Friday, September 17, 2021

Friday Fives - Five Mini Reviews for Books I've Read Lately

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  Here are 5 short reviews for books I've read lately.

1. I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel - I have finally read a book by Anne Bogel!  And her short memoir on reading was the perfect one to start with.  I haven't had the best luck with books about books.  I always want to love them but I very rarely connect with them but this one I absolutely did!  This is a quick little book that talks about all the joys and magic of being a reader.  I think because she doesn't specifically talk about WHAT she's reading but more about HOW books make her feel so I think that helped.  If you haven't really connected with a book about books this might be the one for you!  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

2.  Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson -
I have been a Jenny Lawson fan since long before her first book so of course I had to pick up this newest book.  This one is a bit different as Lawson feels in a very different place in both her physical and mental health.  The stories are much more introspective and poignant and even her usual off the wall stories have a bit more of an edge to it.  I didn't find this one to be as laugh out loud funny as the previous books but I do feel like I know Lawson a bit better.  I have listened to all three of her books in audio and highly recommend going that route if you can.  My Rating:  Liked It!

3.  The Alice Network by Kate Quinn -
This book has been on my TBR since it was first released several years ago and it absolutely did not disappoint.  There are two timelines here - the first in post- World War II England and France as Charlie Sinclair is brought to Europe by her mother to deal with her unwed pregnancy.  We quickly meet Eve and are transported to 1915 France in the height of World War I.  Both timelines kept me fully invested though Eve's was at times almost too painful to listen to as we know kind of how it ends.  I loved seeing the evolution of the characters in the 1947 timeline as people desperately looking to find their way find each other and take the first steps while still wrestling with their demons.  I listened to the audio and really enjoyed it and am definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

4.  Deadly Harvest by Heather Graham -
This is the 2nd book in the Flynn Brothers trilogy.  I listened to the first one several years ago and enjoyed it so when I saw this one on sale on Audible I snatched it and let it sit for a couple of years.  This is a fun read and very much what one expects from Graham's books.  It's set in Salem, Massachusetts during the Halloween season and there's some supernatural elements, a bit of romance, and a pretty good suspenseful plot.  Rowena and Jeremy are likable if a bit flat and I enjoyed the combination of Salem local and Salem newbie.  Graham uses the scarecrow element in a later book but I found it better done and extremely creepy in this situation.  I enjoyed this listen and it was just what I expect from a Heather Graham book.  My Rating: Liked It!

5. Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah -
This is Mah's memoir of the year she spent in Paris on her own when her husband was transferred unexpectedly to the embassy in Baghdad right after they had left everything to move to France for his job.  She uses the food of different regions as a framework as she learns how to find her own version of France alone.  I really enjoyed this book.  Mah is educated, childless, and relatively affluent so she has a lot of free time which is equal parts a blessing and a curse at times.  She mixes in all kinds of food descriptions with the history of different regions, stories of the people she meets while learning about the food, missing her husband, and learning how to make friends as a shy but relatively social person in a foreign country.  This is a calm and interesting book that made me want to go into the kitchen and start cooking.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

What have you read lately?


  1. I am so glad to see you've enjoyed The Alice Network just as much! I loved it! Now you must read The Rose Code too.

    Deadly Harvest has a creepy cover, glad to hear it's not all that creepy. Will take a look.

    Have a good weekend, Katherine!

    Elza Reads

  2. I want to read I'd Rather Be Reading. Not sure about the others.

  3. What a great mix of books - so glad they were all good reads.

  4. So glad you enjoyed Anne Bogel's book! I thought it was great and have recommended it to readers over and over. And I loved The Alice Network too. Some good reading!

  5. Great mix of books, you are sure burning through them! I must start to reread or pick out bits to read of Anne Bogels book. She is bringing out a reading journal soon but I intend to resist that.

  6. I was sent an ARC of the Jenny Lawson book and I misplaced it, or it accidentally was put in my community center donations bag, so I'll have to look to see if Hoopla, or my library has it through Overdrive. Thank for your thoughts on it. 📚