Let’s talk about books, baby

So, now that I don’t HAVE to write any reviews, I am excited to post about the books I’ve been reading. Funny how that works! It’s the 20th of January, and I’ve finished 10 books so far, though many were in progress before the New Year started. As I look at my list, I see that I’ve rated them all four stars, which means I’ve been enjoying all of my reading, but so far there are no real standouts.

I did finish one last review copy that came in the mail, and I only broke my rule because it was Beth Kephart’s new novel, One Thing Stolen. I have a full review coming out in April, closer to the release date, so I won’t say too much. I did really enjoy it, but it wasn’t as wonderful as her other books, which I’ve invariable adored. Of course, a “not her best” book by Beth is better than most people’s “best,” so I’m not complaining. Plus, it made me want to go to Italy and eat Italian food. 🙂

My lightest reading hours have been spent with Agatha Raisin: I finished The Perfect Paragon and Love, Lies, and Liquor in M.C. Beaton’s cozy mystery series. I think they are books 16 and 17 in the series, but I’ve lost track. I still love them – they make me laugh, and I love the recurring characters like Bill Wong, Agatha’s policeman friend; Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, who loves Agatha in spite of the fact her husband loathers her; Charles, Agatha’s flighty friend; and Roy, her former employee. The only character I don’t love is James, her ex-husband, with whom Agatha is always trying to reunite. I hope they kill him off in the next book.

I finished two read-aloud titles. I read The Screwtape Letters aloud to all three boys as part of our Bible study time. C.S. Lewis is amazing. And Josiah and I finished Graduation Day, the final book in Joelle Charbonneau’s The Testing series. We liked the whole series. It is quite reminiscent of The Hunger Games, but original enough to make it worth reading – and no love triangle, thank God.

On audio, I finished The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, read by Elijah Wood. Noah read it in print for his English 10 class, while I listened to it to keep up with him. I think he would have enjoyed it more if he had listened to it; the dialect can be difficult to decipher. I also finally finished Stephen King’s Duma Key, narrated by John Slattery. It was really good; I loved how Florida-ish it was (yes, I know that’s not a word), and how creepy it was without being a gorefest. The friendship between Edgar, the main character, and his friend Wireman, was the best part of the book for me. There aren’t enough books that portray really loyal, fierce friendships between men.

I finished Countdown, a prequel novella in Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series. I’ve had all her novellas from that series on my Kindle app forever, and I’m finally getting around to reading them. It makes me want to read the series again. The last two titles were forays into science fiction: Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer and The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Annihilation is the first book in a trilogy, and it was really unsettling, in a good way. I simply could not stop reading, but came away from the book feeling so lost and disquieted. I just picked up book two from the library, and I have my fingers crossed that it answers a few of my (many) questions. The Walker book is a coming-of-age novel set in California right after the earth’s rotation has slowed down. Gravity is changed; tides are affected; the weather is messed up; people are getting sick – and in the middle of it, a young girl is going through adolescence. I enjoyed it very much, although again, I was left with a lot of questions. Since this was a stand-alone, I don’t think they’ll be answered any time soon.’

Well, that’s it so far. It has been so incredibly freeing to read whatever I want, talk about it if I want, keep my mouth shut for a change if that’s what I feel like. I had forgotten this feeling! I sound horribly ungrateful, don’t I? I absolutely enjoyed my years as a book blogger, but now that I witness this feeling of being done, I realize I probably held on long past the point when I should have let it go. Lesson learned, right?

What have you been reading this New Year of 2015? Anything amazing?

Off-topic PS – Did you see that mind-blowing game between my ‘Hawks and the Packers on Sunday? I screamed myself hoarse, and almost put my back out jumping up and down. 🙂

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16 Responses to Let’s talk about books, baby

  1. Beth Hoffman says:

    It’s got to feel wonderful to read for the sheer joy of it and not feel pressured!

  2. julie@m5monkeys
    Twitter: aprilmom00
    says:

    I just finished Once upon a rose by Laura Florand and I am reading the NIght we said Yes 🙂 I tried reading an audio book–not yet for me.

  3. Kailana says:

    It looks like your reading year is off to a good start. I am very proud of myself for finishing two audiobooks in 2015 so far. I did really good with them in 2013 but I had a hard time getting into a groove with anything last year… And, I really liked both of them. I have Annihilation on my Kindle app. I am really looking forward to it. I kind of wish I had read it because the sequels were the daily deals at Amazon this month and I may want them after I finish book 1… The life of a reader!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kelly – I just started Authority, the sequel to Annihilation – and I’m already hooked!

  4. JoAnn @Lakeside Musing
    Twitter: lakesidemusing
    says:

    I thought of you when the Seahawks made that amazing comeback…quite a game! Wonder if the Super Bowl will be as good.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      JoAnn – I hope the Super Bowl is a good game, but not as much of a heart-stopper – my health can’t take it!

  5. I am glad your 2015 reading year has gotten off to a good start, Carrie! I just started listening to my first audio of the year. Hopefully I will have better luck this year than I did last (never finished one).

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Wendy – Audios aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure. Hopefully you can find one you’ll enjoy!

  6. Trisha says:

    Reading and blogging should always be free and easy. Glad you are enjoying it.

  7. Michelle says:

    I am just going to pretend that you never mentioned that game at all so that we can still be friends. 🙂

  8. Susan says:

    Good luck tomorrow with the Super Bowl. I’ll root for the Hawks over the Patriots. I’m out West after all. My team (Denver) went down in Flames this year, and last year too. It’s always painful. Enjoy the big game!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Susan- I did enjoy the game – right until the last play! Ugh. That’s okay – I still love my ‘Hawks.