Monday, September 3, 2012

August 2012: Reads + Minis

Is the month of August really over? Where did it go? Between my vacation, family events, busy working weeks, and my migraines it seems to have flown. It was a month of slow reading and slow blogging for me. Although I read some great books, the month that was August turned out to be a mixture of ups and downs. Let's take a look.

Total August reads: 12
  Contemporary: 4 (Romance: 2, Erotic Romance: 1, Romance Suspense: 1)
  Historical: 2 (Western Romance: 1 , Historical Fiction: 1)
  Paranormal Romance: 1
  Urban Fantasy: 1
  Spec Fic/Horror: 2
  LGBT: 2 (Humor Essays: 1, Historical Mystery/Rom: 1)

1)   Lucky in Love (Lucky Harbor #4) by Jill Shalvis: C+
2)   Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels #5.5) by Ilona Andrews: B
3)   The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty: B-
4)   At Last (Lucky Harbor #5) by Jill Shalvis: C

5)   Arthur Wooten's Shorts: A Stroke Of Luck: a short story & The "Dear Henry" Letters
I really enjoyed A Stroke of Luck: A Short Story, a heartwarming story about a man who after a stroke of bad luck, finds love in the most unexpected of places and with an unlikely man. However, The "Dear Henry" Letters are the stars of this short piece! I couldn't stop laughing while reading most of Arthur Wooten's short essays in letter form. Hilarious!

In 2008, Mr. Wooten was asked by London magazine reFRESH to write a column addressing gay sex, love, dating, and fetishes, sort of an advice/informational type of column. From 2008 through 2010 Mr. Wooten quite creatively addressed all those issues by addressing the column to his fictional lover Henry in The "Dear Henry" Letters.  In the letters he attempts to break up their relationship for all sorts of reasons, mainly indiscretions committed by his fictional lover. Throughout the two years he always finds a reason to go back to Henry, but of course there's also always a reason to break up again.

The letters address all types of issues mentioned above, but because Mr. Wooten is a humorist the result is a hilarious, and at times embarrassing, collection from beginning to end! This short piece is worth buying, reading and re-reading. Thanks to Indigene for the recommendation. Grade: B+
6)   Dirty by Megan Hart: A- 
7)   Wild Texas Rose (Whispering Mountain #6) by Jodi Thomas: C-
8)   Torn by Lee Thomas: A-
9)   Don't Say a Word by Beverly Barton (Upcoming Review) 
10) Hearts of Darkness: A Deadglass Novel by Kira Brady: B

11) The Croning by Laird Barron
I've read and loved Barron's short stories. It is the reason I immediately purchased his full length novel The Croning. I thought The Croning began rather well, with a fairy tale that Barrons turned into a dark horror tale. Unfortunately, the central character is rather uninteresting with a narrative voice that lacks excitement, and that never changes throughout the story. Flashbacks break whatever momentum is gained and foreshadow most of what's to come, so that by the end there are little of those moments filled with real terror left to this horror (or Lovecraftian) tale, although the weird fiction is there, and the ending is ambiguous enough.

The same brilliant qualities that I found in Barron's short stories were only present in a few chapters. The novel is full of unnecessary background detail about the central characters and even characters that are not pertinent to the story. I'm sad to say that I forced myself to finish the book looking for more of those few bright moments along the way. For an excellent example of Barron's works, I recommend reading his collection of short stories in Occultation and Other Stories. I'm almost finished reading it (2 stories to go), and then I will review it. Grade: C-
12)  Only Make Believe (It Takes Two, #2) by Elliott Mackle: (Upcoming Review)

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That's it for August! My top reads of the month were Torn by Lee Thomas, a wonderful speculative fiction horror novella, and my TBR Challenge read, Dirty by Megan Hart! September is already here and yes... I'm reading again. :) How did August turn out for you?

12 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a month that was a little all over the place :P but some good reads too!
    :D

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  2. Alex, yes. It was one of those months, but I did enjoy most of my reads. That's always a good thing. :)

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  3. You read Arthur Wooten's Shorts! Glad you enjoyed it! Even now, when I think of some of the situations poor Arthur gets himself into because of "dear Henry" I can't help but laugh out loud.

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    1. Indie, thanks so much for reviewing this book. I loved the Dear Henry Letters! I was laughing so hard on the couch my husband thought I was having a fit. LOL! These were an absolute treat. :D

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    2. At least you embarassed yourself in privacy of your own home (with only your hubby present) I on the other hand embarassed myself in grand style in public at the gym! LOL!

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  4. Twelve is not that slow... just saying :P

    And grade-wise, it looks like a good month actually :) You have some very good reads in there :) Just too bad we don't share many.

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    1. Nath, I enjoyed quite a few of my reads. The grades are all over the place, but yes... the B's were enjoyable. :D And although I read 12 books, it just felt like a sloooow month. LOL!

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  5. Nice tally, Hils. I'm going to try to get to Dirty by the end of the year.

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    1. Christine, definitely read Dirty! Since you're a Hart fan, I think that's a book you can't miss. ;D

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  6. Thank you so much for your wonderful review of my SHORTS! xx Arthur

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    1. It was my pleasure, Mr. Wooten! The shorts were a treat for me. I liked them so much I purchased two of your other books right after I finished it. I hope to read them soon. :D

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