Book Review: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Book Review: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a DayMiss Pettigrew Lives for a DayBook Review: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

I can say without much doubt that I would never have picked this book up on my own, but when my friend Anne recommends it as highly as she does, I knew I had to give it a chance.

And I am so glad I did. I took it with me on our Thanksgiving trip, and it was a perfect vacation read. Light and fun, without being silly and making me regret spending my reading time on it.

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Book Review: Dark Road to Darjeeling

Book Review: Dark Road to DarjeelingDark Road to DarjeelingBook Review: Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn

Book 4 in the Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane mysteries. I’d enjoyed books 1 – 3 quite a bit, as fun historicals. This book was a lot less fun, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re reading the series and are as much a stickler for not skipping books in a series as I am.

If you haven’t read any of the earlier books and think you might and don’t want to know some details that are discovered in those books, you might want to stop reading now.

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Book Review: The Dragon’s Tooth

Book Review: The Dragon's Tooth The Dragon’s ToothBook Review: The Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson

Remember how I said last week that Dead Man’s Hand read like it was written to target fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson seriesPercy Jackson Series? Well, Wilson’s book also seemed like it was written just to target that market.

The action starts almost immediately and never lets up throughout the entire book. The pace is breathless. There are supernatural characters and artifacts of all sorts, and Wilson clearly has a good imagination.

    Unfortunately Wilson also includes several of my biggest fiction irritants:
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Books Read in 2012

Books Read in 2012Overall I’m pleased with my reading in 2012. I read some great books, and read a lot in some of my favorite areas (memoirs especially).

As I reviewed my list of books, I was struck by some of the lighter, genre fiction that I read. I’d say that I read too much of that, except that I know that virtually all of it was done via ebooks and in pockets of time that don’t lend themselves to deeper reading. So almost all of that reading was done during times that I would otherwise have read nothing at all, which doesn’t feel quite as bad as it would otherwise. I’ve also figured out a more efficient way to find books I can read on my kindle so I’m hoping in 2013 I’ll have higher quality ereads as well. 🙂

My list of board and picture books isn’t complete. I wasn’t always great about recording the books we borrowed from the library, and hope to improve on that this year. I like keeping track of them so I remember what we’ve already borrowed, and so that when I’m trying to remember “what was the name of that book we read that my kids loved so much?” I have a better chance to figure it out.

An asterisk (*) by a title means it’s one I especially enjoyed or recommend.
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Biggest Disappointments of 2012

Overall 2012 was a great year for reading – I read more books than I expected to get through, and had a hard time picking my favorites (always a good sign of a good year). That’s not to say that every book was a winner. While some might have been worse reads for me, these are the 10 books that let me down the most, because I expected more from them:

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Book Review: The Forgotten Garden

Book Review: The Forgotten GardenThe Forgotten Garden: A Novel by Kate Morton

I kept running across Kate Morton’s name and book titles, and was curious by them. Their length gave me pause though; at over 500 pages they’re a hefty investment of reading time and I would have preferred to have someone I trust tell me they’re worth it.

My impatience to give Morton a try got the best of me and that, combined with an upcoming vacation where I expected to have extra reading time, led me to get the first one of her books that the library had available.

The Forgotten Garden is what the library provided, and it ended up being a fun vacation read.

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What I’m Looking Forward to Reading in 2013

This doesn’t just include books to be published in 2013. My list includes books that I’m waiting on the library holds list because they’re still fairly new and popular. It also includes books that are new to me. And it also includes books that I simply haven’t gotten to, because my to be read list is out of control, but I am very excited to finally have a chance to read them.

So, in random order, my most anticipated books to read in 2013:

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Favorite Historical Fiction Books

I’m a former history major, so I’m no stranger to reading dense historical texts, and I do love well-written, engaging history books. What I also love is well-written, engaging historical fiction. My favorites are books that can pull me into the time period described and give me characters that I care about and want to discover what happens with them. I’m not a complete stickler for perfect historical accuracy (not that I really believe there can be such a thing in a fictional book), but I don’t like books that make egregious errors or have glaring anachronisms.

In all honesty though, if the book has gotten me to care enough about the characters, I may be caught up in the story and gloss over things that might normally drive me bonkers. (That’s my disclaimer that I’m not guaranteeing the following books are perfect in their historical research and application.)

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Favorite Children’s Historical Fiction Books

Favorite Young Adult or Children's Historical Fiction books The Linden Tree by Ellie MathewsThe Linden TreeFavorite Young Adult or Children's Historical Fiction books The Linden Tree by Ellie Mathews by Ellie Mathews

Set in the 1940s on a rural farm, I loved this gentle story of 11-year old Katy Sue as she struggles to adapt to life after her mother’s death. There is an understandable undercurrent of sadness and grief (how could there not be with the setup for the story), but it’s handled delicately and the family’s healing is believable.

The characters are likeable and while the ending is predictable, I didn’t mind the way Mathews handled matters. I keep looking to see if Mathews has written another children’s book because I enjoyed this one so much, but so far this is the only one.

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Book Review: The Blue Door

Children's Book Review of The Blue Door by Christa KindeThe Blue Door (Threshold Series)Children's Book Review of The Blue Door by Christa Kinde by Christa Kinde

I love fantasy tales, and I read lots of children’s and young adult books, so the first book in a new series by Christa Kinde sounded like a perfect fit for my tastes. Unfortunately, the book itself didn’t live up to my hopes.

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