Lately, I’ve been struggling on figuring out what to blog about. With the start of the Junior’s tennis season, I’ve been running around taking her to and picking her up from practice besides giving her and her teammates rides to school courts around town for matches.
It just dawned on me today that it has been a long time since I’ve joined in on It’s Monday! What are you reading? I figured, what the heck?
If you’re new around here, what is this book event you might wonder?
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.
I am 79% done with my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2021 with 37 out of 47 books read. I didn’t set a high goal for this year because of the pandemic. Since March 2020, I found myself reading less and less because I had usually read when I had pick up duties, duties that don’t really exist anymore since my daughters have been distance learning. This year I am insanely ahead. Why? Because I got back into audiobooks.
Today, I’m just highlighting a couple of books from the start of this year.
First Book of the Year
I had picked this book for my first read of 2021. I was excited because the main characters are British and of Chinese descent.
However, their history together and their evolution into a couple was a lukewarm journey for me. I appreciated the Chinese, cultural bits incorporated into the book but the interactions of the characters were immature and didn’t have the ooph like how most historical romances do.
I was lucky to score this book, a sweet gift from my momma who had preordered it for me when she saw it in a magazine. It is a gorgeous book full of colored photographs and behind-the-scenes information from the movies.
If you know a knitter who loves Harry Potter like I do, this is the gift. There are projects from the movies, such as the iconic scarves and cardigans the actors and actresses wore. There are also many projects inspired by the movies, from toys to knitwear, etc.
I’m currently knitting Hermione’s Time-Turner Sweater. I love it and plan to get back to it to it.
Flavia de Luce Series by Alan Bradley
I have read all of the electronic versions of the ten books of this series. This year I started listening to more of the audio versions after being thoroughly entertained by the first title’s audiobook. I’m up to book four now.
What I love about the audiobooks is the narrator, Jayne Entwistle. She creates different voices for each character. I love how she speaks Flavia’s voice, especially when the young sleuth gets bent out of shape because she’s being treated like a civilian child by Inspector Hewitt. I highly recommend this series.
My Average Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Magical Bakery Mystery by Bailey Cates
I listened to this series’s audio versions long ago and had wanted to revisit them. I faintly recalled why I had liked them – the development of Katie’s magical abilities.
Unfortunately, my library only carries the first, six books. I guess I’m going to have to buy the rest to see what else happens to her and the coven and what else Katie learns about her magical abilities.
My Average Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Virgin River by Robyn Carr
Are you a fan of this series? Have you watched the Netflix version?
I haven’t to the latter. I got addicted to these books for a while. I liked the introduction of new characters where the mountainous town seemed to draw people in from the big cities. I liked how everyone was connected in some way or the other either through past military careers, being friends with someone, or having been part of the first story in some way. Each book’s plot wasn’t too heavy, but every one dealt with real world issues.
After Forbidden Falls (book eight), I guess I just had enough. The storyline was okay and gave me that last, filling bite of Virgin River and its community.
My Average Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
You know I’m a fan of vampires. For a while I binged on this series because it was dark, gritty, full of testosterone, and I loved the potty mouths of the Brotherhood. I started off with the second book this year as the first installment was read some time ago.
But you know how it is, when a series is filled with so many books, sometimes the shine wears off. While each character had his/her own interesting journey in life, my vampire craving was fulfilled by book nine.
My Average Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is the second installment of The Rajes series, one about a wealthy, Indian family descended from royalty. The author, Sonali Dev, based each book in the series on an Austen one. This read, Recipe for Persuasion, is based on Persuasion.
I, myself, am only faintly familar with Persuasion. I’m more of a Pride and Prejudice fan and loved Dev’s Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors. This latest book had somewhat complex characters who carried heavy baggages of hurt. While there was a food competition going on, I felt their anger and hurt were constantly brought up while the background story slowly chugged along. It felt like there was constant repetition of what the characters were feeling which could only go so far.
I also listened to the audio version this time which seemed to take longer to get through. The narrator herself was pretty good. I think I would have maybe liked to have read the hard copy instead.
Number One Stunner
I can’t remember how I had heard about this series. The first book, From Blood and Ash, was on my Kindle holds list and its delivery was even pushed back once or twice.
All I remember when I was reading book one it felt like I was on the Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland. It floats along with a little splash here and there. I had many questions about identities and the elusive world that was being presented. Then the plot hits that first, deep dive. I was like, what?! What the hell just happened?! Oh man, what a twist! I got hooked!
I got to move onto the second book which was already out and boy, there were some good moments and crazy events in that one. By the time I reached the last chapter I was blown away and wanted more.
I of course impatiently waited for the third installment to come out in April. I bought the first two on Kindle and preordered the next one. Once it got delievered, I devoured that sucker. Dang it, there’s another book and I have to wait until October for it to come out! Wah!
If you like…
- development of a female, lead character
- somewhat creepy beings
- no holds bar action
this is the series to read.
Don’t judge me. I can’t remember how or why I bought this book. I probably got sucked in via a FB or an IG book ad and the ebook was super cheap.
Yes, there is explicit language throughout the read. Yes, there are explicit sex scenes in it. Yes, the plot is a bit silly and can be seen as over the top.
However, what entertained me was the banter between Hunter and Sailor. Sailor develops from page one to the end. She starts as a cocooned butterfly to one who blossoms into a young woman with strong and proud wings.
Will I read the rest of the series? Probably not to tell you the truth, but I had fun reading this book.
Last, But Not Least
After all that coziness, fantastical worlds, and
ranchiness raunchiness, I was in the mood for mystery. My library is now open to the public for limited hours each day so I put on hold a few books that I could go pick up.
I love this series – Timber Creek K-9 Mystery. Straight up, it’s because of Robo, the K-9. His handler, Mattie Cobb, is solid too. She carries certain insecurities due to past trama in her childhood, but her relationship with Robo is fun to read about.
I read this book in about five hours last Saturday. I enjoyed remeeting familiar characters in the town. I liked the solid teamwork of the law and of its main citizens. I liked learning about another real world issue.
If you like mystery and dogs, this is your series.
It’s been nice chatting with y’all. I don’t know how much time I’ve spent on this post but honestly, I am so done for the evening. Thanks for popping by. TTYS.