Sep 102014
 

You know when you are reading a book that is so good you can’t stop reading and end up staying way too late? I both love and hate those type of books. I love them because the writing is so good it transport me into that world and I don’t want to put it down. I hate those books, too, because I end up telling myself, One more chapter, and then I stay up WAY too late and regret it in the morning!

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1. The Troop by Nick Cutter

I heard this author on the Joe Rogan podcast and he was very smart and articulate and that made me want to check out his book. I wasn’t disappointed. The story was dark and foreboding from the start–the perfect horror location, an isolated island. The concept was a fascinating twist on the zombie genre. It was kind of like a cross between the movie Cabin Fever, the book Lord of the Flies, and The Walking Dead. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because the book was VERY gross. I had to skim a few sections that were just too much for me. Other than that, the writing was really good and it read like a movie.

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2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

It definitely reads like a YA book but it’s still an enjoyable read from an adult standpoint, just keep that in mind and suspend disbelief. :)

3. Dust by Patricia Cornwell

This is part of the Kay Scarpetta series and I’ve picked up books here and there and unfortunately never really read them in order. As a result I feel like I’m out of the loop on different story lines that weave through each book. Despite that, this book was really compelling and couldn’t put it down. It was longer than I’m used to reading and I felt like I was in their world for a very long time, not in a bad way. I loved the main characters and this book was good!

4. Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr

If you haven’t checked out Nevada Barr, I strongly encourage you to give her a try. I love her Anna Pigeon book series and have read all of them. This is the most recent. Start at the beginning of the series–you won’t be disappointed! Anna Pigeon is a park ranger and each book takes place in a different National Park. Action/adventure/mystery happens in each book. This one didn’t disappoint. It reminded me a little of that movie with Kevin Bacon–The River Wild. I stayed up WAY too late finishing this book!

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5. The Pines (Wayward Pines Trilogy 1) by Blake Crouch

This book was on my “to read” list for awhile and when I appeared on the new Amazon “unlimited” list I snatched it up. I started reading it and then got hooked. I read 65% of the book in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down and my eyelids were drooping and it was way past my bedtime and I finally stopped for the night. The book is gripping, frustrating, kept me guessing and I liked it a lot. The ending was…interesting…I don’t want to give it away and since it’s a trilogy I’m curious how it’s going to continue. But I definitely recommend this!

6. Wayward (Wayward Pines Trilogy 2) by Blake Crouch

This is the sequel to The Pines. I loved the first book and the second one was even better. It was more “meaty”, really fleshing out the characters and story. It was exciting and it didn’t take very long to read at all. My only complaint would be that books nowadays seem to always be trilogies…you know, building your brand, try and make more money with more books, make the books into TV shows or movies…but I really feel like this series could be 2 books. He should have reworked it to combine book 2 with book 1. It would just flow better in my opinion.

7. The Last Town (Wayward Pines Trilogy 3) by Blake Crouch

This was the conclusion of the trilogy and it held up against the first two books. It was exciting, kept me engaged and trying to guess the ending. The ending wasn’t predictable and I wouldn’t say it was entirely satisfying but it was good. Great series! I am super excited that this series is being made into a TV show and that it’s got some good actors in it, too.

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I’ve read some great books this summer! Hope you guys enjoy some of these. I have  a few more great ones to review, so stay tuned. And as always, you can friend me on GoodReads.com. :)

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Jul 162014
 

My book club recently met for a lovely summer dinner, potluck style. The host grilled up some chicken and beef kebobs, had fresh watermelon and a green salad. I made a caprese salad (fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, black olives, cherry tomatoes and salami with balsamic and oil). There was a potato salad and an amazing orzo salad. There was even homemade Syrah. Everything was so tasty! One person made watermelon cupcakes–like they actually tasted like watermelon bubble gum. It was kind of crazy.

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My friend’s house was a lovely oasis. She’s clearly worked really hard on her garden. Her house is on an acre and there’s trees and beautiful pathways winding through the garden. It was absolutely gorgeous! They even have wild peacocks roaming around their neighborhood!

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How crazy is that? Her cute cats were meandering around the yard while we chatted about our book.

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Unfortunately the book we read for the month was NOT my favorite. I hated it and actually couldn’t finish reading it. We chose “Silas Marner” by George Eliot. I like a lot of the Classics–Oscar Wilde is one of my favorite authors and Wuthering Heights is in my top 5 list. However, Silas Marner was so hard to read. It was a combination of writing style and format (humongous, long paragraphs that were often pages long, and dialogue that didn’t seem to move the story forward in any way). Despite not liking the book we still found topics to talk about for three hours!

Here are some good books I’ve read lately:

1. Dead Scared by SJ Bolton

This is the second book in the Lacey Flint series. The series takes place in London and I love the characters. This second book was even better than the first and the story premise was chilling! My only complaint was that I hated the last chapter and how it left off. I felt like it needed another chapter to wrap things up and explain a few things!

2. Lost by SJ Bolton

This is the third book in the Lacey Flint series and while I hated how the 2nd book ended, this book picked up where it left off and explained a little bit of what I felt was missing in the other one. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

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3. Second Watch by JA Jance

I’m always wary of books that have flashbacks or several timelines going on at once. It’s rarely done well and just feels forced or clunky. This wasn’t the case. The flow was nice and it never felt awkward. I was equally interested in all three time periods that were telling the story. The mystery unfolded in a nice way. Good book!

4. Blood Harvest by SJ Bolton

I’m currently catching up on all her books. This one is probably one of my favorites of her books. The books that aren’t part of the Lacey Flint series are stand-alone books and usually take place on English/Welsh Moors. There is nothing creepier for a setting. It makes me think of Wuthering Heights; but it’s still a great setting for creating anxiety and dread in a horror book. This book in particular was VERY VERY dark. The last few chapters were so gripping and so crazy I couldn’t put the book down.

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5. An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer

This book is about Edward, recently widowed, dealing with the grief and trying to move on. Despite the topic, it wasn’t a depressing book at all. The general mood was of sadness, but in a healing way. His adult step-kids decide after a year and a half that he needs to meet someone new so they put out a personal ad for him. The book is about his journey to find out who he is without his wife, coming to terms with the grief and meeting new people. It was such a charming, uplifting book and I was 100% satisfied with the story and the characters! Loved it!

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I hope you enjoy some of these books I’ve recommended. Several were good, fun “summer” reads.

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