Monday, May 30, 2022

More Books Read in 2022

In my last post, which was more than 3 months ago, I said I hoped to actually write some reviews.  Well, it's not happening with this post.  So I am going to do what I did back in February and list the books I've read, along with the ratings, in the order I read them.  Here we go:

The Magnolia Palace - Fiona Davis - 3.75 (my 1st, but not my last, Davis) 
Dark Obsessions - Marie Sutro - 3.25 (book 2 in the series - lots of tense moments)
Until We Meet - Camille de Maio - 4.0 (my 1st one in 2022)
Better to Trust - Heather Frimmer - 3.25 (recommended to me - solid)
Home Front - Kristin Hannah - 4.0 (2 out of the last 3! - see what I meant from my last post?)
The Sweet Life - Suzanne Woods Fisher - 3.5 (a fun novel about opening up an ice cream shop)
The Authenticity Project - Clare Pooley - 3.75 (very unique concept that definitely worked)
The Bride Wore Constant White - Shelley Adina - 3.0 (all of her books are entertaining)

People, keep in mind that anything 3.0 or higher is a good read. Whatever my own quirky reasons are for the ratings I give, it does not reflect on the author.  In my opinion, if I rate a book 3.0+, then it's well worth reading.  You can also go on Goodreads and see what the average rating is for these books.  For example, Marie Sutro's Dark Obsessions has a cumulative rating of 4.44/5 (I've always gone with the 4 scale). That is super high.

See you down the road for my next blog post.


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Books Read so far in 2022

Okay, this is totally pathetic.  I think I have good excuses for not writing any posts.  But does anybody really care what my excuses are?  More to the point, does anybody care that I haven't written any posts?!  Well, I'm not going to start now.  However, I am going to post what I've read with some ratings.  Let me preface the list by saying that I have read some good books so far this year.  But nothing has been above a 3.5/4.  I'm sure that will change; especially since I had 15 books at 3.75 or higher in 2021...and 6 of them were 4.0 or higher (1-4.0+ and 1-4.25)!

Here they are:

The Secret of Snow - Viola Shipman - 3.5 (a 4.25/4 for The Clover Girls!)
He Gets That from Me - Jacqueline Friedland - 3.5 (our RBC author in February)
The Match - Harlen Coben - 3.25 (a little low for a Coben)
The Last House on the Street - Diane Chamberlain - 3.5 (always good - 3.5 is on the low end for her)
Unforgettable in Love - Jennifer Skully/Bella Andre - 3.25 (book 7 - I like them all)
Slay the Dragon - William McGinnis - 2.75 (interesting look at China)
Surviving the Second Tier - M.K. Lever - 2.75 (unique premise)

That's it, folks.  I hope to write some real reviews down the road.  But, unfortunately, I can't make any promises.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

New Authors in 2021

Good news - this is my LAST post about 2021.  Here is a list of new authors for me this past year:

Kevin Schewe
Catherine Ryan Hyde
Susan Wiggs
Helen Fisher
Susan Meissner
Alison Littman
Andrea Dunlop
Bob Boylan
Sejal Badani
Alex Michaelides
Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb
Colin Whitehead
Eric Kasum & Michael N. Smith
Sanjay Prasad
Ed Duncan
Jaime Lynn Hendricks
Martha Hall Kelly
Sam Subity
Scott A. Shay
Christopher Taunton
Amy Mason Doan
Tasha Alexander
Stephanie Dray
Gail Tsukiyama
Beverly Jenkins
Alka Joshi
Maryles Casto
Lucy Leonelli

28 out of 61 - 46% 

3.5s and up for 2021

Here is the list of books that are 3.5 and up for 2021, IMHO:

4.25 - 
The Clover Girls - Viola Shipman (yes, I know that 4.0 is supposed to be my highest rating)

4.0+ -
The Rose Code - Kate Quinn (see the 4.25 above)

4.0 - 
Three Words for Good-Bye - Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb
Peeps - Erin Gordon
The Women of Chateau Lafayette - Stephanie Dray
The Pilot's Daughter - Meredith Jaeger

3.75 -
The Lost and Found Bookshop - Susan Wiggs
The Four Winds - Kristin Hannah
The Storyteller's Secret - Sejal Badani
Lilac Girls - Martha Hall Kelly
The Forest of Vanishing Stars - Kristin Harmel
The Samurai's Garden - Gail Tsukiyama
What the Lady Wants - Renee Rosen
The Other Einstein - Marie Benedict
A Year in the Life - Lucy Leonelli

3.625 -
The Younger Wife - Sally Hepworth (yes, I know that this is an odd rating)

3.5 -
Posing Naked - Betty Auchard
Have You Seen Luis Vellez? - Catherine Ryan Hyde
Winter Garden - Kristin Hannah
Faye, Faraway - Helen Fisher
The Nature of Fragile Things - Susan Meissner
We Came Here to Forget - Andrea Dunlop
How to Save a Life - Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
The People We Keep - Allison Larkin
The World Played Chess - Robert Dugoni
The Henna Artist - Alka Joshi
Heard It in a Love Song - Tracey Garvis Graves
Shattered - C. Lee McKenzie

I've got 2 other 3.5s that I read for my job as a professional reviewer for a publicist.  The reason I am listing these separately is that they are not novels.  One is inspirational, and the other is historical:

4 Ideas with Actionable Wisdom - Bob Boylan
100 of the Worst Ideas in History - Michael Smith & Eric Kasum

Get reading, people!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Books in 2021

Here is the list of books read for 2021.  Coincidentally I read the same number of books in 2021 that I read in 2020 - 61.  My page count is lower, though.  I went from 20,500 to approx. 19,000.  No complaints here.  And...voila:

Posing Naked - Betty Auchard - 3.5

Bad Love Beyond - Kevin Schewe - 3.0

Have You Seen Luis Velez? - Catherine Ryan Hyde - 3.5

The Lost and Found Bookshop - Susan Wiggs - 3.75

Before She Disappeared - Lisa Gardner - 3.25

Winter Garden - Kristin Hannah - 3.5

Faye, Faraway - Helen Fisher - 3.5

The Nature of Fragile Things - Susan Meissner - 3.5

Radio Underground - Alison Littman - 3.0

We Came Here to Forget - Andrea Dunlop - 3.5

4 Ideas with Actionable Wisdom - Bob Boylan - 3.5

Retirement:  Your New Adventure! - Bob Boylan - 3.0

The Four Winds - Kristin Hannah - 3.75

Win - Harlan Coben - 3.0

The Fellowship of the Flames - A.R. Silverberry

How to Save a Life - Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke - 3.5

The Storyteller’s Secret - Sejal Badani - 3.75

Transcendant Kingdom - Yaa Gyasi - 2.75

The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides - 3.25

Heads You Win - Jeffrey Archer - 3.25

Three Words for Goodbye - Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb - 4.0

The People We Keep - Allison Larkin - 3.5 

The Nickel Boys - Colin Whitehead - 2.75

Peeps - Erin Gordon - 4.0

100 Worst Ideas In History - Eric Kasum & Michael N. Smith - 3.5

The Rose Code - Kate Quinn - 4.0+

Resetting Healthcare - Sanjay Prasad - 3.25

Pigeon-Blood Red - Ed Duncan - 2.5

Finding Tessa - Jaime Lynn Hendricks - 3.25

Lilac Girls - Martha Hall Kelly - 3.75

Bad Love Medicine - Kevin Schewe - 3.0

The Last Shadow Warrior - Sam Subity - 3.25

The Unwilling - John Hart - 3.25

Conspiracy U - Scott A. Shay

The Tear of Tybaleth - A.R. Silverberry - 3.0

The Forest of Vanishing Stars - Kristin Harmel - 3.75

A Summer Classic, The Bew White Story - Christopher Taunton - 2.75

Dreaming in Provence - Jennifer Skully - 3.25

Lady Sunshine - Amy Mason Doan - 3.0

In the Shadow of Vesuvius - Tasha Alexander - 3.0

The Women of Chateau Lafayette - Stephanie Dray - 4.0

The Samurai’s Garden - Gail Tsukiyama - 3.75

What the Lady Wants - Renee Rosen - 3.75

In the Event of Contact - Ethel Rohan - 2.5

The Clover Girls - Viola Shipman - 4.25

Women of the Silk - Gail Tsukiyama - 3.0

Wishing in Rome - Jennifer Skully

The Taming of Jessi Rose - Beverly Jenkins - 3.25

The Other Einstein - Marie Benedict - 3.75

Last Call - Sheldon Siegel

The World Played Chess - Robert Dugoni - 3.5

The Younger Wife - Sally Hepworth - 3.625

The Wickett Sisters - Stephen Houser

Shadow House - A.R. Silverberry

The Henna Artist - Alka Goshi - 3.5

Heard it in a Love Song - Tracey Garvis Graves - 3.5

Shattered - C. Lee McKenzie - 3.5

The Answer to His Prayers - Ellen Kirshman - 3.0

A Hole in the Clouds - Maryles Casto - 3.25

A Year in the Life - Lucy Leonelli - 3.75

The Pilot’s Daughter - Meredith Jaeger - 4.0

61 books


Saturday, December 25, 2021

The Pilot's Daughter, by Meredith Jaeger, Is a MUST Read

I finished The Pilot's Daughter, by Meredith Jaeger, about an hour ago. I'm sorry it took me so long to get to the review!  What a book!  This is so darn good.  It's historical fiction that goes back and forth from the early 1920's in New York and the mid-1940's in San Francisco.  The story centers on Ellie Morgan and her Aunt Iris, who both live in San Francisco.  The story begins with a telegram from the Adjutant General's office, saying that Ellie's dad, William Morgan, was reported missing over the Adriatic Sea during WWII.  Ellie wants to find out whether her father is actually dead and goes to great lengths to get the answer.  She enlists the aid of her aunt.  

That's all I'm going to tell you about the story.  There are plenty of surprises during Ellie's quest.  And I was riveted on every page.  Let me also say that I had plenty of emotional moments, far too many to count (or be held accountable for).  Meredith does a great job of making us care not only about Ellie and Iris, but also about several of the other key characters in the story.

What did I particularly like about The Pilot's Daughter?  I'm glad you asked:

1.  I liked the short distance between the 2 timeframes.  It made both stories come to life for me.
2.  I liked how I cared so much about multiple characters.
3.  I liked that the story took place in San Francisco and New York, great locations for the storyline.
4.  I liked that I hated to put the book away and was so excited to pick it back up.
5.  I liked the Author's Note...a lot.

I read a lot of historical fiction.  I've read some excellent authors - Kate Quinn, Kristin Harmel, Kristen Hannah, Renee Rosen, Marie Benedict, Stephanie Dray, Heather Webb & Hazel Gaynor.  I could go on.  Well, book fans, you can add Meredith Jaeger to that list.  I definitely enjoyed her 2nd book, Boardwalk Summer.  But The Pilot's Daughter elevates her into the ranks of the elite.  You want proof?  Go to Goodreads and check her rating.  Take a look at how many 5 star ratings she got.  I'm not the only one who thinks this is a great book.

Read it! 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Another Top Notch YA from C. Lee McKenzie

Those of you who have followed my blog for a few years (would the 3 of you please raise your hands?) know that The Princess of Las Pulgas, by C. Lee McKenzie, is my favorite YA.  Now I have read all of Lee's YA and middle grade novels.  And I have definitely liked them all.  But I have to say that Lee's latest YA, Shattered, is my 2nd favorite behind Princess. Shattered is the story of a 19-year old skier named Libby who is on her way to representing the U.S. in the Winter Olympics.  Except that during a practice run, a snowboarder collides with her, and she wakes up in a hospital without any feeling in her legs.  Was it an accident?  You will find out when you read Shattered.  This is a very engaging story where you will definitely get caught up in what happens after the accident.  As you all know, I am well past the age that YA novels are targeted for.  But it doesn't matter.  This is a book that everyone will enjoy.