What I Read 2017: November/December 

The final books I read this year, bringing my total to 120. It’s pretty fun when you set a personal best without even trying.

Sleeping Beauties- Stephen King and Owen King: one day all of the women go to sleep and form cocoons. Woe to the men left behind (especially any that try to wake them up).

Tower of Dawn- Sarah J Mass: book 6 in the Throne Of Glass series. Takes place concurrently with book 5, so it would probably have helped if I’d refreshed my memory first. But still excellent. One of my favorite YA fantasy series.

A Court of Thorns and Roses- Sarah J. Maas: book one in a YA fantasy series by the same author as Throne of Glass. Just as well written and enjoyable (even if the majority of the plot is just a retelling of Beauty and the Beast).

A Court of Mist And Fury- Sarah J. Maas: even better follow up to A Court of Thorns and Roses. Although the romance gets a little more explicit than I’d expect for YA.

A Court of Wings and Ruin- Sarah J. Maas: satisfying (albeit unsurprising) conclusion to the series.

Origin- Dan Brown: an exciting read, although not anywhere close to the quality of The DaVinci Code. Fairly predictable, and clearly he was stretching for length.

Emma in the Night- Wendy Walker: two girls go missing, one returns, with an agenda to uncover the truth.

The Late Show- Michael Connelly: the first book in a new series from the perennial cop author. Unfortunately, this one is heavy on the police procedure, light on the excitement. But the main character is likeable, so it might be worth sticking around for the next one.

Crazy Rich Asians- Kevin Kwan: lifestyles of the rich and famous (and Asian). Unfortunately the author spent way too much time name dropping designers and not enough developing a story worth more than a couple of chapters.

The Marriage Pact- Michelle Richmond: This book needs to decide if it wants to be a thriller about a sinister secret organization and the unwitting couple it traps, or a thought provoking allegory on the intricacies of marriage. Because trying to be both didn’t quite work.

One Dark Throne- Kendare Blake: sequel to Three Dark Crowns. Exciting and fun YA fantasy continuing the story of three sister queens in contention for the crown. I look forward to the next book.

Lie To Me- J.T. Ellison: yet another Gone Girl wannabe that pales in comparison. Not terrible, but no great revelation either.

The Rooster Bar- John Grisham: better than his last book, but that’s not saying much. In this book he’s decided to tackle the ugly business of student debt, as well as illegal immigration, and the disparate injustices aren’t helped by the fact that there isn’t a plot to speak of.

The Assassin Game- Kristy McKay: students at an elite prep school playing a secret game where an assassin “kills” them off one by one. Except this time, the action goes beyond simple pranks- this book could have been really good, but sadly it was on the younger side of young adult, so the high stakes never really manifested.

Warcross- Marie Lu: a desperate teen down to her last $13 is drafted into the World Championships of a global virtual reality game. Kind of like Ready Player One without the 80s references.

Artemis- Andy Weir: more fun facts about life in space from the author of the Martian; this time dressed up in an action packed caper set in the first colony on the Moon.

The Midnight Line- Lee Child: Less punching of bad guys than usual, but otherwise pretty much what you’d expect from Jack Reacher book #22.

Renegades- Marissa Meyer: dystopian look at life if humans with superpowers really existed. Very similar to the Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson.

 

The rest of my year:

Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/Jun, Jul/Aug, Sep/Oct 

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What I Read 2017- September/October 

A Wrinkle In Time- Madeline L’Engle: I can’t remember ever reading this as a kid, so I figured I’d give it a whirl before the movie comes out (and while I waited for any of my books on hold to come in). And  I can only assume that it’s originality for the time period it was published is what has granted it classic status because *looks around furtively and whispers* it’s TERRIBLEDefinitely won’t be reading the rest of the series.

Hit Me- Lawrence Block: picked this up because none of my books on hold were in and it had been DAYS since I read anything. Turns out I’d read it before, but didn’t remember. Not a great recommendation.

Beautiful Animals- Lawrence Osborne: I think the goal was some sort of sun-baked, slow-burn melodrama where the tension ratchets up so slowly you barely notice it strangling you. Instead it just fell limp, rendered bloodless by its own emotionless torpor.

The Skull Throne- Peter V. Brett: book 4 in The Demon Cycle. Definitely a unique and enjoyable series of you like magical fantasy. But I’d recommend waiting for the entire series to be finished because this author loves a sudden ending. Book 3 ended with a literal cliffhanger, and this one ends even more abruptly- it’s practically a fragment sentence in the middle of a conversation. Thank goodness the next (and final) book comes out in a couple of weeks!

The Grip Of It- Jac Jemc: Haunted house novel about a young couple’s descent into madness that manages not to be even slightly creepy, much less terrifying. Could be a hell of a movie though.

The Thief- Megan Whalen Turner: book 1 of The Queen’s Thief series. YA or might as well be, this is a fast, fun read with an appealing protagonist and simple plot. Hopefully the rest of the series continues to be so enjoyable.

The Queen of Attolia- Megan Whalen Turner: Queen Thief book 2. A vast divergence from the first book, this one was a bone dry play by play of royal machinations, wholly lacking in any sense of intrigue. There was zero character development, and therefore zero emotional involvement in anything that happened. I’m torn in deciding whether to continue with this series or not.

Every Last Lie- Mary Kubica: wanna be thriller about a woman struggling with grief and the truth after the death of her husband. Unfortunately, she refused to tell her daughter that her father had died (and behaved generally stupidly), so any sympathy I might have invested was lost in outright hatred of the character.

Frostblood- Elly Blake: this is a YA fantasy novel, somyou know there is a heroine with rare powers facing down a seemingly unbeatable foe, and a romance with scarred stranger who at first she can’t stand. Predictable doesn’t mean unenjoyable.

Fireblood- Elly Blake: book 2 in the Frostblood series. Just as good, if not better than the first book. I look forward to the next volume coming out in June.

Three Dark Crowns- Kendare Blake: YA fantasy about a mystical island where three queens are born, raised separately while being trained in magical gifts, and after their 16th birthday expected to kill each other. The survivor becomes queen.

The Snowman- Jo Nesbø: picked this up because the trailer for the movie looked good and creepy. Very pleased to find it is a highly enjoyable thriller, as well as only one book (the 7th) in a 10 book series. Love it when a good read leads to more books!

The Bat- Jo Nesbø: book one of the Harry Hole series. And sadly, the killer is mentioned in The Snowman so I knew who did it all along. But still a good thriller (plus, the name in Norwegian is Flagermussmanen, which is freaking awesome).

 

The rest of my year:

Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/Jun, Jul/Aug

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And Then He Was Ten

Today is Jack’s tenth birthday. Hard to believe in so many ways – that he is already ten, that he is only ten. He’s a rascal, a whip smart smart-ass, the cat’s favorite person in the entire world, and pretty much fun to be around all the time.  Except when he isn’t. This kid is going to move mountains (provided we can get him off the ipad). Happy birthday my darling boy!! (click here to see the first 4 years)

 

 

music: Changes by Langhorne Slim

 

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Not That Kind Of Football

I’m officially a soccer mom! Aside from a brief experiment six years ago, my kids have been woefully uninterested in playing soccer so far. In fact, until this year they’ve been uninterested in most sports. And in reading. Or anything that isn’t on an iPad. I’m really nailing this parenting thing.


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What I Read 2017 – July/August

Not a lot of winners came up on my reading lists these past two months. Fair amount of high hopes were dashed though. All in all, you could do worse than any of the books on this list, but don’t feel the need to rush out and get any of them either.  Continue reading

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