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review 2018-04-04 16:50
As Bright As Heaven
As Bright as Heaven - Susan Meissner
I laughed and I cried through this novel, the Bright family though, had to endure it all while I sat back and just watched, my emotions getting the best of me. The year was 1918 and this family was embarking on change. Having moved from Quakertown, they were now moving to the city, the city of Philadelphia where father would be one day taking over a family business. No more rolling tobacco and cigars, the family was going into the mortuary business.
 
Mother wanted to be a part of this venture and originally, Uncle Fred confined her to the attached house. Mother and the children had no business being in the funeral home unless it was to help set up for services. Mother questioned why they were paying staff when she herself, could do their job and eventually Uncle Fred compromised. Mother was such a determined and caring individual.
 
The war takes it toll on the city, first as it recruits and then as fatalities takes its citizens. It never ends as the Spanish Flu begins its tour and no one is immune from day one. Hitting the military and then the states, everyone is scared yet for the Bright Funeral Home, this is business. A business that has to start turning individuals away as they cannot keep up with the bodies that require their care. The family fears for their own safety yet where can they go to be “safe.” I hadn’t thought much about what life would be like living inside or working inside a funeral home until reading this novel. It all seems so peaceful but this is the result of many hours of demanding and hard work. The physical work is only a fraction of it. The emotional aspect of the job is what would separate many individuals from this line of work.
 
An orphaned baby brings hope to the family yet inside, I felt there was something wrong about this whole situation. This child provided sunshine finally to the family yet soon darkness fell over the household. My tears fell freely and rapidly as I read as life changed within the funeral home. Everyone has been affected by the war and/or by the Spanish Flu, it amazed me how much devastation has occurred. Business is starting to slow down finally and the new normal is beginning to show its face. I was not ready to let go of this family and their lives in Philadelphia as the novel started to wind down. Their story was one that I really enjoyed.
 
Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy of this novel to review in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2018-04-04 04:46
All The Bright Places: My Thoughts
All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven

So All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Stars : 4.5/5.

 

This book nearly made me cry which is why it's lacking half a star. Sometimes if the book was so good that it nearly made me cry, I don't give it the 5 stars that it deserves. I'm weird like that. 

 

This book was written very well. I was hooked from the moment i finished the first chapter. Violet was a character I could partly relate to, Finch not so much. 

 

I recommend this book to those people that are wanting a nice and easy flowing read. You have to keep in mind that this book does contain topics that involve depression. 

 

Overall: A VERY GOOD BOOK! 

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text 2018-04-01 10:27
March marches out...
The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars - Anthony Boucher
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong
Burn Bright - Patricia Briggs
One Corpse Too Many - Ellis Peters
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
Miss Silver Comes to Stay - Patricia Wentworth
Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions - Amy Stewart
The Moving Toyshop - Edmund Crispin
The House of the Cats: And Other Traditional Tales from Europe - Maggie Pearson

Either I was feeling generous, or I had a great reading month.  Since my RL wasn't as nice as my reading month, we'll go with great reading!

 

My total for March was 26 books.  Moonlight Reader's inspired reading version of the game Clue! (Cluedo to those in the Commonwealth), Kill Your Darlings, certainly helped keep my reading pace up, and as always, worked particularly well at getting the veterans off my TBR stacks.  

 

Of the 25 books, 2 were 5-star reads:

The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars by Anthony Boucher 

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong 

 

I had 8 4.5 star reads too:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs 

One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters 

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett 

Miss Silver Comes to Stay by Patricia Wentworth 

Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart 

The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin 

The House of the Cats: And Other Traditional Tales from Europe by Maggie Pearson 

 

 

 

Some stats, gussied up:

 

My TBR project:

I've set a book buying budget for each month that = 50% of the total books I read the previous month.  Any books not bought carry over to the next month.  

 

Last month I bought 11 out of the 15 budgeted, leaving me with 4 to carry over to April.  My total books read in March being 25 leaves me with a budget of 12 (I always round down; I figure this way, if I go over one month, there's a small error of margin). 

 

total books I can buy in April:  16

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text 2018-03-30 15:04
Books I Read This Month: March 2018
Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi Adeyemi
The High Tide Club - Mary Kay Andrews
Burn Bright - Patricia Briggs,-Penguin Audio-,Holter Graham

So I managed to get through a lot of books this month. I read 38 books. I had a few duds, okay a lot of duds, but did have some really good 5 and 4 star reads. 

 

My favorite I think is going to go towards "Children of Blood and Bone." My least favorite is going to go to that Mary Alice Monroe book, "The High Tide Club."It is tied though with "Burn Bright" by Patricia Briggs. So there you go, I had two least favorite reads this month. 

 

5 stars

 

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristiePeril at End House by Agatha ChristieChildren of Blood and Bone by Tomi AdeyemiMen Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingChecking Out by Nick SpaldingThe Nature of the Beast by Louise PennySparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie

Half a Heart by Karen McQuestion

 

4 stars

 

The Belles by Dhonielle ClaytonSherlock Holmes Remastered by Arthur Conan DoyleBeastly by Alex FlinnThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Time of the Hunter's Moon by Victoria HoltTwo Kinds of Truth by Michael ConnellyBinti by Nnedi Okorafor

 

3 stars

 

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha ChristieThe Secret Adversary by Agatha ChristieThe Silmarillion by J.R.R. TolkienThe Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux

The Dark Half by Stephen KingThe Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan DoyleA Great Reckoning by Louise PennyTwo Fridays in April by Roisin Meaney

Home by Nnedi Okorafor

 

2 stars

 

Happiness by Heather HarphamBonfire by Krysten RitterPerfect by Judith McNaughtThe Long Way Home by Louise Penny

The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. ShrumMy Husband's Wife by Jane CorryParis Ever After by K.S.R. Burns

 

1 star

 

Burn Bright by Patricia BriggsThe Darkest Minds by Alexandra BrackenFirst Grave on the Right by Darynda JonesThe High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

 

DNF

 

Ancillary Justice by Ann LeckieThe People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder

 

I managed to finish my 52 Weeks challenge for The (Mostly) Dead Writer's Society. And I managed to get some books towards the Horror Aficionados Public Domain Challenge. 

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review 2018-03-26 18:02
A Shadow Bright and Burning - Jessica Cluess

Ok, where to go with this review?? On one hand, the world building was rich and definitely unique. On the other hand, there were the characters...what a mixed bag. I enjoyed most of the characters. I even loathed and rankled in all of the appropriate places... BUT... I never fully fell in line with, or even truly liked, the MC which usually throws up HUGE warning signs for me. Henrietta wasn't dynamic or expressive (unless you accept self-hatred as a primary emotion to base a character on). She never demanded my loyalty, admiration or zeal and her powers seemed easily obtained- with few obstacles and a pittance of growing pains to boot. YES she read a lot on the subject BUT when she sought unorthodox outside help it just... worked... it dawned on her with no great effort and that is another BIG annoyance for me...it's like a relentless buzzing sound while I'm trying to concentrate type of annoyance. The betrayals were poignant but swayed and seesawed at the slightest of urgings. A character could flip on her and then back again with such ease it seemed implausible. She gained unbelievable alliances, especially ones who went to unrealistically extraordinary lengths to support her in the end. Ok, onto the monsters. They were the right amount of scary vs realistic (if such a thing could be possible in a Fantasy novel). I don't read many horror stories so take that last statement with a grain of salt, keeping in mind that I have been known to put down a book if there is too much gratuitous gore or rape or child harming. Thankfully ASBAB did not have much of the first, none of the second and gently alluded to the third. Even with the faux pas I listed (and some that I have the nagging suspicion I have forgotten) the book moved along swiftly with very few lagging spots. My attention did not waver and buzzing annoyances aside, this was a fun read. I will probably move on to book #2 but I feel compelled to say that ultimately, it did not live up to the great potential the synopsis intimated.

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