We’re into the third month of the year and I’m feeling pretty good about my reading year so far. Just to recap, I really, really want to get the TBR pile down this year, in January it was at roughly 133 (I thought it was 131 but didn’t count two books sitting next to my bed!) and I’ll like to have it down to under 70 by the end of June. It’s currently running at 117, I’ve taken 15 off the pile so far but I need to read 47 books between now and then so no pressure!
I haven’t included books that were pre-ordered in this list so new books will make their way onto the monthly lists but I’m trying really hard not to buy anything else until I have the numbers down. I think it’s realistic to have a TBR pile/list of about 20 and that’s what I’m aiming for by the end of 2019. However, 97 books between now and next year might be a stretch!
The Something Girl – Jodi Taylor
This was a sequel to The Nothing Girl which I read last month and it’s not as good. It’s still funny but it lacked something.
Taking It Easy – Erin Nicholas
They were both were nice and easy to read. Erin Nicholas books are simple, they don’t tax my brain mostly because anything in these books that would stand out for someone from New Orleans, I can’t see. It’s pretty simple and they are nice, everyone does the right thing, people help one another and it’s all good.
City of Jasmine – Deanna Raybourn
This was a Barter Books buy when we were up in Northumberland and my recent tearing through of the Veronica Speedwell books sent me to it. I enjoyed it, I’d read the other 1920’s book of Raybourn’s, A Spear of Summer Grass and enjoyed it and I enjoyed this too. I’m not convinced that they’ll be happy but I enjoyed it.
This was a free Amazon monthly read and I really wanted to like it but I didn’t. It started off fairly well but the politics of the world weren’t clear enough for me to understand what the hell was going on. It felt muddled and messy and as it’s a trilogy, the end was ambiguous but I’m not interested enough to continue.
Rock Needs River – Vanessa McGrady
This was also a free Amazon monthly read. Although this has been tagged as a book about how McGrady took in the birth parents of her adopted daughter, it’s more than that. The birth parents living with her and her daughter is the dramatic part of the story but it’s not the entire story, which is about why McGrady wanted to be and then how she became a parent. It reads quite distant. I’m beginning to think this is a cultural different in American and British writing styles, I notice it more in journalism. McGrady writes about how she met her husband and married him and then broke up with him without ever really acknowledging her role in the breakup of his previous marriage, or the possible alcoholism that led to her leaving him. It could be that in trying to tell her story and be respectful of others, but it leaves you with the feeling that she’s trying to hard to be blameless. There are things that she clearly doesn’t want to or can’t write about; her marriage and what seems to be the mental illness of at least one of her daughter’s birth parents. There are lots of assumptions about adopted children that I’m not sure that I agree with. I’m not sure that all children have a primal wound from the adoption process, some may struggle but to view adopted children as ‘broken’ from the beginning of the process seems wrong. We don’t say that about children born of surrogates (well at least not that I’ve seen) or of children who have dead parents. We acknowledge that there could be issues and address them, an example is in the book she made adoption so normal in her home, that her kid didn’t realise that not all children were adopted!
I bought these ages ago, I really liked Act Like It, the first of the series and then I just didn’t get around to the next two. I liked both. Its lovely when a book has people who aren’t perfect and aware of it. In Pretty Face, I thought that the handling of a relationship between and younger actress and older director was thoughtfully done with all due respect to not taking advantage. In Making Up, Trix is clearly damaged by a previous relationship and part of her happy ending is her getting help for that, not that love makes all trauma better. One thing that got me. American-isms. Pacifier for dummy. Two English people wouldn’t call it a pacifier but Lucy Parker lives in New Zealand. See this is why it’s much easier to read books not set where I live, I don’t know everything about living in London but I don’t know an English person that says pacifier. I also really love the ‘lets add a London landmark so people know where it’s set’ covers!
Dreaming of You – Lisa Kleypas
I mostly love Lisa Kleypas historicals but I’m still not sure I liked this. Derek’s lapses into ‘cocker-nee’ when stressed annoyed me and also it was a bit overwrought. The baddie of the piece was deserving of sympathy and she was so ridiculous and one sided, I ended up cross. It was also a bit weird as a reading experience because featured in the book is the grandfather of the heroine of the next book!
Devil’s Daughter – Lisa Kleypas
This made me much happier than Dreaming of You. Because I like West and we got to see more of Sebastian from ‘Devil in Winter’. Happy ending that I was more able to accept because both of them needed to get over themselves and their preconceived idea of who they were and what they deserved!
Only a Promise – Mary Balogh (re-read)
Which I enjoyed again and read on a Sunday afternoon. There is a gentleness to this series that I required.
All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue – Sophie Jordan
This has been sitting on my Kindle since January 2017 and I should have left it there. I also should have stopped reading this when I realised how much it was annoying me. I didn’t. I can’t put my finger on what it was but it just really made me cross.
I loved this because I know nothing about Bordertown or the other books/stories set there. But I really enjoyed this, the ending was both sad and hopeful.
Remember How I Told You I Love You – Gillian Linden
This is a set of loosely connected short stories and by the end of them, I just didn’t see the point of any of them. I don’t know, they were disconnected and distant, no-one in them seemed to feel anything or do much either.