Wednesday, January 14, 2015

December 2014 Recap: Books Read + Minis

I am finally going to close 2014 by posting my December recap. I was on vacation throughout the holidays and took the opportunity to read a few books that had been lingering in my TBR. As you can see below, there is only one new holiday book included in my least of reads.

Total books read in December: 11
Contemporary Romance: 1
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy: 1
Science Fiction/Fantasy: 3
LGBT: 6


1) City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett: B+
2-4) Provoked, Beguiled, Enlightened (Enlightenment Trilogy Books 1-3) by Joanna Chambers: B+
5) Turnbull House (Porcelain Dog) by Jess Faraday: B+

My favorite December reads were City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett, a SFF book that has received positive responses from readers. I meant to read it earlier in the year, unfortunately City of Stairs was the last book I read in 2014 and did not get a chance to review it. I plan to review it this month.

The other December favorites are Turnbull House (Porcelain Dog #2) by Jess Faraday, and Joanna Chambers' Enlightenment trilogy. Both were included in my LGBT Favorite Books and Authors list -- one as part of a duology and the other (all 3 books) as a highly recommended trilogy.

6) The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers: B
7) Night Shift with Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Mila Vane: B
8) Between the Sheets by Molly O'Keefe: B
9) Comfort and Joy with Joanna Chambers, Harper Fox, L.B. Gregg, Josh Lanyon: B

My B reads are all on the strong side. My thoughts about The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers are outlined in my review. However, I also enjoyed the PNR/Urban fantasy anthology Night Shift in its entirety. Although I do admit that my favorite story is "Magic Steals" by Ilona Andrews. I mean who doesn't love Jim and Dali?

The contemporary romance Between the Sheets by Molly O'Keefe deserves a better title. The content just goes so much deeper than that title implies. There is sex (seldom between the sheets), and it is the hot kind, but there are other, deeper issues going on in this story that make this contemporary by O'Keefe a strong read.

And, the Comfort and Joy m/m romance holiday anthology is quite solid and one I'm keeping on my reread pile. I gave two of the stories a higher grade, but all four are enjoyable! These were my minimalistic (rushed) comments at Goodreads:
Rest and be Thankful by Joanna Chambers - Great! (4.5)
Out by Harper Fox - Solid (4.0)
Waiting for Winter by L.B. Gregg - Cute (3.5)
Baby, it's Cold by Josh Lanyon - Yummy (3.5)
Overall, a solid anthology that may become a "comfort" holiday reread in the future. Recommended.

10) The Boy with the Painful Tattoo by Josh Lanyon: C
11) Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta: C-

The Boy with the Painful Tattoo is the third installment of Lanyon's Holmes and Moriarity romance/mystery series. I have really enjoyed this series and the characters thus far. So I hate to say this, but this installment, although good, did not quite do it for me. Chris and JX do not spend enough time together or working on their relationship, and the level of Chris' neurosis is so high that it hurts to read it. All of the above interfered with my enjoyment of the mystery which, taken on its own, was good.

And Memory of Water is a young adult speculative fiction novel by Finnish author Emmi Itaranta. This is the English translation of the novel. I gave it 2 stars at Goodreads because frankly the writing is beautiful, but my enjoyment of the book was next to nill. Here are my comments such as they are: "I wanted to love this book. The writing style is beautiful and the world-building interesting [enough]. Unfortunately, I ended up reading it in fits and starts. It just became a tedious, slow read and I forced myself to finish it. Obviously not for me." This is an award-winning book, loved and lauded by some readers and not-so-loved by others. Obviously, I fall under the latter.

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