What I’ve Read – July 2014

Apparently I’ve read more this year than any year when I first started tracking it, which I’m a bit surprised about because I was thinking that I wasn’t reading as much but here is this month’s list!

The City – Stella Gemmell

This is a complicated book. We start in sewers of a city and work our way up, what we don’t know is what’s going on. We know the City is at war and has been at war for a long time but we don’t know why other than the ruler of the city wishes it. I enjoyed the book and I liked that we don’t get all the answers and that this book seems to be that and there won’t be a sequel.

Ruins – Dan Wells

I enjoyed this, I found it a quicker read than the last two and it was a bit all over the place as if there was too much story for one book but Wells was done. Having said that I like that they solved the puzzle and that the two sides left got together. Not entirely what I was expecting but a happy end to the three books.

The Reckoning – Sharon Penman This is technically a re-read but it’s been a long time since I’ve read it. Sharon Penman writes really good historical novels that make you want to learn more about the time they were set in. This one was good but you need the others (Here Be Dragons and Falls the Shadow) because they are connected. If you’ve never read Penman before start with The Sunne in Splendour.

Last Light of the Sun – Guy Gavriel Kay

Halfway through this, I’d realised that I’d read this before, next to a pool during my brother’s wedding. Not the actual wedding but the bits before and after. Because some of it had stayed with me. I liked it, not as much as others by Gavriel Kay but enough.

Miracle – Elizabeth Scott

Summer reading with the girls. Holiday reading is getting harder, partly because they have heavy summer reading for school and partly because I can’t keep up with their varied tastes. This was one of the girls pick and is a cheerful read about a girl who survived a plane crash. It’s not at all cheerful, I wanted to tell everyone involved to ‘use their words’ and again with the bloody awful parents.

Neanderthal Seeks Human – Penny Reid

Light relief on a Friday night when there was a screaming baby next door. Good fun.

Shotgun Lovesongs – Nickolas Butler

An actual book, instead of something I read on the Kindle. I loved this despite myself. It’s a lovely story about growing up and moving on and things that pull you back. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since I read it.

The Suffragette Scandal – Courtney Milan

I cannot express how much I liked this book. It had me at the beginning with the way you should say suffragette (with exclamation marks!) and then I fell hard for it for all sorts of reasons. Because Milan has done her research about the Franco-Prussian war, for concept of a puppy cannon and the ‘Bad, Bad Bishops’ club, because the hero is left handed (as I left hander, I approve), because the heroine is called Frederica, which is one of my favourite Georgette Heyer books. There’s other stuff, the problem of the suffragette movement being all about the well off ladies being allowed to vote and the risk of patronising the lower classes (most men didn’t have the vote in 1877 and 40% of men were excluded from voting up until 1918) is addressed. This book also deals with issues that shouldn’t be relevant today but still are, shaming of women because they reject the place that men want to put them in and attempts to put them in that ‘place’, an admittance of what torture actually does to a person, how little difference campaigning for anything seems to have on the status quo. Which makes it sound like a grim book but it’s not..it’s got PUPPY CANNONS in it and the hero and heroine have great chemistry and dialogue with each other (like Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn) and no-one gets ‘fixed’ by love. Problems are not insurmountable but deep seated issues don’t just vanish because love. Also this:

“I married her to unleash her on the world, not to keep her under wraps….I wished her beyond your power, not under mine”

That just makes me swoon, like the soft hearted romantic that I apparently am. Go and read this book, it’s fun, it’s easy to read and it’s really, really good.

This is How I Find Her – Sara Polsky

More sad teens this month. Girl looks after mother who’s bi-polar, mother attempts suicide, girl goes to live with estranged aunt and family. It’s not really as grim as that reads and I really liked her realisation that she can’t do it on her own.

Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight – Grace Burrowes

Regency romance, very funny, some of it betrays that Burrows is American and the idea of the Duke of Wellington listening to anything his Duchess said (poor Kitty) erm no. However, I loved the stuff with the Regent (George IV), this, from his (quite drunk) servant had me in fits

“We ought to do something about it, if you ask me-which he never does. Not unless he wants to know if the puce waistcoat is more flattering than the salmon, for God’s sake. The man is fat, I tell you. Fat as a market hog, and his stays creak abominable. One has to pretend one doesn’t hear them, and that is trying in the extreme”

All week, I’ve been wondering around muttering, ‘fat as a market hog’ and laughing, the best 99p I’ve spent in ages!

Tomorrow When the War Began and The Dead of the Night – John Marsden

There are 7 books in this series and they were Luc’s pick for summer reading. I was really surprised that this book was published in the 90’s as it feels more like something I would have read when I was at school, so more of an 80’s book. I liked the first two, that the narrator is a girl but the action and the tone of the is more of a ‘boys’ book. I know that sounds awful, books are books and for both sexes but whereas H will happily read L’s book choices, L is a bit more fussy so I’m always happy to get him to read more ‘girly’ books, his father read Georgette Heyer so I’m hopeful!

The Spanish Bride – Georgette Heyer

This is a comfort re-read and because it’s about Harry Smith and features Johnny Kincaid, it led straight to this…

Tales from the Rifle Brigade – John Kincaid

I like it but I’m a history nerd and have a bit of a crush on Kincaid (yes I know!). I have this in book form and on my kindle (another brilliant 99p purchase!)

Shield of Winter – Nalini Singh

I’m all caught up on the Pys/Changling series now. They’re still book crack and I’m still more interested in the world and what’s happening than in the romance this one featured. I want to know what she has planned next but I’m guessing it’s going to be a long wait.

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About nicdempsey

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2 Responses to What I’ve Read – July 2014

  1. Pingback: What I’ve Read – February 2015 | Nic Dempsey

  2. Pingback: What I’ve Read – May 2015 | Nic Dempsey

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