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.

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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).

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Books

Book 515: The Address – Fiona Davis

Having finally cleared my backlog of ARCs I may have gone overboard accepting and requesting them in July. I received six unsolicited requests (some from publishers I’ve worked with) and I requested an additional four. Of all of those I received four, including this one.*

When the publisher reached out to me about this book I was intrigued by 1880s New York and the fact it was about a woman running an apartment building. I figured this is historical fiction, but pretty progressive historical fiction so why not give it a go. What I didn’t realize, because I didn’t re-read the blurb before I started it was that there is a time and narrator shift of 100 years that caught me off guard.

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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.]

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Books

Book 504: Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy #2) – Beth Pattillo

I really don’t know why I have such a backlog of Jane Austen fan-fiction on my shelves.I truly enjoy reading them and they’re so quick that it’s like why do I delay the gratification?

But then again, on days like yesterday, I realize that stocking them up isn’t necessarily a bad thing because they are WONDERFUL beach reads. Hopefully, this means I’ll be going to the beach more this summer (it’s like maybe a 10 minute walk) and reading quite a few more of these 😀

Seriously, though, this one has been sitting on my shelf since 2013 when Alie sent it to me, which is just a shame because I blazed through it in less than 12 hours. I started it on the beach yesterday, see very end of the post, and finished it on my way to work this morning.

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Books

Book 489: How to Survive a Summer – Nick White

I wanted to like this so much more than I did. And this says a lot about both myself and the book/writer. Even though my response isn’t that friendly to the book there were some occasional one liners that made me smile.

When I requested a copy of this book from the publisher,* I wanted to identify with the characters, I wanted to revel in our shared experiences of growing up in the south during a certain time, but I just couldn’t.

Perhaps this is because I didn’t grow up in the deep south (I grew up in a military town in NC) or maybe because my family wasn’t too religious, (we went to church some times, but we were Episcopalian and compared to other southern denominations, they’re pretty damn liberal), or perhaps it’s just because of the writing or the non-shared experiences of the book that i just couldn’t click with it.

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