Home » Rearview Mirror » Rearview Mirror // March 2017

Rearview Mirror // March 2017

Better late than never, right??

And gang, I have BIG NEWS: Waylon is getting a little sister – we’re getting another border collie puppy in May!!!  She’s an adorable blue merle who still needs a name, so I’m accepting suggestions!  I’ll post pictures soon.  In the meantime, rest assured that she is SO FREAKING CUTE.  Getting another puppy is probably a terrible life decision, but hey!  You’ll have that.  :-D

Meantime – books!

Favorite March Read:

Probably The Wicked Marquis by Marnie Ellingson.  It’s a reread, so it’s a bit of a cheat, but this is one of my favorite go-to fluff reads.  It’s just so happy and adorable, even if it’s not remotely deep or thought-provoking.

Most Disappointing March Read:

Dead End Close by Dominic Utton – no contest.  This book was just so depressing and just ick.  Ick.

Other March Reads:

  • 1932 by Karen M. Cox – 3/5 – unique premise but needed a bit more fleshing out to make it a really good story
  • Briar Queen by Katherine Harbour – 4/5 – a book that does not suffer even a little bit from second-book syndrome
  • Fate & Consequences by Linda Wells – 3/5 – would have been much better if the characters didn’t keep devolving into emotional disasters
  • The Fourth Wish by Lindsay Ribar – 2/5 – sooo boring when it could have been so much fun
  • The Houseguest by Elizabeth Adams – 3/5 – a pleasant but not super inventive Pride & Prejudice variation
  • Nettle King by Katherine Harbour – 4/5 – great conclusion to a really engaging trilogy
  • Psmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse – 4/5 and so much fun
  • Still Life by Dani Pettrey – 3/5 – alright, but could have used more thriller and less romance
  • The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck – 4/5 – beautifully written historical fiction that was hard to read but a gorgeous story nonetheless.
  • The Wreckage by Michael Robotham – 3/5 – solid but not particularly thrilling entry in the Joseph O’Laughlin series

In Marches Past…

Now that I’ve been doing my Rearview Mirrors for two years, I thought it would be fun to see what my favorite and least-favorite reads were from those years.

In 2015 my favorite read of the month was Peter May’s brilliant thriller The Blackhouse.  I really, really want to reread that trilogy.  It was SO GOOD.

Wild Goose Chase by Terri Thayer was my most disappointing read that month.  I still think about that cozy “mystery” sometimes and am confused by it every time.  What was the point of that book!?

Last year, the classic A Tale of Two Cities won the best book award, and I would say that it’s a solid contender for best book ever.  There is so much to chew on in this book.  It’s a fabulous story with personable and passionate characters.  There’s a great deal of teaching, but it doesn’t feel preachy or condescending.  Brilliant.

Giant’s Bread by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie) was the book that disappointed me the most.  It was just such a dreary story, doubly disappointing because I love Christie so much.

TBR Update:

So these numbers aren’t completely accurate because I have about 200 emails in my inbox that need read, and I’m positive that many of them are going to add to the list.  But here it is as it stands at this exact moment in time…

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:  898 (up seven, which isn’t too bad, although I’m a bit terrified about how close I am to the 900 mark!)
  • Nonfiction:  65 (up only one)
  • Personal (which includes all books I own, but lists any series I own as only one entry…):  617 (up only one – I’ve actually been reading quite a few of my own books lately!  Brilliant, I know!)
  • Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 149 (holding steady!)
  • Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 72 (holding steady!)

Awaiting Review:

  • Say You’re Sorry by Michael Robotham – this was a completely terrifying addition to the Joseph O’Laughlin series, and I could hardly put it down!
  • A Gentleman of Leisure by P.G. Wodehouse – also known as The Intrusion of Jimmy.  This was a fun little tale, and it was obvious that at this point Wodehouse was beginning to get his “formula” down.
  • The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge – this book has actually changed my life.  So beautiful.  Just wow.  I’m not really sure if I am even going to be able to review it well.

Current Reads:

  • Paper Towns by John Green – my first John Green novel, and so far it’s suuuper boring.

Yeah, weirdly that’s the only thing I’m really actively reading right now!

Approaching the Top of the Pile:

The probable next five reads…

  • The Prince & Betty by P.G. Wodehouse – my journey through Wodehouse continues!
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – would you believe that I’ve somehow never actually read this book!?  I’m so embarrassed.
  • Wild Palomino: Stallion of the Prairies by Stephen Holt – another “Famous Horse Story” classic.
  • Runaway by Peter May – super stoked about diving into one of May’s stand-alones.
  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – the next series I’m going to read (presuming the first book is any good).  I’m a bit late to this game and have heard a lot of mixed opinions, so we will see how it goes!

13 thoughts on “Rearview Mirror // March 2017

  1. Hurray for Dickens! Glad you liked Tale of Two Cities so much.
    I found Northanger Abbey to be Austen’s weakest, so keep that in mind.

    As for names for your new puppy, I humbly suggest:

    A bit of a mouthful, yes, BUT, very unique and sure to bring out the best qualities in said puppy as she grows older *wink*


  2. Congrats on the new puppy! I hope that you enjoy Northanger Abbey! It’s one of my favorite Jane Austen books. It’s a little different from her other books and has some great characters (both good and bad)!


    • I really just don’t know how I haven’t gotten around to Northanger before, although I have definitely watched the Wishbone episode, so I at least have a small idea of what to expect! ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, now, when you’re reading Runaway, the bits that take place in the past in Glasgow are all set in the places where I grew up, though about a decade earlier…


    • Well, how fun is that?? I’ll definitely keep that in mind. Hopefully your childhood was much less fraught with death than the lives of the characters. (At least I’m assuming there is death involved… haven’t actually started reading yet…)

      Also, I’m depending on you for a solid Scottish name suggestion for the new puppy, after your scorn for the name Waylon! ;-) You’re my only Scottish connection!


      • Haha! But I’m rubbish at naming pets – as poor Soxy would have told you! ;) A girl puppy, huh? Kirsty? Bonnie? Isla? Or if you wanted to stick with the music theme – Annie for Annie Lennox, or Eddi for Eddi Reader? :D I look forward to hearing what name you end up with!


        • Bonnie is actually on my short list, but Tom seems to think that just because he has an aunt Bonnie whom we almost never see, we can’t name our dog Bonnie!? We’re leaning towards Paisley right now, but hoping some more pictures of our puppy may lead to inspiration…

          Liked by 1 person

      • Definitely! He is the master of magic systems that make sense and characters you care about. I haven’t read Steelheart yet, but I’m planning to start it later this month on a long drive. If you want a standalone, Elantris is a heckuva debut novel. If you want a YA series that will give you lols and unexpected feels, pick up Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians.


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