This has definitely been a month of two halves. Halfway through the month I was certain I was going to be telling you about only one book. I flopped about for a couple of days, with nothing to read, then downloaded three books off my Kindle wish list in a fit of must-have-something-to-read!
It did the trick as I finished one in three days and I'm already halfway through the second!
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
The first book I read this month was a pretty chunky one - books in the Outlander series always are! But this may well be the last one I read in this series. So far I've enjoyed it, but I'm aware there are eight books in the series (not counting the ones that focus on Lord John) and it is very one-thing-after-the-other.
Without going into spoiler territory, this book is set in Scotland, France, at sea and the Caribbean. And, everything that can go wrong pretty much does. Honestly, I've never known two people as unlucky as Jamie and Claire - they are always in the wrong place at the wrong time, they always meet the wrong person or say the wrong thing, only to survive triumphant through a massive stroke of luck.
I've enjoyed the books so far, I can't deny it. They're a fun romp (romp often being the operative word here...) but I can see myself getting a bit frustrated with them as the pair of them never seem to learn!
That being said, there's every chance that I'll be reaching for Drums of Autumn, the fourth book in the series, later in the year. Perhaps I just need a little break. Not that I'll get one as I am about to start the second series on Amazon... I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.
Be Pretty on Rest Days by Muireann Carey-Campbell
This is a very short book and was a re-read, so I zoomed through it. I've started running again after a long time away. I much prefer a combination of spinning and Pilates, but as I've yet to find a gym that provides both at times I can make, I figured I needed to move my butt some other way, so I've gone back to running.
While Muireann (also known as Bangs and a Bun) is not a professional runner, she's incredibly inspiring because she started from nothing. Her advice is good and she pulls no punches. When I'm contemplating skipping a run because it's raining, this is the book I think of - so I'd recommend!
The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jeffries
I think I've said before that I don't really get this current trend where book titles are casting the female protagonist in the role of 'wife', 'daughter' or 'mistress'. I just find it odd, but hey ho.
The short review is - I enjoyed this book right up to the ending, but I think you'd want more than that, so here goes... Nineteen year old Gwen travels to Ceylon in the early 1920s to live with her husband, a tea planter. He is a widower (under mysterious circumstances), there's an irritating and insinuating sister-in-law, a dour estate manager and a wild-spirited cousin - so far, so formulaic. Not that I mind that, the almost familiarity of it was strangely comforting.
But when Gwen has twins, the story takes off and moves into far more interesting territory - which is why I'd recommend it. I would however caution against the ending. Now, I'm no fan of books that leave loose ends flapping in the breeze without a sequel, but I also don't like overly tidy endings either.
The end of this book felt so sudden, so lacking in depth compared to the rest of the story, it was a little like being shoved out of a house and having the door slammed in your face. I'd probably recommend it so that I could ask you what you thought of the ending once you'd read it!
The Fleece and Fibre Sourcebook by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius
It's not exactly something I've read this month, but I would like to mention this great book. I bought it with a gift voucher and have been dipping into it throughout the month and have thoroughly enjoyed it. What a great resource! Well written, gorgeous to look at and very educational. We've been using it to try and figure out what sheep Rich saw on his trip to Scotland.
Would really recommend it if, like me, you're looking to learn more about the fleece and fibre in the yarn you knit with.
I'm going to finish up the books I bought in my Kindle splurge and then check out the Robert Galbraith books. I've already read the first one and Amy of Stranded urged me to check out the rest, so they're on my list!