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.


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?


  1. I'm excited to read the Jane Austen project. I might have to bring Into the Woods on vacation with me. So many books so little time.

  2. Your review on Into the Woods is helpful. I've been wanting to try a Tana French but I'm getting burnt out on trying new authors and want to stick with what I know I love for a while. Not interested in a gritty, graphic mystery at the moment. Enjoyed reading your thoughts! Have you read the Dido Kent series? I read it a few years ago and it kind of reminds me of what you enjoy.

    1. I haven't read the Dido Kent series. I will definitely look into it! Thanks! And thank you for reading and commenting. It means a lot.