I heard from a fair amount of people that this was one of their top reads of 2017. It was pretty hefty (576 pages!) so I used one of my Audible credits for it back in November. It took me two months to get through it and I can honestly say it was not one of my top reads for 2017. Its not that I didn’t like it. I did. But it was so loooong. And there were so many stories. Stories within stories within stories. Good God. The current day story is about two scholars who find papers from the 1600s hidden in an old house. Then you follow the story of the woman who wrote those papers in the 1600s. Then each person has their own story within those two stories. The stories were good, they were just long and intricate. So many words. I can’t say I was very invested in the letters and papers of the woman in the 1600s which was half the book. I kept wanting to get back to the scholars. Usually I enjoy multiple POVs but this was too much. I would suggest this book to people who really enjoy rich historical novels.
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book that’s more than 500 pages – I did get it on Kindle in order to get through it faster so technically I read some of it
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – I’m not sure it ever says Helen Watt’s age but she’s retiring so I assume she’s over 60
I had been meaning to read Caraval ever since it came out last January. It had a lot of press hype before its release and I ended up liking it a lot. It reminded me a little bit (just a little!) of the Night Circus (which in case you didn’t know – I adore). There was way too much dialog and angst though, but it is YA so that should be expected. Night Circus was often times a lot more about the setting than what was happening with the characters. The ambiance seemed to be its own character. Caraval was very character driven, but not in an overwhelming or annoying way. I could’ve done without the epilogue set up. Book two could’ve told us what the epilogue did in its book jacket summary without leaving such a cliff hanger in book one. I will probably read book two though, but since it took me a year after book one’s publication to read it I wouldn’t count on it happening any time soon. Book two is titled Legendary and set to be released May 2018.
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : the first book in a new-to-you YA series
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to
I love my spouse. I love books. However, my spouse does not love the books I love. He loves graphic novels. So sometimes I go on a binge and read lots of graphic novels and suggest he read them too so we can reference them and talk about it. Right now he’s obsessed with Locke and Key written by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King (in case you didn’t know). I got halfway through Joe Hill’s door stop of a book, The Fireman, so I didn’t go in to these books with high hopes. But they’re good!
I have finished Welcome to Lovecraft vol 1 and Head Games vol 2. There’s a bit of gore and violence so be prepared. Although the illustrations aren’t super realistic so it’s not as disturbing, in my opinion. There are 6 volumes thus far and we’re plowing right along. If you like graphic novels with a bit of horror and mystery these might be for you!
Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge : a book by an author who uses a pseudonym (Joe Hill is actually Joseph Hillstrom King – I assume he didn’t want to be known straight away as Stephen King’s son, although he doesn’t go so far as to hide it)
Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : three books by the same author (I’m currently reading vol 3 so it counts)
I finished The Invisible Library. It was so fun. There was literally a chapter that ended with, and then the alligators came. Whaaa? There is nothing that can’t happen in the alternate worlds that Irene and Kai visit as librarians. They are sent by their employer, The Library, to visit alternative worlds and retrieve books. Mainly fairy tales. That part I didn’t quite get. Why fairy tales? They do talk about it but it wasn’t a good enough reason to resonate. I like the relationship between Irene and Kai, there’s a bit of romantic tension but it could go either way. This is definitely a world building book, I will move on to book two. Goodreads also said that readers of this book also enjoyed Sorcerer to the Crown. Which I can verify as truth because I also enjoyed Sorcerer to the Crown.
I’m about 50 pages in to two books. I need to push on with one of them. Have you read them? Give me advice on which to continue to the end.
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. So far very funny but a bit confusing because it’s a new world. Needs full attention.
A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan. I was hoping this would fulfill my Discovery of Witches hole. I can’t say it’s doing that but I do like the generational progressions. It’s reminding me a bit of Homegoing.
Here are some newly released children’s books that I have loved. I suppose you could consider it a holiday guide.
Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler is essentially a book about being bossy. One morning Jonah decides he wants to be King of the Playground. But Lennox does not agree. She’s going to be Queen. And back and forth it goes. I loved the pictures, cartoon 1950s looking.
Stay : a girl, a dog, and a bucket list by Kate Klise. You may know the Klise’s from their Old Cemetery Road series. At first glance I thought this book was going to be about a dog that dies, which are books I do not read. But it’s not. And although the dog does not die it is about him getting older and it was still very emotional. Good as a conversation piece for pets you may have gotten as a couple before you became a family who are getting older as your real human kids are growing.
Littles : and how they grow by Kelly DiPucchio. This book is adorable. I have a go-to book for baby showers (Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox) but this one might become my back up. It would also be good as a book to purchase for siblings who are getting a new brother or sister since it talks a lot about what babies do. Love the illustrations and the diversity.
The Map of Good Memories by Fran Nuño. I remember reading this book and thinking it was wonderful and then I read even more about it and now think it’s amazing! This book is about Zoe who, due to war, flees the city she lived in her whole life for a new place. The night before her family leaves she illustrates a map with all of her favorite places so she can remember them. The thing that made this book amazing is that it’s made from stone paper. This means the pages use no trees, no water and no bleach. How can this be?! I have no idea, but it’s awesome. It also comes in Spanish and Arabic.
The Story Orchestra : The Nutcracker by Jessica Courtney-Tickle. This is just the best. They had a lot of these books when I was a kid. You turn the page and push a button and an animal sound comes out or a vehicle sound. This book has the sounds of the Nutcracker. I love the Nutcracker. The Story Orchestra seems to be a series and so far there is one other, The Four Seasons. So if you like classical music these might be good gifts.
I may regret this one but for my December Book of the Month I chose The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. Liberty talked about it on All the Books and she is the guest judge who chose it. It is the first book in a series though so hopefully there’s no big cliff hanger. That will be upsetting. I thought about Chalk Man for a hot second but decided against it. I already have The English Wife (love Lauren Willig – review of previous books here and here) and Eleanor Oliphant on my Kindle. Although I almost chose Eleanor because Gabrielle Union was the guest judge who picked that book and I’m recently obsessed with her after reading her memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine.