All the Books I’ve Been Reading (And Not Reading) Lately

Today is an exciting day! My children went back to school this morning for the first time since March 13!! They were beyond excited and I am happy for them. We have had low case numbers of Covid-19 in our Atlantic provinces all summer and though things could change at any time, I am happy they are back where they feel happy and a new routine is in place.

I’ve gotten a bit of my reading mojo back but it comes in waves. I am just finding other things to occupy my time and part of it is due to summer time and being actually allowed to socialize in small groups – part of it is getting the kiddos ready for school and all that comes with that and part of it is just being absorbed still by the news and everything else out there to consume. Ah well, it will all work out!! 🙂

Linking up with Steph & Jana today to channel some of my nervous excitement into book reviews!! Happy September Show us Your Books link up!

Books I Read Lately and Loved:

Hurry HomeHurry Home by Roz Nay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book grabbed my attention instantly and I had difficulty deciding which characters to trust throughout the book. The story was so well told with alternating chapters and although I think I had a niggling sense of how it might play out, I didn’t quite see it going the way it did – especially right at the end. Quite a thrilling book to read and hard to put down!! I enjoyed the audiobook narration as well.

You’ll notice my review is specifically vague – I think this one is best to go into without knowing too much, but I will say that it falls more on the “family drama” thriller end than the crime thriller type of story. Highly recommend.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the HorseThe Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The message and illustrations in this short book are absolutely magnificent. Would make a perfect coffee-table book or a gift for a friend who needs just a little bit of love.

In a HolidazeIn a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was an utter Christmassy delight from start to finish. I love the unique Groundhog-day like premise of reliving the same Christmas vacation but I was also relieved when it eventually settled into one timeline (sometimes it is easy to get attached to certain plot points and not want them to disappear!!!)
I loved the inclusion of such a fun close-knit group of family friends in this book. The characters were endearing and fun and all so different. It wasn’t hard to picture myself sitting in the living room with them all celebrating Christmas. Their Christmas traditions sounded so fun and it was also interesting to consider the idea of breaking tradition a bit and changing things up. The ROMANCE in this book was also adorable and swoony and SO GOOD. No complaints at all.
This will be the go-to Christmas romance of the year this year for good reason! Highly recommend it and it didn’t feel weird to read it on a hot summer day at all – despite it being set at Christmas, it doesn’t feel like a Hallmark Christmas movie (at least not to me).

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Anxious PeopleAnxious People by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started this book slowly and put it down and picked it up many times for about a month until something clicked and I flew through the latter half in a day without being able to think of much else. The premise of this book takes a little while to get used to – there are a lot of characters, and it isn’t entirely clear where the plot is going but boy does it ever come full circle and pack a punch at the end. Backman’s writing is unlike anything I have experienced and there were so many moments when this book brought me to tears, made me nod my head in solidarity, or just gaze in awe at the description of something so universal. He has an uncanny gift of writing about human emotion in a way that is so relatable even if the character is nothing like oneself. Here, he tackles themes of mental health (anxiety, obviously, and depression, and grief as well). His writing reflects upon marriage, parenthood, and career choices. There are several pivotal events that tie the seemingly random characters together in unforeseen ways. There are moments of abundant kindness and concern for one’s fellow humans.

There were plenty of humorous moments too and at one point I couldn’t stop laughing about something that was happening and had to try to explain it to my children because they were so curious (of course, they didn’t think it was quite as funny, but they smiled).

Each of these characters lodged themselves firmly into my heart and I simply cannot recommend this book enough. It might not be for everyone and there were moments in the beginning when I was unsure myself how much I’d love it, but overall, I cannot wait to read it again and underline a bunch of amazing phrases.

Thank you to Atria for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I won’t soon forget this novel.

Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5)Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sign me up to spend more time with the Baylor family now and forever. Ahhh this book was good.
The entire series continues to blow me away with its unique storylines. It took me a few chapters to catch back up in my head with what was going on with the Baylors but not too long overall.

Catalina is such a strong, confident female character who has stepped into immense power and handled it incredibly. I really adore her and her leadership and family values. Dare I say in some ways I like her better than Nevada? Not actually, maybe, but tied potentially?

The actual plot of this book was also very cool (and complicated) and I really enjoyed the science behind what was happening in the Pit and all of the drama about that. It certainly made it hard to put the book down.

Of course, I enjoyed the love story and final conclusion as well and CANNOT WAIT to read the next book in this series after a bit of a cliffhanger epilogue!!!! AHHH need it now.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Avon Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Other Books I Enjoyed

Thick as ThievesThick as Thieves by Sandra Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book kept me flipping the pages quickly and I did find the plot interesting. It was fast-paced, but the characters overall just fell a little bit flat for me. I did find a few of the plot twists interesting and unexpected though!! If you’ve enjoyed Sandra Brown’s other books, I’m sure this one will hold your interest like it did mine.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for the gifted copy!!

Woman on the EdgeWoman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! This book certainly kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. At one point I did have an inkling of what might be going on but then my brain took me in a different direction and I was so unsure if I was right! I love it when a book makes me feel that way. I won’t say too much about the plot of this, but this is a bit of a domestic thriller and it passed the time quite nicely!

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was really good! At first, I wasn’t sure if I was loving it, because witches and those who aim to kill them didn’t feel like my thing, but eventually the characters REALLY grew on me. I still wouldn’t say this is my absolute preferred world of magic compared to other fantasy series I loved more, but the plot was interesting, the ending was VERY interesting, and I look forward to reading the second book in the series. The audiobook narration was very well done.

And that’s about it! Currently reading The Self Driven Child and The Tourist Attraction on audio and When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. Also reading The Secret Garden to the kids – both of whom COULD NOT BE more obsessed with the Land of Stories series if you’re looking for some long middle grade books to keep your young bookworms entertained. 🙂

8 responses to “All the Books I’ve Been Reading (And Not Reading) Lately”

  1. I really want to read in a holidaze! Anxious people sounds really good. Definitely adding it to my list.


  2. In a Holidaze sounds like the perfect book to read for this Christmas!


  3. I am waiting to read In a Holidaze closer to Christmas! Hurry Home has been on my to read list. I’ve loved everything by Backman that I’ve read so I’ll have to read that one too.


  4. In a Holidaze sounds like the perfect book to read for this Christmas!


  5. I am intrigued by Hurry Home


  6. In a Holidaze sounds so cute. I might read it in December.


  7. Woman on the Edge and Hurry Home sound good.

    My reading comes in waves too.


  8. I absolutely love The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse (though I always mess up the order of the title!). It is such a delightful book, and just as the author says, can be enjoyed from childhood to late stage of life because the adages are wise and yet simple. Perfect gift idea!

    Here are my recent reads, if interested!


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