It’s been a busy front half of 2018, what with me working crazy hours, taking online graduate classes, and then switching jobs. I’m really enjoying my new job, particularly as it leaves me with much more time for reading and writing! As I settle into my new schedule, the Meerkat is going to be making some changes which I hope you’ll enjoy. In the meantime, I need to get you caught up on what I’ve been reading. I’m not going to try to review all the books I’ve read since the last time I posted (in March!!!) but I will give you monster list of books with my snapshot opinion of them.
The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger 3 out of 5 stars
This is a graphic novel about a mysterious bookmobile that contains everything you’ve ever read. It had some good moments and something of a surprise ending that I did manage to guess, but overall I just felt like it was trying to say something and I couldn’t figure out what.
Snoopy and “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” by Charles Schulz 5 out of 5 stars
I loved this little gem of a book that my brother found for my birthday. I’m somewhat obsessed with a certain literary beagle, and it’s like this book was made for me. Mixed in with the fun is some great writing advice, and I highly recommend it to all aspiring authors. You can read it in under 5 minutes.
Secrets in Death by J. D. Robb 3 out of 5 stars
I’ve been a longtime fan of the In Death series, but I feel like it reached its peak a while ago. The characters aren’t really going anywhere anymore. And yet I continue to collect them and probably will as long as Robb continues to write them.
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas 4 out of 5 stars
I wasn’t really looking forward to this book because I’m more interested in what is happening with the rest of the crew in the Throne of Glass series, but this was a really good way to bring Chaol out of disgrace without ignoring his past mistakes. I’m glad to see him get some beautiful character development and there are plenty of tie-ins to the larger story which I can’t wait to get back to in Kingdom of Ash, which I believe is coming out in October.
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas 2 out of 5 stars
In an attempt to stem my Maas addiction while waiting for the next release, I read her collection of short stories about Celeana’s life as the most feared assassin in Adarlan. It didn’t really satisfy. The stories were okay, there just wasn’t enough meat there to dig into.
Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet 2 out of 5 stars
The Kingmaker Chronicles started out so strong, but the end was just as disappointing as the middle. The third book seemed repetitive and anticlimactic. There were a few things left dangling that might become the subject for future books, that I would be willing to read, but they won’t be top priority.
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas 3 out of 5 stars
Another collection of short stories from Maas, this time following her Court of Thorns and Roses series. The stories were fine, but I honestly would have preferred for her to spend her time writing her next novel. Stop teasing me and write, Sarah!
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa 4 out of 5 stars
This story is about a math professor with short term memory loss and his relationship with his housekeeper and her son. There’s a lot of math involved. I should not have enjoyed it as much as I did, but oddly enough I really liked it. If nothing else, I think we need more books that focus on platonic relationships.
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare 3 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed Mortal Instruments and absolutely loved Infernal Devices, but Dark Artifices is not doing it for me. I like Emma okay, but I think the supporting characters are far more interesting and Julian is ruining the whole series for me.
Lumberjanes Vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson 3 out of 5 stars
This graphic novel had one or two great lines, but it didn’t live up to volume one.
Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister 4 out of 5 stars
This book is loosely based on a true story, because fittingly enough it is very difficult to find details about the first female Pinkerton’s personal life. I think I liked The Magician’s Lie better, but this was a very solid, enjoyable book.
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy 3 out of 5 stars
This was a fun young adult adventure with plenty of magic sprinkled throughout. It’s the first book in a series, but even though I enjoyed it, it didn’t leave me rushing for book 2.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black 4 out of 5 stars
It took me a little while to get into this book because I think I overdid the fairies reading Cassandra Clare, but I ended up really enjoying it. I didn’t realize book 2 isn’t out yet, which was very disappointing to discover, but such is life.
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson 4 out of 5 stars
For a book that mainly revolves around made up geometry, this was really good. I devoured it. I didn’t figure out the mystery (I thought I had) and I really liked the characters. It’s looking like book 2 is going to come out sometime between now and never, but things are more or less wrapped up at the end if you want to pretend it’s a stand-alone, which it may very well be forever.
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 4 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this story about a bunch of teens from the seedy side of town more or less trying to do the right thing. Six of Crows was a little better, in my opinion, but Crooked Kingdom was still good. I don’t know if Bardugo is planning to use these characters some more or not, but I would definitely read it if she did.
Revolution in World Missions by K. P. Yohannan 4 out of 5 stars
This book is about the founding of Gospel for Asia and gives a look at the history of the native missionary movement. It really challenged me as someone who doesn’t think of herself as materialistic but definitely is compared to large chunks of the world.
Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris 4 out of 5 stars
NPH liked the Choose Your Own Adventure books so much as a kid, he decided to pattern his autobiography after them. It’s a fun idea, and well done, but I was never that much of a fan of that series. I made it through to his happy ending with only one misstep, but by nature of the format you miss pages, so I went back and read them all straight through, which put everything out of order and made it hard to follow. If you like this format, I could see this getting 5 stars, but even with me not loving it, it’s well-written enough to get a solid 4.