Rachel Reads in 2018
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Hello and welcome to my 2018 thread! I probably won’t be around LT much this year, but I wanted to have a thread and will try to update my reading progress as I am able.
My name is Rachel, and I work in a library in a small town in Ohio. I’ve worked mostly in Youth Services for the last few years, but I am shifting to Collection Development this year. I’m excited about building the library’s collections, and I’m sure my TBR list will grow immensely.
I will also be helping with the library’s book discussion groups this year. I’ll post a list of what we’ll be reading below.
Most of my reading will be in audio form, as I have pretty much no time to read print books. My husband and I welcomed our first child in December of 2017, so if I’m not at work, I’m doing all things baby-related (and loving it!).
I’m not very good at leaving comments on other threads, but I will try to stop lurking and start communicating more…no promises, though!
Books Read January-April
1. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
2. Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson
3. Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson
4. The Ends of the World by Maggie Hall
5. Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich
6. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
7. Addison Cooke and the Tomb of the Khan by Jonathan W. Stokes
8. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Books Read May-August
9. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
10. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
11. The Potion Diaries: Going Viral by Amy Alward
12. Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman
13. A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward
14. The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman
15. Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zukoff
16. Love Drunk Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
17. You're Bacon Me Crazy by Suzanne Nelson
18. Demelza by Winston Graham
19. The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
20. Toughest Cowboy in Texas by Carolyn Brown
21. Shopping for Love by Renee Carlino
Books Read September-December
22. Cake Pop Crush by Suzanne Nelson
23. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
24. The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
25. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
26. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
27. Force of Nature by Jane Harper
28. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
29. The Coppersmith Farmhouse by Devney Perry
30. A Rather Lovely Inheritance by C.A. Belmond
31. News of the World by Paulette Jiles
32. Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen
33. The Long-Lost Home by Maryrose Wood
34. The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
35. The Clover Chapel by Devney Perry
36. The Shrouded Path by Sarah Ward
37. The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman
38. The Patchwork Bride by Sandra Dallas
39. Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
40. The Lucky Heart by Devney Perry
Library Book Discussion Titles
February: A Man Called Ove
March: Young Jane Young
April: The Buddha in the Attic
May: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
June: Station Eleven
July: Lost in Shangri-La
August: No Book Discussion
September: The Identicals
October: Killers of the Flower Moon
November: News of the World
Glad to see you back, Rachel! And happy to hear that your loving being a mom. How's baby doing so far?
>6 drneutron: Thanks! It's good to be back - at least I got a thread set up before the end of January!
>7 MickyFine: Hi, Micky! The baby is growing so fast! I bet he's over 10 lbs now...he even gained a whole pound in less than a week ! Every day I notice changes like fuller cheeks, more hair, etc. I came back to work on Wednesday, which was earlier than I wanted, but I need to save my sick leave for taking him to his appointments for his feet. We won't start the casting for his clubfeet until the middle of February (I had expected to start a week or two after he was born) and will have a lot of driving back and forth to Cincinnati. We have met with the doctor who will be treating him, and I think he is wonderful! I'm so glad we got the diagnosis when we did, because I am appreciating the fact that I could do my research and know what will happen and find an excellent physician.
Oh, and when I picked the baby up yesterday (my MIL and aunt-in-law take turns babysitting him and his three cousins at my SIL's house) my aunt said he had a milestone. I laughed and asked if he had a diaper blowout that required a full outfit change, or if he drank an extra bottle during the day. No. He ROLLED OVER. At six weeks three days old! I told the baby he could have done it two days earlier or waited two days and done it at home :) It was kind of depressing to miss a big milestone like that (especially as it's basically the first thing he's done like that) but I'm dealing with the fact that I will miss a lot more of them since I work.
>8 foggidawn: Thanks...I'll start visiting other threads next week...I hope... :)
>9 thornton37814: Thanks, and same to you! I probably won't have lots, but I'll hope they'll be good!
Hi Rachel! Good to see you back! I'm glad things are going well with the baby. Look at him overachieving already! Enjoy your weekend- I'm sure you're happy to have your first weekend off after getting back.
>10 aktakukac: It is so rough for you that you have to go back to work so early. This is when I'm so grateful to live in Canada. If I decide to have kids, I could take up to 18 months of parental leave. Glad to hear you have such an awesome support network though who can watch the baby while you're at work. And congrats on him rolling over. That's fantastic!
Hi, Rachel. Sounds like you are keeping busy, but I'm glad you took the time to set up this year's thread.
>11 jennyifer24: Hey Jenny! I've decided that weekends are definitely too short! I already knew this, of course, but now they seem to fly by even faster!
>12 MickyFine: Hi Micky! I worked at a school in Hungary for five years, and there were teachers at my school I never met because they were constantly on maternity leave. They were granted one year with the option of taking a second year, so they'd get pregnant again while on leave and just keep taking more time off. It took me three years to build up the sick leave I have now and I don't know what will happen when we hopefully have a second baby. Heaven forbid I'd need a c-section!
My aunt is a retired nurse, which definitely helps when it comes to the baby's doctor appointments and knowing what questions to ask. I've thankfully been very healthy throughout my life and am learning a lot about insurance, hospitals, and the like. It will be helpful to have her close by once we actually start the treatment process.
>13 ronincats: Busy, busy, busy, Roni, but I know this time will go by quickly and he will only be little for a short while. I should have some audiobook activity to add to my thread this year, at least!
>14 DFED: Thank you :) He's in a growth spurt right now and eating like crazy. He looks a little different every day, and it's fun picking out the changes!
Book # 1: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Book # 2: Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson
Book # 3: Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson
This YA historical fantasy trilogy was a great way to start of my 2018 reading! I listened to all three of the books, and was glad I had all the audiobooks checked out so I could keep listening once I finished a book. Leah is a young woman who heads West to California. She has a special skill that could be helpful or harmful, depending on how she uses it. Evil people will try to use her for their benefit, but does she have it in herself to stop them?
The first book was not quite what I was expecting in that the majority of the plot focuses on Leah’s journey to California. It sets up books two and three quite well, and was possibly my favorite of the trilogy. Book two was good, but three was a little weak in my opinion.
Recommended if you enjoy well-written historical fantasy, strong, well-developed characters, or a good story.
Book # 4: The Ends of the World by Maggie Hall
The final book in a trilogy that combines family secrets, international travel, history, ancient prophecies, and teenage drama. I don’t think I will remember much about it in the future, but fast-paced action and thrilling adventure did take place on more than one occasion. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read it sooner – it’s been over a year since I finished books one and two. Listened to the audio version.
Book # 5: Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich
The audio of this helped pass time when I needed something to listen to. I am getting a little annoyed by the same-old same-old in the Stephanie Plum series. Not sure I will continue…but on the other hand, I always know what to expect and sometimes light, easy reading (or listening) is just what you need!
>19 MickyFine: I'm still reading the physical book I started before the baby was born. I'm not quite halfway through, so maybe I'll finish it in a few months?! I'll definitely be listening to lots of audios this year. I have four or five checked out now, although I am 3/4 of the way through one of them. I can listen a bit every day, which is nice because I do not pick up print books on a daily basis.
I ACTUALLY FINISHED A BOOK!! Granted, it was an audiobook I listened to at work, but I actually finished it! I'm still carrying around the print book that I've been reading since early December. I WILL finish that one at some point!
Will try to get a book review up sometime next week. We're five weeks into casting for the baby's clubbed feet, and between weekly trips to Cincinnati, working full time, and general baby stuff, I have no time to read. But that's ok, because he's only little like this once!
Thanks for the update, Rachel! Glad to hear that even life is crazy, things are going pretty well. *hugs*
Hi, Rachel! I didn't realize (or maybe I have forgotten - my memory is absolute crap) that you lived in Ohio. Are you close to Cincinnati, then?
>23 MickyFine: Crazy is an understatement, Micky! No book updates for me for a while, I'm afraid. When we got the clubfoot diagnosis when I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time doing my homework and learning about the treatment process, doctors, what to expect, etc. I found out that one of the best clubfoot doctors in the country is in Cincinnati, and I made sure to get a referral for him. He is treating my son, and we've had great treatment from him. He was out of town last week, and my little guy is growing so fast that we couldn't wait for the doctor to come back for the next casting. We were scheduled with a different doctor, whom I had seen mixed-to-poor reviews about in my clubfoot groups. She put his casts on Friday, and this morning I found that one of them had slipped. So I called my nurses, and we had to remove the cast at home. Thankfully, our next appointment is on Thursday, with our regular doctor. It just makes me angry and frustrated that this happened at all. We'll be stretching his foot and ankle a lot between now and Thursday morning. I don't know how much this will put us behind in treatment - it was the foot that is slightly more stiff to begin with.
>24 scaifea: Hi, Amber! I'm in what is apparently considered "West-Central" Ohio. I'm about an hour north and west of Dayton, and about an hour and a half from the northwest side of Columbus. We're pretty lucky in that we've been able to go to the Liberty Campus of Cincinnati Children's, which is just past Middletown, or the Mason Campus, for most of our appointments.
>25 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori! It certainly felt like quite the accomplishment to finish a book. My last completion was back in January!
>27 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Weekends are good, but too short!
Planning on getting some book reviews up soon. But I'm not sure when "soon" will be. I ended up finishing two books in March. I'm STILL slowly reading a print book, and it's a fun YA book, but I never seem to find time to pick it up for more than a few minutes here and there. I did take it with me yesterday, when I had to sit in the waiting area to be called for a routine medical procedure. I had probably 20 minutes of waiting time, but caught myself dozing off more than once. I also have been listening to the e-audio of Demelza when I have some personal time each day at work, but my hold is about to expire and I'm only a few hours in...will have to re-request it as it has holds. I also have to read a short book for book discussion later this week. I wasn't planning on leading it, but due to some scheduling changes for my coworkers, I will end up doing that. Thankfully, I can read/listen to it on work time!
Book # 6: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Not quite what I was expecting, but a good read from an author I enjoy.
Book # 7: Addison Cooke and the Tomb of the Khan by Jonathan W. Stokes
The second book in a middle grade series. I preferred the first book more, but I listened to this one and the narration may have taken away from the story for me.
Book # 8: The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Unusual writing style, but provided a lot for discussion at book club.
Book # 9: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
I read this one several times in elementary school and junior high, but it’s probably been close to twenty years since I last read it. Some things stood out more to me as an adult, and I remember why it’s such a good book.
Book # 10: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Another book read for book discussion for work. I liked parts of it, didn’t get some other parts (the whole Station Eleven/comic thing), and since my knowledge of Shakespeare is seriously lacking, most of that bit went over my head.
Book # 11: Going Viral by Amy Alward
Third book in a YA trilogy. A fun read involving magic, royalty, and travel.
Book # 12: Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman
A companion novel to Vengeance Road, which was a YA western I enjoyed a few years ago. Chapters alternate between Reece and Charlotte, as their paths cross as they are each looking for revenge. Very good.
Book # 13: A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward
The third in a mystery series set in Derbyshire. I love the author’s writing, and get pulled into the story immediately, but this one was not my favorite. I thought some of the plot was choppy, the ending was implausible, and that overall, the novel fell short of what I expect from the author. I also had some issues with part of the storyline – I guess my reading tastes have changed since I became a mother, and I expect this will reflect in what I pick to read in the future.
Book # 14: The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman
Alba has a clubfoot, and hopes that this final surgery will correct it. She wants to run in a race. As she pushes herself and comes to terms with her condition, she also has to deal with other friendships and relationships. Well written by an author who had clubfoot herself.
Book # 15: Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zukoff
Another book for work’s book discussion. While the story itself was interesting, involving a plane crash during WWII with three survivors in New Guinea, I was sort of bored by the end of the book.
Nice to see you, Rachel! And congrats on making your way through so many books over the last few months with everything else going on in your life.
Thanks for visiting, Paul! I miss LT and reading like I used to, but life doesn't allow for it very much at the moment. I'm hoping to at least get my thread updated soon, as I have finished a few books in the last couple of months!
>35 MickyFine: and >36 ronincats: Hi Micky and Roni! I have such good intentions of being "sighted" on LT and trying to keep my thread updated and stopping by other threads....but then I get distracted, or I get busy with the baby, or I sit down to pump and am just too tired to pick up the IPad... but things are going well, and this is a season of life, and LT will be here later on :)
Hmm let's see...baby boy is already 10.5 months old (what?!?! how did that happen?!?!) and is a happy, healthy, curious, teething, crawling, clapping, fabulous, adorable little chunk. We have finished his 23-hour-a-day bracing period for clubfoot, then moved to 18 hours a day, and he now wears it 12-14 hours a day, usually from about 7 PM until 8:30 or 9 AM. We only had one blister where the strap on his boots rubbed his foot, and were able to catch it quickly. I've also had to deal with insurance and making extra appointments to get his boots sized up, but luckily I am able to do that fairly close to home and don't have to make a special trip to Dayton or Cincinnati for that. He's a great baby, loves to play, pick up and "read" his books, drink milk and eat, and other than wanting to stay up a bit later than I'd like, he sleeps well through the night. I do get worn out from working full time, pumping full time, and basically doing all the child-related tasks by myself while my husband is farming. Hoping to get most of the crops harvested by the end of this week, weather permitting. Then there's still other tasks and some double-crop soybeans to harvest later, but it's always a relief when things are DONE!
I've managed to get some books read. I'd love to finish 45 or 50 by the end of the year, but that may be pushing it. I have some e-audio holds that I've been waiting on for ages. Sometimes I can't stop myself from checking something out at work, but then it just sits in a pile on an end table or my night stand. I've had some good reads this year and some not so good. I really just need to read some quick, easy, fluffy books that I can sit down for a while and pick up again when I have a chance.
And now for what I've been reading over the last several months:
Book # 16: Love Drunk Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
I read a series by this author last year, and really liked it. This book, however, was nowhere close to what I was expecting. Guess you can’t win them all!
Book # 17: You’re Bacon Me Crazy by Suzanne Nelson
Cute tween/junior high story involving friendship, food, and a bit of romance. Tessa lives in San Francisco, and works at her aunt’s food truck. She has to find a way to save the truck, and get along with the spoiled boy who has to work there, too.
Book # 18: Demelza by Winston Graham
Very good read/listen. My only problem is I want to sit and savor the story, and that doesn’t happen much at this point in my life. Definitely want to continue with the next books, but when??
Book # 19: The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
Read for book discussion at work. The others in the group enjoyed it more than I did. It was my first time reading anything by the author. It wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t as good as most of the women at the book discussion raved about.
Book # 20: Toughest Cowboy in Texas by Carolyn Brown
Another Brown that was not near as good as I expected. Think I’ll find another romance author in the future.
Book # 21: Shopping for Love by Renee Carlino
I’ve really enjoyed the novels I’ve read by this author, but this novella fell flat. The characters especially were underdeveloped, and completely unlikable.
Book # 22: Cake Pop Crush by Suzanne Nelson
Another cute one, this time the main character is a baker, and she has to deal with school, friends, and the possibility her family’s bakery may have to close when a coffee shop from a national chain opens up right across the street. Oh, and the owner’s son is a possible love interest.
Book # 23: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
After reading this, I can see why it’s been getting lots of attention. I ended up liking it, but not loving it. It was fun, easy to read, and I will read more by Hoang in the future.
Book # 24: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Tucker one of the authors I have come to put on my list to automatically reserve as soon as their latest books is available. Some of her books are more romantic suspense or mystery, but this was a good contemporary romance with adventure. All of her books pack an emotional punch as well. Calla’s mother took Calla and returned to Toronto when she was little, because she couldn’t handle the isolation of Alaska. Now Calla has a reason to go to Alaska to see her father, and her time there just may change her outlook on life, love, and herself.
I liked a lot of things about the story, but I wish it wasn’t quite so
Book # 25: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI} by David Grann
October book discussion selection at work. Everyone enjoyed it, even my old boss, who is determined to never like anything. Some of the characters got confusing, especially at the end.
Book # 26: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
YA fantasy that started out good but just got…weird.
Book # 27: Force of Nature by Jane Harper
I really liked the author’s The Dry, and this was a worthy follow-up. Looking forward to more by her.
Always happy when you show up here, Rachel, but I completely understand when you can't. New babies do take precedence, and rightly so! Hang in there.
Finally able to get a little time to flit amongst the threads, Rachel.
Have a great Thanksgiving weekend.
I also liked The Dry by Jane Harper.
>41 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! I'm hoping to be around more in 2019!
>42 PaulCranswick: and >43 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! Happy New Year to you!
Whew, where did the last few months go?! We had a birthday party and my family Christmas for my now one-year-old (he's growing too fast!!!!) but it was a bust because my sister-in-law's family came back from Disney World and gave all of us the flu. The baby was just getting over pneumonia when he got the flu, and on top of that was teething pretty badly, so it was a rough few weeks for us. But everyone is happy and healthy now, thank goodness. He is almost walking, and still as happy, curious, and adorable as always.
I'll post some comments about what I've been reading. I may finish another book later today, but I'm not sure if I will have time. For a while early this year, I wondered if I would even make it to 20 books read, so I am quite pleased that I managed to finish 40!
I also need to set up a 2019 thread soon!
Book # 28: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
I always enjoy reading the novels that St. James writes, and this was no exception. Parts of the story seemed a little far-fetched, but it worked. I’m already looking forward to reading whatever the author writes next!
Book # 29: The Coppersmith Farmhouse by Devney Perry
The first book in a romance series set in a small town in Montana. Sometimes, ok many times, the writing needed some help, but I liked the characters and the story kept my interest. I will probably continue with the series because they are quick, easy reads and that’s what my brain needs at the moment!
Book # 30: A Rather Lovely Inheritance by C.A. Belmond
This was the first audiobook I listened to that was narrated by Katherine Kellgren, and I felt like listening to it again. I need to get to the others in the series at some point.
Book # 31: News of the World by Paulette Jiles
One of the books for the book discussion at work. I expected to like it a lot more than I did, partly because of all the praise it’s had here on LT. It was hard for me to get into the story, and there was too much description and not enough action. If I had been able to just sit down and work through it instead of rushing to get it finished for the book discussion, I probably would have liked it more.
Book # 32: Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen
A YA book that I expected to be cute and fun…and it was not. I didn’t like the characters, and the insta-love thing didn’t work well in this case. Too bad.
Book # 33: The Long-Lost Home by Maryrose Wood
I finally got to this one, and was finally able to wrap up the wonderful children’s series, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. I have a feeling I will be reading/listening to it again over the years.
Book # 34: The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
Miranda’s uncle passes away, and leaves her not only his bookstore, but a literary scavenger hunt to complete. I liked the clues, but didn’t care for how Miranda acted or all the family drama. I was also unimpressed with how the “mystery” was “solved” and how the story dragged on.
Book # 35: The Clover Chapel by Devney Perry
The second romance in a series I started earlier. This one had some major issues regarding timing and poor writing, and oh the drama! Hoping the next book will be better.
Book # 36: The Shrouded Path by Sarah Ward
I love this British series set in Derbyshire. Ward’s writing is top-notch, and her stories always grab my interest from the beginning. In this one, six girls enter a tunnel, and only five come out. Decades later, a woman learns of a connection to the girls, and tries to solve the mystery. Excellent crime fiction.
Book # 37: The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman
I had high hopes for this one, but it ended up being just average. It did give me the urge to bake more, and some of the recipes look delicious! I also enjoyed the setting in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
Book # 38: The Patchwork Bride by Sandra Dallas
Sandra Dallas is one of my favorite authors. This novel didn’t have the appeal that some of her previous ones did, however. I quickly figured out what was going on, EXCEPT for the very last page or two. I’ve come to expect a twist at the end of her books, but this twist didn’t make any sense at all, and honestly took away some of the enjoyment I had. I will continue to read everything she writes, but I will hope there are no more twists like in this one.
Book # 39: Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
Ahh, what a lovely book to read at Christmastime! A great middle grade read for children or adults who enjoy puzzles and codes. And hotels with large libraries, and a mystery to solve, and a likeable heroine, and candy.
Book # 40: The Lucky Heart by Devney Perry
The third in the series, this book was much better than the previous one. There wasn’t as much drama or excitement, but the story was good, and it set up book four very well.
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