Monday, January 4, 2016

Reading Roundup - December 2015

Hey Friends, Here's my monthly book reviews for December! Do you have any reading goals for 2016? I'm thinking about doing the 2016 Reading Challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy.



1) The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass. 4/5 stars. There's a lot going on in this book. There are four separate narrators, each with a major "issue." I liked the eponymous widower, Percy Darling, the best. He's the main narrator. His dry wit and old-fashioned formality reminded me so much of Major Pettigrew. They are both so dignified in this increasingly undignified age. The other storylines focus on Percy's grandson Robert, who gets embroiled with a eco-terrorism group, an undocumented immigrant named Celestino, and a gay preschool teacher, Ira. [See what I mean about "issues!"] I think the author did a good job bringing all the characters together in the end for a not quite happily-ever-after but satisfying conclusion.

2) A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny. 3.5/5 stars. This is the second installment in the Armande Gamache mystery series set in the small town of Three Pines in Quebec. I didn't realize when I read the first book that the whole series was set in Three Pines. How can there be so many murders in such a small town?!? I didn't like this book quite as much as the first one, but I will definitely continue with the series. It's a classic "cozy mystery."

3) Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave. 3.5/5 stars. This is a light read and fairly predictable but I enjoyed it. The main character, Georgia, grew up on a vineyard in Sonoma County. When she finds out a surprising secret about her fianc√© she returns home from L.A. And discovers a her family has been keeping a few other secrets as well, which causes her to rethink all her life plans.

4) We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. 3/5 stars. This book starts out as the main character, Letty, is forced to step up and truly parent her children - 15 year old Alex and 6 year old Luna - when her parents, who have raised the kids while Letty works multiple jobs, return to Mexico. Introduce a handsome co-worker and the reappearance of Alex's father (who Letty had never told about Alex). There is also a plot line involving Alex's girlfriend, an undocumented immigrant, which I think is the issue the author is spotlighting here, much like the foster care system in The Language of Flowers, although it was more subtly done on that book, which I liked better.


Swede's Book of the Month: My Big Girl Undies by Karen Katz. What power Karen Katz has over toddlers, I do not know, but Swede regularly chooses her books at the library. This is the current favorite, which she requests I read 4-5 times at bedtime. Maybe this means that potty training is imminent? Let's hope so, as I would dearly love to have just one child in diapers again!

6 comments:

  1. My goal is to read 30 books this year. Which I'm confident I can do, but whenever I aim too high, I don't succeed lol. You do the reading challenge on goodreads don't you? I don't do any other book challenges anymore because I like reading whatever I want. And I find bookclub already dictates enough of what I read, ha!

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    1. I have been rethinking the MMR challenge. I was looking and the categories and started thinking that I'm not sure I want to bother finding/reading all those specific books. I don't like to be told what to read either. Trying for 45 books in 2016!

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  2. Hah to the big girl undies book! I love that you read so much! I have had so many people tell me that you'll never read again once you have kids, but that's so not true if you really want it.

    I also can't stand murder mysteries where there are an obscene amount of murders in one town. Like how can that many people be murders and die? So far fetched!

    I have a goal of reading 20 books this year :)

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    1. I do remember worrying that I'd never read again before my daughter was born, but luckily I've managed to find time! It's my favorite way to relax at the end of the day.

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  3. Thanks for the reviews. I'm trying to read a lot more in 2016.

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    1. Let me know what you think if you read any of these!

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