Tuesday, October 1, 2019

September 2019 Reads

I am a giant nerd and for some reason feel pressure to have at least a few books that you guys might enjoy - and I think I have a few! Some were meh but there were some good ones in there too! I read 10 books this month, wrapping one up last night! This brings me to 67 books so far this year. 100 won't happen again this year, ha, but I'm feeling good. 

Also, how about a quick update on the book challenge... Um...I think Allison and I have both petered out on it. I've covered 37 of the 50 categories, so I could still get there...but some of them I'm just not interested in, so I guess we'll see what happens. {grin}

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren - My 6th Christina Lauren book and another 'solid' book of this type. It reminded me a little of Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting that I read a few months ago - bad breakup/used to be best friends/haven't talked in years/reconnect/feelings are still there. But you guys know I'm a sucker for these types of stories - chick-lit/romance - so it was a winner!

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo - This was our book club selection for the summer, and guys, I had real mixed feelings about this. It felt like a fable/parable for most of the story - seriously the book kept calling the main character 'the boy' - which made it really hard for me to connect to the story. I just didn't really care about the main character - until about the last 10%. I feel like this was a 'smart' book, SO WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME? Upside - this did count for a category in the book challenge - '1 million ratings on Goodreads'.

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West - Okay so I totally forgot I read this book and it took me a hot minute to remember what it was about so that should tell you a little about it, ha. (A girl is roped into being a host of her school radio program which forces her out of her shell and she ends up with a crush on her best friend's crush blah blah blah) I've now read a handful of books by Kasie and I just think meh overall. PS I Like You was my favorite by her and the rest have all been way less.

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center - This story follows an Austin fire fighter who moves to Boston to help take care of her sick mom, who she is estranged from. I really like Katherine Center and liked this one too! I still think in this category of 'mature chick lit' my favorite is Taylor Jenkins Reid, but Katherine would be in the second tier.

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams - This story follows 3 storylines - right at the start of the 20th century with a mom in an asylum for post-partum depression (which wasn't known about then) and 2 time periods with 1 girl - living in Nassau in 1941 and reporting about The Duke and Duchess of Windsor and in 1943 after her husband has been captured by the Germans. I liked how these storylines came together, but I found it a little slow to get there. Did I like it? Yes, a lot. Did it take me forever to finish it? Also yes. I do feel like Beatriz is a really solid writer, her style is great, and she puts a lot of work into her books. I have mad respect for her and will read more. Sidebar - reading about the mom with post-partum was tough for me - I just had such empathy for how she felt and couldn't imagine being in her shoes of not understanding what is going on and having no support and being taken away from her son!

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin - I picked this book based on Emily's review. It was such a unique premise - 4 siblings go see a fortune teller who tells them exactly what day they will die. And it follows each sibling leading up to that day. It definitely kept me interested, but some of the siblings irritated me! And the second sibling's story disturbed me A LOT - I finished that part and went to bed and was slightly freaked out. But overall a really solid read!

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory - The 3rd story in this loosely-connected series. Alexa's {character from the first book} 2 best friends have always hated each other...until they hook-up...and now...hmmm... At first I felt like the book was trying too hard to connect the stories and the writing felt off, but I quickly fell into the story, and I really liked it. I think I liked it more than The Proposal even! Another one comes out next month!!

A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught - Last month, I read Whitney, My Love and this was the 2nd book in the story but it is a story in the past - about the first Duke of Westmoreland and how he kidnapped his bride. I liked this more than I thought I would and can't wait for the next one to come in off my holds list! Very typical historical romance, but I think Judith writes really rich stories.

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly - I've had this on hold since FEBRUARY people, so I had high hopes when it came in from reserve, and it was GREAT! Interconnecting story lines between Cara in the present who finds Louise journal from 1941 when she joins a branch of the British military during WW2, falls in love, and has her life fall apart. Cara is recovering from a divorce and fears there is a family secret in her own family so feels a need to find Louise's family. I am a sucker for WW2 books but some are better than others for sure. I wouldn't say this is my FAVORITE but it was really, really good. If you like any of those types - and/or aren't burnt out on them - you'll like this one!

Well Met by Jen DeLuca - Karin, a neighbor/friend, belongs to Book of the Month. She is the best and loans me a ton of her books. Usually I've heard of them {The Golden Hour was one and Daisy Jones and the Six was another}. This time I had not heard of the book and just ate it up. Emily is helping her sister out after a really bad car accident and ends up volunteering at a local renaissance festival - she hates the guy in charge, Simon, until they start flirting - and you can guess what happens. I thought it sounded super cheesy - I might be a nerd but I'm not a renaissance festival nerd - but it was so cute! Emily was a great lead character, and I liked her growth through the story and really liked her interactions with Simon. It wasn't super long but oh so fun!

Whew, it's always exhausting when I finish writing this post, but it's one of my favorites to write {and my favorite to read on other blogs}, and I can't wait to hear what you guys think! And can't wait for another great month of reading!


Natasha said...

I have The Golden Hour and Well Met on hold now. I have The Immortalists sitting on my TBR. And I read The Wedding Party this past weekend. I liked it but didn't LOVE it. I thought The Wedding Date and The Proposal were much better.

Tanya said...

You read a lot in one month! Golden Hour sounds like such an intriguing story, although a little slow. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks for all the recommendations!

Anonymous said...

You win the book challenge (again)! I just put Things You Save in a Fire on hold! -AP

Emily said...

I’m intrigued by this category “mature chick lit”; I’ve never heard that term but I’m digging it, particularly given my love of Taylor Jenkins Reid. Def putting “things you save in a fire” on my list. Also, why am I drawn to sketch covers like “Well Met”? Lol. The premise doesn’t entice me (although I do love renaissance faires) but I’m putting it on my list by book cover alone. I thought your review of Immortalists interesting because I find WWII lit far more disturbing than anything in that book; I wonder why?

Erika said...

HERE I AM. ;) So I was on a huge Christina Lauren kick in September- I read Roomies, Jack & Hazel, & Unhoneymooners. I haven't read Love & other Words yet, but odds are good I'll get there. Ha. I loved Things You Save in a Fire! I liked it better than How to Walk Away. I loved Golden Hour too, though agree that it moved a little slowly...but I loved the setting and insight into the Bahamas during that time period; definitely not something I knew much about! I haven't read anything in the Jasmine Guillory series but I feel like I'll prob have to after I finish all the Christina Lauren books or something, hahaha. AND- when I read this post yesterday, I also had completed 67 books so far in 2019, so we were SAMIES...but then I finished Unhoneymooners last night, so now I'm at 68, so not sure if we are still samies, but we're close, anyway!