I cannot believe a month since I wrote my first “Book Banter” post! If you’d like to check it out click here.
This month I worked on clearing out my Kindle. I try to purchase books on my “To Read List” when they are on sale and so I have quite the back log of books. I also discovered that you can borrow one book for free per month if you are an Amazon Prime member. So I will definitely we be taking advantage of that every month.
Here is a brief summary of what I read, how I liked it and my Goodreads rating for it.
1. Still Waters- Viveca Sten
I got this book for free from Amazon as the murder mystery plot appealed to me. This book was originally written in Swedish but I found this be a very good translation. I am hoping this is the beginning of a series because I enjoyed the two main characters; they were written with flaws but were still likable and seemed very realistic. The book was set in Sweden so I loved getting little glimpses into a culture and history I do not know much about. The mystery was complex but believable and actually kept me guessing. I would recommend this to people who like quick paced murder mysteries. Goodreads Rating: 4 stars (I’d give it 4.5 if I could)
2. Rebecca- Daphne de Maurier
I purchased this after hearing it was a good, dark read for fall. There was a good element of haunt to the story and the English setting was perfect. I didn’t like any of the characters and thought the mystery was a little subtle. It took me a long time to get into the book. It picked up at the end and I did enjoy that part. When I was finished I read some Goodreads reviews and googled the book. I learned it is a cult classic. People rave I about this book. I am glad I didn’t know anything about the story before I read it because I may not have had such an honest reaction to the story itself. Now that I have read it once I do think it might be worth a re-read to see if I get more out of it. Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
3. Mr. Pemumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore-Robin Sloan
This was one of my favorite reads of the month. I think a lot of bookish people will wish this story would happen in their lives. I sure did. It is like National Treasure for book lovers. This is not a literary read but it is face paced and fun. I listened to it on audible and really enjoyed it because it really brought the main character’s personality alive. He is very funny and has a cast of friends/sidekicks anyone would want in this modern age. The mystery they set out to solve is one in which all people who ponder truth go on. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever wanted to enter a secret passage way behind a bookcase. Goodreads rating: 5 stars (I’d give it 4.5 if I could)
4. When Mockingbirds Sing- Billy Coffey
I had high hopes for this book after snagging it for a great deal. I often think the most honest observations of God come from children and this story was about a little girl who was communicating with God directly. It was well written and was never boring. I just didn’t like it. This was another book where the characters who were the main focus were not very easy to like. This book was unsettling for me and while I am not sorry I read it, if your taste in books is like mine I would not recommend it. Goodreads rating: 3 stars (2.5 if I could)
5. The Magicians Nephew- C.S. Lewis
I have read this book at least 5 times but recently purchased the full set of “The Chronicles of Narnia” and knew I needed to read this to me class. I love this book. It is a creation story that is not lacking in adventure or choices that are tough to make. My students loved it! I teach at a Christian school and the kids were eager to discuss the similarities and differences between the Christian creation story and the story in this book. I loved that they wanted to engage with the text as I think it was the first time they saw parallels between a fictional story and their lives. I am obviously reading the books in chronological order but next time I want to read them in the order they were published and see if the kids have a different reaction. Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
6. The Werewolf of Bambery- Oliver Potzsch
This is the 5th book in the “Hangman’s Daughter” series. I binge read the other three 2 winters ago and was happy to find the fourth one as an option to download on my Kindle for free! These books are full of history and mystery, which I love! They are set in Germany in the 1600’s and are supremely well researched. They have been translated into English from German and it is very well done. This book did not disappoint and we got to know a few more members of the hangman’s family. This book was easy to read and has me hoping for more hangman stories. If you like historical mysteries, check this out, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
7. The Mentor- Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli
This was another I got from Amazon for free. It has very recently been translated into English and I found this to be the roughest translation to read. There were breaks in the story where I thought I had skipped a page on my Kindle; it turned out I hadn’t. This story is about a Scotland Yard detective that has some not-so by the book ways of getting guilty parties, who might otherwise get off, put in jail. He finds himself wrapped up in case that reminds him a lot of a case he worked on 20 years ago. While the premise was interesting I thought the story was a little contrived and very easy to predict. It was a very quick read but left me wanting. I wasn’t a fan of most of the characters and the one I liked was not featured often. The ending had me thinking there will be more books in the series but I don’t think I will keep reading. Goodreads rating: 2 stars
8. The Bronte Plot- Katherine Reay
Let me just start by saying I love this type of book. When the author themselves loves a good story and uses that to create their characters it makes me so giddy. I have read all the books by this author and this is her latest. It was not my favorite of the three, but it did not let me down. In it, the main character begins to question if the path she is on is right for her. Things in her past and her present choices cause her to really look within herself and within her favorite classics to learn more about the type of person she wants to be. Basically she gets to go on a literary scavenger hunt in England and visit the places Austen, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, Beatrix Potter, etc. wrote their great works. Guess what is on my bucket list now? A Literary Tour of England. This is a delightful girly read and I devoured it in 24 hours. Goodreads Rating: 5 stars (I’d give it 4.5 if I could)
So that is it for Book Banter this month. My reading is still trending towards mystery, with a hint of foreign authors, but I feel it headed into the romantic and whimsical as the Christmas season and my wedding draw closer!
What have you been reading? Have you read any of these? Let me know what you think!
Until Next Time,
I love you more than books about books and foreign authors,