August 2012 Reading Wrap-Up

So, I finished 14 books (11 print/ebooks and 3 audio) this month. While this is by no means the most I’ve ever finished in a month, I now have all 3 kids home with me AND had to catch up on a bunch of writing, so I’m pretty darn happy about it, particularly because the quality of what I read was quite high this month as well. Of course, you have only seen one re view this month of a book I actually read this month (The Kingmaker’s Daughter), thanks to me getting really ahead before the girls were born. This is actually allowing me to up my reviewing to 4 days a week come September. I will be posting print book reviews Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday with audiobook reviews on Friday. The exception will be when the US has Monday national holidays (like, say, tomorrow). Then reviews will probably run Tuesday – Friday.

In September I will also be continuing with the Fat Mum Slim photo-a-day- challenge. You can follow along on my tumblr.

What I Reviewed:

Audiobooks
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, narrated by Robertson Dean
I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovitz, narrated by Rosalyn Landor
The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. by Carole DeSanti, narrated by Kate Reading
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks, narrated by Matthew Brown
The Legacy by Katherine Webb, narrated by Clare Wille

Fiction
The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway

Mystery/Thriller
Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews
Harry Lipkin, Private Eye by Barry Fantoni
The Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz

Historical Fiction
Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham
The Mirrored World by Debra Dean
The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Nonfiction
A Calm Brain by Gayatri Devi, M.D.
The Lady in the Tower by Alison Weir

Other Posts:
BOOK CLUB – Dare Me by Megan Abbott

SheKnows Book Lounge articles:
Now in paperback: August picks
Historical fiction beyond Anne Boleyn: The Wars of the Roses
SheKnows book review: The Pleasures of Men by Kate Williams
Red Hot Book of the Week: The Second Empress by Michelle Moran
SheKnows book review: The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

Pick of the Month:


Other Books Read, Watch for Reviews:

Audiobook
Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Ornstein, narrated by Peggy Ornstein
City of Women by David Gillham, narrated by Suzanne Bertish
A Hundred Flowers by Gail Tsukiyama, narrated by Simon Vance

Fiction
This is How You Lose Her: Stories by Junot Diaz
The Other Half of Me by Morgan McCarthy

Historical Fiction
The Second Empress
by Michelle Moran
The Pleasures of Men by Kate Williams
The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Speculative Fiction
Redshirts
by John Scalzi

Middle Grade/Young Adult Fiction
Liar & Spy
by Rebecca Stead

Nonfiction
The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

Note: Some of these books were provided to me for review.

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July 2012 Reading Wrap-Up

Well, the girls are here! They made their appearance on Monday, July 9th, so unsurprisingly I didn’t read quite as much as most months. Even so, I’m actually still pretty impressed with the number of books I read (although I wish I’d done a better job getting to audiobooks). I read a total of 12 books: 9 in print or ebook for a total of just under 3000 pages and 3 in audio for a total of about 30 hours.

What I Reviewed:

Audiobooks
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, narrated by Simon Vance
The Red House by Mark Haddon, narrated by Maxwell Caulfield
Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Fiction
Game of Secrets by Dawn Tripp
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

Mystery
Murder for Choir by Joelle Charbonneau
Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Historical Fiction
The Absolutist by John Boyne
The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

Nonfiction
The Perfect Gentleman by Imran Ahmran

Other Posts:
From here on out
D.E.A.R. – Audiobook Week-Inspired TBL Pile (Sound Bytes)
Interview with Kristina Riggle, author of Keepsake

Picks of the Month:


Other Books Read, Watch for Reviews:

Audiobook
The Queen’s Lover by Francine du Plessix Grey, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, narrated by Robertson Dean
The Legacy by Katherine Webb, narrated by Clare Wille
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks, narrated by Matthew E. Brown

Fiction
The Mirrored World by Debra Dean
The Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz
The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway
Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub

Historical Fiction
A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir
Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews

Nonfiction
A Calm Brain: Unlocking Your Natural Relaxation System by Gayatri Devi, M.D
Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus by Bil Wasik and Monica Murphy

Note: Some of these books were provided to me for review.

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June 2012 Reading Wrap-Up

I have to say, I thought I would read more in June than I did, since I only worked half of the month. However, getting the house and blog ready for the girls, getting ahead on freelance writing, and, well, Audiobook Week, which was amazingly fun, but also very time consuming. Somehow I actually finished MORE books before I stopped working than after. In total this month I finished 20 books, the first book I finished this month brought me to 100 for the year. Of these 20, 14 were print or ebooks for a total of about 4500 pages. The other 6 were audiobooks, for a total of over 61 hours listened.

What I Reviewed:

Audiobooks
The Silence of Trees by Valya Dudczy Lupescu, narrated by Xe Sands
Gilt by Katherine Longshore, narrated by Jennifer Ikeda
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, narrated by Frazer Douglas
GirlChild by Tupelo Hassman
May the Road Rise Up to Meet You by Peter Troy, narrated by John Keating, Barrie Kreinik, Allyson Johnson, Adam Lazarre White
Changeling by Philippa Gregory, narrated by Charlie Cox
Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman, narrated by Abby Craden
Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond by Jane Maas, narrated by Coleen Marlo
A Bigamist’s Daughter by Alice McDermott, narrated by Tavia Gilbert

Fiction
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier
With My Body by Nikki Gemmell
Keepsake by Kristina Riggle
A Bitter Veil by Libby Fischer Hellman

Mystery
Grace Among Thieves by Julie Hyzy
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Historical Fiction
The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner
An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd

Audiobook Week
Listen Up! Audiobook Week 2012 Details and Discussion Topics
Audiobook Week 2012 Prizes
2011-2012: Your Audiobook Year
So You Want to Review Audiobooks…
Mid-week Audiobook Week Meme
What Makes a Good Narrator?
Listen Up!

Other Posts:
Oh, D.E.A.R. – Pre-baby Reading
BOOK CLUB – With My Body by Nikki Gemmell

Pick(s) of the Month:


Other Books Read, Watch for Reviews:

Audiobook
The Red House by Mark Haddon, narrated by Maxwell Caulfeld
A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Johnson, narrated by Susan Duerden
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, narrated by Simon Vance

Fiction
Game of Secrets by Dawn Tripp
Harry Lipkin, Private Eye by Barry Fantoni
Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer
Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Historical Fiction
The Absolutist by John Boyne
Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham

Mystery
Murder for Choir by Joelle Charbonneau

Nonfiction
Woe is I by Patricia T. O’Conner
Afterlives of the Saints by Colin Dickey

Note: Some of these books were provided to me for review.

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May 2012 Reading Wrap-Up

So, I must say, I’m beyond impressed with myself this month. In May we closed on our house, moved in, AND I read 22 books. Of these, 7 were audio, for a total of 71 hours – honestly, if anything I thought I would listen to more while cleaning and unpacking, but we had so many wonderful people helping us that most of the time I didn’t want to put my earbuds in. The 15 print books (just under 5,000 pages) I finished were the real surprise. Mostly I credit the fact we didn’t have tv or internet at home for awhile there. It is very easy to get lots of reading done when you can’t get overly distracted with Twitter (although I did have my phone). And then, too, there is the whole 32 weeks pregnant with twins thing that means that when I’m not cleaning I’d really rather be laying in my bed or on the couch reading than doing anything else. Still, though, I thought May would be slow with the move and it was fantastic beyond my wildest dreams. At this rate (assuming the babies hold off until July, as I have requested of them), I might be able to get far enough ahead to keep the blog running smoothly while we adjust to our two new additions this summer.

What I Reviewed:

Audiobooks
Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England by Thomas Penn, narrated by Simon Vance
Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A.J. Jacobs, narrated by A.J. Jacobs
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, narrated by Tim Kang, with Josiah D. Lee and James Kyson Lee
Glow by Jessica Marie Tuccelli, narrated by Donna Postel

Fiction
An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer
The Year of the Gadfly
by Jennifer Miller
The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinski
All Women and Springtime by Brandon W. Jones
Henny on the Couch
by Rebecca Land Soodak
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
So Far Away by Meg Mitchell Moore

Historical Fiction
A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd
American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
The Yard by Alex Grecian

Nonfiction/Memoir
Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World’s Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler by Jessica Speart
Double Time: How I Survived – and Mostly Thrived – Through the First Three Years of Mothering Twins by Jane Roper
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden
Gravity: How the Weakest Force in the Universe Shaped Our Lives by Brian Clegg (DNF)

Other Posts:
Crossing the Line – Documentary
North Korea Wrap-Up

Pick(s) of the Month:


Other Books Read, Watch for Reviews:

Audiobook
May the Road Rise Up Beneath You by Peter Troy
Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond by Jane Maas, narrated by Colleen Marlo
A Bigamist’s Daughter
by Alice McDermott, narrated by Tavia Gilbert
I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits, narrated by Rosalyn Landor
Gilt
by Katherine Longshore, narrated by Jennifer Ikeda
GirlChild by Tupelo Hassman, narrated by Tupelo Hassman

Fiction
Grace Among Thieves by Julie Hyzy
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.
by Nichole Bernier
Keepsake
by Kristina Riggle

Historical Fiction
The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner
An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd

Nonfiction
The Lady in the Tower by Alison Weir
The Perfect Gentleman by Imran Ahmad

Note: Some of these books were provided to me for review.

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April 2012 Reading Wrap-Up

So, the reading slump really is officially over. In March and April I read 50% more books – not to mention generally more complex and complicated books – than I did in January and February. I’ll be approaching another slower season soon out of sheer busyness, but for now I’m just thrilled at how many great books I’m getting to at the moment. Hopefully this means, though, that I will be able to keep the blog running in the early days after the twins are born when reading and writing will not exactly be my first priorities.

I’m down ever so slightly from last month, but I’m still beyond thrilled with this month’s reading. I finished 22 books total; 16 of these were print/ebooks, for a total of about 4900 pages and 6 were audio, for a total of about 75 hours. Funnily enough, my print vs. audio numbers are almost identical to last month, but I read 1100 fewer pages and listened to 20 more hours. Interesting how that works out.

If you need any more proof that this was a fabulous month for reading and blogging, just look down to my picks of the month – I couldn’t choose just one (or two)!

What I Reviewed:

Audiobooks
Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile by Julia Fox, narrated by Rosalyn Landor
Zombiestan
by Mainak Dhari, narrated by John Lee
Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green, narrated by Jane Green
A Land More Kind Than Home
by Wiley Cash, narrated by Lorna Raver, Mark Bramhall, and Nick Sullivan

Fiction
Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore
These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen
The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch
White Horse by Alex Adams
The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers

Historical Fiction
The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossaren
The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny
I, Iago by Nicole Galland
An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd

Young Adult Fiction
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Nonfiction/Memoir
City of Scoundrels: The Twelve Days of Disaster that Gave Birth to Modern Chicago by Gary Krist
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess
Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers by James W. Hall

Other Posts:
BOOK CLUB – Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
Audiobook Week 2012 – Listen Up!

Pick of the Month:

This was a really spectacular month for books, making this an incredibly difficult decision. I could have easily listed half the books I reviewed. What you see below is my attempt to be restrained (and also probably the most books I’ve ever chosen in a single month):

Other Books Read, Watch for Reviews:

Audiobook
Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England
by Thomas Penn, narrated by Simon Vance
Drop Dead Healthy
by A.J. Jacobs, narrated by A.J. Jacobs
The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R.
by Carole DeSanti, narrated by Kate Reading
The Silence of Trees by Valya Dudycz Lupescu, narrated by Xe Sands

Fiction
Wife 22
by Melanie Gideon
An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer
Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinski
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (no review coming)

Nonfiction
Winged Obsession by Jessica Speart
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
by Barbara Demick
Gravity: How the Weakest Force in the Universe Shaped Our Lives
by Brian Clegg
Double Time
: How I Survived – and Mostly Thrived – My First Three Years Mothering Twins by Jane Roper

Note: Some of these books were provided to me for review.

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