November Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – November 2020

This November I have read:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon ★★★★

Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2) by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★★

The Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga #5.3) by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★

The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac #1) by Vicki Pettersson ★★★★

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux ★★

The Reclusive Earl (Marriage by Fate #1) by Ruth Ann Nordin ★★★

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air #3.5) by Holly Black ★★★★★

When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales #2) by Eloisa James ★★★★★

Beauty (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #20.5) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

Ardeur: 14 Writers on the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

In November I have read 10 books. I read all five books for my Bookopoly TBR Game in first two and a half weeks and slacked for almost a week. I could have made more progress with some of the books I wanted to read by the end of the year so I’m in for a joy ride in December!

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in November? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

This November was full of great books for me. Some were a surprise and some exceeded my expectations! I was anxious about Wayward Son but was soon nicely surprised by very relatable characters and got very emotionally involved with the story as well. The Borders of Infinity provided me with more happy reading moments than expected and gifted me with newfound appreciation for the author and her writing style.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories was a my happy surprise for November! I knw I would love it and I preordered the beautiful Waterstone edition and it was a first time I ordered anything from Waterstones ever! My preorder came almost a week early and I devoured it in two days even though I was trying to pace myself a bit slower and read some parts more than once!

Also my Kindle reads this month made the top marks for me as well. I am surprised at how much my reading experience in November was good.

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

The Phantom of the Opera started out promising but I had trouble getting into the setting of the story. The architecture and the theater were just so surreal to me. I could not stop pitting the writing style with the more modern books and it did not end well for The Phantom of the Opera.

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I already mentioned that I went trough my monthly readathon challenge a lot faster than I anticipated and blown the rest of the month away not reading anything from my huge pile of books I choose for my personal reading challenge by the end of the year. I can’t stop thinking I could have done better but I guess now that I look at it I had way to much fun in my other reading to complain!

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories was like a cake topping after reading the rest of the series and I loved it. Wayward Son got me really excited in waiting on the next book to come out. The Borders of Infinity reminded me that I still have so many book from the Miles Vorkosigan saga I still need to read! I started one new book series with The Scent of Shadows and I plan to continue it next year. Reading Beauty (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #20.5) helped me with going back on track and wanting to continue my reread of the whole series even though this particular novella is a bit out of order since I need to continue with another book of the series!

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

I have so many great books on my bookshelves and my goal of reading more books I own is something I am constantly working on. This is a personal goal and it helped me a lot with reading more books I enjoy and feel better about reading the books from my own bookshelves. My recommendation is to set more personal reading goals and reflect on books you enjoy more often!

Final thoughts on November 2020 reading

I was spazzing out and not making many posts this November and I get that way when I get lost in the books I read. I will have to work on this more actively! Wish me luck!

Monthly reading review – June 2016

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Monthly reading review -June 2016

This June I have read:

Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1) by Thea Harrison ★★★★

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas ★★★

Midnight Marriage (Roxton Series #2) by Lucinda Brant ★★★

A Gentleman Never Tells (Essex Sisters, #4.5) by Eloisa James ★★★★

A onda je Božo krenuo ispočetka by Marina Vujičić ★★

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1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

I read only 5 books in June. I’m not pleased with this apathy and slow reading progress.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in June? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

Elder Races series by Thea Harrison was by far the cutest read in June for me. I liked the magic, the dragon and his hoard and new worlds to explore!

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

Our Tragic Universe and A onda je Božo krenuo ispočetka were equally bad for my reading time. While the first one had a proper wrap up ending of sorts, the second was an existential novel with open ending. Unlikable and depressing characters are not what I look for in my free time reading.

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4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

For June I had planned reading a bit more historical romance. I achieved this with a Kindle freebie Midnight Marriage and a new Kindle novella by Eloisa James. Once again I did my RL book club reading ahead of time which is good. Unfortunately the quantity of books was a bit of a fail.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

I’m already in the middle of reading of second book from the new series Elder Races started I’ve started in June. Novella A Gentleman Never Tells got me to add the whole Essex Sisters book series on my reading list for future reading. I’m still in the middle of reading of Ever After book 11 in the Hollows series and it is going slow.

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6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Eloisa James has again proved to be a real delight in this slow reading month and I recommend any of her books with all my heart.

Final thoughts on June reading:

In June I’ve been struck down with existential and metafiction novels. The lack of fantastic elements was something that even some good historical romance could not reimburse for. I need to go back to magical places, characters with weird abilities and wonderful possibilities

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A Gentleman Never Tells – Book Review

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Finished reading:

A Gentleman Never Tells

by Eloisa James

★★

Expectation

I’ve pre-ordered this little novella on Kindle when it was first announced almost a month ago and it turned up in my Library yesterday. I was a bit surprised but pleasantly so. Last few months I’ve been meaning to find some nice historical romance to binge on. This one came in at the best moment possible. High expectations indeed.

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Summary

I’ve really enjoyed Eloisa James’s Desperate Duchesses series. This is my first book by her not connected to the series I love. I had postponed reading something else from this author.

This novella is a part of Essex Sisters book series. Chronologically it is set after the fourth book. First four books being shown in the picture below.

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I’m not too thrilled by these covers and that’s part of the reason I’ve not read these books already.

This novella is quite short and barely over 100 pages long with interesting and lovable characters. It is a pairing of two minor character from the mentioned series. She is a widow wronged and shamed by her late husband. He seems a little lost and overly sorry for some youthful mistakes. She is quite adorable with her curly hair and bookish ways. It takes one look for him to stop being lost and fall madly in love. Due to the short story there was no bigger character development.

As usual authors quirky writing is delightful. I like how the author does not shy away from writing silly sex scenes. Some quotes taken out of content were pure gold and joy to read.

“When I look at you, Lizzie, I don’t think of sausages.” – Oliver Berwick

Conclusion

Glimpses of other characters from the series were intriguing and this has left me no choice but to add this book series to my reading list. Even in short stories such as this Eloisa James still stays one of my favorite writers of the Historical romance genre.

Monthly reading review – April 2016

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Monthly reading review – April 2016

This April I have read:

La sombra del viento  (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón ★★★★

Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs ★★★

Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones, #3) by Helen Fielding ★

Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy, #1) by Sally Green  ★★★★★

Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2) by Sally Green  ★★★★

Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy, #3) by Sally Green  ★★★★

The Mean Seasons (Fables, Vol. 5) by Bill Willingham ★★★★

And the Mountains Echoed by  Khaled Hosseini ★★★

Drawn Together by Z.A. Maxfield ★★★★

My American Duchess by Eloisa James ★★★★

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1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

I have finally reached the double digit monthly score that I’ve been trying to since last year. I’ve read 10 books up to making this post. Even though I’ve finished My American Duchess just am hour ago I’m counting it to April reading! This calls for some happy dancing 🙂

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2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in April? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

The only book I’ve rated with five stars in April was Half Bad by Sally Green. I’ve made the review on it and quickly went on a reading spree trough the whole trilogy! I enjoyed it immensely. Nathan was a compelling character and I loved reading his slightly removed perspective. I also loved reading Shadow of the Wind for RL bookclub. 

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3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

Mad about the boy was a real let down. The book was frustrating and at times insulting. I could not understand what author wanted to convey with the book and the main character was completely aggravating. 

On the side note Dead Heat was OK but I expected more from a long time favorite author and UF genre series. I still rated it with three stars and adore the concept and art.

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4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I had no grand plans for April and just went with what I felt like reading mostly. I think it helped that I now have one one RL book club assignment per month and I’ve read ahead with And the Mountains Echoed by  Khaled Hosseini which is due at the start of May actually. That took some presure off and gave me a bit more leeway in my reading plans and posting in May.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

I actually started and finished a whole series in April and that felt really good to achieve. I finished all the borrowed graphic novels with Fables vol 5. I have closed the chapter with last Bridget Jones novel and hope to never venture that way again. I will probably not continue The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón even though I liked it. I even got a Patricia Briggs Alpha & Omega series up to date!

BJ-Luda-za-njimCroatian edition cover for Mad about the boy by Helen Fielding – IMO the best part of the book 😦

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

I would love to recommend Half Bad trilogy and I’m adding it to my wishlist. It is a book series I would like to own and read again sometime in the future. I’m also interested in two available novellas. Eloisa James was a great author to finish April with and to start May! 

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Final thoughts on April reading:

There were more than enough happy reading moments in April and I think I will have to go back and make more posts in May! With more reading done I’m having much more happy reading moments and it gives me more to write about! I’m satisfied with my April reading and hope to show it with more posting in May.

Books to look forward to in 2016

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Here come some of the new and upcoming books I’m looking forward to this year. They are new books by author I already love reading or new books from one of the many book series I keep track of. This list is by no means complete since gushing with new and announced books would take much more than just one post.

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The Trials of Apollo Book One The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

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Comes out in Hardcover – May 3, 2016

Another work of Rick Riordan only this time centered on the god Apollo. This should be the first book in the new series and I plan to read it as soon as I can get  my hands on it!

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The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2)  by Rick Riordan

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Comes out in Hardcover – October 4, 2016

I absolutely loved Magnus Chase first book Sword of Summer. It was funny and engaging. I’m still considering getting these books in hardcover editions as they come out. It will be a long wait until October for the book two!

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Crimson Death: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel  by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Comes out in Hardcover – June 7, 2016

I have been following and reading these books for over a decade. Technically this is the 27th instalment in this book series. If I don’t count two very short novellas it is 25th book in the series. I have yet to get my hands on the last one. I collect them in small paperback editions so that makes the wait even longer…

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Fire Touched: A Mercy Thompson Novel by Patricia Briggs  

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Comes out in Hardcover – March 8, 2016

This is one of my favorite urban fantasy series with strong female lead. This is the 9th book in the series. Again extra wait for me since I collect them in paperback editions. I have all the previous ones 🙂

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Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Comes out in Hardcover – February 2, 2016

This is one of the rare science fiction books I like. It is also something I watch out for my bf. This one is part of a 15+ book series. all the books mostly cover the character of Miles Vorkosigan but this one is centered on his mother Cordelia.

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Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne

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Comes out in Hardcover –  January 26, 2016

As much as I’m looking forward to this one I’m mad as well! This book series used to come out straight in paperback and with this book they made an exception and started printing out first editions in hardcover. Reason that this makes me mad is that it means more waiting time for me to get my paperback copy . It is the 8th book in the series that has a few novellas as well.

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My American Duchess by Eloisa James

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Comes out in Hardcover – January 26, 2016

Last on this list and the sweetest is historical romance book by Eloisa James. I fell in love with her Desperate Duchesses book series. This is either a start of a something new or the 9th book in the series. Either way I plan on reading it as soon as I can. The sweet thing is that booth hardcover and paperback come out at the same date!

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What books are you looking forward to this year?

Monthly reading review – May 2015

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Monthly reading review – May 2015

This May I have read:

Heart-Shaped Box Joe Hill ★★★
Four Nights with the Duke (Desperate Duchesses book 8) by Eloisa James ★★★★
The Governess Affair The Brothers Sinister: Book 0 by Courtney Mila ★★★★
Sacrificed to the Dragon Stonefire Dragons by Jessie Donovan ★★
Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft ★★★
The Pleasure Hound (Book 1) by Ines Johnson ★★★★★
The Pleasure Hound (Book 2) by Ines Johnson ★★★★
Judita by Miro Gavran ★★★
The Tin Drum Danzig Trilogy: Book 1 by Günter Grass *NF*

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It has been a very long time since I’ve managed to read all I wanted for the month!
This May I have a NF (Not finished) book. And I’m trying to let that one go…

1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?
This May I’ve read 8 books. It has become standard for me to read just a bit under 10 books a month.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in May? Any scenes or character that made a lasting impression?
Pleasure Hound by Ines Johnson was a nice surprise. I did not expect anything from it and was blown away with how good story and characters were to me.
Also Eloisa James with her Four Nights with the Duke was as good as expected and I did have big expectations from Desperate Duchesses series!

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?
Sacrificed to the Dragon by Jessie Donovan was great at first but I ended up horribly disappointed by it. The idea and the introduction to UF alternate reality was really good, but it all was pushed into background of a cheesy predictable love story with erotic elements 😦

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4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?
One third of the books I read was due to some reading group or a challenge. I’m still trying to balance it all out
I allways have more books I plan to read than I actually get to read and this May I couldn’t find the time for a manga (!) Log Horizon Vol. 1 (manga) by Mamare Touno, Kazuhiro Hara

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5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?
Got The Desperate Duchesses series up to date! Lately I’ve been strugling with ebooks that are avaliable in parts. I’m still not sure to count them as book series or not. Still have plenty backup series to continue

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6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?
This month was all about trying to relieve stress with romance books – don’t laugh it works! Therefore instead of recommending a single book suggest Desperate Duchesses series or any other romance book avaliable

For June I have planned:

Log Horizon Vol. 1 (manga) by Mamare Touno, Kazuhiro Hara
The Seduction of Sophie Seacrest (An Unlikely Husband: Book 1) by Mary Campisi
The Enduring Library: Technology, Tradition, and the Quest for Balance by Michael Gorman
Les Contes de Grimm by Marc Girard
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

I’m always scouting for books to mess up my plan with!

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Book stats: July Edition!

Books you read: 13

5 stars: Oh my! 8 of them!
1 stars: none – apparently I’m a generous reviewer!
DNF? Still not giving up on any book but ungracefully dragging few along for a while now :/
Genres: I mostly sticked with historical romance this month with some CR, manga, YA and even a bit of Persian poetry!

1. Were you happy with the amount you read?
I started out with a whole series of 7 books in first twelve days of July then had to tone it down a bit. I’m generally OK with the amount but will try to diversify a bit more in the future

2. If you had a 5 star read, what was it and why?
I dug deep into historical romances this month and I really loved Desperate Duchesses series so much I rated the whole series with 5 stars (all seven books)
Also I got to reread a favorite from a year ago and loved it even more than the first time I read it so I had to rate it 5 stars as well

3. If you had a 1 or 2 star read, what was it and why?
I had two 2 star reads this month. The first one rated so poorly because I just could get not into it properly. It was The Garden of Heaven: Poems of Hafiz by Khwāje Shamse Din Mohammad Hāfez-e Shirāzi
It’s a poetic translation from Persian and I felt the verses were somehow wrong in English. Themes were also distant to me and I lacked the historical background for many references involved.
Second low rated read was Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades: Book 1) by by E. L. James. My expectations were not met with this book and I was put off by how some themes were presented. I was most disappointed by the character of Christian Grey – I still don’t see what the fuss is about…

4. Any new book boyfriends?
Not boyfriends but many intriguing Dukes!

5. Any new jerks?
There was this awful bookstore keeper in The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke: Book 1) by Julia Quinn. He is the proprietor of GENTELMEN ONLY bookstore and was so rude about dispatching a lady from his bookstore that he got punched in the nose! Serves him right!

6. Did you start any new series?
Started 4 series! One I read trough all the published books. Second I will not be continuing. Third I’m thinking about continuing but not sure at the moment. And the last one I will be continuing when I find time.

7. Did you find any new authors that you loved?
Eloisa James – I love her writing style!

8. Any book you would recommend?
Desperate Duchesses series by Eloisa James for those who wish to meet some interesting Dukes and Duchesses
and Bully (Fall Away Book 1) by Penelope Douglas as a really good YA drama series.