Book Review: Princes Gate (DCI Frank Merlin #1) — Brittany’s Pages

I’ve read quite the variety of detective novels in my day, but this one has definitely been a bit different. Detective Frank Merlin is stuck in the police force at Scotland Yard, when he really wants to be in service for his beloved England on the battlefield of WWII. But crime does not stop in […]

via Book Review: Princes Gate (DCI Frank Merlin #1) — Brittany’s Pages

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Book Review: The Lost Season of Love and Snow — Brittany’s Pages

I’ve started a new blogging venture with a fresh, new blog and a totally different focus. And so far, I am really enjoying. Please check out Brittany’s Pages for Book Reviews, and other book related topics!

To be honest, I really need to take a deep breath here. Natalya is a young girl desperate to get out from under her strict Mother and to pursue her own study of Russian poetry. Her wish is granted when she captures the heart of Alexander Pushkin, the greatest Russian poet of the day. Their […]

via Book Review: The Lost Season of Love and Snow — Brittany’s Pages

Closing Statement

I know there have been a few people who have been following my blog. There have been many changes and formats and inconsistency in posting. I just didn’t find my passion for what the content was for this blog. With that being said, I have decided to close this page and begin anew. I have settled into married life, work, and have taken on a few projects to really get this going. I look forward to what the future has in store. Thank you for reading.

Books of 2016

Time to get back into blogging! I’ve been ‘on my own’ for almost a year now and my first wedding anniversary is not that far away! (Time really does fly!) I’m working and developing my career in ways I never thought I could at this point in my life. I started my own book club and trying to branch out a bit more to the people around me (and living in the middle of nowhere makes that a bit of a challenge.)

But on to the title of this post, the best and worst books I read in 2016 (and few ‘what the crap!?!’ moments). I read 84 books last year and there were a lot to choose from, but there were some that I just couldn’t leave out. Now these are MY OPINIONS of these books and no one else’s. Not everyone’s tastes are all the same.

BEST OF 2016

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

         I LOVED THIS BOOK. The most perfect and innocent romance I have ever read. And they don’t even know who each other are for most of the book!

        Summary: A circus that magically appears one night and only opens in the evening. No one knows when or where is appears and disappears. If features so many wonderful tents of tremendous acts. But the circus really isn’t just a special night circus, it is the stage for a magic battle that will only end in death. Yet what happens if the two participants fall in love? An absolute must read (and it’s not just a sappy romance story).

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

       WOAH. Just WOAH. This book totally blew my mind. It had my on the edge of my seat the whole time!

       Summary: In the future (2044 to be exact), everyone will be absorbed in a virtual reality game called the Oasis. People can go to school, go to work, visit different created planets all from the comfort of their own home. The creator of the Oasis has died and he left a huge Easter egg in his game. Whoever finds the egg inherits all of the creator’s wealth. Wade has dedicated his life to finding the Egg and studying the pop culture of the 80’s that the creator was obsessed with. When he stumbles upon the first key to the first of 3 gates, the whole world begins searching. The only way for Wade to protect the Oasis is to team up with friends to find the Egg and keep it from people who want to destroy the Oasis everyone has come to love.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

       My. Heart. I am such an Alice in Wonderland fan. I love the colorful world, how unique Alice is, and the overall madness of it all.

       Summary: Before Alice. . . the Red Queen was not always so terrible. Heartless is her story. The story of a Catherine, who wants to be the most famous baker in Hearts but forced by her parents to attempt to be the next Queen of Hearts. When Cath meets Jest, the strange and mysterious court jester, everything changes.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

     Last year I read The Goldfinch and is was very, very long. I got stuck on page 525 for months. But 3 pages later, the story picked up again and I really like it. While I was searching for a job, I decided to give another one of her books a try, and I was hooked. The beginning was a bit slow, but the whole story was just nail biting.

     Summary: Someone dies, you know that from the beginning. But the events that lead up to the act are bizarre. Richard arrives at college in New England without a major. One group of students really catches his attention and it leads him to take on Classics as a major. The class is very unconventional, one professor, tea time, and lounging around. I would love to have a major like that! Richard’s classmates are very wealthy and they are very close. But when a death appears in the paper on the night of some suspicious activities, one of the group’s members panics and life is not the same after that.

Dragons of Spring Dawning by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

      The third book of the Dragonlance core novels. I laughed, I cried, and I was definitely not the same afterwards. I literally could not function mentally for a while.

     Summary: Our favorite characters are on a mission to defeat the Queen of Darkness. Pasts are revealed, friendships are challenged, and new characters are introduced. The dragonlances have been forged and the dragons have arrived. Elves and humans must band together to fight back the dark that threatens to change their world.

WHAT THE CRAP OF 2016

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

      Oh dear. Stephanie, a cheap lingerie buyer becomes unemployed and tries her hand at bounty hunting. I mean, what the world? It seemed that at every turn she had some crazy situation she had to get herself out of. Stephanie’s first task is to bring in Morelli, who also happens to be the guy who hooked up with her and wrote about it on a bathroom stall. She ‘borrows’ his car and constantly follows him around, trying to bring him in. I don’t want to give too much away, it might ruin the laugh moments.

American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis

      This book is a little unusual. It is anything from email exchanges, book club, and bra fittings. I was completely shocked. You think it is just something super silly about being a housewife (Leave it to Beaver or at least Keeping Up Appearances type), but NOOOOO. Nothing could be further from that.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

      When Amy goes missing, all evidence points to her husband Nick. But some things are not as they appear. This book has the biggest twist I’ve ever experienced. It left me speechless and brainwashed. And it’s unique to read a book that has no likable characters.

The One Hundred Year Old Man that Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

       This title is so long. . . When Allan turns 100, he decides he wants to leave the nursing home and climbs out his window. The book goes back and forth between Allan’s diverse history and his current adventures of being chased by criminals with new friends and an elephant. Every twist and turn had me giggling in my seat.

WORST OF 2016

Happy People Ready and Drink Coffee by Agnes Martin-Lugand

       This book had so much potential!!! I had tears pouring down may face! But it was so disappointing. The title comes from the name of Diane’s book store cafe that she hasn’t stepped in since her husband and child died. She wastes her life away and finally has the resolve to travel to Ireland. She meets a man and they immediately dislike each other. And suddenly, they like each other and fall in love. But Diane has another life she needs to get back to in Paris. Does she stay with Edward or does she return to life in Paris? The title is so deceiving, she only spends a few days in the cafe in the whole book. And a relationship that does from hate to love in 2.5 seconds. This book is originally in French, so there may have been something lost in translation. And there is a sequel coming out. I might read it, just to see the end of the story.

The After Party by Anton DiSclafani

       Two best friends. Both named Joan. One is the wealthy starlet and the other is her keeper. Wealthy, beautiful Joan has always had the spotlight compared to Joan Cecily (Cece). Joan has secrets that even Cece doesn’t know, proving that wealth and popularity aren’t everything. To me, I was so annoyed with Cece, she was totally obsessed with Joan to the point that it hurts her marriage relationship. If I had a friend that obsessive, it would be a little weird.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

       A bunch of spoiled brats planning their whole lives around ‘the nest,’ their father’s fund that they only inherit when the youngest sibling turns 40. But most of that fund gets depleted when Leo gets involved in a scandal. All the siblings push to have Leo repay that amount back into the nest. Meh. Brats. Forty-Fifty year old brats that put the cart before the horse.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

      I really really wanted to love this book. The series has been very popular. I guess because the new book came out this year. To me, this was about 200 pages too long. And poor Jamie had just affliction after affliction placed on him and I’m thinking ‘how in the world is this guy even alive??’

I know this was really long, but I read a lot of amazing books this year that I wanted to share.

Books for November

Sadly, I was only able to read 5 books in the month of November. I was going to do a favortie books in November post, but hey, might as well do all five. (Note: these books are in no particular order.)

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Everything I Never Told You

This book just broke my heart. I loved it because it looks at family and all the pressures that happen just inside the home. It’s not bad pressures, but pressures that can really put a strain on an individual. I could definitely relate to this book. It’s not all sad, the family learns to finally heal despite the odds.

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Career of Evil

This was probably my most anticipated book of the year. I had it marked on my calendar for months. My wonderful fiance (still not quite used to using that term lol) gave me The Silkworm for Christmas last year, it’s the second book in the series. And me, being the OCD bookworm that I am, refused to read the second book without reading the first, much to Brent’s dismay. So he bought me The Cuckoo’s Calling and after that I was hooked.

The whole series has to be one of my favorite crime series. Most murder mystery novels I read can be really predictable. I can usually figure out who did it not too long before it is revealed. But in all these novels I am left completely dumbfounded! I had no clue who the guilty party was until the author revealed it.

This installment focuses more on Robin, Cormoran’s assistant and partner. We learn more about her story and why she desires to pursue a career in private investigating. I can’t say too much without giving everything away.

Side note: Robert Galbraith is actually JK Rowling!!! I totally freaked out with I found out. She actually does an interview as Robert Galbraith and you can listen to it here.

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The Secret Wisdom of Earth

I won this book in a drawing for the adult summer reading program this summer. I had never heard of this book and I finally gave it a go. And I loved it! I had just finishing reading To Kill a Mockingbird in preparation for Go Set a Watchman, and this book is so similar! A family seeks healing after the youngest son is tragically killed and finds it in a small town with their Grandfather. Instead of racism, it deals with homosexuality. But adds murder and suspense to it. This is definitely a book I will read again. And it took this guy 15 years to write it!

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Red Queen

If you loved The Selection Series, you will love Red Queen. I actually liked this better. Less romance and more action in liberating people from a cast system. The next book will be realease in 48 days (Glass Sword). It’s already marked on my calendar.

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Carry On

I debated and debated about whether to buy this one or not. I read Fangirl and loved it. The story is very interesting. We receive no background what so every. It’s like reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows without any of the other books, but it works. You can get more background from Fangirl as Cath writes the story, but Carry On is not what Cath wrote. It continues the story of Simon Snow, his enemy Baz, and many other characters. It’s extremely similar to Harry Potter. If I had read more books than just 5, it would not have made it onto this list. I liked it, yes, but it wasn’t as good as the others mentioned before.

Coming Soon

Oh my. SO much has happened in the past few months, it’s been hard for me to keep up. Thanksgiving for my family is different this year, so I will have more time to get a game plan.
But so you aren’t feeling left out or disappointed by this post, I’m going to preview some things that will be coming.
1.

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I think this picture says it all.

2. My favorite books of November. (I’ve cranked out a lot of books this month)

3. Goodreads best books of 2015 final round. (Im trying to read all the ones I own for an honest vote)

4. My journal. (Journaling is such a big part of my life and I want to share it)

5. Midori Traveler’s Notebook. (Technically a FoxyDori; my lay out; uses; etc)

6. Girls Movie Night. (Featuring Paper Towns)

7. List of lists.

8. Herb Garden soap and updated skin care routine.

9. NexGen Manicure.

10. Everyday makeup look.

Just a few things to help get my blog going again. I was talking with some fellow alumni and we all agreed that we have less time now than we had in college (minus the homework) but none of us miss school. I have the time to read so many books (heaven!). But for anything else, not really. After work I have my regular activities, laundry, cleaning, cooking, or anything else that needs to be done.
I hope to get a lot of these ideas posted before the end of the year. As well as sharing some of my personal favorite blogs. So keep checking back for more updates!

Summer Reading

Summer is sadly coming to a close. I will miss the sandals, short sleeves, and the sunny warmth. But this summer hasn’t been too bad. I remember as a kid that the highlight of my summer (besides no school) was the summer reading programs at the library.

We lived in Myrtle Beach for a good long while and there was an AWESOME library there. My mom would take us at least once a week. The best summer reading program was here. The goal was to read 30 hours. For every 5 hours, your name was put in a box for a drawing. If you reached 30, you got a medal at a large party in the party at the end of summer. Those were the days.

I moved up to the teen reading program, and it wasn’t that great. Not as much to offer as the children’s one. And now I’m an adult. When I first signed up for the program at my local library, I stated my goal for 50 hours. My mom laughed and said I could do that in three weeks. Well she was about right. I read a total of 220 hours over the course of 2 months. My name was even picked for a drawing and I won 2 books! That was probably the highlight of my summer!

Local libraries have so much to offer, even beyond their bookcases. More on libraries later.