Home » Rearview Mirror » Rearview Mirror // December 2016

Rearview Mirror // December 2016

December was another strong month for posting reviews.  I think that I have been helped both by posting the weekly TBR updates, and by posting the minireviews.  Before I started the monthly minireviews, I would frequently allow books to languish in the to-be-reviewed pile because I just couldn’t come up with a lot to say about the next book on the stack.  Now I just polish those books right off in a paragraph or two and move on with my life, guilt free!  That’s really helped me with staying on top of reviews.

Favorite December Read:  

13022713For this month I think I’m going with P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Lettersedited by Sophie Ratcliffe.  This book was so enjoyable and interesting.  It was wonderful to learn so much about a beloved author and to see glimpses of his personal life in his own words.  I can’t recommend this book highly enough for anyone who loves Wodehouse.

512jwvtpll-_sy344_bo1204203200_However, Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton was deliciously unsettling and brilliantly plotted, and definitely deserves a mention here.  I could not put this book down!

Most Disappointing December Read:

Definitely Love’s Haven by Catherine Palmer.  Why did I even finish this horrible book!?  It was like watching a slow-motion train wreck.  The characters were stupid, the theology was insulting, and the whole story made no sense.  Dreadful.

Other December Reads:

  • Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge – 3/5 – intriguing premise, but it did drag a bit places.
  • The Dead Sea Cipher by Elizabeth Peters – 3/5 – alright but not particularly interesting.
  • Entreat Me by Grace Draven – 3/5 – a good start to a Beauty & the Beast retelling, but then suddenly lots of sex and no plot.  Why.
  • Fury and the White Mare by Albert G. Miller – 3/5 – a solid conclusion to the trilogy about the wild stallion and the boy he loves.
  • The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – 4/5 – a surprisingly gripping tale that I thought I would dislike but instead couldn’t put down.
  • The Head of Kay’s by P.G. Wodehouse – 3/5 – another fine-but-not-super-memorable school story.
  • Lad of Sunnybank by Albert Payson Terhune – 3/5 – a nice collection of short stories about Terhune’s favorite collie.
  • Lost by Michael Robotham – 3/5 – a solid second book in the Joseph O’Laughlin series.
  • Love Among the Chickens by P.G. Wodehouse – 3/5 – a genuinely funny little story with a delightful lack of cricket.
  • Midnight: Wild Stallion of the West by Rutherford Montgomery – 3/5 – an interesting but not amazing horse story set in the 1940’s west.
  • Parallel by Lauren Miller – 3/5 – interesting story with good characters, but a bit lacking in logic at times.
  • The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison – 3/5 – an ultimately disappointing fairy tale – interesting premise but overall somehow quite dull.
  • Sunsets by Deborah Howard – 4/5 – a very good guide to hospice and end-of-life issues.
  • Suspect by Michael Robotham – 4/5 – an excellent start to the Joseph O’Laughlin series.
  • Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy – 4/5 – an engaging story with a unique layout.
  • To Refine Like Silver by Jeanna Ellsworth – 3/5 – an alright Pride & Prejudice variation, but a little long on the religion.
  • Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales – 3/5 – so-so YA ramble – interesting characters but some huge gaps of impracticability.
  • Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan – 4/5 – a good ending to the trilogy, even if I didn’t love it as much as the first book.
  • Violent Crimes by Phillip Margolin – 4/5 – a solid outing for the Amanda Jaffe series, but I’m still not over the final two pages.  (????)
  • William Tell Told Again by P.G. Wodehouse – 3/5 – a lively retelling of the story of William Tell.

Other December Posts:

The Tottering TBR posts have continued strong.  Like I said, they are really helping me to stay on track with posting reviews in a more timely manner.  (E.g. while I still remember the main points of the book!)

This week saw the postings of Episodes V, VI, VII, and VIII!

I received my first ever issue of Slightly Foxed, a delightful literary magazine.  I enjoyed the articles so much that I posted a review of the reviews!

TBR Update:

For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into five different tabs:

  • Stand-Alones:  867 (up NINETEEN!)
  • Nonfiction:  58 (up seven)
  • Personal (which includes all books I own, but lists any series I own as only one entry…):  591 (up… *gulp*… THIRTY!)
  • Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 147 (up eight)
  • Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 71 (up seven)

Awaiting Review:

41hym1lb7cl-_sx330_bo1204203200_I’ve been trying to stay on top of this, but I have had a lot of reading time the last couple of weeks, between holidays and not feeling tip-top, so there ares till three books in the queue –

  • The Shapeshifters by Stefan Spjut
  • The White Feather by P.G. Wodehouse
  • Crazy Kill Range by Rutherford Montgomery

Current Reads:

(links to GoodReads)

  • The New Way Things Work by David MacCauley (still).  I’ll finish this one of these days…  part of the problem is this book is so huge that I really can only read it if I’m sitting down to just read it, and the truth of the matter is that most of my reading takes place while I’m doing something else, like folding laundry, eating, or waiting at a red light (haha just kidding… ish).
  • Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth – I’ve checked this book out of the library probably three other times. If I can’t get into it this time, I’m writing it off the TBR.  But I keep coming back to it because it just seems like I really ought to like it!
  • Not George Washington – An Autobiographical Novel by P.G. Wodehouse and Herbert Westbrook – because I’m always reading a Wodehouse these days.
  • Darcy Chooses by Gianna Thomas – my latest Kindle Unlimited Pride & Prejudice variation indulgence.

Approaching the Top of the Pile:

The probable next five reads…

(links to GoodReads)

  • 2768230-_uy200_The Swoop by P.G. Wodehouse – another collection of short stories – I’ll get through these school stories someday!
  • The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux – I’ve somehow never read this classic locked-room mystery, but I got it as a free Kindle book a while back, so the time is now!
  • Shatter by Michael Robotham – the next book in the Joseph O’Laughlin series.
  • The Travelers by Chris Pavone – I’m always up for a thriller/spy romp.
  • Flipped by Wendy Van Draanen – a little YA romance that may be fun.

2 thoughts on “Rearview Mirror // December 2016

  1. I love the fact that your mini reviews are about the length of my regular reviews :-D
    I AM glad you found a format that works for you to get them all reviewed though.


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