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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly > 2019 - 05 - Stand Alone - What did you read?

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message 1: by PAS, Moderator AC (last edited Apr 24, 2019 03:34AM) (new)

PAS (Mods) (pasmods) | 561 comments Mod
We're not happy when series are dragged out and authors take so long to publish the next instalment. Yet, when there is NO further stories, we're also left feeling sad... What did you read? Are you happy for the book to be stand alone or would you prefer more?


In addition, don't forget to post:
*link to the book you've read
*a star rating -see below for template you can copy & paste ;)
*shelf nomination (see Shelf Lists for what has been and cannot be nominated)
*link to any PAS challenge/s you've fit this book into

#Your nominated Shelf must have at least 1,000 books to qualify
#Entries for your nominated shelf will be calculated as follows;
+1 - posting the book you've read for this Monthly Shelf & star rating
+1 - word review (at least 3 sentences of your thoughts/feelings on the book)
+1 - link to another PAS challenge* where you've included this book

Star template:


message 2: by Lusie (last edited May 03, 2019 05:10AM) (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 2940 comments I've read Beauty [3-may-19] ★★★½
Beauty A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley

This is a retelling of beauty and the beast. I enjoyed this story, though I had the feeling I had read it before... Not sure if I really had read it before ages ago or that it reminded me of other retellings of this story. I like the characters and wanted to find out what would happen next. It was a quick enjoyable read.

Challenges I used this for:
- bookopoly
- pickand mix - friends

Nominated shelf: Magic

message 3: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8406 comments Mod
Lusie wrote: "I've read Beauty [3-may-19] ★★★½
Beauty A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley"

awww... only 3.5 stars? :/
I guess it's one of those books that carries some sentimental value for some of us ;p

message 4: by Lusie (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 2940 comments Yes only 3,5 stars because the story felt so familiar. I did enjoy it though

message 5: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8406 comments Mod
Just finished The Alice Network by Kate Quinn ★★★★

Read it for SrC group read (the only one I can get my hands on on time) because even though it's been on my radar a long time (so many people seem to love this), I didn't add onto my TBR. I thought from the book description that it's not really for me and after reading Code Name Verity, I'm not ready for another like it and I did feel that this book's premise to be so very similar to that. So whilst I enjoyed the character of Eve (I somehow gravitated to the cantankerous broken old woman) & her story, I didn't find it to be as powerful as Verity... maybe it's the perspective it was told in? or maybe I've just been spoiled; I don't know... I've basically read the book in a day but only because it's due back to the library today!

Challenge used: PnM (friends)

Shelf: friendship

message 6: by Jamie (last edited May 08, 2019 07:07AM) (new)

Jamie Zaccaria | 85 comments I read Sadie by Courtney Summers.

Sadie by Courtney Summers


A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she's left behind. And an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.

Wow was this a rollercoaster ride. I loved the main story and I loved the alternating POV that comes from it being a podcast. It reminds me of the reality behind all these true crime entertainment we love. Enough twists to keep me guessing but not too much so that I got confused. Well done!

I nominate Morocco

message 7: by Marina (last edited May 11, 2019 05:14AM) (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1330 comments I've just noticed that The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins, which I finished on 7th May, was shelved by 1 person as stand-alone, so here's my short comment.

I would have given it 3.5 stars, though in the absence of half-star ratings I rounded down to 3. I liked it a lot, actually, but I didn't think it was worth a 4 to be honest.

It is a classic mystery, a lesser-known novel by Collins with some gothic touches in it, and most definitely a sensationalist novel. It kept me glued to the pages as I really wanted to know who the culprit was, and I liked Valeria's character well enough despite her being very much naive at times. She is, however, a very strong woman capable of fighting for what she wants. Her husband on the other hand is a very weak man and not really likeable at all, but I guess it's just human to be weak at times (although to be totally honest he really should be termed a coward rather than a weak man).

My favorite book by Collins so far remains The Moonstone, but I would recommend this one for an easy read.


I've also used this book for Bookopoly.

My nominated shelf: detective-fiction.

message 8: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1330 comments I've also read Coraline by Neil Gaiman, which was the one I was planning to read.

I think most of us know the story, also thanks to Henry Selick's movie - which by the way was great. Coraline and her parents come to live to a house where there is a door that opens on a brick wall.. or does it? Coraline is an explorer so she just has to know.

The book is eerie, and I found it interesting that the author says in his introduction (which is at the end of the book in my edition) that he intended this book for children, who read it as an adventure, while to adults it gave nightmares. I wouldn't go so far as to say it will give me nightmares, but as I said it is eerie and the characters are creepy enough, as are the situations in which Coraline finds herself.

I really, really liked this book and would recommend it to everyone, especially to those who love fantastic fiction.


I've also used this book for Bookopoly.

I'll "second" my own previous nomination of detective fiction :)

message 9: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1330 comments I see that The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington, which I finished day before yesterday, was shelved as stand-alone by 1 person, so I'm adding it here.

It started out slow and boring, but it ended up being quite a good book even if by no means great. I see why it has won the Pulitzer Prize though. It is a good description of how rich families in a small town came to be not so important anymore after all, while the town became bigger and bigger. The main character, Georgie Amberson Minafer, is highly unlikeable, but he's so well characterized that I couldn't help but applaud Tarkington's dexterity in writing about this awful young man. All in all, a good read, as I said.


My nominated shelf: 1001

message 10: by Karin (last edited May 19, 2019 12:00PM) (new)

Karin | 795 comments Aargh!!! lost my stuff! Saving before done!

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
4 stars (reread)

I'm not going to cut and paste my old review. Suffice to say that I enjoy this novel more each time I read it. It is at once a parody of novels of that era and a bit prior and metafiction. But it parodies by making the heroine and her circumstances different than what was expected. Once again there is some deft character development, if not quite at the level of her later novels (this was her first one written, but rejected and later rewritten and published).

My nominated shelf: British Authors

message 11: by Karin (last edited May 19, 2019 12:28PM) (new)

Karin | 795 comments Heartless by Marissa Meyer
3 stars

This is the story of how Hearts got its heartless queen whose most famous shout is, "Off with his head!" Catherine starts off as a 17 year old girl who wants to start a bakery with her friend and servant--Cat bakes fabulously and her servant has a head for numbers and business. However, not only do her parents want her to marry the King of Hearts, but he wants her as well because he loves her baking. He is hardly someone a young 17 year old would think of as a husband-old and silly-but she is very attracted to Jest, his mysterious new Jester.

While we all know the very basics of who she ends up with, I won't spoil any of the story for you here, and there is a summary on the book page.

Nomination - I want to second the one from last month, Canadian Author

message 12: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Zaccaria | 85 comments I also read The Other by Thomas Tryon.

The Other by Thomas Tryon


This book is a psychological "horror" (more like drama thriller IMO) about twin boys and the small town they live in. It took me a bit to get into it but overall a successful story with great twists.

I nominate Morocco

message 13: by Paige (new)

Paige (iampaigeb) | 73 comments i read Water For Elephants.

I enjoyed the writing but found the story a little lacking. It dragged on a little to long I felt. Took awhile to get into it but I did connect with the characters. The character development is amazing and you feel like you know them

i rate 4 stars

message 14: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 2 comments I read Fangirl. ★★

message 15: by Karin (last edited May 30, 2019 09:40AM) (new)

Karin | 795 comments I also read Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr by Stephen Michael Shearer 4 stars

Hedy--brilliant and beautiful, but, tragically, her beauty defined a great deal more of her career than her brilliance was allowed to. However, our world today depends a great deal on technology every day that uses something based on her idea and patent, although it wasn't dusted off and actually used until three years after that patent expired--well she got American Composer Antheil to help her. She was inventing right up until the time of her death, although most of her inventions haven't been used. Her career was mishandled by MGM. After seeing what the Nazis did first hand in the 1930s, she fled her controlling first husband and took up an offer to contract with MGM, but during the war when she and other celebrities travelled to sell war bonds, she was frequently able to sell over $1,000,000 dollars in war bonds at a single event.

Brilliance and beauty, however, are not without their costs. Hedy was idolized and adored by her millions of fans worldwide, but she was misunderstood by many close to her. Lamarr possessed physical and mental attributes not often found in one person. And, accordingly, she failed the many normal expectations of others. writes Shearer in the epilogue. He also quotes one of her former co-stars, John Fraser,

She had been fawned upon, indulged and exploited ever since she had reached the age of puberty. Her extraordinary intelligence did not encompass wisdom. How could she have learnt about the values that matter, about kindness and acceptance and laughter, in the Dream Factory that is Hollywood? She had been thrust into the limelight at a pitilessly early age, been devoured by rapactous lovers and producers who saw her ravishing beauty as a ticket to success, and who looked elsewhere when she began to grow older. Beauty and money in moderation are undoubtedly a blessing. In excess, they are surely a curse.

This is a biography worth reading, even if it does spend an awful lot of time discussing films, including ones she didn't get, which, given that I am NOT an old movie buff at all, at times bored me. Even if you have no idea who she is, you benefit from her brilliance every day, and it is worth knowing more about her

I'll be back with a nomination shortly. I am completely irritated because I can't get the one I want because it gets lumped with another that I don't want *(&*(!

message 16: by Bea (last edited Jun 01, 2019 03:38AM) (new)

Bea | 4359 comments Mod
I read Everything I Never Told You and gave it 4*.

This book had me feeling all kinds of things. At first, it seemed simple - a story of a family who has lost a child. Oh, but it is so much more than that. It is the story of each individual in the family who hides so much of themselves from the rest of the family...and each tries to find a way to cope making the family only artificially a family. It is a household of singles...of individuals who are so insular in their own selves that they cannot find a connection to the others. It is also about being mixed race children and a mixed race family. It is about coping with stereotypes. It is not simple.

I nominate Social Issues.

message 17: by Sassafrass (last edited Jun 01, 2019 03:16AM) (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 603 comments I read Repeat by Kylie Scott on 5/29/19 and rated it *4 STARS*

I really enjoyed this one. Loved the way that Clem was herself but better after the attack. I think that she changed but a lot of stuff was still her. Like Ed said, she was 53% different.

I thought that it was obvious who her attacker was and it made me so mad that no one else could figure it out. Talk about screaming at the audiobook.

I loved my girl Andi Ardnt narrating this. She's the awesomest (I know that's not a word), and I will seriously listen to anything she narrates because she's just that good.

There was one small issue with this book and that was the British type slang: going to shops instead of the stores and work mates instead of work friends. Just little things like that would bring me out of the story a bit because they were in Oregon. I know that the author is Australian but I would think an editor would catch some of those things.

I nominate: Girl Power

message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3392 comments Mod
I managed two of my choices from this shelf this month.

First, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
I used it in Pick n Mix and Seriously Serial. I gave it 3 stars. my review here.

I also read The Machine Stops, which has been on my TBR for a very long time, and is on my LOST list for this year. I also found a place for it in Pick n Mix. I gave it 3 stars. My review: This was an intriguing short story. Push to its logical conclusion the use of technology to do everything it can for us, and what will happen? Unlike many science fiction classics published early in the twentieth century, this didn't feel terribly dated to me. It's a quick, enjoyable read.

I add my nomination to those for Asia.

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