Every year, I give in and participate in Goodreads’ Annual Reading Challenge. This year, I went with 40 books since I failed the 2014 challenge to read 45. Here’s what I have devoured this year:
- Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School)I figured I’d start with a familiar book and was in the mood for light and fluffy. This hit the spot. I found it to be a really fun YA book and enjoyed the concept of girls training as spies and boys as evil geniuses. Bonus Points: My son read it and loved it.
- A Fighting ChanceGreat book! I love her writing style and I am on the same page as her with the issues. I found her work to be super fascinating to read about as well as her path to Congress. I really, really like her and hope her story and her experience motivates more women to get involved in politics.
- The Ghost Brigades (Old Man’s War)I actually had to go back and re-read Old Man’s War because I forgot absolutely everything I read in that book when I read it two years ago. Some serialized books, that’s not necessary but I felt that with this one, it was. It was as fun a read the second time around even as some of hte twists and turns came back to my brain. I have the next three books in this series and do plan on getting to those this year.
- Lock InYou know what you read when you finish a book by Jon Scalzi? Another book by Jon Scalzi. This one was actually a bok for my Book Club and I really enjoyed it. One thing that we agreed on in our discussion was that this book could have gone way deeper. This first book felt a bit shallow as far as development is concerned. Scalzi has some AMAZING ideas in here and this book went SUPER fast. It was definitely the kind of book you’d wish you could really immerse yourself into a bit more which is interesting given what the book is about.
- Lost in Temptation (Regency Chase Family Series, Book 1)Thanks to Nicole and Maggie, 2015 will likely be the year of the Regency Romance. These books are like potato chips– you can’t read just one. This was the first book of this kind I’ve read and it was good enough to set me off in search of more like it, which I did largely by perusing this post by Nicole and Maggie.
- The Book of Life (All Souls)I read book one in November 2012. I read book two in May 2013. This one got read in March 2015. Overall, it’s completely entertaining. I couldn’t put it down once it really got revving. I did have a hard time with the beginning because it has been a couple of years since I had read book two but necessary things clicked into place well enough. These books are just so massive that I really think they’re best read together in one go instead of spaced years apart. I feel like I missed things and probably would have felt more satisfied with the ending had I read them back to back. I think authors who write these mega stories don’t realize how easy it is for readers to lose track for the stories or to even have their feelings for characters change and fade. The authors live with these characters and stories. It’s different for readers especially for readers like me who just aren’t big into re-reading. I say go for it but try and get them all read in the same year.
- Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School)We continued with Gail Carriger’s Finishing School and continue to be highly entertained. I think my son read this one in one single day. I’m enjoying the characters as they get older and progress through their training. Such a fun series. This reminds me that I need to request the third one!
- Simply Perfect (Simply Quartet)A thing that happens to me when I randomly pick up books at libraries is that I sometimes have a tough time telling if a story is part of a series and where it’s place in a series is. This is what happened when I picked up Simply Perfect. That being said, it didn’t matter AT ALL that this is the 4th book in a series and I’ve read not one of them. The Regency Romance continues with this one. Sometimes, you’re in the mood for unlikely characters, plot twists, and unrealistic happy endings. Sometimes you want to indulge in a world that is simply perfect because the one we live in isn’t. And when that is what you crave, a book like this hits the spot.
- More than a MistressMORE REGENCY ROMANCE! This one was pretty fun and extra unlikely and extra scandalous because of the plot twist in it. I highly recommend this one for reading in a hammock, or a bathtub, or in a bed on a stormy day. Might also be fun on a plane but I don’t know because I haven’t been on one of those in years so I’m out of touch.
- No Man’s MistressYou know what’s better than one Regency Romance novel in a book? TWO REGENCY ROMANCE NOVELS IN THE SAME BOOK. The story continues with MORE scandalous behavior from this crew. There was a great quote in this one that I’m sad I didn’t write down. The female character says something like “We are not respectable, but we are respected.” That pretty much sums up the funness of this cast of characters perfectly.
- Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers)Apparently Regency Romances are highly contagious. As somewhat of a joke, I tossed this one as a suggestion at our Book Club meeting and it WON! My friends are cooler than yours. This by far was the steamiest of the Regency books I’ve read. Like WHOA MOMMA aren’t you totally improper right now? This one was by far my favorite. The main character was buckets of fun. The sexy stuff was tres sexy. While I do have another Mary Balogh waiting for me on my nightstand, I can tell you that I am MOST interested in reading more by Sarah MacLean.
- Bite Me: A Love StoryThis is another situation where I wandered through the library and found this book and was like, “OK I’ve read Christopher Moore, let’s read more.” And then when I logged onto Goodreads to tell the world how I felt about it, I found out it’s book 3 of a series. So, the thing with this book is that for the first several pages I doubted my ability to read it. The main character is Abby Normal who is a perky goth teenager. The book is written from her POV and it’s um overwhelming to deal with at first– especially as there is an attempt to catch a reader up in a rapid fire manner. I’ll probably maybe try and read the others in the series because I do appreciate how ridiculous Moore’s books are.
- CarameloSo, the second time I went into the library for a stroll I took a different approach. This time, I opened my Goodreads app on my phone, pulled up my To-Read list which is way too long for life, sorted it by author, and went to the Fiction section. I started with A and went through looking specifically for female or non-white male authors because I really do enjoy diversity in my reading selections and it’s easy to get stuck reading a bunch of white guys. This is the first book I read from this trip and boy am I thrilled to bits. Really beautiful story that is truly woven masterfully. There are lots of layers, lots of designs. So much ties together, and often in subtle ways that don’t really occur to you right away. They’re more like an after taste if you will. This is the kind of book that reminds me a great story is wonderful but a great story that is beautifully written is a treasure.
- The AlchemistAnother book from my library quest, this is one I’ve waited too long to read and am so glad that I finally did. This is seriously a modern classic. I read this in one sitting pretty much. It’s a perfect story and one that I would LOVE to own because I feel like the re-readability is high as heck on this one with lots of pretty things to find every time. Great, inspiring quotes abound in this one. Give this to someone who is lost. It will light the way.
- The Secret Life of Bees This one is another from by recent library quest. I’m glad I’m finally getting to these. Apparently, this one has been sitting in my To-Read list since 2011!! I liked this one as well. It’s a really pretty story, the kind of book you can easily drink in on a lazy day- maybe in a hammock with some iced tea.
Right now, I’m reading Middlesex which is another book that has been sitting on my To-Read list for way too long. This came from my library quest as well and even though I don’t think the author counts as a non-white author, I felt that the simple fact the main character was intersex made it worth adding to my list. I’m not too far into it and have found that I’m not as entralled as I thought that I might be. I’m actually in the part of the book where things are weird with the grandparents. I’ve been reading it in slow bites although I’m totally intrigued.
What are you reading?? Have you recently read anything totally awesome that I should add to my list?