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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 14:10
I Am Missing: David Raker, Book 8 - Joe Coen,Tim Weaver,Louise Brealey,Penguin Books

David Raker, a Private Investigator, is intrigued when a personable young man approaches him for help - he is the "Lost Man" who,was found on a beach with a head injury and now has no idea of who or what he is. Enter our hero who gets himself involved in quite a few "how's he going to get out of that" situations with the villains always on the hunt for him. I did enjoy this book but felt it could have been a bit shorter. There was plenty going on to keep the reader gripped and interested as the mystery is solved. This is my first experience with David Raker and liked him enough to read his other exploits with different adversaries.

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text 2017-10-21 02:20
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 377 pages.
The White People and Other Weird Stories - Arthur Machen

I had such fun with the contents of Resorting To Murder--that is, doing basically one short-story in between each novel I read (with the last few tales being polished off as a group, since it was so easy to do with a mere 40 or so pages left)--that I'm going to keep going with this approach, but with Horror taking the place of Mystery, as my focus. Halloween is very close, after all...

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review 2017-10-17 00:14
The Zoo is Foreclosed
The Penguin Who Knew Too Much - Donna Andrews

Caerphilly has a zoo. A small zoo, but a zoo. The owner has run into money troubles and has been selling his animals and then is found dead in the basement of Meg and Michael's recently renovated home. He is found on the day that they are starting the move into the house. Things come to a grinding halt when they have to wait for the investigation. 

 

They call the chief and let him know that a body has been found in a recent hole dug by Meg's father to allow for a pond for the penguins he has been caring for because of the foreclosure. As the day progresses, more police show up, her cousin shows up and many other characters start showing up. People are dumping animals at her house for her to care for and she meets the great Dr. Montgomery Blake. He has come to town to see if he wants to be financially responsible for the zoo. 

 

The family has started to show up and the Sprockets (the family Meg and Michael bought the house from) start showing up, digging holes in Meg's yard on the premise that the body they found is their missing uncle. 

 

I already shared one of my favorite moments, from pages 86-87 where someone who was not invited to stay at her home finds a snake in the bathroom, the coroner (who has too many phobias) is terrified in the yard by Meg's brother, Rob, and all the animals being kept on her property and her father's neighboring property. 

 

Meg gets involved in finding out who murdered and buried the zookeeper in her yard and finds out all the weird things that were happening, even learning about canned hunts. I had never heard about this, until this book. This is where hunters pay to hunt rare animals in a small area where the animal cannot get away so that it is an easy target for them. I don't agree with trophy hunting, but I understand the need for food hunting from any other levels. 

 

Good story. Lots of funny moments. 

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quote 2017-10-16 04:54
I was almost asleep when a bloodcurdling scream jolted me wide awake. “What the hell was that?” Michael asked. “I think someone found the snake I put in the hall bath,” I said. “Why did you—never mind. That came from the backyard, not the house.” The screaming had subsided into muted wails, and I could also hear voices, and someone laughing. I stumbled over to the window overlooking the backyard. Rob, wearing a black cape and a smear of stage blood around his mouth, was sprawled on the ground just outside the cellar doors, laughing hysterically. The wailing appeared to be coming from a small cherry tree. Dad, Horace, and Rose Noire were standing beneath the tree, saying soothing things to it. The Adirondack chair was empty. “Ah,” I said. “Rob was helping Dr. Smoot relive childhood memories.” “Serves him right for telling everyone about his damned trauma all day,” Michael muttered. Rob’s laughter died down—not that he’d stopped, but he’d reached the point where he only had the breath to utter an occasional, barely audible squeak. But just about then, the hyenas kicked in, more than making up for his silence. Chief Burke burst out of the back door, strode over to the cherry tree, and stood looking up at it with his hands on his hips. “Get a grip on it, man!” he bellowed. I heard another scream at closer range. “Now that was definitely the snake in the hall bath,” I said. Michael groaned, and pulled a pillow over his head. I followed his example.
The Penguin Who Knew Too Much - Donna Andrews

"The Penguin Who Knew Too Much," by Donna Andrews pigs 86-87

 

Laugh out loud moments. This was a favorite of mine. 

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