Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Books I Read In January

You guys, I read NINE books in January. Basically, I'm blowing my book-a-week goal out of the water. I was able to accomplish this feat because I use nursing as an excuse to ignore my other children, hide away in my room, and read for about eight hours a day. I'm getting NOTHING else done in my life, but by golly I'm burning through these books. I am hoping that at some point Little Sister gets a wee bit more efficient at this nursing thing and I don't have to devote 1/3 of the hours of my day to keeping her nourished, but until then, let the reading continue!

Also note, I started out with some heavier/more literary titles, but as the month wore on, and I got deeper and deeper into the newborn-sleep-deprivation-stage, my reading choices became quite a bit fluffier. My brain isn't working well these days.

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

This was a fascinating read for me, and I'm definitely going to have to talk more about this one (maybe a good old Valentine's post on it, as it is all about relationships). There were things I absolutely loved about this book, and other things I strongly disagreed with. It's a recommend, with caveats.

The Rent Collector by Camron Wight

My mom recommended this one to me, and it did not disappoint. I learned quite a bit about Cambodia, and thoroughly enjoyed the characters and story. Mostly what I loved is that while this book portrayed people living in abject poverty (with a lot of the trials and tragedies that come with that), there was also so much goodness and happiness and even a healthy marriage. Also cool that is is partially based on a true story. Definite recommend.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Another WWII story (I mean, can we write powerful novels about anything else?). This one has received quite a bit of attention recently, and it is quite good, but probably not my most favorite WWII story ever. There were some slow parts, and then there were some super depressing parts (it is WWII after all), and at some points the only thing that kept me going was the snappy British dialogue (seriously, the dialogue is hilarious). If you like WWII stories, this one has a few interesting new angles. General recommend.

Poldark by Winston Graham

Have you seen the Masterpiece miniseries of this one? I must say, it's quite a faithful adaptation, but also interesting to note the changes they made. This book was a fun read, and I will be reading the next one in the series (haven't seen Season 2 yet, but I've heard things that make me think I'd rather read it all first before deciding if I watch it).

Blackmoore by Julian Donaldson

I read Edenbrooke a few years ago, loved it, and immediately wanted to read Blackmoore, but my library didn't have it at the time. Then, while I was perusing my library's digital offerings a few weeks ago, what should I find but Blackmoore! Naturally I jumped on it. So, not quite as good as Edenbrooke. The secondary characters were all pretty flat and terrible (what was up with all the horrible mothers?), and Kate wasn't my favorite heroine. But still, plenty of swoon-worthy scenes. Love a good, light, fluffy, (clean) romance every now and then. And when I finished this one, naturally I had to go back and read...
Edenbrooke by Julian Donaldson

Just as delightful as I remembered it. Although, now that I think critically about it (at least, as critically as you can think about fun, light, fluffy romances), I prefer Henry from Blackmoore as probably more my type of hero (love the idea of it being a best friend!). But Marianne (from Edenbrooke) is more my type of heroine. Anyway, all around good fun.

Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West

This one ended up being my accidentally seasonally appropriate reading, as I was reading this over inauguration weekend. Although, all it did was make me even more sad about the current resident of the White House, and how he just doesn't seem to be in the same league as these presidents of yore (even though I know I wouldn't have voted for some of them). I love how West focused on the First Ladies, it was a lot of fun to learn so much intimate detail about them. I feel like West was just dishy enough without being disrespectful. All in all, this was a fascinating read, and I highly recommend if you're at all interested in another side of political history.

Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery

My re-reading of the whole Anne series continues! I was stymied for a while when I realized there was no audio version of this one, but I finally got the ebook this month (honestly, I just need to own this series, why don't I yet?). I can see why this is the least popular book of the series. Anne and Gilbert are living apart for three years while he goes to medical school and she teaches at a high school. While Anne writes delightful letters, Montgomery chooses to omit the lovey parts (sigh). And while this book is full of delightful episodes (like all the other books), many of the new characters introduced only show up for their one chapter, and then disappear for the rest of the book. Also, Anne comes off as looking just a little too perfect in this book. She's outgrown her childish ways, and everyone in this book just gushes about how charming she is! Oh well. I still enjoyed it immensely.

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer

I read The Grand Sophy last year and completely loved it, so I was excited to read another Heyer novel. This one wasn't quite as good. The story was still a lot of fun and there were some super memorable characters, but I spent most of the book confused about the romance situation, and just who the hero was supposed to be. Jack (who I thought was going to be the hero) turned out to be a legitimate scoundrel, and Freddy was... not my idea of a dashing hero. Anyway, still a recommend for Regency romance fans.

Whew, what a fun reading month! Have you read any of these? Would love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I also read Upstairs at The White House just right before the inauguration, so while everyone was thinking about the Capital on Inauguration Day, I was thinking about the servants at the White House were doing in their crazy frenzy to make the switch between presidents. I follow your reviews on Goodreads (I hope that's not creepy:) and I would agree with your view on President Johnson. Talk about a high maintenance man! I was just appalled about his demanding of the shower head and how much they spent on that but then how nosy he was going around shutting off all the lights. Sounds like a hard guy to live with.

    1. Not creepy at all, I'm glad you follow my reviews on Goodreads!

  2. People who like The Grand Sophy also tend to like Frederika. And I adore Venitia. The Grand Ajax has some misdirection if you want to try another one to see if you like it. (I just got here from your Romance book Blab so I've got Heyer on my mind).

    Enjoy your forced reading time! I loved all the reading I got in while nursing a small baby, and that was before ebooks made it easy.

    1. Thank you! I'll be adding those recommendations to my TBR list right now...