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Books I’ve Read

(A) means I listened to it.
(RR) means I re-read it.
(P) means I read it on paper.
(BC) means I read it for my book club.

Title links go to amazon.com, usually to the paperback or Kindle edition, unless amazon doesn’t have it, in which I case they go other places, like Smashwords. These are not affiliate links.

I also put this information into goodreads.com. You can find me there with my gmail address (the.karend).

< < 2016

January 1, 2017 to Now: (latest finished on top)

The Shelf Life of Happiness, David Machado translated by Hillary Locke
This has some similarities with A Small Revolution, with the narrator addressing a person who is not there and the overall dark tone. Ending was not what I was hoping for.

Meditation for Beginners, Emily Hoskins
If you’ve never heard of meditation before and don’t mind poor editing, this is the book for you. It was not the book for me, with gems like “Meditation is not something that you should never give up on.”

A Small Revolution, Jimin Han
I don’t know what to say about this one. I think it’s well written but I didn’t like reading it. Too much tension for me and an ending that left me sad and unsatisfied.

Magic Burns, Ilona Andrews
The hunch I had after I read the first one seems to be playing out the way I thought, but there were some other surprises in this installment. There’s still a lot more gore than I’d like, but thus goes urban fantasy I suppose.

Dead Spots, Melissa F. Olson
I really enjoyed the other series I read from this author so picked up this first book in her earlier series to try. I didn’t like this one as well, though I probably will continue the series to see how it develops.

Code Name Verity, Elizabeth E. Wein
This is young adult fiction that doesn’t read like it’s for young adults. Sadder than I expected, of the weeping at the breakfast table over my Kindle variety, though why I thought a novel set in World War II would not be, I’m not sure.

Magic Bites, Ilona Andrews
This was on my to-read list for so long. It’s good, though more gory than my personal taste. I will probably read more in the series to see if my hunch about what’s going to happen with one of the major characters pans out.

One More Time, Amelia Stone
The First Time, Amelia Stone
Moments in Time, Amelia Stone
I read this whole three-book (so far) series back to back. They’re all quick, comfy reads with enough heat to keep things interesting. There is some conflict and angst at time, sure; fortunately it’s of the “this could happen in real life” variety and not the “oh my these characters are being so unrealistically dumb” variety. I appreciate that not all the heroines are tall and slim and lovely and porcelain pale. I also appreciate that the writing style and editing rarely interrupt the flow of my reading, which often happens when I pick up short romances. The third installment is a series of vignettes with characters from the previous books; it’s like hanging out with old friends, in a good way.

The Great Passage, Shion Miura, translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter
A sweet, quiet book; even when there is drama and sadness, it feels restrained. I feel like I’d have enjoyed it more if I knew Japanese, but there was a lot to appreciate here even though I am pretty much monolingual.

Boundary Born, Melissa F. Olson
Still love this series. Flirts with Mary Sue-ness but stays on the right side of that line for me. I’m sad there aren’t any more but hope I’ll like the author’s other series as well.

Truth or Beard, Penny Reid
I liked this enough to finish it, though I wish the consent and ex-girlfriend issues had been dealt with differently.

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, Cary Elwes and Joe Layden
Reading this was comforting, just like watching the movie.

Dear Bob and Sue, Matt Smith and Karen Smith
The format is a bit cutesy, but the quest is interesting, and I got some ideas about places I might want to visit. It’s a lot about the couple’s relationship, approach to following rules (or not following them), and opinions about others’ behavior, and they don’t always come off as sympathetic characters.

Inked, Karen Chance, Marjorie M. Liu, Yasmine Galenorn, and Eileen Wilks
Four paranormal stories here, all of them solid, and all tied into the theme of the collection. I connected the least with Galenorn’s story. Liu’s surprised me the most as the plot turns on a device I often find problematic, but here it worked for me.

The Age of Daredevils, Michael Clarkson
It took me almost forever to finish this, as I never really got engaged by it and kept putting it aside. With “daredevils” in the title and the Niagara Falls setting, I expected much more excitement in the pages. There was some, sure, but the way those events were written about and the long interludes of family history unrelated to the Falls that came between them made the whole thing go flat for me.

Tangled, Phoenix C. Brown
On the plus side, despite it being short, it’s a complete story, with a real resolution. On the minus, there is so much plot and drama and action packed in here that there’s no time for much character development or explanations of the sometimes over the top plot points. Couple those drawbacks with a female/female relationship being described as a “lifestyle” and some editing errors and I was left unsatisfied.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, Allie Brosh
A lot of my reading is done in bed at night before sleeping, but this book wasn’t really suitable for that, what with the way it made me laugh so hard I was shaking and crying and disturbing my husband. I found it super funny, obviously, and also super relatable. Her coping mechanisms and rules for the world aren’t the same as mine, but I recognize the approach on a deep level. This book grew out of a blog, and like many blogs, it jumps from funny to serious, from current events in the author’s life to reminiscences of her childhood; that might cause some to rate it lower for lack of cohesion, but not me. The material on depression is a much a part of the author’s story as the dog tales.

The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter, J. S. Drangsholt, translated by Tara F. Chace
This made me anxious almost the whole way through. Perhaps it was meant to. A quick read, maybe because I wanted to get done and stop feeling anxious.

Palm Trees in the Snow ,Luz Gabás, translated by Noel Hughes
I had a hard time paying attention to this one, kept mixing up the characters, kept losing interest in the mystery.

Fate of Perfection, K. F. Breene
Set in a dystopian future that doesn’t seem that far fetched at this point in U.S. history, so not as escapist as I was hoping for. This clearly sets up the next book but didn’t feel unfinished.

Asses & Angels, Gail Black
This autobiography of a woman born in the 40s was a challenging read in many ways due to the subject matter, yet I’m very glad I read it, even though it made me miss my mom.

Pinch Me, Tymber Dalton
Amnesia as a plot device is not my favorite thing; still, it was very nice to revisit a favorite series with these new characters.

Possession, Jessica Hawkins
A combination of 50 Shades of Grey and Indecent Proposal, with maybe a hint of Pretty Woman thrown in, too. I wasn’t able to put aside my disbelief and enjoy this, and wasn’t drawn in enough to want to read the next book in the series.

Christmas Lights: A Collection of Inspiring Christmas Novellas
, Vikki Kestell, April Hayman, Cathe Swanson, and Chautona Havig
Due to the length of this collection, I finished it after Christmas, which is okay. It’s disappeared off of Amazon now, which is odd. There was some good variety in these tales; not all were heavy handed with the religious aspect.

The Strange Year of Vanessa M., Filipa Foncesa Silva, translated by Mark Ayton
Strange? I’m not so sure about that, but my standards may not be typical. The ending was too pat for me.

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