February 18, 2016

February Reading Roundup

My reading habits took a real nosedive in December, and it took me a much longer time than usual to get back in gear. Weirdly I was reading the 3rd Cormoran Strike mystery when this happened, and last year I had a very similar experience after reading the 2nd. It isn't exactly a book hangover, where the book was so.good. and I can't bear to start anything new...it's almost as if the world Galbraith/Rowling creates draws me in completely, but is just a little too gritty for me and I need some recovery time. I will have to pay attention to what happens when book 4 comes out!

Now on to the highlights of what I've been reading since December:

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Aside from my odd reaction after finishing it, this is a very good mystery. Much of the story is character driven, and I loved seeing more of the story from Robin's perspective. It's gritty, but not as gory as the 2nd in the series. (And you should absolutely listen to Rowling's interview on NPR too!)

The Fellowship of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

 While I've read the Hobbit and seen the movies multiple times, I realiezed I had never read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I kept getting stuck on all that singing. I started this as something to read before bed, but it didn't take long before I was staying up for "just one more chapter" which is always a sign that I'm hooked! I'm working my way through The Two Towers now.

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

The second in the Inspector Gamache novels. If you are someone who stays away from mystery series with the idea that they are very one-dimensional, Penny's series is the one to change your mind. Gamache is a Montreal based Police Inspector who gets called out to the tiny village of Three Pines to solve another murder. In contrast to the first book, no one mourns this victim. There is so much depth of character in these books-even for the bit players.

Lovable Livable Home by Sherry and John Petersik

The couple behind Young House Love is back with their second book (and even a few recent blog posts). This one is less DIY projects, and more inspiration on making your home work with kids, pets, etc. I like that they used a variety of families and houses to illustrate their themes, which did make it feel a little more relate-able than other design books, but it also isn't as memorable as some others I've read. 

Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal

Maggie Hope is back, and in America for the first time since the WWII began. I enjoyed this one, particularly the contrast of England and America in 1941. I do feel that this book does a lot more wrapping up certain plot points to make way for future books, so it doesn't work as a stand-alone. However, MacNeal has found her writing groove in the series and several more characters are coming to life the way the core group did in the early books. I'm very curious to see what Maggie gets up to next...

The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill

For the Reading Together Family Exploration Book Club, this is a great read-aloud chapter book. It tells the tale of a small village in Alaska that is trying to keep the one-room school afloat. Told from the perspective of one of the students, the whole town changes (in a good way) when a new teacher arrives. It's a sweet story with some great meat for discussions. 

The Father Christmas Letters by JRR Tolkien

Each year while his children were young, Tolkien wrote them a letter from Father Christmas. The letters tell stories about his life at the North Pole and are beautifully illustrated. The edition I got at the library was less than 100 pages, but I've since realized there is a longer edition around. The short version was so charming that I'm going to need to get the other one before the holidays roll around this year. 

Linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy for Quick Lit. Check it out for more book recommendations!

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