Monday, February 27, 2017

February Reading Recap

It's been about a month since I last linked up with It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Since that time I've done quite a bit of reading and have managed to post a few reviews! It's a miracle!

On the home front, February was a fun month partly because my daughter and I both got to celebrate our birthdays, mine at the beginning of the month and hers just this past weekend. I also got back into Instagram, which has been a lot of fun. My friend Kim at The Kim Six Fix hosted a month-long photo challenge, which was a blast. I think I'm going to join her March one too. You can follow me on Instagram at mybookretreat. Her challenges are for all types of bloggers so it's been fun to try to find a way to pull reading into her prompts!

As far as reading goes, here are the books that I read since my last update at the end of January (click on the images to see my reviews):




Now Reading:


I'm now reading Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance for my March book club. I'm about halfway through and it's pretty engaging and enlightening to hear about the culture of Appalachia and the Rust Belt from a man who grew up there and went on to graduate from Yale Law School.

What are you reading?

Book links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh


Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: thriller
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: ebook (NetGalley)
Source: publisher
Buy on Amazon(affiliate link)



Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? You will after reading Clare Mackintosh's latest release I See You. Told from the perspectives of two women, one who appears to be targeted by a criminal and the other who is the police officer working the case, this psychological thriller will have you looking over your own shoulder by the end.

Zoe is a typical working mother who takes the Underground through London to her office every day. Like most commuters, she has a routine that she follows every day, leaving home at the same time, sitting in the same train car, taking the same route to work from the station. It's habit. But she starts to realize this may not be a good idea after seeing her own photo in an advertisement in the newspaper. Another woman who appears in the advertisement is murdered and Zoe starts to get worried.

Kelly is an officer with the British Transport Police who has a history that has kept her off the big cases recently. But when a case she's covering ends up connecting to a murder investigation, she gets herself involved as fast as she can. She helps to investigate the advertisements that seem to be related to crimes happening to women around the city.

I got sucked right into I See You. I haven't read a thriller in a while so it was fun to get into one. I had several suspicions throughout the book about what exactly was going on with the advertisements and who was behind it, but the twists were not what I expected. There's tons of suspense and tense moments for both Zoe and Kelly, as well as some growth for both characters during the story. I highly recommend I See You if you're looking for a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing.

Author Clare Mackintosh uses her background as a police officer to build the world and the characters she creates in her novels. Watch this video to hear more about it.

 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review: Ashes by Steven Manchester

Title: Ashes
Author: Steven Manchester
Genre: contemporary fiction
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: paperback (advanced reading copy)
Source: author
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)



Jason and Tom Prendergast may be brothers but they haven't had anything to do with each other for years. Raised by an abusive single father, the boys went their separate ways and never looked back. But when their father dies, his last impact on their lives is to push them together into a road trip across the country to spread his ashes and receive some sort of mysterious reward. Neither brother wants to take the trip, but they can't resist the potential inheritance that may be waiting for them at the end.

Ashes by Steven Manchester takes us along for the ride while Jason and Tom are forced to spend an entire week in a car together, unwillingly revisiting their past because of the one man that they both can agree to hate. The frustrations of hearing them speak but not listen to each other, and the humorous antics they adopt to annoy one another, make the ride rather bumpy but entertaining for the reader. Their dysfunctional childhood is brought to life as they reminisce about the way their father simultaneously brought them together and drove them apart.

I enjoyed these two brothers who drove me crazy at times. There's a lot more to the story than just the past. We get a glimpse into their current lives in which they both face challenges and changes. Both men grow throughout the ride, not just in their relationship with each other but also as individuals. It's definitely a character-driven novel that takes them both through important life changes.

If you enjoy humorous family stories, and the adventure of a road trip, I recommend you pick up Ashes by Steven Manchester, which will be released tomorrow. 

Read my reviews of other books by Steven Manchester: 
The Rockin' Chair 
Gooseberry Island
Pressed Pennies

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Book Review: No Man's Land by Simon Tolkien


No Man's Land by Simon Tolkien is a new novel by the grandson of J R R Tolkien. It's a sweeping story of a man's journey from a young impressionable teen to a soldier in the Battle of the Somme.

Book Facts

Genre: historical fiction
Published: January 24, 2017
Format: hardcover
Source: Doubleday

For a bit of a change, I've decided to do a video blog to share my review. Yes, I held the camera the wrong direction but it's my first vlog so bear with me! Let me know in the comments what you think!


Monday, January 23, 2017

Reading recap

It's been a week since I last posted, and while I'd like to spend time reading right now, I thought I'd post a quick update.

I've been busy reading for the Winter's Respite Readathon. It's halfway over now. I finished the second half of Hidden Figures, and then went to the movie on Friday night with my entire family. It was wonderful and I'm glad I shared the story with my kids. The book gets into so much more detail (as usual) but is a little slow. It's still highly recommended. But also see the movie!


I'm now about halfway through No Man's Land by Simon Tolkien. That's what I'm looking forward to getting back to tonight!


At some point this week, I'm going to make time to write a review of a book or two, since I haven't posted a review in a while. I think I'm going to try out a new format this year. I'm going to continue to write detailed reviews of books provided to me for review, but some of the other books I read for pleasure may feature shorter reviews so I can keep up with them this year!

What are you reading?

Book links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. It's been a while but I'm finally linking up with Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?