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My January reads

Jennifer Worth – Shadows of the workhouse 3,5/5
Jennifer Worth was a midwife and district nurse in East London during the '50s. The popular BBC series Call the Midwife is based on her memoires, of which this book is the second part. In the book, Jennifer describes multiple cases of people she took care of whose lifes were marked by their time in the workhouse.
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2017 January Books

Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot 3/5
I finally got around to reading the last Princess Diaries book! (It is the last, right?) It was cute and I liked it. Not as funny as the earlier books, but maybe that's because Mia is 25 now. No longer a teenager. The books are so much better than the movies. I love Julie Andrews and all, but Book-Grandmére is a much funnier character.

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer 4/5
It's difficult to describe what this book is about.  There are characters, and they do things, and things happen, but there isn't an overarching plot.  I guess it's a character-driven novel?  The characters are the Bloch family - Jacob and Julia, with their three boys: Sam, Max, and Benjy.  They live in Washington, D.C.  Jacob and Julia's marriage is rocky.  They are planning Sam's bar mitzvah, even though Sam doesn't really want a bar mitzvah, and neither Jacob nor Julia feel particularly religious.  But they are Jewish, and that's what you do when you're Jewish.  Jacob's cousin from Israel comes to visit.  While he's visiting, there is an earthquake in Israel.  The book is about the characters, and their relationships.  It's kind of sad, but beautiful.  Jonathan Safran Foer is an excellent writer.  I like character-driven novels when they're well-written.


January book

The Weekenders - Mary Kay Andrews
I don't care enough to give a decent summary of this book. There's a woman and her missing husband. Their daughter. An island in the south. This is basically a typical Mary Kay Andrews book with a bit of mystery thrown in. With each book I keep thinking I'm not going to read another of hers, because they have such dumb aspects. But despite the annoyances, they entertain me pretty much from start to finish, so I'll probably keep reading anyway. :)

Slow start on 2017: 1

Kiwiria's January Reads

13 books already! I am off to a good start. And I got long-winded with some of the reviews.Collapse )
Book of the Month: A toss between The Lightning-Struck Heart and The Chemist. Both amazing books in VERY different ways.
Biggest disappointment: Again a toss between Thirteen Hours and The Last to Die. The former was worse, but at least it was short and quickly over. The latter had more potential and therefore disappointed more.


2016 book totals

Hi! It's been several months since I posted any kind of book list, so this covers the last three months of the year. I felt all year that I wasn't reading very much, but in the end my total was fine. Not as high as some years, but totally acceptable.

Hoozah!Collapse )

Books for Oct - Dec: 11
Books for 2016: 55

I feel like I had a decent year for reading. I really enjoyed the Bernard Cornwell stuff (thanks to the gal at work that introduced me to it!) and am looking forward to reading more of his stuff. This year is bringing just a few changes so I don't know what my reading will be like this year but hopefully I can hit at least 50 books again.

Faves and least-faves

moredetails asked... and I aim to please :-)


The Girl with All the Gifts - M.R. Carey. A very unusual zombie-story - partly because the zombie is the main character, and the story is (mostly) told from her viewpoint! She's able to think, feel and even empathise, and knows absolutely, positively that eating her favourite teacher is wrong! Brilliant book, fascinating world-building and a story I couldn't put down.

Wish Upon a Star - Trisha Ashley and The Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After - Jenny Colgan were two amazingly sweet comfort-books I read this year. Just cozy, feel-good books to crawl into. I really loved both of them.

Britt-Marie Was Here - Fredrik Backman, while also a comfort book, has a bit more substance to it, as an elderly woman - newly divorced - has to learn how to manage on her own and is forced to open up to new experiences and new friends. It made me laugh and cry - such a good read :)

Take it as a Compliment - Maria Stoian, on the other hand, is NOT a comfort book. It's a graphic novel/memoir about how damaging the current trend of rape-culture and victim-blaming. I'm going to issue a trigger-warning right away, to anybody who's been sexually abused - both verbally and physically - but it is such an IMPORTANT book, that I have to mention it anyway. If I could, I'd make it mandatory reading in all high-schools.

The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness is the third book in the "All Saints" trilogy, and one of the best fantasy epics I've read in a long time. There are witches, vampires, werewolves, time-travel, romance and adventure galore. I've loved all three books in the series and was completely book-hungover after finishing the last one.

Another excellent fantasy/sci-fi series is the Touchstone Trilogy by Andrea K. Höst. I read the first one (Stray) in 2015 and the rest last year. An Australian girl accidentally steps through a wormhole and travels to a foreign planet, where she's found by humanoid aliens. Brilliant series!

I read a lot of suspense/thriller books this year, and was very pleased with most of them. My two favourites were The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware and The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena. Neither crossed the line to scary-don't-dare-put-it-down, but both were absolutely terrific reads :)

And finally, no faves list of mine is complete without a travelogue. In 2016 my favourite was Wrong Way Round - Lorna Hendry about a family traveling around Australia. Loved it! I'm a huge fan of living vicariously through others ;-)


Unfortunately, I read some real duds this year as well. The worst probably being The Boyfriend App - Katie Sise. It started out well enough, but took a turn for the decidedly strange and actually pro-rape (as long as it's done by a girl to a boy, 'natch). Not a YA book I'd recommend to ANYBODY.

Equally strange (but a lot less harmful) was Down With the Shine - Kate Karys Quinn. I read that with a permanent eyeroll on my face, and would not have been the least surprised if it had ended up with "and then she woke up and it was all a dream".

I was very interested in reading Overcoming Stress - Tim Cantopher as I was on sickleave due to stress in 2014 and wanted to see if Tim Cantopher had any handy hints for me, but unfortunately I think he really missed the mark and made some very problematic statements in this book, that I could ignore, but might be actually damaging to others. So give that one a miss.

Transylvanian Mail Order Bride - Elliott Wolfson was so badly written that it crossed the line to funny (although probably unintentionally so), and turned into a crazy train-wreck style book, where I just had to know what sort of ridiculous thing he'd write next!

In the "disappointing, but not actually bad" category I have Breaking Free - Beth Moore, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce, Afterworlds - Scott Westerfeld and Atlantia - Ally Condie

Reading goals
I don't have any particular reading goals for 2017. I want to read 150 books, and have a smaller TBR-pile at the end of 2017 than I did at the beginning of the year (203 books), but that's about it :)


New Year

Happy new year, community! I didn't read any books in December, hence my non-post. But I am enjoying your posts and I hope some of you might want to share your favs and least-favs from 2016, and/or books you're looking forward to reading this year.

And don't forget your usual book lists each month (or whenever)!

Also: do you have any reading goals for 2017? I do not...in fact, I don't have any specific goals yet.

silent_soprano wondered if I was going to make a sister community in Dreamwidth, and so I just added one and imported the community content there: https://christianreader.dreamwidth.org/

I mostly did it as a backup, and won't really be tending to it beyond occasional backups when I remember. But you're welcome to join or post there, if you prefer. Someday we might all be over on Dreamwidth, so this is just to make it an easier transition.

Speaking of, I'm also on Dreamwidth as moredetails: http://moredetails.dreamwidth.org/. Again, this is just a backup, but I don't mind having a set of friends in place there if we eventually switch.

Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your week!

My November/December reads

Lesley Gould – Courting Cate 4/5
In this Amish novel inspired by Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Cate Miller is known for her sharp tongue and fiery temper around Paradise, Pennsylvania in contrast to her sweet sister Betsy. Exasperated by his daughter, their father sets a rule: Cate must marry first before Betsy can court. And when the free-spirited Pete Treger comes working for Mr. Miller, Cate might just have found her match.
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2016 Quarter 4 Book

I didn't post for October or November because I didn't finish any books then.  I finished one in December.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven 4/5
Libby is 16.  When she was 13, she was named "America's Fattest Teen" and had to be cut out of her house.  Now, she's lost a lot of weight, but she's still pretty big.  She's finally going back to school.  She is confident and excited and loves to dance.  Jack is 17.  He has prosopagnosia, which means he can't recognize faces.  No one knows this about him, except that he tells Libby.  They become unlikely friends, and then maybe more!  Kind of like a Rainbow Rowell book.  I really liked it.  Although I have no idea why it's called Holding Up the Universe.


Kiwiria's December Reads

Ten books this month! That's more like itCollapse )
Book of the Month: Wish Upon a Star - I can't remember ever before almost shedding a tear because I didn't want the book to end.
Biggest Disappointment: Breaking Free - it wasn't bad, I'd just expected so much more.