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February Reading and More!

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Guys, I love to read. I have ever since I started reading. But with work and kids and a house to maintain, there’s no doubt that finding time to read has been tricky for at least a decade. Tricky or not, I squeeze in time here and there. So far, 2018 has been a good year for reading. I signed up for a reading challenge on Goodreads and it’s so fun to keep track of what I’m reading for the year.

I just got back from a trip to Virginia and as soon as I realized I’d be flying somewhere by myself, I got all excited about having time to read. I managed to finish Next Year in Havana, Still Me, and start The Selection. IMG_0858I enjoyed all three books so much.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton drew me in with its dual storyline and intriguing look at Cuba. I loved getting what felt like an insider’s look at Cuba, past and present. (Also, it really made me appreciate the freedom we have in America.) Family secrets, danger, romance–there was a lot to enjoy in this story. For some reason, dual storylines always take me longer to read. Maybe because you’re trying to keep track of two stories and how they intersect. Regardless, it was a great read.

And I loved Still Me. To be honest, Me After You was not my favorite. I wanted to know what happened with Louisa Clark, but it just didn’t capture my heart the way Me Before You did. Louisa is such a delightful character that I wanted to know where her story ended up, after the sadness she, of course, went through in Me After You. Still Me (like Me After You) went in all kinds of directions I had not expected. (There were moments when I paused and thought, Where are we and how did we get here again?) But the story took hold of me and I was again rooting for Louisa. I like when stories keep me guessing (but I can get crazy and have to flip ahead when I can’t wait anymore!). This book kept me guessing and ended so well. I recommend it for fans of Me Before You.

And finally, I just finished The Selection by Kiera Cass. I really do love YA fantasy, but it’s been a while since I read a book from that genre. With book club choices and others on my TBR list–and so many popular YA fantasy stories that I can’t keep track of what I’m missing out on–I’ve been on a little break. But this cover stood out to me forever ago, and I’ve had it on my to-be-read list ever since. It was such a fast, easy read, I should have read it ages ago. (Plus side, I think the series may be finished so I can read them straight through.) I found the heroine to be likeable and relatable. And all the covers in the series are gorgeous! If you like YA fantasy and you’ve never tried this one, I recommend it.

February felt like Jane Austen month over here. Since the start of the year I’ve read Jane of Austin, The Austen Escape and Jane by the Sea. I either need my own vacation to Bath or a (very) temporary break from all-things-Austen. However, I did love all three books! Jane is the queen.

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I’m about to dive into a few freelance projects so my reading time may get squeezed even more over the next several weeks. And I have some exciting book news coming up soon in my next newsletter. If you haven’t signed up for that, hop over to https://brandybruce.blogspot.com and plug in your email to sign up. I can’t wait to share that with you!

What have you read so far this year that you’ve loved? Any recommendations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen by Lindsay Ashford

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the-mysterious-death-of-miss-jane-austen-by-lindsay-ashford-2013-x-200So I flew to Texas recently and took this book with me. Flying alone (rare for me), I settled in with this book as soon as the plane took off. I was engrossed! I made it more than half way through the book during the two-hour flight. I waited to finish until the return flight. I have to say that I was caught up in the mystery of this book right away and thoroughly enjoyed it and now want to research every aspect of Jane Austen’s death.

Good writing, compelling storytelling, intriguing characters, and a topic that I find fascinating to begin with (Jane)–I loved this book. It felt so true! You have to wonder if this could have happened. However, the ending leaves you just a little unsatisfied. But it has to be that way, I suppose, because of the theories posed in the book. I don’t want to give spoilers for any Jane-ites out there who might read the book. It’s worth reading and I am so glad I did. You know me, I believe in closure and I like books that give us that (unless they leave room for sequels). But, in some ways, you do get a sense of closure in the book. The mystery and excellent writing make this such a fun, entertaining read.

From what I’ve heard, this book was so realistically written that it sparked some controversy on Jane Austen’s death (not that there isn’t any out there to begin with; there are only guesses and theories on the illness that killed her). If you’re a fan of Jane, definitely read this book and see what you think!