Reading Round-Up

Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump. You know how it is – you start a book, drift away from it, start something else, drift away…and so on. Nothing has gripped my attention lately, so I have re-read a few old favorites along with some odd little fluff, and some ARCs from Netgalley and Edleweiss. Here’s my round-up:

  • Book of Life by Deborah Harkness – This was the hotly anticipated conclusion to the All Souls trilogy. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver. The storyline was bloated and felt extremely rushed, like Harkness and her publisher were so pressured to deliver the manuscript that they skipped the editing process. I found the main character, Diana, really irritating this time around, and the love triangle introduced at the end was ridiculous and unnecessary. Someone suggested I should go back and read all three books consecutively to see if that makes The Book of Life hold together. I may make that a summer reading project because I really did enjoy the first two installments in this series.
  • Call the Nurse by Mary MacLeod – This was a delightful, autobiographical treatment of the author’s time spent as a nurse on a remote Scottish island. The characters were not extremely well-developed, but were colorful and highly entertaining. After I finished this, I had an overwhelming desire to visit those Scottish islands. Google images is a wonderful thing for satisfying that kind of curiosity. Just saying….
  • The Secret of Greystone Hall by Elizabeth Wide, Cauldstane by Linda Gillard, and Secrets in Stone by Rebecca Engel were throwbacks to my early teen obsession with gothic mystery/romances. None of them were great literature, but all of them were fun.
  • Blood Faerie by India Drummond, Lord James Harrington by Lynn Florkiewicz, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist, The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett,and Snow White Red-Handed by Maia Chance were all books I started and couldn’t finish. I know, I know – Station Eleven??? The book on everyone’s “Best of 2014?” Yep. I thought it was predictable and boring, but I am not a fan of dystopian, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stories anyway. Be truthful – how many of you who did read it and loved it didn’t see the big twist coming at the end?
  • Books that I have finished and need to write reviews: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier, Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah & Agatha Christie, The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero, Vertigo 42 by Martha Grimes, Goodnight June by Sarah Jio, Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty, All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn, Winter at the Door by Sarah Graves (an excellent new mystery series set in Maine), House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy, Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, and As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Allen Bradley.

Now, I just have to sit down and write the reviews!