Wednesday, March 1, 2017

2017 MMD Reading Challenge - March Edition

I'm participating in MMD's Reading Challenge this year. (If you don't know what that is, click here and here.) Below are my March picks, plus a few contenders that almost made this month's picks.

READING FOR GROWTH:Stretch yourself in 2017
  • a book that's more than 600 pages
My pick

Strong contender

Alexander Hamiltonby Ron Chernow

READING FOR FUN: Put the oomph back in your reading life
  • a book set somewhere you've never been but would like to visit
My pick
Strong contender

Travels with Charley in Search of Americaby John Steinbeck

What are your March picks?

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What I've Been Reading - February 2017

Welcome to What I've Been Reading, where I share my (quick and personal) thoughts on what I've been reading this past month. For specifics (plot summary, etc.) about each book, click on the provided links.

Lonesome Dove: A Novelby Larry McMurtry (5 stars)
What an intense ride. At times I found myself laughing out loud. At other times I found myself crying uncontrollably . Most often I found my heart absolutely racing. Such an incredible book. Do I recommend it? Yes, but with caveats. It's rough in places. Really rough. With that said, I personally gained such respect for those that lived in the west in the 1800's. I also gained such respect for Larry McMurtry. Such an amazing writer. I never thought I'd enjoy a Western, but he made me do so. (2017 MMD Reading Challenge - Reading for Growth - a book that's more than 600 pages)

The Magnolia Storyby Chip and Joanna Gaines (4 stars)
I didn't think I could love Chip and Joanna Gaines any more, but I was proven wrong. If you love Fixer Upper, you'll love their biography. Definitely recommend. (2017 MMD Reading Challenge - Reading for Fun - a juicy memoir)

A Man Called Ove: A Novelby Fredrik Backman (4.5 stars)
I laughed. I cried. I loved it. Highly recommend. (2017 MMD Reading Challenge - Reading for Growth - a book in translation)

This Is How It Always Is: A Novelby Laurie Frankel (4 stars)
I am grateful for book club picks that push me out of my reading comfort zone. I would have never picked this book on my own, but I'm so glad my book club did. This book has great writing and great storytelling and gave me a new perspective and a new empathy for those facing different circumstances than my own. Isn't that what reading is often all about? I was encouraged to dive in without reading the jacket cover. I would encourage you to do the same. (MMD Book Club pick)

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisisby J.D. Vance (4 stars)
This was that book that was being talked about everywhere and I needed to know why. I'm glad I read it. It was eye opening. Highly recommend it, but with one caveat. J.D.'s grandmother had a mouth on her. Course language in general is really hard for me to digest. The course language specifically in this book was quite jarring, however, I feel that if the language had been removed we wouldn't have the proper sense of who his grandmother was. So, despite the language, I recommend everyone find out for themselves why everyone is talking about this book. (2017 MMD Reading Challenge - Reading for Growth - a book of any genre that addresses current events)

Girl Waits with Gun (A Kopp Sisters Novel)by Amy Stewart (3 stars)
Easy and fun read. Looking forward to the next in the series.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 MMD Reading Challenge - February Edition

I'm participating in MMD's Reading Challenge this year. (If you don't know what that is, click here and here.) Below are my February picks, plus a few contenders that almost made this month's picks.

READING FOR GROWTH:Stretch yourself in 2017
  • a book in translation
My pick


READING FOR FUN: Put the oomph back in your reading life
  • a book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able
My pick 

Strong contender
The Book Thief
What are your February picks?

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What I've Been Reading - January 2017

Welcome to What I've Been Reading, where I share my (quick and personal) thoughts on what I've been reading this past month. For specifics (plot summary, etc.) about each book, click on the provided links.

The Earl's Betrothal (Regency Romance)by Karen Tuft (4 stars)
A simple Regency Romance. I fall for them almost every time. This one was no different.

The Hundred Dressesby Eleanor Estes (4 stars)
The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and I absolutely can see why. The story is timeless and beautiful, as are the illustrations. A must read for children and adults. (2017 MMD Reading Challenge - Reading for Growth - a Newbery Award Winner or Honor book)

Secrets of a Charmed Lifeby Susan Meissner (4 stars)
I can't help myself. I am drawn to beautiful covers. Thankfully, the book was as good as its cover. A Historical Fiction, it was a page-turner for me. (2017 MMD Reading Challenge - Reading for Fun - a book you chose for the cover)

Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton (Historical Proper Romance)by Josi S Kilpack (4 stars)
Another beautiful cover. I knew nothing of the courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton. Well researched, this Historical Fiction made me fall in love with the two of them.

Lady Helen Finds Her Songby Jennifer Moore (3 stars)
Another simple Regency Romance. I enjoyed this one, but not quite as much as others I have read.

84, Charing Cross Roadby Helene Hanff (4 stars)
So many beautiful covers this month! This book is a book for book-lovers. A collection of letters spanning thirty years sent between an American author and an English bookstore owner. I didn't realize until the very end that the letters were real! That fact made me want to start over from the beginning and re-read every letter. (2017 MMD Reading Challenge - Reading for Fun - a book about books or reading)

Evangeline; A Tale of Acadie (Classic Edition)by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (4 stars)
After reading of Longfellow and Appleton's courtship, I had to read one of his poems. This one, clocking in at around eighty pages, did not disappoint, which surprised me, as I am not a huge fan of poetry. I was outright crying by the end. (2017 MMD Reading Challenge - Reading for Growth - a book of poetry, a play or an essay collection)

Winter Gardenby Kristin Hannah (4 stars)
After devouring Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, I knew I needed to check out her back catalog. Though not as good as The Nightingale, this was very, very good. When thinking of this Historical Fiction, the words "hauntingly beautiful" come to mind. (2017 MMD Reading Challenge - Reading for Fun - a book in the backlist of a new favorite author)

News of the World: A Novelby Paulette Jiles (5 stars)
My first 5 star book of the year and one I will be recommending over and over. I loved this little Western. Though it is physically little, it is big on heart. I truly loved it! (MMD Book Club pick)

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belongingby Sebastian Junger (4 stars)
A fascinating read and a great companion to News of the World. Probes themes of community, trials and comfort. (MMD Book Club flight pick)

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