Holiday reading

>> Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm back! A had a fantastic holiday, and even the 36-hour trip back to Liverpool (including an 8-hour wait in Sao Paulo and a 5-hour one in London) didn't manage to put a dent in my relaxation.

My main plan, in addition to seeing family and friends, was to not do all that much, just lie about and read some good books. I definitely managed that. The first couple of weeks I was in Montevideo, out every evening with different old friends and running around doing errands for my mum, who's having some knee issues (this included doing her Christmas shopping two days before Christmas -lovely!). I did some reading, but not as much as I would have liked. But the last two weeks and a bit, we all decamped to my parents' place in Punta del Este, and I mostly sat by the pool with my Kindle. Bliss!

And the best bit is, quite a few of the books I read were great. I'd been hoarding some by authors I knew I'd enjoy, and even most of the ones I only suspected I'd like were good. In fact, half of the 23 books I finished were either A- or B+ books, which is way better than usual for me.

I'll be reviewing all of these in the next few weeks, but highlights included the much talked-about A Lady Awakened, by Cecilia Grant, Practice Makes Perfect, by Julie James (which I'd been hoarding, since it was the last Julie James book I had left), and His, Unexpectedly, by Susan Fox, one of my favourite discoveries from the last year.

I also really enjoyed The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson, a paranormal, Jack the Ripper-themed YA (definitely not my usual fare), Lead Me On, by Victoria Dahl (loved the very flawed heroine), the good-though-imperfect The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe and Unclaimed, by Courtney Milan, who's fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

There really weren't many books I didn't like. There was only one D (Blue-Eyed Devil, by Lisa Kleypas, which annoyed the hell out of me), and 3 in the C range (including my first by Caitlin Crews, who I really expected to like and one by Wen Spencer, whose Ukiah Oregon books I've enjoyed). I also had one DNF, which I won't mention just yet, since I stopped reading after the very first scene turned me off massively, but might end up giving it another shot.

Finally, looking back at what I read, I realise it was a very romancey month for me. I've been reading more and more non-fiction and stuff outside of the genre, but a full 70% of what I read while on holiday was traditional romance. And even the books that weren't fully within the romance genre, most had strong romance threads (e.g. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson, or Life From Scratch, by Melissa Ford, both of which I enjoyed).


lakaribane,  12 January 2012 at 21:17  

<span>Welcome back, Ro! Sounds like you had a great time, I need to do something like that myself soon. Can't wait to read the new reviews. I love Dahl in her contemp voice, historical not working for me. And I love Julie James! Hoping to discover some new authors, I trust your taste.</span>

Samantha,  12 January 2012 at 21:21  

Good to see you back! Can't wait to see what you thought of the Julie James book. That one wasn't one of my favorites but it was still pretty good. I also liked the Katherine Howe book, I thought it was fun even if the climax of the story left something to be desired. Have you read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness?

rosario001,  12 January 2012 at 22:34  

I'll try to get to that particular review soon, then. But in short, it wasn't my favourite by her, either, but only because I loved Sexiest Man Alive so much! <img></img> Agree about the Howe, that and Connie's occasional unrealistic denseness about some obvious stuff were definite flaws, but it was still good. And I'm glad you are mentioning the Harkness book, because that's quite high up in my TBR at the moment!

rosario001,  12 January 2012 at 22:37  

Thanks! Hope you can get the time to get a nice long holiday yourself, it charges up the batteries for the rest of the year! Re: Dahl: Yes! Much, much better in contemp. I've read 3 so far and really liked them all. I like the look of her recent trilogy, might glom it.

Marg,  24 January 2012 at 06:36  

Welcome back! Glad to see that you loved Name of the Star. It made my list of favourites for last year! Major Pettigrew's Last Stand was also very good!

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