Category Archives: Monthly Reading

My February Reads

For some reason, February was a slow reading month for me.  In January I was flying through books, this month I felt like I was slogging through molasses.  I enjoyed my reading, but didn’t do it swiftly!  I want to add more NF to my reading this year, but apparently, February was not the month for it.

I started the month with “Blue on Black” by Michael Connelly, and I got it as an audiobook so I could listen while I baked and cleaned.

Blue on Black

2. “Gone Missing” by Linda Castillo.  I hadn’t previously read any books by Linda, nor had I really read any Amish fiction books, although I know they are quite popular.  I was looking for a readily available audiobook for my house cleaning time, and only book #4 was available.  I took a chance that I could jump into the middle of the series and not miss too much. There were references that I might understand better if I were reading the books in order, but nothing that impacted the plot line so much that I couldn’t enjoy the story.  I reviewed it here.Gone Missing

3. “Sweep in Peace” by Ilona Andrews – this is the second book in the Innkeeper series, definitely a paranormal/fantasy series, a type which is definitely a fun read for me.  I will definitely be reading the third book in this series, “One Fell Sweep”.Sweet in Peace

4. “Ricochet Joe” by Dean Koontz – Dean is one of my favorite authors, and while some of his books are definitely in the horror genre, and make me rethink sleeping entirely, I still seek out every new book he writes.  “Ricochet Joe” reminds me a bit of the Odd Thomas series, also by DK, and I would love to see more books or a longer story about “Ricochet Joe”.  Ricochet Joe

5. “Artemis” by Andy Weir – to be honest, I was almost reluctant to read “Artemis”, as I so enjoyed “The Martian”, and didn’t want to be disappointed if this didn’t live up to the gripping drama, humor, and suspense of “The Martian”.  I reviewed the book here.


6. “Renegades” by Marissa Meyer – this is the first book in a new series, detailing a dystopian style novel of individuals who are born with powers and abilities that are superhuman.  Superhuman strength, crazy abilities like flying, strange abilities like being able to put someone to sleep instantly, anything that makes them more than human.  Some of them use these abilities for good, while others make different choices. Of course, this leads to conflicts, detailed in this new series.Renegades

7. “Menagerie” by Rachel Vincent – Also the first in a new series, I wrote a review about this book, which you can find here.  I love this series!


8. “Her Last Breath” by Linda Castillo – this is the book following “Gone Missing”, so #5 in the Kate Burkholder series.  I WILL get to the first book in the series, I am actually on the wait list for it.  This may be the first time I have ever knowingly started a series, mid-series.  Her Last Breath

9. “Stillhouse Lake” by Rachel Caine – Y’all – this book!!!  One of my wonderful friends, also a reader, read this and recommended it.  I have also seen this all over the place in the bookish world and finally decided to read it.  I could not stop!!!  I stayed up until 11pm finishing this book, the same day I started it, even though I had the normal daily interruptions – school car line, feeding of animals, feeding the family, cleaning up, etc., etc., I HAD to finish this book.  Definitely worth your time!

Stillhouse Lake

10. “Killman Creek” by Rachel Caine – and yes, this is the second book in the “Stillhouse Lake” series – I downloaded this on Kindle about 10 minutes after I finished “Stillhouse Lake”.  At 11:15pm.  Knowing full well I had to get up before 6am, and lying to myself about not staying up too late.  With everyone in bed and the animals asleep, I had no interruptions (except for getting snacks), and read straight through until the end, and made it to bed by 3:30am.  Yes, I think it’s that good!  Suspenseful, dramatic, family stuff, kid stuff, emotions, it’s all there.  I’m stalking for an ARC of the third book, “Wolfhunter River” because I know that just when it seems like everything is fine, and all the loose ends are tied up – they aren’t!!!  The third book is expected out in December of this year, so stay tuned!

Killman Creek

11. “All We Can Do Is Wait” by Richard Lawson – this is a Young Adult book that tells the story of a bridge collapse in Boston that brings a group of teens together in a hospital ER.  I reviewed the book here.

All We Can Do Is Wait

12. “Spectacle” by Rachel Vincent – this is the second book in the Menagerie series, and I wrote a book review here.


13. “The Cuban Affair” by Nelson DeMille – this is the first book I’ve ever read by Mr. DeMille, and I really enjoyed it.  While looking up his other works I found that he also wrote (among many others) “The General’s Daughter”, which was made into a movie starring John Travolta.  I will definitely be reading more of Nelson DeMille’s work!

The Cuban Affair

I had hoped to get through more books this month, but March is tomorrow, and I have great hopes for this coming month.  There are so many wonderful books out there just waiting to be read!  What were your favorite reads of February?  What are you most looking forward to reading in March?



Filed under fiction books, links, Monthly Reading, reading

My January Reading

I’ve had a good batch of reading so far this year (I know the year is young….).  While I don’t typically do Reading Challenges because I’m stubborn, and don’t like being told what to do, I did decide to broaden my reading horizons by reading more non-fiction, and authors I haven’t read before.  I sometimes get overwhelmed seeing all the books in the world that I want to read (and all the ones yet to be released) while knowing that I most likely will not live to be 250 years old.  If SciFi is real, and paranormal beings do exist, I would be willing to become a vampire just to have unlimited reading time.  I’m already as translucent and sun-repellant as it gets, can’t get a tan if I try, so having more time to read seems only beneficial.

As a side note, my reading goal for the year is the same as last year,  because I barely made my goal last year.  My lovely daughter, going through a particularly wounding teenage moment, informed me that she was “disappointed in me” for ONLY reading 133 books last year, as she “expected more”, and hopes that I do better this year.  She also suggested I update my reading goal to a book a day to reflect an actual challenge that would make me push myself. *sigh*  Who is this child?  Does she know other people who read 7 books a week on the regular?  I can’t even tell her that I read 21 books in January.  Most people would say, “Wow, that’s cool!”, or something else, like my husband, who says, “You aren’t normal!”, but if I told HER, she would probably say, “Really, Mom?  21?  You had 31 days.  What did you do with your time?”  I can’t deal with hot flashes AND that kind of negativity in my life, so I’m not going to tell her that I’m happy to have read 21 books and that GoodReads tells me I’m ahead of schedule on my meager goal for the year.  My emotional wounds aside, here are my January books:

  1. The Black Book by James Patterson
  2. Wave by Sonali Derangiyagala (review on blog)
  3. Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  5. Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner
  6. Very Good Lives by J. K. Rowling
  7. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
  8. The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz
  9. Year One by Nora Roberts
  10. The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian (review on blog)
  11. Matagorda by Louis L’amour
  12. Lando by Louis L’amour
  13. Silver Canyon by Louis L’amour
  14. The Sackett Brand by Louis L’amour
  15. Utah Blaine by Louis L’amour
  16. The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz
  17. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  18. Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardener
  19. 113 Minutes by James Patterson
  20. The Crooked Staircase (ARC) by Dean Koontz
  21. Helium by Rudy Francisco

Three of my twenty-one books were non-fiction, which in terms of percentages, isn’t much, 14%, but a bigger percentage than I typically read in NF vs Fiction I think.  #4 was a re-read, but it has been about six years, so there were details I didn’t remember, and I loved it as much as the first time I read it.  The books by Lisa Gardner are second and third of a series I started in late 2017, and #8 is a book I got for Christmas, first in a new series by Dean Koontz, and boy was it good!  I got the second one from the library and was fortunate enough to get the third one as an ARC, as it doesn’t release until May.

My mom called one evening, and as my family is full of readers and book lovers, we talked books, then specifically Louis L’amour books.  She had some duplicates in her collection and wanted to know if I was missing any she could send to me.  The more we talked and reminisced about his stories, the more I felt the urge to reread a few of them, which started me on a short burst of westerns.

Somehow in all my reading through high school and college, I never read Fahrenheit 451, so I got that done, and finished the month with my third non-fiction of the year, a poetry book called “Helium”.  Y’all.  Have you read this?  If not, you should.  I LOVE IT.  I saw a FaceBook clip of Rudy Francisco doing a live reading of one of his poems, and it moved me.  His words are like a paintbrush of emotions.  Incredible.  I knew his book was coming out, and I could hardly wait.  I stalked my library, I stalked my library’s book buyer, then stalked the “processing” section of the library books, and I may be the first person in town to have checked out this book.  I think I’ve read it through three times, and read some poems five or six times each.  I’ve sent them to friends, I’ve posted them, I’ve tagged Rudy on his FB page, all but offered to have his kids (because that’s weird, and I’m married).  He’s amazing, you should watch him, listen to him, read him.  You can find his FaceBook page at RudyFranciscopoetry.  He’s touring, you can follow his events or watch clips of him reading.  You should check it out.

All in all, I’m pleased with my January reading, and am looking forward to all the wonderful books coming my way in February!!!  I’d love to see/hear about what you’re reading, and what your favorite January books were.


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Books Read In January


This is a poem from the book, “Helium” by Rudy Francisco.


Good Morning

“Good Morning” by Rudy Francisco


Here is a link to Rudy Francisco speaking about “Complainers” – just fair warning – this brought me to tears.  Maybe it’s just me and those darn hot flashes…

Rudy Francisco – Complainers

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Filed under fiction books, links, Monthly Reading, reading