Maybe Matilda: Catching Up: January 2016 Reading Recap

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Catching Up: January 2016 Reading Recap

I've noticed over the past few years that I have a pattern of reading quite a bit in January each year -- I think it's a combination of post-holiday recovery, new year motivation, and a determination to leave the house as little as possible during this bitter cold month. (That last one is huge.)

 My total for January was 9 books, and let's all cross our fingers for me that I can keep this kind of pace going throughout the year!

the sense of an ending book review

I chose this short 150-pager to fulfill the 'read in a day' category on my Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 reading challenge. Tony Webster, divorced, retired, and living quietly alone, is forced to recall his past and consider the inaccuracies of memory when a lawyer's letter dredges up former friends and past events that he's nearly forgotten. Lots of navel-gazing and ponderous passages that I couldn't figure out the point of. One haughty, hateful character is constantly telling Tony with great derision that he "doesn't get it, and never will." Ironically, that's exactly how I felt about this book: I don't get it, and I never will.

the winter people

I picked this up on Cassie's recommendation. The mysterious death of Sara Harrison Shea in 1908 after her daughter's unexpected death has haunted a small town in Vermont. In the present, Sara's farmhouse is occupied by 19-year old Alice and her young sister, who find a hidden copy of Sara's diary and are sucked into the mystery of Sarah's life, paranormal beliefs, and gruesome death. This is deliciously creepy. I loved the suspense, as well as the back-and-forth between Sara's life and the modern storyline. There were hints dropped that I expected to come into play later (that didn't), and some unanswered questions, but overall, really fun.

Somebody needs to take on the task of giving Georgette Heyer's novels the fun covers they deserve, because really, that cover just makes me sad. After failing to fall in love with Edenbrooke in December, I was dying for another Regency romance. This one fit the bill wonderfully. Frederica (who considers herself an unmarriageable spinster at 24) has brought her three siblings to London to launch her beautiful sister Charis into society. She convinces her cold-hearted bachelor cousin Alverstoke to take on this task, and they find themselves falling in love. I wouldn't have complained if the romance was taken up like 10 notches, but still, this is an absolute delight.

the lake house book review

KATE. EFFING. MORTON. I've been eagerly awaiting this novel for so long and I was so thrilled with it. Baby Theo vanished without a trace from his family's idyllic lakeside estate, and his family has never stopped grieving. Decades later, his older sister (now a successful mystery author) is approached by a young detective determined to uncover the mysteries of the crumbling, abandoned estate that the family fled after Theo's disappearance. Kate Morton at her best -- I absolutely loved it.

the great gily hopkins book review

Another book chosen to fulfill a category in the MMD challenge, this time a book being made into a movie this year (you can watch the trailer HERE). Gilly is a foster kid who's been shuffled from home to home, all the while dreaming of the day her mother will arrive to take her home. She's prickly and lonely and rude, but things start to turn around when she arrives at the home of Miss Trotter (not sure on spelling here, as I listened to the audio). This was so-so for me, but I fully expect to like the movie better than the book. I'm curious to see if they'll give the movie a nice tied-with-a-bow Hollywood ending, rather than the uncertain and uneasy book ending.

love walked in book review

I read this book years and years ago, and reread it after picking it up in January for $1 at a used bookstore. Cornelia's life changes forever when the handsome Martin Grace enters her cafe and sweeps her off her feet. Across town, 11-year old Clare leaves home in search of her lost father after being abandoned by her mother. Cornelia and Clare's lives collide, and they form a sweet friendship. I have some complaints, but I love de los Santos' writing style, and really enjoyed rereading this. And I needed more of her, so I read 2 more novels by the same author later in the month.

One month into 2016, and I can already tell you this one is going to be on my 'best of the year' book list. I'll admit, I've been avoiding this book, despite hearing so many rave reviews. I worried it might shatter me, as WWII books so often do. And it did--I have been fully and completely shattered. But it was so worth it. This novel about two sisters struggling to survive in Nazi-occupied France is both heartbreaking and beautiful. I can hardly even decide what to say about it, because nothing I say will do it justice, so I guess I'll just leave it at that.

I needed something zippy after being destroyed by The Nightingale, so I went in for more de los Santos. This middle grade (I think?) novel starts with Margaret's father being sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit. Margaret must use her family's secret powers of time travel to go back in time to change the life of the corrupt judge who sentenced her father, and prevent the chain of events that led to him growing into an embittered, cold-hearted man. I listened to the audio and struggled to pay attention--I can't say I found this too riveting, but at least I wasn't crying over The Nightingale anymore.

Still recovering from The Nightingale and the prescription is more de los Santos. This is my favorite of hers so far. Taisy's father is a breathtaking jerk who left his family for a beautiful young artist. After 17 years with hardly any contact, he reemerges in Taisy's life to request that she come visit him, his wife, and beautiful teenage daughter Willow, to help him write his memoir. I loved this and could hardly put it down. It's funny and lovable, but also hits on some heavy (and downright creepy) topics without feeling morose.

What have you read lately?

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...