It's hard to believe that 2020 is almost over. It's been a tough year for many of us. I hope you and yours are healthy and happy.
Here's wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic 2021!
First, an urgent warning:
If you haven't watched The Queen's Gambit yet, don't do it! Read the book by Walter Tevis first. Okay, you can relax now.
After re-watching The Crown, Seasons 1 through 3, and then the new Season 4, I decided to pull out my old History of England textbooks and read them. But before I could get started, I spotted my enormous 1200-page copy of The New History of the World by JM Roberts. Published in 2003 (not the first edition, mind you) this hardcover tome is nearly falling apart. I'd gotten three chapters in, my little post-its all through it and highlighted passages, before giving up for some reason. Granted, it's quite a commitment. But I've read Gone With the Wind and A Suitable Boy and they're huge, too. But history isn't quite as easy to get into as a novel.
Anyway, I'm doing it. I'm going to start from the beginning and read The New History of the World. But when I went to look it up on Goodreads to add it to my list, I found that there is a newer edition. Oh, no! Do I invest in the latest edition? Am I that spoiled? Probably. But they want $45 for a paperback! I think I'll stick with the one I have.
So, what are you reading?
Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
It was bound to happen. A follow up to Ready Player One (A book that was far superior to its film adaptation) has arrived. "Wade’s life and the future of the OASIS are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance." The first book was a fun read, so this one is probably a good bet.
The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell'Antonia
"Chicken Mimi's and Chicken Frannie's have spent a century vying to serve up the best fried chicken in the state--and the legendary feud between their respective owners...has lasted just as long. No one feels the impact more than...Amanda...who grew up working for her mom at Mimi's before scandalously marrying Frank...and changing sides to work at Frannie's. Tired of being caught in the middle, Amanda sends an SOS to Food Wars, the reality TV restaurant competition that promises $100,000 to the winner. But in doing so, she launches both families out of the frying pan and directly into the fire." Sounds like a lot of tasty fun!
The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
"Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised...and curious. Their parents are all clear on one point--not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother's good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it's immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious--and dark--their family's past is." Sounds creepy cool.
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens
"Minnie Cooper knows two things with certainty: that her New Year's birthday is unlucky, and that it's all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she's never met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year's Day, but Quinn was given the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990--and the name Minnie was meant to have, as well. With luck like that, it's no wonder each of her birthdays has been more of a disaster than the one before. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each fraught encounter leaves them both wanting more?" A sweet romance!
Coming in 2021
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
"If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison. Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control. Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father." Good be a good read.
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
"As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter--the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger--and their true enemy--closer..." Some wonderful historical fiction.
You Have a Match by Emma Lord
"When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it's hard to believe they're from the same planet, never mind the same parents ― especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.
The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby's parents gave Savvy up for adoption." A YA that sounds just a tad silly, but a lot of fun.
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
"...as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of [his first wife] Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?" So, it's a modern take on Jane Eyre.
(All book descriptions are quoted from Amazon.)
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Two authors and I still couldn't finish it. The Netflix limited series was okay.
My Goodreads rating: DNF
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
This started well and the premise was promising, but it fell flat for me.
My Goodreads rating: none
A Grand Ole Time by Judy Leigh
Sweet, charming, but went on a bit too long.
My Goodreads rating: 3 stars
The Garden of the Gods by Gerald Durrell
A sweet end to the Corfu Trilogy. If you haven't seen the limited series, yet, do it!
My Goodreads rating: 4 stars
Okay, time for the shameless plug. Scroll on by for more on words...