A magnificent romantic/historical/adventure novel set in India at the time of mutiny. The Far Pavilions is a story of 19th Century India, when the thin patina of English rule held down dangerously turbulent undercurrents. It is a story about and English man – Ashton Pelham-Martyn – brought up as a Hindu and his passionate, but dangerous love for an Indian princess. It’s a story of divided loyalties, of tender camaraderie, of greedy imperialism and of the clash between east and west. To the burning plains and snow-capped mountains of this great, humming continent, M.M. Kaye brings her quite exceptional gift of immediacy and meticulous historical accuracy, plus her insight into the human heart.
This book took me a solid week to read! Long winded, lots going on, a bit sexist here and there but those were the times, and I felt as though I would never finish reading this book. I learned there’s a part two. I’m not sure I’m going to read that, lol.
This book was a struggle for me right from the start. While I was liking the adventure and the characters, it felt as though it went on and on and on. A 1000 pages of epic adventure, romance, and historical fiction at its best. While people adored Gone With The Wind this was the epic I wanted! The writing was lush, beautiful, and detailed.
I know a lot of newer book reviewers might not be enthusiastic about reading this 1000+ page time, but I’m insisting that it’s worth it! The ending is bittersweet, and the characters and setting will sweep you away. From India to England there’s something new to devour from each page.
The story starts with a premature baby being born in winter and the mother dying due to her not used to the fiercely cold winds. The story expands. It touches to n war. Cholera takes the baby-main character-father and uncle’s lives. More are lost. Travels are had.
This book does have it’s horribly sexist moments. While it’s a relic of the time it’s set in, there are certain things that are hugely sexist in the book. There’s dry spells here and there when it feels like nothing happened. And the ending was a slow burn that felt bittersweet; exactly as those on Google and Goodreads both have stated.
I feel as though this, while a hefty tome, is well worth the effort in reading. Especially if you’re a fan of Gone With The Wind and Outlander. This is equally as huge and well written as the pair.
Last week I managed four books. I had a bit of a reading slump but also I just haven’t felt like reading. My Goodreads goal says that I’m five books behind schedule. Yikes! 😳
I hope to get some reading done today, and then there’s lots of time this weekend too. I should easily get caught up to schedule. Anyways, here’s what I have managed to read.
What have I finished reading?:
Z for Zachariah is a beloved reread, and I also learned it was a movie from Sundance. The movie did an admirable job but I still like the book better. 5/5 ⭐❤️
The Marsh Queen was a Netgalley arc, RTC to come but I wound up dnf’ing it. Beautiful writing but I was still so bored by the 50% and just decided to call it quits. 2/5 ⭐
The Ocean Was Our Sky was in relation to Moby Dick. I wanted to like it but I just had no connection to this at all. Moby Dick is a great classic and this tried but failed to capture me. I dnf’d. Beautiful artwork though! 2.5/5 ⭐
And finally. The graphic novel The Best We Could Do. I wanted to love this so much. But it started with a detailed woman giving birth and a c section was involved and it just was not what I was expecting at all. I generally don’t mind pregnancies that get complicated but I SO wasn’t in the mood for such. Gorgeous, stunning artwork. But I’m setting this aside for later. So technically not a dnf, just… not reading this now.
What am I currently reading?:
Ugh, technically nothing. I haven’t picked up a book in about four days now. But here’s where I am in my current reads. I’ll be so glad when I finally finish Jade City!
Then I’m also in the middle of this beast of a book:
I’m about one hundred pages. There’s a lot to process here. It’s good writing and I’m enjoying it so far. But I’m pausing on this so that I can focus on something that’s not so hefty and I can think about this book for a while. (I still just LOVE that cover!)
Now these are what I am thinking about-for no particular reason-reading tonight:
I’m leaning most towards the Circus Rose because it’s a novel in verse. That should go by fast. And I also really really really want to read The City of Brass. I’ve put it off so long. I also want to read Red Rising to get caught up on the series but that’s a maybe. The rest are also maybes.
What am I thinking of reading next?:
Well I’ve still got Jade City and Glory Season, obviously. But there’s also these that I’m eyeing that I’ve put off for a couple years:
I’m serious about tackling my backlog. If only these stupid reading slumps would leave me alone lol. I’m hoping these will help against my reading slump. I’ve requested them from the library, now I’m just waiting for them to show up. But those are my current reading plans. Hopefully by next week I’ll be ahead on my Goodreads goal!
I’ve had a lot of tbrs over the years and many books that I had every intention of reading but failing to do so. I’m hoping that next month-where I already have 40+ books on my tbr-I can get some of these out of the way. Let me know your thoughts on if you’ve read any of these!
Notes: there’s at least two different covers for this book and both are equally gorgeous!
This is at once an epic love story and a heart-pounding journey across WWI-era Russia, about an ambitious young doctor and her scientist brother in a race against Einstein to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.
In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar’s army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned fleeing to America, Miri and Vanya have been raised by their babushka, a famous matchmaker who has taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, to kill if necessary, and always to have an escape plan. Can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much?
Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri’s fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. As the eclipse that will change history darkens skies across Russia, not only the safety of Miri’s own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance.
Thoughts: I’ve been drawn to this book for years. I love historical fiction and a good romance. I’m hoping to squeeze this in next month!
Notes: I have read book one but it’s been a few years! I need a reread!
The fantasy novel you’ve always wished Jane Austen had written
Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.
Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane’s skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.
My Thoughts: Who doesn’t love a good Jane Austen retelling? I loved this first book and I really want to do more “Series Review” on my book blog. This is one series I hope to get to this year.
Notes: I adore historical fiction. Especially the ones that really capture the past and sweep me away to another place and time.
When Zenobia takes control of her own fate, will the gods punish her audacity?
Zenobia, the proud daughter of a Syrian sheikh, refuses to marry against her will. She won’t submit to a lifetime of subservience. When her father dies, she sets out on her own, pursuing the power she believes to be her birthright, dreaming of the Roman Empire’s downfall and her ascendance to the throne.
Defying her family, Zenobia arranges her own marriage to the most influential man in the city of Palmyra. But their union is anything but peaceful—his other wife begrudges the marriage and the birth of Zenobia’s son, and Zenobia finds herself ever more drawn to her guardsman, Zabdas. As war breaks out, she’s faced with terrible choices.
From the decadent halls of Rome to the golden sands of Egypt, Zenobia fights for power, for love, and for her son. But will her hubris draw the wrath of the gods? Will she learn a “woman’s place,” or can she finally stake her claim as Empress of the East?
My Thoughts: This sounds so good! I can’t wait to read this!
Notes: I must be the last person that hasn’t read this yet…right?
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
The Bear and the Nightingale is a magical debut novel from a gifted and gorgeous voice. It spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent.
My Thoughts: This sounds so beautiful and cool. I’ve heard mostly positive things about this!
And finally… the last of these five books that I hope to read next month…
Notes: I have had this on my tbr since 2016. That is just sad.
A Seattle Times Best Book of the Year
In her most ambitious, moving, and provocative novel to date, Sarah Bird makes a stunning departure. Above the East China Sea tells the entwined stories of two teenaged girls, an American and an Okinawan, whose lives are connected across seventy years by the shared experience of profound loss, the enduring strength of an ancient culture, and the redeeming power of family love.
Luz James, a contemporary U.S. Air Force brat, lives with her strictly-by-the-rules sergeant mother at Kadena Air Base in Okianawa. Luz’s older sister, her best friend and emotional center, has just been killed in the Afghan war. Unmoored by her sister’s death and a lifetime of constant moving from base to base, Luz turns for the comfort her service-hardened mother cannot offer to the “Smokinawans,” the “waste cases,” who gather to get high every night in a deserted cove. When even pills, one-hitters, Cuervo Gold, and a growing crush on Jake Furusato aren’t enough to soften the unbearable edge, the desolate girl contemplates taking her own life.
In 1945, Tamiko Kokuba, along with two hundred of her classmates, is plucked out of her elite girls’ high school and trained to work in the Imperial Army’s horrific cave hospitals. With defeat certain, Tamiko finds herself squeezed between the occupying Japanese and the invading Americans. She believes she has lost her entire family, as well as the island paradise she so loved, and, like Luz, she aches with a desire to be reunited with her beloved sister.
On an island where the spirits of the dead are part of life and your entire clan waits for you in the afterworld, suicide offers Tamiko the promise of peace. As Luz tracks down the story of her own Okinawan grandmother, she discovers that, if she surrenders to the most unbrat impulse and allows herself to connect completely with a place and its people, the ancestral spirits will save not only Tamiko but her as well.
Propelled by a riveting narrative and set at the very epicenter of the headline-grabbing clash now emerging between the great powers, Above the East China Sea is at once a remarkable chronicle of how war shapes the lives of conquerors as well as the conquered and a deeply moving account of family, friendship, and love that transcends time.
My Thoughts: I have mixed feelings in reading this book. On the one hand I feel I might love it. On the other I honestly put this off because of the hype that surrounds this book. I still want to read it I’m just tentative in doing so but hopefully next month I might finally get to it.
Those are some of my oldest books on my tbr. I hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to my next post which should be a WWW Wednesday post here in a couple days. I may have something else in between. We shall see.
Welcome to the new year of 2022! May it be more forgiving than 21, especially in terms of reading slumps! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and had fun with your family. Now no more traveling please. Stay home, stay safe!
This year I plan on seriously tackling series. I want to read a lot of things this year and actually lower my tbr. I’ve got several Reading Challenges I’m interested in but not firmly joining. The only one I’m firm on is the #BeattheBacklist challenge. Here are some of the books I’m interested in for January!
I know this seems a lot, but I generally average out about 20-35 books a month with a few dnf’s here and there. I’m sure that I can easily get through most of these despite their size so long as the dreaded reading slump goes away. What are you all reading for January? Let me know in the comments!
As I’m writing this, the year is wrapping rapidly to a close and I’m still reading quite a bit. I plan to get a lot more serious in reading and reviewing next year as this past year I had a bit of a hiatus. Now it’s time to focus on my blog once again, and that means making priorities of book series to complete/finish for the next year. Here’s more authors and series I’m determined to get to!
Obviously I have quite a bit of books. 55 exactly on this list. I don’t have all of them listed that are on my wishlist that would take up far, far too much space. I’m not going to type up the list but if you want titles feel free to ask and I shall send you the titles in the comments. What’s on your tbr for next year? Anything good?
I’m sure we’re all guilty of having books on our shelves languishing on our shelves, sitting and waiting with accusing eyes. I’ve easily got several dozen that I am guilty of not reading yet. Here’s a bit of a list of all that I’m hoping to get to soon! So settle in, bring up Goodreads, and be prepared to add books to your TBR!
Many of these I’m embarrassed that I still haven’t read them! I’m always looking at other books or arcs that are priorities and many of these I just don’t have and need my library to access them. Which ones should I focus on? Also? Final count for all of this is 125 books. Ouch. There’s more but these are top of my tbr pile for now. I’m hoping to get to them soon.
I’m going to be doing Saturday and Wednesday updates on my reading, as a means to keep track and to kick myself into reading more. Friday, I reached my goal of reading 200/200 books on my Goodreads challenge! But there’s still series, and other things that I need to read along with Netgalley November coming up where I focus primarily on arcs. At the moment I have read exactly one book but it was four stars.
Books I’m Reading
I hope to at least get three of these five read before Wednesday but that depends on how much busy I’m going to be with real life. Anyway these are my weekend plans. Hope everyone has a good weekend!
Another week has passed by rapidly and so it’s time for another WWW. I won’t have much to update but here we are attempting to keep track and posting more anyway.
What Have I Read?
I have read five books since the last batch, three of them were dnf’s and one was a dnf and a 1 ⭐ read being the Philippa Gregory book. It was just definitely not for me. But at least I had two glorious 5 star reads! Cry Wolf may also, but I’m hoping not, be the last of a delightful series so that would maybe be another series finished. Yay!
What Am I Currently Reading?
I have a bunch of novellas that I’m hoping to get through. Two aren’t novellas, and I started one, The Bachelor by Sabrina Jeffries as I enjoyed the first book so much I wanted to continue the series. I’ve read Elizabeth Bear before, but the other authors are all new to me apart from Aliette de Bodard who I also love.
What Will I Read Next?
These are ones that I *might* get to in the next week. Several, I have to wait for my library to get a hold of first as I don’t own them. I’m in a reading mood for a lot of different things that I just don’t have, lol. Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to this past week. Let me know how your reading is going!
To another episode of “What Can Go Wrong”?. I’m pleasantly surprised at how this one turned out, after quickly dnf’ing “City of Ladies” as turns out, I can’t stand that book. I’m all for feminism and classics but that book not only full of run on sentences, tiny print, but also very repetitive. No thanks, I will pick something else. On to the selection!
Hmm. 23. What can it be, because there’s no classics in the middle, I don’t think 🤔.
Finally. Something that I am thrilled with picking! I adore Jennifer Blake, and many other popular historical romance authors, and I’m pleased at getting more of her books read.
Quick Edit: I will be reading book one of this series, as Southern Rapture is actually book six. Book One is Fierce Eden.
I’m planning on reviewing this one most definitely. I adore historical romance, and Jennifer Blake hasn’t disappointed me yet! Let me know if you’ve read her works.
August was a busy, hot month. The weather never cooled down but the reading picked up. I’ve read a lot in August, not as much as usual but certainly almost a book a day. Here’s my wrap up. I’m not going to list every book, as I couldn’t find photos for all of them but these are what I read:
A few classics, some romances, a ya or two and some historicals. My favorites of last month were Darkthaw by Kate A. Boorman, Eragon by Christopher Paolini (reread) and Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConagy. I also was delightfully surprised at Mrs. March by Virginia Feito, and I also liked but didn’t love A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-I guess I’m spoiled by BBC’s Sherlock lol.
Anyway, that’s my wrap up, and I’m looking forward to next months books. Anyone read any of these? Let me know in the comments!