Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Reading Roundup - June 2016

Book Day! As usual I'm linking up with Stephanie & Jana for Show Us Your Books. Here's what I read in June:


1) The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. 4/5 stars. I read this book on Brie's recommendation  and wasn't disappointed. [Go read her review here, it's pretty spot on.] It follows the life of the French Impressionist Camille Pissarro's mother Rachel in St. Thomas in the 1800's. There's an arranged marriage, forbidden love, a beautiful tropic setting, Paris... It's not a long book, but it's a big book.

2) The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley. 4/5 stars. One of the negative reviews on Goodreads cited the prevalence of #FirstWorldProblems in this book. And that's true. This is just a book about three people in their mid-thirties trying to navigate every day life. I enjoyed it anyway because it felt familiar. [Except, of course, that they are all much richer than I am, which is a problem I wouldn't mind trying to deal with for a while!]

3) The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny. 3/5 stars. This is the third installment in the Chief Inspector Armande Gamache mystery series, set in the idyllic (except for all the murders) town of Three Pines in Quebec. I enjoy the writing and the setting and getting a little deeper into the characters with each book, but I found the actual mystery in this one to be less compelling.

4) The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst. 2/5 stars. This book has echoes of Great Expectations and The Great Gatsby except that's it's completely silly and lacking in substance. It's about a young newspaper reporter in Los Angeles who gets swept up into the "upper echelons of Hollywood society" and falls in love with the mysterious and beautiful Matilda Duplaine, who has spent her entire life on her father's Bel-Air estate.

5) The Assistants by Camille Perri. 3/5 stars. This one is about the assistant to a media tycoon (think Rupert Murdoch) who stumbles upon a way to help the many highly educated yet underpaid women struggling to get by across the city (and country). It's a quick read but does bring up a challenge to the American Dream that's worth thinking about. I was a little disturbed by how frequently the main character describes the so-called love of her life as a golden retriever.


6) The Secret Place by Tana French. 4/5 stars. I decided to re-read this one in anticipation of the next installment in the Dublin Murder Squad series this fall. This is by far my favorite mystery series ever. I love her writing style and the characters are so well developed. The character drama is equally, perhaps more, compelling than the actual murder. This one takes place at a private high school and puts fear into my heart for Swede's teenage years.

What have you been reading lately? 
Do you find that you read more or less in summer?

35 comments:

  1. I have The Assistants on my TBR. I've seen mixed reviews about it but I'm definitely going to read it.

    The Ramblers seems like a book I might enjoy.

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    1. I definitely think The Assistants is worth reading. It's funny and light yet an interesting/relevant subject.

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  2. The Ramblers is on my to read list.

    HOLD UP another Dublin Murder book is coming out? YES!!!

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    1. YES! In October. I'm so excited! The main character is Antoinette Conway from The Secret Place.

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  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Marriage of Opposites! I agree - it's not a long book, but it's a big book. So much detail in the writing. I've never read a Tana French book, but I keep hearing good things about her stuff. I'm always hesitant to start a series...at least not until all the books are out, haha! (I feel the same way about TV shows for the most part ;) )

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    1. It's such a good series! Each book could really stand on its own though. The main character in each one was usually a minor character in another book so they are loosely connected but it's not essential to read them all or in order.

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  4. I need to check out Louise Penny. Her series sounds right up my alley.

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    1. They are classic "cozy mysteries" - Remind me of Agatha Christie somewhat. It's always fun when you find a new series you like! I'm on Book 3 of 12 I think so lot's more ahead!

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  5. i haven't read anything by tana french, i will be checking that series out for sure. the marriage of opposites sounds interesting :)

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    1. You should definitely check out Tana French! One of my favorite authors right now. The first one is In the Woods but you could really start anywhere. They are only loosely related to each other rather than a 1-2-3 series Twilight-style.

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  6. my sister loves alice hoffman. she recommended The Dovekeepers and asks me every day if i've started it LOL.

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    1. I forget who said it but Rule #1 of giving someone a book is NEVER ask if they've read it or if they liked it!

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  7. I've been flying through books this summer, one of my favorite things when I'm feeling lazy, but don't want to miss out on sunshine is to sit outside & read, it's sort of like the best of both worlds. I save Netflix for cold months. Haha.

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    1. Agree! I love reading outside in the sunshine. Watching TV in summer seems like a waste.

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  8. The Secret Place sounds intriguing! Adding it to the list :)

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    1. Let me know what you think! I like the whole series.

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  9. I never read murder mysteries, but I do like them. I need to get back into it!

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    1. I am not usually into them except for these two series and the occasional Agatha Christie.

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  10. I really need to check out Tana French's series-it sounds really good!

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    1. Yes - Let me know what you think! She's definitely one of my favorite authors right now.

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  11. The Secret Place looks good.
    I find I have more time to read in the summer, but generally don't always spend that time reading.

    Just read your About Me...I'm in Colorado too!

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    1. Yay Colorado! I've actually never been to the Springs but have this idea for a Tour de Colorado road trip when the kids are a little older that passes through there.

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  12. I really want to try the Dublin Murder Squad books. I've never read anything by Tana French before.

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    1. I wish that I'd never read any of them yet... So much to look forward to!

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  13. I've got Louise Penny on my radar.
    Reading the first Tana French now, so, you know, I enjoy mystery series. I foresee binge reading some more of her in future months to get caught up.

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    1. Binge away! Let me know which ones is your favorite. I like The Likeness and Faithful Place.

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  14. I think the Secret Place is the only French book I haven't read. I have an odd love/hate relationship with her books, which is weird but I will probably have to read this one!

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    1. I'm so curious... What do you hate about them?

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  15. I definitely want to check out Tana French's series. The 4th Louise Penny (next up for you, it sounds like!) was my favourite so far, I think!

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    1. Oh, Great - Looking forward to #4 by Louise Penny!

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  16. The only book I readd last month was "ME before you". I got two (hopefully) good reads for this month though.

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    1. Are you going to see the movie? Or read the sequel? I actually liked the sequel better than the original.

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    2. I'm listening to Me After You now and enjoying it! I'm halfway through and like that you think it was better.

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  17. Hoffman is my very favorite author besides Irving. I really liked Marriage of Opposites and I think you summed it up perfectly.

    I thought Cruelest Month was not the best Penny. Wait until you get to the fifth one!

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  18. I read The Ramblers and was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I have not read any of Tana French's books but have heard good things about them.

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