It’s Monday! What are you reading?

(*・ェ・*)ノ Annyeong haseyo. This is supposed to be my podcast week but I’m pushing it back for two reasons:

1. This is the last week of school so one daughter gets off early at a certain time and then her sister follows 20 minutes later

and

2. I feel behind in blogging since last week was busy and had me spinning in circles so I feel the need to be here for the time being this week.

Okie doke, I’ll be gettin’ down to business, linking up with Kathryn of…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Oh, in case you didn’t know, this Monday book meme was handed down to Kathryn from Shelia of Book Journey who had been carrying this torch from a book blogger name J. Kaye, the woman who started it all. I can’t remember how I had found Shelia, either through Google or Bloglovin’, but I used to participate in the meme under her first before now.

So I happened to check my posts list on WP to see when had I last linked up with Kathryn. I found out April 25 was the last one. What happened? Where did time go?

Then I looked at my Goodreads list, thinking I only had a few books I haven’t mentioned. I’ve read eight books since then.

Are you by chance armed with a beverage and some snackie snacks? If so, hunker down and let your eyeballs do the work. If not, jump up and grab some because this is probably one of the lengthiest posts I’ve ever typed.

wydham duke

I think it was the week of Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon. I had absolutely nothing to read when I picked up this used book that had been sitting on my nightstand since finding it from the local, used bookstore. I debated upon whether to not to start anything as I was going to start Alexander Chee’s book at 5 a.m. Saturday. I guess I just went for it.

I had fallen in love with Julia Quinn’s work after becoming obsessed with her Bridgerton series and going on a book hunt for them. During that hunt I picked up whatever the store had by her.

I’m not going to waste time but The Lost Duke of Wyndham was 2 stars. Its plot had a good premise but I wasn’t enthralled by it. I felt somewhat like a fish staring at dangling bait.

ifonlyuknew

If You Only Knew was part of my stack for the read-a-thon, but with The Queen of the Night, being such a big book, I was only able to finish it that weekend. Kristan Higgins was an author I wanted to try this 2016. She did not disappoint. Here is the review I had typed up for Goodreads:

3.5 stars.
When I first started this book, I have to admit that I hedged like a car stopping and going by an unsure, new driver. Internally I was like, oh brother, here we go. However, I loved the snarky humor of Jenny and I loved it whenever Rachel swore. Despite these emotional and internal struggles these sisters were going through with their personal lives, there was evidence of backbone and I liked that. It can be easy for us on the outside to judge and quickly spout off I’d do this or I’d do that. But in reality, life obviously throws us challenges time to time and when you’re in the thick of it, you are surrounded by all sides and it is hard to breathe or think clearly. I’m so glad I tried out Kristan Higgins this year. I look forward to reading more of her work.

 

I believe it is because of Katherine of I Wish I Lived in a Library that I ended up checking out this childhood classic. I never read A Wrinkle in Time in school nor taught it when I used to teach. But I’ve always been curious about this book. I luckily found the CD audio version from the library.

Here’s what I said on Goodreads with its 3 stars rating:

This was an interesting book to listen to. Imagine science fiction being incorporated into fiction in the early 60’s. I wonder how it was received then? My brain kind of did what most minds do when you spot improper grammar in an email, but mine was filling in what parts of the story could mean. I was reminded of The Little Prince, but A Wrinkle in Time was more enjoyable. Hope Davis is a terrific narrator. She’s almost equal Jim Davis as I was entertained by her different voices for certain characters.

I want to add the following thoughts/notes I had typed on my phone and found recently:

It took time for me to adjust to this storyline, but once I got into it, I mentally tried to date it. I thought its setting was that of the really old days like the days of telegrams and old-styled phones. But social studies textbooks were mentioned which changed my mental time stamp. In the past, I didn’t enjoy the beloved, The Little Prince; however while A Wrinkle in Time was similar, I was more open to this one. I was charmed. I related to Meg, where there’s a need for explanations. I personally have felt “different” from the norm where I don’t quite conform to societal standards. I also felt there was an element of faith in this plot. And whenever there was talk about evil and good fighters, my mind would automatically insert events from the past and present current events. One line stood out to me and it was from Mrs. Whatsit:

“You’re given the form but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.” This was like an analogy to life.

eligible

I know when I had read this book, it was circulating around book bloggers. I became intrigued by it because while I had struggled with reading the physical book of Pride and Prejudice, I loved the storyline thanks to Keira Knightley and her movie version. I also had enjoyed the LibriVox audio version of it. I requested it from the library as there wasn’t a long hold line.

When I first started Eligible, I was kind of excited because I felt I would totally understand a modern retelling. It started out fast paced with short chapters. There were snarky conversations that made me smile. However, when it got to the middle, the plot started dragging its feet. By this point I got restless as this plot is heavily immersed in today’s reality TV. I dreaded the thick amount I still had to get through. But I soldiered on and while I love my modern comforts, I have to admit I did miss the old-fashioned courting of the early nineteenth century. 2 stars

serafina

I have my 8-year-old to thank for this book. Before her class visited Book Fair to write out their lists of desired books, they watched an introductory video. Princess Jellybean got excited! The video introduced her to several books she wouldn’t have thought to pick out for herself. Serafina and the Black Cloak is the first, big girl book she has ever read as most of them have been about girls her age or have illustrations mixed in the text, like The Wimpy Kid Diaries.

When I started this book I was reminded of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. The opening chapter alone was spooky! I was totally immersed in the story to find out answers to my internal questions.

Four stars. I can’t wait to read the second book!

hoyt

This is another read I chose inspired by Katherine who talked about the Maiden Lane series. It has been on my TBR for over a year.

I have to first give a shout out to my local library. Wicked Intentions was listed in the catalog but this message would come up saying how it wasn’t available when I tried to request it. I wanted to make sure my account was fine so I called the library, talked to one nice librarian, and then got transferred to the head desk. She was awesome. Our county libraries didn’t have a copy but she was able to find one all the way up in the state capitol of Sacramento! I was so impressed. Because this is from another city’s library system, I only read this book at home and treated it with kid gloves as it costs $115 if it’s damaged or lost.

I’m sorry to say I only gave this one 2 stars – It was okay. I do like a story when children are part of the plot but for me, the lord had a strange hang up. His sexual desires were nothing over-the-top and it was kind of related to his past, but I wasn’t overly convinced. I will try the second book in the series to give it another go and decide then from there whether to continue or not.

 

faye

When taking the girls to the library to restock one day, I strolled by the New Fiction section and spotted this great cover on a bookshelf. It’s new, YA, supernatural/fantasy. I’ve never read Melissa Marr’s work before. I was happy to add her to my 2016-New-Author-Tried shelf.

Seven Black Diamonds was a solid, three stars. It pretty much jumps into the plot from page one. I had to get used to being introduced to all of the new characters. There is a Romeo & Juliet undertone of course but I enjoyed how Lily Abernathy was strong, thought outside the box, and was well armed. I grew fond of the bunch of Sleeper fae and how they were modern but bound by old fae traditions. I liked the ruthlessness of the Queen and how she was a badass warrior herself. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.

I forget why I chose to reread The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness but who cares? You know how you watch a movie a second time and notice things you didn’t see the first time? This happened with the reread of this last installment of the All Souls Trilogy. I didn’t read it straight through but on and off. It didn’t matter because every time I picked it up, I was mesmerized! I ended up loving this book even more and changed its four star rating to five.

If you are a Twilight fan, this series is like an adult one, but way more intellectual and filled with historical fiction. There are no sparkling vampires; they are ruthless, along with quirky daemons, and some crazy witches. I hope Deborah Harkness revisits some of these characters as a few deserve his own story.

Well I know this was a long one. Kamsa hamnida for sticking it through. I’ll be better about sharing what I’ve been reading.

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9 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you reading?

  1. I’ve been debating whether Eligable is worth a read. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite novels so a modern retelling sounds intriguing. Although I think that part of the charm is definitely the Regency Period setting.

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  2. Seven Black Diamonds sounds awesome! I am going to have to grab that one ASAP!

    I am not a big Kristan Higgins fan usually but I really liked If You Only Knew. I felt like her writing had evolved in that book. Very enjoyable and I look forward to seeing what comes next.

    And yay for summer vacation!!

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  3. I love your new look – though I have no idea how new it is because May was brutal over here so it could be several weeks old but I’m just now noticing! Anyway it’s so cute! I love the edges up top that look like tape. I’m glad you enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time. It’s definitely worth reading/listening. I vaguely remember that Quinn but what I remember lines up with you what you had to say. Interesting premise but only kind of meh. That’s too bad about the Hoyt. She’s on my Authors I Really Need to Read list but I’m always a little nervous about new historicals but the Maiden Lane series looks so good! Serafina is on my TBR and The Graveyard Book is the Neal Gaiman I’m going to read this year so I’m interested in the comparison you made.

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  4. You are a much braver broader reader than I. I liked your reviews. Im very into non fiction. I know it limits me. Happy SUMMER to your family! Summers are The BEST

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  5. I so love how you write about what you have read. I am not so good at writing reviews, though I like to talk about the books outloud. I have been reading so much lately, especially after subscribing to Amazon Prime and getting a free book every month and having the e-library. I stopped going to the physical library because I am notorious for amassing overdue fines. With the e-books, they just disappear when they are due. So convenient. But just this last month I have read three books and now on a fourth…maybe I should take up some audiobooks to keep up with my yarny projects. I loved “A Wrinkle in Time”; I agree with the assesment of feeling out of place as well in society. I have grown to love the feeling now. Nice to see you had a good time out.

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  6. That’s a lot of book! I know the weeks are just flying by – suddenly we are mid year in June. Like you I fell in love with the Bridgerton series and went on a hunt for all the books, my only regret is that I then passed them on!

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  7. wow! you have been a busy reader bee! I love that as summertime approaches. I used to read massive amounts of books as a teen and I can still bring back vivid memories of me, the porch swing, and a big fat novel 🙂 Love that time!!

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