Reading Update – May 2020

That book haul last week felt very good. But like I mentioned there, I didn’t just buy a bunch of books, I also read a good amount.

Which is partly the reason I took little bit of time off blogging, I was invested in my books, busy with work and also just pretty damn tired. And I just wanted a little bit of a break, so I took one.

Anyways, like I said, I read quite a lot. Actually not a whole lot more than the previous months, but 4 books is a good amount considering I have a 20 book goal this year. At this rate I am going to surpass that, which kind of was my goal anyway. I feel the books I read this month were entertaining, but there are no 5 stars reads this time, nothing that I am absolutely craving more of. Still, all were enjoyable and I am glad I’ve read them. It also means I get to buy even more books, if I find some that I really want 😉

Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman

As children, sisters Gillian and Sally were forever outsiders in their small New England town, teased, taunted and shunned for the sense of magic that seemed to hang in the air around them. All Gillian and Sally ever wanted was to get away.
Years later, tragedy brings the sisters back together. They’ll find that no matter what else may happen, they’ll always have each other.

I had a bit of a hard time getting in to this one, but in the end I did honestly very much enjoy it. It is an enchanting story, quite magical without actually containing a lot of magic. It is lovely and romantic and quite heartwarming as well sometimes. I definitely found myself loosing track of times as I was reading this, especially towards the end of the story, and to me that is always a good sign. This book does switch between characters, so if that is not your thing you may not love it as much, but it doesn’t really bother me if it is done well and I do feel like added to the story and understanding the characters, and it almost gave it a bit of a dream like flow. Although, it also sometimes made things a little bit confusing. One thing I didn’t love about this book is the fact that it doesn’t really do chapters. Again, I do feel like it added to the flow of the story, and I understand why the writer chose to do that, but it does annoy me greatly when books don’t have chapters. Overall though I am glad I read it, and I will be reading the prequel soon as well.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Grave Surprise – Charlaine Harris

When I was fifteen, I was struck by lightning. I recovered, mostly. I have a strange spiderweb pattern of red on my torso and right leg. I have headaches. I have many fears. And I can find dead people. That was what interested the professor.
At the request of anthropology professor Clyde Nunley, Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver come to Memphis to demonstrate her unique talent – in an old cemetery. Nunley is skeptical, even after Harper senses – and finds – two bodies in the grave beneath her feet. One of a man centuries dead. The other, a young girl, recently deceased, whom Harper had once tried, and failed, to locate. But Harper’s new investigation into the crime yields yet another surprise: the next morning, a third body is found – in the very same grave…

I read the first book in the Harper Connelly series, Grave Sight, about a year and a half ago and I didn’t really love it. In my review at the time I said that I liked it, but in my memory I actually thought I was a little bit disappointed with the series. Anyways, after a break from the series from well over a year, because I wasn’t really motivated to pick up the second book, I decided to give the series another shot and I started reading book 2. And I enjoyed it. I did struggle a bit for the first two chapters and wasn’t very motivated to read, but after a week long break I got really into it and ended up reading the rest in only 2 days, feeling motivated and excited to read the rest of the series as well. I feel like I connected with the characters and the story line more this time, which was nice. It still isn’t my favourite book series I’ve ever read, but I enjoyed it. It’s a pretty easy read, a bit like the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong but obviously different, and I am always in the marked for fun new adult books with a touch of magic.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

An Ice Cold Grave – Charlaine Harris

Harper Connelly heads to Doraville, North Carolina, to find a missing boy – one of several teenage boys who have disappeared over the last five years. And all of them are calling for Harper. She finds them – buried in frozen ground. All Harper wants is to get out of town before she’s caught in the media storm, until she herself is attacked. Soon, Harper will learn more than she cared to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of Doraville – knowledge of the dead that makes her the next in line to end up in an ice cold grave…

Well, clearly I enjoyed Grave Surprise enough to move right on to the third book in the series. I have enjoyed this one as much as book 2, I really feel like I am now properly getting into the series. Do I love it as much as the Cainsville series for example? No, but I do like it and have no regrets on starting it and buying all the books, something I did kind of have after reading the first book. Where I took a little reading break with book 2, I actually sped through book 3 in a few days and I could have probably read it in one day if I didn’t have to do other stuff as well, you know like work and keep my house clean. I will say though, there is one event in the book that was a bit strange, that felt very rushed and awkward. It’s something that is pretty obviously coming and it had a bit of a buildup, but when it actually happened it just felt like Charlaine just wanted to get it over with. That to me wasn’t as enjoyable as if she had gone a little slower with it, taken her time a little more with the buildup . But that didn’t put me off the book as a whole, I still enjoyed reading this one overall.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Grave Secret – Charlaine Harris

There’s a spoiler in the blurb of this last book so I am not going to put it here like I usually do, but basically Harper and Tolliver have a case in Dallas, near where they grew up. Suddenly Tolliver’s dad arrives on scene, seeking forgiveness for the sins of their youth, and there is also a possible sighting of Harper’s sister, who disappeared years before. And then lots of other things happen as well.

In the reviews I read about this book, the majority of the people said this is not the best book in the series. In fact, lots of people said they kind of disliked it. Considering my mixed thoughts on the previous 3 books I was curious to see how I felt about it and I have to say I actually quite enjoyed it, just as much as the rest. I finished it in 4 days, so it definitely kept my interest enough, and although there were parts that I didn’t like as much, some that felt really awkward and some that kind of seemed out of tone with the rest of the book and how the characters normally acted, I did enjoy the overall story and the way everything was wrapped up nicely at the end. No loose ends, no cliffhangers, all questions answered just the way I like it. Like I said, the Harper Connolly series is just not my favourite book series ever, I can definitely name a few I liked more and would recommend over this one, but it is a nice easy read that kept me entertained this month.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Golden Ball And Other Stories- Agatha Christie

It was an offer the St. Vincents could not refuse – a splendid mansion, complete with servants, with nothing asked in return! But where was the host? Why was the mysterious butler as tight-lipped and enigmatic as the Sphinx? Most of the family, basking in elegance, is content to ask no questions, but you Rupert St. Vincent suspects a sinister trap, and will not rest until he has unmasked the mastermind behind it all.

But wait, there is more. I started book 5 of the month as well, which is a short story collection by Agatha Christie that had been on my shelves for a long time, but that I never really gave a second thought. Until I was suddenly in the mood for it on a hot spring day, and I started reading a few of the stories. I am about 4 stories in at the moment, and I am really enjoying it so far. I don’t love it as much as her full length books, mostly because I always like to get fully sucked into her stories and with the short length of these that is just a little bit harder. But they are fun, easy reads, very entertaining, and I am so far liking it. Since I am not blown away by them though, I predict this will be another 3 star read for me.

Like I said, I have been a busy bee in May, when it comes to reading at least. And I am hoping to get the same results in June, but we shall see of course if that actually happens. I also have a few books that I have recently added to my wish list that I might buy this month, very much prompted by what’s happening in the US at the moment, and really all over the world. I feel it’s a good time to broaden my reading genres a bit more, and I have found some books that sound like I will enjoy reading them, and that could possibly also educate me a bit. So expect a book haul at the end of this month as well.

Thanks for stopping by ❤