May 14, 2014

Reading Roundup (May 2014 edition)

Several of the books I read this month were for my local book club, because I realized deadlines are one thing that will sour me on a book faster than anything else. I am notorious for finishing my book club picks at the last minute (my record is 10 minutes before our meeting started), so I decided to read ahead a bit. 

I realize this is pressure I put on myself, especially since I have a lovely book group and no one cares if you don't finish the book. But then again, I rarely finished a college paper more than a day before it was due and I still write my blog posts right before I publish them! 

Now that I'm in my thirties I finally realized I just need to roll with this aspect of my personality rather than worry about it!

I love to connect with other like minded readers so feel free to look me up on Goodreads where you can see my current reads-I'm in the middle of some good ones right now :) 

This is quasi-local history for me right now as much of the story takes place around the Red River just to our south. This is a fascinating story of how the Comanche tribe changed after the horse arrived and the history of the war with white settlers. This is quite bloody, so if you are squeamish you may want to skip it. Gwynne perfectly describes one of those moments in history where there are no heroes and no glorious victories. 

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

I've now read all of Susanna Kearsley's back catalog. Sniff, sniff! Now I'll just have to start re-reading them all :) That being said, this one wasn't my favorite. I loved the set-up-modern day Julia keeps stumbling on a big old grey stone house and eventually buys it because she knows it's her house. She begins to have flashbacks of the life of Mariana, who lived in the house centuries before. She needs to solve the puzzle of Mariana's life before she can move forward with her own. I love a good "house story" but the end was a little out of left field for me…that didn't stop me from devouring the whole thing in two days though. 

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

My book club chose to read this because we read The Paris Wife a few months ago and this is Hemingway's version of the story. I haven't read anything by him in years so I wasn't sure what to expect. This is a series of vignettes and I enjoyed some but was bored by others. In a way, it really makes me want to read other "classics" that I missed in high school now that I'm an adult because I can appreciate them on a whole different level. That whole deadline thing was a problem for me back then too :) 

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

I was afraid that this would never live up to the hype, but I needn't have worried. I couldn't put this down! My children may have watched an extra movie or two so that I could keep reading. The story of two friends in New York City in the late 1930s and how a chance encounter at a jazz club changes their future. Go pick this one up…but don't expect to get much done until you finish it!

Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen

Lady Georgiana Rannoch is 35th in line for the British throne in the 1920s and is trying to avoid life as a lady-in-waiting to an elderly dowager or marriage to an unpleasant foreign prince. This is the seventh book in the series, and they are always entertaining, quick reads. Bowen is a witty writer with an eye for a good mystery. Start with the first in this series, Her Royal Spyness or check out one of her other mystery series starring Evan Evans or Molly Murphy.  

Linking up as always with Twitterature over at Modern Mrs. Darcy, where you will find lots of great book recommendations!

What have you been reading lately?

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  1. Ana @ Lessons From YesterdayMay 14, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    I loved Rules of Civility too! And there's a spinoff/sequel--Eve in Hollywood on Kindle--I haven't read it, but I bet it's good. I just put Mariana on hold. :-)

  2. I love the Her Royal Spyness mystery series. They're a great break for me in between heavier fiction reads. I really enjoyed The Twelve Clues of Christmas. I haven't read any of Bowen's other series, but I may pick them up since I'm nearly caught up with this set.

    The only Susanna Kearsley novel I've read is The Winter Sea, which I really enjoyed and which made me want to check out other fiction titles set in Scotland. Which of her books have been your top favorites?

  3. You're making me want to read The Rules of Civility! :)

  4. Ooh - Rules of Civility sounds right up my alley.

  5. Rules of civility is next on my list! LOVE books that you just can't put down. Hoping it is not a long waiting list at the library :)

  6. Oh I hope it's a short wait! I'm hosting it for my local book club in June and I can't wait-it's going to make for a good discussion!

  7. Yes! I kind of want to shout from the rooftops that everyone should read it. It wasn't quite what I expected (in the best possible way) and i wonder if that's why I liked it so much. Let me know what you think if you give it a try!

  8. Ooh! Thanks for the heads up! I'll have to track that down. Let me know what you think of Mariana, and look into some of the other Kearsley novels if you like it!

  9. I really enjoyed The Twelve Clues of Christmas too! Holiday novels can sometimes be really disappointing but she did a great job with it. Fun to see Noel Coward as a character :)

    As for Kearsley I really enjoyed The Shadowy Horses and The Winter Sea. The Firebird continues those two stories in a way, and I enjoyed it as well. Oh and the Rose Garden is another favorite!

  10. Excellent! Just make sure you don't have to get anything accomplished once you start it :)

  11. I love Susanna Kearsley! I'm reading one of her other books now.

  12. Isn't she great? Which one are you reading?


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