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Crystena77

Nothing better than a good book...

If it's good, I'll read it! Instagram:  @crystenasbooks

Currently reading

The Sunne in Splendour
Sharon Kay Penman
Progress: 52/936 pages
Challenge Participant Professional Reader 80%

The Blue Castle

The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery

Rating: 5 stars

 

Book Blurb: Valancy lives a drab life with her overbearing mother and prying aunt. Then a shocking diagnosis from Dr. Trent prompts her to make a fresh start. For the first time, she does and says exactly what she feels. As she expands her limited horizons, Valancy undergoes a transformation, discovering a new world of love and happiness. One of Lucy Maud Montgomery's only novels intended for an adult audience, The Blue Castle is filled with humour and romance.

 

What a gem!

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A great commentary on the bitterness that comes with never standing up for yourself and living your life in fear of displeasing everyone. Not that any of this novel wasn't predictable,  but the story and it's lessons are worth thinking about.  The humor is solid, making me laugh out loud on more than one occasion.  I want to reread the book to fully appreciate the craziness that is Valancy's colorful family. And frankly just to appreciate Montgomery's wit. 

 

Highly recommend. 

 

 

Friday Reads!! 7.21.2017

The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery David Copperfield (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) - Charles Dickens, Radhika Jones Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope, Edward Mendelson A Study in Scarlet -  Arthur Conan Doyle

Happy Friday everyone!

 

It's hot here. We are in the midst of a heatwave, which makes me want to just drink cold things and read. 

 

Saturday I will doing a mother/daughter day with my mom. Sunday I will be at the beach with my fiancee, he also wants to do a bike ride - so not a bad weekend planned.

 

I hope to finish The Blue Castle this weekend. What a great book! My friend couldn't help herself and finished it up. She loved it. I'm already recommending it to people. It makes me want to read all of Montgomery's works -  I've already picked up the Emily books. 

 

Still working through David Copperfield . I'm doing mostly audio for this and I highly recommend it. 

 

I am halfway through A Study in Scarlet and hope to finish it in the coming week. I realized how much of Sherlock Holmes I haven't read so I've resolved to make my way through the novels/stories.

 

If I finish Castle, I think I'm going to start another classic - Bartchester Towers. I liked the blurb and enjoyed reading the first chapter. 

 

What are your plans?

 

Have a great weekend and happy reading! 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 27%.

The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery

I'm doing a buddy read of this book with a friend of mine and we've been texting each other our favorite lines all day.

 

Why have I never heard of this book? She hadn't either. I mean I know the Anne books... 

 

This book is hysterical. What a nice surprise.

 

Has anyone read it? I hadn't even heard of it before we stumbled onto it yesterday.

Kale to the Queen

Kale to the Queen - Nell Hampton

I really enjoyed this!

 

This was a light read, and a good start to the series. The main character was likeable and the writing moved along at a good pace. I wouldn't mind reading the next in the series. It's not the White House Mysteries by Julie Hyzy  but it does remind you of it being it takes place in Kensington Palace. The mystery was good and the culprit caught me off guard, so well done. 

 

Overall, recommend. 

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

His Majesty's Dragon

His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

Very enjoyable start to this series.

 

I loved the relationship between Temeraire and Laurence. It was interesting to see how Novik weaves the idea of dragons and the Napoleonic Wars together. The battles were well written.  The descriptions of the dragons and  English society were also well done. I got all kinds of emotional about how certain dragons were treated and their fate, so I was definitely emotionally invested. 

 

I would definitely recommend this book and will be continuing with the series. 

Friday Reads!

His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik David Copperfield (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) - Charles Dickens, Radhika Jones

Haven't done one of these in a while!

 

So I'm sticking with His Majesty's Dragon.  I can't resist Jane Austen with dragons - from a male point of view. It's different enough to keep me engaged. 

 

My audio is David Copperfield. I've been listening to it in the car during my commute for a while now. Richard Armitage does the narration and does an excellent job. Loved him in Robin Hood the TV series.  He was also in North and South - the Gaskell adaptation.  

 

Wedding planning has occupied so much of my time! It's demanding.  Meeting with photographer this weekend and picking the cake are on the agenda.

 

I miss reading, so I've just had to make it a priority, even if it's a little bit each day. It makes a difference in my mental health. 

 

Happy reading everyone!

Reading progress update: I've read 8%.

His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

Started reading this book to see what all the hype is about and have decided to stick with it for now.  It's been in my TBR ever since I bought it on a whim. 

 

Curious as to where the story will go and how it will be sustained for such a long series. 

Reading progress update: I've read 48 out of 510 pages.

Wool Omnibus Edition (Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey

That first story was twisty...

 

Trying to see if this book lives up to it's hype. So far so good! 

Reading progress update: I've read 27%.

David Copperfield (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) - Charles Dickens, Radhika Jones

In my attempt to read more classics, I'm making my way through this one and really enjoying it. 

The Memory Watcher

The Memory Watcher - Minka Kent

Rating: 3 stars

 

Book Blurb:  When Autumn Carpenter stumbles upon the social media account of the family who adopted her infant daughter years ago, she finds herself instantly drawn into their picture-perfect existence. 

From behind a computer screen, Autumn watches Grace's every memory, from birthdays to holidays to bedtime snuggles. But what starts as an innocent fascination soon spirals into an addictive obsession that comes to a screeching halt the day the McMullen family closes their Instaface account without so much as a warning. 

Frantic and desperate to reconnect with her daughter, Autumn applies for a nanny position with the McMullens, manipulating herself into Grace's life under false pretenses. And it's only then that Autumn discovers pictures lie, the perfect family doesn't exist, and beautiful people? They have the ugliest secrets. 

 

Decent thriller with a twisty ending.

 

This was not Girl on a Train but it was pretty good. I really enjoyed the writing, Minka Kent really pulls you into the minds of two very different women to the point where it gets under you skin.  You compulsively turn the pages wanting to see what happens next.

 

Recommend if you're into psychological thrillers. 

Murder in Mayfair

Murder in Mayfair: An Atlas Catesby Mystery - D. M. Quincy

An above average historical mystery. Entertaining characters, clear writing.

 

I definitely recommend it and look forward to more.

 

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

The Trouble With Mirrors

The Trouble with Mirrors - Charlotte Elkins, Aaron Elkins

RATING: 4 STARS

 

This was an enjoyable entry in the Alix London series. It was light and there was some progress made on the personal front when it comes to Alix's love life. 

 

The cast of characters are back, and this time the story revolves around Tiny, a regular character and a reformed art forger who served as a surrogate uncle to Alix. He has gone missing and so has the painting he gave to Alix when she was a child. The mystery as to what happened to him and the painting isn't terribly hard to figure out, but I really enjoy the way the Elkins team flesh out their characters- minor ones get a rich backstory that makes you care, adding to the tension of the novel. 

 

Overall I enjoyed it. 

 

One thing that makes these novels stand out is the inclusion of real art pieces and how they are cleverly woven into the story. In this entry they featured this piece called The Marriage of Giovanni And Giovanna Cenami by Jan Van Eyck :

 

Related image

 

They talked about the reflection in the mirror, something I probably wouldn't have noticed being a novice and all. But I like that each book makes me broaden my horizons and provides some insight into a world I know little of.

 

Recommend if you are into cozy and/or mysteries in general.

 

 

I'm engaged!

And he proposed in the library!!!!!!

 

Does this man know me or what? He talked to the librarian a few days before and told her what he was planning. He arranged to meet her before he brought me in,  to put a hollowed out book on the shelf that had the ring in the back.  The day of the proposal he told me that he needed a book that the reference desk had suggested to him. I was all kinds of confused wondering why the reference desk hadn't pulled the book for him already. But I figured maybe she just didn't have the opportunity to...  So she directed us to the reference section and points out this odd looking book. The book was actually one of those cute relationship books where you fill out your first date, proposal info etc. 

 

When I flipped to the back of the book and saw the ring, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes to the man that proposed to me in the library. :)

 

I have to give a shout out to the librarian who took pics for us. She was awesome. They are going to put one up on the library website. 

 

So I'm all kinds of happy. We are shooting for a September wedding so needless to say I am busy with that and my reading has taken a back seat. 

 

Just wanted to share and give an explanation as to why I've been MIA.

 

Happy reading! 

 

 

 

Friday reads 3.24.2017

Murder at an Irish Wedding (An Irish Village Mystery) - Carlene O'Connor Knight's Shadow - Sebastien de Castell

I actually read a few non-fiction/ self help books in the past week that I really enjoyed. I recommend Rewire You Brain. Very good.

 

As far as fiction, while I do love The Golden Cup by Belva Plain, my Netgalley obligations are calling to me and affecting my conscience. I have to put that book on hold for a minute while taking care of these. 

 

I'm reading Murder at an Irish Wedding first, the second in a cozy mystery series set in Ireland. 

 

And I have resolved to finish Knight's Shadow, because I need to review the next book in the series.

 

This weekend it will be rainy and I am fighting a cold. So I hope to get some reading done.

 

Happy reading!

Friday Reads! 3.17.2017

The Golden Cup - Belva Plain Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior - Richard O'Connor

I wasn't ready to leave the world of Evergreen yet, so I'm following my emotions and diving right into the next book,The Golden Cup.  Making this my fiction book for the week ahead.

 

My nonfiction will be Rewire  - Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits , Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self Destructive Behavior.  I love reading about how to change- I believe strongly in our ability to and that it's an ongoing process in our lives, from a personal and spiritual standpoint.  I enjoy reading the science behind it. 

 

 

This is what I will be reading this weekend. My other plans? The weather is going to be meh. So I will be cooking vegetarian burgers with my boyfriend and family Saturday night, watching Rebels (cuz it's the Maul and Obiwan showdown!!! Round 2!!)  and we might visit a local museum after our religious meeting on Sunday.

 

Enjoy your weekend! 

 

Happy reading! 

 

Nonfiction Library Book Haul

The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital - Alexandra Robbins George Lucas: A Life - Brian Jay Jones You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir - Felicia Day Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior - Richard O'Connor J.J. Abrams vs. Joss Whedon: Duel for Media Master of the Universe - Wendy Sterba

Been enjoying my foray into non-fiction. So I hit up the library and took out some nonfiction books I found interesting.  

 

J.J. Abrams vs Joss Whedon could be interesting. Fan of both.

 

Looking forward to all of these!

 

Still deciding on my Friday reads. I will probably post them later today. Decisions, decisions...