Because August means back to school for me, it’s always a hard reading month, so I declared it read nothing of substance, the more royals in books the better, and bonus points if books are set in Europe month.
- Ghost Kisses by Kellie Babineaux–paranormal romance–two stars–This is my coworker’s second self-published novel. Despite some major editing issues, the storyline is compelling, and Babineaux’s love of New Orleans and Louisiana culture take on a life of their own.
- The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking–nonfiction–two stars–My biggest takeaways are candles, Christmas, and lamps make for a happy life.
- 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne–romance–two stars–I couldn’t remember the premise of this book while typing in its name nor while reading its synopsis. I only picked it up because I loved Thorne’s The Hating Game.
- The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan–chick lit/romance–three stars–I made the mistake of recommending this book to a couple of people before finishing it. It’s loosely based on Prince William and Kate’s love story, but it takes a ludicrous turn towards the end, detracting from how promising it was at the beginning.
- The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory–chick lit/romance–two stars–Terrible but readable.
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill–middle grade fantasy–five stars–Everything I’ve ever wanted in a middle grade fantasy read. Witches? Check. A tiny dragon who thinks he’s gigantic? Check. A Swamp Monster? Check. A young girl who doesn’t know how to control her magic? Check. Stunning language and message? Check.
- My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan–contemporary fiction/romance–two stars–Ella, an educational policy political advisor, receives a Rhodes Scholarship and falls in love with her professor during her time in Oxford. I liked Ella’s eclectic friend group more than her.
- How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper–contemporary fiction–four stars–Funny and touching while being mildly dark.
- Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes–contemporary fiction–four stars–Evvie’s husband died on the day she was going to leave him. Still grappling with guilt a year later, she takes on a tenant, a former MLB pitcher who suddenly started throwing wild pitches instead of strikes, to get a little extra money. The dialogue is funny and well-done.
- Royals (Royals, #1) by Rachel Hawkins–YAL–four stars–READ THIS INSTEAD OF THE ROYAL WE.
- The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman–contemporary fiction/chick lit–five stars–This is by far the best book set in a bookshop that I’ve read all year.
- Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim–magical realism–3 stars–When Natalie’s agoraphobic mother dies suddenly in San Francisco, Natalie comes home and discovers that Chinatown has changed. With the intent of reopening her grandmother’s restaurant, Natalie tries to breathe life back into the dying community by cooking magical meals for her neighbors.
As always discussion is welcome, and I’m always looking for recommendations.
All cover jacket art courtesy of Goodreads.