Monday, January 30, 2017

4:120 The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Margaret Lea has lived a simple life working in her father's bookstore and living in the books that are there. She has done some biographical work on people she has found interesting through her readings but nothing that has prepared her for the letter she receives from one of the most elusive writers, Vida Winter.  Ms. Winter has spent her life coming up with stories, not only those she sells as novels but also revolving around her past.  Now she wants to come clean and have the truth be out there and she wants Margaret to be her biographer.  The story she has to tell though is just as fantastical as any tale she could have made up but as Margaret gets drawn deeper and deeper into it, she finds that there are even more secrets than she could have possibly imagined.

I read this for book club as it's not something I generally would have picked up but OMG, I was sucked in almost immediately by the language and then the story itself pulled me in and made it almost impossible to put down.  The twists and turns of the plot were very well done and always there were clues about them but so subtle that you might not even realize it until just before it's being revealed to Margaret.  I think this is one that I will need to reread at some point just so that now knowing, I can see all the lead-ups more clearly and watch the genius of it unfold from a new perspective.

Page count: 406p/977p ytd/276,452p lifetime

Monday, January 16, 2017

3:120 History of US, Vol 3: From Colonies to Country by Joy Hakim

Previous review:

The 3rd book in the History of Us series. This one covered the Revolutionary War and forming of the Constitution. I liked this one better than previous as it seemed to jump around less and we delved more into the people and their influences and what they were trying to accomplish rather than jumping time periods constantly and not knowing when we were.

I definitely do like the flow of this one better as it's more sequential in the telling with some backstory of individuals as they are introduced.  And as always, I enjoy reading the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights knowing what magnificent documents they are.

Page count: 224p/571p ytd/276,046p lifetime

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2:120 One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Dina has received a message that her sister is in trouble and without hesitation she goes to help.  Now besides Caledonia, her only permanent guest, and her chef, she now has her sister and her daughter staying at the Inn and Arland, the vampire whose help she requested, is also staying there and Sean is now hanging around more and more.  Gertrude Hunt, Dina's Inn, is feeling better with more people there but now a guest has come that brings with him danger unlike anything Dina and Gertrude Hunt have ever had to deal with.  It is one of the Hiru, a repulsive smelling being covered in metal armor of some sort.  Their race has been hunted almost to extinction by the Draziri and now there are but a handful left but that handful has saved up enough to find the answer to why the Draziri have done this but they need the sanctuary of Dina and her Inn to do so.  This is quite the tall order, even bigger than the peace conference they hosted but if she can bring them all through it alive, she may get the answer to her biggest question as well: "What happened to her parents?"  It's an answer that is worth the price.

Page count: 257p/347p ytd/275,822p lifetime

Monday, January 2, 2017

1:120 Zombie's Bite by Karen Chance

Dory feels like she has finally lucked out with this contract for a Vampire Senate.  It's taken her awhile but she has finally tracked down her mark to New Orleans but before she can get a fix on him, he's in her room and killing himself.  Now she has to figure out why and what is going on before his master finds her and kills her.  Things just got a lot less easy...

This takes place before the Dorina books.  I've found that I like her stories better than the Cassandra Palmer ones and this was no exception.  I just generally like Dory better and I hope that Ms. Chance plays more with her moving forward.

Page count: 90p/90p ytd/275,565p lifetime

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Recap and 2017 Goals

Well, for the first time in a long time I didn't make any of my reading goals last year.  It was a weird year for me and books.  First, there were some really long ones for the boys' school and those kind of slogged me down.  Second, there were a couple of trips that meant more family time but less reading.  Lastly, I'm not sure what happened over the summer but I think it had a lot to do with hanging out with friends who were in town and doing a lot of work around not only our house but also a friend's.  Add all of that together along with doing a lot of Pokewalking instead of reading while kids are at activities and it meant a real decrease in my reading.  I'm a bit bummed and I tried hard in the last couple of months to make it happen but with the holidays and my being in a bit of funk for personal reasons, well, it just didn't happen.  I did get in 109 out of 120 books read, 32 out of 40 new authors, and only 26,318p out of 40,000 so it's not like I didn't read anything and there were some great books in there so there is that.

The other metric I look at is where my to-read pile is.  Shelfari is no more so it's just looking at where my Goodreads list was now compared to a year ago.  Last year it actually went down for the first time and I started 2016 with just 1325 on my to-read list there.  This year, that number is up to 1351 but again, with the my reading down that's not horribly surprising.  My big goal with this is to just keep it from climbing too much. :)

My other goals stay the same.  120 books, 40 new authors, and I'm going to try for 40,000 pages again.  Not sure how this will go this year for many reasons but it's something to shoot for.