Show us Your Books – What I Read Last Month

Time for another link up with Steph and Jana! Can’t wait to read what everyone has been reading lately so I can broaden my 2018 TBR list!! This month, I hit my 100 book reading goal for the year and I also read a lot of really great books. Some of the books were cozier than others, but overall I loved many of the books I read. I read 3 books for my Austen adaptation month with Kristen, which I plan to continue with a bit in December. I have a few holiday books on my TBR for December too. Can’t wait for the second December link up to share the best books I’ve read all year!!! I am already enjoying browsing best-of lists although I disagreed a bit with Goodreads on some of the choices there πŸ˜‰ 
I read quite a wide range of books this month – quite a few contemporary romance type books that were either holiday related or Austen related, but also a few other mystery type books and a few children’s books. All over the place! 

A Murder for the Books (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #1)A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This was a cute cozy mystery, easy enough to read and the characters were enjoyable. The history of the town was interesting and there was a cute romance. At no point did I feel OMG I have no idea what is going on nor did I feel supremely concerned for the characters because I felt like it would all work out, but hey, that was kind of nice for a change. The romantic aspect was cute too. I will likely read other books in this series! (Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy of this fun book).

WishtreeWishtree by Katherine Applegate
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this beautiful book. It’s a children’s book, but it deals with an interesting topic. The book itself is extremely aesthetically pleasing, but the subject matter and way the story is told really pulled at the heart strings. It’s not quite Ivan, but I happen to really love trees as well as personification so this was up my alley, haha.

The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was amazing on audio and I couldn’t stop listening to it. It opened my eyes to a very realistic situation and the impact that it could have on so many people. The characters were wonderful in this book and the story was so well told. Everyone needs to read this book.

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1)A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a fun book to read! Loved the characters, was quite invested in the story, and enjoyed the way it unfolded. Looking forward to continuing the series. Veronica Speedwell is SUCH a fun character to read about and I loved Stoker too. I don’t really quite know how to classify this series – it’s kind of like a cozy historical mystery?! Pretty fun though.

The Wall of Winnipeg and MeThe Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Since I often enjoy books that Kristen likes, I had a feeling I would like this one but it still blew me away. IT WAS SO GOOD (if this genre is your thing). It was well written, and swoon-worthy, and I could not put it down and read it in one sitting. I loved it and I want to re-read it soon so I’m happy to have it purchased on my kindle πŸ™‚ If you like contemporary romance, this should absolutely make it on your list.

Wait for ItWait for It by Mariana Zapata
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved Dianna’s story!!! This one wasn’t quite as good as Wall of Winnipeg and Me, but I liked how their story was included a bit in this one too πŸ™‚ Loved Dianna’s relationship with her nephews and her independence, although her parental role made me feel a bit tired, haha. Zapata writes so well and I know I will enjoy all of her books and characters.

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I fully expected this book to be incredible, and sciencey, and intense, and it was all of those things and more. It was also a lot more heartfelt and hopeful than I expected. Some of it definitely went over my head, but I didn’t mind and felt like I “understood” it all enough to enjoy it immensely. The hype is real for this book. I already passed it on to my dad, who I think will enjoy it a lot too.

Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATsJane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATs by Paula Marantz Cohen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Parts of this book were absolutely hilarious to me. The guidance counselor/student/parent relationships were quite humorous and I liked that setting for the book. The Persuasion elements in it were nice, but of course it was nowhere near as swoonworthy as the original or as enjoyable as A Thousand Letters. I still really liked all of the characters and the book was a fun one overall! 3.5/5 stars πŸ™‚

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by BrenΓ© Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So many good and thought-provoking ideas about changing your perspective and giving yourself grace. I can absolutely see why Brene Brown’s work is so popular. I especially enjoyed this on audio but I might pick up a paper copy too so I can refer back to some of her ideas a bit easier. Loved the HP references πŸ˜‰

The War that Saved My Life (The War That Saved My Life #1)The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great middle-grade novel reminiscent a bit of Number the Stars. I loved Ada’s determination and how she grew throughout the book. I’ve heard the sequel is quite good too, and I will be picking that one up soon.

Wasted WordsWasted Words by Staci Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This couple was adorable and I loved that it was an Emma re-telling because they are a bit less common. Wasted Words seems like such a fun place – a bar/comic shop/bookstore all in one…so FUN! Staci Hart’s writing is fun and easy to read. I read this in one sitting and enjoyed it very much.

Winter Solstice (Winter #4)Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a joy to be back with the Quinn family after thinking their story was finished with book 3! I loved that this book had more Bart in it and all of the other characters too. I really liked Jennifer’s storyline and struggles in this book as well as everything Ava and Margaret were feeling. I knew the end was going to be heartbreaking, and it was, but it was also quite hopeful.
Thankful to have received an advanced copy of this wonderful conclusion to the series from Netgalley.

We'll Always Have ChristmasWe’ll Always Have Christmas by Jenny Hale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was one of those adorable Christmas stories that you know isn’t necessarily high literature but gives you some cozy Christmas cheer. It was nice, it was a bit predictable, but I didn’t mind. I can see why her work is made into Hallmark Christmas movies, because that is exactly how it reads, but I didn’t mind at all. The little boy in this book was adorable if not a touch unrealistic. πŸ˜‰ (Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this Christmas book).

The Deal of a LifetimeThe Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5/5 stars. I read this in less than an hour and was sad when it was over. It was excellent and thought-provoking though and I can’t get enough of Backman’s writing. Also, isn’t the cover just SO CHRISTMASSY?!?!!? I love it.

 MEH books:

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock StarFitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this book more. The premise was fun, and when I started it, it reminded me a bit of Eligible in the sense that it was ultra modern but had a bunch of P&P characters in their rightful places. The premise of the two bands touring together was fun and an easy way for everyone to get to know each other. I did really like parts of this book but it was just wayyyy too long and drawn out, parts of it were totally unrealistic for a modern setting, and there was way too much predictable coupling going on. I skimmed entire pages just so I could see where the plot was heading. Unfortunately I think it was the writing that really bothered me on top of the way too detailed love scenes which I will admit I skipped over for the most part.

Kissing Tolstoy (Dear Professor, #1)Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not a big fan of this – it was my first by this author and I bought it on Kindle for a fundraiser but I’m sensing it is not her best. Fortunately, it was a short read.

TL;DR: I loved Wasted Words, Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Wait for It, Deal of a Lifetime, Dark Matter, The Hate U Give, and Daring Greatly as well as A Curious Beginning. Oh, and Wishtree and The War that Saved My Life. So basically, read all of those books depending on what you like. The Winter series by Elin Hildebrand is also very well written if you like something Christmassy and with some family drama, but start with the first one. πŸ™‚ 

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