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text 2017-12-04 01:15
November reading review
A Christmas Cornucopia: The hidden stories behind our Yuletide traditions - Mark Forsyth
The Chosen - Chaim Potok
A Burnable Book - Bruce Holsinger

This has been my slowest reading month all year, with 12 books finished.  November and December have always been a crazy time of year for me, but now I know why the creators of Christmas chose December: in the Northern Hemisphere it's winter and there's nothing else to do.  In the Southern Hemisphere it's spring too, so all the busyness associated with warmer weather is compounded by the upcoming holidays.  Which means I spend November and December throwing a lot of longing looks at my books as I'm rushing past them. 

 

At least the books I did read were all pretty good.  I had two 5 star reads this month, A Christmas Cornucopia: The hidden stories behind our Yuletide traditions by Mark Forsyth  and The Chosen by Chaim Potok  and the rest were all between 3 and 4 stars.

 

I usually only showcase 4.5 and 5 star reads, but I will give a special shoutout to A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger as the most surprising, breakout read for me in November.  I didn't want to like it, and I flinched so often reading it, I likely looked as though I had developed a tic, but I could not put it down.  I had to know how it ended and it didn't disappoint me (in terms of plotting; the language make me want to wash it's mouth out with soap, but the plotting was excellent!). 

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text 2017-11-02 02:22
October reading: epilogue
Distillery Cats: Profiles in Courage of the World's Most Spirited Mousers - Brad Thomas Parsons
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection - Arthur Conan Doyle,Stephen Fry
Wildfire - Ilona Andrews
The Last Alchemist in Paris: & Other Curious Tales from Chemistry - Lars Ohrstrom
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
The Red House Mystery - A.A. Milne
The Informed Gardener Blooms Again - Linda Chalker-Scott
Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners - Therese Oneill

This is going to be one of those super short, 1 paragraph, epilogues you sometimes miss completely, because it's November and October reading was soooo 2 days ago.

 

I read 24 books. 

2 of them were 5 star reads

6 of them were 4.5 star reads (which is odd, but ::shrug::)

 

Everything else was good.  Nothing below 3 stars*, which means I didn't waste any money on the books I read in October.  That's a win.

 

* Although there was This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber, which was excellently written, and a good story, but totally spat hairballs in the romance department.

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text 2017-10-02 07:37
September: Coda
It's a Book - Lane Smith
Bibliomysteries: Stories of Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores - Otto Penzler
Burn for Me - Ilona Andrews
White Hot - Ilona Andrews
Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier
Magic and Macaroons - Bailey Cates

I'm going to preface this monthly wrap-up with the disclaimer that there were a lot of short books and short stories in the mix this month.

 

Total number was 26 - A number I was completely unprepared for.  I think the Bingo game sort of distracted me from paying attention to numbers, even though on some level I knew I'd read enough to complete my bingo card. 

 

Not including re-reads, I had one 5-star read this month; a children's book that I recommend for all ages, It's a Book by Lane Smith.  If you see it in the library or store, read it - even if you have no reason to buy it, it'll make you laugh when you get to the end.

 

I had three 4.5 star reads, one an anthology (up front, I've only read a few of the stories - the rating reflects the stories not the overall collection), and the first two in Ilona Andrews' new urban fantasy series, masquerading as paranormal romance.

 

My least favorite read was easily Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier; literary classic or not, that ending was horse-shit.

 

In the midst of all of that were a lot of 4 star reads, and the completion of my 2017 Reading Challenge (Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates on 14 Sept), all of which tally up to a very successful reading month.  

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text 2017-08-31 08:04
August Reading Colophon
The Informed Gardener - Linda Chalker-Scott
Lowcountry Bonfire - Susan M. Boyer
If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't) - Betty White
Death in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mystery - M.L. Longworth
Grey Mask - Patricia Wentworth
Murder on the Ile Sordou - M.L. Longworth
Basket Case - Nancy Haddock

17 books this month with only one 4.5 star read sitting at the top, which is a typical month for me; much more typical than the spectacularly good reading months I had in the first half of 2017.

 

Six 4 star reads rounded things about and the worse book I read was... really, there weren't any.  Nothing below 3 stars, so really a very average reading month overall.

 

And now, on to BINGO!

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text 2017-07-05 01:52
June Reading
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski

12 books read in June.  Not my highest month, but respectable by any measure.

 

5,332 pages read for a total of 37,037 pages read so far this year.  At the halfway mark of the Reading Challenge I've read 144 books out of the 200 slated for the year.  My second half of the year is always a slower reading time, so I feel like I'm actually right on track.

 

Just the one 4.5 star read this month: Storm in a Teacup by Helen Czerski; the best reading in fiction this month didn't surpass 4 stars, but there were 6 of those which is more than half the remaining books.  So all in all, a good month.

 

4 Stars:

A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters  Paws and Effect - Sofie Kelly  The Circular Staircase - Mary Roberts Rinehart  
Nightshade for Warning - Bailey Cattrell  Sweep in Peace - Ilona Andrews  One of Our Thursdays Is Missing - Jasper Fforde  

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