Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Year in Books: Part 1

So! I missed the December 1 mark.  Typical.  In my last review at work, at the point where they ask you what you think are areas for self-improvement, do you know what I said? (rhetorical question much, Poppy?) I told them that while I always get everything that I have to get done done, and on time, that I underestimate the time that it'll take me to do said task.  That I am HORRIBLE at time estimates!

Bad.  Like bad, bad, bad folks.  Nevertheless, I finished it!

I can breather from the MADRUSHILLSEEYOUINAFEWMONTHSHONEY of it all until March! Pat-tay time up in the hizzouse! And all before Christmas, which was our dead stop we-ain't-got-no- more-time-everything-has-to-be-published deadline.

Who cares about that anymore, let's talk about fun stuff like books.  Something to ease back into (sporadically) blogging.

Goodreads & Book Page are my go-to's for book recommendations along with my uber cool friend Cari over at Clan Donaldson.  Goodreads is great for keeping my list of all the books I want to read and they have a reading challenge that I talked about in another post.  This year my goal was 35 books and I read (or listened to because of a long commute) 40! Yahoo!  Book Page is just straight up awesome.  One of the Nurse Anesthetists gets it from her library every month when she goes for book club and passes it along to me - I'm not sure if they're available at my library, I guess I should check because a subscription is 30 bloomin' dollars! They have the very best new book recommendations.

And, lucky enough for you, I am going to give you my 40 books and a blurbby "review" right now in only 4 posts!

Note: I hate writing reviews because I really dislike critiquing someones hard work.  'Cause you know, I hate when people say something negative about something that I have work my hiney off on.

1. Heaven Preserve Us by Cricket McRae  It's the second book in a series and I guess I should've read the first but it was only 99 cents and, you know, I like canning and I kind of dig mysteries.  It was, just okay.  I remember liking the characters but being  all kinds of meh about the story.
3 Stars

2. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore  Free download from the library.  You know I've never read any Sherlock Holmes. And I was just at that point getting into BBC's Sherlock series with yummy Benedict Cumberbatch. This was good! I really enjoyed the mystery and the characters.  Now I want to read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock books -they're on the list.
4 Stars

3. A Life in Stitches by Rachael Herron  I love knitting so any book that involves it is on my list.  Is it bad to say I don't remember so much about it? I gave it 4 out of 5 stars so it must've been good.  I hadn't ever read a memoir before so this was a first for me.
4 Stars

4. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley  Aaaahhhh... Flavia de Luce.  I am a rabid fan of this series; I even named our kitten Flavia for the character.  Do you know who else loves the books? My Beloved.  We have listened to every single book together and Jayne Entwistle is THE voice of Flavia - I almost like listening to the books better than reading them because she is such a great narrator.  The first book The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was one of those books that's "Always Available" for download from the library and what a happy find it was! We've pre-ordered the next book both in print and audio so we can listen on our anniversary vacation! Sosososososo excited.
5 Stars

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling a) I love anything and everything Harry Potter, b) I always feel bad for listing short story or booklet type things on my "read" list for these things.  It was good fun and money from the e-book sales went to comic relief and I'm all about helping others.  Did you know they're making a movie of it? Sweet!
5 Stars

6.  Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg  Free audio book from the library that I don't remember much about except the protagonist kept annoying me.  There were some eye rolls that were so hard my eyeballs actually hurt. I just felt annoyed with the main character Helen a lot and that was frustrating.
2 Stars

7.  Angels at the Table by Debbie Macomber  Another freebie from the library.  I have read this whole series of books about three guardian angels named Shirley, Goodness & Mercy (it's where I got the two chicken names, Goodness & Mercy).  This is the only one that I haven't liked! I must've been in some sort of mood because I remember being all annoyed with this book too.  So, really, don't listen to me about books 6, 7, 8 10 because I was in a serious funk.
2 Stars

8.  Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen  I signed up for Audible at this point because I was (you guessed it) annoyed because of the super long waiting lists for books I wanted from the library.  I love Sarah Addison Allen books because I love her magical South.  It wasn't as good as her other books. Still, again, I love how she builds wonderful magical places in the South (I have secretly always wanted to be a Southerner).
4 Stars

9.  The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd  On a Southern trend and by recommendation ( I also really enjoy the narrator, Jenna Lamia - she read The Help & Saving CC Honeycutt, two books I love) I downloaded this for my Beloved and I to listen to on our way back from our anniversary trip to Charleston (which was a bad experience - see the trend?).  I really liked this book.  I wish I would've liked the movie more.
4 Stars

10.  The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly  Still in a funk I listened to The Book of Lost Things on recommendation.  Ummmm.  Let's see.  Great premise, good, scary story EXCEPT that I feel like the author stepped over the line a few times and was exceptionally cruel and disturbing.  The Crooked Man scared the bejeezus out of me, and I liked that but, maybe I am a ninny, because some of the cruelty bothered me.  A lot.
2 Stars

And that's it for the first installment.  I highly encourage you to not listen to a word I've said about these book and read them for yourself! Form your own opinions so we can discuss.  I miss being in a book club but in all honesty, at certain points of the year I don't have the time or energy to do anything other than come home, make dinner and go to bed.  If only they revolved around me! Ha!

See you tomorrow for part two!


  1. Oooh that book of lost things? I must go learn more about it.

    1. You definitely should! Cassie is the one who recommended it to me and she really, really loved it. Let me know if you read it!