Tuesday, January 8, 2019

what I read: November & December 2018!

I am TERRIBLY behind on chatting books with you gals here on the blog... but better late, than never, right!?!? To catch you up quickly, today I am going to round up November AND December reads right here... then later this month we will go into January reads (which is already off to a great start!)

I read some great books over the past few months which brought my total reads in 2018 to 52 books! I had wanted to reach a goal of 60 - but some seriously slacking combined with two SUPER long books I read in November and December just didn't make it possible. Oh well!  There is always 2019.

Here's the books I read these past two months...

The Bronze Horseman & Tatiana and Alexander... on recommendation from a blog reader who told me she "got lost in this love story" I dove into The Bronze Horseman Trilogy to start November. I've only finished the first two and I am still deciding if I will read the third.  They are incredibly long and the third book doesn't get quite as good ratings... BUT let's dig into the first two!  These books are compulsively readable despite their approximately 900 pages each. I couldn't put them down and "getting lost in them" is a great way to describe the reading experience with these books. Set in Russia during the German occupation of WWII these books are both historical fiction and a sweeping love story. I just adored the characters and while the storyline did drag a few times - I mean, it is 900 pages - the payoff is worth it.  Both books have great cliffhangers at the end to keep you wanting to read the next. I highly recommend these two! (I will say there are quite a few racy scenes in both books but just in case you aren't into that, fair warning. I wouldn't let it keep you from reading the book though - but maybe just skipping over.) Also important to note: I read one of these in the paperback and one on Kindle. I would HIGHLY recommend the Kindle for this book since it's SO big. It was much easier to read in bed and on the go!

Once Upon a River... When three little girls go missing and one little girl shows up half drowned in a river - three families want to claim the girl as their own. But the mysterious nature of her appearance leaves no one sure of their claims. This beautiful gothic-style novel is slow and winding. And while I can't really say it ever 'picks up' in the pace the story is worth the slow read. The Thirteenth Tale by this same author is probably one of my favorite books of all time - so that is worth a read too! It's the perfect book to get lost in on a cold winter day. (please note, I was given a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review)

Where the Crawdads Sing... I had heard so many good things about this book and waited for what seemed like forever to get it at the library and it did NOT disappoint. This book is one part a story of a young girl left to fend for herself in the marshes of the North Carolina coast when her parents abandon her and one part murder mystery. This story is completely fascinating and I couldn't put it down. I think I read it in less than three days over Christmas break. The story is very well written, with extremely lovable and hate-able characters in the best way possible. The story completely comes alive on the pages and it was definitely one of my top reads of 2018.

Rush... This book was perfect "fluff" reading which I also read over Christmas break. After hearing quite a few good reviews on blogs, etc of this book - it fell quite flat for me. I hate to give a book a "bad" review but the storyline was extremely predictable and often times boring.  I did really fall in love with quite a few of the characters (Cali & Miss Pearl, specifically) - but I felt like all the characters deserved a better storyline. Since I didn't go to a college with sororities I always find stories about them to be so fascinating. And if you've ever rushed before you may find the story rings true to your own experience.  Again this book does get a lot of good reviews, so for me it just wasn't a hit.

What books have you read and loved lately? I would love to know!  I've got some great books on tap for January - including The Great Alone which I am FINALLY reading and enjoying so far!

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