Louise Penny popped up on Diana Gabaldon's Methadone list. It's her recommendations for things to read while waiting for one of her books to come out....moreLouise Penny popped up on Diana Gabaldon's Methadone list. It's her recommendations for things to read while waiting for one of her books to come out. I had previously read Phil Rickman's work based on her suggestion, so I trust it.
Louise Penny's Armand Gamache series kicks off with this book, Still Life. Gamache is called to investigate the death of a woman in the small village of Three Pines in Quebec, Canada. Part of this remind me of Temperance Brennan's trips to Quebec in the Kathy Reichs books. But, it also reminds me of the British mysteries I have been enjoying via Netflix lately. It reminds me a lot of Midsomer Murders.
Gamache is a brilliant investigator who had run into some trouble recently in his career, but his team very much looks up to him and respects him. The inhabitants of the village make for a colorful cast of characters and the whodunit kept me guessing.
I enjoyed Still Life very much and will be reading the rest of the series very soon. (less)
The Poisonwood Bible has been on my radar for awhile, it had been sitting on my Kindle for awhile too. Barbara Kingsolver was mentioned by the author...moreThe Poisonwood Bible has been on my radar for awhile, it had been sitting on my Kindle for awhile too. Barbara Kingsolver was mentioned by the author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, which I also loved. I decided it was time to finally read Poisonwood.
This book was amazing. It is told through the viewpoint, and voices, of four different women. The Price family move to the Belgian Congo in the early 1960s as missionaries. The father, Reverand Nathan Price, his wife, and his four daughters leave Georgia and settle in for a year bringing Christianity to the Congo.
Each woman has a unique voice, you know who is currently narrating without having to look back and double check, just by the way they talk, or write. Some of the most interesting passages come through the eyes of the youngest. She takes so much as surface value, but we as adult readers can see the more complicated things taking place around her.
Each of these women are fully-realized and complex characters. The book is long, but it doesn't feel like it, it's one that is easy to lose time to. I often found myself thinking I would just read one more section and then two hours had passed.
I would highly recommend this book, it is worthy of the praise it has received. I will be looking to read more of Kingsolver's work in the near future. (less)
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky was fascinating. The exploration of what it meant to be a mixed race child, and one who had not lived in America for mo...moreThe Girl Who Fell from the Sky was fascinating. The exploration of what it meant to be a mixed race child, and one who had not lived in America for most of her life was enlightening. Add to that a mystery of a family tragedy, and you have an interesting girl. I definitely was rooting for her, I wanted to see her overcome all of that tragedy, and the circumstances she found herself living in.
The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the ending. I may need to re-read it. I felt like it ended and I wasn't sure what would happen next and it made me a little crazy. Not that everything has to be neatly tied with a bow, but I honestly don't know what Rachel will do in the next hour after the book ends.
I would highly recommend this book, and I would read more by Heidi Durrow. (less)
I picked up The Light in the Ruins on the Barnes and Noble buy two, get one free table over the summer. This was the one I hadn't ever seen before, bu...moreI picked up The Light in the Ruins on the Barnes and Noble buy two, get one free table over the summer. This was the one I hadn't ever seen before, but it looked interesting.
The story takes place during WWII in Italy, and also in about 1955, also in Italy. It is a murder mystery revolving around members of a family who had been wealthy before the war, but suffered heavy losses and now were apparently being hunted and killed one by one.
I found the story fascinating and all-encompassing. I can recall many details of this book even though I read it a few weeks ago. The setting is so rich, I feel like I visited the villa myself.
If you enjoy historical fiction and the WWII era, I would recommend this. It doesn't have details about the war and specific battles, it is more about the people who tried to live and keep their families alive and whole. The toll that war takes on civilians and national artifacts and treasures.
I would recommend this book and will be looking for more by Chris Bohjalian myself.(less)
I got this book for my Kindle through Amazon first, where they make a few books available for free in the month before their release. This was the one...moreI got this book for my Kindle through Amazon first, where they make a few books available for free in the month before their release. This was the one that sounded the most interesting to me.
The Paper Magician reminds me of other books, a little of The Night Circus, a little of the Bartemeus trilogy, and others that you can think of that feature apprentice magicians. However, Holmberg does a good job of making her own world distinct from any of those. Her magic system is interesting, as are her characters.
I read through this book quickly and definitely will read the next book in the series, which comes out later this year. I am interested to see what happens to these characters and to learn about other magical elements. (less)
The Trouble with Harry is Katie MacAlister's third book in her historical romance series. This book features characters who are a little older than th...moreThe Trouble with Harry is Katie MacAlister's third book in her historical romance series. This book features characters who are a little older than those in previous books. Harry is a widower with five wild children. He needs a wife to take them in hand. Plum had a previous marriage of her own that ended in scandal, and a new husband is the best means to avoid the poor house.
There are some fun characters in this book. I really like the butler, Juan. There is also a mystery element in the book, as there is with all the books in this series. They are primarily about the romance (and sex), but the humor and mystery elements help keep them interesting.
You can really read this series in any order, but starting with Noble Intentions will avoid spoilers from other books.
I would recommend this, and all of Katie MacAlister's books if you like your sex and romance with a lot of humor and a little mystery thrown in. (less)
I am re-reading this series in order to read MacAlister's newest in the series. Each of the books can really stand alone, there aren't really any plot...moreI am re-reading this series in order to read MacAlister's newest in the series. Each of the books can really stand alone, there aren't really any plots that carry over from one to the next. A few characters make cameos in subsequent books.
I didn't like this one quite as well as the first in the series. I think because I wasn't a big fan of Charlotte. She did grow on me over the course of the book. This book wasn't quite as laugh out loud funny as the first.
I would probably give this one 3 1/2 stars if I could. I do love Katie MacAlister's books and have to read everything she writes.(less)
I am a big fan of Katie MacAlister. My favorite series is her dragon books, but I read everything she writes. I had actually read her historical serie...moreI am a big fan of Katie MacAlister. My favorite series is her dragon books, but I read everything she writes. I had actually read her historical series before, but it's been awhile and a new book in the series just came out. It also turns out I must have read them either before I joined Goodreads or at least when I wasn't as good at keeping track of my books.
Noble Intentions is a Regency Romcom. It follows the usual tropes of a girl that doesn't really fit in, is usually a little too modern in her sensibilities and a guy who is supposed to be a notorious rake. I find MacAlister's books truly funny. They usually make me laugh out loud and my husband looks at me like I'm crazy, but honestly sometimes I can't help it.
The series is the couple of the book variety with appearances by previous couples in the subsequent books. If you have already read some of Katie MacAlister's books, you will also like these. If you like a fluffy, funny romance with a hint of mystery thrown in, you should also give this one a try.
I ended up enjoying The Physics of the Dead by Luke Smitherd. I wasn't sure at first. It's the story of two dead guys, trying to get by in this place...moreI ended up enjoying The Physics of the Dead by Luke Smitherd. I wasn't sure at first. It's the story of two dead guys, trying to get by in this place they have found themselves. They are apparently stuck in a smallish area of Coventry. They spend their days trying to keep their minds engaged to fight off going crazy like so many of the ghosts seem to do. The book flashes around to earlier in their deaths and even a bit of their lives.
I ended up getting really invested in these characters, Bowler and Hart, and whether there was a way out of the Foyer. Smitherd created an interesting world, with interesting and flawed characters. I also enjoyed his blurb at the end about what inspired him to write the book and the short excerpt of one of his other books, which I will probably also read. The excerpt was really good.
The book moves slowly, and jumps around. Although Smitherd tries to help make it clear when the narration is jumping around with different typefaces. This is not a scary ghost story, but it is an interesting and hopeful ghost story. (less)
I love Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness Mysteries. Queen of Hearts is book 8 in the series. I still love sitting down with Lady Georgianna Rannoch and going...moreI love Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness Mysteries. Queen of Hearts is book 8 in the series. I still love sitting down with Lady Georgianna Rannoch and going on another madcap adventure with her. The books always remind me of the screwball stories of classic movies, Bringing Up Baby and the like. So, it is only fitting that this installment finds Georgie on her way to America, with her former stage actress mother.
Most of the characters I love from the series are here, except the ones who don't travel. There is an international jewel thief, and scenes that were very reminiscent of Hitchcock's To Catch A Thief.
I sped through this book in a day, which will go a long way to helping me catch up with my reading goal for this year. I will also be anxiously awaiting the next book in this fabulously fun series. (less)
The Truth About Leo is the latest in Katie MacAlister's historical romance series. It was written several years after the third book. I just completed...moreThe Truth About Leo is the latest in Katie MacAlister's historical romance series. It was written several years after the third book. I just completed a re-read of all the books in the series. I love all the Katie MacAlister books and enjoy her humor and her sex scenes.
There were many elements of this one that I liked, the heroine was from Denmark and brought a little different perspective. She also really lived in a gray area, if she weren't a princess, she probably would have been in jail.
The mystery was a little thin, and I didn't feel like I got a good explanation for it all. There were several threads that felt like they weren't linked together as well as MacAlister usually does, which is why I'm only giving this one 3 stars. I would probably do 3 1/2 if I could.
I enjoyed Dagmar and I love the secondary romance, although it's a little disappointing those characters didn't get their own book. I also loved seeing the characters from two of the three previous books, and having them all hanging out and having adventures together.
I would definitely read more in this series if MacAlister writes any.(less)
This was an alt pick for the Vaginal Fantasy Group for June 2014. This is probably more firmly in the historical mystery category than romance categor...moreThis was an alt pick for the Vaginal Fantasy Group for June 2014. This is probably more firmly in the historical mystery category than romance category. Although, if characters that seem too modern in your historicals bother you, this one might bother you.
I personally loved Adelia as a character. She totally reminded me of Temperance Brennan, from the TV show more than the books. The genius with horrible people skills, plus a woman trained as a physician in the late 1100s.
The mystery in the story was compelling, and disturbing. It wasn't too hard to figure out, although it did keep me second guessing up until the reveal.
I am definitely going to be reading the rest of the series, I came very close to just jumping into the next book, but I am going to take a small break between books I think.
If you like some of the procedurals featuring medical examiners or historicals taking place in the middle ages, you will probably like Mistress in the Art of Death. (less)
When I started this book, I wasn't sure I would even finish it. But, once it got going, I couldn't put it down. It kept me reading until 5am toward th...moreWhen I started this book, I wasn't sure I would even finish it. But, once it got going, I couldn't put it down. It kept me reading until 5am toward the last third of the book, so that is pretty high praise. I had never read anything by Guy Gavriel Kay before. This one is fantasy, it obviously takes place on a planet other than earth (there are two moons). It reads a little more like historical fiction. There aren't any outlandish creatures or magic. There also isn't much in the way of modern science or technology.
According to the author it is a little bit inspired by the Iberian peninsula. It is a pretty thinly veiled tale of religion, and religious intolerance. The horrors and pointlessness of wars fought over religion seems commented on here too. There are thinly veiled versions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism and their battle over the same lands.
All the religious overtones aside, it was a story featuring some great adventure, fighting, and political intrigue. There are also some really compelling characters. Although, some of the characters have similar enough names it took me awhile to keep them all sorted out. But, that is probably more my failing than the author's.
There is reference to sex in the book, but not much that is very explicit. Which I would say would make this appropriate for younger teens, if they wanted to hang in for all the battles and confusing names.
I read this for the Vaginal Fantasy Group's June 2014 main pick. I probably would never have picked it up otherwise, but I am glad I read it and would definitely read more by Guy Gavriel Kay. There are more books that I think take place in this same world, although perhaps with different characters, I haven't yet looked into them. (less)