Month: September 2018

Weekly Round-Up 9/30/2018

Welcome to the round-up everybody. It’s a sunny day here in North Dakota and I have been busy. I decided this weekend to go through my entire TBR and take off any books that I was no longer interested in. I’ve made it about halfway through my list so far and there has been some radical changes. Let’s see exactly how the numbers have changed so far.

TBR – Last night I removed 44 books from the list leaving me with a total today of 219 books to be read. I did not actually finish reading any books this past week and I didn’t add any either.

Goodreads Challenge – Complete disaster here. I am 5 books behind schedule for this challenge.

NetGalley score – Still at 86%.

John Connolly Challenge – No change here.

Coming Up – I have no clue at this point and am now afraid to make predictions. Going forward I’m going to change from a weekly round-up to a monthly round-up because week to week I’m just not doing as much reading as I used to. So that’s what’s going on here. I hope you all have a great week!

Happy Reading!

 

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“A Georgian Heroine” by Joanne Major & Sarah Murden

“A Georgian Heroine” by Joanne Major & Sarah Murden

The Intriguing Life of Rachel Charlotte Williams Biggs

It’s easy to think of the Georgian period as all fancy dress and good manners … until you read this book. Rachel Charlotte Williams Biggs has barely reached adulthood when she is stalked, kidnapped, raped and held captive for 2 years by a man who claims to love her. But there is still a whole life to be lived where she will work as a spy for the government, be held captive by the French, and never have the opportunity to be with the man she has always loved.

With little to go on, the authors have crafted the story of Rachel Bigg’s life. It seems at times that the universe is set against her but she is nothing if not persistent and capable of pulling herself up from her adversity time and time again. I found this story very intriguing and written in a style that kept me wanting to know what happened next. If you’re looking for something a little different in the way of biography, then check this one out. I definitely recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

Weekly Round-Up 9/23/2018

Morning readers! I hope you are enjoying your Sunday. Are you happy it’s fall? I know I am. I don’t think my numbers have changed much this week but let’s take a look anyway.

TBR – I added one audiobook to the list this week And I finished 2 books. The total on the TBR as of today is 266.

Goodreads Challenge – I am 4 books behind. Ugh!

NetGalley Score – The only real bright spot. I am 86%.

John Connolly Challenge – I haven’t yet started on book 8, not sure when I’ll be able to pick it up.

Coming Up – I have 2 reviews that I need to post. I’m currently reading “A Measure of Darkness”.A Measure of Darkness I’m about a 1/3 of the way through and so maybe(??) I’ll be able to finish it this week. After that I’m not sure. Give me your opinion. The next two books on my list are “The Tin Rose” by Anne RenwickThe Tine Rose and “Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage.Baby Teeth Which one do you think I should read next, leave your vote below.

Happy Reading!

“The Lovers” by John Connolly – Audiobook

“The Lovers” by John Connolly – Audiobook

Narrated by George Guidall

Listening to this story was like a chocolate truffle melting on the tongue. This story is the most personal of the books so far in that the mystery Charlie is trying to unravel is that of his father’s suicide. This incident, obviously, had a huge impact on Charlie’s life and at this point in time he has lost his PI’s license and been working as a bartender. He decides to take a week off and travel to New York to try and determine once and for all what drove his father to take his own life. In the process, he opens up a hornet’s nest of secrets. He comes in contact with former colleagues of his father, revisits his own former home in the city and has a heart-to-heart with the rabbi who was there when Charlie was born.

I really enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about Charlie Parker’s life and family. Who could have imagined all of the supernatural events that surrounded Charlie’s birth? Only the mind of John Connolly. I have to also give high praise to the narrator for his excellent reading of this story. He really kept my attention throughout. This series continues to thrill and boggle my mind, and I highly recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

Weekly Round-Up 9/16/2018

Weekly Round-Up 9/16/2018

Well, as it turns out I didn’t finish reading anything this week so there is nothing to report book-wise. Since I had used up all my credits on Audible I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts this last week. Question: would you guys be interested in reviews of podcasts? This new job I have is really cutting down on my reading time. I’ve also dabbling a little bit into Librivox recordings which are free to listen to. Would reviews of those be interesting?

What I’m Currently Reading: I’m still working on “A Georgian Heroine” by Joanne Major & Sarah Murden, which I’m a little over half way through. It’s a fascinating story and I would love to finish it today if I can sneak some reading in between chores. I have started reading “A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman. This story has started out with some real intensity so I’m hopeful that I will enjoy it. I will be posting my review of “The Lovers” by John Connolly today or tomorrow. I’ll catch up with you guys again next week. If you are in the path of Florence my thoughts are with you.

Happy Reading!

 

“The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morgan – Audiobook

“The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morgan – Audiobook

Narrated by Caroline Lee

I just loved, loved, loved this story. I have not read the book but the narration her was so compelling that it felt like I was being read a beautiful, dreamy, bedtime story. The story starts in London with a young woman who lives in poverty with her brother after their mother dies. Then she loses her brother and the uncle she’s never known finds her and takes her into his manor home to be a companion for his sickly daughter. The two girls form an intense bond that continues until one of them gets married. Meantime, the reader is also hearing the story of Nell in Australia. Nell was found as an orphan on a ship that came from Britain. No one seems to be looking for her and the man who found her takes her into his family and raises her as one of his own. Years pass and Nell has raised her own daughter and granddaughter and when she dies she leaves everything to her granddaughter, including a cottage in England. Why did she buy a cottage in Britain? And just where did she come from? Nell’s granddaughter sets out to answer these questions.

This is a sweeping story covering 4 generations of women and secrets galore. I am just in awe of Kate Morgan and her ability to create really rich and unique characters in her stories. I also admire the complexity of her plots. In this book, the story moves back and forth between the past and the present, which in an audiobook can be a little confusing for me until I get a feel for the narrator’s voicing of the different characters. That being said, Ms. Lee did a superb job with this book. I enjoyed the narration as much as the story itself. One of my favorite things about this book is the way the ocean was used as kind of an anchor for each of the characters. And let me talk a little bit about the garden. The garden belongs to the cottage owned by Nell. I place she visited once and never saw again. The cottage and garden have been unoccupied for decades when Nell’s granddaughter finds it and sets about bringing it back to life. The garden is a place full of secrets and possibilities. This is a rich and compelling story with a top-of-the-line narration. Get a copy today.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson

“One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson

A young man has fallen out of a carnival ride to his death in the city of Flaxborough. DI Purbright and Sgt. Love are charged with the investigation. While busy with this, the wife of the local dog food manufacturer’s manager goes missing. But her husband thinks she just setting him up to look bad during the divorce proceedings. And then, Miss Teatime is asked for assistance by an old friend who’s in a bit of a muddle with a job he was hired to do by the dog food people and know wants to get out of. When Miss Teatime discovers that dogs have been disappearing from the local shelter you have to wonder what’s to become of Flaxborough. Will Purbright and Love be able to untangle all these knots? You’ll have to get yourself a copy of the book and find out.

You all know how much I have been enjoying this series and this one is no exception. I found this story a little bit different in that much of the story is told from the perspective of those perpetrating the crimes, rather than all from the investigator’s standpoint. The story starts with the riders in the carnival ride shortly before the fall and left me feeling a little off balance right from the start. The drama increase from there and the kidnapping plot gets underway. In the end, Purbright brings the investigation to a mostly satisfying conclusion and Flaxborough returns to its quirky self once again. I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

Weekly Round-Up 9/9/2018

Happy Sunday everyone! It’s a beautiful day here in North Dakota and the trees are starting to show signs of fall color. So let’s take a quick peek at the numbers and see what they look like.

TBR – I added 2 books this week and I finished reading or listening to a whopping 4 books. That makes the new total 267!

Goodreads Challenge – I am back on schedule.

NetGalley Score – I’m back at 85% here.

John Connolly Challenge – Progress here – I was able to listen to the audiobook of “The LoversThe Lovers which is #8 in the series. Next up “The Whisperers“.The Whisperers

Coming Up – I am currently reading “A Georgian HeroineA Georgian Heroineby Joanne Major & Sarah Murden, and “A Measure of DarknessA Measure of Darkness by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman. I hope you all have a great week and read lots of fabulous books.

Happy Reading!

 

“Queens of Georgian Britain” by Catherine Curzon

“Queens of Georgian Britain” by Catherine Curzon

Back in January I reviewed “Kings of Georgian Britain” by this author and now it’s time to talk about the Queens. This book is organized chronologically with four section, each describing the life and relationships of the queens. Act I starts with Sophia Dorothea, then we have Queen Caroline, Queen Charlotte and another Queen Caroline to end the Georgian era. Each of these women have unique stories that the author narrates expertly. The reader has a chance to become familiar with their personalities, their strengths and their weaknesses. Some of them were loved, while others were despised and rejected. Sophia’s story is one of disappointment and heartache, while the other 3 enjoyed great popularity, at least with the people if not their husbands. One thing is very clear and that is that you can’t pigeonhole these women, they are complex and intriguing.

Having now read a second book by this author, she has become a favorite. The writing style is clear and engaging. There is no heaviness and she uses lots of subsections which I like because sometimes you only have 5 or 10 minutes to read. It seems clear to me that she really enjoys her subject and has done copious amounts of research. After reading this book, I would say that these women have become real people in my mind, not just pictures in a history text. I highly recommend both this book and the companion book about the kings if you want to get a better understanding of the period of the Georgians. Well done!

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“American Nations” by Colin Woodard

“American Nations” by Colin Woodard

A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

Narrated by Walter Dixon

If you ask a resident of America what it means to be an American, they will always have an answer. But what that answer is will depend on where you are in America. What Colin Woodard set out to do in this book is reveal the eleven distinct cultures that exist in North America and delineate how the differences have affected the development of the United States and continue to influence our politics going forward. If there is one thing that I could explain to the rest of the world it’s that America is different in every state, county, city and town. This is why when driving in Minnesota the speed limit is 70, but when you cross the border into North Dakota it goes up to 75. The rules and cultures that influence them change from region to region and if you understand this you can begin to see why American politics are so complicated.

If I could I would make this book required reading (or listening) in every school and give a copy to every immigrant. Colin Woodard has done a fantastic job, in my opinion, of explaining the origins of these cultures and delineating their differences in beliefs and influence on the national stage. I learned so much about the history of the United States that explained so much. I listened to this book through Audible and the narration was top-notch. Walter Dixon did a great job with this project and while this book doesn’t have different characters, per se, there are many places where historic figures are quoted and he did a great job of differentiating this material with his voice. I think this is an excellent book in every aspect, content, organization and narration, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a greater understanding of America.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website