Tag: what I’ve been reading lately

What I Read in June (2022)

Books Read in June: 20
Books Read for the Year:  119/250

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Heavenly Help, by Sarah Bowling (spiritual).

Praying the Bible, by Donald S. Whitney (spiritual).

Becoming Mrs. Lewis, by Patti Callahan (TBR). I had problems putting this down. I enjoyed it SO much.

Matthew’s Story, by Tim Lahaye (spiritual re-read).

The Iron Flower, by Laurie Forest (re-read). This series is really good!

For Review:

A Proposal They Can’t Refuse, by Natalie Caña. I almost DNFed this, and I’m still not sure finishing it was the best choice.

Nora Goes Off Script, by Annabel Monaghan. I LOVED this! It was sweet, it was funny, I enjoyed every minute of it.

The Limitless Sky, by Christina Kilbourne. This was an interesting dystopian novel. I liked it, and I’d read more books if they existed.

A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons, by Kate Khavari. I listened to the audio book, and I thoroughly enjoyed this tale!

Breaking Time, by Sasha Alsberg. This was an okay read, but not particularly unique. And a time-traveler from the 1500s should sound like he’s from the 1500s, right?

The Blue Diamond, by Leonard Goldberg. I enjoyed my second foray into The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes series.

The Girls in Queens, by Christine Kandic Torres. This was a tough read (but short). A friendship that I found ugly and lots of horrific behavior from guys.

Ending Forever, by Nicholas Conley. I’ll call this speculative fiction for lack of a better term…quite a unique tale.

Here for the Drama, by Kate Bromley. People who attract drama are not my favorite, so I was hesitant to pick this up, but I enjoyed it so, so much! The banter between Winnie and Liam was fantastic!

Ordinary Monsters, by J. M. Miro. This took a long time to read. It was interesting, but I won’t read more of the series.

The Drowning Sea, by Sarah Stewart Taylor. Love this Irish thriller series, and the setting was such a part of things it made the story sing.

This Vicious Grace, by Emily Thiede. I adored this entire read! The voice was phenomenal, and the two MC were wonderful!

Her Darkest Secret, by Jessica R. Patch. This was an extremely well-done Christian thriller, and I never figured out who the killer was—highly unusual for me.

The Lost, by Jeffrey B. Burton. Mace is such a relatable character to me! I enjoy this series a lot!

Left Unfinished:

The Physicists’ Daughter, by Mary Anna Evans. The first 10% was very slow to me and I lost interest.

Game of Strength and Storm, by Rachel Menard. I didn’t make it very far in this. There was a slew of unfamiliar things and concepts and very little information to make sense of them and ground me, so it didn’t keep my attention.

Fake It Till You Bake It, by Jamie Wesley. I liked Donovan’s voice, but Jada…was awful. Maybe she’s “the most reviled woman in America” for good reason. I couldn’t force myself to read more than 10% of this because she was so horrible.

The Final Strife, by Saara El-Arifi. I wasn’t a fan of the main character in the beginning of the book.

Our Crooked Hearts, by Melissa Albert. Too dark, full of the occult. Just wasn’t for me.

Gone But Not Furgotten, by Cate Conte. Just…kind of bored me. I wasn’t interested in any of the characters.

Donut Disturb, by Ellie Alexander. The setting just didn’t work for me. A small-town bakery that employees like 25 people and is always super busy? Not believable to me.

The Best Books I Read in May (2022)

In May, I read 16 books, bringing my total for the year to 98 (I’m a tiny bit behind schedule). I also DNFed 6 books. Of the 16 books I finished, three of them were really excellent.

A Perilous Perspective, by Anna Lee Huber. This is the 10th Lady Darby Mystery, and I loved it as much as I loved the other books in the series. The characters are just so well-done, and I love the setting and the premise, too.

The Black Witch, by Laurie Forest. This was a re-read of a novel that I’d somehow forgotten about. I loved this book when I read it the first time, and it popped into my head recently, so I picked it up again. Incredible world-building and cultures, and it’s just all-around excellent.

Part of Your World, by Abby Jimenez. This had me laughing from the very first page, and it didn’t stop. A quick, fun read with loads of humor.

What I Read in May (2022)

Books Read in May: 16
Books Read for the Year:  98/250

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

God is Able, by Priscilla Shirer (spiritual). I enjoyed this re-read.
The Raven Spell, by Luanne G. Smith (TBR). This was a bit odd at first, but I liked the characters.
A Perilous Persepctive, by Anna Lee Hubbard (TBR). I didn’t even realized this was about to come out, but I loved it, just like I’ve loved the entire series.
The Black Witch, by Laurie Forest (re-read). I’d forgotten how GOOD this was!
Anne of Manhattan, by Brina Starler (TBR). Not a fan of this re-telling.

For Review:

Veil, by Dylan Farrow. I hadn’t read the first book in this series, Hush, but I don’t think that mattered much. It was a decent fantasy read.

Part of Your World, by Abby Jimenez. I loved this read! I was laughing on the first page. The snark, sarcasm, and banter were fantastic. Calling Spanx “Satan’s underwear” really set the tone for this read. Highly recommend!

It Could Be Anyone, by Jaime Lynn Hendricks. Talk about a cast of characters that are just all horrible people! The only reason I finished reading this was because it was a quick read.

Herrick’s End, by T. M. Blanchet. I enjoyed this fantasy. It was unique and intriguing, and I loved the MC and all his flaws.

Kagen the Damned, by Jonathan Maberry. This took me a really long time to read, but I enjoyed it. The different culturers were fantastic, and the banger between Kagen and his friend was absolutely hysterical.

Sweet Home Alaska, by Jennifer Snow. This was just a “meh” read about people who didn’t bother to communicate with each other.

An Affair at Stonecliffe, by Candace Camp. I enjoyed this sweet romance.

The Honeymoon Cottage, by Lori Foster. Another “meh” read with the MCs family being just absolutely horrible people—and pointlessly so.

Bloomsbury Girls, by Natalie Jenner. This started off slowly, but I ended up really enjoying it. I loved all three women’s stories, and their willingness to step outside the boxes society put them in.

Fatal Flowers, by Jess Dylan (review forthcoming). This was a light, cozy mystery read.

Happy Happy Happy, by Nicola Masters (review forthcoming). Despite Charlie’s overwhelming selfishness and her refusal to see truth, I ended up enjoying this quite a bit.

Left Unfinished:

The Treehouse on Dog River Road, by Catherine Drake. I found the main character pretty frivolous and unlikable.

Starry-Eyed Love, by Helena Hunting. I barely finished the book before this about these characters, and I gave up really early on in this. The characters were just too much for me.

My Wife Is Missing, by D.J. Palmer. I’m not sure how, but I read 33% of this before realizing I didn’t like either of the MC and I didn’t care at all what happened to them.

The Summer Place, by Jennifer Weiner. I read about 10% of this, but didn’t feel the slightest connection with or interest in these characters.

The Boardwalk Bookshop, by Susan Mallery. This just wasn’t a good fit for me. I liked Mikki and Ashley, but I could not stand Bree and her absolute self-absorption, so I didn’t make it very far into this.

It All Comes Down to This, by Therese Anne Fowler. I tried. I read about 20%, but these sisters were so…self-absorbed and superficial I couldn’t stand it.

The Best Books I Read in April (2022)

In April, I only read 10 books. My work schedule was absolutely nuts, and there were family things going on, too, so no time to read or write. I thought two of the ten were really good:

The Might, by Siri Petterson. I thought this trilogy was absolutely fantastic, and I’d happily read more in a hot second! The characters and world-building are both relatable and phenomenal, and I couldn’t put it down. All the stars!

This May End Badly, by Samantha Markum. Okay, the main character was kind of a jerk at times, but she at least learned from it and began to actually care about what other people wanted–not just herself. And the love interest wad absolutely adorable.

What I Read in April (2022)

Books Read in April: 11 (I think this is the smallest number ever.)

Books Read for the Year:  77/250

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George (re-read). I really enjoyed this. It’s been years since I read it, but I saw it at HPB for $2 and thought, “Why not?”

Look to Love, by J.L. Gerhardt (spiritual).

The Might, by Siri Pettersen (TBR). I loved this entire trilogy!

How (Not) to Save the World, by Hosanna Wong (spiritual).

Game On, by Janet Evanovich (TBR). WHY does she always go back to Joe?

For Review:

A Promise of Forgiveness, by Jo Ann Brown. The unforgiveness from the main character made me enjoy this a lot less than I could have.

The Memory of Her, by Bianca M. Schwarz. I’ve enjoyed the three books in this series, but this one threw me off a bit because it was set after the first book that came out, but before the third book.

This May End Badly, by Samantha Markum. I really enjoyed this! No, the MC wasn’t the greatest person, but she did learn, and the love interest was wonderful.

The Wrong Victim, by Allison Brennan. One of the MCs is borderline hard to like, but I ended up enjoying this read.

Funny You Should Ask, by Elissa Sussman. This was a decent read, even if the premise itself was a bit hard to believe.

The Kew Garden Girls at War, by Posy Lovell (review forthcoming). This was a lovely read!

Left Unfinished:

The Wedding Crasher, by Mia Sosa. Likable enough, but I was bored.

Last Dance on the Starlight Pier, by Sarah Bird. I read about 15% but it was just so slow I couldn’t get into it.

Unlikely Animals, by Annie Hartnett. Just started off way too slowly for me.

End of the World House, by Adrienne Celt. I didn’t make it very far into this because I didn’t feel any connection with the main characters.

The Best Books I Read in March (2022)

In March, I read 20 books. A few of those were really excellent reads. All are fantasies this month.

In a Garden Burning Gold, by Rory Power. This was a unique tale (to me). I liked the culture and world, but the main family was mostly unlikable. However, Rhea really grew on me as she became her own person instead of her father’s puppet. Definitely a solid read!

A Magic Steeped in Poison, by Judy I. Lin. I was hooked from the very first page! Setting, culture, characters, I loved it all. I think linking tea and tea ceremonies with magic is so unique, and as a tea fanatic, I really appreciated it.

A Forgery of Roses, by Jessica S. Olson. This was another good fantasy read. I liked the magic system, and the characters were both relatable and likable.

What I Read in March (2022)

Books Read in March: 20

Books Read for the Year:  67/250

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom (spiritual). This was an incredible story.

Beginning a Praying Life, by Paul E. Miller (spiritual). Interesting take on prayer. I learned some things.

The Water Keeper, by Charles Martin (TBR). This was SO good! I just loved it.

Autopsy, by Patricia Cornwell (TBR). I haven’t read this series for probably a decade, so it was a bit odd revisiting the characters.

Not Even for a Duke, by A.S. Fenichel (TBR). I enjoyed this series wrap-up.

Fortune and Glory, by Janet Evanovich (TBR). Just pure enjoyment. And too much Joe.

For Review:

Hideout, by Louisa Luna. Alice Vega is not an easy character to like. She’s hard. But she gets stuff done. Despite all the hatred she encounters, I enjoyed this read.

The Paradise Tree, by R.A. Denny. This was a fitting ending to Daniel and Peri’s story.

The Shadow Glass, by Josh Winning. This was a fun, kind of campy tale that reminded me of the movie The Labyrinth.

The Kaiju Preservation Society, by John Scalzi. I’m not sure what I was expecting from this, but I did enjoy the read.

A Forgery of Roses, by Jessica Olson. I enjoyed this story of magic and art. Loved the characters!

A Magic Steeped in Poison, by Judy I. Lin. This was an incredible read! I was hooked from the very beginning, and I can’t wait to read the second book in the duology.

The Lighthouse on Moonglow Bay, by Lori Wilde. This was a very “meh” read for me. I liked one of the sisters, but the other was completely self-absorbed and selfish. There was also a pretty big scene at the end that was totally disconnected from the rest of the narrative (involving a character we’d seen once, early on, and then not the slightest hint of through the rest of the novel.). This just didn’t work for me.

Savage City, by L. Penelope. This was an intriguing concept, but the characters felt a little flat to me.

Crimson Summer, by Heather Graham. I’m really liking these books with the main characters. Lots going on here, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Sense and Second-Degree Murder, by Tirzah Price (review forthcoming). I forgot how much Marianne annoyed me in the Austen book, but this was still a solid, entertaining read.

In a Garden Burning Gold, by Rory Power (review forthcoming). This was unique and intriguing, with characters that I wasn’t sure I liked (and most of them, no, I didn’t).

The Echo Man, by Sam Holland (review forthcoming). This started off a bit slow, but I ended up staying up until 2 a.m. to find out who did it!

The Burning Pages, by Paige Shelton (review forthcoming). This was a fun cozy mystery read—and I’m all about the books.

Just Because:

Mysteries of the Messiah, by Rabbi Jason Sobel. This was a fascinating read!

Left Unfinished:

Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell, by Taj McCoy. I thought this was going to be more of a learning-to-embrace-yourself-warts-and-all type of book, but the 15% I read made it clear that wasn’t the case. Savvy’s boyfriend was a total jerk, but she just let him act like a selfish pratt and make her feel bad about herself, and she still let him have that power over her. I was hoping she grew past that, but I was too annoyed to keep reading and find out.

The Younger Wife, by Sally Hepworth. Yeah, these characters are a hard no for me. Annoying, unlikable, and I could not have cared less about them after reading 15%. Good writing, but not a good fit for me.

Fool Me Once, by Ashley Winstead. I read less than 10% of this before stopping. Lee might have learned never to trust men, but she sure hasn’t learned anything from her own bad behavior, and I just can’t stand to read any characters that are horrible people. And Lee qualifies. So no, thank you. I prefer characters that are decent human beings, not caricatures of a “twenty-first century woman” which, in this case, seems to be code for “selfish, hurtful, and completely frivolous”—and showing no sign of redemption.

The Best Books I Read in February (2022)

In February, I had a lot of extra free time due to having surgery on the 1st: I read 26 books, and DNFed nine more (that’s really a lot for me, but if I found it the slightest bit boring, I just couldn’t do it). That brings me to 48 books read so far this year (only 202 to go to hit the goal I missed by six books last year…). Out of those 26, three of them really stood out:

The Bright Side Running Club, by Josie Lloyd. (So, the surgery I had this month was to remove an intermediate melanoma. I was blessed that the surgeon removed everything and the lymph node he removed was negative for metastatic melanoma—despite him thinking it looked very abnormal—so maybe I related to the ladies in this book a bit because of all that.)

This is about a group of women all going through different stages of breast cancer treatment, who meet and form a running club and an unbreakable friendship. This made me laugh and cry, and it was so, so good!

Sword and Shadow, by Michelle Sagara. I love the Chronicles of Elantra series and Severn is one of my favorite characters in that, so reading this series was a no-brainer. Getting to see what he was doing with his life before he and Kaylin met again is just pure enjoyment.

Edgewood, by Kristen Ciccarelli (review forthcoming 3/4). This was just pure magic from the very beginning! I loved everything about it, and couldn’t put it down. And the cover is gorgeous!

What I Read in February (2022)

Books Read in February: 26

Books Read for the Year:  48/250

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

The Hawthorne Legacy, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (TBR). Loved this!

The Mystery of the Shemitah, by Jonathan Cahn (spiritual). Some of the data in this made it hard to absorb the details.

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa TerKeurst (spiritual). Excellent read.

Everything You Need: 8 Essential Steps to a Life of Confidence in the Promises of God, by David Jeremiah (spiritual). I enjoyed this.

Where are the Missing People, by Jimmy Evans (spiritual). This was an interesting read.

Twisted Twenty-Six, by Janet Evanovich (TBR). I needed the laugh Stephanie Plum always provides. #TeamRanger

Quicksilver, by Dean Koontz (TBR). I liked this new release by a favorite author. It reminded me quite a bit of the Odd Thomas books.

For Review:

The Family You Make, by Jill Shalvis. This was a solid romance read. I liked the group of friends in the novel, but didn’t find it very unique.

The Night She Went Missing, by Kristen Bird. I enjoyed this suspense read—at least the first half of it. The rest was…too far-fetched for me.

The Lady of Galway Manor, by Jennifer Deibel. I liked this historical fiction read set in Ireland. Sweet and fun.

Beyond the Lavender Fields, by Arlem Hawks. This historical read was set during the French Revolution, and I enjoyed the politics and watching the characters change and grow.

The Bright Side Running Club, by Josie Lloyd. I LOVED this read about women dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Love & Saffron, by Kim Fay. This short historical fiction is told entirely in letters between two women.

Good Girl Complex, by Elle Kennedy. This was…beyond predictable, and most of the characters were kind of horrible people.

Sword and Shadow, by Michelle Sagara. I love the Chronicles of Elantra series, and I’m enjoying this spin-off series as well. Getting to know more about my favorite background character is fascinating.

Last Duke Standing, by Julia London. This was a fun, fluffy read that made me laugh. I’ve read some of the other Westloria books, and I always enjoying seeing familiar characters in the background.

Full Flight, by Ashley Schumacher. I enjoyed this light and fun YA read…until tragedy occurred about 85% of the way through. This tragedy didn’t make sense and seemed pointless, as it accomplished nothing, plot-wise.

The Paradox Hotel, by Rob Hart. This was…not that great. The main character was a horrible person to everyone around her.

The Sultan’s Court, by R.A. Denny. This is a continuation of a time-travel with the Puritans adventure.

Come As You Are, by Jennifer Haupt (review forthcoming). This was a bit dark. It deals with depression and addiction in the Seattle grunge scene. The music is a bit of a flashback.

Edgewood, by Kristen Ciccarelli (review forthcoming). I thought this was pure magic from the very first scene. Loved it!

Daughter, by Kate McLaughlin (review forthcoming). This was a solid read. The things Scarlet and her mom go through because people don’t like her father are horrifying, but I enjoyed the read.

A Far Wilder Magic, by Allison Saft (review forthcoming). This was a decent read. An odd mix of present day cultures and cultures just a bit skewed, but it wasn’t enough to make me stop reading or anything.

The Suite Spot, by Trish Doller (review forthcoming). I loved this read! I enjoyed the first one, too, but I loved the body positivity and the sense of community in this book.

The Valet’s Secret, by Josi S. Kilpack (review forthcoming). This was a decent read, although it seemed a bit far-fetched to me (an earl’s heir and a maid?).

My Darling Husband, by Kimberly Belle (review forthcoming). This was a solid thriller read, although I didn’t care for Cam and all his secrets and lies.

Left Unfinished:

Clean Air, by Sarah Blake. I read about 15% of this, but it just didn’t hold my interest. I don’t read much scifi, and that’s probably why, as the POV and the action just felt too distant for me to enjoy.

The Last Grand Duchess, by Bryn Turnbull. I tried. I really did. I loved Turnbull’s previous book, The Woman Before Wallis, but this one felt so much slower. I made it about 50% of the way through before giving up because every page felt like it was in slow motion. Historical novels about the Romanov family usually fascinate me, so I kept on reading longer than I probably should have, but in the end, this just wasn’t a good fit for me right now. The glimpses of the cluelessness of Olga’s parents drove me crazy, and her own naivete about reality combined with the slow pace were just too much for me.

The Violence, by Delilah S. Dawson. This was…beyond far-fetched to me. The female characters all felt like cookie cutter versions of the same person, with very little knowledge of reality.

The Arc, by Tory Henwood Hoen. I made it 12% before giving up on this pretentious drivel.

The Harbor, by Katrine Engberg. I read 15% of this “thriller” and found myself bored with its leisurely pace and complete lack of urgency.

Red Burning Sky, by Tom Young. I’m very hit or miss with military fiction, so this just wasn’t a good fit for me.

The Lost Dreamer, by Lizz Huerta. I read 20% of this, but it was so slooow. Loved the culture, but the intricacies had me a bit lost, as there was nothing to give context.

Killing Time, by Brenna Ehrlich. Natalie acts like she’s about 12, not a person who just graduated high school. I read about 15% of this—I think—but I was just bored. Natalie’s mom comes across as a tyrant who wants to control every aspect of her daughter’s life without an explanation for why, but Natalie is just pointlessly rebellious in response, and again, childish. The “new boy” in town was borderline creepy. In the end, I just didn’t care enough about these characters to continue reading

The Tsarina’s Daughter, by Ellen Alpsten. I love well-done historical fiction. And this was well-written. I just could not get into it. Elizabeth came across as superficial and spoiled, and this started off so slowly that it lost my interest. Not a bad book, just not a good fit for me at this time.