The Year In Books – February 2015

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Already mid-February and only now am I posting my February read?  Sheesh…

I only read in bits and spurts last month so it took me forever to read a most enjoyable book.  Kind of sounds oxymoronic, doesn’t it?  Well, it is what it is!  I basically read before bed so a chapter or three per night does not make for a fast read, no matter how good a book is!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was suggested to me by my niece, Jennifer.  And a good suggestion it was!  As I was reading the story, the description of the circus and the people involved in its creation I could not help wishing it were a possibility in real life!

Imagine a circus that appears suddenly, is set up without your knowing it and is only open from sunset to sunrise.  The whole set-up is black and white: from the performers to the tents to the rest of the décor.  After a few nights (it is never really specified just how long it stays in one area), it disappears.  This circus is particularly magical as all the acts are real and not mere illusions.

Two magicians have each taken a student under their wing to teach them all they know.  What the students don’t realise is they are part of a challenge.  They don’t even know what it is nor who their opponent is until they fall in love with each other.

I shall not say more as to say too much is to ruin it for others!  I truly enjoyed it.

My February choice was also suggested (and the book supplied) by said niece.   We have been bonding lately (which is simply marvellous) and it’s nice to be able to discuss a book with a fellow reader.   We’ve yet to fully discuss The Night Circus but we will!  American Gods is my choice this month because for some reason, every where I look, I see the name Neil Gaiman!  He must be a “go-to” writer, lately.  A number of his books are on many of my Goodreads friends’ lists.  I see his name everywhere I turn.  I’ve no idea what it’s about and no one has told me a thing so let’s see where this takes me!

The Year In Books – August 2014

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Back from vacation and trying to get back into a groove (but not yet trying that hard)!  As predicted, I took the time to read whilst on the Jersey Shore.  Now… did I read what I said I’d read? Not exactly!  Yes, I did officially finish As Always, Julia (there were a mere 20 pages left) and it just made me want to start cooking à la Julia but I was camping so I had to improvise!  (Not too many have duck breasts and cedar-plank salmon when camping…)  And, I knew there would be quite a few shows taped of The French Chef  waiting for me when I got home. (Isn’t the Universe grand?  Here I am all in love with Julia Child and Gusto TV decides to air old ’60’s episodes!  So fun to watch these old black and white shows with Julia often out of breath….

O.K… got off track there for a second!  My first official book for July was Jodi Picoult’s Change of Heart. As per usual, Ms. Picoult draws you into a difficult situation, shows you both sides (or more) to the story and makes you think.  As she has done for several of her books, each chapter is one person’s voice (and written in a different font).  This story is about a death-row inmate (first in 69 years) who wishes to donate his heart to his victim’s sister.  It’s told in the voices of June, mother of the victim; Michael, a Catholic priest; Lucius, a fellow inmate and Maggie, his lawyer; all woven together to tell this difficult story.

Death penalty, human rights, religion, organ donation:  these are some serious subjects that can cause heated discussions.  Picoult never preaches when each one is brought forth.  I am amased at the amount of research she puts into each and every book she writes, this one included.  I won’t say more as I would hate to divulge anything inadvertently! Definitely worth the read.

After about an hour to mourn the end of my book, my sister handed me the one she had just finished.  I had not thought to bring a second book so I figured pourquoi pas?  This particular one falls in the category we like to call:  historical smut book!  Which was exactly what I needed after the emotional roller coaster ride I had just been on!  This was a no-brain-required-yet-enjoyable-romp-kind of book called A Rogue By Any Other Name20140731_154209 by Sarah MacLean.  You know how these go: boy meets girl, girl hates boy, boy ravishes girl and all ends well… Sometimes that just hits to spot!

It’s just as well I hadn’t brought my second book to the beach:  Every Day in Tuscany – turns out it comes AFTER this month’s selection!  Funny how that works, eh?