January Reading Wrap Up


Since my buying ban  is in effect, I read 11 physical books and 9 ebooks for a total of 7690 pages which equals 248 pages a day.  I read during breakfast, lunch, while on the treadmill, and after dinner. We don't watch much television and reading is as necessary as breathing to me.  

The longest book was Aeronaut's Windlass and the shortest was the novella The Pale Dreamer.  My rating system is a mishmash of goodreads and others.  

5 star - Loved the author, and will read anything they publish. Loved the story line, loved the characters.  Couldn't put it down. Made me think. Will read it again. 

4 star - Liked the story.  Liked the characters. Reread 

3 star - Okay story. 

2 star - Meh - disappointed or irritated by characters, storyline, or author's writing. 

1 star - DNF - Not my cup of tea at all, didn't want to continue reading, waste of my time. 

Lyssa Kay Adams - Undercover Bromance  ***  Characters were juvenile for their age. (Men read romance, sexual harassment, justice, 348, e)

Sara Nisha Adams - The Reading List  **** New to me author and look forward to reading more. A story about friendship and grief. A teenage girl working in library for the summer and an elderly gentleman form a friendship over books. Someone, to be revealed later, left a list of books where three different people found them with the note “Just in case you need it” and each book turned out to relate to their life and help them, somehow, someway for the better. Although I’ve already read some of the books, now I want to read them all, keeping in mind the life lessons learned by the characters in the story. A goal for this year, or maybe next. We’ll see how it goes.  (Books, friendship, grief, 373)

Sarah Addison Allen - Other Birds  ***  Coming off of Garden Spells, Other Birds didn't tug on my emotion strings as much as the Waverley's. The characters were poignant, all experiencing abandonment or other issues which affected their lives. As they work through invisible pigeons, ghosts, neglect, grief, and loss, the characters come together to form a family. I'll have to read it again when I can appreciate the story and not compare it to another book.     (Magical realism, South Carolina, Grief, romance, birds, 290)

Marie Brennan - Tropic of Serpents #2 Lady Trent *****  Lady Trent is fascinating and enjoyed the world building and the science and her efforts to discover all she could about dragons. Whether she is navigating the male centric Victorian society to learning from the Moulish natives of Eriga, she puts her all into it. From assimilating into the culture of the palace to living with the native Indians in the swamp land of Green Hell. I love how the Moulish force her to face herself when they make her go through a purification right when she has a string of bad luck and how the guardian of the eggs puts her to the test. And her strength and ingenuity in her test to prove to Yeyuama she could be trusted to protect the dragon eggs. She is continually learning and may stumble, but she'll get right back up again, and forge onward. (Historical Fantasy, Victorian, Dragons, Green Hell, Natives, 331)

Brendan Slocumb - Violin Conspiracy ****  A mystery thriller set in New York and Europe centered around the theft of Ray's Stradivarius. Ray grieves the loss of his violin and possibly the end of his music career, his life and struggles to get where he is presently is revealed in flashbacks of his greedy family, the racism he experiences, his joy of classical music, and the competitive nature of musicians.  (334, e)

R.F. Kuang - Babel: An Arcane History *****  Once I started reading, couldn't put it down. The etymology discussions, how the characters related to the world around them, how the characters grew in knowledge, the choices they made, some good, some bad, the heart wrenching decisions. All of it combined to create a story that made me think and how it related to today's world and why people do the things they do.  (Historical Fantasy, dystopian, oxford, etymology, racism, theme of the week - cliffhanger, 544, e)

Samantha Shannon - The Bone Season #1 / The Pale Dreamer novella  ****  A dystopian world in which magic thrives behind the scenes, but is persecuted by the world. Aliens has taken over an alternative oxford, allowed by the government as a deterrent to an even greater threat. The aliens serve as prison keepers for the magically inclined.  Dark despair pervades the entire story.  (Aliens, magic vs non magic, alternative Oxford, theme of the week  - dystopian, 480, e)

Jenny Colgan - The Bookshop on the Corner **** Charming story about a young woman who takes on the adventure of moving to a new place and starting a book mobile. (Scotland, UK, 368, e)

Ashley Poston  - The Dead Romantics  ****  Another charming story about a ghostwriter who falls in love with a ghost. (Books, ghostwriter, grief, crows, 368)

J.D. Robb - Random in Death #58 In Death series  *****  (Futuristic thriller, murder, police procedural, 368)

J.T. Ellison - Lie to Me *****  Finally dove into the story which lead to me reading every spare minute. Fast paced, psychological thriller and would have never guessed who caused Sutton's and Ethan's marriage to implode. They were both to blame, yet there was someone else hiding in the shadows pulling all their strings. Thrill ride of a story with so many twists and turns, it will make you dizzy.  (Psychological thriller, lots of twists and turns, 413)

Emily St. John Mandel - Sea of Tranquility  **  Unlike any time travel book I’ve read in which it seemed all nonsensical and flat.    (Post apocalyptic, time travel, Writer, covid, 272) 

Evie Woods - The Lost Bookshop  **** four characters, dual timelines, how the past affects the present, abusive relationships, what is real and what is not, learning to trust again.  (Magical realism, dual timelines historical and present, books, England, Ireland, USA,  444, e)

Sulari Gentill - The Woman in the Library ****  A mystery within a mystery set in Boston with so many twists and turns , the characters don't know who to trust. (Mystery thriller, Boston, murder, deceit, books, 292)

Haruki Murakami - Sputnik Sweetheart  *****  I love Murakami and he always leaves me with something to think about. This one more so than others. The same themes rewritten in a different way: Cats, music, love, loss, life. The ending isn't quite so clear cut or is it?    (Author of the month, magical realism, Japan, love lost, 224, e)


Jim Butcher - Aeronauts Windlass #1 Cinder Spires **** Reread before start Olympian Affair. Just as good the second time around. An epic fantasy involving magic and technology combined, airship battles, talking cats, strange characters, and etheric forces.  (Dusty reread, 781)

Jenna Black  - Dark Descendant ***  Reread while on treadmill involving demi gods, immortality, private eyes, and good versus evil.  Don't think I'll reread the rest of the series again. (336, e)

Karen Rose - Count to Ten  *** * Reread of a mystery thriller revolving around an arson investigator and a police detective.  (Mystery thriller, Chicago, Illinois, romance, murder, Theme of the week - Fire, 563)

Dean Koontz - Odd Thomas ****  Odd Thomas is a quirky character who sees dead people and tries to stop the bad guys.  (Supernatural thriller, 435, e)

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