Tag: what I’ve been reading lately

What I Read in February (2023)

Books Read in February: 16

Books Read for the Year:  33/225

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

The Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis (re-read). I do love this series.

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien (re-read). I just love this book.

The Record Keeper, by Charles Martin (TBR). I have no words to describe how the ending of this made me feel.

Bibi: My Story, by Benjamin Netanyu (TBR). Okay. I don’t care for biographies. I don’t like politics. Or the military. But this was absolutely fascinating!

Dead of Winter, by Kresley Cole (re-read). Love this.

Day Zero, by Kresley Cole (TBR). I had not actually read this, and it adds some fascinating nuances to these characters I love.

Prince Caspian, by C.S. Lewis (re-read). AGain, love this series.

A New Kind of Apologist, by Sean McDowell (spiritual). I think this would have been a better choice for me in a physical book, so I could retain more of the information.

For Review:

Wildblood, by Lauren Blackwood. This started off strong, then fizzled in a meandering mess of confusion.

Code Name Sapphire, by Pam Jenoff. I’ve read–and loved–several of Jenoff’s other books, but I didn’t like this one quite as much. The ending surprised me–I’m not a fan of big revelations at the end when there’s been no hint of anything going on. Feels like thee author cheated a bit when that happens.

Every Missing Girl, by Leanne Kale Sparks. This was a solid read, but I didn’t love it. Some of the suspects were left unresolved, and that left me out-of-sorts.

Where Darkness Blooms, by Andrea Hannah. This was a strange read. The town horrified me. Th sunflowers really creeped me out. A lot. This was dark, atmospheric, and not a feel-good read.

Nocturne, by Alyssa Wees. I loved the ballet part, but the rest seemed a bit…cookie cutter and a jumble of influences of other tales.

Immortality: A Love Story, by Dana Schwartz. I ended up enjoying this more than the first book in this duology. Lord Byron was just how I imagine him!

When the Moon Turns Blue, by Pamela Terry. This was so good! Southern fiction at its best and dealing with some hard issues via characters that practically vibrate on the page.

The Weight of Air, by Kimberly Duffy. I really enjoyed this! Reading about circus life was fun, and I loved these characters.

Left Unfinished: Of Manners and Murder, by Anastasia Hastings. I have to be honest: I found Violet to be a nosy busybody, so she lost my interest at about 15% of the way through.

The Love Scribe, by Amy Meyerson. I found my attention wandering—and that’s never a good sign. And I didn’t care for Alice.

The Best Books I Read in January (2023)

I read 17 books in January, out of my goal of 225 books for the year, and DNFed one (I feel like that is a record for me).

Of those, I considered four of them 5-star reads….and I’d previously read three of them.

The Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I decided to re-read this series this year because I love C.S. Lewis. He is such a genius and a remarkably gifted writer.

Poison Princess and Endless Knight by Kresley Cole. I’m re-reading this series in preparation for the final book coming out—finally—in April. I absolutely love these books and cannot put them down.

And I loved The Letter Keeper, by Charles Martin. I have loved everything Charles Martin has written–including his two nonfiction books–and I almost can’t put them down. Binge read? Yes, please.

The Best Books I Read in December (2022)

In December, I read 18 books, bringing my yearly total to 216 books, pretty far short of my goal of 250 books.

I’m going to make an exception this month and pick four “best books,” because two of them are by the same author and are basically connected.

I’m a massive fan of Charles Martin, and will basically devour anything he writes, but this month, I discovered his two non-fiction books, What if It’s True? and They Turned the World Upside Down. I never write in books, but I highlighted in in the second one, cried over both, and listened to the first on audio book (the author narrates, and it was just so wonderful to listen to.) Both were phenomenal reads.

The Secret Society of Salzburg, by Renee Ryan. This was an excellent WWII fiction! I enjoyed every single page.

Saint, by Adrienne Young. I’ve enjoyed all of Young’s books, but reading this prequel to the Fable books was wonderful!

What I Read in December (2022)

Books Read in December: 18

Books Read for the Year:  216/250 Definitely didn’t hit this one!

Yearly Reads:

Amazing Grace: 365 Daily Devotions.

Grace for the Moment, by Max Lucado.

She Reads Truth Bible.

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Help is Here by Max Lucado (spiritual). Great read!

What If It’s True? by Charles Martin (nonfiction, audio). This was an incredible book!

They Turned the World Upside Down, by Charles Martin (nonfiction). Absolutely loved this.

The Raven Song, by Luanne Smith (TBR). I enjoyed the second book in this fantasy series

Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, by Jenny Colgan (TBR). I enjoyed this, but Rosie kind of got on my nerves.

The Sacrament of Happy, by Lisa Harper (spiritual). So good!

Live Your Truth (and Other Lies), by Alisa Childers (spiritual). I don’t entirely agree with Childers here. A lot of it, yes, but not all.

For Review:

To Get to the Other Side, by Kelly Ohlert. This was…okay. The characters felt very superficially fleshed-out, and their personality quirks felt forced, not believable.

The Wedding Ranch, by Nancy Naigle. This was a sweet read–definitely worth binge-reading on the weekend.

The Secret Society of Salzburg, by Renee Ryan. I was glued to the page with this one! I loved both main characters and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to them.

Pretty Little Pieces, by Carmen Schober. I really enjoyed this novel! The interaction between Georgina and her BFF were stellar, and, let’s face it, Cassidy was pretty darn great, too.

Just Because:

Saint, by Adrienne Young (TBR). I have loved all of Young’s books, and reading this prequel to the Fable books was fantastic.

The 28-Day Prayer Journey Study Guide, by Chrystal Evans Hurst (spiritual).

Going Rogue, by Janet Evanovich. This series always makes me laugh.

Rules at the School by the Sea, by Jenny Colgan. I’ve enjoyed these books a lot!

Left Unfinished:

The Blackout Book Club, by Amy Lynn Green. I wanted to like this. I love books, I love World War II fiction, this should have been a sure thing. But I didn’t like the characters much, and I just couldn’t bring myself to read more.

The Lipstick Bureau, by Michelle Gable. Another DNFed WWII fiction? Who am I? This seemed a bit erratic, and the transitions between POV characters were clunky. And….Niki wasn’t a very likable person. I read 38% of this before realizing I didn’t care about her or what happened to her because she was pretty cold and heartless.

The Best Books I Read in November (2022)

In November, I only read eight books. EIGHT!! I can’t remember the last month I had only a single-digit reading month. This leaves me at 198 books for the year, waaaaay short of my yearly goal of 250. Oh well. of those, one was fantastic and two were very good.

Greywaren, by Maggie Stiefvater. Man, I love these characters! I kind of feel like some old friends just moved away and left me behind now.

Never Rescue a Rogue, by Virginia Heath. This was a fun read! I enjoyed seeing more of the Merriwell sisters and their antics.

The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang. I enjoyed this second novel, and another filled with magical realism. The older sister was a bit of a selfish jerk, and that was almost enough to make me want to put the book down, but I ended up enjoying it.

What I Read in November (2022)

Books Read in November: 8

Books Read for the Year:  198/250

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Greywaren, by Maggie Stiefvater (TBR). Man. I’m sad to see this series end. I love these characters, and I’ve enjoyed all the hours I’ve spent with them through the years. Great read!

The Handwriting on the Wall, by David Jeremiah (spiritual/TBR). This was a fascinating read.

Jane in Love, by Rachel Givney (audio, TBR). This…greatly annoyed me, actually.Jane was beyond annoying—and you don’t mess with Jane Austen like that.

Welcome to the School by the Sea, by Jane Beaton. This was such a fun read!

The Library at the End of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. I enjoyed the setting of this novel immensely. The characters were a bit meh, though.

For Review:

Never Rescue a Rogue by Virginia Health. I enjoyed the first book in this series, and I loved this one, too. Quirky characters that aren’t afraid to be themselves are my jam, and the Merriwell sisters have that attitude in spades. This was a fun read!

The Wilderwomen, by Emmie Ruth Lang. I liked this read, although I wasn’t too sure about the older sister for a while. She was pretty selfish and oblivious to everyone else. I liked this author’s previous book, so it was nice to see this one live up to that. Gorgeous cover, too.

Just Because:

The 28-Day Prayer Journey, by Chrystal Evan Hurst.

Left Unfinished:

Salt and Sugar by Rebecca Carvalho. This felt very juvenile and contrived, and I made it to less than 15%.

What We Never Say, by Paulette Stout. Okay, so…the topic of this book was very intriguing. The execution? Was sub-par, at best. These characters did not feel realistic in the slightest. Kyle’s reactions felt like the reaction a woman would have in the situation, not a man. And Rebecca was selfish and completely unconcerned with Kyle’s feelings, thinking only of herself and how things would make her look.

Children of Ragnarok, by Cinda Williams Chima. I read the first 15% of this and found it boring. Very slow, and the characters just seemed tedious. Solid writing, just not a good fit for me.

The Magic Kingdom, by Russell Banks. This cover is absolutely gorgeous! The book…well, I only made it about 5% of the way into it because it felt sooooo sloooow. I’m not saying the beginning of a book needs to be at warp speed—that definitely depends on the genre—but a leisurely meander was not what was going to keep my attention.

The Hiker by M. J. Ford. I read 20% of this and it didn’t capture my interest at all. It was slow and the two sisters seemed like selfish jerks.

Defending Alice by Richard Stratton. The premise of this sounded fascinating. The reality of it was excruciatingly drawn out, repetitive, and, frankly, pointless. I love reading about the 20s, but do you really expect me to to believe that this girl of supposedly good character would describe her sex life to a lawyer she barely knows in graphic detail? Really? The repetitive details did nothing at all to enhance the plot, and I was bored in the first ten percent.

What I Read in October (2022)

Books Read in October: 14
Books Read for the Year:  190/250
Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (spiritual). Really enjoyed this read!

Luke’s Story by Tim LaHaye (spiritual). I enjoyed this re-read!

The Paradigm, by Jonathan Cahn (TBR). This was disturbing on a lot of levels.

The Oracle, by Jonathan Cahn (TBR). Cahn’s books are always so detailed.

Monster by Frank Peretti (TBR). This was pretty creepy at first, but I ended up enjoying it.

For Review:

Lark Ascending, by Silas House. I really felt like this book was missing a plot and a point.

Treachery on Tenth Street, by Kate Belli. This was a solid mystery read, and I enjoyed the characters.

To Capture His Heart, by Nancy Campbell Allen. Another solid read, with a bit of mystery thrown in.

When We Had Wings, by by Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris and Susan Meissner. This was a fantastic read! I enjoyed WWII historical fiction, but I really loved this–I actually loved all three viewpoint characters equally, which is unusual for me.

Marlowe Banks, Redesigned, by Jacqueline Firkins. This was a fun, if somewhat predictable read.

We Are All We Have, by Marina Budhos. I almost didn’t finish this. And I kind of wished I hadn’t.

The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey, by Serena Burdick (review forthcoming). this took me a little bit to get into, but then I became engrossed! I enjoyed the past timeline the most.

Just Because:

The Passage, by Justin Cronin. This took me a looong time to read! I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I’ll read the others.

Think, Learn, Succeed, by Caroline Leaf (audiobook). This was fascinating, but I think I’d have been better off with a physical copy.

Left Unfinished:

The Truth About Everything, by Bridget Farr. I only got about 10% of the way through this, because the idea of parents leaving their daughter so uneducated about basic life facts completely horrified me.

Closer to Okay, by Amy Watson. This felt very scattered, erratic, and unrealistic to me.

Wild: The Life of Peter Beard: Photographer, Adventurer, Lover, by Graham Boynton. Solid writing, but Peter Beard himself just didn’t seem like the sort of person I want to spend a few hours reading about. His attitude towards his parents—hateful—was the clincher for me.

The Sacrifice, by Rin Chupeco. Made it about a third of the way through this, but it had some unexpected content, so I stopped reading.

Eyes Turned Skyward, by Alena Dillon. I read about 20% of this—and realized I couldn’t stand the characters. Any of them.

The Best Books I Read in September (2022)

I read 17 books in September, bringing my total read for the year to 176 books. I also DNF 8 books. For a change, there were a solid number of really good reads this month. Of the 17 books, I rated nine of them 5 out of 5 stars. My favorites of those nine are:

The Winners, by Fredrick Backman. I LOVE this book! The first book, Beartown, was such a wonderful surprise to me. The second book was stellar, and this one was enthralling from the very first page. Even if you don’t care about hockey (I don’t), you should absolutely pick this up!

Long Way Gone, by Charles Martin. I adore everything this man writes. Everything. No questions.

The Last Legacy, by Adrienne Young. Adrienne Young is a fantastic writer, and the world of Fable/the Narrows is absolutely captivating. Loved this—and read it straight through in one sitting.

Honorable mention: