Sunday, June 30

Book Review: Eight Girls Taking Pictures

Title: Eight Girls Taking Pictures

Author: Whitney Otto

Pages: 335

Summary: This captivating novel opens in 1917 as Cymbeline Kelley surveys the charred remains of her photography studio, destroyed in a fire started by a woman hired to help take care of the house while Cymbeline pursued her photography career. This tension— between wanting and needing to be two places at once; between domestic duty and ambition; between public and private life; between what’s seen and what’s hidden from view—echoes in the stories of the other seven women in the book. Among them: Amadora Allesbury, who creates a world of color and whimsy in an attempt to recapture the joy lost to WWI; Clara Argento, who finds her voice working alongside socialist revolutionaries in Mexico; Lenny Van Pelt, a gorgeous model who feels more comfortable photographing the deserted towns of the French countryside after WWII than she does at a couture fashion shoot; and Miri Marx, who has travelled the world taking pictures, but also loves her quiet life as a wife and mother in her New York apartment. Crisscrossing the world and a century, Eight Girls Taking Pictures is an affecting meditation on the conflicts women face and the choices they make. These memorable characters seek extraordinary lives through their work, yet they also find meaning and reward in the ordinary tasks of motherhood, marriage, and domesticity. Most of all, this novel is a vivid portrait of women in love—in love with men, other women, children, their careers, beauty, and freedom.

My Rating: 6/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: There were aspects of the book I enjoyed, but for the most part I found myself to be disconnected from this book and hard to concentrate on it. I also felt that it didn't come together well for a "novel" and it only mildly worked as a collection of connected stories.

One thing that I think put me off the book was I wasn't sure how to classify it. It's seems to be considered a novel, but it is presented and reads like a collection of interconnected short stories, but even then that didn't always work. So I was constantly at a bit of a conflict when reading the book. With that being said, each section, chapter, story, or however you look at, as an individual was well done. The author did a great job at creating some well developed and fleshed out characters. While each section was rather short, they all read like a full story was created and having such a short time with each woman, I always felt that there story was told in full and I appreciated that aspect of the book.

Unfortunately, I never got into the book. While there were some interesting bits in the story, it highlighted a lot of social and political issues of the time, and had well fleshed out characters, I just couldn't get into the book like I wanted.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, while I didn't love the book I think it has a lot of qualities that would appeal to other readers.

What to read next: I'm at a complete loss on this one.

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, New Author Challenge

Book Review: The Memory Man

Title: The Memory Man

Author: Lisa Appignanesi

Pages: 335

Summary: Bruno Lind is on a mission, though he may not know it. Irene Davies knows she is, but isn’t sure it’s the right one. Both of them are haunted by the legacy of a tangled history of love and war.

Propelled by dreams, a chance name overheard in a hotel lobby, and the urgings of his daughter, Lind becomes the detective of his own unexpected life. He retraces those experiences of the Second World War, of refugee camps, and migration, that he has long been unable to communicate. They immerse him in a world where some can’t remember and others can’t forget, and all are tainted by the logic of race.

In this poignant novel, studded with vivid characters and rare humour, Appignanesi returns to the terrain of her acclaimed family memoir, Losing the Dead. Drawing on her intimate knowledge of Central Europe, she has created compelling fiction which is also an exploration of mind end memory.

My Rating: 9.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a wonderful read, I was surprise on how much I enjoyed, it has been a book that has been sitting on my bookshelves for some time and it did not disappoint me. In fact it is probably one of my favourite reads so far this year.

The story was well done and told. I loved how the author woven the aspect of memory into telling the story of the past and how it wove into the story of the present. I loved the flashbacks of the story, there were times the memories of the past were absolutely haunting, other times powerful and sometimes a combination of the two. But I constantly found it hard to put the book down. How the author told the story, using the flashbacks and a combination of the stories of the past and their effect of the future made for an incredible read. The author writing style, invoked a combination of emotion and imagery from the pages, which all added to me falling in love with the book.

The characters were also well done. Bruno was my favourite character, and I think the way the author wrote him and his development through the book, both the past and present worked well. He's not a character I'd say you fall in love with, but he was a well written and memorable character. With that being said, the characters were also one of my biggest issues of the book. I never liked Irene or Bruno's daughter and felt a lot of the parts with Bruno's daughter didn't work for me. I think the book would have been just as great without her there. I also felt that some of the connections between some of the characters had to the story as whole, didn't seem to fit right for me, in the end it did make sense and it fit together, but it seemed all to convenient. Otherwise, I thought this book was a beautifully told story, one I'd highly recommend.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it was a surprise on how much I enjoyed the book, but it's one of those books that pulls you in and has a interesting story. I think those enjoy wartime fiction would also enjoy the book.

What to read next: I'm going to say Cellist of Sarajevo, because both books lured me in and made me want to keep reading.

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Authors Challenge

Sunday, June 23

Book Review: Ink

Title: Ink:

Author: Amanda Sun

Pages: 326

Summary: I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look. Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book did start off a little slow for me, but near the end I began to be very interested in the story. I still had my issues with the book, which are what I find in the majority of young adult books I read. It's a combination voice of the narrator - which I can never fully connect to and grow impatient with, the young adult "drama" and their personal troubles and all the usually stuff that I can never seem to push past in any young adult book. These issues occur for me in almost every young adult book I've read, and this was no exception. All of those issue were there and I found it difficult to connect to Katie. With that being said, I think any fan of young adult fiction, would enjoy the book and Katie as a character, along with the other characters as the author did a good job at highlighting the young adult life and trouble and the author did capture Katie's voice and personality fairly well.

The author did a fantastic job at showing Katie adjusting to her life in Japan and the progress of her getting use to the cultural differences and I think the author did a great job at showing the cultural differences and life in Japan. I also enjoyed the speculative side of things in the book, and the almost mythical aspect of the book and the idea behind Ink and the powers that come with it. It's different then some of the other speculative young adult fiction I've read - but in a good way. It's unique, and I look forward to seeing where it goes in the other books in the series.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, especially to YA fiction fans who enjoy speculative fiction and those who want to try something slightly different than the usual YA that's out there. It's not the usual paranormal fantasy, which I think a lot of reader would enjoy.

What to read next: The next book in the series (when it comes out that is)

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, New Author Challenge

Note: I received an ARC copy of this book at a convention I went to earlier this year.

Book Review: The Garden of Evening Mists

Title: The Garden of Evening Mists

Author: Tan Twan Eng

Pages: EBook 329

Summary: It's Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambridge and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan.

Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice 'until the monsoon comes'. Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day.

But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? Why is it that Yun Ling's friend and host Magnus Praetorius, seems to almost immune from the depredations of the Communists? What is the legend of 'Yamashita's Gold' and does it have any basis in fact? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

My Rating: 8.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: There was an almost mythical feel to the book at times especially when the author takes the reader into the garden. I loved the parts with Aritomo and how the author created the characters and the setting around him. I enjoyed the story, it was slow moving in parts - but I appreciated it for this book. I think it worked out well to create a slow moving plot, as it helped with the character and plot development and created an enjoyable reading atmosphere. Both the parts of the book in the garden and the look at Yun Ling's past were incredibly well written, it's hard to pick a favourite part of the story, but I think the parts of the book that concentrated on the garden, the mythical feel to it the author created would be my favourite aspect to the book.

I also really enjoyed the care the author took with his characters, I didn't connect to them like I would have liked and while they were well developed, I do feel they were the weakest part to the book, because I couldn't connect to them as a reader, they were all missing that one element for me to be able t connect to them.

The writing was beautiful which was helped pull me into the book and story. It was hard to put the book down at times, as some of the passages were absolutely stunning. I was torn between slowing down to savour the book or inhaling the in a sitting. Over all, it was a wonderful read, one I'd highly recommend.

Would I recommend it to read: I would recommend the book. It was a strong book, lovely writing, great historical fiction aspects to it and all in all a worthy read.

What to read next: The Lighthouse (a fellow 2012 booker nominee), The Gift of Rain (also by the author)

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, 777 Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, EBook Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge

Book Review: The Kingdom of Gods

Title: The Kingdom of Gods

Author: N.K. Jemisin

Pages: EBook 427

Summary: The incredible conclusion to the Inheritance Trilogy, from one of fantasy's most acclaimed stars. For two thousand years the Arameri family has ruled the world by enslaving the very gods that created mortal kind. Now the gods are free, and the Arameri's ruthless grip is slipping. Yet they are all that stands between peace and world-spanning, unending war.

Shahar, last scion of the family, must choose her loyalties. She yearns to trust Sieh, the godling she loves. Yet her duty as Arameri heir is to uphold the family's interests, even if that means using and destroying everyone she cares for.

As long-suppressed rage and terrible new magics consume the world, the Maelstrom -- which even gods fear -- is summoned forth. Shahar and Sieh:

mortal and god, lovers and enemies. Can they stand together against the chaos that threatens?

My Rating: 7/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I found I enjoyed this book more than the second, which didn't work well for me, so I was a little worried about this one as well. While the story and characters were definitely stronger and everything came together more efficiently in this book, but I still had a of issues with the book.

While both the characters and story were more fleshed out and developed in this book, I found that there was something missing - it was like the author just started to scratch the surface with the story and the characters then stopped. There was some development there, but nothing was ever examined deeper. There was a interesting and complex background story there but it was never fully developed out for the reader - and the characters were the same. Near the ending, it did begin to pick up, it was becoming fast paced and had the potential to be an epic read - but it failed to keep my attention, because the book always stayed on the surface of things, instead of digging deep down into the story.

Overall, it was a good book and end to the trilogy - but I found that it was just missing something to make it a truly remarkable read.

Would I recommend it to read: I probably would, the first book was still the best of the three, but this one had a good story to it - and I think a lot of fantasy readers would enjoy it.

What to read next: The Killing Moon

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, EBook Challenge, Finish That Series Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge

Thursday, June 20

Book Review: The Turncoat

Title: The Turncoat: Renegade of the Revolution

Author: Donna Thorland

Pages: 305

Summary: They are lovers on opposite sides of a brutal war, with everything at stake and no possibility of retreat. They can trust no one—especially not each other.

Major Lord Peter Tremayne is the last man rebel bluestocking Kate Grey should fall in love with, but when the handsome British viscount commandeers her home, Kate throws caution to the wind and responds to his seduction. She is on the verge of surrender when a spy in her own household seizes the opportunity to steal the military dispatches Tremayne carries, ensuring his disgrace—and implicating Kate in high treason. Painfully awakened to the risks of war, Kate determines to put duty ahead of desire, and offers General Washington her services as an undercover agent in the City of Brotherly Love.

Months later, having narrowly escaped court martial and hanging, Tremayne returns to decadent, British-occupied Philadelphia with no stomach for his current assignment—to capture the woman he believes betrayed him. Nor does he relish the glittering entertainments being held for General Howe’s idle officers. Worse, the glamorous woman in the midst of this social whirl, the fiancée of his own dissolute cousin, is none other than Kate Grey herself. And so begins their dangerous dance, between passion and patriotism, between certain death and the promise of a brave new future together.

My Rating: 3/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: There wasn't a lot about the book that I enjoyed. While the actual historical fiction aspect throughout the book were well done and interesting enough, I found that even those were lost in the "romance" of the book. The book was suppose to be a historical fiction, but what I got was poorly executed "romance" between the characters. The romance wasn't believable and I found it to be forced, it took over the entire story, rather than compliment it. I also found that the character interactions during the romantic scenes didn't bode well with the time period.

Other plot ploys written into the book, including the "big reveal" between two characters, was pointless and didn't add anything into the story. It didn't help with the characters development and it didn't seem to flow into the plot. I didn't like the characters and found that their deployment was forced , choppy and for the most part I found them to be underdeveloped and not very believable characters. Kate for example was a character who development and changes constantly contradicted each other and her development into a spy happened to fast and in an unnatural way - it didn't work well or make sense to how she developed or the explanation why.

In the end, definitely not the book for me.

Would I recommend it to read: I would not recommend this book. I wouldn't have continued with the book, but it was for a challenge which I'm having a lot of difficulty finding books for. This wasn't a historical fiction, but a historical romance. I suppose you enjoy historical romance, it might be a worthy read.

What to read next: I'm not sure on this one, I'd say other fictional books on the time period.

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, New Author Challenge, War Through the Generations Challenge

Tuesday, June 18

Book Review: The Blondes

Title: The Blondes

Author: Emily Schultz

Pages: EBook 270

Summary: Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City. As the novel opens, she learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random but deadly attacks on passers-by, all by blonde women, are terrorizing New Yorkers. Soon it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange illness that is transforming blondes--whether CEOs, flight attendants, skateboarders or accountants--into rabid killers.

Hazel, vulnerable because of her pregnancy, decides to flee the city--but finds that the epidemic has spread and that the world outside New York is even stranger than she imagined. She sets out on a trip across a paralyzed America to find the one woman--perhaps blonde, perhaps not--who might be able to help her. Emily Schultz's beautifully realized novel is a mix of satire, thriller, and serious literary work. With echoes of Blindness and The Handmaid's Tale amplified by a biting satiric wit, The Blondes is at once an examination of the complex relationships between women, and a merciless but giddily enjoyable portrait of what happens in a world where beauty is--literally--deadly

My Rating: 4.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed a few aspects of the book, the basic premise behind the disease and how it spread was interesting, and had that been more explored, I think there would have been less of a chance of me losing interest in the book. There were also a few things here and there that were hinted at and I wish the author took me as the reader down that way rather than, Hazel retelling what happened, to her unborn child. This was where the author lost me as a reader for the most part. No matter how I look at the book or what I took away from it, creepy thriller versus a satirical novel, how the author told the story, really influenced and had a negative effect on the overall story for me.

The book had two sides to it, a serious, creepy thriller versus a satirical thriller. On the more serious side of the book, I think was where the author seemed to shine the most. There were a few superbly written moments, that were only touched on, but would what was there, was fantastic. I found that the satrical side of things got a bit muddled and forced when the author did this. It didn't come across as a natural flow for the story and while there were a few moments that made me laugh, I think the book fell apart because it seemed to concentrate to strongly on the satirical side of things. I also found that anything to do with Gale didn't work well for me, she was a character and an aspect of the book that really needed to be toned down. Her appearances were repetitive and didn't really add much to the actual story.

The characters were also a big reason why the book didn't work for me. There was an entire cast of characters that didn't really invoke any emotion or connection to at all. I was bored with them all, and I never could get myself to like them to actually care what would happen.

Overall, the book started off with some interesting potential and while I found it to be an original read, it didn't work for me in the end.

Would I recommend it to read: I don't think I would, I found that the book just didn't come together enough for me to recommend it.

What to read next: This is another book I'm at a lost with. I picked the book up because, it was on the list of eligible reads for the 2013 Giller prize, long before the longlist/shortlist was released (basically any book published between a certain time frame goes on that list). So I'd say check that list out, I've found some interesting finds there.

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, EBook Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge

Book Review: The Painted Girls

Title: The Painted Girls

Author: Cathy Marie Buchanan

Pages: 349

Summary: Paris. 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventy francs a month, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work — and the love of a dangerous young man — as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir.

Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Antoinette, meanwhile, descends lower and lower in society, and must make the choice between a life of honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde—that is, unless her love affair derails her completely.

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Overall, I enjoyed the book, it had a good story, some good character development and for the most part it kept my interest, but it didn't exactly live up to the hype the book received. The book quite never captured me and I never got that need to read the devour the book in a sitting.

The story was slow moving, but I think it worked wonderfully for the book, it helped build the characters and ensured the story flowed naturally. Although I did find certain aspects of it, including the ballet practice to be a bit repetitive, it was still interesting to read about, and I think the author captured the day to day life of the sister during the time period exceptionally well. I also enjoyed how the author took equal time to concentrate on each sister and the progress throughout the book. Both story lines interconnected and wove in and out of the other which I enjoyed. Sometimes you were able to see a different view point of an event or the character's behaviour, without that part being retold - and I think it added something to the story.

The author also managed to show each sister's story and development consistently throughout the entire book, working in the twists and keeping the character development and the character's personalities true to the character. Unfortunately, while the characters were well developed, fleshed out characters, I found they weren't exactly likeable or characters I could really enjoy reading about. The trials and hardships they went through were well explored, but something was missing for me to truly enjoy them or want to like them enough to get into the book. I never had that drive to want to read on, to see what would happen with the characters, and how their story would end.

In the end, it was a good read, well worth reading, but it wasn't as extraordinary as I thought it would be.

Would I recommend it to read: I would. I don't think it lives up to the hype it's received, but it was still a good book to read.

What to read next: The Seamstress by Frances de Pontes Peebles

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, New Author Challenge

Friday, June 14

Book Review: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Title: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Author: Ayana Mathis

Pages: 256

Summary: In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother's monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

My Rating: 7.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book was slow and character driven, but the author manage to create a very realistic cast of characters, who in the last chapters, left a haunting impression on me. While I may not have loved the book enough to inhale it in a sitting, it was a very good and worthy read.

The characters were well done. Both well created and developed, the author created a very interesting cast of characters, very flawed characters, and there are ones I found I disliked, but the author did a good job at creating a cast of very believable characters.

I did find that not all the stories connected together well, while the ongoing theme of Hattie and her influence on the children at the various points in life was there, I found that the book read as individual short stories, rather than a novel, or a collection of connected stories. There were times were the stories linked together, but I found most of them didn't flow into each other, which made for a choppy read. The last two stories/chapters in the book were both haunting and stunning, and were probably my favourite part of the entire book. It was the first time, everything was truly linked to create a novel, rather than interconnected short stories, and the focus point for the last to stories, was told wonderfully - it got me interested in the book again, after a few lulls in the book. They also gave me a whole new outlook on the book as a whole, and Hattie as a character.

In the end, I did end up enjoying the book quite a lot.

Would I recommend it to read: I would recommend it to read. There is a lot in the book to take from, and I think there are a lot of readers who would enjoy it.

What to read next: The Secret Life of Bees is the only book that pops into my mind.

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, New Author Challenge

Thursday, June 13

May Wrap-Up

May was quite the month for me - as real life got pretty hectic between work and other personal events. So I didn't manage to read much, and it seems I'm still in a bit of a reading slump. Which I hate, because I find that when you're in a slump, I have an even harder time choosing what to read next, because not sure if the slump will continue or not. One of those things I suppose. June should be a little better, at least I'll have a little more time to read and post reviews - and become more social with everyone again. But May seems to have been a bit of a write off.

The Books

As I said above, I've been in a reading slump and there weren't a lot of fantastic reads this month. There were some good and interesting books - but still nothing that screamed awesome for me. I finished the mini-series from my SGA books and those books ended up being my favourites of the month. My least favourite books were Fishy ducky's Fables and The Blue Castle. But all in all, it was a slight improvement from last month, but not by much.

1. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky - Heidi Durrow - 7.75/10
2. Cream Puff Murder - Joanne Fluke - 7/10
3. Heidi - Joanne Spyri - 8/10
4. Secrets - (SGA 20/Book 5 of the Legacy Series) - Jo Graham, Melissa Scott - 8.25/10
5. The Inheritors (SGA 21/Book 6 of the Legacy Series) - Jo Graham, Melissa Scott, Amy Griswold - 9/10
6. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan - 7/10
7. Fishducky's Fables - Fran Fischer - 5/10
8. The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery - 5/10

The Challenges

I'm falling slightly behind on my challenges, but not by much. I think in the next couple of months I should be right on target - or hopefully, slightly ahead. A Few challenges are going wonderfully, and I think it's safe to say I'll have a handful done by the end of summer, so challenge wise, things are going pretty much as planned.

1. 100 Books in 2013 Challenge - 51/100 -51%
2. 2013 Category Challenge - 46/131 - 35%
3. 777 Challenge - 3/7 - 43%

4. Alphabet Challenge 2013 - 25/52 - 48%
5. E-Book Challenge 2013 - 25/50 - 50%
6. Finish That Series Challenge 2013 - 0/4 (Series), 1/7 (Books) - 0%
7. Ireland Reading Challenge 2013 - 4/10 - 40%
8. Mental Illness Advocacy Challenge - 4/12 - 25%
9. Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2013 - 25/75 - 33%
10. Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge 2013 - 4/5 - 80%
11. New Author Challenge 2013 - 31/50 - 62%
12. Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge 2013 - 1/5 - 20%
13. War Through the Generations Challenge 2013 (American Revolutionary War) - 1/3 - 33%
14. 50 Book Pledge - 51/100 - 51%

Countries Visited

This month through my reading travels I "visited" The USA, Switzerland and England. Oh, and I went up to the Pegasus Galaxy.

Create your own travel map - TravBuddy

Books That Followed Me Home

Full House - Maeve Binchy
Heart and Soul - Maeve Binchy
The Painted Girls - Cathy Marie Buchanan
The Golem and the Jinni - Helen Wecker


The Hypnotist - Lars Kepler
The Blackhouse - Peter May
Open - Lisa Moore
Signs and Wonders - Alix Ohlin
Away From Everywhere - Chad Pelley
Solomon Gursky Was Here - Mordecai Richler
Baggage - Jill Sooley

And that's it for may folks!