April Literati Box

Adrian’s ninth Literati box arrived a few weeks ago (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesix, seven, and eight). We kept all five again this month.

This month’s theme was Embrace the Wild. Look at all those gorgeous greens! In addition to the art and bookmark, it came with a Mad Libs and and an origami kit.

The origami kit has some really pretty colors. The directions seem to be pretty easy to follow. Quite a fun addition to the books.

The books this month were Very Bad People by Kit Frick, How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff, Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, and Forgotten City by Michael Ford.

April Reads

I read nine books and a total of 3913 pages in April. I started out with A Million Miles in a Thousand Days by Donald Miller. That was our book group book for the month. I gave it four stars, though the longer I think about it the more I think I should have given it three or even two stars. Next I finally finished Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. That was our book group book for March. I had so much trouble getting through it and never liked it much. I gave it two stars.

After that I read The Blackmail Club by David Bishop. While it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, it was close. Definitely in the top five. Some of the worst writing I’ve see with a note at the end saying not to tell him about any “imagined” mistakes (like… spelling a character’s name wrong?). I gave it one star. The next book I finished was Reached by Ally Condie. I read that to the boys for their bedtime story. It was just as good the second time around (a decade later) as when I read it the first time. I gave it five stars.

Then I read Genesis by Robin Cook. I always enjoy his medical thrillers. I just loves how he builds his stories. I gave that one five stars of course. After that I read One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. That’s one of Ani’s favorites and I can see why. I gave it five stars as well. My next book was Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffancy D. Jackson. After fifty pages it really picked up and I very much enjoyed the rest. I gave it four stars. Then I read Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards. That was an incredible book. I was so stressed through the whole thing. It was an easy five stars. Finally I read A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. It’s a new take on Holmes and Watson, though sometimes it tried too hard. I gave it three stars.

My favorite book of the month: Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

My least favorite book of the month: The Blackmail Club by David Bishop

Number of 5 Star Books: 5
Number of 4 Star Books: 2
Number of 3 Star Books: 1
Number of 2 Star Books: 1
Number of 1 Star Books: 1

46/100 book read for my goal of the year… 54 to go!

And a sneak peak at my overly ambitious TBR list for May…

March Reads

In March I read a total of 4069 pages which was 11 books. I started the month out strong with Generation M by Scott Cramer, the third book in the dystopian Toucan Trilogy. That was an easy five stars. Next I read Beyond the Bougainvillea by Dolores Durando. That one is historical fiction set starting right around the beginning of the Great Depression. The author was 90 when she wrote it and it was her very first book! I gave it three stars.

My next book was The Changelings by Christina Soontornvat, a middle grade book with a main character who is thrilled to discovered Fairy exists and not just in her books. I gave it five stars. Then I read Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. It’s a riff on Peter Pan, but focused on Tiger Lily in the time before Wendy arrived in Neverland. I gave it four stars. The next book I finished was Edgar Allan Poe: The Complete Tales and Poems. Let’s just say there is good reason we only know about the popular (good) ones he wrote. It took me exactly five months to finish that book. I gave it two stars.

Then I finished reading Crossed by Ally Condie to the big boys for their bedtime story. It’s the middle book of the Matched Trilogy and there’s just so much running. I gave it four stars. Next I read Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon. I’ve told anyone who will listen about this book. My only problem with it was that I read it too fast. I gave it five stars. After that I read The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I did not see the end of that one coming at all. Another five star book.

My next book was In a Dark Land by Christina Soontornvat. It’s the continuation of the series I started earlier in the month where the main character discovered Fairy exists. I gave it five stars as well. Next I read The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. She is one of my favorite authors and truly never disappoints. This story was not wrapped up and tied with a bow which somehow made it even better. I gave it five stars of course. My last book of the month was A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat. It was a sweet story inspired by Les Miserables. I gave it five stars. About half the month was a pretty awesome run of five star books. I love when that happens.

My favorite book of the month: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

My least favorite book of the month: Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems

Number of 5 Star Books: 7
Number of 4 Star Books: 2
Number of 3 Star Books: 1
Number of 2 Star Books: 1
Number of 1 Star Books: 0

36/100 book read for my goal of the year… 64 to go!

And a sneak peak at my much more realistic TBR list for April…

Book of the Month March and April

I finished off the three month Book of the Month subscription Ani gave me for Christmas in March with The Unsinkable Greta James.

I’ve liked the books I’ve gotten so much that I subscribed for a year so in April my pick was Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett. I didn’t even realize until it arrived and I noticed the author’s name that I’ve read another book by her, Hollywood Homicide, and quite enjoyed it.

February Literati Box

Adrian’s seventh Literati box arrived a couple weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, five, and six). We only kept three of books this month.

The poster, bookmark, and bookplates were fun as usual. I love the colors in the poster. The bookmark’s colors are pretty nice, too.

These are the three books we’re keeping. The Initial Insult and Rule sound pretty great. When I read the synopsis of One of Us is Lying to Adrian he responded “wow!” I was pretty excited about that one because it was on my Amazon wishlist. This month’s yeses require no debate at all.

These are the two books we sent back. We have both on Kindle already. I read Be More Chill in January and it was pretty much horrible. I offered to let Adrian keep The Fowl Twins in paper form if he wanted but he decided against it. Be More Chill was going back no matter what, that’s how bad it is.

February Reads

In February I read 13 books (including one graphic novel). That was 5024 pages (not including the graphic novel). I started with Sleep, My Child, Forever by John Coston, a true crime book about a case from the 80s where the mother killed her kids for insurance money. I gave it five stars. Next I finished No Unhallowed Hand: Saints 2, another five star book. I had started reading it over a year ago and then forgot about it and finally finished it.

After that was Lovely War by Julie Berry. This was my real life book club pick for the month and was so good. Another five star book. My next book was Night Without End by DP Fitzsimons, the second book in a series I started almost five years ago. I gave it four stars. Then I read Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson. It was my Book of the Month pick in January and it was so good. Another five star book.

My next book was the graphic novel, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff. I gave it 5 stars. It was just so well written and illustrated. It’s one of those books that has just stuck with me and I’ve found myself telling other people about it. After that I finished reading Matched by Ally Condie to the boys for their bedtime story. I gave it five stars. It’s still as good as the first time I read it a decade ago.

Then I read The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. This one was a solid four stars, full of the humor expected ever since Percy Jackson came out. Next I read The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek. Such a great mind vacation fun book. I gave it five stars. After that was Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett. I gave it four stars. Humor, fun, predictability… everything I like in a cozy mystery.

My next book was Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover. I gave it three stars for the incredible lack of research into how foster care works or what happens when someone gives birth in jail during a relatively short sentence. After that I read The Family Next Door by John Glatt. I gave it three stars. It was fascinating and horrifying, but the second half was basically a rehash of the first half. My final read of the month was The First Round Table by Ben Gillman. It was in need of an editor and was long paragraphs of explanation making anything interesting much more dreadful so I only gave it one star.

My favorite book of the month: Long Way Down (graphic novel) by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff

My least favorite book of the month: The First Round Table by Ben Gillman

Number of 5 Star Books: 7
Number of 4 Star Books: 3
Number of 3 Star Books: 2
Number of 2 Star Books: 0
Number of 1 Star Books: 1

24/100 book read for my goal of the year… 76 to go!

And a sneak peak at my overly ambitious TBR list for March…

January Literati Box

Adrian’s got his sixth Literati box a few weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, and five). I can’t believe we’ve been getting these awesome books for half a year now! We kept all five books again this time.

The artwork packet came with some fun color-in postcards. The poster was fun to look at. So much going on. Of course the bookplates immediately went inside the books.

The cover of Leviathan made him want to keep that one. A Study in Charlotte sounds intriguing since it’s a take on a Sherlock book. Five Total Strangers sounds really good, too.

He wasn’t totally sure about Cut Off but ultimately decided to keep it. The blurb dared to use the word romance and, well, he’s a 13-year-old boy. Long Way Down is a graphic novel so of course that was an immediate yes. I read it. It is absolutely AMAZING.

Ani is 22!

We totally nailed her gift this year!

I picked out twelve random books that looked interesting at Half-Price Books and wrapped them. I put three hints on each one (blind date with a book style) and labeled when to open them one a month February 2022 through January 2023.

I covered a cardboard box with wrapping paper and labeled it Ani’s Books.

Then I loaded up the books. Perfect!