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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-01-18 10:45
Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles–November Edition

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on January 18, 2018.

 

 

You know where to go for the November 2017 reads!

 

2016

 

 

Kaijus? In a book? Sign me up! Read my review here.

 

 

Review

 

 

 

Another classic that, like Frankenstein, changed the literary world forever!

 

 

 

Review here

 

 

My latest review will clue you in as to how I feel about this series and why I keep reading it!

 

 

Review here

 

 

 

This is a scary ass book! I am going to read the next part in the series and then review it here soon!

 

 

A favorite. I loved the book and I loved the movie!

 

 

A very cute book that had me laughing a lot. If you like rogue fairies who fall in love with felines, then you need to read this!

 

 

 

 

Ask me what made me love this book and I won’t be able to tell you. But that’s alright. It is the same way with Clifford Simak’s Grass. They are both written in a simple manner and yet they have engaging plots that kept me hooked.

 

 

Review here.

 

 

2011

 

 

Another weird one for the list!

 

 

This book affected me more than it normally would have. Maybe I was in the right frame of mind to read it. Or, it was something else. Either way, I now count it amongst books that made me cry — in a good way!

 

 

Before there was Jorg, there was Kylar. While the last book isn’t as strong, this first installment is a good one. If you like epic fantasy and wetwork, then you’d probably love this!

 

 

Charley Davidson is the Grim. She is in love with the Devil’s son who is broody and violent but mostly reciprocates. She also has the weirdest sense of humor. Add to that, a staunch belief that every life but her own is worthless, and you will have a handle on what the book is about.

 

 

 

Magical realism and good writing made this one a win for me.

 

An urban fantasy series from the heyday of UF books. All I can say is that I knew I was into this series right from the first book.

 

 

 

Jo is a Weather Warden. Who loves a Djinn. She is also a punching bag for all the baddies out there. She has a horrible sense of fashion. But I like Jo. I also like that the author ended the series when she should have!

 

 

 

 

Another book that made me cry…a lot. It had its problems but it was still unique enough for me to remember it after all this time!

 

 

I loved this one right from the start! Enough to go read the second one, as well.

 

 

 

My review 

 

 

 

A bit late but at least, I got around to it! 

 

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review 2017-11-09 17:42
Review: Check These Out by Gina Sheridan
Check These Out: One Librarian's Catalog of the 200 Coolest, Best, and Most Important Books You'll Ever Read - Gina Sheridan

Pretty much a book about books; each book recommended had it's own page along with a description of the book and which patron to recommend the book to. I picked this up at the library because I decided that starting in 2018, I will be working on my masters degree in library and informational sciences (right now I am just deciding on where to apply and what requirements I need to meet). So I figured a book by a librarian who surveyed other librarians about what they recommend to their patrons can come in handy.

 

And yes, it is handy, but most of the books aren't to my taste. However, I have to give credit to the author for the balance in diversity in the books she chose to highlight in this book - whether from authors of color, to authors from the LGBT* community, books about mental illness, disability, social issues are all there alongside more well-known authors/books. The author also chose to devote a chapter to audiobooks and another to graphic novels, so she wasn't snobby about format. There is also a chapter on YA novels, with the caveat that these YA novels would be good fits for adult readers who enjoy YA, so she wasn't snobby about patrons' reading tastes either. The book did lean more to fiction than non-fiction, but some recent non-fiction reads were recommend for the writing styles were as engaging as some fiction reads.

 

There were books from the cannon of English Lit (Shakespeare) and modern classics (O. Henry), but also some works dating post WWII all the way through to the early 2010s. Alas, no genre specific chapters were written, so no romance, mystery, sci-fi books were recommended - the author stayed pretty firm in mainstream fiction/literary fiction section of the library. Still I made a list of the books she recommends and that seemed interesting to me (there were a few that I have already read) so I could add them to my TBR pile.

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review 2017-11-09 17:12
Review: A Taste of Chardonnay (Napa Heiress #1) by Heather Heyford
A Taste of Chardonnay - Heather Heyford

Every time I go browsing through OverDrive's Romance section, I stumble into this book and (keeping in mind my track record with contemporary romance) continue scrolling down the page. However, one of the squares for the 16 Tasks for the Festive Season required a book set in a vineyard/rural area, so I borrowed this book. And I am glad I was forced to, because this book was the perfect balance of sex, characters, and plotline.

 

Chardonnay St. Pierres (yep that's her name, although she goes by the simple "Char" for most of the book - the other books in the series focus on her sisters - I kid you not - Sauvignon "Savvy", Merlot "Meri", and Sake....) is the middle child and one of the heirs to the Domaine St Pierres fortune and estate. Her family, except for her sisters and her, puts the "dis" in dysfunctional - most notably dear Papa. Char has recently graduated from college and is working hard to open her own charity without dear Papa's money or influence. Her charity helps migrant workers and their families, many of whom work on the vineyards in Napa Valley and her own estate. She is earnest, loving, smart, athletic, and deeply embarrassed with her family's reputation for bad behavior and hopes her charity work will get her family some good PR while also allowing her to have her own identity apart from "Princess St Pierres".

 

Ryan McBride, Hollywood's newest heartthrob and Napa Valley's hometown boy, is back in town to help the Firefighter Relief Fund, shoot a new movie, and help out his family around the house. Char is impressed that this actor knows so many facts and figures about migrant workers in Napa Valley and his work with the FRF; unfortunately his work with the FRF comes in direct competition with Char's charity, as both are vying for a $1 million dollar donation from the McDaniel Foundation. The FRF is Ryan's passion, as the charity was there for his family when his firefighter dad died in the line of duty...a fire that is connected in some way to Char's dear Papa.

 

The chemistry between Ryan and Char was both physically and emotionally present; the sex scene was not quite a closed door, but not described in full on detail. Perfect for me. The side characters added to the story and character development of the MCs. To me this book was the anti-rock star and anti-billionaire romance.

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review 2017-11-08 08:31
Review: Fall of Poppies by Various Authors
Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War - Lauren Willig,Joshilyn Jackson;Hazel Gaynor;Mary McNear;Nadia Hashimi;Emmi Itäranta;CJ Hauser;Katherine Harbour;Rebecca Rotert;Holly Brown;M. P. Cooley;Carrie La Seur;Sarah Creech,Jennifer Robson,Marci Jefferson,Jessica Brockmole,Beatriz Williams,Evangeli

I won this anthology at the Smart Bitches Recommendation Party at RT con earlier this year and have been waiting patiently for November to come so I could read this.

 

1. Daughter of Belguim by Marci Jefferson - 3.5 stars

    Content warning: the beginning of the story deals with the rape of a teen girl and there is a brief description of what happened later in the story. This story had a lot of suspense and drama, including double agents and resistance fighters. As the story opens up prior to Armistice Day, the violence and war machine plays heavily into the themes.

   

2. The Record Set Right by Lauren Wilig - 3.5 stars

     I liked the heroine (Camilla) right from the get go and enjoyed her both in her past (as a young adult) and in her present day elderly self (loosely, as the story takes place alternately in 1918 and 1980). Camilla was smart and knew the game; when other players made their choice, she made hers with much more forethought. I didn't think Edward or Nicholas deserved her then or now, but I did like reading how Camilla and Edward reconciled after so much time.

 

3. All for the Love of You by Jennifer Robson - 4 stars

    I really liked the research that went into this story about face masks designed and produced by artists (with funding by the American Red Cross) for wounded soldiers. The romance was very well written and believable despite the timeframe the romance developed in.

 

4. After You've Gone by Evangeline Holland - 4 stars

    A different take on the war romance, this story features black characters (American and British) in France just after the Armistice started. The plot line centers more on the emerging jazz age in Europe via black Americans who fought in the war and decided to stay in Europe rather than return to Jim Crow-era US. I really enjoyed reading from the heroine's (Morven) POV and she had an interesting back story and strong character development.

 

5. Something Worth Landing For by Jessica Brockmole - 2 stars

    A marriage of convenience that never really got off the ground. It had the beginnings of a romance story but failed to tell the whole story through the brief meeting of the couple and her letters to him.

 

6. Hour of the Bells by Heather Webb - 3.5 stars

    Strictly a work of historical women's fiction, it is a great story of a war widow's grief and anger at the possibility of losing her son to the war as well as her husband. Her grief and anger leads her to action.

 

7. An American Airman in Paris by Beatriz Williams - 1 star

    Boring, depressing, with an unresolved ending. Waste of time reading this.

 

8. The Photograph by Kate Kerrigan - 3.5 stars

    I had a hard time getting into this story, partly because of the last story's lingering bitter taste. This story grew into something really good and takes on a wholly different event that happened during the war - the Irish uprising in 1916 (starting with, but not limited to, the Easter Rebellion). I really like how the present characters' situation ties in with the past.

 

9. Hush by Hazel Gaynor - 3.5 stars

    A really great way to end the book, especially with the mentions of poppies. This was a story about an English village affected by the war rather than individuals. The countdown to 11:00 on November 11th 1918 added tension to the story.

 

Out of the nine stories, only two were less than good, so I am going to recommend this book to historical fiction readers. Now I have a bunch of authors I want to read more from (luckily I have some more Robson and Kerrigan works on my NOOK). 

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text 2014-12-31 20:39
November/December Round Up
The Breadwinner - Deborah Ellis,Rita Wolf
Chasing Vermeer - Blue Balliett
The Girls of Gettysburg - Bobbi Miller
The Disappearance of Childhood - Neil Postman,Marty Asher
Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger
Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick
Let the Right One in - John Ajvide Lindqvist
Voyager - Diana Gabaldon

I was so busy with school in November that I didn't get a chance to make a post about the books that I read that month, so I'm combining my November and December books here! I'm pretty proud of how much I was able to read with everything that I had going on. I wasn't quite at the rate that I was at over the summer, but I was able to read more books than I've been able to since school started, which is wonderful!

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