Only a month into the school year? This is exhausting! I'm ready for a week or two off. I'm trying not to look my anxiety directly in the eye - for all the activities my kids are involved in (especially my high-schooler), I'm coming and going every day. Except when we realized last Thursday that my car had a dangerous gas leak, and my husband left town. So I regularly tell my daughter to go ahead and go out, have fun, find a ride. She walked in over the weekend and said at least one friend's older brother is not a good driver. Grrreattt.
Books are a good distraction, right? I finished and posted reviews for seven books since our last Show Us Your Books. And there's some really good ones!
As always, title links go to Goodreads, and the review links to go the review either on my blog or Books I Think You Should Read. As always, thank you to Netgalley and publishers who let me read their books for free - receiving books for free never influences my review.
Cold Snap: A Viking Cat Mystery by Codi Schneider - I might have argued whether a cat narrator can really work, but Bijou isn't a cat I want to argue with. While an all-animal participating cast (they did have human owners) was quirky, the author made it work. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars in my full review for Books I Think You Should Read. ⭐⭐⭐
All These Bodies by Kendare Blake - This one was really interesting. It was sort of a psychological thriller, but most of it was told in re-telling. The majority of events in the book had already occurred and were being recounted from Marie to Michael. It was interesting as it was a hard-to-believe recounting being told by a narrator we don't know if we should trust, to a teenage boy without a lot of reference to judge truth from fiction. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson - I've been lucky enough to read some really well-done non-fiction lately, and this definitely fit the description. My Yelp book club agreed that if anything, this book had TOO MUCH facts and detail. There were a few storylines that went nowhere. I found myself way more interested in the serial killer and his fascinating building than in the construction and running of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, but I definitely learned a lot of trivia about both events. I'm excited to have read that the movie rights have already been purchased (but no more information so far). I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars in my review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni - This was a simultaneous telling of three very different coming-of-age stories. The stories start when William (a Vietnam vet) sends his journal from his time in Vietnam to Vincent, decades later. Vincent is recalling his own years immediately after high school, while working for a construction company with William after his military discharge. The third story is still through Vincent's telling, but it's about his own son, Beau, who is graduating from high school. The men have three very different stories to tell, that changed each of their lives dramatically. I found myself enthralled with all three stories and gave the book 5 out of 5 stars in my review. I've thought about its characters many times since finishing the book. It was a very realistic fiction memoir. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
No Words (Little Bridge Island #3) by Meg Cabot - Little Bridge Island sounds like the coziest, most charming place to live, or in this book, even just visit! The author again does not disappoint with an endearing cast of characters with quirky flaws that just make you love them more. There's a fun frenemies trope, and I think every reader loves stories about writers - it feels so relatable reading about books. In my review, I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars. It was a great book to escape with for a few days - I always love a visit to Little Bridge Island. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis - Noelle Butterby has had her share of bad times. When there are an overwhelming number of good coincidences that make her life better, you just can't help but cheer. This sweet story is definitely worth a suspension of disbelief as the coincidental encounters (past and present) with Sam Attwood occur and are discovered. Being around while Noelle and Sam learn more about themselves and each other was so heartwarming. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars in my review and recommend it for nearly anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Book of Magic (Practical Magic #2) by Alice Hoffman - While this happens to be the most recent review I've published, it also means for this month, I've saved the best for last. I knew before I even picked up this book that it would be my favorite for the month, if not much longer. I love all of the Owens' women and their stories. This final chapter was no exception. Aunt Jet and Aunt Franny are passing the magical torch to their complex nieces. Gillian and Sally are next in line. But will Sally ever be convinced of the good side of magic, and the true worth of love? This one was a really great story, and we got to know more Owens women better. Read all of the books in this series - the prequels as well as the original Practical Magic (sure, you can watch the movie too) and wrap it all up with this gem. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I just started The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin yesterday in print (so far it hasn't really sucked me in), and Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey on my kindle (probably predictable, but cozy).
I have Wolf Point by Ian K. Smith on my list still for October. It's another book in the Ashe Cayne series, so I'm sure it will be a fun read. My last October scheduled review is for The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke. I haven't looked at the summary since I agreed to read it, but WITCHES! Sounds like it will be my perfect Halloween read.
I love the Owens family!
I also liked the Robert Dugoni.
Adding the Dugoni book and Eight Perfect Hours to my TBR list. Both sound interesting.
I have Eight Perfect Hours on my Kindle and am looking forward to reading it this winter- so happy to see a great review of it! I also want to read the Hoffman series sooner rather than later!
I only read the murder parts of Devil in the White City. The rest was just too much boring, mundane detail and I couldn't do it.
Sorry to hear you've had a lot of stressful situations going on. Thanks for all the book recommendations. I haven't read any Alice Hoffman books yet, but I feel like I'm missing out.
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