And here we are, at the end of another summer. I hope everyone had a lovely summer, whether you’ve been on holiday or just relaxing–I know mine has been a little nutty, to say the least! And as always, I like to feature some of my favourite books read between the first week of June until, well, today. I haven’t been reading as much compared to previous years (I was actually surprised by the number of books I read last month, it’s far less than my usual number) but nonetheless I had a few favourites (which, of course, many of these reviews won’t be up until the next few weeks). In no particular order:
- Selected Poems by Miguel Hernandez — From the moment I read the first poem included in this collection, I knew I would love his poetry. I love the imagery he uses in his poems, the feelings he captures…Definitely a collection I will revisit again and again.
- Love Sonnets and Elegies by Louise Labe — Another collection that grabbed me from the start. She really captures the feelings of love in such a way, in all of its forms…And this collection was bilingual, which was really cool too.
- China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan — Oh man, this series has been such a riot to read so far. This book was even crazier to read than the first book, with all of the glitz and high-end products and rich people problems and the contrast between mainland rich people and those based in Singapore, not to mention throwing in some traditional Asian values about family and appearance. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series!
- Another Viscount in Love by Vivienne Lorret — I love Vivenne Lorret’s books. Her Season’s Originals series had a slow start with the first volume but it really picked up as the series progressed and I was quite happy to see she released a novella to wrap up the series featuring one recurring character who’s been unlucky throughout.
- Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde — Of all the four books in the series I read to date, this book was most satisfying in the culmination of all of the ongoing storylines happening in Thursday Next’s life, the timey-wimey-ness of it all, and of course the healthy dose of Shakespeare included somewhere in the plot 😀 Probably tied with the first book as my favourite in the series!
- Hyperion by Dan Simmons — Why did I not get around to this book sooner? It was wondrous, but the heart of the book, about the human experience, was mesmerising and powerful. I really enjoyed the Canterbury Tales-esque set-up (amusing considering I didn’t enjoy CT on the whole at the end). Can’t wait to get my hands on the second book!
And of course, some honourable mentions that didn’t make the above list but were nonetheless great reads:
- Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book (review)
- Mhairi McFarlane’s Here’s Looking at You
- Georgette Heyer’s The Quiet Gentleman
- Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter
- Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Maybe in Another Life (review)
And that’s my list! What were some of your favourite reads this summer (or winter, depending on where you are in the world)? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Interested in any of them?
300 Days of Summer
By: Deborah Lawrenson
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Combining the atmosphere of Jess Walters’ Beautiful Ruins with the intriguing historical backstory of Christina Baker Kline’s ,The Orphan Train, Deborah Lawrenson’s mesmerizing novel transports readers to a sunny Portuguese town with a shadowy past—where two women, decades apart, are drawn into a dark game of truth and lies that still haunts the shifting sea marshes.
Traveling to Faro, Portugal, journalist Joanna Millard hopes to escape an unsatisfying relationship and a stalled career. Faro is an enchanting town, and the seaside views are enhanced by the company of Nathan Emberlin, a charismatic younger man. But behind the crumbling facades of Moorish buildings, Joanna soon realizes, Faro has a seedy underbelly, its economy compromised by corruption and wartime spoils. And Nathan has an ulterior motive for seeking her company: he is determined to discover the truth involving a child’s kidnapping that may have taken place on this dramatic coastline over two decades ago.
Joanna’s subsequent search leads her to Ian Rylands, an English expat who cryptically insists she will find answers in The Alliance, a novel written by American Esta Hartford. The book recounts an American couple’s experience in Portugal during World War II, and their entanglements both personal and professional with their German enemies. Only Rylands insists the book isn’t fiction, and as Joanna reads deeper into The Alliance, she begins to suspect that Esta Hartford’s story and Nathan Emberlin’s may indeed converge in Faro—where the past not only casts a long shadow but still exerts a very present danger.
I picked this book up last summer but didn’t get around to reading it right away. I guess it was because the premise of the book, the book title, and the cover just screamed “Summer read!” So I waited until this summer rolled in to read it. But I suppose I also stalled because I read her debut novel, The Lantern (review) and wasn’t terribly blown away like I thought I would be so I was a bit hesitant starting this book.
And here we are, at the end of summer. Not that it’s been much of a summer on my end, in that I was working the whole summer but also in that the weather on my end has been a lot cooler (not that I’m complaining! It was disgustingly humid in previous years). Anyhow, what has been going on at my blog for the month of August…
- Books reviewed this month include: Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book (review), Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Of Love and Other Demons (review), and Georgette Heyer’s The Quiet Gentleman (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
- No ARCs were reviewed this month! You can check out all of the ARCs I’ve read and reviewed to date in this tag.
- For this month’s So You Want to Read…, I focused on (surprise, surprise) Latin American author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. You can check out that post over here. For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.
- I also posted a couple of movie reviews (*le gasp*): Captain America: Civil War (review), Logan (review), and John Wick: Chapter Two (review). You can check out all of the past movies I’ve watched and reviewed in this tag.
- Another month, another unboxing (don’t think this will be a regular thing as I’ve got nothing slated for next month, but it’s a nice change of pace). Earlier I previewed my July subscription to Stickii Club; you can see all the pretty over at this post. For previous subscription boxes I’ve featured here, please see this tag.
By the way, I’m a little miffed that Photobucket changed their policy (by the looks of it–didn’t bother logging in over there) regarding linking out, so now a lot of my old posts feature the ugly Photobucket signage and I’m too arsed to bother going back and seeing what needs to be reuploaded right now *shrugs* So yes, apologies if you do run across it quite a bit–definitely there should be a lack of it in the recent posts.
Anyhow, wishing you all a lovely September and a great long weekend! 🙂
The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles #2)
By: Patrick Rothfuss
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.
So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view- a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicles, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.
At long last I find myself reading this book. It has long been on my radar–since reading The Name of the Wind for the first time back in 2008–which I waited for in mass market paperback before it sitting for a good number of years longer on my TBR pile. With the third book nowhere in sight and me attempting to get through books that have sit on my physical TBR pile for a long time, I figured now was the time to read it.
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
This week’s topic: Ten Hidden Gems in X Genre
I always enjoy these kinds of topics but I actually was stuck with a bit of writer’s block trying to think of a genre to focus on for this week’s TTT. In the end I decided to go with Canadian Literature/Books Written by Canadian Writers. Because there’s a ton of gems written by Canadians that need to be read and shared 😀
In no particular order:
- Robert Rotenberg’s Detective Ari Greene series (see author tag) — If you love mysteries and courtroom drama, this is definitely a series worth picking up. The author does such a wonderful job in conveying how an investigation unfolds both from the police side and from the courtroom side, not to mention captures the atmosphere of Toronto perfectly.
- Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt (review) — I didn’t know about this mystery series until it was adapted into a television series that aired earlier this year. Very moody, it’s set in northern Ontario, away from the major cities, where resources can be a bit of a crunch. The character dynamics were pretty interesting too. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series but I’d be keen to!
- Stony River by Tricia Dower (review) — I was plugging this book quite a bit a few years ago, I thought it was a really interesting character drama set in the 1950s and the contrast between the perfect life and what really lies behind the facade.
- Isabelle Lafleche’s J’Adore series (see author tag) — Love fashion and books featuring lawyer protagonists? Then look no further, this series was a lot of fun to read.
- The Delusionist by Grant Buday (review) — I picked this book up during a book fair a few years ago and ended up really enjoying it. It’s a coming-of-age novel but it’s also quite a sombre look at what happens to a family that refuses to acknowledge a very difficult and hard past that they’re trying to look past (in this case, the Holodomor in Ukraine that happened the 1930s).
- The Mystics of Mile End by Sigal Samuel (review) — Another family drama novel, this time focusing on a Jewish family fractured after the death of its matriarch and the family members’ views on religion and life. The POVs were especially memorable.
- The Fledglings by David Homel (review) — This novel sort of stuck with me long after I had finished reading it and I do find myself recommending it time and again as I thought it was an interesting look at family and friendship in the early twentieth century.
- The Emperor of Paris by C.S. Richardson (review) — I thought this was a beautifully written novel, short but jam-packed with story and a tour de force throughout twentieth century French history, or at least the first half.
…And actually I can only think up to eight books today, lol. What books and genre did you feature on your list this week? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
Just a bit of a heads up as I never announced it in a previous TTT but my first poetry collection, Shall I Be a Poet Instead?
, is available now online (Lulu/Amazon/The Book Depository/Barnes&Noble/etc.)! You can read more about my writing project and my journey towards its publication over at this blog post
and check out some of my poetry over at Instagram