Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (trans. Ginny Tapley Takemori)
Dates Read: March 18-24, 2019
Synoposis: Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers’ style of dress and speech patterns so she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life but is aware that she is not living up to society’s expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis — but will it be for the better? (from Goodreads) Continue reading “Book Review: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata”
Lovely War by Julie Berry
Published: March 5, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Dates Read: March 2-4, 2019
Synopsis: It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep–and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.
Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.
Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love. (from Goodreads)
Continue reading “ARC Review: Lovely War by Julie Berry”
Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Series: The Bridgertons #4
Genre: Historical Romance
Dates Read: August 11, 2018 – February 6, 2019
Synopsis: Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for . . . well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret . . . and fears she doesn’t know him at all.
Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone’s preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph.
But when Colin returns to London from a trip aboard, he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same, especially Penelope Featherington, the girl haunting his dreams!
And when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide . . . is she his biggest threat, or his promise of a happy ending?
Continue reading “Book Review: Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn”
1066: The Year of the Conquest by David Howarth
Genre: History, Nonfiction
Dates Read: January 12-31, 2019
Synopsis: Everyone knows 1066 as the date of the Norman invasion and conquest of England. But how many of us can place that event in the context of the entire dramatic year in which it took place? From the death of Edward the Confessor in early January to the Christmas coronation of Duke William of Normandy, there is an almost uncanny symmetry, as well as a relentlessly exciting surge, of events leading to and from Hastings. Continue reading “Book Review: 1066 by David Howarth”
The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace
Date Read: January 17, 2019
Synopsis: The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one. Continue reading “Book Review: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace”
Ten Days with the Highlander by Hayson Manning
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date Read: January 9, 2019
Goodreads Synopsis: Go-getter Georgia Paxton has ten days to acquire a quaint hotel in the Scottish Highlands for her travel accommodation company before she’s off on her next grand adventure. Too bad the sexy, broody Scot who owns the place is dead against the idea…and that she’s in very real danger of losing their little bet to see who can convince whom first.
There’s no way Callum MacGregor is going to let the gorgeous American turn his tiny hometown over to bored tourists looking to satisfy their Outlander fantasies. He only has ten days to convince her to slow down and see the magic of the town and its people. If he succeeds, he won’t have to run her out of the county. But if he fails, Georgia might run off with his heart.
Continue reading “Book Review: Ten Days with the Highlander by Hayson Manning”
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Dates Read: January 3-7, 2019
Synopsis: Half-human, half-vampire Cat Crawfield is seeking revenge for her mother by hunting down and killing every vampire she encounters — until she meets one she can’t beat…eventually forming an alliance with him to track down a ruthless rapist and murderer along with his gang of cronies. Together, she and Bones must work and train together for their mission, but can Cat overcome her prejudice against vampires and make this alliance work? Continue reading “Book Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost”
No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
Dates Read: January 3-5, 2019
Synopsis: A collection of heartfelt — at times striking — poems highlighting family, love, loss, history, and more. Continue reading “Book Review: No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay”
Here’s the fourth installment of my catch-up reviews, and it’s the longest: contemporary romance. This could also be called “A Bunch of Lauren Layne Reviews and Some Others.” Continue reading “Contemporary Romance Reviews: Catching Up”
Here is the second installment of my catch-up reviews, and it’s for nonfiction: Continue reading “Nonfiction Reviews: Catching Up”