Monday, July 11, 2016

Books So Far This Year!

I just clicked on my "Books" tab at the top of the page and I haven't updated it since JANUARY!? WHAT? So this is what I've read January, February, March, April, May, and June 2016. Sadly, it isn't much. The busier and older the boys get (and the fewer naps they take), the less I find to read.

Winter Street by Elin Hildenbrand
This was a good book for my Christmas break this year! Set in New England around Christmas time, it's about a family that slowly begins to sort of unravel. It isn't a sad book, but several things happen that would be sad at Christmas. I thought it was a good read and I have borrowed the follow-up to it, but I haven't read it yet. I'd heard a lot about Elin Hildenbrand's books and while it wasn't my favorite book I'd EVER read (something about the point of view drove me crazy), I would read more of hers!

Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin
Ohhhhhh myyyyyy wordddddd. I wound up liking this one (it was a book club pick), but it took me a sweet forever to finish because I thought it was so slow. The book is set before and during the Civil War. Caroline is the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner in the south and when her mother dies she's sent to the north to live with family there. She returns a young woman and her ideas have grown along with her. In the north, they thought the idea of slaving-owning was ludicrous and she begins to formulate her own ideas about it. I think it's the first book in a trilogy, but I won't read the rest of them. I DID enjoy it by the end of the book, but not enough to read more. Several in my book club LOVED it so if historical fiction is your thing, you'll probably like it, too.

Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker
Another ohhhhhhh myyyyyyyy worddddddd. This one was terrible. And I don't think anyone COULD like it, although Amazon reviewers seem to. This one was about a real serial killer in the New York area that has never been caught. It follows the stories of each of the girls that have been murdered before they went missing. I thought this book could've been SO good (I love a good crime show on TV), but it was poorly done. It was flat out boring and hard to read. There were SO many girls and some of the names were very similar. I had a VERY hard time following the story as the author bounced all around. I did finish it, but I had to FORCE myself to and it took forever. I do not recommend it at ALL.

Dogwood Blues by Brenda Sutton Rose
This was such a great book! And a welcome book club pick after those two above! Brenda is a local author and we even invited her to our book club meeting about the book! I thoroughly enjoyed it (not everyone did, but I did!). Dogwood, Georgia is a small town full of eccentric characters. When people move into town that are outsiders, things get a little shaky. It reads a little like a Mary Kay Andrews book, but isn't quite as light. If you enjoy Southern lit, you'll enjoy this one. She's writing a follow-up and I can't wait to see where she takes the characters, particularly Nell. She could be Weezer's (from Steel Magnolias) long-lost cousin. Ohhh, I loved to hate her.

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2015 by Bob Sehlinger
This one got thrown on the pile when we visited Disney World last fall, but I didn't finish it until recently. I HIGHLY recommend these books if you're planning a trip to "The World," but be sure to get the most updated version - this one is already out-of-date. LOTS of things have already changed! It has a HUGE amount of information about WDW, though, and it is for SURE a must-have if you're planning to go soon.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon one. First, I LOVED this story. I thought, at first, that it was far-fetched (it is), but it completely works. Claire, a British World War II nurse, is traveling in Scotland with her husband after the war and she comes upon some stones (like a small version of Stone Henge). She returns without her husband, hears a buzzing noise, and when she places her hand on one of the stones she is transported through time to the 18th century. It is such a unique story! I have LOVED it. However. The show is on Starz and I have enjoyed the show even more. The characters are perfect and I can HEAR it and SEE it. The dialogue in the book is written in a Scottish accent and at first I found it difficult to get through. I did move faster toward the end, but it is so much easier for me to hear it rather than read it. That said, Eddie prefers to "hear" it with subtitles. Ha! I do have the second in the series

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
I loved this one as well! This was another book club pick! Alice, who has just recently turned 50, is a brilliant cognitive professor at Harvard. When she starts having little memory hiccups she visits her doctor, hoping for answers. Diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's, her life is turned upside down. This was such an interesting perspective on this disease. It was beautifully written but terrifying to read. I enjoyed it a lot and didn't feel raw like I normally do from a novel that hits so close to home. It was sad, but it wasn't depressing. I will say that once you read the book you will start feeling like every memory slip is a warning sign. It has been a few weeks since I've read it and I'm still thinking about it!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
The boys and I wrapped this one up in June. Y'all know how I feel about HP. This was Will's first time through the book (and James' second) (and my twenty-second) and he enjoyed it. We read the illustrated version. It is GORGEOUS. We've already pre-ordered the second one. They are keepsakes, for sure!

Clearly, not a LOT of reading this year, but definitely some quality books! I have (as always) several started for July, but nothing wrapped up yet. Hopefully I will have a pile finished by the end of this month!

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