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Thursday, October 4, 2018

September Challenge Wrap Up Post

2018 Books I Already Own Challenge
So, September started out as a pretty great reading month, then sort of petered out... I'm in a bit of a reading slump now. *cries gently*

I think it's sinking in that there's only three months left of 2018 and I have too many unread books to reasonably finish this year.  *sigh* Somehow I'd convinced myself I could do it all in 2018!!

I think, though, that if I could get down to less than say, thirty or thirty-five books sitting there waiting to be read, I wouldn't feel too badly ending the year-long challenge...

So, what did I read in September?

Audiobooks I own
The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye
Strength by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington
Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter

Physical books I own
To Bear an Iron Key by Jackie Morse Kessler
Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
Illegal by Eoin Colfer *graphic novel*

eBook I own
Witch's Reign by Shannon Mayer

Nonfiction Title of the Month: The Atlas Obscura Explorer's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid by Dylan Thuras and Rosemary Mosco

Official cheat book: Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower

Required Reading
(work) Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay
(professional review) The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer
(professional review) The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams

So, I also got a third of the way through Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas, but it's so big, and we're so close to the end of the series that my brain is just like, "Noooooooo..." and it doesn't want me to read any more of it.  I'm working on my current book club book for work trying to take a mini-break, but then my next group discussion for EOS is on the 17th so I have to get it done before then.  Do you ever have that happen where a book is almost too good and you just don't want to finish it because then it'll be DONE?

I'm also starting my annual audiobook judging this month, so that's going to affect my reading.  I can't really tell you more than that, but it'll mean books I can't record here and time away from my own collection. *Sigh*

How're you all doing with your reading?

Friday, August 31, 2018

August Challenge Wrap Up Post

2018 Books I Already Own Challenge
Well, August was both a good and bad month for reading. It was busy and HOT so I didn't sit and read quite as many print books as I wanted to, but I snuck in a few extra audiobooks so that wasn't too bad!

All links below take you to the title's entry on goodreads.com. So, here's what I read in August:

Audiobooks I Own
Trickery by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington
Persuasion by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington
Seduction by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington
Unqualified by Anna Farris

Physical Books I Own
The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Untamed by A.G. Howard

eBooks I Own
Slaying It by Chloe Neill
Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Official Cheat Book: Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Incidental Cheat Book: My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris

Required Reading
(Work) The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams
(Professional Review) Side Life by Steve Toutonghi
(Professional Review) Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

CHOSE NOT TO FINISH: Subscribed by Tien Tzuo

I find in the summer I love to dive into "easy" books.  Paranormal romances, series books, etc.  My audiobooks were perfect for the weather and speed of my life in August.  I was able to squeeze them in wherever and they were highly entertaining if not highly intellectual.  Just pure escapism. 

I was also able to finish up a couple of series this month.  I read the bridge novella between the Chicagoland Vampires series and Neill's new spin-off Heirs of Chicagoland series, which starts with Wild Hunger which was my official cheat book for August. I also read Untamed which is the compiled novellas for the Splintered series and Ruin and Rising which is the final book in the Grisha trilogy.  Though I didn't love all of Untamed it was enjoyable.  I was disappointed in Ruin and Rising, but I'm looking forward to reading Six of Crows which kicks off a duology set in the same world.

My Library received its copy of My Lady's Choosing and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to choose my own romance path (SUCH A COOL CONCEPT) so that became an incidental second cheat book for me.   Whoops!

Lastly, my best and worst books of the month. 
I LOVED LOVED LOVED Maas's Heir of Fire. I cannot wait to start Queen of Shadows tomorrow.
I tried desperately to read Subscribed, which was going to be my nonfiction book of the month, but I couldn't get myself to focus and so I skimmed bits then DNF'd it.  I ended up listening to Unqualified which counts as a nonfiction and LOVED hearing Anna Farris tell tales.  Such a funny book.

I'm excited to head into September.  How's your reading going?

Monday, August 20, 2018

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen
A Royal Spyness Mystery, book twelve
Berkley, 2018
Finished copy received from publisher in exchange for honest review

It's always hard to write a review for a book this far into a series without giving too much away! I'm going to attempt it anyway. 

Georgie is a relative of the British Royal family.  Not directly in line to the throne, but close enough to fall into many of the trappings of the highest level of society.  Needless to say, when this somewhat shy young lady has finally gotten permission to marry her dashing, but somewhat less-than-desirable (in the eyes of the crown) fiance, she feels trapped... the Queen wants to invite half the royals in Europe, she's going to have two young princesses as bridesmaids, and the fact that they are going to get married in a Catholic Church...the horror! All Georgie wants to do is finally marry Darcy, in a quiet little ceremony, and set up a small household all her own. 

Aside from the tribulations of being too close to the crown for comfort, Georgie realizes she and her future husband do not have the means to afford a comfortable house in any decent part of London! Though she doesn't need all the pomp and circumstance, it's hard for Georgie to admit, she does need some creature comforts.  She thinks her problems are solved when her ex-stepfather gifts her the house she would one day inherit early, letting her move in prior to the wedding to prepare for the wedded couple to live their after the ceremony.

However, the gift of the house is too good to be true.  Things are just not right.  All of the staff is new... and seemingly largely untrained. Not up to snuff by any means.  There are rumors of wrong-doing, a death that might not have been accidental, and an attempt on Georgie's life!

Full of the charm of the previous books in the series, the delightful contrast of the "upstairs" and "belowstairs" characters with Georgie bridging the divide, and scenes that made me snort with laughter, I could not put this one down.  This is a light-hearted, but clever series that entrances me each time I read a new addition to the series.  Highly recommended.  I will be curious to see how this series changes as Georgie moves into her new position as a married woman, perhaps even eventually a mother herself!