Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Show Us Your Books: December 2021

Lots of titles below but there is a short novella, a novella, and a book of short stories. Those things don't take much time. And this reading gang knows it doesn't matter how many books you read. If you read books period, you're a reader.

Note to self: take more reading photos. I wax and wane with this...sometimes I have one zillion photos of the same reading experience. Anyway.

See you back here for The Favorite Reads of 2021 linkup on Thursday, December 30, which will remain open for longer than typical linkups in case you are not in the mood to do Jack shit the last week of the year. 

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup. 

Engrossing Reads

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult - While I standardly love Jodi's books (with exceptions of course), I sometimes find myself reluctant to start them because they are always emotionally mangling. One I have let sit on my shelf since 2016 because I haven't been able. Anyhoo when I found out this one was Covid-related I was like fuck no, living that, not interested in reading about it. But I'm really glad I did because while some parts were fucking hard to read given the proximity of March 2020, the book overall was really good. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

No One Will Miss Her by Kat Rosenfield - I loved this from the first line. God bless the books that pull you immediately in and basically tell you not to get up until you're finished. This was a good ride. OCNJ library hard cover 

These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant - A good, quick read. A layered story that filled in gaps well as it went along. Suspension of belief definitely required, if you question to death how things could be possible in books, do not read this. It's fiction, that's how it can happen, Karen. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson - Me at the last linkup: that book is on my list for January! Me the day after the last linkup: picks up book from library and reads. I know some people plan their reads out every month, and I have come to accept that will never be me. I'm a read as I wish on a whim forever. I'm never lacking for ideas and will never be like Hey Internet I need a book suggestion. LOL. OCNJ library hard cover

The Drowing Girls (Detective Josie Quinn #13) by Lisa Regan - Another solid entry, and a Mettner focused story. Not as good as the Gretchen focused story but they can't all be. Digital copy, pre-ordered

Passed the Time Just Fine
A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw - How about that title, huh? I love myself a cult book, and this was...cult book lite? I found the beginning mildly confusing but ended up liking it overall. Bee was a wonderful character, I would have liked to see even more of her. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The School for Good Mothers: A Novel by Jessamine Chan - This book was a tough read - not because it's bad, but because it does what dystopian books should do - come uncomfortably close to reality. Being a woman in America right now, given recent court rulings it is not too far off of what reality feels like. It's also very grave writing...there's no sun here.  Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review book publishes Jan 4, 2022

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan - Everyone's out there reading holiday books with romance and snowflakes on the covers and the holiday-set novella I read is set in a Magdelene home in an Irish town. Still, these stories are important and Claire Keegan did well with this short one. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King - First, look at me reading at least three short story collections in 2021 when I typically purposefully avoid them. Second, the writing I loved by King in Writers & Lovers does not transfer to short form because I feel like King writes on a winding road that eventually comes back around and when that road is stopped in the middle, the end is left feeling undone. The first story I liked but like, where's the resolution. The rest, eh. Classified as passed the time fine because it didn't take long to read. If it took longer, it would be down in not worth it. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente - I pre-ordered this like eight months ago I was so excited for it. Looking back, it was probably the vague synopsis that lured me, along with the title and cover. Knowing what I know now, I would not have pre-ordered, but I'd still read it. This is some weird ass shit and that's the only way to describe it without giving anything away. A very thin novel that took me like an hour and 10 to read. hard cover, own

The New Neighbour by Miranda Rijks - This one took a turn for the interesting, which I always appreciate. Some annoying repetition and I hated how Isobel was with her husband through much of it but a quick, few hour read. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Not Worth It
The Ballerinas by Rachele Kapelke-Dale - This book was fine, but the synopsis will make a lot of people dislike it. It is billed as a thriller, which it is not. The many mentions of what Delphine did are revealed and it is like hmm? That's it? After the build up? Critiques aside it is not a bad read but should probably be described differently. Regardless, it is not for me. Both ballerina books I read this year did not hit like I thought they would. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Sisters Sweet by Elizabeth WeissAn amazing covor from the imagery to the font - it matches the vaudeville within. Unfortunately I found the book a bit dull - no likeable characters, eh, and slower plot. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Archivist by Rex Picket - Really difficult to get through - slow moving and way over detailed. I can't do those types of books these days. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Heard it in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves - This was a passable read, but finished it feeling meh. Not a good connection to the stories or characters. Love the title and cover though. Romance readers may like this more than me? Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Dangers of an Ordinary Night by Lynne Reeves - So many red herrings, almost too many. No resolution for a main ancillary arc was dissatisfying. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Did Not Finish

Linkup Guidelines:
The special Favorite Reads of 2021 Linkup is Thursday, December 30, 2021 This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is Tuesday, January 11, 2022
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link

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