January 2016 Reviews

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I love escaping into a book and this month’s books certainly helped me do that! As you will see below I started my new reading plan this month by listening to Pride and Prejudice for the Classic book and reading Reading Lolita in Tehran for the Books from Around the World. These books were a great start and I look forward to seeing where my reading takes me.

Top-5

  1. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  2. Winter by Marissa Meyer
  3. When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  4. The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
  5. Someone Else’s Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts 

Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I listened to this book audibly because I had a hard time getting through it when I started reading it. I was frustrated not only by the old English but by the mom, Mrs. Bennett and her craziness. The audio book forced me to keep at it and the narrator was great although I was still frustrated with the beginning. Sure it was a different time but the idea of marrying off daughters and how she was always talking about money made me crazy and it only got worse when I finally met Mr. Darcy. I was so confused! Anytime anyone ever talked about this book they would swoon and say they loved Mr. Darcy… how? why? He was a jerk!  Well…until he wasn’t and then I was also a fan of Mr. Darcy! This was a great first book to read in my discovery of Classic Books and I recommend reading it if you haven’t. I can definitely see why this is many people’s favorite book. It comes complete with a frustrating mother, crazy sisters, and irritating cousins. I do think she over used Happiness but from what I know of Jane Austen she was obsessed with finding it herself.

Lolita in TehranReading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Over all I enjoyed and liked this book but not sure I would recommend it. It was a slow read, it took me over 2 weeks to read and it was only 356 pages (I can normally read that much in a day or two at the most). I liked reading about the girls and how their lives changed over the years and what it was like to live through first the revolution and then war but I was frustrated with several aspects. One, when the author talked about the books they were reading, it felt like she was writing a dissertation on the books and went into a lot of detail about the book and I wasn’t that interested in that level of detail. Even when she was talking about Pride and Prejudice which I had just finished I found these sections boring so I would skim through most it. (Over 2 weeks to read a book that I skimmed a lot of…not good) Secondly the author didn’t provide the reader with any background. For example, she talked about protesting in America while she was in college but she never explained what she was protesting. Then when the revolution happened I didn’t know who was who or why they were protesting etc… it was so frustrating that I often had to go to Wikipedia to start to understand what was going on. Unfortunately that didn’t help much either so I was left confused and wanting more. I talked to a Persian woman about this and she blamed it on censorship and she said that she thought that the author was writing for people like her, children who left before or during the revolution.  I feel like the author did the world a disservice in not providing more detailed information what was going on and why. Having said all that I did learn a lot and was saddened by many of the events and how the revolution affected women in Iran. I am glad that there women who tried to fight the system and I hope that there always will be.

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Diary of a Single Wedding Planner by Violet Howe – (Chic Lit) Fun fast read for people who find weddings ridiculous but still love to see people get their happily ever after.

The Daughter Claus by D. Thrush – (Chic Lit) If you love Christmas you will love this book but it’s not just about Christmas. It’s about a daughter trying to gain her father’s respect and love, a long distance romance, fun crazy North Pole characters and Rock and Roll. Crazy combination that really works.

Wisteria Witches by Z. Riddle – (Paranormal Cozy Mystery) This has always been my fantasy…I would find out that I am a witch and have magic powers. Another fun fast read with outrageous characters.

Pie Girls by Lauren Clark – (Chic Lit) This book is a lot like it’s title – comfort food.  Another fast read with lovable characters that leaves the reader feeling fulfilled and happy after reading it…just like comfort food does.

Cross Justice by James Patterson – (Mystery) Alex Cross goes home! JP and this series NEVER disappoints me and this book is another home run. In this book it’s personal in more than it’s his family. It’s his whole belief system that is threatened and turned upside down. I couldn’t put it down and I LOVED the ending! If you haven’t read any of this series this wouldn’t be a bad one to read to get a sense for the characters.

Winter by Marissa Meyer – (Young Adult) The final book in the Lunar Chronicles which makes me sad because I loved the new version of our favorite Fairy Tale characters. None of these women were damsel’s in distress though! They all kicked butt along side their heroes.  Great series that I recommend for anyone who loves YA, Chic Lit, Girls Who Kick A$$ and Retelling Fairy Tales.

Murder on the Hill by Kennedy Chase – (Cozy Mystery) Who can’t relate to a girl that does what she needs to do to survive? She’s hard on the outside but has a great heart and is willing to do the right thing especially for people she cares for. Great first book in a series based in London…I could almost hear the accents.

Baby V by Tara Oakes – (Chic Lit) This book was so cute I giggled just thinking about it.  Fun fast read or candy as I like to say…

Those Red Heels by Katherine Hill – (Chic Lit) Sometimes drastic change is needed and it’s even better in a great pair of shoes! Another fun read for forgetting about reality for a while.

Father Found by Judith Arnold – (Chic Lit) First book in the Daddy School series and it was super cute. What does a guy do when he finds a baby on his porch? He goes to Daddy School!

Desperately Ever After by Laura Kenyon – (Retelling Fairy Tales) Very interesting book…Fairy Tales always end with and they lived Happily Ever After but do they really? Marriage is hard and what do you really know about a man you just met with a kiss? If you loved Fairy Tales as a kid but never really believed in the Happily Ever After you will like these books. They are real.

When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde – (Fiction) Somehow I ended up with two books about men who find babies. This one was more serious but I couldn’t put it down. I have always believed that Unconditional Love is the love between a child and a parent and this book is a good example of that. Sometimes you really just want to slap the guy and he makes a lot of mistakes but that’s life. Great book if you need to be reminded about the power of love and forgiveness.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom – (Historical Fiction) In some ways this book reminded me of The Invention of Wings and not only because it’s told from both points of view but because the characters see the injustice and they want to change it. It’s never easy. I liked this book because it also describes how people can be confused about their identity. How do you define yourself? The color of your skin or are you a product of your environment and culture? What if the two don’t equate? Questions people have asked for centuries and probably will continue to ask until we are one color.

All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark – (Mystery) I was so excited when this was finally released!  Second book in the Under Suspicion series which blends reality TV, true crime, sexual tension and family. I love the characters and  I look forward to seeing when MHC takes us.

Someone Else’s Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts – (YA Chic Lit) This is one of those books that surprises you and keeps you reading until 1:30 in the morning on a school night!  Blasted!!

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure – (Historical Fiction) I am always so glad to read books like this. I often wonder if I would have been the person who would stand up to injustice and risk my own safety to help others. Hopefully I will never have to find out. I am glad that there are books like this that show what real courage and love is. If you love Historical Fiction books set around WW2 time you will love this!

The Academy Thief by C.L. Stone – (YA) Another story of a young woman who does what she needs to do to help her family. So what if that includes stealing?  I liked this book and would recommend it if you like YA books but I do have to state that I was irritated with all the kissing! She kissed everyone… It was a little much but maybe it will make sense in the next books.

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs – (NonFiction) Another interesting book that had it’s good and bad. It was interesting to follow his life from Newark to Yale and beyond. Reviews are mixed… I listened to it audibly and liked the narrator.

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