Monday, May 30, 2016

May Reading Round-up

May was a busy month of reading. I keep finding books that just beg to be added to my pile. Juggling library books, books on Kindle, and reading at NetGalley, I'm well ahead of my reading goal for the year.

In May, I read some really great books that were extremely diverse.

This is a book filled with designs that are examples of stunning simplicity. The first section is filled with monochrome projects. The line design is creative and filled with so much style. The second part of the book is multi-colored designs. Again, the combination of design and color is really stunning and eye-catching. There is really something for everyone.

The rest of the book is filled with templates, instructions, and patterns that make it look easy enough for beginning embroiderers, but still creative enough for the more-skilled makers.

As I flipped through the projects, I found myself flipping faster and faster to see all of the wonderful designs/projects. I was torn because I wanted to savor every image and plan how I'd tackle each project (and who I'd give the gifts to), but on the other hand, I wanted to get to the end of the book so I could drop everything and immediately start.

This is a book I will use over and over. I can already imagine so many projects coming from between these pages.

Wow. This book, the language, the words, the dreamy intoxicating feeling.  It is a book that makes me want to buy the hard copy to keep and revisit on days I need magic in my life. The characters, story, and imagery swallow you. I read the first paragraph and knew I was going to love it.

I would probably give this book a 3.5 star rating. I loved the premise of this book. A wife finds out a life-changing secret about her husband. One that will either drive them apart or make them work through obstacles to get back together.

I liked most of the characters, but I struggled with the main character, Caroline. She comes across as this perfect person, and even when the author tries to use that as a flaw in itself, it never really worked for me. I liked the story, but I ended up feeling that Caroline wasn't a fully-fleshed out person. Maybe it was her age and lack of life experience... maybe not. Maybe it is just me.

The book kept me reading and was interesting. I think I would have liked to have known more about Adam and Caroline than just them as a couple through anecdotes. Ironically, Caroline's character trying to determine what made her husband tick was the same feeling I had with his character as well as hers. :)

A downright quirky look at small-town life with Billy, the coroner, as a central character. Billy is an odd man who likes to create a world of ambiance with each death he examines, giving the families a good story. The deaths in the town weave in and out, winding Billy into an interesting position.

There is a lot of great description, strange stories, and a strange cast of characters in and out of Hokum. The language was a bit much at times, the author really seems to delight in using unusual wording or twenty-five cent words when a nickel word would do. In the beginning, I felt like he was intentionally messing with readers. The chapters jump around between stories and characters, and if you aren't paying attention, it can get confusing. But all in all, it is different, and that is a good thing. Definitely not mainstream reading.

When a lead character has the self-proclaimed "whiff of desperation" you know the book is going to be okay. :) It was nice to have a female detective as the lead character, and her quirks made her more than just a cliche. She had her flaws, for sure, but she wasn't a constant thorn in everyone's side. I love that she was a little bit lonely and desperate, and that there was a sense of humor surrounding her lack of love life. 

This was a good book with multiple story lines. Not only was the main crime interesting, but the connecting stories were too. I was also thrilled that I wasn't able to guess the entire plot. I thought that everything moved along nicely and kept me wanting to read... even when it was about minor characters. 

The characters were fleshed out and really added more depth to the story, so I found myself wanting to know more about their lives. I think it would be interesting to see additional books surrounding this crew.

It was a fun read, and I basically read it in one sitting. It kept you going.

I would give this 3.5 stars. There were a lot of parts I liked. This is the first Kim Stone book I've read, so I'd be interested to read the previous in the series. I liked the interesting twists and turns and how the author kept readers guessing at who was involved. I really like the fact that it wasn't completely obvious what was going on from the start. And a murder mystery surrounding a forensics body farm? What a setting. :)

The only reason I didn't rate this higher was because even though I understand how difficult it is to have a multi-layered/complex lead character, I thought the descriptions of the detective and her interactions with others was a little much/off-putting... especially since this is the fourth book about her. 

What have you been reading? Got any interesting books to share?

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