September 29, 2017

Reading Lately

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I've been in a bit of a reading rut this year. I've been reading a lot but I haven't really liked anything I've been reading. To try to move past that, I stopped at my local library and started combing the shelves, armed with my cell phone in hand, in search of anything on my Goodreads "To Read" list.

I may have gone a little bit overboard.

Two weeks later, I went to the library book sale when I was home for the weekend, and picked up an even bigger stack, but these are all positive things! And I don't hoard books, I only keep the ones that I would read again or that I really liked. If I give a book anything less than 4 stars, I don't keep it. 

I skipped our link-up last month so today, I'm recapping everything I've read in August and September, and which of those have earned a spot on my library shelves!

"Songs of Willow Frost" by Jamie Ford - I had high hopes for this book as Ford's "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" easily made my Top 10 list but it fell flat for me. The story follows a 12-year-old orphan who goes out in search of his mother after seeing her in a film. He finds her (this is not a spoiler, it happens very early in the book) and tries to learn more about her. The story was alright but I felt like it all came together too early in the book and then just kind of dragged on. 

"Beartown" by Fredrik Backman - I'm mad that I finished this book because it means I don't have another Backman book to look forward to until he writes another one. I love the way that this man writes. I never thought I could love a book about hockey so much but this book blew me away. It was almost impossibly hard to read at times but the story and the character development were riveting and the ending surprised me but I absolutely loved it. I've said this before but I'll say it again: If you aren't reading Fredrik Backman, you should be!

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay - I've read this at least a dozen times already but the illustrated version is wonderful. I love that these books are being illustrated and that I have another Harry Potter book to look forward to every year for the next four years, even if it is the same story! "The Chamber of Secrets" has always been my favorite of the series.

"The Prisoner of Heaven" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - I read "The Shadow of the Wind" earlier this year and it was one of the best books I have ever read. Later, I read "The Angel's Game" and loved it just as much. All three books in the Cemetery of Forgotten Book series follow the same characters, though each is primarily about someone else. "The Prisoner of Heaven" takes both of "Shadow of the Wind" and "The Angel's Game" and goes back to the early days of one characters' life and the later days of another. These books are incredible. This series has stolen my heart in a way that no series has since I first cracked open a book about a certain boy wizard.

"The Boston Girl" by Anita Diamant - This book had surprisingly mixed reviews but I read it at a friend's recommendation and really enjoyed it. The story is told by Addie Baum, telling her granddaughter how she became the woman she became. It was equal parts amusing as well as heartbreaking and the end of this book hit a little too close to home and had me in tears but I would recommend this. It's a quick read and a good story.

"I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson - I don't normally read Y.A. but I didn't actually realize this was Y.A. when I started it. I didn't love this book but I loved the way it was written. It's told from alternating perspectives of twins Noah and Jude at the ages of 13 and 16, respectively. We learn from Jude that the twins have had a falling out and the book goes into what happened and why with Noah living it as it happens, and Jude looking back. The writing in Noah's voice was absolutely beautiful, while the writing in Jude's reads like an angsty teenage girl, but I really loved how different their voices were. The book was definitely Y.A. (angsty teens) but the way it was written definitely makes it a good read!

"The American Heiress" by Daisy Goodwin - I have no idea why this book was on my list or why I read it. Set in the 19th Century, the American Heiress follows 19-year-old Cora Cash, who is unequivocably wealthy and has everything she and her mother could ever dream about - except for a title, which she can only get by marrying into European royalty. I like that the book was told from different perspectives (in third person omniscient, which I'm not sure I've seen before) and that it was a quick read, but oh my goodness, Cora Cash was an insufferable character.

So there's the list! I've liked 4 out of 6, not too bad!I think I really needed to just dive into a long list of books to try to get out of my rut and it's working. Right now, I'm reading "I'll See You in Paris" by Michelle Gable (and not really enjoying it). What have you read lately that love? What are you reading now?

You can link up your current reads with Carolann and me below! This month's book club pick was "One True Loves" by Taylor Jenkins Reid. As a rule, I don't read books about planes or helicopters going down so I sat this one out but I hope you all enjoyed it! Join up next month when we're reading "All the Ugly and Wonderful Things" by Bryn Greenwood. Happy Reading!

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