12 March 2020

Show Us Your Books - March 2020

With everything else going on, I almost spaced on Show Us Your Books for March. Check out the other participating blogs through Life According to Steph and Jana Says.

February ended for me with a total of nine books read. This topped my 2019 total of six. Go, me!

The world is now getting more chaotic as every minute passes. School districts are closing for weeks on end in the interest of 'flattening the curve' to slow/contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). As a school employee, I think that means I'll soon have a lot of time to read. That and sleeping in are my bright spots ;)

I wish for a happy outcome for as many as possible. Through blogging, direct sales, and random Facebook connections, I know many people who are immune compromised in a variety of ways. While I don't feel that my immediate family is at much risk, I worry about others who are struggling as a result of all the craziness, and the pandemic itself.

On a brighter note, let's get back to February/March books.

Finished Reading:

I read Witness Protection Widow and Her Homecoming Wish to review for Harlequin through NetGalley (I received electronic copies of the books in exchange for my honest review).

My reviews for both of these books (both 3/5 stars from me) are on my site here. They were both pretty much what I expected, with likable characters but predictable plot lines. Great escape reads that didn't take a lot of focus to enjoy. Sometimes that's exactly what I want in a book.

Next I finished reading In the Afterlight -  the third book of The Darkest Minds trilogy - and reviewed it on my site. I borrowed this one from the library and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

I've grown a bit attached to the characters and loved hearing the end of their stores. I believe the author has also said there may be a few novellas on some minor characters as well. As I stated in my review, I'd love to see the second and third book in the trilogy made into movies like the first one was.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle was the first book I read for our Adult Battle of the Books. I reviewed it on my site and gave it 5/5 stars. I bought this book from Amazon, along with the rest of the battle books.

I'm looking forward to reading this one again. The language is beautiful, and the characters are so intriguing. There's also a movie, but I'm waiting until after the trivia contest next month to watch it.

I received No Truth Left to Tell from the publisher and reviewed it at Books I Think You Should Read. I gave it 3/5 stars. While I didn't like a lot of the loose ends or lack of closure to some of the heartbreaking cases mentioned, I did get one of my new favorite quotes from a character in this book: "My parents taught us to believe in a person’s potential for good, but not depend on it."

It also needs to be said that this book was inspired by actual events. Racism and prejudice are alive and well. Te story that most of this book was about was from 1994. The Klu Klux Klan is a major player in this book, and its members sincerely believe that they are flat-out better than other people based only on their ancestors and the color of their skin. 

All the Ways We Said Goodbye is the second historical fiction I've read from Beatriz Williams (and two other authors in this book). I received an e-copy of this book through the publisher and NetGalley for my unbiased review. I gave this book 4/5 stars. 

The three generations of ladies we followed in these stories were all engaging and believable. The stories also take place in Paris, which I enjoyed, but I know some other people would find to be a major draw. It wasn't a fast read, but I'd still recommend it as a pleasant passing of time. 

I received The Queen's Assassin from the publisher and NetGalley. You can check out my full 3/5 star review here. I'm definitely interested in what happens next in this series. It's young adult fantasy, in a medieval style.

The fantasy of this story was understandable for me, with a sort of medieval background and some natural and herb medicine. Yay! I really like when a fantasy builds on something that I feel that I have a bit of knowledge of, instead of having to learn a whole new world.

Far Away Bird was a great non-traditional heroine book. I received my copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review here (with a giveaway good through 3/17!). I gave it 4.5/5 stars. Especially worth noticing is that this is definitely a book for adults. A few of the scenes about Theodora's early life as a prostitute and actress in sex shows were VERY explicit.

I loved the speculation about Theodora's early views based on her interactions with oppressed and marginalized populations, and I'd really like to find more books about this time period - both the royalty and the struggles of the common people.

I received This Terrible Beauty from the publisher for my honest review. Having read the author's previous book as well, I can't help but compare the two books. The main characters were both what I called unintentional victims - in one case, she was a potential witness to abuse, and in this one she was a German after the end of WWII. It's an odd situation to contemplate, but the author makes them feel quite relatable.

I rated this book as 4/5 stars here .

Currently Reading:

With a little break from work and the kids' activities, I've got a rather ambitious to-be-read list right this minute - I'm reading three books right now! LOL I've started The Sea Glass Cottage for a review at the end of the week, as well as jumping in to This One Summer and Ninth House for the Adult Battle of the Books (in case we meet this week, we agreed to have these read).

Planning to Read:

Coming up soon to read I've got a few scheduled reviews, and trying to wrap up a few February publications still:
Adequate Yearly Progress - sounds amusing and I'm looking forward to it
Tigers, Not Daughters & The Darkness We Hide - both for reviews by the end of the month.


Athira said...

Schools are closed here in Ohio as well and I'll be working from home for the next few weeks. It's going to be very difficult working with screaming kids around but it needs to be done. We'll see how it goes.

Looks like a very productive February! Hope March is similarly awesome in reading.

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

I'm thinking I'll have less time to read with my kids home now! I'm reading Ninth House at the moment too!