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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.

< < 2017

January 1, 2018 to Now: (latest finished on top)

Go: A Coming of Age Novel, Kazuki Kaneshiro, translated by Takami Nieda
The best part of this for me was the view into the racism in Japanese culture. It dovetailed with A River in Darkness for me, but was emotionally easier to read as I knew it was fiction.

Yellow Crocus, Laila Ibrahim
This is a novel, not an academic treatise. So the slavery here is somewhat romanticized, with a heroine who is a proxy for the well-meaning white reader.

Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen, Hannah Howard
Even when I wasn’t agreeing with or even understanding the author’s choices, I loved reading this memoir. There’s a rhythm to the writing that connected with me, a song being sung in my head as I read. There’s a lot going on here; some it felt very familiar to me, some of it very foreign.

Addicted to You, Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie
I started this, then put it aside for a while, then picked it back up and got sucked in. Still over dramatic for my taste as New Adult often seems to be.

TRUTHS: Art of Eros Series Book 1, Kenzie Macallan
Maybe too much description of hotel suites and meals; that space could have been used to further develop the main relationship, which felt rushed to me, especially with everything else going on in the story. There were some distracting editing issues; perhaps these have been corrected in later versions.

Edge of Dawn, Lara Adrian
Having dipped back into the world of the Midnight Breed with the prequel novella, I picked up this 11th in the series, which features a female lead, the now-adult version of a character that was a child when she first showed up in the books. I didn’t feel the same spark with this as I did with the earlier books. Maybe it’s me.

There Are Worse Things I Could Do, Adrienne Barbeau
I enjoyed reading this much more than I expected to.

A Touch of Midnight, Lara Adrian
I don’t remember why I stopped reading this series, or why I waited this long to read this novella which is a prequel to books I read quite a while back. It was like visiting an old neighborhood, familiar yet no longer a place I quite understood. I don’t think this stands alone, as it’s too short for much world building. I had some quibbles with a few things but again, maybe that’s due to it being too short to explain the things that bothered me (like what “delivery room” means in the context of a library building and if it’s where packages are received, why it’s decorated with elaborate murals).

Birthday Party in Paradise, Amelia Stone
This year’s short story sent out by the author to her mailing list. As with last year’s (which I read earlier this year just to be confusing), I liked it.

Born of Persuasion, Jessica Dotta
I’m not sure about this one. Overall I think it was well written, yet the ending is unsatisfying. Throughout, there’s lots of foreshadowing, but not all the things foreshadowed happen in this first book in the series. At the end of the copy I read, there’s a teaser for the next book; in that, there’s a framing device that I really wish had been in this book.

Out of the Shoebox: An Autobiographical Mystery, Yaron Reshef
The story of a family in four parts. I felt they could have been stitched together better (though in the afterward, the author explains his reasoning behind putting the two middles sections where he did, which I appreciated). As a non-Jewish reader, I wished for more explanation of the Jewish terms (my Kindle dictionary was not much help).

Trail of Thread, Linda Hubalek
I never connected with any of the characters, despite quilting being mentioned regularly.

…But I’m Not a Racist: Tools for Well-Meaning Whites , Kathy Obear
Some good food for thought here, but too many links to the author’s website for information that I felt could/should have been in the text.

The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter: The Complete Collection, Jennifer Malone Wright
This was not good. There was clunky dialog, characters that weren’t engaging, plot that made no sense, and so on.

The Art of Trapeze: One Woman’s Journey of Soaring, Surrendering, and Awakening, Molly McCord
I liked the sections covering her time in Paris. I didn’t like the numerous flashbacks to other times in her life; I didn’t feel those were incorporated well. I really didn’t like the whole end section of new age philosophy. The trapeze metaphor that pops up periodically didn’t work for me, either.

Totally Tubular, Gwen Hayes
Time travel and teens? Probably not the book for me. I did enjoy reading it, though, up until the end, when I wanted more of an explanation. I pretty much always want more of an explanation, though. (I read this in the So Totally collection.)

So Over You, Gwen Hayes
This is a tough one. A lot of it is fun teen romance/angst stuff. Then there’s the root of the heroine’s issues, and that’s no fun whatsoever. Might even be triggering to some. (I read this in the So Totally collection.)

Crazy in Love, Amelia Stone
This is a side story to the author’s book Desire; now I want to go back and re-read that one to see how this fits in. The shorter length of this one leaves less time for character and relationship development, and I found I missed that compared to Desire. It’s still good, I just wish there were more of it. Being me, of course I have a some nits to pick with a couple of plot points, including wondering why the main character doesn’t have a credit card to use for a hotel room. Yet to balance that, there was a bit of explanation provided for something I would have otherwise questioned that made me quite happy.

Fatal Puzzle, Catherine Shepherd, translated by Julia Knobloch
I wanted more loose ends tied up here. I have questions that the author doesn’t seem to have considered.

Sweet Baby Lover, Jule Kucera
I have such mixed feelings about this book. Parts of it were touching. Parts of it were gross. Parts of it were super frustrating.

Ticker, Lisa Mantchev
Like The Thrill of It All, I took a break reading this for quite some time, but unlike it, this one did grab me more the second go round.

The Thrill of It, All Lauren Blakely
Oh joy, a cliffhanger. I stopped reading this several chapters in, left it for months, and came back to it to find it hadn’t improved in the interim. Things happen that make no sense (unless you’re in a melodrama).

A Thousand Letters, Staci Hart
Not my kind of book. Wanted to shake both of the main characters many times. Yes, they’re young, but not so young they should still be acting the way they are.

A River in Darkness, Masaji Ishikawa, translated by Risa Kobayashi and Martin Brown
This was just grindingly sad. Not surprising given the subject matter.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson
I don’t read her blog and almost gave up on this book early on, as it seemed so frenetic and performance-like, as if the author was very concerned about looking wacky. I pushed on and did get some laughs out of it, so that’s good.

The Year We Hid Away, Sarina Bowen
It was okay.

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