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What Are You Reading? (March 2014)

Monday, March 3, 2014
Open Book by Dave Dugdale

Open Book by Dave Dugdale

It’s the first Monday of the month, and you know what that means . . .

Book Reports!

If you’ve challenged yourself to—or even officially signed up for—a reading challenge in 2014, now’s as good a time as any to start reporting your successes. Tell us what you’ve finished over the last month, what you’re currently reading, and what’s on your To Be Read stack/list. (And if you’ve reviewed the books you’ve read somewhere, please include links!)

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  • What book(s) did you finish reading (or listening to) since last month’s update?
  • What are you currently reading and/or listening to?
  • What’s the next book on your To Be Read stack/list?

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Here’s my report:

What book(s) did you finish reading (or listening to) since last month’s update?

  • A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare; audiobook read by Carolyn Morris—historical (Regency) romance. 3 stars
  • Love Overdue by Pamela Morsi—general-market contemporary romance. 3 stars
  • The Making of a Marchioness (includes The Methods of Lady Walderhurst) by Frances Hodgson Burnett; audiobook narrated by Lucy Scott—I’m categorizing this one as my Classic British Lit choice (from my challenge list). 3.5 stars
  • It’s in His Kiss (Bridgertons #7) by Julia Quinn—historical (1820s) romance. 4.25 stars
  • Click titles to read my reviews

What are you currently reading and/or listening to?

  • Lightning by Dean Koontz—sci-fi/time travel. I went into this one blind—I know I must have read the book description when I put it on my challenge list, but when I downloaded the audiobook, I didn’t even look at that, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Unfortunately, I think I might have gotten “spoiled” for a reveal of who the bad guys are by something I saw in the reviews on Goodreads (I was looking for links to other people’s Time Travel fiction lists). I’m about 60% of the way through, and I’ve been listening whenever and wherever I can since the action is really ramping up now.
  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Revised Edition). This is my “professional development” book for my challenge list. I’m currently facilitating a survey of literature course, which, fortunately for me, focuses more on writing about literature than any real, in-depth analysis of individual aspects of it. It’s been a long time since I took lit classes—and I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t enjoy them very much. So this book is a challenge for me to learn how to do what I hate most about almost every literature course out there—analyze fiction like a literature professor. I’m actually enjoying it so far—it’s the first hard-copy book I’ve read in a couple of years (gasp!), and I’m treating it like a textbook, highlighting passages and making notes in the margins. And I’m even considering blogging through it. Have to get a little further into it before I make that decision, though.
  • Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney—historical (Regency) romance. I’ve read a couple of MJP’s stand-alone romances and enjoyed them enough to add other books of hers to my to-sample list. This one only has a 3.6-star average on Goodreads, so we’ll see how it goes. It’s the first in a series, and I really don’t want to get sucked into another one of those right now (still have one more in the Bridgerton series before I can move on to Julia Quinn’s Smythe-Smith series, and the next one in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series doesn’t come out until this fall). But if I do, at least all of the books in this series of MJP’s are out, so I can binge read them if I so desire.

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

  • The Hero’s Lot and A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr. Talk about getting sucked into a series . . . after enjoying A Cast of Stones so much, I decided to put off reading #2 until after #3 came out. Okay, maybe “decided” was more like “procrastinated,” but I wanted to wait until the time was right and I was in the right frame of mind to truly sink into Carr’s beautiful fantasy world and not be distracted by anything else.
  • Audiobook: A Deeper Darkness by J.T. Ellison. I’ve known J.T. for many, many years, and just last week went to the launch of her latest book, the third one in the series this one starts. I think her Taylor Jackson books might be too dark for me, but I’m really eager to read Dr. Samantha Owens’s books.

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My rating matrix:
5 STARS = one of the best I’ve ever read
4 STARS = a great read, highly recommended
3 STARS = it was okay/not a favorite
2 STARS = I didn’t enjoy it all that much, not recommended
1 STAR/DNF = I hated it and/or Did Not Finish it

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sylvia M. permalink
    Monday, March 3, 2014 10:49 am

    Here’s what I read in February.

    http://tinyurl.com/pgzu3xx

    Currently, I’m listening to an audio version of Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. I’m re-reading Janice Thompson’s Weddings by Bella Series and getting ready to start The Blue Enchantress by MaryLu Tyndall.

    Like

    • Monday, March 3, 2014 10:58 am

      What did you think of Blackmoore? It’s on my “to-sample” list.

      Like

      • Sylvia M. permalink
        Monday, March 3, 2014 12:44 pm

        I enjoyed Blackmoore, but liked her first book, Edenbrooke better. Blackmoore is much darker in tone than Edenbrooke and I think a lot of readers were shocked. They expected all of Donaldson’s writing to be light, witty and humorous. This book is not. The heroine has some emotional issues that she has to work through and is more of a loner; not fitting in with either side. From reading the reviews it seems like people really hated the heroine and couldn’t identify with her at all. I can see what they mean, but as the book progresses one sees (through quite a lot of backstory) that she is drowning in her circumstances and upbringing. I also think some people forget that she is only seventeen or something like that. She hasn’t grown up yet. Most heroines seem to have a few years of maturity under their belts by the time they get a book written about them.

        Julianne Donaldson certainly knows how to write great heroes, though, that everybody seems to love. 🙂

        Also, since this isn’t a CBA novel there wasn’t any mention of God in a personal way. The whole time I kept wishing that someone would show her God’s love. My heart just ached at the missed opportunity of reaching people with similar emotional problems. Those readers might come away from reading the book identifying with the heroine, but would still not have the answer to help them with their problems.Jesus could do so much for them if they only knew. I sound like I’m preaching. 🙂

        Like

  2. Tuesday, March 4, 2014 1:41 pm

    I just finished “One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World” by Tullian Tchividjian. It was great! Really clarifies God’s grace to us. It’s not long, but I did feel he could have covered the topic adequately in about 2/3 the length of the book.

    Next up, “Strange Fire” by John MacArthur. Looking forward to it!

    Like

  3. Dora permalink
    Wednesday, March 5, 2014 2:40 pm

    I am currently reading Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street Series. I am reading the first book, “The Shop on Blossom Street.” It is very good, so far. I truly enjoy her books. My current audio book is Julie Klassen’s “The Dancing Master”, which is highly enjoyable.

    I listened to four books out of Emilie Richards’ Shenandoah Album Series. (The Wedding Quilt, Endless Chain, Lover’s Knot and Sister’s Choice.) I really enjoyed these books. Most of the books contained two story lines–present day and historical. It was very interesting to learn the back stories of the older characters in the books, while learning about the contemporary characters at the same time. I generally do not like dual story books, but this series was very enjoyable.

    I also listened to Fields of Grace, by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I enjoyed the story very much. However, the reader was not one of the better ones. I could hear her breathing–she was very loud. It was nearly enough to make change books, but the story was very engaging, so I decided to finish the story. My only criticism on the story line was that I felt one of the stories was left unfinished. I would really like an ending to it. Maybe a sequel in the making. I hope so.

    I read Cathedral Window and The Double Wedding Quilt, by Clare O’Donohue. These are in her Someday Quilt Series. I really enjoy the mystery stories against the backdrop of a quilt store. I am a quilter and enjoy books based on quilting.

    I discovered a new author, which is always a great thing. Jen Turano is an author I found mentioned on a facebook post. She is wonderful. I read the 3 full novels and one novella, which are out in her Ladies of Distinction Series (novels–A Change in Fortune, A Most Peculiar Circumstance and A Talent for Trouble, novella–Gentleman of Her Dreams) and loved every one. I actually laughed out loud, while reading these books. It has been a long time since I laughed so hard, while reading and not listening to a book. She has a great wit and I loved these books.

    Next up is the fifth Emilie Richards’ Shenandoah Album series (actully book 4, the library did not have book 4, so i read books 1-3 and 5, previously.) I will probably listen to Jennifer Chiaverini’s Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival and The Spymaster after that. I will continue with Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street series–I downloaded the first 3 books and have only begun the first recently. After that, I am not sure.

    Like

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