11 February 2020

Show Us Your Books - February 2020

Welcome to Show Us Your Books for January - find other participating blogs at Life According to Steph and Jana Says.

While I thought January was supposed to be stressful, my February isn't starting out especially swell. Any day now, I'm sure it's gonna turn around and be GREAT!

January wrapped up with a great showing by my daughter and her middle school battle of the books trivia team. They made it to a three-way tiebreaker for 3rd place... and ended up in 4th place out of 34 teams! I'm so proud of them and all their hard work! We'll be having a celebration this weekend and watching I Am Number Four (the movie version of one of their required books). My other co-coach is also WAY better at this than I am, and she got prizes based on each of the six books. The team members got points for taking notes and doing other study-guide style activities with the books. So the team member with the most points picks first, and so on so everyone gets prizes :)

I ended up finishing a grand total of 12 books in January (compared with 11 for January 2019). Let's pick up with where I left off regarding my reading, shall we?

Finished Reading:

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

I'm sort of embarrassed to say that this is the only book I finished from the middle school battle of the books. I finished all of them for the 2019 battle, and I certainly mean to read all of them next year. My TBR list and reviews got out of hand, and I didn't have the spare time to read what I wanted to.

That being said, I really enjoyed this fantasy read and will certainly want to see the movie when it is released (I totally love book/movie pairings). I'd give the book 4/5 stars.

The Wicked Redhead by Beatriz Williams

I enjoyed this historical fiction, with strong females as the main characters, about 70 years apart. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars. Check out my full review here.

I received a copy of this book for my kindle from NetGalley in order to review it.

Don't Read the Comments by Eric Smith

I really liked this one a lot. I've recommended it to my daughter's school librarian as a great book for next year's battle. It's got great YA characters who deal with things like racism, sexism, and online game issues that I would never even think of! I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Books I Think You Should Read, but the more I think about it, maybe it's a 4.5?

I also received this one from NetGalley for my review.

The Witch of Delray: Rose Veres & Detroit's Infamous 1930s Murder Mystery by Karen Dybis

This was a book I waited to borrow from the library for AGES, and finally got on my kindle (love online borrowing!!). It's the true crime story of how an immigrant was pretty much railroaded to help politicians look more 'tough on crime.' There are still drink specials and such in Detroit about the notorious Witch of Delray. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars. Check out my full review on my blog here.

The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick

I guess historical fiction was sort of a theme this month? LOL Not intentionally. This was a gripping story of what happened around a Catholic charity house around the turn of the century. When one sister disappears, the other one assumes she's been sent to the house as a girl with low morals. The younger sister sneaks in, only to find that her sister is not there, and there's no way for her to get out. I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars also - my review is here.

I received this one from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Hope Rides Again by Andrew Shaffer

This is the second book in the Obama Biden Mystery series, and I'll keep reading them as long as he keeps writing them. Great literature? Not even close. But lots of chuckles, and I love my time spent with Joe, Barack, and their ongoing bromance :) I'd give it 3 out of  5 stars if I had to actually rate it.

I borrowed this one from the library.

The Third to Die by Allison Brennan

This is the first book in the new Mobile Response Team series. I really liked this FBI/police procedural. I'm excited to find out more about these agents and officers, and the super-quick mind of their forensic psychologist. I reviewed this one here and gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I received this one in exchange for my review from the publisher through NetGalley.

18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics by Bruce Goldfarb

It was amazing to realize how new the actual research of crime scenes - especially in cases of suspicious deaths - really is. I loved the details and historical side-stories of this one, but was less thrilled with the politics of trying to evolve and change the way it was 'always done.' Check out my full 3 out of 5 star review here.

I received this one from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet

If you enjoy intricate fantasy, this is one you should check out. A lot of the reviews were not flattering, and I was a bit hesitant sitting down with this 500+ page whopper, but I really liked all of it. The length was the most daunting part, but I really can't imagine what could be cut out.... I gave it 4 out of 5 stars in my review here.

I received this one from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Currently Reading:

I'm almost done with Her Homecoming Wish for a February 18 post, and I'll be starting In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken (the third book in The Darkest Minds series) later tonight. And I need to stay focused, as the Darkest Minds book is a library loan that I've had for at least a week already!

Planning to Read:

Coming up soon on my list:
Daring to Live: How the Power of Sisterhood and Taking Risks Can Jump-Start Your Joy by Sheri Hunter
Witness Protection Widow by Debra Webb (for a February 18 post)
All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White
The Queen's Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz (the first in the Queen's Secret series)


Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra said...

I really enjoyed Don't Read the Comments too. It touched on so many relevant and timely topics, and I also just really liked Divya and her friends.

Melissa @ Always, Lissa said...

Okay, you're the third person I've seen mention how good Don't Read The Comments is on their blog. I just read the synopsis and now I'm interested as well. Great list you have here!

Rebecca Jo said...

The Wicked Redhead could be the name of the bad days of the life of me & Ricky with both of us having red hair :) LOL

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

I've seen Don't Read The Comments around and it sounds good to me.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Third To Die sounds right up my alley, I'm going to check that out!

Thanks for joining us!

Greg said...

Yes stay positive with February haha! And congrats on your daughter's showing too in the battle of books! How fun. Artemis Fowl looks fun- I've never read those, and I've heard good things about Beatriz Williams.

NY Foodie Family said...

I'm going to check out Don't Read the Comments for my kids (and probably me too!). I never even knew about the Obama Biden Mystery series but now have to check it out!

Mackenzie said...

I like Beatriz Williams other books, I will have to check this out! :)

Lynn said...

I read The Darkest Minds years ago and really enjoyed it, I never read the rest of the series but I would like to do so one day.
I hope you'll enjoy all the books you got! Have a wonderful week!

lil desiqua said...

I read and really enjoyed The Darkest Minds, but failed to continue with the series. I'm not really a fan of series and try not to start them, but I thought this was supposed to be a trilogy (much more manageable for me). Don't Read The Comments recently came across my radar, so I'm happy to see a positive review of it- definitely adding that one! Lots of great reads last month :)

Liz Parker said...

I have The Queen's Assassin to read too lol ... are you reviewing that for me? I forget. I usually like de la Cruz's books.

Shea Lennon said...

Wow, I have only heard of a couple of these, so I have some research to do! The Obama Biden book sounds hilarious, I had no idea these books existed! The Girls With No Names also sounds really good!