Booking It: October 2014

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Y’all, seriously. I am looking at what I read in the beginning of October and I can’t even remember it. I know the years are short, but apparently the months are not. Some of this seems like months and MONTHS ago!

Anyway, here’s what I finished in October.

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty (not to be confused with Liane Moriarty … which I definitely was at first) – I listened to the audiobook in my car and was thrilled to find it was read by Elizabeth McGovern aka Cora from Downton Abbey. I adore her voice, and she was perfect for this 20s novel.

In general, I enjoyed parts 1 and 2 of this novel. I did find Cora a little unbearably uptight, but I think that was intended. I have no idea how much of this is historically accurate, and I don’t guess that matters, either. Cora is the typical uptight 20s woman; Louise is the typical flapper. But they are both deeper characters somewhere.

I felt most of part 3 was kind of unnecessary and dragged out. I would have been satisfied if it had ended much earlier.

Quitter by Jon Acuff – Let’s forget the fact that I got this from Mr. Acuff when he spoke at Blissdom in February 2012, OK? (Which is about the time I started writing that devotional I keep talking about that I swear is COMING SOON.)

You would think that a book about “not quitting your day job” while you work on your dream wouldn’t speak much to a stay-at-home-mom. But I would say, of all people, we really can’t quit our day jobs! Jon had so much to share that was encouraging and laugh-out-loud funny, of course. Really appreciated his wisdom and insight and go-getter-spirit.

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – After starting this in August and having my library e-book loan run out, I had to wait until October to get my hands on a copy again. I had to reread the first 50 pages, because I couldn’t remember a lick of it.

After hearing so much hoopla about this short novel, I was hoping for more. I loved the literary references and AJ’s synopses of short stories. While the plot was interesting, the melodrama of the characters was just a bit much. This one is all about bragging to yourself, “Oooh, I’ve read that one!” Tons of literary name-dropping.

Courting Cate by Leslie Gould – [Free for Kindle right now!] I can’t lie; I love some good Amish fiction. This is my first book by Leslie Gould writing solo. I’ll admit I had wondered if Mindy Starns Clark was pulling all the weight in the Women of Lancaster County series, but obviously Gould is also an excellent writer.

While the story was fairly predictable given that she was basing it on The Taming of the Shrew, I found myself pretty captured by Gould’s characters and enjoyed the book quickly!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (Flavia de Luce #1) – When Anne kept recommending this series, I thought it must be about some snooty Italian lady. What kind of name is Flavia de Luce? But when I actually read a synopsis and saw the books are about a 10-year-old sleuth in 1950s England, I decided to request the first one from the library.

Flavia is a simply delightful character. I am just shy of the end of book #2, and how quickly I picked up the sequel should tell you something. I’m constantly amazed a modern-day Canadian man could write so poignantly from a young British girl’s point-of-view. Flavia is hilarious, and her obsession with poison and chemistry is something else. If you like a good mystery, these are well worth your time.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – I think Moriarty did a divine job with an interesting concept – what if you couldn’t remember the last 10 years of your life, and you woke up not knowing your own children or that you were divorcing your husband? What if all those places that had turned hard were soft again with expectation and youth?

I am kind of sad I could only read this for the first time once. It’s a great page-turner I would recommend to many.

Sushi for One? by Camy Tang – Way back in the day, I used to read a lot of Christian chicklit. Now my tastes are different, but I’d had this book on my to-read list since it came out in 2009. I think it’s out-of-print, so the library can’t get it. When it finally came down to $2.99 for Kindle, I decide to snatch it up and finally read it.

First, I hate the cover. Does anyone like covers with real people on them? It doesn’t let you imagine the characters well. But I really liked Tang’s little novel about Asian-American culture through the eyes of Lex, a volleyball player and sports enthusiast with an incredibly overbearing grandmother. I have no idea if it rings true for actual Asian-Americans, although I would guess yes since Camy is one herself. In any way, it’s a sweet story with a punch of romance, ESPN, and God.

Have you read anything good lately? Tell me about it!

Linked up with Booking It at Life as MOM and Twitterature at Modern Mrs. Darcy.

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8 thoughts on “Booking It: October 2014

  1. I read Courting Cate. More than once actually. I like well written Amish/Christian fiction and that fit the bill.

    Before too long I’I’ll start in on some of my favorite Christmas themed books. Advent by Chautona Havig for one.

    • Have you read the Women of Lancaster County series? I love them!

      I think I read Advent a few Christmases ago Havig is such a great writer. I also read The Christmas Dog and All I Have to Give by Melody Carlson. Nothing like a good Christmasy book!

  2. The only 2 of those I read were “What Alice Forgot” and “Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.” I love the Flavia de Luce series. She cracks me up! I didn’t have much time to read in Oct, but starting Nov, I was traveling, and have read so many books! In October, I was listening to Patrick Taylor’s series (Irish Country Doctor, etc) in preparation for the latest from him. Now I’ve read that one- “An Irish Doctor in War & Peace.” Also read another from one of my favorite authors, Susanna Kearsley called “Splendour Falls.” I always enjoy her books. This one was a little different, and took me longer to get into it, but then I loved it. I also read a short story by Deanna Raybourne, “Bonfire Night.” I love that series, too. 🙂 For non-fiction, I read “As Soon As I Fell,” a memoir by Kay Bruner and a short book “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.” November’s off to a good start, but it’s back to homeschool tomorrow. 🙂

  3. I just got the first Flavia book from the library! I hope I like it. I associate it with Maisie Dobbs, which I found slow-going and didn’t finish (but might try again). Fun to read your reviews!

  4. I really liked The Chaperone; I’ve read all of Laura Moriarty’s books and loved them. It’s unfortunate that she does get confused with Liane Moriarty. I had heard that there was going to be a movie of The Chaperone with Elizabeth McGovern but that was a while back; maybe it hasn’t materialized & we’ll just have to settle for her voice.

    Like you, my library hold on A.J. Fikry ran out — I had to return it without even starting it. I’m now 17th in line so hope to get to it eventually!

  5. I enjoyed the Flavia de Luce series as well! I didn’t love the second one as much, but the protagonist is delightfully wicked. I also keep hearing about Liane Moriarty (am I the only one who can’t help but think of the Sherlock Holmes character?), so I should probably add that to my shelf! Thanks for the reviews!

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