Saturday, June 7, 2014

Clockwork Princess

clockwork princess

Note to self: When it’s been over a year since you have read the last book in a series, a refresher might be a good idea. It was almost 18 between reading this book and reading Clockwork Prince and I spent a lot of time looking things up on the internet and hoping I didn’t accidentally fall into a spoiler. I liked the book, but one day when I have some time (you know, when I win the lottery I never buy a ticket for) I am going to reread all three back-to-back so I’m not so confused!

I found what I wrote last August:

I had a hard time getting into Clockwork Princess. It dragged at first but about 5 chapters in it picked up. I'm not sure if it was the book that dragged or if it dragged because it had been so long since I read Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince.

Clockwork Princess reveals a lot of genealogy and other details that are relevant to the Mortal Instruments books as well. I am quite tempted to reread the three Infernal Devices books and the first five Mortal Instruments books before the last book comes out. I always reread all of the Harry Potter books before a new one came out and while I knew those books better than these, it always helped.

I thought the epilogue wrapped things up a little too nicely...there seemed to be a little too much of people getting what they wanted even if it was far fetched…

(August 2013)

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Secret Keeper

the secret keeper

Of the four Kate Morton books, this one was my least favourite, but it was still a good read. As her mother’s health declines and dementia takes over, Laurel begins to unearth secrets that explain a secret Laurel has kept for decades. Kate Morton did a great job of weaving past and present and keeping me guessing about what actually had happened and when and why characters acted one way but later on it appeared they had acted another.

(August 2013)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Round House

the round house

The one book I didn’t finish in 2013…I think…

I think I might have been in the wrong frame of mind to read this book. I read most of it, but I just couldn’t do it. I was surprised as it had been recommended by two people who’s taste in books I respect – one is an English teacher and the other a librarian. The subject matter is pretty heavy and maybe it was just too much for me with my new baby and five year old…


(July 2013)

The Forgotten Garden

the forgotten garden

This was the other new book my new friend at the library suggested. I loved it. Again it’s a book with a past and present story, unlike in Lighthouse Hill, these two stories are most certainly connected. There are almost three stories, although two of them belong to the same character. The title suggests the classic The Secret Garden and I loved that Frances Hodgson Burnett makes an appearance in the novel. I read all four of Kate Morton’s book and I think this one was my favourite, although I did love them all and I’m eagerly awaiting the next one (I heard it was coming out this year!) If you need a book to read, I’d recommend this one for sure!

(July 2013)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lighthouse Bay

lighthouse bay

I actually did write a few drafts of some of the books I read in the last year…here are some of my thoughts immediately after reading this.

New baby = not a lot of time to read. I don't get a lunch break these days and our apartment has been so stifling hot that J has been staying up super late. Her room is by far the hottest in the house and by the time I tuck her in, feed C and possibly wash the dishes, it is time for me to go to bed so I can get up around 4:30 for C's middle of the night feed. Which is a long way of saying I don't get to read before bed anymore.

But I need to read. That's just who I am, so I decided I'd pick out a book for myself at the library when I took J last week. I stood there contemplating the books and the nice lady next to me loaded me down with 3 books. I went in looking for an easy and walked out with The Book of Negros, which I read a long time ago, and two totally unknown books. It turns out they were both written by Australians. I started one as soon as I got home and couldn't put it down and then I got distracted by this book.

Lighthouse Bay tells the stories of Libby and Isabella. Libby's lover had just died and she returns home to Australia from Paris to live in a cottage he bought for her near her childhood home. She has been gone for 20 after making a tragic mistake that her sister may never be able to forgive her for.

Isabella arrives at Lighthouse Bay in 1901 after washing up on shore, the sole survivor of a ship wreck that kills her husband. She has to fight for her survival and figure out how to get out of Australia.

This is the kind if book I like to read when I don't want to concentrate too hard - I didn't have to draw a family tree or make a character list, so that was good and it made this a perfect book to read while C was eating or when I had an extra 15 minutes. I liked that the two stories, while loosely linked were independent of one another. I found it interesting that the author chose to write the older story (Isabella's) in the present tense while Libby's present day story was written in the past. Isabella's story was more flushed out and more detailed, but to me that made sense. Her struggles have bigger consequences than Libby's did. A wrong decision or mistake by Isabella and her life could have been over...Libby was never at risk of losing her life.

I will probably see if I can find Wildflower Hill next. It seems to be the better liked novel of the two by people who have read both.

(July 2013)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Speaking from Among the Bones

speaking from among the bones

Baby C came home from the hospital and a few days later, Alex came home from the library with this…I had put a hold on it and of course the hold came up at the most inopportune time…but I finished it and I enjoyed it. Easter at Buckshaw and the crypt in Bishop’s Lacey is opened and disturbed…sounds like a ghost story and maybe a bit like of of the most famous ghost stories in Christian lore…and then, because he can, Alan Bradley tosses a curve ball on the last pages…a good book for a new mom!

Oh, and have I mentioned that I think the name Flavia is awesome? I would have named Baby C Flavia, but Alex wasn’t a fan…and I think I like her name better than Flavia now anyway…but Flavia is still an awesome name.

(April - May 2013)

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Lost Boy

the lost boy

This was the last book I finished before Baby C made her grand entrance…and it had me guessing for most of it…the connections were not what I thought they would be. The next book (the eighth I think) will be available here soon and I am really looking forward to it!

(March – April 2013)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Lady in the Lake

the lady in the lake

More crime…jeepers…I read The Big Sleep in university and this book had been sitting in my bookcase for a few years. I really enjoyed The Big Sleep and more hard-boiled detective stories seemed up my alley…What got me about this book was there were no computer, no fancy crime labs, no smart phones and yet Philip Marlowe was still able to figure it out…I guess we don’t need all that technology after all!

(March 2013)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Before the Frost

before the frost

This is the second last of the Kurt Wallander novels and his daughter Linda is a central character (I read somewhere that this was supposed to be the first of a trilogy about Linda, but it never happened because of a tragedy of some sort) I remember the murders in this one were a bit disturbing…it was interesting to see how Linda was similar to her father. It’s too bad there aren’t more Linda novels. I enjoyed this one.

I just have the last book left to read, A Troubled Man. It’s somewhere in a box from when we moved. I’m sort of avoiding it because I’m sort of pretending it’s not the last one…

(February-March 2013)

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Pyramid

the pyramid

The Pyramid is a collection of short stories that date back to Kurt Wallander’s start as a police officer. I remember these and I liked getting the background on Wallander and his ex-wife and his life before the book Faceless Killers. It was interesting…I finished the book and had Faceless Killers sitting here. The end of the last story is the opening of Faceless Killers and the two books were translated by different people. The tone of the two texts is very different…I can’t remember the words exactly but I think one of the Swedish words tranlated to senior citizen in one text and elderly farmer in another. It was quite interesting! And a reminder that we’re not always getting all the nuances in a translated text.


(February 2013)

Thursday, May 29, 2014



For some reason while I was pregnant and after, I had a fascination with crime novels. And Kurt Wallander in particular. Of course, I can’t remember what this was about other than there was more than one crime and they ended up being related. Maybe there was a man in a hidden room…I know I liked it…except for The Man Who Smiled, I have liked all of the Henning Mankell I’ve read, but I sure can’t remember much more than that…

(February 2013)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Update and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was pregnant and I thought I’d be able to read 24 books in 2013. That number was based on a certain number per month before baby arrived and a different number per month after baby arrived. Baby was a month early and adjusting my goal for that, it works out to 14+9=23. And I managed 23 books. So I made my goal.

January 2014 rolled around and I decided to go easy on myself. I had an infant and a kindergartener and I was going back to work, so the 2014 goal is 12 books. A book a month seems manageable, so we’ll see how it goes!  There is a lot happening in the next six months, so I might be a bit ambitious.

Also, there is a new tab for The Big Read. I have challenged myself to read 50 of those books for my most recent 101 in 1001 challenge. We’ll see how I do…

But now, while I managed to make my book target, I didn’t manage to keep the blog updated, so here, and for the next few weeks, are the books I read in 2013 and at the beginning of 2014. As well as I can remember them. Mommy brain and all.

the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

I really liked this book. I inherited my mom’s fascination with World War II history and this book had that. I didn’t realize that Guernsey Island was occupied during the war and, while I didn’t quite get there, I thought I’d go read a bit more about it. When I was off work after I hurt my back, my mom brought me a set of DVDs to watch called Island at War. I really enjoyed them and I found myself wishing there were more episodes as I watched the last one. This book reminded me of that series. It was good and I think I want to reread it.

(January 2013)

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Mark of Athena

mark of athena

I was very excited when a message from the library popped up, telling me this book had arrived. But the thing that made me the most excited? On one of the last pages, a few little lines reading: The House of Hades, coming Fall 2013. For whatever reason, correct or incorrect, I thought The Mark of Athena was the last book in the Heroes of Olympus series. I'm so glad there's at least one more book!

I felt like I needed a refresher from The Son of Neptune before I started this one...I kept mixing up which of the "new" characters came from Camp Jupiter and which ones came from Camp Half-Blood.

I liked the book - the adventures were exciting and there were enough of them, but not too many (if that makes sense). I did kind of wish we got to see more of Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-Blood preparing for their inevitable meeting (maybe that will happen in the next book?). The little teaser glimpses of what was going on that the seven got to see through Piper's knife were revealing, but I wanted more!

I'm on track for 16 books in the first four months of!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Man Who Smiled

the man who smiled

This book was weird. I didn’t really like it. It’s definitely my least favourite of the series. It is apparently actually the 5th book (it should come after Sidetracked), but it’s not listed in the lists in the Vintage editions. The edition I read was published by The New Press. I was not thrilled with the translation – there were a bunch of weird errors. There were also a few fact check errors and I’m not sure if they are actual fact check errors or other problems with the translation.

Reading this one out of order demonstrated how well the others are written to be stand alone books if need be. There were a few references to events in this book in The Fifth Woman and One Step Behind, but I didn’t feel like I was missing much. This book filled a few details that were nice to know and enhanced the story, but they weren’t necessary to the plots of the others.

I’m glad I read this after The Fifth Woman and One Step Behind because I disliked it enough that I may have just stopped reading the books…but now I’m waiting for the next two books to show up at the library…in the meantime, I might read some other author!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

One Step Behind

one step behind

I think this might be my favourite of the series so far. I like the way Ann-Britt Höglund has been developed and I like the new chief. This plot line was the most twisty-turny so far and I liked how it was done…I could seen the connections, sort of – it was like they were just outside my peripheral vision.

I was a bit annoyed at Wallander though with his health issues, but that seemed to be a plot device.

I read it in a day and a half, so a reread might be a good idea someday!