45 books in 2014!
Shocking admission: I’ve never tracked my books before, so when 2014 began, I was encouraged by others setting ambitious reading goals and decided that the least I could do was write down the titles, authors and impressions of each book tackled.
Some were superb, others I did not finish (life’s too short to read truly unappealing books). Several were enjoyable although not particularly distinctive. Most were historical fiction; a few were non-fiction. I read several in my capacity as book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society and others for book club discussions.
Since I don’t like the five star rating system used by sites like Goodreads, I’ve taken a different approach. GR = good read, several caveats; ER = excellent, few caveats; OR = outstanding; DNF = did not finish; NMT = not my type; LR = light, enjoyable read.
Here’s the first six months. I’ll post the second list on Thursday. For those I’ve reviewed, a link is included.
|Jan||The Aviator’s Wife||Melanie Benjamin||ER||Book club; great story about Anne Morrow Lindberg|
|The Book Thief||Markus Zusak||DNF||Death as the narrator left me cold|
|The Secret Rooms||Catherine Bailey||ER||HNS review; non-fiction page-turner set in early 20th century England|
|The Book of Salt||Monique Truong||GR||Book club; Gertrude Stein’s Vietnamese cook|
|Reading Like a Writer||Francine Prose||GR||Non-fiction; some excellent chapters, others I skimmed|
|Feb||The Golden Dice||Elisabeth Storrs||ER||Part of a series on ancient Rome|
|The Proposal||Margaret Evans Porter||LR||19th century romance with twists and turns|
|Becoming Josephine||Heather Webb||GR||Stronger after Josephine meets Napoleon|
|Mar||The Mountain of Light||Indu Sundarasan||ER||Fascinating look at India|
|Churchill’s First War||Con Coughlin||GR||HNS review; non-fiction about Churchill’s time in
|To Serve a King||Donna Russo Morin||LR||The story of Genevieve, a spy for Henry VIII|
|Go Away Home||Carol Bodensteiner||LR||Coming of age in early 20th century Iowa|
|Lionheart||Sharon Kay Penman||ER||Superb account of Richard I|
|A Discovery of Strangers||Rudy Wiebe||ER||Book club; based on Franklin’s failed arctic voyage|
|Apr||The Expected One||Kathleen McGowan||NMT||Rated ** on Goodreads|
|Empress of the Night||Eva Stachniak||DNF||About Catherine the Great|
|May||Girl Reading||Katie Ward||NMT||Book club; more like a set of short stories|
|The Storms of War||Katie Williams||GR||HNS article on WWI novels; multiple threads make it read like a TV series|
|Starshine||John Wilcox||GR||HNS article on WWI novels; story meanders too much|
|The Care and Management of Lies||Jacqueline Winspear||ER||HNS article on WWI novels; wonderful read|
|Jun||The Russian Tapestry||Banafsheh Serov||GR||HNS article on WWI novels; on the Russian front|
|A Star for Mrs. Blake||April Smith||GR||HNS article on WWI novels; American gold star mothers|
|City of Jasmine||Deanna Raybourn||LR||delightful mystery set in post-WWI Damascus|
Quite the range – and so many to recommend.
M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available in paperback from Amazon and in e-book formats from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.