Books

Book 543: The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton

We moved last month and I had to shuffle books around and needed to pull one of a certain size off my shelf and this one was it so I figured might as well read it and I’m glad I did! I honestly thought this was on my Classics Club list, but apparently it wasn’t when I went to document it on my lists.

Apparently, I picked it up as part of my re-read books from high school that you didn’t like to see how they/I have changed after attending a panel at the 2012 Boston Book Festival. Although I didn’t read this one in high school, I read Ethan Frome, which of course I was disgruntled about because it wasn’t Star Wars or fantasy. Now I am again interested in the retelling that I mention, so who knows I might revisit this sooner than I think. Continue reading “Book 543: The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton”

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Books

Book 539: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) – Mackenzie Lee

After seeing this over and over being the darling of the book blogosphere and reading the rave reviews of it I figured I should check it out. I read a lot of LGBT literature, a lot of young adult literature, and quite a bit of adventure literature so I thought why not. And although I wasn’t completely disappointed, I was genuinely underwhelmed and for once it wasn’t the mood I was in. I’ll start with the not-so-great and finish with what I enjoyed.

I’m a finicky reader at best and have curated a pretty good system of choosing the books I read, including taking into account books that fellow bloggers who have similar tastes to me read, but this one just didn’t click for me quite like others have. I kept to my usual style of not reading anything about the author or the book after I decided I want to read it. [Generally I get excited about a book/author and purchase/reserve something by them and then I let it sit for a while so that I can clear my palate.]

Continue reading “Book 539: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) – Mackenzie Lee”

Books

Book 520: The Bookshop – Penelope Fitzgerald

I did not realize this one was a Man Booker Award Short List nominee when I started it. I expected fluff and lightness but realized within a few chapters that this was a lot better written than I was mentally prepared for when I selected to read it because it was one of the shortest books left on my list.

I would say this book reminds me of Joanne Harris’ Chocolat, but I honestly think Chocolat (because it was published so much later) got a lot from this type of book. The idea of someone coming into a town (no matter how long you’ve been in the town you’re still not from there) and basically stirring up the locals is a tried-and-true trope. The difference between this and Chocolat is that Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop is written so subtly that the magic you see in this book isn’t actual magic. IT is emotions and growth and community.

Continue reading “Book 520: The Bookshop – Penelope Fitzgerald”

Books

Book 518: The Atwelle Confession – Joel Gordonson

Every now and then you need a bit of a historical mystery/thriller to keep you going and when the publicist reached out to me about a review copy of this I was just intrigued enough to give it a go.* This is the third book from this particular group of publicists I’ve said yes to, but the first fiction title.

I was intrigued by Gordonson’s background as an international lawyer, but also slightly concerned that both of his books to date have had religious settings. This isn’t a bad thing (especially having read this one), but it was still a wait a second am I reading propaganda moment when I finally picked up my copy of the book (I wasn’t).

Continue reading “Book 518: The Atwelle Confession – Joel Gordonson”

Books

Book 516: Jane Austen: A Brief Life – Fiona Stafford

After being disappointed by the much hyped (by me internally at least) Jane Austen, the Secret Radical by Helena Kelly I looked elsewhere to nurse my mental wounds and found this lovely brief biography by Fiona Stafford. I reached out to the publisher for a copy as the book was recently re-released as part of Austen’s 200th death anniversary.*

I’ve surprisingly steered clear of nonfiction works concerning Austen (not really though because I like that she’s a bit of a mystery even with what we know about her. That being said I do have a few on my shelf that I plan to make my way through eventually. I’m not sure many, if any, will top this delightful read.

Continue reading “Book 516: Jane Austen: A Brief Life – Fiona Stafford”

Books

Book 514: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy #3) – Beth Pattillo

Another weekend, another great beach read! If you’re keeping track, which only I am, that’s three Jane Austen fan-fiction novels and one male-male romance novel. Talk about a great summer at the beach 😀

This is the third and final installment in Beth Pattillo’s Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy series, following Jane Austen Ruined My Life and Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart.

This felt like the weakest of the three books when it comes to narrative and characters, but I have to give Pattillo kudos for trying something new. Rather than focusing on one primary character and their voice/point-of-view, she split the book and moved back and forth between the characters Ellen and Mimi (not too much of a stretch from Elinor and Marianne am I right? – Pattillo nods to this).  Continue reading “Book 514: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy #3) – Beth Pattillo”

Books

Book 510: Jane Austen Ruined My Life (Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy #1) – Beth Pattillo

What another fun quick read for the summer!

I didn’t realize that Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart was part of a trilogy, but you know as soon as I found out I bought this, the first novel, and I bought The Dashwood Sisters Tell All, book three. They’re not really a trilogy, but loosely connected in theme and subject matter.

I do wish I would’ve read this one first, because I feel like Pattillo did a better job of explaining The Formidibles in this book than she did in the second, but obviously there’s a reason for that. [It’s the second book, DUH! – I’m still grumpy about reading them out of order.]

Continue reading “Book 510: Jane Austen Ruined My Life (Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy #1) – Beth Pattillo”