Books

Book 544: Jane Austen at Home – Lucy Worsley

With this, I’m crossing another review copy/ARC/galley off my list and with this I only have two trailing from last year and then on to the so many more I have from this year. I barely got it through before the one year mark. I got this back in July of 2017.* I’ve pretty much shut down unsolicited reviews until I get through them with the caveat that Jane Austen is a plus (I have two waiting) and authors I’ve previously read I actually have to think about it before I say no.

I requested this after I heard about the BBC series Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors (BBC link), which I still haven’t watched, but thought it sounded interesting. I wanted to see this “new” take on Austen and her life and it was better than I thought it would be.

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Books

Book 531: Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet (Perfect #2) – Marilyn Brant

This is the second novel in the two book series, Perfect. The first, Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet and this one are both just sort of okay. This picks up within six months of Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match and happens over three weeks.

I did really enjoy Brant’s characterizations of the Jane and Bingley characters from Pride and Prejudice, which is who this book focuses on. They’re the best friends of Beth Ann and William from the first book and the story revolves around their being best man and maid of honor at their wedding and the various shenanigans that ensue surrounding various bets they make with each other while trying not to kiss or kill each other.

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Books

Book 530: Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match (Perfect #1) – Marilyn Brant

I picked up a digital copy of this back in June of 2014. I never got around to reading it because it never caught my attention as well as it did when I first bought it. However, when I needed a book to kickstart my reading, as usual, I went to my Goodreads account and sorted by shortest to longest and this was one of the shorter novels on the list.

I think what I actually enjoyed about this novel is that it reminded me of the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie You’ve Got Mail (IMDb link). You can see more at this blog post by The Bennet Sisters talking about it as a pseudo-adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. You’ve got the scrappy upstart (Social Work student in this case) in Beth Ann Bennet and the rich haughty Dr. William Darcy (who does have a charitable streak) and the rest sort of plays out very similarly.

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Books

Book 366: The Adventures of Captain Underpants – Dav Pilkey

Pilkey, Dav - The Adventures of Captain UnderpantsWhat a charmingly cute chapter book! I read this book for Episode 7 of Come Read with Me and it was delightful! I’ve obviously heard of the story before, but have never had any impetus to read it as the book (Amazon link) came out after I was past this reading age/level.

I read this in one quick sitting while commuting home from work one day. It was definitely one of my more interesting choices for a commute read but hey no shame in my game right? I’m sure I could read the entire series, 12 “novels” and various spin offs, all in one day, and honestly they would probably be worth the read. It was engaging and there was enough humor, potty and otherwise, that I found myself smiling for most of the read.

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ARC, Books

Book 348: In Youth Is Pleasure & I Left My Grandfather’s House – Denton Welch

Welch, Denton - In Youth is Pleasure & I Left My Grandfather's HouseThe publisher, Open Road Integrated Media, reached out to me with this book as I’d previously read Jane Bowles’ Two Serious Ladies, and she is even mentioned in this work.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hesitant at first as Bowles’ work was very well written but I just didn’t like the characters. Thankfully, Welch’s characters were a bit more accessible for me. This is two shorter stories so I’ve separated my response into two parts. The publisher provided a copy of this book and I received no compensation for my honest opinion.

The one over-arching them the two pieces have in common is the idea of sexuality, specifically homosexuality, before it was commonly talked about and/or accepted. I tried (aka did a brief google search) to find out about Welch’s sexuality, but again this was a long time ago before our out and proud mantras of today. Welch died young, he was only 33, and there is only speculation outside of his written works which in today’s society seem pretty explicit. Regardless, I enjoyed both of these snippets of the past for completely different reasons.

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Books

Book 260: Openly Straight – Bill Konigsberg

Konigsberg, Bill - Openly StraightI saw this book first on Sarah’s blog Sarah Reads Too Much and as soon as I saw the author and read her review I knew I wanted to read it. My first introduction to Bill Konigsberg was through his debut novel Out of the Pocket. It’s hard to believe I read it three years ago AND it was my very first book on my old Sony e-reader.The best part is as I did a quick re-read of that post Konigsberg answered quite a few of my critiques and he’s clearly matured as a fiction writer over the past few years!

As I read the book I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between this and Andrew Smith’s Winger which was a great novel I read last year. However, they are distinctly different and as much as I enjoyed Winger I would probably put this one ahead, not for the writing, but for the story and the subject matter.

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Books

Book 215: Winger – Andrew Smith

Smith, Andrew - WingerOver the past few weeks this book started appearing on a lot of the book blogs I follow. As I noticed the ‘score’ of the book pretty much unanimously being high and the general excitement and fervor surrounding the reviews and responses I knew I had to read this book sooner rather than later and I am very glad I did.

If you haven’t read this book yet, you should. Everyone should read this book; and I do mean everyone. I honestly believe that any reader can find something to identify within this book. And as an added bonus not only is it hilariously laugh out loud funny, but it also wrenches many of your other emotions whether you want it to or not. Smith has created such a tongue-in-cheek character you can’t help but identify with him and love him and want him to do well.

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