Happy Bookish Tuesday everybody! Not only is it another Show Us Your Books day with Steph and Jana, but it’s also book club day for me at the office, and we’re talking about one of the books that I read this month. Overall, December wasn’t the best reading month for me as far as number of books goes with the holidays and all of the parties and social events that go along with them, which means that I’m really far behind in the SCWBC16. Hopefully January will be better, but here’s all of the books that I read in December.
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney ★★★ 3 stars
I’ve heard people ranting and raving about this book for quite a while, so when I was picking categories for the SCWBC16, this just seemed like the perfect pick, plus my mom had it on her audible account which was nice too.
The Nest follows the four Plum children who are all looking forward to the day that the youngest Melanie turns 40 and they’ll have access to the huge nest egg that was set aside for them. When the oldest Plum gets into an accident and their mother uses “The Nest” to help get him out of trouble, the rest of the siblings are left wondering what they are going to do when the don’t have the money they’ve been counting on their whole lives to bail them out of their individual financial problems.
I literally didn’t like anybody in this entire book, which is the reason why I don’t think that I cared for this book that much. All of them were so incredibly selfish and only cared about themselves and nobody else in their family. I also seriously can’t fathom how people could put all of their eggs in one basket and think that they’re guaranteed some sort of money in the future. That’s literally never the case! The book obviously did have some redeeming qualities about it, but I just wish that I would have liked the characters more.
The Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron ★★★★★ 5 stars
This is the book that we’ll be discussing tonight at book club, but also the book that we’ll be discussing later on this month for the Beyond Words: A Blogger’s Book Club, so this review will be kind of brief.
When young Daniel discovers a book called The Shadow Of The Wind in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he quickly falls in love with the story and wants to discover even more books by the mysterious author Julian Carax. Throughout the next years of his life, all sorts of mysterious things begin to happen to him, and they all seem to center around Carax. Will Daniel be able to solve the mystery of The Shadow Of The Wind and Julian Carax?
Seriously, what can I even begin to say about this book? I loved pretty much every single thing about this book, from the setting in beautiful gothic Barcelona, to the mysterious storyline, to the beautiful setting, The Shadow Of The Wind was perfect! This book did take me a while to read because of the details, but once I hit the middle of the book I pretty much couldn’t put it down. If you haven’t read The Shadow Of The Wind go and pick it up, like right now!
The Secret Book of Kings by Yochi Brandes ★★★★ 4 stars
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
There’s this quote from The Da Vinci Code that says, “History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”
And if you think about it, that quote is 100% on the mark, and true. You kind of get to hear about the side that loses, but the side that wins is the side that gets to have their views and opinions put on the right side of history.
The Secret Book of Kings deals with exactly just that and describes the story of a young man in ancient Israel who finds out that he’s the great grandson of King Saul, who was the King before King David who killed Goliath. Under the rule of King Solomon, that information is extremely dangerous, and with the help from his grandmother and her advisor he’s set on the path to become King of Israel.
I went to a Christian high school so we had studied the Bible and some of the stories of David and Solomon in class. What I think that I found most interesting was how every story in the Bible, just like in history, is up to different interpretations based on who won. It was interesting to read about how others viewed King David, King Solomon, and King Saul. I have to admit this book also made me want to break open the Bible again and refresh myself on some history!
You don’t have to know the whole history of the Israelites in order to enjoy this book though. The story eventually spells it all out for you. If you enjoy palace intrigue and a fight for power, definitely consider picking this book up.
And that’s all I read for this month. I had a kind of a miss, but the other two were definite hits! I’m definitely not doing too well with the SCWBC16, but so far this month I’ve read two books which is definitely a step in the right direction!
What books have you read lately? Are you participating in any book challenges this year?
My Challenge Choices:
- 5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long.
The Curious Charms of Alfred Pepper by Phaedra Patrick (331 pages)
- 10 points: Read a 2016 finalist (longlist or shortlist) for one of the following literary prizes: National Book Award, Man Bookeror Man Booker International.
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (192 pages)
- 10 points: Read a brand-new release (something published between November 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017).
The Girl Before by JP Delaney (320 pages).
- 15 points:Read a book by an author of a different race or religion than you.
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Sashimi (452 pages).
- 15 points:Read a book featuring a main character who is of a different race or religion than you.
The Secret Book Of Kings by Yochi Brandes (416 pages)
- 20 points:Read a modern retelling of a classic— Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Kaity.
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (237 pages)
- 25 points:Read a book with an alcoholic beverage (neat or cocktail) in the title. — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Kerry.
Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler (264 pages).
- 30 points:Read a book with a character that shares your first or last name — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Ericka.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (256 pages).
- 30 points:Read two books: a nonfiction book and a fiction book with which it connects— Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Bev. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 30 points! No partial points will be awarded.)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (288 pages)
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (353 pages)
- 40 points:Read two books: one by an author whose first name is the same as the last name of the author of the other book— Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Jamie. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 40 points! No partial points will be awarded.)
Grey by E.L. James (576 pages)
Mary, Mary by James Patterson (413 pages).
My Challenge Results:
5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long.
The Curious Charms of Alfred Pepper by Phaedra Patrick (331 pages, 4 stars).
10 points: Read a 2016 finalist (longlist or shortlist) for one of the following literary prizes: National Book Award, Man Booker or Man Booker International.
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (192 pages, 4 stars).
15 points: Read a book featuring a main character who is of a different race or religion than you.
The Secret Book Of Kings by Yochi Brandes (416 pages, 4 stars)
15 points: Read a book by an author of a different race or religion than you.
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Sashimi (452 pages, 5 stars).
30 points: Read two books: a nonfiction book and a fiction book with which it connects— Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Bev. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 30 points! No partial points will be awarded.)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (288 pages, 5 stars)
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (353 pages, 3 stars)
PREVIOUS POINTS: 30
TOTAL POINTS: 75