Tag: what I’ve been reading lately

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:

The Best Books I read in August (2022)

In August, I read 22 books, bringing my total for the year to 159 books. I also DNFed 12 books—that’s a LOT. There were some solid reads, some “meh” reads, and a handful of really good reads. The three I liked the most were:

Unwritten, by Charles Martin. I haven’t read many of Martin’s books—yet. I’m definitely going to plow through his backlist, because I’ve adored everything I’ve read of his, and this is no exception. His stories and characters just draw me in from the very first page.

Hello, Goodbye, by Kate Stollenwerck. This was at times an emotional read, but I enjoyed every single day. Gigi was such a great character, and I just loved her.

Lucy Checks In, by Dee Ernst. It was so nice to read a middle-aged MC for a change. One that’s having adventures, changing her world, and growing as a person. A lovely read!

What I Read in August (2022)

Books Read in August: 22
Books Read for the Year:  159/250
Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, by Norman L. Geizler (spiritual). This was fascinating!

Beyond Opinion, by Ravi Zacharias (spiritual). Pretty sure I’m not smart enough to have retained even half of this.

John’s Story, by Tim Lahaye (spiritual). Loved this.

The Demon Tide, by Laurie Forest (TBR). Continuing to love this series.

Unwritten, by Charles Martin (TBR). SO GOOD.

For Review:

How to Date a Superhero (And Not Die Trying), by Cristina Fernandez. Honestly, this was just a meh read for me. The MC was pretty selfish and self-absorbed, and that got on my nerves.

Don’t Go to Sleep, by Bryce Moore. The descriptions of New Orleans a hundred years ago were fascinating, but the concept itself didn’t work for me (the MC’s mental connection with the axe murderer). I also didn’t really like that there was no resolution as to why he was killing people.

Love and the Dream Come True, by Tammy L. Gray. I really enjoyed this sweet romance.

Hello, Goodbye, by Kate Stollenwerck. Parts of this book absolutely wrecked me! I enjoyed the MC from the very first page, and her relationship with her Gigi was so wonderful!

Bend Toward the Sun, by Jen Devon. The MC was occasionally really self-absorbed, but I enjoyed this, and I’d absolutely read more books about this family.

The Memory Index, by Julian Ray Vaca. This felt like a bad, predictable—yet kind of nonsense—80s movie.

Lucy Checks In, by Dee Ernst. I LOVED this! It was wonderful that Lucy was front and center, and her journey, not the romance, was center stage.

Would You Rather, by Allison Ashley. This was a lot of fun! Definitely fun, likable characters.

A Venom Dark and Sweet, by Judy I. Lin. I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the first book in the duology. The second half felt very rushed, almost skimming over thing.

Surrendering to Hunt, by Jennifer Ryan. This was a solid read, despite the almost-insta-love plot.

The Thread Collectors, by Shaunna J. Edwards; Alyson Richman. This was a great read! I enjoyed both points-of-view a lot.

Our Little World, by Karen Winn. I’d say this was a step above meh. The MC was quite self-absorbed and bratty, so it ruined it a bit for me.

Just Because:

Who Ate Lunch with Abraham? by Asher Intrater (spiritual). This was fascinating.

After the Rapture, by David Jeremiah (spiritual).

Who Made God? by Ravi Zacharias (spiritual).

Winning the War in Your Mind, by Craig Groeschel (spiritual/audio). This has some excellent tips in it.

How Happiness Happens, by Max Lucado (spiritual/audio). I enjoyed this! Excellent narrator.

Left Unfinished:

Twice as Perfect, by Louisa Onome. I liked this…except for the obsession with Skeleboy and acting like he was a god. That was too annoying to continue to read. It’s possible I’ll re-visit in the future.

Hearts of Briarwall, by Krista Jensen. To me, the female characters were vapid and silly. I stopped at 20%.

The Stars Between Us, by Cristin Terrill. The MC was just a terrible person and I couldn’t stand to read more about her.

The Last of the Seven, by Steven Hartov. This just wasn’t a good fit for me.

Mr. Perfect on Paper, by Jean Meltzer. These characters didn’t work for me. Dara’s anxiety was described in such excruciating detail it bogged everything else down, and Chris…well, the first time he meets Dara, there’s no sign he even notices her. A few minutes later he’s remembering his physical attraction to her…that wasn’t even hinted at in that first meeting.

Wild is the Witch, by Rachel Griffin. The first 15% of this seemed pretty dark to me, with a lot of negativity between Iris and Pike.

The Art of Prophecy, by Wesley Chu. Frankly, I didn’t get too far in this, because I found Jian annoyingly entitled, spoiled, and ineffectual.

The Neopolitan Sisters, by Margo Candela. Okay, the bridezilla sister was so selfish and self-centered I wanted to smack her. The second sister wasn’t much better. And I didn’t keep reading to meet the third.

The Monsters We Defy, by Leslye Penelope. I read 10% of this and it just didn’t catch my attention, so there was no point in reading more.

Small Town, Big Magic, by Hazel Beck. Emerson got on my very last nerve with her constant assurance that SHE was right and everyone else was wrong. I was intrigued enough to read 20%, but then I realized I’d been annoyed by her the entire time, so I just stopped reading.

Die Around Sundown, by Mark Pryor. I just couldn’t connect with the MC, so it didn’t catch my attention.

Earning It, by E.F. Dodd. Rae just didn’t work for me. She wasn’t likable enough for me to continue reading.

The Best Books I Read in July (2022)

In July, I read 18 books, bringing my total for the year to 136 books. I also DNFed 12 books, which is a lot. I’m eight books behind schedule for the year. Hopefully I catch up! Of those 18, several of them were excellent. The best of those were:

The Bodyguard, by Katherine Center. I love this author’s books, but this one was the best of hers I’ve read. This made me laugh out loud several times (especially the “attacking” cow) and really relate to the main character. If you need a fun weekend read, grab this.

Long Story Short, by Serena Kaylor. This has everything: an awkward main character, a hot, brooding love interest, the enemies-to-lovers trope, great secondary characters. and lots of Shakespeare!

The Shadow Wand, by Laurie Forest. I’m still loving every page of this sometimes dark magical series.

What I Read in July (2022)

Books Read in July: 18
Books Read for the Year:  136/250
Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Mark’s Story, by Tim LaHaye (spiritual). I might have cried at the end of this…
Chasing Love, by Sean McDowell (spiritual). This was quite an interesting read.
Frequency, by Robert Morris (spiritual). Loved this re-read.
The Shadow Wand, by Laurie Forest (TBR). This series is SO good!
Trouble with the Cursed, by Kim Harrison (TBR). As always, I loved this.

For Review:

Potiphar’s Wife, by Mesu Andrews. This was a fascinating story, but I didn’t really care much for Zully herself. The secondary characters, however, were excellent.

Cold, Cold Bones, by Kathy Reichs. This just did not work for me: Tempe is normally such a smart character, but she kept doing flat-out stupid things in this novel.

Paradise Girls, by Sandy Gingras. This ended up being a sweet, semi-magical read that I really enjoyed.

Upgrade, by Blake Crouch. Like most of Blake’s novels, this one was waaay over my head, but the author did a great job making something inconceivable believable.

The Bodyguard, by Katherine Center. I absolutely loved this! Such a fun read.

The Librarian Spy, by Madeline Martin. I do love a good WWII historical fiction, and I enjoyed this a lot. These women are so, so strong.

Long Past Summer, by Noué Kirwan (review forthcoming). I really didn’t care for the either of the MCs in this. One was totally selfish, the other was passive.

The Codebreaker’s Secret, by Sara Ackerman. Loved this read!

Long Story Short, by Serena Kaylor. This was a wonderful YA read! I related so much to the MC and her awkwardness.

Accomplished, by Amanda Quain. Sometimes Jane Austen re-tellings are terrible. This one was actually excellent, although Georgie’s continued infatuation with Wickham was very annoying.

Violet Made of Thorns, by Gina Chen (review forthcoming). Desptie hard-to-like MCs, I enjoyed this read.

Master of Iron, by Tricia Levenseller (review forthcoming). I didn’t read the first book in this duology, so it took me a bit to get situated in the story, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Just Because:

Unashamed, by Francine Rivers. Wonderful read!

Left Unfinished:

Corinne, by Rebecca Morrow. I think I made it about 15% in this, but the characters just felt so distant I couldn’t get into it.

The Man Who Could Move Clouds, by Ingrid Rojas Contreras. This just started off too slowly for me. I enjoyed Fruit of the Drunken Tree, but couldn’t get into this.

Wake the Bones, by Elizabeth Kilcoyne. I read 20% of this, but the characters were jerks: cruel, mean, and just kind of ugly to each other. I didn’t want to waste any more time reading about people I wouldn’t care to be around.

Death and the Conjuror, by Tom Mead. I didn’t get very far in this because the POV kept shifting without warning. Nora Roberts can (mostly) pull that off, but that’s about it.

Ruthless, by Gena Showalter. Normally, I love Showalter’s stuff, but this one was…not good.

For Butter or Worse, by Erin La Rosa. Initially, I liked Nina, and thought Leo was a total tool. Then I realized they were both jerks and stopped reading.

Point Last Seen, by Christina Dodd. I really tried with this one. The first 15% or so felt a bit erratic, with a series of coincidental occurrences that just weren’t believable mixed with character actions that just didn’t add up. Then, Elle’s actions just became too far-fetched for me, and Gothic itself was peopled with characters that just weren’t believable, and I had to give up at about 40%.

Dark Earth, by Rebecca Stott. Solid writing, but it just felt so slow, and I didn’t feel a connection with either of the sisters.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia. I read about 25% if this, but I didn’t really like any of the characters, so I didn’t care to read more.

Bet On It, by Jodie Slaughter. I read about a third of this, then I just couldn’t take it anymore. Walker was a total jerk. He’s holding the mother of all grudges against everyone in this town and feels perfectly entitled to hate them all because of his experiences as a child. He’s either seething with self-righteous hatred, or lusting after Aja, there is no other facet of his personality.

Mint Chocolate Murder, by Meri Allen. I tried. I read about 30% of this, but it was just so slow, and the murder hadn’t even happened yet!

Round Up the Usual Peacocks, by Donna Andrews. The opening of this just bored me.

The Best Books I Read in June (2022)

In June, my reading recovered a bit: I read 20 books, and DNFed six more.

Six of those twenty books really stood out, but I’ll try to pick the three I enjoyed the most.

The Iron Flower, by Laurie Forest. I can’t even tell you how much I enjoyed this re-read. I’d basically forgotten everything that happened, so it was like I was reading this magical adventure for the first time.

This Vicious Grace, by Emily Thiede. From the very first page, the voice of this story completely captured my attention and then my heart. I thought the setting was unique, but it was the characters that made this truly enjoyable. Alessa and Dante’s banter and repartee were just so much fun! Even the secondary characters were captivating.

Nora Goes Off Script, by Annabel Monaghan. This was sweet and snarky, emotional and believable, and I binge-read it in one go!

Honorable mention: Here for the Drama by Kate Bromley, The Drowning Sea by Sarah Stewart Taylor, and Her Darkest Secret by Jessica R. Patch.

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.