Week 31 – 2016

I suspect I found the reason that last week only had a single entry. I think you should guess which of these tomes kept me busy for an extended period of time. Week 31 covers August 1 – 7. Feedback of any sort is encouraged, as always.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. It is Outlander #1 (shocking!). One of the members of my book club wanted to read this, so I pushed for it as well. I am glad that I did. This is historical fiction and romance with a tiny bit of fantasy thrown in at the beginning. If I refer to it as an epic tome, you’ll probably guess the answer to the riddle at the beginning of the post, so I’ll keep that to myself. This is really well written and it tells of the history of Scotland during the Jacobite wars and the wars among the Scottish clans. I make it sound boring, but the story is good and I definitely recommend it. I’m giving it 4 stars.

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My History by Antonia Fraser – I received this as an actual book in a Goodreads giveaway. I thought this was very good. I really like this author and I enjoyed learning about her early history and her family background. Mary Queen of Scots was one of the first biographies that I read outside of school and it definitely turned me into a fan of the genre. If you like this author, I would definitely recommend reading this book about her own history. I’m giving this 3 stars.

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Can You Keep a Secret? by R.L. Stine – I also won this actual paper book in a Goodreads giveaway. This is Fear Street Relaunch #4. These are updated for the modern teen (think cell phones). I feel like I was reading this forever. It was okay. I used to love these when I was a teen. This one would likely not have been a favorite. It’s suspenseful, but certainly not scary. I like the ones that keep you up at night thinking the boogeyman is coming to get you. I’m giving it 2 stars.

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Still Midnight by Denis Mina – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. It is Alex Morrow #1. The second book in this series was suggested as a book club pick, so I suggested that we should read this one instead. The theory is that you get a taste of the series and people that like it can continue reading the other books. I’m pretty sure no one in the group will be reading the rest of the series. I might give it another shot. This book wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t grab me. The author left a lot of things unexplained. The characters also weren’t terribly sympathetic. Basically, there’s a home invasion and an old man is kidnapped. The family misleads the investigation. Then they claim that they are being singled out because of their religious background. But then it turns out they are all being super shady anyway. Plus the lead investigator is the illegitimate daughter of a criminal herself and her child has died somehow so she’s not getting along with her husband. Sounds fun, right? I’m giving it 3 stars.

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All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This one was really good. It is told backward, so it’s a little confusing at first, but once you get used to the format, it is really interesting. The narrator, toward the end, explains why the story is told this way. It totally works. A girl went missing 10 years ago and new information is starting to surface. Then another girl goes missing. When you read it, you will understand how this all ties together in a neat little package at the end. I definitely recommend it. I’m giving it 4 stars.

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The Crêpes of Wrath by Sarah Fox – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley and then later as a Chatterbox book of the month. It is Pancake House Mystery #1. I really liked this. It is a super quick read and it is highly entertaining. There are a lot of characters, which can be quite confusing but that is not the case with this one. I did not have this all figured out until the reveal toward the end of the book, which always gets bonus points from me. This is the first novel I have read by this author, and I look forward to seeing others. In this, Marley is looking after her cousin’s pancake house while he is in the hospital when Jimmy dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances. For her own piece of mind, Marley needs to figure out what really happened and also not get killed herself in the process. There is a lot going on and there are a lot of sub-plots, but it isn’t difficult to follow. I read this in less than a day. It sucks you right in. My reviews aren’t normally this long. I’ve had too much coffee. I’m giving it 4 stars.

So I finished a lot of books this first week of August. I wish that I had kept it up, but the actual result is that the following weeks of August are much more sparse. Of course, August is always a busy month and who wants to stay inside and read when they can be outside having fun with friends? Anyway, let me know what you think. If you have any suggestions about what to read next, I am all ears (or eyes, I guess).

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