Tuesday, January 31, 2017
January 2017 in Books
My book list is a little lighter this month. Not as much free time as I had over the holidays, but some great reads this month and quite a variety too. As always I'm curious to know what you're reading, if you've read/liked any of these, or any of the other books from previous lists. Hope this gives you some ideas!
Ladies' Night - by Mary Kay Andrews - Fiction - 5 stars - I enjoyed this like I enjoy all Mary Kay Andrews' books. Great characters, funny, good plot. The premise was also interesting since the heroine is a professional blogger, not that I'm a professional blogger, but it was fun to read about the things she considers in a post, photos, etc. Anyway, she finds out that her husband is cheating on her and then proceeds to drive his sports car into their pool. He manages her business and then proceeds to lock her out of her house, blog, etc.
X - by Sue Grafton - Detection - 5 stars - I've read this whole series, although the first several books were actually listened to via books on CD. I really enjoy the character and how Grafton can weave together a variety of threads in the story as well as plots with threads that stretch back many years. It's the same old same old here, but I happen to enjoy that same old.
Leviathan - by Scott Westerfeld - Juvenile Science Fiction - 4 stars - This is one of Ellie's Battle Books for the next competition that will take place in May. It's a really interesting plot - a what-if scenario based on WWII, but the Allies, or Darwinians have experimented for many years creating half animal/half machine creatures that are used for weapons, aircraft, vehicles, etc. Whereas the Axis powers have developed amazing machines they use for warfare and whatnot. The book follows the son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand who must flee when his father and mother are assassinated. I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but I really enjoyed how this melded sci-fi and historical fiction.
Luck, Love & Lemon Pie - by Amy E. Reichert - Fiction - 3 stars - I saw this on the New bookshelf at the library and as I had really enjoyed her previous book (The Coincidence of Coconut Cake) brought it home. It was just so so. To me the plot and characters were just not as compelling or likable. A bit of a disappointment.
The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History - by Thomas Harding - Non-fiction - 4 stars - A really interesting premise, it focuses on a weekend home just outside of Berlin built by a Jewish family and how it was passed from one family to another after they had to flee. It was particularly interesting that the lake the house was on was on the line of the Berlin wall, so the house was in the East German zone, with the wall built just steps away from the edge of the lake. This was a little bit dry and, for me, a little too much prelude about the land before the house was even built, but a really interesting read in the end.
The Rosie Effect - by Graeme Simsion - Fiction - 5 stars - I read the Rosie Project last year or the year before and really enjoyed it, so I was happy to see this sequel. Rosie and Don are now living in NYC, and Rosie is pregnant. This is not part of Don's plan, and his studied reaction to it are just as funny and amusing as in the original.
The Edge of Lost - by Kristina McMorris - Fiction - 5 stars - I loved this book. It's a wonderful story about love, friendship, and family. Shan Keagan is sailing for the U.S. from Dublin with his uncle. When his uncle passes away on the ship, Shan thinks he'll be sent back, but the family of a boy he met on the boat agrees to pass him off as one of theirs and he enters the U.S. and in fact becomes part of their family.
Trail of Broken Wings - by Sejal Hadani - Fiction - 5 stars - This was a hard book to read. It's about an Indian American family that has suffered through domestic violence. The family has been fractured for a long time, but comes together when the father falls into a coma. It shows how the domestic violence has affected each of the members, there's a great deal of bad/sad, but hope as well.
The Terrible Two Get Worse - by Mac Barnett and Jory John - Juvenile Fiction - 4 stars - The sequel to one of Ellie's Battle Books from the last battle. Ellie really enjoyed it and wanted to read the next book. This one wasn't as good as the first, but Ellie really enjoyed some of the pranks from this book. A good read for kids.
Mariel of Redwall - by Brian Jacque - Juvenile Fiction - 4 stars - Redwall was another of Ellie's Battle books from last session. This is the third Redwall book I've read (there are a ton of them), and I continue to enjoy them. I'm guessing they all follow somewhat the same rubric, where there is some group putting the Abbey in danger, and the residents must protect themselves and thwart the attacks. At the same time there is a hero/heroine and a quest. It's a tried and true formula, and this is a series with clear heroes and villains suitable for upper elementary/middle school students.