Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Stack of Books: July to now

Below are brief reviews for all the books I have read since July 1 up to now.

I am on Goodreads now, come visit me there!

The Brothers of Baker Street by Michael Robertson

7 out of 10.  The second book in the series.  I only found one typo; the plot started moving forward more quickly than in the first one--where we had to meet all the players first.  This one was set in London, so I enjoyed it more than the first, plus Moriarty put in an appearance. #beachread #twodayread

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

9/10 YA Austenian tale; a quick and easy read with plot twists and an ending that left me smiling. #momanddaughterwillenjoy

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

6/10 Juvenile fiction.  Many characters and story strands that eventually came together.  Cake recipes, talents, and a ferret. #funkidread

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

10/10  First in a Series.  Post WWI female detective living in London.  Great backstory to the main character.  I love how fleshed out Maisie is (especially when to compared to Frances Brody's Kate Shackleton). #getyourDowntonfix

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

10/10 Epistolary novel.  Married Scottish poet falls in love with an American college student/fan.  WWI intervenes and creates complications.  WWII rips open old wounds.  Ended with tears (mine--of joy). #lovestory

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

4/10 Honestly, the longer I think about this one, the madder I get.  It's Austen pseudo-fan fiction, and I think the best thing I can say about it is that it only took two days to read. #skipit

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

Originally I gave this 10/10, but now I may go with 8/10.  Maybe I'm having Maisie fatigue.  Set in London in the depression of 1930, characters are still living with the scars (physical and emotional) of the Great War.  Maisie contemplates reconciling her past and setting her cap at a future. #ladydetective

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

7/10 Memoir covering Weber's first year of graduate studies at Oxford and her conversion to Christianity.  A student of poetry and literature, there are literary references throughout.  Weber goes deep with her questions of faith.  The narrative was bumpy at times, and I wondered about how much poetic license was taken to reconstruct some of the dialogue after almost 20 years.  Still, I enjoyed this. #deepthinking

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

5/10  This is the book that my mother-in-law, my two sisters-in-law and I were going to read while on vacation.  My mother-in-law and I finished it, and I gave my copy to one of my sisters-in-law so she could finish it and hopefully pass on to my other sister-in-law.  They had purchased it for reading on the Nook, and they found that they prefer to hold an actual book.    This book has five separate stories in it. The book is divided into sections, and in each section, there is another installment of each story.  It makes for a disjointed beginning.  It does get better, but the end result was that out of the five stories, there were only two that really cared about.  The other three featured characters that I either felt neutral or negatively about. #meh

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

10/10 Almost as soon as the story broke about Robert Galbraith's true identity, I clicked "buy" on Amazon.  J.K. Rowling has definitely stepped out from behind the shadow of the Boy Wizard.  A well done mystery, great location (London!), great central character.  I sure hope this is the first in another series. #thebookofthesummer

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam

3/10 Ugh.  I bought this for my Kindle while we were still at the beach because I had read my books already.  If you have already read 168 Hours (like I had), you do not need to read this.  There is no new ground covered here.  #read168hoursinstead


Amy Bennett said...

I just saw this morning that my library as The Cuckoo's Calling so that is on my to-read list. So many great books here!

Candice said...

Judging by some of the books you read, I think you'd really love "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". Set right after WWII. Check it out :)

Shana Norris said...

Meg, you've been busy reading.

My eight year-old and I started reading an epistolary YA novel last night and it was pretty fun trying to explain that term to her!

I've read Maisie Dobbs, and have Birds of a Feather. I'd like to dive into it soon.

Stacey said...

Oh no! I was going to read The Engagements next... perhaps I will re-order my to-be-read pile!

Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy said...

So many interesting books here!

I'm laughing out loud at your description of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy. Completely agree about Surprised by Oxford. I'm guessing I know which characters you disliked in The Engagements. And you are about the 10th person to recommend Maisie Dobbs this month. Noted. :)

Improvement List said...

Cuckoo's calling is now on my must read list. Thanks for the recommendation.

Sheila @ The Deliberate Reader said...

I'm on Cuckoo's Calling at the library. It'll be awhile before my turn arrives.

I'm also waiting on Letters from Skye, but I think I'm like #3 on the list, so hopefully I'll get to read it soon! Love epistolary fiction so much, and I'm really excited to read it after seeing you give it a 10.

Jillian K. said...

I got sucked in by Not Mr Darcy too. Ugh.

There's a lot of good books here though. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I listened to the audiobook of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and really enjoyed it. I listened before reading 168 Hours, though, and there is a lot of overlap. I agree that 168 Hours is better!