Show us Your Books: The first of 2018!!

The weeks surrounding Christmas are notoriously bad reading weeks for me; this year was a little better than in the past, but I still felt like I never had any time (or energy) to read. That being said – I didn’t have much time to blog either. Those kinds of things just fall by the wayside when we are with our families and I’m busy parenting, cleaning, and celebrating 😉 Being home for 10 days straight with my family and visiting all of our families and friends just doesn’t leave much time to poke my nose in a book…but I did finish a few books over the last month and I am feeling back into a big reading groove!!! January-March are usually big reading months for me because it is SO FREEZING OUTSIDE that all I want to do is curl up and read books. Haha. Anyone else?!

Linking up with Jana & Steph today to chat about books for the first Show us Your Books link up of 2018!!!

Heir to Edenbrooke (Edenbrooke, #0.5)Heir to Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had asked my husband for Edenbrooke for Christmas, so I wanted to read this one in case I ended up re-reading Edenbrooke sometime over the holidays. This was SO CUTE. Loved it. It was fun to read Philip’s perspective and know just how much that meeting with Marianne changed his life. SO fun, and definitely a quick and enjoyable read if you love Edenbrooke. My only complaint was that it was not long enough!!!!! I wanted more. If you haven’t read Edenbrooke yet, I implore you to do so if Regency romance is your thing. It is SO SO good.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A NovelMr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel by Samantha Silva
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this SO much more than I did. I am not a huge fan of A Christmas Carol, but I don’t mind Dickens in general. This was interesting at times, but it fell a little flat for me. I will say that if you are ever looking for a good book to read around Christmas time that has minimal romance and is not Hallmarky, this might be up your alley…

How to Find Love in a BookshopHow to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I sat on the couch and read about 90% of this book in one night. I had started it the night before, and was liking it, but I just plowed right through. It was really cute, and also very emotional at times. Can I just say that I love that books about bookshops and book lovers are so popular right now? I love the bookish themes in these books. A few I can think of off the top of my head that I loved: The Bookshop on the Corner, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Words in Deep Blue, Tell me Three Things (in the background), Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, A Murder for the Books. Even books that I didn’t completely love about bookstores were mostly redeemable because a setting of a bookstore is SO GREAT. Anyway, enough of that tangent – How to Find Love in a Bookshop is adorable and sweet. I loved it. It did remind me a bit of Fikry in some ways, especially the father-daughter aspect.

  Out of My MindOut of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, this was quite the book. It was easy to read, since it is middle grade, but it was quite powerful. It’s about an 11 year old girl in a wheelchair who has SO MANY THOUGHTS and is sooooo smart but unable to speak (and has cerebral palsy). Melody was quite funny at times, and witty, and a normal pre-teen but with so many more challenges in life than many of us have. Parts of this were tough to read but it was so eye-opening. I definitely cried like a baby near the end. (I read this for Erin’s challenge for a character with a debilitating physical illness).

KultiKulti by Mariana Zapata
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t love this QUITE as much as The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, but it was still very good and it made me realize that I kind of like books about sports – in this sense. Haha. Parts of it were quite swoonworthy and I really appreciated Sal’s confidence and strength to stand up for what she believed in. This was a cute, quick, read that left me with a smile on my face and passed a winter’s night quite nicely. I am enjoying Mariana Zapata’s books a lot – they probably aren’t for everyone, but they are quite enjoyable if you like the genre.

Seven Days of UsSeven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a fun book to pick up here and there over Christmas. The alternating perspectives and short chapters really lent this book to scattered reading, although I did read the last half of it in one sitting quite quickly. I did not see the end coming and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The family drama and contrast between different careers etc was good and if you like family drama books, this is a good one to consider. It’s not all drama all the time though – I wouldn’t compare it to The Nest, for example.

Pride & Popularity (The Jane Austen Diaries, #1)Pride & Popularity by Jenni James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a cute YA book – totally predictable, but it was still fun. A bit too YA for me, but that’s my own age showing 😉

Longbourn's SongbirdLongbourn’s Songbird by Beau North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5/5. I really, REALLY liked the time period that this re-telling was set in, and I enjoyed the progression of the plot that was somewhat close to the original, although there were some very with obvious changes that didn’t seem TOO ridiculous to me (as in other adaptations). Better yet, if you haven’t read the original P&P, this is still a nice little story to read and it was quite well written. I like Beau North as an author quite a bit and I’m looking forward to reading her other work now that I’ve enjoyed two of her Austen retellings. Kristen, you’ll like this one 😉

TL;DR: I highly recommend Longbourn’s Songbird, How to Find Love in a Bookshop, Out of my Mind, and Heir to Edenbrooke. Seven Days of us might be a good one to keep in mind for next holiday season, too. 🙂 

Currently reading:  The Snow Child (LOVING IT) and Greenglass House (on audio, LOVING IT). I’m carving out more time to read so I can finish these books off and continue on with Erin’s book challenge 8.0. Speaking of which, here are my choices for her challenge, which runs on Facebook and Goodreads from Jan 1-Apr 30, 2018:

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