A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

Books read in July


Every which way but dead – Kim Harrison
This is the third book in The Hollows series and was read on my Kindle. I was looking for something to read on there and remembered that I’d meant to carry on with this series a few months ago. I don’t like to wait too long between books or I forget who’s who and what’s happened before. This was quite a long book but it didn’t seem it as there was so much going on. It was a great read and I was on the verge of starting the next book as soon as I finished this, but then I remembered a little thing like housework that really should be tackled. Sigh. I really need some housecleaning pixies.

A whiff of scandal – Carole Matthews
This caught my eye on the shelves last night. It’d be hard to miss it to be honest as it’s a very bright pink. It promised to be a riotously funny romance of misunderstandings and mayhem. While it was slightly amusing and there was certainly some romance in there, I do think that the description may have exaggerated the book’s virtues. It was an ok read but not one that I’d recommend.

Breakup – Dana Stabenow
Book seven in the Kate Shugak series. This one was fun. Poor Kate had a few days where  everything just seemed to go wrong. All turned out ok in the end, and an amusing tale ended with Kate becoming more entangled with tribe politics. I loved Mandy’s parents, and the Chicken Little comments. I’m really enjoying this series.

Killing grounds – Dana Stabenow
The problem with these three-in-one books is that it’s just so easy to carry on reading when you get to the end of one of the stories. With a normal volume, I finish the book, I mourn its passing and then move on. With the last one, I was enjoying reading about Kate’s corner of Alaska so much, that I just kept reading. This one was another excellent read, with Kate working on a fish tender. I love how you learn so much about life in that part of Alaska without feeling like you’ve been lectured to.

To the nines – Meg Cabot
Another vile migraine and another easy read needed during the recovery phase. As I was so near the end of this boxed set, and this was handy in the bedside drawer, it got nominated for the task. I was still quite groggy so at this point, a couple of books later, I haven’t got much idea what it was about. I do remember being pleasantly distracted by it though and I know I liked it a lot more than book eight.

Ten out of ten
I thought I may as well finish off the boxed set as there was only one book left, and I was still feeling under the weather. I quite enjoyed this one. It finished everything off nicely, although fairly predictably. I’m glad I got the boxed set and worked my way through them. I vaguely remember that I wanted to read the first book for The Big Read and then carried on reading. Teen books are so good these days. There is so much more choice than when I was that age. I seem to remember having graduated to Agatha Christie and Ian Fleming by my teens as I’d finished the kids’ section.

Evermore – Alyson Noël
I still didn’t fancy anything too complex as my head was still fuzzy a day later so I thought I’d see what this was like. I was really hoping it was good as it was yet another boxed set that I’d stumbled across in Costco and bought because it was such a bargain. I’m such a hopeless case!
As it turned out, it was quite good and I’m quite looking forward to the rest of the set. Not just yet though. I’m feeling the need for something a bit less teen-angsty now.

Change of heart – Jodi Picoult
This has been near the top of the TBR pile for a few months. I keep meaning to read it but get distracted by other shinier books, if you know what I mean. It’s finally had its chance though and I have to say that I’m not as impressed by it as I usually am with her books. There’s always a twist. I know this and look forward to it. A couple of times I’ve had an inkling at some point in the book but this time I knew, just knew what it was going to be during the very first chapter. That’s not much of a twist. I also guessed what the sister’s story was as soon as she appeared. Was it too obvious, or was I looking for it too hard? I don’t know but it did spoil the story for me slightly. There was also too much about religion in there for my taste too. Other than that? It was ok. I won’t let my slight dissatisfaction stop me reading more of her books, but it may have put her down the ‘favourite author’ list slightly.

Wedding night – Sophie Kinsella
Yes! I have been waiting ages for it to be my turn for this one from the library. I picked it up and abandoned the book that I was halfway through to start it straight away. I loved it. I don’t think Kinsella has written a book that I haven’t loved to be honest. They’re light and fluffy and funny and always put a smile on my face. Pure entertainment. The feel good factor. Call it what you want, sometimes it’s just what you need.

The little stranger – Sarah Waters
I’ve just finished this. It was a little creepy. It’s now 9pm and I’m on my own in the house all night. I’m starting to wish I hadn’t read it in a way as I’m feeling a bit spooked. It was an excellent book though, which is why I kept reading all evening to finish it instead of leaving it for the morning when I’ll be far less suggestible. Sigh. I’m an idiot and I will be hearing noises all night now. What I loved about this, and what kept me reading was the subtlety of it. It wasn’t overtly scary, it just suggested and hinted. I think it’s the fourth of the author’s books that I’ve read so far and I’ve loved them all. I must see what else she’s written. Hopefully something not quite as Gothic, but if it is, I hope I’ll have the sense to read it at a more suitable time.
I think I’ll go and hide under the bedcovers now.

Her fearful symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
I’ve been thinking about reading this since it came out but I’ve been a bit scared to, if I’m honest. The time traveler’s wife is one of my favourite books so I was expecting this one to be another great book. My worry was not so much that this one wouldn’t live up to my expectations, but that if it didn’t, it would somehow taint my beloved Time traveler. I don’t know why this was a potential problem. I’ve read many books by Iain Banks since I fell in love with The wasp factory, and have happily ordered the latest Khaled Hosseini from the library without fear that it will upset my memory of Splendid Suns. (I’m #80 of 89 so I’m guessing I’ll be waiting a while for it) Maybe it’s because it’s been such a long wait, made longer by my reluctance to read it. Whatever the reason, I needn’t have worried. Ok, so the book wasn’t the breathtaking work that Time traveler was, but I did love it. It was different. I liked the twins and I liked the twists, which I didn’t see coming. I’m not completely convinced by the ending but then maybe that gives me something to think about. I’m glad I finally worked myself up to reading it. Definitely a thumbs up.

Shakespeare’s landlord – Charlaine Harris
I wanted something light to read while relaxing for a couple of hours before going out. As I was going to an author event, I thought it’d be a splendid idea to read something by that author so I fished out one of her earlier books. This one is the first Lily Bard book. I liked this series and have all the books. I really enjoyed reading it again and as my memory is so bad recently, it took me a while to remember who the killer was. I’m quite tempted to read the rest of the series now. They’re slim books and nice quick reads and sometimes it’s nice to reread a series that you enjoyed a while back.

Real murders – Charlaine Harris
While I’ve read all the author’s books, I don’t own them all. I borrowed the Aurora Teagarden series from Tree so at the event last night, I bought the first in that series to get it signed. She also very kindly signed my own copy of Shakespeare’s landlord which was in my bag as it was my current read. I enjoyed rereading this book just as much as the Lily Bard one and especially after meeting the author. Charlaine Harris was lovely. She did a short talk and then did a Q&A before the signing. I enjoyed her talk. She came over as being very genuine and quite funny. I do love meeting authors.

Sweet Tooth – Ian McEwan
I like McEwan’s books and I fancied this one as soon as it came out. I took ages to put in my reservation at the library though so ended up in a huge queue and only got my hands on it yesterday. I read it last night and today and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was set a few decades back and written around a young woman in MI5. I loved the story, the characters and the mini stories inside it that were written by one of the characters. One of those stories was a whopping great clue to the book itself which I loved when I realised. I won’t elaborate on that as I hate spoilers and one of the brilliant things about this book was the ending which I loved to bits. This was hugely different to any of McEwan’s other books. You never know what you’re going to get with him, which is great. I can’t wait to see what he writes next.

The Paradise Guest House – Ellen Sussman
This is the book that was so kindly sent to me by the publishers and I’ve written my thoughts on it in a separate post.

City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
I’ve been meaning to read this for ages and got my chance to do just that when Heidi very kindly loaned me her copy. I really liked it. It was a bit different, with interesting characters and plenty of loose ends to continue into the next book.

The Night Watch – Sarah Waters
This was thankfully not another ghost story as I was alone in the house again when I read it. It’s in three parts, with each part set in a different year. It starts off in 1947 and follows the stories of four people who all have secrets. There were things referred to that made you curious as the details weren’t filled in. Some of those things you learnt in the next, shorter section, which was set in 1944. The final details, the secrets, emerged in the last short section set in 1941. The book is quite dark and I enjoyed it very much. I love her writing. It’s so easy to get lost in. You could picture wartime London, hear the sirens and almost feel the bombs falling. An excellent read.


Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

4 thoughts on “Books read in July

  1. I may just have had a Kindle-accident with the Ian McEwan 😮


  2. How lovely to go and meet Charlaine Harris – I love the Lily Bard books and the Aurora Teagarden and could quite happily re-read all of them. I just almost choked on my tea when I saw that you’ve just read City of Bones – I bought that book several years ago and it disappeared into Catherine’s bedroom without me reading it. I retrieved it the weekend before last and set out on a marathon reading session – I have read all 8 of her books since then. The Infernal Devices series was by far my favourite. I can put them all in your box if you like?


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