43 books finished in 2017: Mrs Saint and the Defectives

43 books finished in 2017

This book was adorable. It had a bossy French lady and a stubborn single mom. And a lot of other complex, sympathetic characters.

I read it on the plane, and found it on my kindle, so I’m guessing it was one of those free books offered at the beginning of the month through Amazon. (Does everyone else know about these? They offer you the option to take one of six free ebooks at the beginning of each month. I think they’re frequently new releases or pre-releases.)

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39-42 books finished in 2017: The Patternist Series

39 books finished in 2017

40 books finished in 2017

41 books finished in 2017

42 books finished in 2017

1. New Kindle Fire! Okay, it’s not VERY new. I bought it when I moved, so I could download Amazon shows and watch them in my internet-less home, but this is the first time I’ve read/finished any books on the the new Kindle Fire, and I love having FULL COLOR book covers!

2. I bought these before vacation, even though I had a string of unread ebooks sitting on the Kindle, mainly because I still live in the shadow of that one summer I ran out of books to read at the beach.

3. These were really good. Solid sci-fi series. One thing I enjoy about Butler in particular is that she’s not afraid to jump FAR ahead in time between one book and the other, or to have two books in a series about completely disconnected things so that she can draw them together in the finale.  I appreciate that she respects her readers enough to leave them hanging like this.

4. Though the theme of xenophobia is still present in these books, she didn’t follow that path as thoroughly as she has in others. I feel like there was an extra book missing, that went deeply into the connections between these two hybrid races. (Technically, there WAS a book missing – the series originally had five books, but Butler hated one of them and stopped re-publishing. I wonder if it moved in this direction, but didn’t do so in a satisfactory way.)

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38 books finished in 2017: Scandals of Classic Hollywood

38 books finished in 2017

I’ve been a fan of AHP for a few years now, starting back when she was still an Adjunct Professor teaching media studies and writing on her blog. She had a FB fan page that I subscribed to before FB became a toxic place. Then she left academia (I remember she either wrote an amazing essay about that, or was included in one around that time) to write for Buzzfeed, and every time she posts an extensive star study, I drop everything and read it. (As I was gathering links for this post, I found something she’d written about furniture that I hadn’t yet seen, and I had to stop and read it.) (It was delightful. And she linked to a rant about a particular sofa that was hilarious. So AHP is also someone I trust to send me down Internet Rabbit Holes.)

Where was I? Oh, talking about how awesome Anne Helen Petersen is. Right. Let me wrap that up by promoting her twitter feed and also encouraging you to sign up for her newsletter.

I was trying to figure out some good beach reads to check out from the library, and AHP has a new book out. This is not it. (I’m still coming to terms with the reality that libraries either don’t have fresh new books OR they’re checked out with epic waitlists.) This is her first book, and I realized that the beach would be a PERFECT place to finally read it.

Except I didn’t end up reading it at the beach. My mom did. When she finished the book she brought. And she got about 80% through this book before the end of the week, at which point she had to write down the title and take a picture of the chapter where she stopped, so she could find it in her hometown and finish reading.

So my mom loved this book. And I loved this book. The end.

36 books finished in 2017: Daring Greatly

36 books finished in 2017

This is embarrassing.

I enrolled in an online course with Brene Brown in January 2016. It was a semester-long endeavor that included reading this book and her next one, Rising Strong.

It’s been a while, but I think the main reason I fizzled out in the course was that I wasn’t able to connect with the stories in the discussion section. I realized that…everyone else there was probably my mother’s age or older. And then, maybe I started to wonder if it was incredibly uncool? Either way, I stopped keeping up with the online course (though the content is still available to me, and I will probably take advantage of the videos and application tools at some point). Maybe it was guilt over underachieving as a student that kept me from picking up the book again, but it had been sitting next to my nightstand for MORE THAN A YEAR, even after a move, with only a quarter of the book left to read.

So I brought it on vacation, and ended up finishing the book in the airport on the way to Florida.

My inability to read this book quickly is in no way related to how awesome the book’s insights happen to be. I’m still a superhuge Brene Brown fangirl, and still harbor a dream of following her career path (the research part, not the speaker/author part), but I am so glad to finally finish this book.

ON TO THE NEXT ONE. Maybe I’ll be able to finish it in less than a year?