believe I'm going to make it. My first book for the month was Tangerine by Christine Mangan.  This was taut and suspenseful, different from a lot of things I've read this year.

I don't normally count re-reads for my yearly count, but I'm going to this year because it's my party.  And this re-read was significant.  As you know if you're a reader, Sue Grafton passed away this year,  This was a bitter pill to swallow as she was just one letter short of finishing her alphabet mystery series (which I've mentioned several times that I was hoping she would find a way to continue even after the letter Z).  I felt the need to go back to where it all began and re-read A is for Alibi.  And just like always, it was like meeting an old friend for lunch.

Last in May (I finished it on the 31st) was One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard.  I'm usually not a sports reader even though I love baseball and am somewhat knowledgable  about it.  This was an exception as it was a nonfiction account of a high school baseball's team run for the state championship.  Said high school team was from a small town just five minutes south of me.  This really hit me right in the feels, as I felt like I knew these small town farm boys who were very much like the ones I grew up with and it was a great underdog story, the kind of which I am always a sucker for.

May brought with it a wonderful Mother's Day, the boy's 13th (whaaaaat?) birthday, my twin niece and nephew's graduation from high school (again, whaaaat?), lots of dance recital rehearsal hooopty do, the end of my school year, and some strawberries.  All in all, May ended well.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

February/March Reading Receipt

I decided to put these two months together because:
A) I didn't read very much in February and
2) I was too lazy busy to get the post up that month.
Also - the Cubs game for today was cancelled due to the Winter That Didn't Want to End, and so I decided I actually do have time for a post today.

There.  We're done with that.

I'm also going to add a few personal highlights from these months because I feel like I never have time to do that anymore.  I miss it.  If there's going to be no baseball today, I might as well make this post worth it.

In February, I read Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Long.  This has such an ominous, wonderful beginning.  It was really one of the best beginnings I've read in quite some time.  Although I ended up liking this book, I didn't feel like it lived up to that beginning, which honestly would have been hard to do.  It did have what I felt like was a very touching, somewhat unconventional love story to compliment its supernatural vibe.

Just a couple of other highlights from my month of February:

We took our kids and our niece to Comic Con for the first time. They loved it.  The tickets were my daughter's big Christmas present.  Of course, my husband and kids both had the stomach flu a couple of days before the weekend we were supposed to go, so I was afraid we wouldn't make it.  But we did, and I'm so glad.

We had our Valentine's Breakfast the weekend before the 14th, since it is never fun to have a holiday breakfast on a school day when you eat in about 10 minutes.  I've been doing this for years.  I love it.

I also started my first Tana French book in February, In the Woods but finished it in March.  Several people on the internet and IRL recommended French's Dublin Murder Squad series, so when the third one was on super sale for Kindle, I snatched it up.  I didn't feel right about reading the third one first, even though said people told me it didn't matter what order you read them in.  So it sat there, unread, until the first one showed up for super sale on Kindle.  What can I say? I like to read things in order. And even though I've now read two of her books (although still not the third one that I bought first), and I see that it doesn't matter what order you read them in, I'm still glad I read them in order.  All this to get to the point, I really like French's books.  If you're a mystery/suspense fan, you'll be pleased.

I swear I'm really not an OCD type personality (you need only to look at my house to realize this), but I read French's second Dublin Murder Squad book, The Likeness, next.  So yes, I still haven't read the third one which I purchased first.  I did like this book as well.  I felt like the premise was original, but I also felt like it was a tad long.  French does not rush a story along, which I have no problem with, but I found myself a little antsy for some action a few times along the way.

March highlights were:

The girl's 15th birthday fell on the weekend of her first high school musical performance.  The musical was Sister Act, in case you're wondering about her costume.  Wait, did I say 15?  Yeah, 15.  What in the world.

We also had a St. Patrick's Day Breakfast this year. I lucked out that it fell on the weekend this year, plus I had a day off the day before. I've always done this breakfast as well even though I only found out a few years ago that I am, in fact, a quarter Irish.  You can read this post to find out all about how I know how Irish I am.

There's what you need to know for February and March.  Or at the very least,  what I have time to tell you.