1) The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe. 3/5 stars. This novel is based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first person of African-American decent to attend Vassar College (by passing as white). The book was interesting to me because it's a subject matter I hadn't ever thought about before. My only criticism is that the historical aspect of it wasn't entirely believable. The characters seem too modern. I have to think Edith Wharton is a better gauge of how the upper class really acted during the Gilded Age.
2) The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley. 4.5/5 stars. I really liked this book. It was so different than many books I've read lately. It's mysterious and magical. I'm having a hard time summarizing the plot briefly, but you can check it out on Good Reads. [By the way - Let's be friends on Good Reads - THIS is me!] I enjoyed the writing, the era (Victorian London), and the characters. The only reason I deducted a half point from the full five stars is I was a little disappointed by some of the decisions made by the characters near the end.
3) Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazely. 3/5 stars. I read this one for Brie's book club - See HERE for more discussion. It's about two sisters who decide to keep in touch via snail mail for a year. It made me want to start writing actual letters again. [Although I have yet to do so.] I thought the first half of the book was funny and rang true, but the plot spiraled out of control in a fairly implausible way in the second half, then wrapped up a little too neatly.
4) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. 4 stars. As you probably know - This is a screenplay for a new HP story about Harry's son Albus. It was so much fun going back to this world. My favorite character was Scorpio Malfoy, and I loved the different versions of Ron & Hermione. The screenplay format leaves something to be desired, but is an extremely quick read.
5) The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. 3/5 stars. This book is set in England in 1976 and includes many pop culture references that I had to Google. It is told alternately by various inhabitants of a small town neighborhood and slowly unfolds the details of a mysterious tragedy that took place a decade earlier. I liked the main narrator, ten-year-old Gracie. She reminded me of Lizzie from Man at the Helm (reviewed in February). But I wish the whole book has been from her point of view instead of alternating to the other characters.
6) Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center. 4/5 stars. This was my second favorite book this month. [It was a runner-up pick for Brie's book club that I thought sounded good.] A year after her divorce, the main character, Helen, goes on a three-week wilderness survival adventure. To her unwelcome surprise she finds out her annoying younger brother's even-more-annoying friend is tagging along. I liked this book because A) I've always wanted to do an Outward Bound style trip like this, B) I liked the characters, and C) It had some surprisingly valuable thoughts on the nature of happiness.
Also, I've decided to start mentioning the books I did not finish, which isn't that common, but this month I started and abandoned You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Normally I love self-help, but this one just didn't do it for me.
As usual I'm linking up with Stephanie and Jana!