January Reviews

January was a good month for reading, I finished my To-Read list for the month and added one more, though I just finished reading it yesterday so it counts for February. Currently, I am 2 books ahead of schedule, and I am aiming to keep it that way in case the slump that happened last year occurs again.I have several books from the library to keep me occupied and continuing on with the 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge.

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The first book I read was The Maze Runner by James Dashner. It was a good, quick read, and I managed to read it in one day. I wasn’t looking for anything specific when I started reading the book, and I know it’s got a lot of mixed reviews, though I didn’t read any before reading the book. I have also not seen the movie

The writing was what I would expect for a YA novel, not bad, but not fantastic either. The author painted enough of a picture of the various aspects of the world, that my mind could fill in whatever was missing. However, there was a point where I found myself being slowly brought out of the world of Maze Runner by thoughts of “Really? That’s all there is to that?” or “Why would they do that? It doesn’t make sense!”

Overall, I did enjoy the book. I went in with no expectations on what it was like, and I found it enjoyable to a point. Probably would never read this book again, so it’s going into my To Donate pile.

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The second book I read was The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht. This book took me 10 days to read, mostly because I had to work and life kept getting in the way. It was an easy read, and quite enjoyable until I got to the end. To me, it felt like the ending had been rushed. Too many story lines were quickly closed up and threads were left hanging. The book left me wanting more, and not finding any. There are too may questions and not enough answers left at the end of this book for me. I did enjoy it, but will never read it again. Currently, I have lent it to a friend for her to read.

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The third book I read was Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. This is a book I started in June 2016, and kept putting down and not getting back to. The beginning of the story had me hooked, but then it began to slow down and I lost interest. I never really cared for any of the characters, though moments of Old Man Jacob, as I will call him struck home with me, as he struggled against dementia (though this was never explicitly stated) in his nursing home. I watched my Grandmother battle with dementia, and I work as a Unit Clerk on the neurology/stroke/neurosurgery floor, so I watch some of our patients and their families struggle with it as well. Having personal knowledge of the struggle people with memory loss go through, and how dementia can demoralize and bring fear, is the only thing that gave me a connection to the character. Again, this is a book that will move on in my To Donate pile.

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Finally, I started reading Hell Bay by Will Thomas, the latest book in the Barker and Llewelyn series. Work and life got in the way, so it took longer than usual to read a book in this series, but I did sit down and finish it yesterday. I will include a review of it in my February Review post. For now, I am going to go work on my February Reads post, and get started on reading!

*Note: I do not take any credit for the images in this post. These are all book covers from Goodreads, and they all belong to the authors and artists who created them.

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January Reads

After seeing it mentioned in several places, I have decided to follow PopSugar’s 2017 Reading Challenge along with my 25 book challenge on Goodreads. So, with those goals in mind, I set out to find books that qualified. The two books I’ve chosen for January are:

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The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht, which has been on my TBR list since at least 2012, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner, which is the first book of a series I haven’t read before. I will also be trying to finish reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, which I started many months ago, put down and never picked back up.

January Review

Well, January’s coming to an end and I’ve only read 3 out of the target 6 books for the month. I could make excuses, whine about how life is getting in the way, but the truth is, I just didn’t set aside the right about of time to read. And I’ve spent far too much time playing Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

I have the next few days off of work though, so I intend to get some reading done. I’m hoping to get 2 books in by Friday. Also, I’m going to try to make up at least two of the three books I’m behind this month. To that end, I have put the next two Barker and Llewelyn books on hold at my local library. I know I will read these books quickly. I wanted to spread them out more, maybe one a month, but with some catch up to do, I went ahead and changed my plan.

I finished the first Harry Potter book today. As I’ve read it many times in the past, I feel like I’m cheating on my goal to read books I own that I’ve not read before but, as I explained before, with the passing of Alan Rickman, I felt the need to read the series again.

Now, I’m off to get some reading in!

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The look I get when I’m on the couch and don’t let him up to cuddle.

2 down, 73 to go…

Today I had the day off, so I sat and read To Kingdom Come by Will Thomas. As with the first book of the series, Some Danger Involved, I fell into the story and didn’t come back up for air until my doorbell rang and unexpected visitors popped the bubble hanging over my head. As soon as they left, I picked up the book and went back into the gritty world of Victorian England.

To say I devoured this book is an understatement. I read the book, save for the 10 pages I read yesterday, in a mere 5 hours! I’m sure that I would have read the next book in the series with such voracity as well and had two books read in a day if I had it available.

I am so glad my friend, Kim, suggested this series. I’ve fallen in love with Thomas’s writing and can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series!

Up next is Before I say Good-Bye by Mary Higgins Clark.

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This picture of extras milling about the market scene for Crimson Peak makes me think of similar scenes described by Thomas in the series. Picture taken by me.

Peculiar books

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Source: RansomRiggs.com

I finished my first book today, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, and I have to say it is a peculiar book. My first thoughts of this book were “it had better live up to the hype, or I’ll be sorely disappointed”. Then, I began reading it and found that it was entertaining but similar to most of the young-adult fictions I’ve read in the past.

I enjoyed the beginning chapters of the book, they had a good flow, very interesting pictures, and I could relate to the main character, Jacob. However, the middle of the book, where Jacob finds the aforementioned home for peculiar children, felt weird to me. Maybe I just don’t have the imagination I had as a young-adult, but I contemplated putting the book down and finding a new one. I eventually decided to continue reading, to give the book a chance.

In the end, I wasn’t quite happy with where it leaves off, but I did come to like the book. It’s as peculiar as the children alluded to in the title. I’m unsure if I will ever buy this book, place it on the coveted space of my bookshelves, but I will reserve that judgement for after I read the next book in the series.

Next up for reading: To Kingdom Come by Will Thomas. The second installment of the Barker and Llewelyn series. I will hopefully pick it up at the library tomorrow, and if it’s anything like the first book, I will likely have it finished by Tuesday.

Good Reads, First Reads

After I decided I would make a reading goal for 2016, I began adding books to my To-Read shelf on Goodreads. The shelf already contained 194 books that I had added between joining in 2012 and early 2015, but I knew most of the books I owned, and had yet to read, were not on that shelf. I set out to remedy that, plus add newer books I’d heard of and suggestions from friends and family.

My To-Read shelf now sits at an uncomfortable 550 books. I say uncomfortable because approximately half of those books I own and have yet to read. It makes me feel somewhat guilty to know that they are there, just waiting for me to read them. Makes me feel like I’ve been neglecting them.

So, my goal this year is for the majority of the books I read to be the ones on my actual bookshelf. Of course I will add in some from my virtual shelf, especially a series my friend, who has her own blog, suggested, the Barker and Llewelyn series by Will Thomas. I read the first book, Some Danger Involved, in December and tore through it. I was hooked and wanted to read more. I decided that I would space out the rest of the series, so I didn’t grow bored or become trapped by this one series. I’ve added the second book to my list of January Reads.

Speaking of my January Reads, they are:

  1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  2. To Kingdom Come by Will Thomas
  3. Before I Say Good-Bye by Mary Higgins Clark
  4. A Soul to Take by C.N. Bean
  5. Detective by Arthur Hailey
  6. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  7. The Regulators by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
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January Reads, photo by me