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text 2017-12-05 17:30
Books I Read In October and November
The Diamond Empire (A Diamonds Novel) - K'wan
Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward
Brazen - Katherine Longshore
The Longest Memory - Fred D'Aguiar
The Tragedy of Brady Sims (Vintage Contemporaries) - Ernest J. Gaines
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah
An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole
A Hope Divided (The Loyal League) - Alyssa Cole
Perennials - Julie Cantrell
Driver's Seat (Penguin Modern Classics) - Muriel Spark

I read six books in October and five books in November. I'm pretty pleased about my progress. There were a few books that I thought I'd love and a few that I was unsure of that after reading became favorites. Here are the reading results:

 

 

5 Star Reads

 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

*I listened to most of it on audio and then switched to the ebook. This book is worth all the hype. It is an unforgettable read. I will definitely re-read this book and I highly recommend if you enjoy WWII books and stories about family.

 

 

The Longest Memory by Fred D'Aguiar

 

*This was definitely a hard read. There's family betrayal, heartbreak and the harsh realities of plantation life. The characters in this book will stay with me for some time.

 

 

4 Star Reads

 

The Diamond Empire by K'wan

 

*Crazy characters, violence and deception all play into great entertainment. I love this series and can't wait for the next book. K'wan knows how to keep you captivated, on edge and panting for that next read.

 

An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League) by Alyssa Cole

 

*Absolutely more than I anticipated. I loved the premise, characters and the writing. This book has interracial love, familial love and characters that stand for what they believe in. Another that I highly recommend to lovers of romance and historical fiction. Alyssa Cole is an author I will continue to pick up.

 

A Hope Divided (The Loyal League #2) by Alyssa Cole

 

*Loved it! Just as great as the first, but I fell in love with Socrates (Ewan). Marlie and Ewan had their own personal struggle, but manage to fight for what's most important, love.

 

Perennials by Julie Cantrell

 

*I listened to the entire book by read-to-me function on my Kindle Fire during the seven hour ride to Las Vegas. Perennials is what I call a slow burn. There's much going on throughout the book, but it all comes together like an intricately weaved  fabric at the end. I love family books. This book was heartbreaking and sweet.

 

Brazen by Katherine Longshore

 

*I'm trying to clear out the last of my YA books. I read the first two books in The Royal Circle trilogy and enjoyed them so, I decided to read Brazen before I donated it. I'm finding that the YA books I purchased are truly written for a very young audience and I can't read them. The writing is too juvenile in language and tone. However, I was able to read this and enjoyed it. It was a fun engaging read.

 

 

3 Star Reads

 

The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark

 

*Okay, but completely forgettable read. I would've preferred someone to have just told me the story and saved my money and time.

 

Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata

 

*Another okay read that I had too high expectations. I get the parts about the importance of traditions with the tea ceremony, but even that wasn't enough of a grab to save this little book. Someone could've just told me the plot and I could've skipped it.

 

 

None Rated Books

 

The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines

 

*This definitely didn't turn out the way I thought it would. It's strange it's a book in my opinion. I don't read short stories, but I would call this one. I'm baffled and don't have much to say. Another book I could've skipped.

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

 

*This is the third book that I've tried to love by Ms. Ward. I just don't think we get along. The first book I read of hers was Salvage the Bones. After I tried The Men We Reap. I found it to be slow and melancholy to the point of distraction. My mind would wonder while reading the words. I get the point of the books or what's trying to be conveyed. I just don't enjoy the process of getting there. I find her books have the same formula. Therefore not agreeing with my tastes. Many readers love Ms. Ward and she's won numerous awards. I'm sure she'll continue with much success and I do wish her well.

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review 2017-10-30 13:32
A Birmingham Family Christmas (Brazen Brides Book 5) - Cheryl Bolen

A Birmingham Family Christmas by Cheryl Bolen Book starts out with other works by the author. Story starts with Annabelle and she was brought up with her father and grandfather. Emma, her cousin has been blessed over the years also. Annabelle is waiting for the man that hadn't requested to marry her after the Season. Even though this is a series book you are brought up to date with who is who from the start. Annabelle will accompany Emma and her husband to Camden Hall for the Christmas holiday. Story also follows others in the family. Adam is in charge of the bank and hosting the big family event and has invited him to join them. They had gone to school together. Love catching up with the others in the family as I have followed this series. Lots of fun and excitement, drama and the holidays. Spencer had learned women were not to be trusted and 11 years ago he had turned her down for marriage. Love how children put baskets together for those in need-so generous. Adults will help make toys for male children for the baskets. Loved hearing of the tools used to make the toys and the process of using the hand tools. Others are matchmaking Spencer and Annabelle but they each hold a secret. Love hearing how they decorate for the holiday, fresh greens! Injuries occur and feelings are hurt in the process... Amabelle feels like an outsider and Spencer is known as fourth Birmingham brother although he's not related. Misunderstandings from eleven years ago as the truth comes out. There is a lot of joy but their sister and mother may not make it in time for Christmas, they should have arrived by now... Other works by the author are highlighted at the end along with summaries of some of them. Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

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review 2017-10-30 13:03
Review For: A Birmingham Family Christmas
A Birmingham Family Christmas (Brazen Brides Book 5) - Cheryl Bolen

A Birmingham Family Christmas by Cheryl Bolen is Book Five in the "Brazen Brides" series. This is the story of Annabelle Lippencott and Spencer Woodruff. This Novella can easily be a standalone book if you choose to do so.
Annabelle is staying with her cousin Emma Birmingham for the holidays and finds that Spencer is there too. Annabelle and Spencer had been in love some years ago but each thought the other was the cause of their broken heart. Annabelle and Spencer start to learn that something else was at work that cause them to part.
This was a sweet second chance at love story with a Christmas theme in place.
Loved it!
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Source: www.amazon.com/Birmingham-Family-Christmas-Brazen-Brides-ebook/dp/B0766V5CB6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509225186&sr=1-1&keywords=A+Birmingham+Family+Christmas
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text 2017-10-30 00:51
Books I Read in October 2017
The Diamond Empire (A Diamonds Novel) - K'wan
Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward
Brazen - Katherine Longshore
The Longest Memory - Fred D'Aguiar
The Tragedy of Brady Sims (Vintage Contemporaries) - Ernest J. Gaines
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah

I read 6 books in October and am pleasantly surprised. I thought I'd only read 2 or 3. Has that ever happened to you? My highly anticipated read was The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Earnest J. Gaines. It was also my biggest disappointment. I was not wowed by it and the interest I had for the build up in this short novellla wasn't and was what I thought it would be. The other shocker was Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. I connected with only one of the characters (the son Jojo) and the story was a bit of multiple stories I'd read before. I didn't enjoy Salvage the Bones by her either. I think I stopped 75% through. I don't think her style of writing is for me. However, she is well regarded, loved and accoladed. 

 

The Nightingale and The Longest Memory were the "show stoppers" this month. These stories gutted me. Oh, the pain I felt. These two books I would highly recommend to anyone. It doesn't matter if you pick them up today, next month or years from now. Put them on your tbr or wishlist and read them! You won't regret it, I promise. I'm clearing out my YA shelves and have donated hundreds to date. This last purge I decided to keep some series that I started and loved, but didn't finish. Brazen (Royal Circle) is one of those I decided to keep. I had already read Guilt and Tarnish and enjoyed them. Brazen didn't disappoint. I do love historical fiction. Longshore wrote these in a style I could enjoy as well as her intended audience. 

 

 

 

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review 2017-08-29 00:44
Great Historical Romance
Counterfeit Countess: Brazen Brides, Book 1 - Cheryl Bolen

Counterfeit Countess by Cheryl Bolen is a fantastic historical romance.  Ms Bolen has given us a well-written book.  The characters are phenomenal and perfect for this story.  Edward and Maggie's story is suspenseful, with plenty of drama, humor and sexy bits.  I enjoyed reading Counterfeit Countess and can't wait for my next book by the talented Cheryl Bolen.  Counterfeit Countess is book 1 of the Brazen Brides Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I received a copy of this book from BookFunnel.

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