Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

217 views
2018 Plans > Steph's 2018 plan :-)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Stephanie (last edited Dec 27, 2018 08:14PM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments Trying v hard not to get carried away and plan the whole list....right now....but I missed out on completing last years challenge by 9 books :-( so will transfer them over to this year :-). Will use the rating system goodreads uses.

1. A book with the letters A, T & Y in the title The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Completed 1st January 2018.

2. A book from the first 10 books added to your To Be Read list - It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder. Completed 13th January 2018.

3. A book from the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards (link)- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng Completed 20th Jan 2018.

4. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #1 Earth (in title, cover, content, setting, author...)- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett Completed 7th September 2018.

5. A book about or inspired by real events- The Truth of the Lie http://truthofthelie.com Completed 30th Jan 2018.

6. A book originally written in a language other than English- The Trial by Franz Kafka Completed 21 January 2018.

7. A gothic novel- Rawblood by Catriona Ward. Completed 18 Jan 2018.

8. An "own voices" book* Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. Completed 24 Feb 2018.

9. A book with a body part in the title (heart, bones, teeth, skin, blood, etc)- Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Completed 4th Feb 2018.

10. An author's debut book (their first book to be published)- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Completed 31 March 2018.

11. A literary fiction- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Completed 13th April 2018.

12. A book set in Africa or South America- The Testament by John Grisham Completed 25th April 2018.

13. A book with a plot centered around a secret (forbidden love, spies, secret societies, etc)- The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater Completed 5th Jan 2018.

14. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #2 Fire - A Column of Fire by Ken Follett Completed 1 Nov 2018.

15. A book with an unique format/writing structure-The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Completed 1st Dec 2018.

16. A narrative nonfiction- WILDCARD -Crystal Keepers by Brandon Mull Completed 23rd Dec 2018.

17. A book you expect to make you laugh- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Completed 10th July 2018

18. A book with a location in the title- Lincoln Hospital by Cassia Brightmore.

19. A book nominated for the Edgar Award or by a Grand master author (books & authors)- World Without End by Ken Follett. Completed 12th October 2018.

20. A book rated 5 stars by at least one of your friends- The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric

21. A book written in first person perspective-Frosting and Friendship by Lisa Schroeder Completed 14th January 2018.

22. A book you have high expectations or hope for-The Rogue Knight by Brandon Mull Completed 18 dec 2018.

23. A medical or legal thriller-
24. A book with a map

25. A book with an antagonist/villain point of view- ?Resuscitation by Cassia Brightmore

26. A book with a text only cover-Wildcard by Marie Lu.

27. A book about surviving a hardship (war, famine, major disasters, serious illness, etc)-Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard.

28. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #3 Water- Winter by Marissa Meyer. Completed 29th May 2018.

29. A book with a "Clue" weapon on the cover or title (lead pipe, revolver, rope, candlestick, dagger, wrench)- Spark by John Twelve Hawks.

30. A short book-Sprinkles and Secrets by Lisa Schroeder. Completed 13th January 2018.

31. A book set in a country you'd like to visit but have never been to-Warcross by Marie Lu.

32. An alternate history book- 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Completed 4th July 2018.

33. A book connected (title, cover, content) to a word "born" in the same year as you (link)- Flatline by Cassia Brightmore (or use for medical thriller and use word relating to foodie here?

34. A suggestion from the AtY 2018 polls, that didn't win but was polarizing or a close-call (link)- A book involving advanced technology (computers, spaceships, robots, networks, etc) Cress by Marissa Meyer. Completed18th may 2018.

35. A book featuring a murder- The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Completed 12th January 2018.

36. A book published in the last 3 years (2016, 2017, 2018) by an author you haven't read before- Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan Completed 28th Nov 2018.

37. A Women's Prize for Fiction winner or nominee (link1, link2)- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

38. A science book or a science fiction book- Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Completed 9 May 2018.

39. A book with a form of punctuation in the title- Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater Completed 6th Jan 2018.

40. A book from Amazon's 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime list (link)- The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright Completed 9th June 2018.

41. A book by an author with the same first and last initials- Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Completed 28th April 2018.

42. A book that takes place on, in, or underwater

43. A book with a title that is a whole sentence-We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.

44. A ghost story- Death Weavers by Brandon Mull Completed 27th December 2018

45. A book that intimidates/ scares you- The Witch Finders Sister by Beth Underdown. Completed 13th July 2018.

46. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #4 Air- Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull. Completed 12 Dec 2018

47. A book where the main character (or author) is of a different ethnic origin, religion, or sexual identity than your own- China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan Completed 20th Nov 2018.

48. A book related to one of the 7 deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, sloth)- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. Completed 16 Nov 2018.

49. A book from one of the Goodreads Best Books of the Month lists (link)- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

50. A book with a warm atmosphere (centered on family, friendship, love or summer)- Time Jumpers by Brandon Mull Completed 28th December 2018

51. An award-winning short story or short story collection- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. Completed 10th Feb 2018.

52. A book published in 2018- Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza Completed 14th March 2018


message 2: by Mel (new)

Mel | 162 comments Raven Boys is a great choice for #1; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :) I'm hoping to use the last book of the series for one of my last prompts of this year's ATY challenge ("a book based on a myth").


message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments Mel wrote: "Raven Boys is a great choice for #1; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :) I'm hoping to use the last book of the series for one of my last prompts of this year's ATY challenge ("a book based on..."

Thanks Mel. Even more excited to start it now :-).


message 4: by Angie (new)

Angie | 804 comments The Raven Boys is amazing. I flew through the entire series last year.


message 5: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments Angie wrote: "The Raven Boys is amazing. I flew through the entire series last year."

Excellent :-). Really want to start it now but haven't finished my 2017 choices yet.


message 6: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments Hmm the resolution not to plan ahead didn't last long......


message 7: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments It happens! Good choices so far :)


message 8: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments Zaz wrote: "It happens! Good choices so far :)"

Thanks :-).


message 9: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 1. A book with the letters A, T & Y in the title The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Completed 1st January 2018. ★★★

"“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore."

Promising start. Looking forward to the second book.


message 10: by Stephanie (last edited Jan 04, 2018 05:10PM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 13. A book with a plot centered around a secret (forbidden love, spies, secret societies, etc)- The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. Completed 5th January 2018. ★★

"Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…"

Not sure why I don't seem to be enjoying this book as much as others clearly do or as much as i expected. Parts of the time I'm really into it and at others I'm checking to see how much I've got left to read.....however will progress to the next.


message 11: by Stephanie (last edited Jan 06, 2018 11:15AM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 39. A book with a form of punctuation in the title- Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater Completed 6th Jan 2018. ★★★ and a half.

"Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel."

Yay. I enjoyed this book :-)


message 12: by July (last edited Jan 08, 2018 07:36PM) (new)

July C. B (julycb) I'm sorry that you aren't enjoing The Raven Boys :( I read the whole series last year and it inmediatly became one of my favourite series of all time. I think these books are not for everyone because magical realism it's a genere that people either love or hate, and The Raven Boys has a lot of magical realism elements.

I hope that your next readings are better!


message 13: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments July wrote: "I'm sorry that you aren't enjoing The Raven Boys :( I read the whole series last year and it inmediatly became one of my favourite series of all time. I think these books are not for everyone becau..."

Hi July, I'm really surprised I didn't enjoy them as much as I thought I would. Maybe it was because my expectations were soooo high or maybe because I'm busy I can't give it the attention it deserves or maybe it is because of the magical realism genre like you said. I enjoyed the third book though and am really pleased you enjoyed them :-).


message 14: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 35. A book featuring a murder- The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Completed 12th January 2018. ★★

"All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. "


message 15: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 2. A book from the first 10 books added to your To Be Read list - It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder. Completed 13th January 2018.
★★★.

"Twelve-year-old Isabel is dying to get out of her small town of Willow, Oregon, and travel like her best friend, Sophie. But when Isabel’s mother decides to open up a cupcake shop across town, Isabel is once again stuck in Willow for the summer…until she learns of a baking contest where the finalists get an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to compete in the final bake-off. But Sophie is also entering the contest, and Isabel’s mother has reservations. Can Isabel finally realize her dreams of leaving Willow without hurting two of the most important people in her life? "

A really quick and easy read. I liked it.


message 16: by Stephanie (last edited Jan 12, 2018 11:40PM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 30. A short book-Sprinkles and Secrets by Lisa Schroeder. Completed 13th January 2018. ★★★

This book was 224 pages long however I chose it as my short book as it only took a couple of hours to read

"In this companion novel to It's Raining Cupcakes, twelve-year-old Sophie has a dream come true when she's offered a TV commercial spot. She's not just happy about the opportunity, she's over the moon happy!

But then she finds out what exactly she'll be advertising: the delectable, ever-popular brownies from Beatrice's Brownies, which just so happens to be the number one competitor to It's Raining Cupcakes, a cupcake shop owned by her best friend, Isabel's, family.

Sophie has a tough choice to make: Follow her dreams or crush her best friend. What's a girl to do?"


message 17: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 21. A book written in first person perspective-Frosting and Friendship by Lisa Schroeder Completed 14th January 2018. ★★★

"Has Lily bitten off more than she can bake? A sweet treat from the author of It’s Raining Cupcakes and Sprinkles and Secrets.

On a scale of one to ten, twelve-year-old Lily Hubbard is a zero when it comes to baking. Her cookies turn out salty, her cakes tend to lean, and things are always overcooked.

When Lily is invited to be a part of a mother-daughter book club called The Baking Bookworms, she is excited—and terrified. It seems like she’s the only one who didn’t inherit the baking gene.

But she does have the music gene, which is why she’s forming a band that will audition for their school’s annual Spring Fling. If, that is, Lily can balance her priorities. Because Isabel, one of the Baking Bookworms, has asked Lily to help plan a surprise party for their mutual friend Sophie. And the task is…creating a showstopping, mouthwatering, thirteenth-birthday-party-worthy dessert. Uh. Oh.

Soon, Lily finds herself knee-deep in sugar and sheet music as she tries to juggle her responsibility to her bandmates AND give her friend the best party ever."


message 18: by Stephanie (last edited Apr 12, 2018 09:09PM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 3. A book from the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards (link)- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng Completed 20th Jan 2018 ★★★★ and a half

"Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principal is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons' friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia's."

Really enjoyed this book. Well written. Look forward to reading her other book.


message 19: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 6. A book originally written in a language other than English- The Trial by Franz Kafka Completed 21 January 2018. ★

"Written in 1914 but not published until 1925, a year after Kafka’s death, The Trial is the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, The Trial has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers."

Just couldn't get into this book. Didn't finish.


message 20: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (watermelanie) | 112 comments Oh, I loved Practical Magic! I'm currently reading Little Fires Everywhere, but I've just started it so I haven't really formed an opinion yet. I absolutely loved Everything I Never Told You so I'm very hopeful.


message 21: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments Melanie wrote: "Oh, I loved Practical Magic! I'm currently reading Little Fires Everywhere, but I've just started it so I haven't really formed an opinion yet. I absolutely loved [book..."

Really excited to read Practical magic. I really enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere. I hope you do too.


message 22: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 7. A gothic novel- Rawblood by Catriona Ward. Completed 28 Jan 2018. ★

"In 1910, eleven year old Iris Villarca lives with her father at Rawblood, a lonely house on Dartmoor. Iris and her father are the last of their name. The Villarcas always die young, bloodily. Iris knows it’s because of a congenital disease which means she must be strictly isolated. Papa told her so. Forbidden to speak to other children or the servants, denied her one friend, Iris grows up in solitude. But she reads books. And one sunlit autumn day, beside her mother’s grave, she forces the truth from her father. The disease is biologically impossible. A lie, to cover a darker secret.

The Villarcas are haunted, through the generations, by her. She is white, skeletal, covered with scars. Her origins are a mystery but her purpose is clear. When a Villarca marries, when they love, when they have a child – she comes and death follows.

Iris makes her father a promise: to remain alone all her life. But when she’s fifteen, she breaks it. The consequences of her choice are immediate and horrific.

Iris’s story is interwoven with the past, the voices of the dead – Villarcas, taken by her. Iris’s grandmother sets sail from Dover to Italy with a hired companion, to spend her final years in the sun before consumption takes her. Instead she meets betrayal, and a fate worse than death. Iris’s father, his medical career in ruins, conducts unconscionable experiments, to discover how she travels in the Villarca blood. Iris’s mother, pregnant, walks the halls of Rawblood whispering to her, coaxing her to come. As the narratives converge, Iris seeks her out in a confrontation which shatters her past and her reality, revealing the chasm in Iris’s own, fractured identity. Who is she? What does she desire? The answer is more terrible and stranger than Iris could have imagined."

Hate not finishing books and this is the second one this year. Just couldn't get into it. Hadn't a clue what was happening and it was very slow.


message 23: by Stephanie (last edited Feb 01, 2018 08:57PM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 5. A book about or inspired by real events- The Truth of the Lie http://truthofthelie.com Completed 30th Jan 2018. ★★★


message 24: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 51. An award-winning short story or short story collection- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. Completed 10th Feb 2018. ★★

"Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there, alive."


message 25: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 8. An "own voices" book* Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. Completed 24 Feb 2018. ★★★★

"Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta'an wants vengeance.

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, Rhee has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne - and her revenge.

Alyosha is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding - even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee's name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy."


message 26: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 9. A book with a body part in the title (heart, bones, teeth, skin, blood, etc)- Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Completed 4th Feb 2018. ★★ and half.

"Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are."


message 27: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 52. A book published in 2018- Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza Completed 14th March 2018 ★★★★.

"Empress

With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown.

Fugitive

Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home.

Princess

Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering—and erasing—the princess she once was.

Madman

Villainous media star Nero is out for blood, and he’ll go to any means necessary to control the galaxy.

Vicious politics and high-stakes action culminate in an epic showdown that will determine the fate of the universe."


message 28: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 2199 comments Nice reviews, Stephanie!


message 29: by Stephanie (last edited Mar 31, 2018 11:43AM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 10. An author's debut book (their first book to be published)- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Completed 31 March 2018. ★★★★ and a half.

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway - a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart."

Really enjoyed the style of writing of this book, it sparkles and you get swept away in the atmosphere. Its a book to read on a cold winters day beside the fire with a hot chocolate :-)


message 30: by Celia (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 358 comments Stephanie wrote: "10. An author's debut book (their first book to be published)- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Completed 31 March 2018. ★★★★ and a half.

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements..."

I loved this book too and not just because it's about a Celia!! Thanks for your thoughts. I truly enjoyed reading them.


message 31: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 11. A literary fiction-Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Completed 13th April 2018 ★★★★ and a half.

"On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?"

I have been putting off reading this book for ages. I think the main reason was the all the hype surrounding it. Whenever a book is really popular I hardly ever enjoy it.
I finally succumbed to pressure based on the topic of week 11 and thank goodness for week 11.
I really enjoyed this book. The reason I didn't give it 5 stars? I can't disclose without spoiling it for others....


message 32: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 12. A book set in Africa or South America- The Testament by John Grisham Completed 25th April 2018. ★★★

"In a plush Virginia office, a rich, angry old man is furiously rewriting his will. With his death just hours away, Troy Phelan wants to send a message to his children, his ex-wives, and his minions, a message that will touch off a vicious legal battle and transform dozens of lives.

Because Troy Phelan's new will names a sole surprise heir to his eleven-billion-dollar fortune: a mysterious woman named Rachel Lane, a missionary living deep in the jungles of Brazil.

Enter the lawyers. Nate O'Riley is fresh out of rehab, a disgraced corporate attorney handpicked for his last job: to find Rachel Lane at any cost. As Phelan's family circles like vultures in D.C., Nate is crashing through the Brazilian jungle, entering a world where money means nothing, where death is just one misstep away, and where a woman - pursued by enemies and friends alike - holds a stunning surprise of her own."


message 33: by Stephanie (last edited May 10, 2018 02:12PM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 41. A book by an author with the same first and last initials- Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Completed 28th April 2018. ★★★★ and a half

"A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth's fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget."


message 34: by Stephanie (last edited May 10, 2018 02:12PM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 38. A science book or a science fiction book- Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Completed 9 May 2018. ★★★★ and a half

"Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner."


message 35: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 34. A suggestion from the AtY 2018 polls, that didn't win but was polarizing or a close-call (link)- A book involving advanced technology (computers, spaceships, robots, networks, etc) Cress by Marissa Meyer. Completed18th may 2018 ★★★★ and a half.

"In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has. "


message 36: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 28. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #3 Water- Winter by Marissa Meyer. Completed 29th May 2018.★★★★

"Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend--the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long."


message 37: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 40. A book from Amazon's 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime list (link)- The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright Completed 9th June 2018. ★★

"A sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States."


message 38: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 32. An alternate history book- 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Completed 4th July 2018. ★

"Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful."
Really disappointed with this book. It wasn't badly written at all but I just couldn't get into it. After 2 and a half weeks and not even halfway through I decided to abandon it.


message 39: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 17. A book you expect to make you laugh- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Completed 10th July 2018 ★★★ and a half.

"Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper."

Enjoyed this...just fell off a bit at end.


message 40: by Stephanie (last edited Jul 19, 2018 01:20PM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 45. A book that intimidates/ scares you- The Witch Finders Sister by Beth Underdown. Completed 13th July 2018. ★★★ and 3 quarters.

"Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth--but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew's soul.

There is a new darkness in the town, too--frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice's blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he's become, Alice is desperate to intervene--and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew's reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.

Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother's brutal mission--and is drawn into the Hopkins family's past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils--before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.

Inspired by the real-life story of notorious "Witchfinder General" Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown's thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with harrowing storytelling for a truly haunting reading experience."


message 41: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 4. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #1 Earth (in title, cover, content, setting, author...)- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett Completed 7th September 2018. ★★★★

"Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape.

Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king."


message 42: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 19. A book nominated for the Edgar Award or by a Grand master author (books & authors)- World Without End by Ken Follett. Completed 12th October 2018. ★★★★

"World Without End takes place in the same town of Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and the priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge, but this sequel stands on its own. This time the men and women of an extraordinary cast of characters find themselves at a crossroads of new ideas—about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice. In a world where proponents of the old ways fiercely battle those with progressive minds, the intrigue and tension quickly reach a boiling point against the devastating backdrop of the greatest natural disaster ever to strike the human race—the Black Death."


message 43: by Stephanie (last edited Nov 02, 2018 01:18AM) (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 14. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #2 Fire - A Column of Fire by Ken Follett Completed 1 Nov 2018. ★★★★.

"In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love.

Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half-century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.
The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else—no matter what the cost."


message 44: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 48. A book related to one of the 7 deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, sloth)- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. Completed 16 Nov 2018. ★★★ and a half.

"Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich. "


message 45: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 47. A book where the main character (or author) is of a different ethnic origin, religion, or sexual identity than your own- China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan Completed 20th Nov 2018 ★★★ and a half.

"On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiance willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won't be able to walk her down the aisle. Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore's It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. A romp through Asia's most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriend brings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it's like to be gloriously, crazily, China-rich."


message 46: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 36. A book published in the last 3 years (2016, 2017, 2018) by an author you haven't read before- Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan Completed 28th Nov 2018. ★★★ and a half.

"When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside--but he's not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls.

With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park--a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore--the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises.

As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife--a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid's reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. "


message 47: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 15. A book with an unique format/writing structure-The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Completed 1st Dec 2018. ★
"What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it's about everything."

Didn't finish this book. V boring and underwhelming.


message 48: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 46. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #4 Air- Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull. Completed 12 Dec 2018 ★★★ and a half

"On Halloween below a haunted house, Cole Randolph wanted to have fun (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But he dives after friends whisked away to The Outskirts.

The five kingdoms lie in between - wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from other worlds.

And once people are in the Outskirts, they find it very hard to leave.

With the magic of the Outskirts starting to unravel, Cole and an unusual girl named Mira must rescue his friends, set things right in the Outskirts, and hopefully find his way back home…before his existence is forgotten."


message 49: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 22. A book you have high expectations or hope for-The Rogue Knight by Brandon Mull Completed 18 Dec 2018 ★★★ and a half

'Cole Randolph, searching for friends kidnapped on Halloween, is trapped in the kingdom of Elloweer, a world between wakefulness and dreaming. With new friends Mira, Twitch, and Jace, Cole joins the resistance to find Mira’s sister Honor.

A mysterious foe massacres towns, leaving no survivors. And a rebel "Rogue Knight” upsets the balance of power. Pursued by enemies, Cole and Mira use a new kind of magic for protection and to outwit the High King, ruthlessly seeking to regain what he has lost.'


message 50: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rose | 279 comments 16. A narrative nonfiction- WILDCARD -Crystal Keepers by Brandon Mull Completed 23rd Dec 2018 ★★★ and a half.
'Cole Randolph is trapped in a world where magic is powerful and dreams are real. He found his friend Dalton and has survived the first two kingdoms of the Outskirts. But none of that has prepared him for the magnetic highways and robotic bounty hunters of Zeropolis.

Ruled by Abram Trench, the one Grand Shaper who stayed loyal to the evil High King, the government of Zeropolis uses advanced technologies to keep tight control. Luckily, the resistance in Zeropolis is anchored by the Crystal Keepers—a group of young rebels with unique weapons.

On the run from the High King’s secret police, Cole and Dalton venture to find more of their lost friends—and help their new friend, Mira, locate her sister Constance. But as their enemies ruthlessly dismantle the resistance, time runs out for Cole to uncover the secrets behind the Zeropolitan government and unravel the mystery of who helped the High King steal his daughters’ powers. Can Cole fix The Outskirts magic, or will he be stranded forever?'


« previous 1
back to top