Quick Thoughts on What I Read Last Month! (Be Warned – There are LOTS of books!)

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So Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series has always been on my radar, since waaaaay back in the 90’s when I first discovered the music of Tori Amos and learned she had a friendship with this awesome writer named Neil. I wouldn’t say I have a love hate relationship with this series, but it’s definitely one that I want to love more than I do. I own the first five books in the series and had to do a refresher read of the first three since it has been a while since I’ve read them. I remember loving them immensely the first go around, but this time I really only loved Dream Country. Don’t get me wrong, I love Neil’s work, but I feel like I don’t get a lot of this series – maybe it’s because I have a love hate relationship with graphic novels in general? I want to love them, but I do prefer regular novels. That being said, I’m glad I got a reread in and, really, after finishing the first five books, I still want to continue on with this series! I loved A Game of You, the fifth volume, and kind of enjoy how each volume is mostly its own thing, rather than continuations of the previous stories. There are themes that carry over and the characters, of course, but I feel like I could continue this series without the need of a reread. And even though I didn’t totally love all of them, I still think they’re worth reading!

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Vanishing Girls is a book I’m sure I thought I would love, years ago when I bought it, but now it was that book that kind of cemented in me that I won’t be buying any more of Lauren Oliver’s books. Between this and my DNF of her adult book, Rooms, this month, I can say that I only really loved her Delirium series and not much else.

ravens the-baroness

Two lovely poetry collections by Canadian woman-of-all-trades, Sarah Slean, were also read this month. I’ve had these collections FOREVER, both bought at shows she’s done in the city. Now, I’m not really one for poetry, which might be why I gave both of these a 3-star rating. They were good and nice to read, but I’m sure plenty of the content went over my head. I did have my favourites, but I still think I love the lyrics in Sarah’s songs more. No doubt, though, she is one talented person! I do love that Ravens includes both her poetry and her art. They are really pretty little books to have on a bookshelf!

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I’m not even really sure what led me to buy this book – it must’ve been a review somewhere, or maybe it was bought after reading all the positive reviews on Amazon (something that rarely gets me something good to read, for some reason), but I just didn’t get this book. I’m sure the whole thing was written in some attempt to be poetic and cool and hoping to writing something new (ultimately, the writing at points was like reading jazz music on paper – scattered, with an attempt at cohesiveness), but I didn’t enjoy it. It had a few lovely moments, but they were few and far between and I just couldn’t find myself caring about any of the characters. Definitely not worth the buy.

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Even though I really don’t read Jennifer Weiner’s books these days (I used to be a HUGE fan of her stuff, back in the day), I was so intrigued by this one when I saw it, since it was a middle grade book. I love the idea of finding books that I can enjoy with my kids as they grow up! However, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book. I felt like it had potential but I just couldn’t wrap my head around Millie, who apparently watches a lot of TV, but still can’t use proper words for things. I know, I know, they lived in isolation, but still. I liked the idea of fitting in, even though you’re different, but this whole story just felt so off balance, with Millie and Alice being obviously the main story, but then there’s Jeremy thrown in. Could it not have just been a story about friendship and having differences?

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I’m not sure what it is about the story of Hansel & Gretel, but I love it. Out of all the Grimm fairytales, I think this one is, by far, the most intriguing, and I loved Neil’s spin on it. Really, it’s a short story and it’s not like there’s “new information” or anything, but it’s got that Neil Gaiman voice to it and beautiful (though quite dark and sparse) artwork to accompany it. This took me no time at all to read, but I did love it and I loved the few pages at the end that talked about the evolution of this particular fairytale. Honestly, with a story so short, I’m wondering why it took me so long to read in the first place!

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I was kind of glad that I listened to this book on audio, rather than read it in physical form, because I definitely didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. I loved that it was likened to Single White Female and in a way it was, but the way it was told wasn’t as gripping as it could’ve been. I was totally into Quinn’s story, but then it would alternate with Alex’s story and I was just not into his and didn’t see how it fit into the whole book. It took a LONG time for the two to connect and even then, I was too bored with the story to be shocked. It was an okay read and I would definitely recommend the audio.

heartless

This is one of those hype books that was talked about SO MUCH on Twitter and other social media that when it came time for me to use up my Audible credits before I cancelled my subscription, I decided to get this book to see what the hype was all about. Unfortunately, it really wasn’t the right fit for me. Maybe I’m just not the biggest fan of Alice in Wonderland, but I just didn’t like the story in general, though I did like Marissa Meyer’s writing of it. Perhaps I would’ve enjoyed it more had this not been my first book by the author, but it was and I think that might have been a reason why I wasn’t as invested in it as I could have been.

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks2017 – January Update

This year has been an interesting year in reading for me. For the past 6 years, at least, I’ve been buying lots of books, putting them on my shelves, unread, and then buying more books, etc., etc. I mean, I’ve read tons in the past years, but I’m fairly certain that even though I’ve read lots, I’ve added more books to my shelves – more than I’ve probably read!

The past few years have seen two big book purges and then last year, in December, I decided enough was enough, I was going to read my own damn books! I mean, I bought them for a reason, right? I wanted to read them? And if the ones on my shelves survived two book purges, then I should probably get to them, right?

This month, I read ONE library book, bought ZERO books, and read lots from my shelves! I went through everything on my shelves, and put everything on the shelves that had been read and left everything else in piles. I looked on my library’s Overdrive website and made a pile of books (nearly 60!) that are available as audiobooks online, made another pile of books to read, and picked out a pile to read in the coming weeks. As I go, I add whatever I’ve read to the shelves, organizing as I go. I can’t WAIT to see my piles go down and my shelves finally be full of books I’ve actually read!

Honestly, I have had a few moments over the past month where I wanted to buy books, but didn’t – just looking at my shelves and flipping through all my unread books made me excited to read them!

So … this month I read a whopping TWENTY-EIGHT books, with TWENTY-FOUR of them being from my shelves! Here’s what I LOVED:

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It’s funny, these are all so wildly different from one another – one is a thriller, another a historical fiction (with romance!), another a contemporary romance …

I Let You Go was an intense read! It was horrifying to read, but had me so hooked from the first chapter that I read the whole thing in one day. I own the paperback but listened to the audio from the library and it was FANTASTIC. The intensity was just completely enhanced with the narration and I would highly recommend it!

The Last Letter From Your Lover is my fourth Jojo Moyes, I believe, and it didn’t hook me right away. Maybe it was because I started it at bedtime, but I thought I wouldn’t love it like I had other books by her, but then all of a sudden, I was hooked! The story was gripping, romantic, and just wonderful. Another 5-star read from Jojo Moyes!

When I Fall In Love was one of those books that I had seen all over the place when looking for recommendations for audiobooks and it was the perfect book for me. Completely romantic and fun! And well worth listening to the audiobook – the narration was great to listen to. I wish I could have an ‘after’ story to read now, but I’ll take what I can get.

What did you read this month? Anything good? 

This Week In Book – January 11, 2017

This Week In Books


“This Week In Books” is a weekly event, hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Foundthat lets readers share what they read, what they’re reading, and what they’re planning to read next. I thought it would be a nice way to recap my reading week and share a few thoughts on what I’ve been reading.

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What I Read:

Since this is the year I read ALL MY DAMN BOOKS I decided to do just that! Cat Got Your Diamonds is a cute cozy mystery, which I liked, but didn’t love (I honestly could not wrap my head around how the main character made a living doing what she does – especially since she didn’t seem to sell a lot), but I had to try it since Julie Chase is the pseudonym for Julie Anne Lindsey who writes the Geek Girl Mystery series, which is awesome. Then I dove into Doppler, which I read and finished in less than 12 hours. The last Erlend Loe I read was Naive. Super which is one of my favourite books. This one had the same humour I know and love by Loe and I think I loved about 95% of it and didn’t like the ending (I didn’t realize it was part of a series and kind of thought it would end differently. I should really never assume.). Next up was a book of poetry, Ravens, by Canadian musician Sarah Slean. I’ve loved Sarah ever since she toured with just a cassette tape of her first EP, so over the years I’ve bought a few things of hers, other than CDs. This was a great little book of poetry and while I don’t try to say I understand what she’s saying in some of these, I still loved it nonetheless. The artwork in it is amazing! And lastly this week, I read The Boundless, by another Canadian, Kenneth Oppel. I’ve only read one other series by Oppel and loved it and this one was good, but not my favourite. It had its exciting bits, but I found my attention wandering as I read it. It is an absolutely gorgeous book to look at though, AND it has a built in bookmark. Can all books have these please?

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What I’m Currently Reading:

More of my own damn books! Riel Nason is another Canadian and her book, All The Things We Leave Behind, is growing on me as I read it. I got it as a review book from Goose Lane and now I think I need to try her first book, The Town That Drowned. Maze of Souls is my current ebook, the 6th instalment in the Ellie Jordan: Ghost Trapper series. I like to read ebooks in bed and wasn’t sure what to start the other night, so naturally I started this one, a horror. I’m determined to catch up with this series and will have to buy the next one on my birthday since J. L. Bryan is awesome at horror. And lastly, I started When I Fall In Love by Miranda Dickinson on audiobook last night, which was super fortunate since my short drive home turned into a long drive home since I had to detour because of an accident. It’s like I just knew I should start an audiobook – definitely made my drive less tedious and it’s pretty good so far!

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What I Plan To Read Next: 

The first book I’ll probably finish, listed above, will be the paperback, so I’m going to start another physical book. Currently I have a ton of my owned but not read books on the table in my library and I know this one is on top. Hopefully I can start reading it, get into it and then read the next two, which I naturally bought while on a Kelley Armstrong kick. She’s one of my favourite Canadian authors and I want to catch up with all of her books this year! And because of my crappy book buying habits, I happen to own all of them!

Waiting On Wednesday


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming books whose releases are being eagerly awaited. Bloggers are encouraged to join in and post about the book they’re looking forward to reading.

the-river-at-nightA high stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction.

Winifred Allen needs a vacation.

Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.

What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare: A freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.

With intimately observed characters, visceral prose, and pacing as ruthless as the river itself, The River at Night is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won’t soon forget.

How cool does this book sound? I love a good mystery and suspense book and this one sounds fascinating.

What have you been reading lately? Any recommendations? What books are you waiting for to be published?