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Book-Talk Monday: What Are You Reading (February 2012)

Monday, February 6, 2012

It’s the first Monday of the month, so it’s time to share what we’re reading!


  • What is the most recent book you’ve finished reading? (Please tell us a little about it, and whether or not you enjoyed/would recommend it.)

    I don’t know if I should count this, but I just finished a re-read of Ransome’s Crossing on my Kindle. (I purchased it when it was on sale for under $2 on Amazon the week after Christmas—yes, I have to purchase the e-book versions of my own books!) Would I recommend it? Well, what do you think? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Last week, I finished a re-listen (the fourth or fifth time through???) of the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th books in the Harry Potter series. So that’s why I don’t have any new-to-me books finished to report. Back when I was so sick the first couple of weeks of January, I couldn’t bring myself to concentrate on something new, so old favorites were in order. And, of course, once I started (I started with Goblet of Fire, because, IMO, that’s the one in which the series story-arc really picks up speed), I couldn’t stop without finishing out the series.

    After I finished Deathly Hallows, on the recommendation of April Erwin, I tried Twilight. I tried really, really hard to like it, but I gave up at the point where Edward returns to school and freaks Bella out even more by being nice to her. I just can’t get the movie out of my head enough for the book to stand on its own. And it’s not a matter of not enjoying books after seeing the movie—I came to the Harry Potter series by first watching the first three movies before reading the books. So Twilight goes on my DNF (did not finish) list. Sorry, April!

  • What’s the next book on your To Be Read stack?

    Follow the Heart, Book 1 of the Great Exhibition series by Kaye Dacus—I must finish this manuscript so that I have time for rewrites, revisions, and edits before I have to turn it in on May 1!

  1. Monday, February 6, 2012 1:05 am

    I finished Ellie’s Haven by Sharlene McClaren Yes I would recommend it. the story is book 2 in a series but can be read as a stand alone book. Ellie is from country girl from the south who after witnessing her father murder a man. She ends up in Wabash Indiana Where she marries Gage a father of 4 children in a marriage of connivence. The book deals with this union and also with her stepfather who is searching for her. I enjoyed the story and what happens. There are some interesting scenes.

    I am reading sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott and am loving even more than her first book. Its one of my top reads so far this year.

    next will possibly be a Love Inspired book


    • Monday, February 6, 2012 9:59 am

      I love Sharlene and I love marriage of convenience stories, so I’ll definitely have to add Ellie’s Haven to my list!


  2. Monday, February 6, 2012 7:03 am

    “Vanity Fair,” by William Mackpiece Thackery. So good and his style is very reminiscent of Jane Austen’s style. Its a must read for any Regency/Austen lover.


    • Monday, February 6, 2012 10:00 am

      I read VF in college—and didn’t really like it. But that’s more because I didn’t like the characters more than anything. Thackery does have a great writing style, though.


  3. Audry permalink
    Monday, February 6, 2012 8:01 am

    I just finished Shadows in Flight, the latest installment in Orson Scott Card’s “Shadow” series, which follows the secondary characters from Ender’s Game.

    It wasn’t bad, but I was a little disappointed by the fact that it was only about 230 pages and really felt more like a short story than a novel. Ender’s Game actually spawned two series of sequels, this one and the “Speaker” series, set farther in the future, which follows the main character. Supposedly Card is planning a final book that will bring the two story arcs back together to finish it off once and for all, and this book really seemed like a setup for the one still to come. I’d recommend it for that reason to anyone following these two series, but it’s definitely not a standalone, and I wouldn’t recommend reading it without reading at least Ender’s game and probably Speaker for the Dead and the first couple “Shadow” books.


    • Monday, February 6, 2012 10:01 am

      I read Ender’s Game for a Science Fiction as Literature course the first time I was in college (twenty years ago) and loved it. May be time for a revisit with that book!


      • Audry permalink
        Monday, February 6, 2012 11:07 am

        Oh definitely. I’d seriously recommend Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide as well. (Then if you’re really into it, Children of the Mind, though that one was a little weird for me.)


  4. Anita Smith permalink
    Monday, February 6, 2012 9:23 am

    I just finished “The Maid of Fairbourne Hall” by Julie Klassen – 2 very vigorous thumbs-up! It was like reading a Downton Abbey story…loved it. Julie has written several books in similar time-periods, and I recommend them all. Also finished “A Lasting Impression” by Tamera Alexander. Wonderful history of Nashville, and a little art/French lesson going on in that superbly told story of Clair Laurent. Sigh. I wish I hadn’t finished it…on my Nook, I just read “Christmas with Miss Austen” by Jamie Carie – modern day with Austen factoids woven into a delightful tale of a funky artist who loves all things Jane. “One Perfect Day” by Lauraine Snelling is next up on the nook.
    Re-reading “The Silent Governess”, also by Julie Klassen. I devour Christian fiction like superbowl fans eat wings. I do avoid licking my fingers, however. Ha ha!


    • Monday, February 6, 2012 10:03 am

      Maid… is definitely on my TBR wishlist, as is …Impression. I almost downloaded the audio book of …Governess when I was trying to find something to listen to when getting ready for work in the mornings/in the car commuting, but reminded myself that I’m supposed to be reading at least 30 new-to-me books this year.

      However, I could use the excuse that one of the main characters in Follow the Heart is a governess to read Julie’s book again, couldn’t I?


  5. Monday, February 6, 2012 9:47 am

    I’m 2/3 through “The Swiss Courier” by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey. WWII suspense in which a Swiss/American operative who happens to be talented in cracking safes is swept into Nazi intrigue under the guise of helping the Allies. I’m enjoying it, but you have to stay on top of all the characters, much like a Thoene series. LOTS of people, but once you get the nationalities straight (difficult when you’re talking about Germany, Switzerland, Austria, etc.), it’s easier to follow. Love that it’s set in Europe!

    Next? I think I’ll try to be brave and read Mary Nealy’s (Mary Connealy) “The Ten Plagues.” I’m still not over reading Peretti’s “This Present Darkness” fifteen years ago, but I’ll give it a try. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • Monday, February 6, 2012 10:07 am

      I don’t know if it’s because I studied the era too much in school (and was traumatized by the films we had to watch of the concentration camps being liberated) or because I had a greater interest in the Civil War era, which took precedence, but I’ve never been able to get into novels set during WWII. I appreciate Tricia and Mike and the Thoenes for reminding us of it and keeping it alive, even through fiction, especially now that we’re losing that generation.


  6. Misty permalink
    Monday, February 6, 2012 9:57 am

    I just finished To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer. She created a character that has a lisp and in order to cover it he expanded his word base by extensive reading so he could avoid words with the letter “s”. It was a fun read. Currently I’m reading The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden, but having a hard time sticking with it. And a Lisa Wingate book, Word Gets Around, which is the second book in her Daily, Texas series and pretty funny. However not as funny as Talk of the Town, but I have hope. ๐Ÿ™‚ Next on my pile is Ransome’s Quest. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to pick up that book since I thoroughly enjoyed the first two, maybe I don’t want the story to be over. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also currently listening to Zero Day by David Baldacci, really enjoying it.


    • Monday, February 6, 2012 10:15 am

      When choosing the book to read right now, I had to choose between Tailor-Made Bride and The Lady of Bolton Hill. I chose Witemeyer’s book because I’d heard about her humor and the romantic tension between the two character—two things I feel I’m severely lacking right now in Follow the Heart.

      I used to be like you, able to read multiple books at the same time. Right now, doing two—one physically reading and the other listening to—I have to make sure they’re different enough in setting or story that I don’t get them mixed up!


    • Abigail Richmond permalink
      Monday, February 6, 2012 12:13 pm

      I finished “Head in the Clouds” a few weeks ago and it was great.


      • Abigail Richmond permalink
        Monday, February 6, 2012 12:17 pm

        Didn’t read “To Win Her Heart” yet but I do have it, who knows maybe I will read it next. I love her books and I don’t want to read all of them so quickly.
        Since there is just 1 other that I don’t have called “A Short-Straw Bride” can’t wait to get that one.


  7. Charmaine permalink
    Monday, February 6, 2012 11:00 am

    IRON HOUSE by John Hart. My hair stylist recommended it. She gave up romances and is into mysteries. This is a new genre! I’ve never read anything like this book. The protagonist is a hired hit man for a crime boss. He falls in love with a good girl and wants out of the mob. They are unmarried, but she is pregnant. The mob boss dies, who would have let him leave. The boss’ son is out to kill him and possibly his girl friend. Lots of twists and turns in this story. It is called Iron House because he and his brother were orphans there in their younger days. His brother kills a bully and he takes the blame, running away. The same day their mother (anomously) comes to adopt the boys. The plot thickens when the mob threatenes to harm the man’s brother, so he has to be sure he is okay. He doesn’t find out about his mother and the circumstances why they were in the orphanage until near the end of the story. At his brother’s house (mother and step-father) four of the bullies, now grown, are found murdered. So much more, but the bottom line is the mob boss’ son is killed, the pregant girlfriend leaves for Spain, the weaker brother is talented and a successful writer, but mentally unstable. With the mob boss killed there is no longer a threat to his leaving or his safety. He goes to Spain just in time to get to the hospital for his baby to be born. He has the mob boss’ money – which the mob boss wanted him to have. I’m breathless!
    I was curious to read the other books he has written. They are all best sellers and have won awards. THE LAST CHILD, DOWN RIVER, the children all have tragic a childhood, lots of evil, much like the world is today. Only one more of his novels to go before I read all of his books. I really don’t know what to think. Well, maybe I do. These stories are much like video games, violence, darkness. He’s just writing about today. I would call it contemporary fiction. It’s not like anything I’ve read before. Maybe I’m just catching up.
    Has anyone else read these books? What’s your opinion?


  8. Monday, February 6, 2012 12:03 pm

    Currently I’m reading ‘Midnight in Austenland’ by Shannon Hale — and oh my WORD am I loving it. So hilarious!

    Last book I finished was ‘Chasing Mona Lisa’ by Goyer & Yorkey…good but not as good as their previous (and loosely connected) effort ‘The Swiss Courier’ IMO.


  9. Abigail Richmond permalink
    Monday, February 6, 2012 12:11 pm

    So your reading “A Tailor Made Bride” your going to love it!
    I just read “Undaunted Spirit” by Jane Peart I am now reading “Promise of the Valley” also by Jane Peart they are both in the same series and are great books!
    Don’t know what I will be reading next.


  10. Becky Allen permalink
    Monday, February 6, 2012 5:26 pm

    Re-reading Under the Cajun Moon By Mindy Starns ClarkLove the Mystery/Romance mix!


  11. Monday, February 6, 2012 8:29 pm

    I am half-way through Menu for Romance in my 3-in-1 Brides of Bonneterre book ๐Ÿ™‚ I sort o want to marry a chef! I love Major!



  12. Friday, February 10, 2012 11:53 am

    I just plowed through three LIs — Cheryl Wyatt’s A Soldier’s Devotion, Kathryn Springer’s Longing for Home and Linda Goodnight’s The Last Bridge Home. It was like taking a class. Love the writing of each of these ladies, both as a reader and as a writer.

    Now reading Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins, another fave author who educates even as she entertains.


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