Nov 042014
 

Okay, maybe not really beach reading but I did read some of these books on my honeymoon!

I also read the second Harry Potter book at the beach. I read the first one when the movie first came out and disliked it. It was too childish. I gave up on the series, never saw any of the other movies and then last winter Michael and I decided to have a Harry Potter marathon and I found myself really enjoying the films. I started to think, maybe I should give it another try. So many people had loved the series (but they also loved Twilight, which I hated…). I decided to try again. I was told the books got better and more adult as the series went on. I really, really liked the second book. It was a fast read. I think I read it in two beach days in Maui. The writing was still juvenile, obviously, but not as bad as the first one. I will be continuing with the series!

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As you can see in the above photo my Kindle is underneath that brave bird that decided to try and eat my lunch (he failed). I have to say, taking my Kindle to Hawaii was fantastic! This was the first real vacation where I’d used it and it’s SO much better than lugging a suitcase full of books (last time we were in Hawaii I was working through the Game of Thrones series and had several of the books with me–that was heavy and a pain in the butt).

Now for a few other recommendations:

1. Remains of Innocence by JA Jance

What a great book! I’ve been a fan of the Joanna Brady series for years and this is the newest installment and one of the best ones yet. The book was gripping and I couldn’t put it down. There were actually two story lines through it and they eventually converged. I also liked the main character of the secondary story, Liza, and hope they figure out a way to work her into other books.

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2. Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany

This book read like a memoir and reading through the interview with the author at the back of the book it was based on her own life and struggles with alcoholism so it kind of was…just turned into fiction. Because of that it often read like a memoir and that left me feeling a little disjointed with the character’s voice vs. the author’s voice. It felt like it was at battle at times.

Why I didn’t LOVE the book — the actual alcoholism part wasn’t really discussed much. There were a few chapters, a few paragraphs here and there where she described the alcoholism and what happened but I never felt like it was enough. Like she didn’t hit ROCK BOTTOM…There were glimpses of rock bottom but not much detail. I feel like the author could have developed this part of the story more instead of focusing so much on her relationship with the kid. The very long dialogues and interactions with the 5 year old kid felt a little boring to me. I wanted to read more about the fall and then the rise back up. Despite those minor annoyances, it was a pretty good book and I liked the author’s writing style and character development.

3. The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson

Loved it! Started reading the series after watching the TV show (which I also loved). Kind of wish I’d read the books first because some of the characters are not the same as the TV show and that made it a little confusing. Good story, great writing. Looking forward to the rest of the books.

4. O, Pioneers! by Willa Cather

I read this for my book club and really, really enjoyed it. I might not have picked it up on my own but I’m glad we chose this book. It was short and easy to read. I loved the characters and the stories inner-twining. For such a short book the character and plot development was magnificent!

5. Ancient Enemy by Mark Lukens

What a great book!! It was definitely not what I was expecting. I bought it because I’ve been fascinated with the Anasazi lore forever and this was a new and interesting (and very believable) twist on the old theories…with some horror added to it! Great read!

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4. Death Without Company: A Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson

Another great Longmire mystery! Loving this series!

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5. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

This book was perfect — from beginning to end, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was brilliant. The twist that reveals itself fairly early on in the book is amazing. Seriously, just so cool and it made the “traditional” survival book so unique. I LOVED this book and cannot recommend it enough.

***MILD SPOILERS***
This is a zombie book but it’s SO different from all the rest that are flooding the market these days. It’s an interesting twist and I love who is telling the story.

6. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

I really enjoyed this book. I had no idea what it was going to be about really and as the story unfolded I was surprised by the big “event” and the ending left me feeling sad for the main characters but I still liked the story. It’s interesting reading a story like this from that time period. It tackled some really big issues–feminism, lesbianism, birth control, women’s right to vote, the list goes on and on.

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As always, here is my GoodReads profile. Friend me and we can share book reads!

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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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