Weekend Update – The Bookish Nostalgia June 2016 Edition

Posted by on Jun 26, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Bookish Nostalgia, Weekend Update | 2 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia June 2016

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

Homestead by Rosina Lippi
This is a collection of related short stories set in a remote Austrian village is a book that remains one of my all time favorites. Just a note Rosina Lippi also writes under the name Sara Donati.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Another one of my all time favorites. I have another book of his (A Thousand Splendid Suns) on my shelf but haven’t read it yet.

I continued with my Alphabetical by Author reading challenge.
Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich I gave up on this series a couple of books later.
Plantation by Dorothea Benton Frank Her books always feel like summer reading to me.
Scott Free by John Gilstrap I have read and liked many of his suspense thrillers
Birdman by Mo Hayder This was my introduction to her. She does dark and twisty so well.
Spandau Phoenix by Greg Iles Another suspense thriller

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
I loved this one. The description of electric football was hilarious. I need to read more Bryson.


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in 2016, 3 stars, Book Review | 1 comment

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 423
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

Frances Irvine, left destitute in the wake of her father’s sudden death, has been forced to abandon her life of wealth and privilege in London and emigrate to the Southern Cape of Africa. 1880 South Africa is a country torn apart by greed. In this remote and inhospitable land she becomes entangled with two very different men—one driven by ambition, the other by his ideals. Only when the rumor of an epidemic takes her into the dark heart of the diamond mines does Frances see her road to happiness.

But before she can follow that path, Frances must choose between passion and integrity, between her desire for the man who captured her heart and her duty to the man who saved her from near ruin, a decision that will have devastating consequences.

My Thoughts:
This one was slow to get going and I’m not sure it ever really captured me. It was OK and maybe even a little better than OK.

The main character was one of those I wanted to slap. Naïve I can understand, continually making stupid decisions annoys me. Although the two men she was involved with weren’t exactly prizes either. One was a jerk and the other seemed to think that she should be able to read his mind.

Nevertheless, Frances did grow up a bit through the course of the book and that was good.

I did enjoy the setting and the history of South Africa. The author based parts of the story on real events. Her research and writing kept me interested even though I disliked the main characters.

It had its moments but I just wish there had been more of them.

8a6e1-rating_25stars Rating 2.5/5

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How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword by Cressida Cowell – Audio Edition

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in 2016, 3.5 stars, Audio, Book Review, Cressida Cowell | 0 comments

How to Steal a Dragon's Sword by Cressida Cowell
How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword by Cressida Cowell narrated by David Tennant

Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Series: #9 in the How to Train Your Dragon series
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication Date: 2011 for the book, 2014 for this audio edition
Length: 5 hours
Narrated by: David Tennant
Source: Library

The Book
From the publisher:

The How to Train Your Dragon series chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Viking underdog Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III and his dragon, Toothless. In Book 9, a dragon rebellion is coming–filled with the meanest, nastiest dragons in the Archipelago. Razor-wings, Tonguetwisters, and Vampire Ghouldeaths are attacking Vikings and seem to be seeking one soul in particular: Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third! Only a King can save them…and only a champion with all of the King’s Lost Things can be King. In his adventures, Hiccup has collected quite a few “things” himself. But can a scrawny Viking save the entire Archipelago from certain doom? To find out, Hiccup will have to outwit a witch, fight his arch-enemy, and beat back an army of bloodthirsty dragons with just one sword.

My Thoughts
This series is just a hoot and a half. They have become a favorite for road trip audiobooks for us because they’re relatively short so we can finish a book on a short weekend getaway. David Tennant’s voice and the sheer enthusiasm of his narration keeps us entertained and engaged even on the long boring stretches of highway.

You can’t go wrong with this series. It’s got Vikings, Dragons, funny names, funnier names, action, adventure, evil villains, loyal friends and all kinds of other fun. David Tennant’s narration truly makes this even better than the print edition.

You might want to have the print editions on hand though, because the illustrations are wonderful and nice to be able to refer along with listening.

Having children is definitely not a requirement for enjoying listening to these books

3.5 stars 3.5/5 for the book

4.5 stars 4.5/5 for the narration

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #59

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 8 comments

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Finished in Print

Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Mahew Bergman

Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Mahew Bergman

This collection of short stories was highly recommended by several people I trust in my LibraryThing group. The writing is simply lovely.

Started in Print

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

This is one I’ve had on my ereader for ages. A young woman in the 1870’s leaves England after her father’s death to emigrate to South Africa.

Finished on Audio

How to Steal a Dragon's Sword by Cressida Cowell

How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword by Cressida Cowell narrated by David Tennant

This series is one of our favorite road trip audio series. It just seems like David Tennant is having so much fun narrating these books.

Continuing on Audio

The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini narrated by Christina Moore

I’ve read the first three books in Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilts series but decided to give the audio format a try for this one. I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I keep having to make notes to look up images of quilt patterns mentioned but that was something I did with the print editions too. I wish the author included images of the quilt patterns she talks about with all formats. Nevertheless it’s and engaging story and I like it so far.

Started on Audio

How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel by Cresida Cowell

How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel by Cresida Cowell narrated by David Tennant

We didn’t finish this one before we finished our road trip. Since we’re listening to this one together we’re still finishing it up a little at a time.

What are you reading?

Reviews since my last update:

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson

Trillium by Jeff Lemire

Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Mahew Bergman

What are you reading?

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