One of my personal goals for the year was to challenge myself to read 100 books. Despite an absolutely insane September I am still on track to reach my goal! So without further ado, here is a review of each of the books I’ve read this past month!
‘The Reluctant Duchess’ by Roseanna M. White was an excellent follow up novel to the first in this series, ‘Ladies of the Manor’. Lady Rowena Kinnaird is not as bright and bold as our first heroine in the series, but she is tough and resourceful. It is a well written and entertaining novel. Vibrant characters, a beautiful landscape and plot line run throughout and it was a lovely read from start to finish.
‘How to Be a Blogger and Vlogger in 10 Easy Lessons” by Shane Birley is a resourceful if silly at times book that will teach you to do just what it promises. You can judge this book by its cover as the target audience is certainly for teenagers, and much of the advice is directed toward that age category. Still, I got a few good ideas for my blog.
‘The Cake Therapist’ by Judith Fertig is a fluffy read that tries to be serious. The characters are fairly one dimensional and the plot needs some fleshing out. The novel grows tangled plot lines that don’t all connect and that grow thin and snap at several points. I barely remember reading this book later in the month, and once I looked up the plot remember being bored through over half of the novel and only getting to the interesting bits near the end.
‘The Underground Railroad’ by Colson Whitehead was a fantastic listen on audio book. It was so poetic yet straightforward. The acts that white men committed made me literally sick to my stomach. We follow Cora’s story. She is a young lady coming into womanhood on a plantation in the South. She escapes and we hear her story and that of others around her. I imagine this would be a tough read if I had to actually read the words myself. Listening to it on audio book helped, although it was still hard to listen to.
‘God and the Afterlife’ by Jeffrey Long was the most amazing book. It is written by a doctor who collected research on individual’s near death experiences, and what they saw while nearly or medically deceased. It is the largest ongoing study on this subject. I found this book fascinating and at many points incredibly awe inspiring and hopeful. It is specifically written looking at the experiences people had with God and many of them share similar traits. So amazing. Totally recommend this book.
‘The School of Essential Ingredients’ by Erica Bauermeister is a pretty spectacular novel. It follows the lives of those taking Lillian’s cooking class- as well as the proprietor herself. It reads with such a flow that one is inspired by simple words. As a foodie it inspires thoughts of cooking and eating as well. Each student has their own background they bring to the kitchen and work through it in their own way. At times it is difficult to keep track of them listening to the audio book, but otherwise a fantastic read.
‘Seriously… I’m Kidding’ by Ellen Degeneres was hilarious and that’s about it. It skips around like a jumping bean and doesn’t focus on much of anything, but in true Ellen fashion she’ll have you in stiches. Especially since I listened to it on audio book and she narrates it herself. I especially liked the bit about her short stint on American Idol. A definite must read for any fan of hers.
‘Art Before Breakfast’ by Danny Gregory is a fabulous read to inspire you to create more. Danny gives excercises to complete, short little lessons on basic sketching techniques and generally encourages the reader. I am involved with Sketchbook Skool, an online community of artists of all skill levels who take online klasses from Gregory and his co-teacher along with other artists they are able to get. A fantastic time- and a fantastic book!
‘and furthermore’ by Judi Dench is a really interesting novel. I listened to it on audio book and her friend narrates it beautifully. Prior to reading this book I had not known much about her, other than the fact that she is an amazing actress. This novel is the follow up to a prior novel which I have not read, but showed me so much about her life it was inspiring and truly interesting and entertaining. Dench has led an incredible life. I would definitely recommend her novel!
‘The Girl Who Chased the Moon’ by Sarah Addison Allen was a fun listen- but basically a more sophisticated ‘Twilight’ story. Allen’s novels are always touched with a bit of magic, and this one is no exception. As entertaining as it is, I think it would make a really fantastic movie. I love the aspect of the novel where our heroine’s wallpaper changes with her mood and circumstance. Set in the South, this novel is romantic, drenched in history and superstition, and a fun read from the word go.
‘A Very Special Year’ by Thomas Montasser is a pretty special book. This is a book about the love of books. It seems like each chapter starts a new aspect of Valarie’s life, and she grows to know herself more as she cares for the bookshop owned by her Aunt Charlotte who has disappeared. At the end of the novel the story comes full circle, but it is the journey that is actually quite interesting. It’s written like it is her life. We are learning as she is. It’s really hard to explain, one just needs to read it for themselves. 🙂
That’s books 54 through 64 of 100! Stay tuned at the end of October for a wrap up of all of the novels I read in the next month!
Click here to see my goals for 2016