The month I binged on Louise Penny (and other books for Show us your books!)

Time to link up with Steph and Jana and share some books I’ve recently enjoyed!! It’s the best day of the month for a bookworm 😉 

Most of my reading time this month was devoted to Louise Penny books – and I definitely don’t have a problem with that because the four books that I read in the Inspector Gamache series this month were FANTASTIC.

Here are a few snippets of the books I read this month: Louise Penny books first, followed by other (also fantastic) reads. If you’re sick of hearing me talk about this series (and I don’t blame you at all!)…skip to Forever Interrupted :):) Although you should give all of the gorgeous covers a quick glance! haha. 
The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8)The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book in the series was definitely a bit different than the others with less of the main characters, but it was SO, so good. The settings that Louise Penny creates are so interesting, and this one particularly so. It was not a happy book though and the tension moving forward is going to be pretty interesting…I started Book 9 immediately after finishing this one.

How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best so far in the series. I could not put this book down or stop thinking about it the entire time I was reading it. It was beyond intense. I would actually say that it is 100% worth it to read all the other books in this series just to read and enjoy this book. So many past moments are wound into this story and I absolutely loved that about it. Even though it was tense, some of the resolutions made this feel a bit less tense than the last book as well.

The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story was definitely interesting, but it was a bit of a let-down after what happened at the end of How the Light Gets In. It really occupied my time on a long flight though, and I was pretty unsure about the conclusion of it until right near the end, so it did have some very good parts. The writing was a bit darker and there was some definite tragedy in this book as well.

The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11)The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another very exceptional book in the series, probably my second favourite so far and much, much better than The Long Way Home. When I finished this book and I was reading the acknowledgements, I was shocked to discover that this story is based on a real person and true events in Canadian history. I had never heard of it before. The terror in this book was quite profound, and it was interesting to see the role that Gamache played in this book compared to a few books back. It was a very intriguing read. I enjoyed the part about CSIS. I listened to half of this and read half of it – the new narrator was quite good, in my opinion, but one mispronunciation drove me crazy. haha.

I’m currently reading A Great Reckoning (just started it!) and I am savouring it like crazy because when I finish it I’ll have to wait almost a year to read another new Gamache book.

Moving on to other books now: 

Forever, InterruptedForever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was my third TJR read and my least favourite. I will say that it made me feel very sad though and caused a few wiped tears on an airplane in public, so obviously there was some connection to the story ;). I just found that this book didn’t quite have the uniqueness factor of One True Loves and After I Do, even though it was a highly unlikely scenario to find oneself in. I really appreciate her writing and if you have enjoyed her other books, I’d give this one a shot too.

 The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2)The Likeness by Tana French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I picked this up at the library and realized I was only able to check it out for 7 days, I wasn’t sure if I would get through it or not. It was a BIG book. However, even though it did feel a bit long at times, the story was quite captivating and I was drawn in and invested in it quite quickly. I couldn’t believe how unbelievable the story was at first, but that’s what’s so great about fiction. I told my husband about it and he said that would never happen – which might be true, but it sure was fun to read about. This book reminded me of how I feel when I read Kate Morton – yes, it was long, but it was still great writing and a lot of the writing was pertinent to the conclusion of the story.
I’m not sure if I’ll plummet into the rest of the series right away, but I might pick away at the other books slowly. I do enjoy that the series does not have to be read in order and each novel is about a different character but they are connected. This book won’t disappoint if this is your genre!!!

Swear on This LifeSwear on This Life by Renee Carlino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been dying to read this book for a few months after hearing a lot of people talk about it. It was a perfect plane read. I enjoyed the alternating stories between present day and the actual book that was written in the book. It was fun to bounce back and forth. The ending seemed to happen a bit too quick for me, but I think it was intended to come across that way.

Rules of CivilityRules of Civility by Amor Towles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I quite enjoyed this book, and I definitely agree that it is reminiscent of The Great Gatsby. I found myself quite drawn to what happened to all of them and I enjoyed the format of looking back on a single year in one’s life and all of the events that unfolded with those people. It was fun to walk a mile (or more :)) in Katy’s shoes while reading this book. Also made for a great plane read 🙂

All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on LoveAll the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful little book with some very nice romantic haikus. I don’t really read poetry, but I had seen this book on a “best of” list and it was a quick read, but it was beautiful. Steph, I think you would enjoy this one – it reminded me of Haikuesday 🙂

The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much MoreThe Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More by Bruce Feiler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It usually takes me forever to get through non-fiction books and I generally shy away from them or just read pertinent bits and pieces, but this one was quite fascinating. There was a lot to learn from this book, and I have already implemented some of the suggestions and strategies in our own family. I especially enjoyed that this book didn’t really fall under any particular parenting/family umbrella but suggested many, many, many different ideas that COULD work for a family. Some of the research notes and interviews were VERY interesting too and quite easy to relate to.

The Lady Most Likely... (Lady Most..., #1)The Lady Most Likely… by Julia Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick, fun, and cute historical romance. Wasn’t a favourite but it passed the time fine. Three couples woven into one story.

I also put a couple of books on pause this month: Bel Canto – which I just can’t seem to finish (sorry, Alexandra! ;)) and a few Netgalley books that I think I will pursue this month. I was pleased to finish Erin’s book challenge this month too…and I’ve decided to hold off on the semi-charmed winter book challenge and just do Erin’s next challenge so that I can read anything and everything that comes in from the library for me. I’m hoping to get to Rebecca this month and Mansfield Park before the end of the year to finish up Jane Austen’s books! I would also like to get to The Blue Castle sometime soon – I can’t believe I’ve never read it because I loved Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon when I was younger.

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