November 10, 2015

Books on Books on Books {Link Up}

Today I'm  linking up with Steph for her fabulous "Show us your books" link up party. I haven't gotten my act together for this the past few months, so I'm glad I was able to get it alllll  together. I always enjoy reading multiple book posts because I find such great reads to put on my list. You blog ladies rarely let me down with your recommendations.

I have to admit, this was slow month of reading. We didn't have as many trips so my reading on the plane or traveling was at a minimum. I also was busy DOING things and was so zonked by the end of the night I could only manage a few pages before setting my books down. I am glad I was able to read as much as I did though, the next few weeks look to be just as busy for me. Hopefully I'll be able to make some time on my trips :)!

"From inside their sprawling estate of Rutherford Park, the Cavendish family had a privileged perspective of the world. On the first morning in May, 1915, with a splendid view that reached across the gardens to the Vale of York, nothing seemed lovelier or less threatening. And yet… 

At the risk of undoing the Cavendish name with scandal, William and Octavia Cavendish have been living a lie, maintaining a marriage out of duty rather than passion. But when their son Harry joins the Royal Flying Corps in France, the Cavendish family are forced to face the unavoidable truths about themselves, the society in which they thrive, and the secrets they can no longer bear. 

In the wake of a terrible war, the emotional shifts between a husband and a wife, a wife and her lover, and a mother and her children, will shake the very foundation of the Cavendish family, and change the uniquely vulnerable lives of all who reside at Rutherford Park."  [picture and summary via Good Reads]

I love Downton Abbey and like everyone else I'm super sad the journey ends this year. I picked up this book simply because someone quoted Downton in the review, haha. I was completely unaware it was part of a series, so was a bit confused in the beginning trying to piece everything together. But, once you read a chapter or two you figure out the gist of the previous book and understand the characters enough for the plot to make sense.

There is a bit of whimsy in the story and it has an interesting twist with class and a woman's place in the home. I found it fun to read for the most part. There were a few WW1 stories and they broke my heart for the families involved. I plan to pick up the first book sometimes soon and the continue to read the series to fill the DA void.


 "Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one she let get away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie's house on Scribbly Gum Island -- home of the famously unsolved MunroBabymystery.

Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it's about time she started making her own decisions.

As Sophie's life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around -- and come up with your own fairy-tale ending."
[picture and summary via Good Reads]

I liked this book a lot better than the last Liane Moriarty book I read [The Husband's Secret was super meh to me]. I enjoy Moriarty's books set in Australia because it's fun to learn about another country. She has a great way with words and builds interesting characters, some you pull for, some you don't, and she manages to keep your attention until the end.

I will say I felt she went wwaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overboard with Grace's character. Trust me, I understand [from friend's experiences] postpartum is not something to be taken lightly, but Moriarty just seemed to want to SHOCK the readers into understanding this concept. Sophie is a great character and I really liked the way the mystery concluded. This is a great quick read for a trip or at the pool.

 "The house is all wrong. Her clothes are all wrong. When Katharine Lawrence recovers consciousness on the kitchen floor, staggers to her feet and looks at herself in the mirror, the beautiful face staring back at her is familiar-but wrong. Despite all the evidence-her pictures are all over the apartment, the clothes in the closets are the right size, and it's her hair caught in the brush atop the dresser-everything feels wrong.

Maybe the trauma of the attempt on her life has given her some kind of amnesia. She's twenty-nine, the special assistant to the head of the National Security Agency, and she's lucky to be alive. She also knows she can trust no one.

Before she can act on her instincts and run for her life, CIA Agent Nick Huston arrives on the scene. The CIA is conducting a special investigation of Katharine's boss, and the mystified woman in her "unreal" house is the key to the operation. But the real Katharine Lawrence has been whisked away for debriefing, and this expendable lookalike, Jenna Hill, is being used until the CIA gets the information it needs. But no one counted on Jenna Hill's outrage at being used. And no one-least of all Nick-could have anticipated the heat that flares between them as the game plays on."
[picture and summary via Good Reads]

This book is kind of confusing like the description. It took me while to get into it but once I did I found it flowed pretty well. I found myself thinking 'what would I do if I lost all of my memory' and had no idea how I would handle the situation. The author did a good job keeping it interesting with twists and character development, but it was oh my goodness fascinating. If you like mysteries, CIA stuff and trying to figure books out as you read I think this would be a fun book for you to read. If that's not your cup of tea, skip it. 

* * * * 1/2
 Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa.

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.

Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain’s powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit. [picture and summary via Goodreads]

Let me start of saying I did not LOVE the Paris Wife [quote from my synopsis "Hadley and I would have had issues if we were friends]. But, I did like how it was written so when I saw this book was by the same author I thought 'why not'? The waiting list at the library was kind of long, so I kind of forgot I had this on my radar until it appeared on my Kindle. Personally, I had no idea it was a HOT book, but after reading it I kind of see why it is making the rounds. Oh and I was completely oblivious to the fact the novel was based on a real person until the end. Hashtagclueless.

The writing is fantastically descriptive and McLain makes living in Africa sound like an action packed dream of warm days, summer winds with some hoity-toity in the mix. Beryl immediately grabbed my heart being the tomboy in Africa and then she kind of lost steam when she started to lose her way. There was some predictability to her antics when she tried to take control of her life, but then there were some SHOCKING moments regarding her character as well. I found myself saying 'REALLY????' whenever Beryl changed course and honestly thought 'man this author hates this character', until I realized this was real life.

I really enjoyed reading this book and think most people will enjoy it, too. Beryl is at times a strong heroine who you can cheer for, but there are also times you just wanna shake her and say COME ON, GIRL! McLaine is an incredibly gifted writer and paints incredible pictures with her words. Put this book on your list now, ladies.

 "Sara Crewe, an exceptionally intelligent and imaginative student at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, is devastated when her adored, indulgent father dies. Now penniless and banished to a room in the attic, Sara is demeaned, abused, and forced to work as a servant. How this resourceful girl's fortunes change again is at the center of A Little Princess, one of the best-loved stories in all of children's literature." [summary via goodreads]

This was my first audiobook in years and I listened to it over the course of a month or so on my way home. I have always loved the story of A Little Princess and watched the Shirley Temple movie quite often growing up. Sara Crewe is such an interesting character and even though I KNEW what was going to happen I found myself holding my breath at moments during the reading. Burnett writes a beautiful story and I highly recommend reading or listening to this story whenever you get the chance.

What books are you loving right now? Any duds?

linkinguphereand hereeandhere


BLovedBoston said...

I haven't read any of these books, but I love all your honest reviews!!! Seems like this year my list just keeps growing and growing but I love it! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Heather @ Heathers Hurrah said...

Love your reviews! I loved Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret, so I will have to check out The Last Anniversary. I've heard that What Alice Forgot is one of her best too. A Little Princess was one of my favourites as a child :)

Ashley Greenwell said...

I really like My Husband’s Secret, so will definitely be adding her new book to my list!

Traci Taylor Hart said...

I haven't read any of these so thank you for the suggestions. I used to listen to audiobooks in the car (before kids) now that would NEVER happen! I often with I could go between reading my book when I am in bed and listening to it while I do things around the house. Wouldn't that be cool???!

kerri @ cheshire kat said...

love this recap. i am TERRIBLE at reading - just never make the time. also i can only read for twenty minutes then i just fall asleep. old lady status over here! i just say it makes my eyes tired haha. but but - i should get on the audiobook train! i always forget about that

xoxo cheshire kat

Pamela {Sequins and Sea Breezes} said...

Ok just when I thought I had read every Laine Moriarty book you throw this one at me! Glad to hear you liked this one better than The Husband's Secret. I wasn't the biggest fan of that one either. <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

Heather said...

Obsession sounds good and I really like the cover for Circling the Sun and I like the 1920 era so I'm adding that one to my list, too!

Courtney B said...

That's way more books than I've attempted, ha ha! I want to start reading while nursing, instead of scrolling through social media!

Illegally Blonde said...

Love Liane Moriarty need to look into this one.

Veronica-VeroSays! said...

To be honest I haven't picked up a boo in years. I've been doing so much readin for school, reading for fun has been out on the back burner! I'm pretty sure things will slow down really soon so these posts will come in handy! Carly always posts book reviews too.. ( Thanks for sharing! I haven't watched downtown Abbie! I know it's so popular because lots of people have told me about it! Is there a book too?

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i was so not a fan of the paris wife, everyone keeps recommending her other book but i'm afraid i will go in with a bad attitude and hate it no matter what lol. i might wait awhile.
a little princess. LOVE. i quite like the other movie, i saw the shirley temple one but i loved the other one.. 80s 90s? don't remember but i watched it all the time growing up.
i love liane moriarty because she's australian and sets her books in australia hahahaha! i wish i could read them without understanding everything though, i'm curious to see what things american's don't understand, you know? anyway, i agree about how she likes to shock people, she takes things a bit far sometimes, i didn't mind the husband's secret but i LOVED big little lies. what alice forgot is next on my list, then this one maybe.

Rebecca Jo said...

Is that Moriarty book a new one? I've gotta check it out!!!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I did not know Paula McLain had another book out. I'm adding that to my list immediately.

I don't need to like a character to like a book - I also loved the writing in The Paris Wife!

Nikki @ makeupHER said...

I totally need to get back on the reading train, these are some great suggestions!!

Lisa Loves John said...

As a Downton lover myself, I will have to check out your first book - I don't want it to end and will surely need something to fill the void!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

Wow girl! Even on your slow month, you got a lot more read than I do. Look at you go! The Last Anniversary is piquing my interest, I'll have to add it to my Christmas list <3

Green Fashionista

Jess said...

I have been afraid to pick up Liane Moriarty's first book, because everyone is going SO crazy over it, I am afraid it won't be as good as I would expect. I am a fan of Downton Abbey, too, although I've only seen the first season, but I'd be into a book in that style.

Meghan @ Me as Meghan said...

I have read a few of Liane Moriarty's books (Have you read Little Big Lies? I liked it better than the Husband's Secret!) and so I will definitely add The Last Anniversary to my reading list. Circling the Sun looks really good too!

Jen said...

I am finally going to start reading the stack of books I have haha. I've been slacking.

Nadine Lynn said...

I love Liane Moriarty!!! I read Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies this past month. Big Little Lies being my favorite of the two. I hadn't even heard of this one by her yet. I will be adding it to my list!!! Especially if you said you liked it better than Husband's Secret!

Laura Darling said...

I've always been kind of meh on Liane Moriarty books, but I haven't read this one yet so maybe I'll give it a try.

Anonymous said...

I've yet to read any Liane Moriarty even though she's been recommended to me quite a bit. I'm waitlisted for a couple of her titles at my library. I'll add this one to the queue too!

Katie Elizabeth said...

I haven't read The Last Anniversary yet, but I'm a big fan of Liane Moriarty so I'll have to check it out! I just placed a huge Amazon book order over the weekend - the hardest part is going to be deciding which one to read first!

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

I've only read Big Little Lies from Liane Moriarty so far. I intend to read more. I already having Circling the Sun on my to read list. Maybe I need to get to that pronto!

Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders said...

The Wild Dark Flowers sounds so interesting! I really love that time period too, so I think I'll have to add this to my TBR list. I've loved all of the Liane Moriarty books I've read but I haven't read The Last Anniversary yet (it's sitting on my Nook!). You should check out a few of her other books, I really loved What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies, but I just considered The Hypnotist's Lovestory and Three Wishes to just be ok but still enjoyable.

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

I used to watch the Shirley Temple Little Princess movie all the time!!

Nikki said...

I no longer have internet access at work so I have been reading like a mad person and now I have added yet another book to my list thanks! Keep em coming!

Carly Blogs Here said...

Ahhh I loooove A Little Princess movie, but have never read it! And the first one sounds like something I would enjoy (yay Downton) and the cover is so pretty!

emily @ a little bit of emily said...

I love a little princess!!! One of my very favorite books!

Myra said...

Oh I need to add the Liane Moriarty book to my to-read list. I love her books too, but haven't been able to get my hands on any of her stuff recently :( A trip to the library sounds like it is in order! x