Monday, November 28, 2016

November Reading Wrap Up


This November was a decent reading month for me. I listened to two audio books, read four comics, and read seven books. I enjoyed almost everything, and there were books added to my favorites list. The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin was a favorite. Jemisin's writing just sucks me in and doesn't turn me loose until the very last page. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson is now one of my all time favorite reads. It made such an impact on me and should be required reading! 

Well, November's almost done, Thanksgiving is over, and I am looking forward to the run up to Christmas. I checked my Goodreads reading challenge and I have read 139 of my 150 book goal. My fingers are crossed that I can read eleven more books before December 31st. I will definitely be taking my book goal number way down for next year! I plan on diving into some longer fantasy series next year so there is pretty much no way that I am going to read 150 books in 2017! Let me know if you have read a must read book this year so that I can check it out too! 

Happy Reading!
Monica
Books Read in November



Amazon This had a really good premise and I enjoyed the world building, but I would have liked a little more depth and detail for both the world and the characters. I am still interested in the story and would like to see how the story and characters continue to develop so I will be picking up the next book in the series when it is released. Another bonus is that this is diverse fantasy and I am looking for as many diverse fantasy series/authors that I can support as possible. 

Eden Reid is not interested in prophesy. The problem is that a doozy of a prophesy is bearing down on her. Such is the case when you're a twenty-four-year-old from Brooklyn, New York who is about to discover she is an ancient god. A truly powerful one. And with power comes problems. 
A truly formidable demon is gunning for her; a zombie-like pandemic is spreading across the country, creating creatures who are hungry for flesh, fast on their feet and clever; and there is the mysterious, handsome stranger with powers of his own who claims to have been her lover from a time and a life that Eden cannot remember. He promises to help awaken her powers for the upcoming war. A war where there is only one prize: survival…in Daughter of Gods and Shadows from debut author Jayde Brooks.

Amazon This was a really enjoyable NA romance and one that I would highly recommend if you are looking for a romance that is sweet but still brings the hot sexiness in the love scenes. You can read my full review of this one here. 

She'll be the greatest fight of his life…

Bradyn 'The Red Scot' MacTavish is the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world, despite his humble beginnings as the fat kid growing up. A tragedy that befell his life changed him and made sure that he never felt helpless again. He spent years making a name for himself in the octagon as an alpha beast, but when it comes to the ladies he is a fumbling mess. Always feeling like the unpopular kid. The day that Payton Bailey walks into his gym changes everything.

When it comes to men, Payton is as clueless as she is with social cues. She prefers to stick with what she knows: Sci-Fi, comic books, video games and web design. After a heartbreaking incident her freshman year of college, she was never able to look at big muscular men the same way again. So imagine her surprise and absolute fright when she catches the eye of the massive, hulking MMA fighter, who she secretly nicknames The Red Giant.

The computer geek has done her best to avoid, ignore, and even maim Bradyn, but the stubborn Scot has no intentions of letting the skittish lass slip through his fingers. And with the help of her three friends, he just might win the fight of his life.
The Red Scot is the charming standalone novel and Book 1 of the Curvy Girls Club Series. A series about four inseparable best friends and their individual journeys to each find their Happily Ever After. 

Amazon I very much enjoyed Homegoing and added it to my favorites list. It's not a feel good book and it left me a little unsettled at the end, but that was the point of this very well written and engaging book. You can read my full review here

The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indelibly drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.

Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Amazon (This may be out of print & it doesn't look to be available as an ebook) I picked up the entire Legacies series from my local Goodwill for a dollar each. I am not gonna lie, this book has a butt ugly cover and if it wasn't a dollar I wouldn't have bothered. BUT, I am glad that I did! I was pleasantly surprised that there is a decent story that I am interested in following surrounding all of the erotic sex in Shattered Legacy. This is good escapism romance and I read it after the elections so it was a really good book to escape the despair I feel because of the candidate that won. 

Legacies - Shattered Legacy By Lora Leigh Book 1 in the Legacies series. The battle has been long and hard, the evil relentless, unending. And out of their hauntingly erotic dreams and into the lives of the battle-weary Shadow Warriors come four beautiful women — sisters, not only of the flesh, but of the soul and the Earth. Her mistresses — each possessed of a power and love to equal that of their warrior. But consuming passion, undying love and gifts of mystical power come at immense cost, and Fate and Destiny demand their price. Only one, Chantel, Keeper of the Earth Crystal, knows the true torments that await them and the decision she makes, the legacy she chooses, will impact them all for centuries to come. Deceit, treachery and dark forces propel the warriors and their wives into a vortex of events that will tear them asunder. Devlin, favored warrior of the gods, has found his heart and soul with Chantel. Time is running out, the growing evil he senses is coming closer. Evil that could shatter his life, and destroy that which he holds most dear — Chantel. Note: Shattered Legacy is not a "Happily Ever After". Rather it is the beginning, the history, of what is to come.

Amazon I was a little disappointed in Red on a Rose. I went in with enthusiasm and high expectations, but it ended up just being a book that I could make it through and appreciate in bits and pieces. You can read my full review here

In a captivating voice that wafts around you like a rose's rich fragrance, Patricia ]ones peels back the petals of emotion that blanket a woman's soul and, in this poignant and wise novel, tells a powerful story of love and redemption.

Lila Giles Calloway has come a long way since she stepped out from under her stepmother's controlling thumb. Happily married to cardiac surgeon Jack Calloway and living in her beloved hometown of Baltimore, Lila splits her time among visiting with Jack's elderly patients, directing her own on-line reading program for children, and contemplating the possibility of motherhood. But all this comes to a screeching halt when, one typical Saturday afternoon, Lila is confronted with a situation that challenges the very core of her moral fiber. In a split second, the idyllic life lack and Lila have built together is threatened, and suddenly she must reconcile the truth that there's a bit of evil in all of us with her love for her husband and her faith in her life's purpose.

Amazon I can not sing the praises of Isabel Wilkerson for The Warmth of Other Suns loudly enough. An amazing book, a subject that is timely in serving as a reminder of what African Americans have suffered through and striven to assure would never happen again. A must read book! You can read my review of this gem here

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.

Amazon I just absolutely love the way that Jemisin reveals the worlds and characters that she creates. From the very beginning Jemisin requires her readers to sit up and pay attention because every detail is important and she wastes no time easing readers into her stories. This is a dark story and there were several times where I wanted to hold my breath hoping that things could work out differently than they do even when I saw the inevitability of the situations. The Killing Moon is a story where love, truth, and righteousness isn't necessarily enough to carry the day. Self sacrifice, loyalty, faithfulness to duty, and the willingness to do what is hard and heartbreaking are what is required to save their lands from destruction. Although this is book one in the Dreamblood duology, the story is a complete one and didn't leave me feeling as if I were left dangling. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of the bundled duology, so I am able to jump right into The Shadowed Sun, which I am doing. The Killing Moon is the third book that I have read by Jemisin and I'm giving it five stars just like I did the first two! I haven't done a full review on this one yet, but I do plan to. 

The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.


But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh's great temple, Ehiru - the most famous of the city's Gatherers - must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess' name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh's alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill - or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

Audio Books for November

Amazon Highland Shift had the potential to be entertaining, all of the elements were there, but it just didn't quite make it. The story seemed to wander and instead of becoming more interested in what was happening, I found myself being tempted to fast forward at times. However, the narration was well done. The good thing is that this one is free as an ebook and the audio is only $1.99. There are three more books in this series and the stories may get better as the series develops. However, I have so many other books to read and listen to that I probably won't continue with this series.

Elena MacFarland wonders what everyone else knows about her new farm that she doesn’t, and whether she’ll live long enough to find out. Betrayed by her fiancĂ© and the powerful Worthington family, Elena fights back and negotiates a comfortable settlement with one small caveat: she must live in Scotland for two years. One kidnapping and two attempts on her life later, the darkly arrogant Scot, Faolan MacGailtry declares himself her new protector and moves into her farmhouse. Major problem? He was present at all three incidents. Elena decides to follow the adage to keep her friends close and enemies closer—but which is he? One by one, Elena uncovers Faolan’s darkest secrets: his Druid heritage, his connection to her past, and finally, the deadly curse that is powerful enough to destroy them both.

Amazon I fully admit to having a soft spot for Kristen Ashley's writing and I enjoyed Fantastical. Ashley is one of my go to authors when I want escapism that I can almost guarantee that I will enjoy. She writes wonderful leading men! Tillie Hooper did an excellent job with the narration and I will of course be finishing off this series down the line

Cora Goode has woken up in a fairytale world where she can understand what birds are saying to her, men ride horses and have fluffy feathers in their hats and furniture zigs, zags and whirls in miracles of construction. 

The problem is, she thinks she’s in a dream but she’s actually taken the place of the parallel universe Cora and without realizing it, our Cora does something that starts a centuries old curse that will sweep the land if she gets captured by the evil Minerva. 

At this point, her dream world becomes a nightmare. 

Luckily, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno is there to save her from the clutches of the grotesque vickrants sent by Minerva to capture her. Unfortunately, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno doesn’t like the Cora of his world all that much (to say the least) and he thinks our Cora is her. And no matter what our Cora says or does to try to convince him, he won’t be convinced. 

But Cora needs Tor to keep her safe and guide her through this fantastical world as she hopes one day to wake up in her not-so-great apartment in her not-so-great life in her world. The problem is, the more time she spends with the gorgeous warrior Tor, the faster she falls in love with him. 

Comic Books Read in November

I'm not a big comic book fan, but I managed to finish the last four comics that I had unread and enjoyed them all. I just have a hard time enjoying stories that are parceled out in such small doses. So if I decide to continue with any of them I will be purchasing them as bundled graphic novels. The four that I read were Captain Marvel: The Supersonic Sensation Reborn

4 comments:

  1. Good luck with hitting your Goodreads goal! I’m pretty close to reaching mine. It’s good to know that you liked Homegoing. I’m planning to read that one eventually.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    ReplyDelete
  2. 11 books in December should be easy for you! And if you're having trouble meeting the numbers, go ahead and treat yourself to graphic novels for the rest of the year! haha. Definitely lower your goal in 2017. I set mine at 75 and am already close to 90, so I like the sense of accomplishment I get by setting more realistic goals for myself. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were smart! I was definitely being ambitious when I set that number!

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