Friday, October 31, 2014

Reading Challenges Update: October 2014

Here is where I stand with the challenges I have joined after the month of October (only challenges that I read books for this month are featured here):

E-Book (25/25) - COMPLETED!
25. The Unwanted Earl by Ruth J. Hartman

Audio Book (18/25)
17. Sold by Patricia McCormick
18. Let Me Stand Alone by Rachel Corrie

100 Books in a Year (87/100)
83. Sold by Patricia McCormick
84. Let Me Stand Alone by Rachel Corrie
85. The Unwanted Earl by Ruth J. Hartman
86. Don't Forget Me, Bro by John Michael Cummings
87. Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam

Historical Fiction (12/15)
12. The Unwanted Earl by Ruth J. Hartman

Author Alphabet (20/26)
20. Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Last Train to Babylon

Title: Last Train to Babylon
Author: Charlee Fam
Publisher: William Morrow
ISBN: 978-0-06-232807-6
Why Read?: Book Reporter
Challenges: Author Alphabet, 100 Books in a Year

Thoughts: Fam perfectly captures the Millenial voice.  Audrey may be a tough character to get to know, but she is the epitome of many younger Millenials.  Fam also creates a wonderful blend of suspense, coming-of-age, and dark humor.

Rating: 4 stars

Don't Forget Me, Bro

Don’t Forget Me Bro
by John Michael Cummings
published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press
ISBN n/a
Why read? Review
Challenges: 100 Books in a Year

How does one deal with death?  This is the crux behind John Michael Cummings’s through-provoking novel, Don’t Forget Me, Bro

When Mark’s older brother, Steve, dies, Mark must travel home to both mourn his brother.  Home, though, is not the happy place that it should be.  Mark has always blamed his father for Steve’s mental disability as well as for his own problems.  Once home, though, Mark starts to learn some startling truths about Steve, about his family, and, most of all, about himself.

Don’t Forget Me, Bro is a very character-driven story, which is what it needs to be to tackle a topic such as dealing with death.  Mark is very real, even if his personal story is not the easiest to swallow.  And although Steve never appears, Cummings does a good job of making him a central character.  The rest of Mark’s family is also very well-rounded.

If you are looking for a light read, Don’t Forget Me, Bro is not it. But if you are looking for something with a little more depth – and a little despair tinged with hope – the John Michael Cummings’s book is the one for you.

Rating 4/5

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: 10/19-10/25

For review (on Bookloons):
Polly and the One and Only World by Don Bredes
Find Me I'm Yours by Hillary Carlip

First Reads from Goodreads:
A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison

Bought on Amazon:
Judgement by Carey Baldwin

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Unwanted Earl

The Unwanted Earl
by Ruth J. Hartman
published by esKape
ISBN 9781940695139
Why read? Review
Challenges: Ebook, Historical Fiction, 100 Books in a Year

In this fast and fun sequel to Love Birds of Regent’s Park, Ruth J. Hartman brings us Lord Conrad Lofton’s story in The Unwanted Earl.  With stunning skill, she manages to turn the villain – and comic relief – from the first book into a charming hero, who still manages some hilarious mishaps.

Amelia Talbot is in a bind.  Her father wants her to marry a disgusting octogenarian, which is not what she wants at all.  The problem is, being the type of woman who is not afraid to speak her mind, she has no other suitors.  Her problem is solved one day when she discovers that Lord Conrad Lofton is really a bastard (and not in the way her drawing partner, Lucy Shipley, thinks).  Using this information, she blackmails Conrad into becoming her betrothed.  Conrad, recently having a rotted tooth pulled and partnering with Oliver Shipley on a way to end his financial woes, finds himself in much better spirits, even if Amelia insists on dragging him to one outdoor adventure after another.  In time, the two find themselves truly falling for each other, but a secret about Conrad’s past soon threatens to tear the two apart.

While Conrad is still Conrad, Hartman has managed to turn him from truly despicable into completely loveable, which is an amazing feat in and of itself.  On top of that, Hartman has crafted an enjoyable Regency with plenty of humor and good clean fun.  The Unwanted Earl might be my favorite Ruth J. Hartman book yet, but I do hope this series continues with Cecilia getting a chance at a happy ending.

Rating 5/5

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Let Me Stand Alone

Title: Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie
Author: Rachel Corrie
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
ISBN: 9781482909326
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Audio Books, 100 Books in a Year

Thoughts: Rachel Corrie was a very gifted writer, even at a young age,  but this book just was not for me.  I have a feeling, she and I could never have been friends if we met, and the parts about Collin made me feel the same way I do whenever I watch the movie version of Caberet (which is not a good thing).

Rating: 3 stars

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: 10/12-10/18

For possible review (on Bookloons)
The Graveyard Book Vol. 2 by Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell
The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Title: Sold
Author: Patricia McCormick
Publisher: Tantor Audio
ISBN: n/a
Why Read?: Book Club
Challenges: Audio Books, 100 Books in a Year

Thoughts: Even though this is a fictionalized account, it is very disheartening to know that a story like this can happen today.  While it is a short listen, it is a very heavy story, and very well-done.

Rating: 5 stars

Stacking the Shelves: 10/5-10/11

For possible review (on Bookloons):
Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen
Rogerson's Book of Numbers by Barnaby Rogerson

LibraryThing Early Review:
Sorrow by John Lawson

Bought at Archon:
Traitor's Knot by Janny Wurts
Burning Darkness by Jennifer Sights
The Labyrinth of Time by T. W. Fendley

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: 9/28-10/4

For possible review (here or on Bookloons):
Taking Flight by Michaela DePrince with Elaine DePrince
Random Acts by Mia Kerick
True Fire by Gary Meehan
Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac

Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam

Requested from Paperback Swap:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green