Bookish II

My quest to read 50 books by 2015 continues. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I won’t make my goal, since I’ve only read 13 books since my last post on this topic back in May. That brings the grand total to 25, which is only halfway to my goal. Still, I feel quite proud. Maybe I’ll make a fresh start in January, shooting for 50 books again. This year I started in May, so I missed a few valuable reading months!


Here’s what I’ve read since the last post:

Gone West, a Daisy Dalrymple Mystery, by Carola Dunn – This was a fun mystery, and would be a hit with anyone who enjoys the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. The time frame is the same (1920s) and they both feature a strong female lead.

Possesion, by A.S. Byatt – This book took me a while to get through. It was more difficult to read than most of the books I choose, but has a really interesting story line with some unexpected turns. There’s quite a bit of poetry involved, which was a good challenge for me as it’s not what I usually read.

The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie, edited by Mathew Prichard – I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan, so this compilation of her letters written while on a 10 month world tour was really fun to read.

The Clocks, by Agatha Christie – Classic Poirot, although pretty light on the Poirot. He pops in at the end to save the day, but isn’t very present throughout the book.

The Orchid House, by Lucinda Riley – This book spans various eras and countries, and is full of twists and turns. It was long, but I stayed interested right until the end.

The Face of a Stranger, by Anne Perry – Books by this author are always a fast and enjoyable read for me. Great material to escape into for a few hours.

Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver – This is one of the best books that I have read in a while. It was easy to read, like the mysteries I tend to cruise through, but it had more depth to it. I grew to love the main character, a young Appalachian mother and wife who doesn’t quite feel that she fits into her own life. I also learned a surprising amount about the life cycle and habits of the monarch butterfly.

A Week in Winter, by Marcia Willett – I really loved some of the main characters in this book. The plot felt a little too contrived to be realistic, but I enjoyed reading it because of the characters and the setting (England!).

The Orchardist, by Amanda Coplin – Oh my word. I loved this book. I picked it up completely by chance out of a Little Free Library, and thank goodness I did. I fell in love with almost all of the characters, and they just spoke directly to my heart. This will be a book I read over and over again. I believe this is the author’s first novel, and I’m desperately waiting for her next.

The Abyssinian Proof, by Jenny White – This book is set in time periods and places that are very unfamiliar to me, so that alone made it interesting. There was crime and history all rolled into one, which I’m always a fan of.

A Darker God, by Barbara Cleverly – The back cover of this book claimed it was ideal for those who enjoy Jacqueline Winspear and Agatha Christie, and I agree! Murder mystery, 1920 Athens, strong female protagonist, definitely a fun read.

Death Comes to Pemberly, by P.D. James – No surprise that this was right up my alley.

The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield – Oh gosh. I devoured this book. Three evenings spent in the bathtub (the best place to read, right?) and it was done. It ended too soon. This book drew me in so much, that I found myself thinking about it throughout the day, when I was busy around the house. Crazy, right?! Just read it.


I want to thank all of you for the great reading suggestions that you gave me after the last book post. Once I’ve read through the books I have currently, I’ll do my best to stretch myself and read some of your recommendations. It can only be a good thing to try reading in new directions. On that note, do let me know of any other books you think I should read.

And an even bigger thank you to those of you (you know who you are) who actually sent a few books for me to dig into!



Happy reading…



Is there anything more satisfying than buying books from the comfort of your own couch, on a Saturday morning, in your pajamas, with a cup of tea? I think not.  I read a lot as a little girl. I was an only child and my house was full of books (thanks mom!), so I didn’t really have a choice. In college I no longer had time to read for pleasure. Most evenings my brain was too tired to do anything but stare at the TV before going to bed at a ridiculously early hour. But I have time to read again! Sure I work full time, but there’s nothing I really have to do when I get home at night. No papers to write or journal articles to study. I could do the dishes, or the laundry, or sweep the floors, but none of that is mandatory. Skelly certainly doesn’t care if the dishes pile up.

So I’m on a quest to read more. My goal is to read 50 books this year. I’ve gotten through 12 so far, but then I ran out. I own hundreds of books, but they’re all back home in Pennsylvania. I’ve tried going to the library to check books out, but it just doesn’t feel the same to me. I love seeing books on my shelves. I think they’re beautiful. I want to own them so that if they’re good, I can read them again and again. If they’re no good, I add them to one of Madison’s Little Free Libraries once I’m finished with them, and hope that someone else will enjoy them more than I did.



So far this year I’ve read…

The Day of the Storm, by Rosamunde Pilcher – I love Rosamund Pilcher’s books. Easy to read, a hint of mystery, and they always take place in Cornwall, which is my favorite place on earth.

Little Bee, by Chris Cleave – This is one that I grabbed from a Little Free Library. It’s a  fictional read with some very real examples of the atrocities associated with the Nigerian Oil War. A really interesting book with honest characters that was  important to read, but certainly does not fall into the “feel good” category.

Hooked on Murder (A Crochet Mystery), by Betty Hechtman – Another one from a Little Free Library. And that’s exactly where it went when I was finished with it. Not a fan.

At the Edge of Ireland; Seasons on the Beara Peninsula, by David Yeadon – This is the only non-fiction book I’ve read this year. I usually choose fiction because I like to escape when I’m reading. This book fits that bill perfectly though. I’m pretty darn convinced that I should move to the Beara Peninsula at the earliest opportunity!

Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah – Way too sad, and stressful, and emotionally draining. I’ve got a few other books by this author lingering on my shelf, but I just don’t know if I have it in me to read them.

The End of Summer, by Rosamunde Pilcher – Can you tell I really like Rosamund Pilcher?

The Sea Wolf, by Jack London – This is a book that has been on my shelf for a while, and I never really had any interest in reading it. Eventually it was the only thing left to read, so I picked it up and was pleasantly surprised.

Treason at Lisson Grove, by Anne Perry – My kind of book; mystery, period setting, fun to read.

Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery – I was a little home sick when I decide to read this. My grandma had the Anne of Green Gables movie, and I remember watching it in her living room.

Leaving Everything Most Loved, by Jacqueline Winspear – I can’t get enough of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs books. Historical fiction, combined with mystery and a strong female character….yum!

The Cater Street Hangman, by Anne Perry – Are you sensing a theme? If it’s set in England, in the past, and somebody’s been murdered, I’m all in.

Endless Night, by Agatha Christie – Probably the strangest Agatha Christie book that I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot of them. It didn’t feel like quintessential Agatha to me, but I had a great time reading it. There was a twist at the end that I was definitely not prepared for.


I’d love to hear your suggestions of what I should add to my reading list! What is your favorite book? Why?