The Whole Town’s Talking

I generally like Fannie Flagg. I also liked the other Elmwood Heights books so I thought I’d be perfectly happy reading The Whole Town’s Talking. Turns out, not so much.

I hated the style of the book. I hated that we didn’t get more of the early settlers and their early lives and instead got… what we got. (No, I won’t spoil it for you in case you don’t take my advice and decide to read it.) I absolutely hated the ending (and the only reason I kept reading it was to see what happened to the folks up on the hill. Ugh.)

I also found the conservative messaging to be more than I could stomach — at the end it got to be a lot MUCH.

Don’t waste your time on this one.

Reading in January

This was a pretty good month for reading, particularly since I was sicker than I’ve been in ages, for the first couple of weeks of the month. And, I started a new job. And, I did a lot of stuff that didn’t involve lying around and reading.

10 books total. Not bad, not bad at all. Really not bad when I look at what I read. I read some good stuff!

2 audiobooks
3 non-fiction
1 middlegrade fiction
1 that might or might not have been YA. (I don’t think it was, but I’m noting it just because)

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew

I love Flavia but I’ll admit that the last book, A Chimney Sweep Comes to Dust, was not my favorite. So, I was a tiny bit worried that the series was going downhill… I needn’t have worried.

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d was one of my favorite books of the series. Flavia is growing up… I like that. I did not like the ending, which I predicted during the first chapter of the book. Gah. WHAT NEXT????

Heroine Complex

TW checked out Heroine Complex and when she didn’t immediately put it into the library bag after she read it, I assumed that meant she liked it and I should read it.

So I did.

Totally cute and pretty mindless and I enjoyed it. Demons, man. Asian American women superheroes, FTW! I’d read another one in the series.

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics

Here’s where I talk about missing our beloved Glenview Public Library

We wanted to listen to the new Mr. Lemoncello book on audio because the first one was so much fun. So, I looked at the Alachua County Library to reserve it on CD. They had no CD versions. So, I reserved it for Overdrive. It arrived, fairly promptly but the check out time was HORRENDOUS… a week? 10 days? I don’t know but NOT long enough. No big deal, I thought because I can just renew it, like I could with Overdrive books checked out from the Glenview library.

Hahaha. Not so much.

I had to actually RE-RESERVE it and wait for it to be re-delivered to me. THAT WAS ANNOYING and FRUSTRATING and I MISS THE GLENVIEW LIBRARY SYSTEM. (Though I do also appreciate Alachua County’s library… the auto-renew thing is awesome. I love that.)

Anyway, about Mr Lemoncello’s Library Olympics… totally fun. Obviously. I highly recommend it.

The Patron Saint of Ugly

I really enjoyed The Patron Saint of Ugly, though I have to say that the ethnic slurs drove me insane. I mean, I get it — the story was based in the 70s but it did make me cringe every time (and it happened constantly.) Oy, we were pretty sucky people in the 70s. Unfortunately, a whole lot of us are still sucky people. (Today is, after all, inauguration day… Jesus.)

Anyway, magical realism. Was Garnet (or her Nonna) really healing all of the people? Was it the water? Was it a combination of all three? Yep, I enjoyed it.

Jane Austen: Cover to Cover

On our last trip to the library, they had a big display of Austen (and Austen related) books. I glanced at it but didn’t see anything I hadn’t read or anything I hadn’t read that looked interesting… until I spotted a bright and shiny looks like it has never been checked out book called Jane Austen: Cover to Cover.

I’m no Janeite so I almost didn’t check it out. But I’ve always found it hard to resist a bright and shiny never been checked out looking library book before, so I grabbed it. Gosh, I’m glad I did. It was a lot of fun to read on a lazy Monday holiday.

As expected, my favorite covers were all of the most recent Penguin specialty editions and also as expected, there have been some truly awful Austen covers over the last zillion years. It made me kind of want to collect them, hahaha.

Get this book. It’s fun. Seriously.

domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home

I won my copy of domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home from a holiday giveaway from A Beautiful Mess and I was really excited about that. (I had hoped the book would arrive before Christmas so I could gift it to one of the kids but that didn’t happen so maybe that kid will receive it for another holiday… we’ll see.)

I enjoyed reading it, though the type is WAY too small and WAY too light (read other reviews, it’s not just me who felt that way.) I didn’t love a lot of the rooms that were shown but it was interesting to flip through and pick out bits and pieces that I did love. There’s one page with an orange wall… I need that orange wall… and another with a pink wall that I really loved, which surprised me. (It’s not pink pink, it’s a reddish pink but still… pink, who’d have thunk it?)

If you like domino magazine, you’ll like this book. Definitely.

Necessity

The Thessaly books are so darn interesting and Necessity was pretty much what I expected, though it would have been nice to see more about the human contact there at the end. Sigh.

I also kind of wish I hadn’t read these until they were all available at one time — so complicated and it was always a little difficult to remember who was who after waiting so long for the newer books.

I still think Plato is stupid… lol

The Witches of New York

Sassymonkey is the BEST and I’m so glad Ami McKay is her internet girlfriend because it means I was gifted with a signed copy of the Canadian version of The Witches of New York, for Christmas. (The link goes to the American version that is available for pre-order.) MONTHS earlier than I’d have been able to get the American version. Also, SIGNED. WOOT.

I stayed up way too late finishing it the other night because I had to find out how Beatrice got out of the… place she was in… and once I read that part, there wasn’t much left so I figured I should keep reading. And I did and it was awesome.

I loved all of our witches and the supporting cast. Loved Perdu. Loved the spirits (and demons) and dearlies.

I know it’s a silly, tiny little thing that meant very little to the story but I loved the addition of Georgie, towards the end. Nice touch.

I also wouldn’t mind a sequel to this one (even though Ami hasn’t really done sequels.) I mean seriously, NYC — suffragists, mediums, witches, demons — and three very strong, independent female characters. It would be awesome.

Thanks, Sassymonkey (and Ami!)