What I'll Be Reading This Fall

Friday, September 22, 2017
It's the first official day of Fall and I couldn't be happier. Fall is by far my favorite season, especially here in Virginia. The hot and humid days of summer are behind us. The mornings are crisp. The evenings are cool. The leaves are beginning to change color. Pumpkins and mums are making their appearances on front porches. I love it all, especially when you add books into the picture. I love reading in Fall. Night time comes a little sooner, which means I find myself curled up on the couch with a blanket and book a little sooner. It's wonderful. With the welcoming of Fall, I thought it would be fun to gather together in one place all the books I hope to read this Fall. I've divided what I'll be reading into two categories, MMD's Book Club picks and my personal picks. Bring on the books! (All book covers are linked to Amazon for more information.)


MMD'S BOOK CLUB PICKS

I belong to MMD's Book Club. I highly recommend it. Here's what we are reading this Fall.

My first Wallace Stegner. To say I'm looking forward to Crossing to Safety would be a major understatement.

I loved The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. I've heard Young Jane Young is completely different. I'm a little nervous.

I adore Anne of Green Gables, yet have somehow never read Montgomery's Emily books. I'm glad to be finally doing so.

PERSONAL PICKS

Some of the books below may look a little familiar. That's because a few of them were on my Summer reading list, but I sadly never got to them. I definitely will this Fall.

I've been feeling a little more anxious than normal lately. I'm hoping to shed some light on why and find some ways to cope.

I heard about Castel of Water over and over and over this summer. I can't wait to finally see for myself what all the fuss is about.

I meant to read this this summer, but didn't, but now looking at the cover, I think it might make for a great Fall read.

I don't know how I haven't read this book yet. It released at the end of August and I was sure I would devour it the minute it landed on my doorstep. I didn't! I think that because I know I will have to wait at least a year until Penny's next installment, I am holding out on reading Glass Houses. I don't think I can hold out much longer though.

I love Sarah M. Eden. She is by far my favorite Historical Romance author. She has two new books out, both the third books in their respective series. I can't wait to read both Love Remains and Romancing Daphne.


Such a beautiful cover. I hope Miss Whitaker Opens Her Heart can live up to it.
I'd love to hear what you are reading this Fall. Please share in the comments. Happy reading!

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2017 MMD Reading Challenge - September edition

Friday, September 1, 2017
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 September picks. (Book images are linked!)

READING FOR GROWTH: Stretch yourself in 2017

a book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author

My picks

READING FOR FUN: Put the oomph back in your reading life

a book in the backlist of a new favorite author

My picks

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What I've Been Reading - August 2017

Thursday, August 31, 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 Almost Sisters: A Novelby Joshilyn Jackson (3.5 stars)

What a beautiful cover! This was my first Joshilyn Jackson, and, though I gave it only three and a half stars, I am looking forward to reading more by Jackson. The Almost Sisters was very enjoyable and extremely readable. I really liked Jackson's writing style. One small aspect, sadly, (the protagonist is a graphic novelist) kept me from really liking the story itself. As I write this though, I can't imagine the story written any differently. I'm torn! Perhaps that is why I feel this book wasn't quite for me, but I would really like to read more by Jackson. I definitely will be. Do you have a favorite Joshilyn Jackson?

The Cafe by the Sea: A Novelby Jenny Colgan (3 stars)

This was also my first Jenny Colgan. Unlike Joshilyn Jackson, however, I don't think I'll be seeking out any more by Colgan. Though enjoyable, this book didn't have quite enough substance in it for me. It would make for a great beach read, being light and easy to read, but I already have go-to authors I go to when I need a light, easy read. Am I wrong though? Should I try another Jenny Colgan? I'm always willing to be proven wrong.

In Cold Bloodby Truman Capote (2 stars)

I would have never picked this book up on my own. The only reason I picked it up was because my daughter was required to read it this summer for her AP English class starting this September. She was personally terrified to read it, so she asked if I would read it first. To be honest, I was terrified as well, and I really didn't want to read it, but I couldn't say no to my daughter, so I sucked it up and read it. I only gave this book two stars, but those are definitely personal stars, if that makes sense. The writing in this book deserves at least four stars. It was extremely well written. The content, however, was so hard for me to swallow. It was just so dark. I often found myself taking breaks from it. That is what led to my two stars.  I persevered, though, as did my daughter, and we've had a lot of great discussions since both finishing it. I'll admit, I'm a little jealous she gets to now discuss this in a classroom setting. I wish I could join her. If you can handle the dark stuff, unlike myself, I would highly recommend this book. 

Miss Burton Unmasks a Princeby Jennifer Moore (3.5 stars)

If you follow me, you know I have a soft spot for clean, Regency romance novels. This one fits that category perfectly. Not much to say but I enjoyed this one. (I should also say, please ignore this cover. My husband said if he didn't know what kinds of books I read, he would have been worried about me reading this book by the looks of its cover. That made me laugh.)

Mr. Rochesterby Sarah Shoemaker (3.5 stars)

Another beautiful cover! I had such high hopes for this book. I love Jane Eyre and couldn't wait to see what Sarah Shoemaker had to contribute to Mr Rochester's side of the story. Unfortunately, it fell a little short for me. Don't get me wrong. I liked it. I just didn't love it like I thought and hoped I would. I think part of why it fell a little short for me was because I had just recently reread Jane Eyre. Going immediately from Charlotte Bronte's writing to Sarah Shoemaker's was probably not fair to Shoemaker. It wasn't only the writing that fell short though. The story did as well. Shoemaker did a fantastic, (if a little lengthy,) job of telling Mr Rochester's story from before he met Jane. But once Jane entered the picture, I felt like Shoemaker lost steam in her storytelling,  right where I hoped steam would build and the book would get even better. Though it wasn't fantastic, I am glad I read it. I think most Jane Eyre fans would enjoy it.

The Address: A Novelby Fiona Davis (2.5 stars)

The covers this month are killing me! This was another book I had such high hopes for. The premise sounded right up my alley. I ended up enjoying the historical aspect of this book, but I couldn't get behind the main character. I did not find her likeable or relatable at all. This led to my low rating. Actually, I didn't really like any of the characters. Perhaps that is why this book didn't live up to its expectations. Maybe I need likeable characters. Something to think about. Well, The Address wasn't for me, but I know others have loved it, so don't count this one out.

The Lying Game: A Novelby Ruth Ware (2 stars)

Another great cover, but I wish I had never read this book. If I hadn't bought it, and instead had borrowed it from the library, I probably wouldn't have finished this book. For some silly reason, I felt like I had to read it because I had spent my hard-earned money on it. Grrr. So, why didn't I like this one? The characters! The story! (Man, the blurb on this one was sneaky!) Combine The Address and The Lying Game, I definitely learned something about myself this month. I must have likeable and relatable characters. If the characters aren't those two things, the story and writing better be fantastic. This book fell short everywhere. The language in this book also got on my nerves. I can handle language. I don't love it, but I can handle it. I now know that if I hate a book, I can't handle the language. Read and learn. (Another lesson learned - If Reese Witherspoon loves a book, it doesn't mean I will!)


I'd love to know what you read this month. Anything I should add to my list?

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2017 MMD Reading Challenge - August Edition

Tuesday, August 1, 2017
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 August picks. (Book images are linked!)

READING FOR GROWTH: Stretch yourself in 2017

three books by the same author

My pick



I adore Anne of Green Gables, yet somehow have never read L.M. Montgomery's Emily series. I have only heard great things about it, so I can't wait to dive into these books. Have you read Montgomery's Emily series?

READING FOR FUN: Put the oomph back in your reading life

a book you don't want to admit you're dying to read

My pick

This was hard category for me, because I feel I am open about what I love to read and am not embarrassed by what I love to read, but perhaps I am a little embarrassed by how many Regency Romance books I actually do read in a year. For this category I could simply write, "All the Regency Romance books!", but I thought I'd narrow it down and share my favorite author from this genre. That would most definitely be Sarah M. Eden and this is her latest book that I cannot wait to devour, because I know I absolutely will devour it and I know I will absolutely love it. Do you have a book you don't want to admit you're dying to read?

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What I've Been Reading - July 2017

Sunday, July 30, 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.


by Stephanie Barron (3 stars)

After two intense reads last month, I knew I needed something lighter to start off this month. Jane and the Man of the Cloth was the perfect choice for me. I am not completely familiar with the term "cozy mystery", but I believe this would be considered one, and that is why I think it was the perfect choice for me. It had a murder mystery that kept me interested, but nothing too grizzly or intense that made my heart race. Plus, it was familiar, since I had read the first in this series already, so I didn't have to spend a lot of time getting acquainted with the characters and setting, nor the author's voice. It's nice to have a go-to series in my back pocket for times I need a little break from harder literature.


by Kathleen A. Flynn (3 stars)

I am seeing a Jane Austen theme this month. When I first heard of The Jane Austen Project, I was equally intrigued and terrified. I love Jane Austen, but I am always weary of anyone puts who her name on their product. However, the premise behind this story (Make sure you check it out! It's pretty great.) gave me the push I needed to give it a try. I am glad I did. It was a lot of fun! (Warning - Some scenes would have made Jane Austen blush. If not Jane, they sure made me blush!)


by Tana French (2.5 stars)

In the literary circles I run in, (Are there such things?) I often hear good things about Tana French, but, despite that, I have always steered clear of her. Until now. What eventually drew me to her was that many have compared her to Louise Penny, whom I love. (What had kept me away was that many said she was a bit darker and grittier than Penny. That made me extremely nervous, because I am a pretty sensitive reader.) Well, soon after starting In the Woods, I wasn't sure I would finish it. Twice I put it down with no intention of picking it up again. But the lure of "who done it" kept bringing me back. I eventually did finish it, but I still haven't decided if I am glad I read it. It didn't feel like a Louise Penny novel to me. It was so much darker and so much grittier and much, much more graphic. What I love about Penny is that her novels seem more about the characters than the murders. In the Woods seemed mostly about the murders. I am not sure I will pick up another Tana French novel, unless someone can convince me I really, really should. (Warning - Language)


by Charlotte Bronte (5 stars)

When your daughter says she wants to read Jane Eyre and asks if you will read it alongside her, you say yes. This was my third or fourth reading of Jane Eyre, yet, every time feels new. I love it. Though I already own three copies of Jane Eyre, I have my eye on this beautiful cloth bound set that includes not only Jane Eyre, but also a few books by Charlotte's sisters. I own this similar Jane Austen set (Jane Austen: The Complete Works: Classics hardcover boxed set (A Penguin Classics Hardcover))and love it. By the way, my daughter loved Jane Eyre! Grateful for a daughter who is willing to give the classics a chance. She is never disappointed.


Caraval

by Stephanie Garber (3.5 stars)

What a fun surprise Caraval was! I just finished it and as I closed it for the final time I found myself with a huge grin on my face. I had seen Caraval on a few bookish friends' Instagram accounts and was drawn in by its cover and their rave reviews. This book was a bit slow for me to get into, and a few parts dragged for me a bit. I could have used less building of the world they lived/played in and more building of the characters and story. But once I got into it, I was hooked and couldn't put it down. Especially the last hundred pages. I am so glad to see there is potential for a second book. I hope it happens!

I'd love to know what you read this month. Anything I must add to my list?

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