The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

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 Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

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 Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

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 Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

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?

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The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

My Challenge Choices:

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 AwardMan 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

  • Living on Cloud Nine

    The Shadow of the wind….be still my heart! Sounds right up my alley and going in my Amazon shopping cart now, LOL! You are my book pusher, ha ha! Love it!

    • Thank you! Everybody at my work book club kept on talking about how much they loved The Shadow Of The Wind too, so I hope that you end up loving it too! I love pushing books, I just always hope that y’all love them as much as I did!

  • I want to read The Shadow of the Wind. The Nest didn’t sound like one I would love, so it’s not high on my list. I need to finish my Erin’s 6.0 list! 🙂 Xo – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • Yes you do! I officially started on my first book for Erin’s challenge, but I still have 3 more to read for the SCWBC16. The Shadow Of The Wind is such a good book, even though it starts out a little slow, but I hope that you love it!

  • Jen

    The Shadow of the Wind sounds like a book that I would love! Adding it to my list now! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • I hope that you get to pick it up soon! It’s such a good book and you can’t beat the beautiful setting of Barcelona either!

  • I’ve heard of the Shadow of the Wind but didn’t really know what it was about. It sounds really good!!! I liked The Nest, but I think I was kind of in the minority. I think I just really wanted to see how it ended, and then I had mixed feelings about that.

    • My mom really liked The Nest too, so I thought that I’d like it, but I just couldn’t get over how terrible the people were. And it might also have something to do with the fact that I listened to the book instead of reading it so it kind of dragged out a little bit. I hope that you end up liking The Shadow Of The Wind! It’s such a beautiful book and one that book lovers will definitely like!

  • Nadine

    The Shadow of the Wind sounds good I will have to add it to the list. You already know my feelings on The Nest.

    • Haha yes I do know your feelings on The Nest, and I really don’t think that you missed out on much at all with the ending. The Shadow Of The Wind is so good! I hope that you get to pick it up soon!

  • I’m definitely adding the Secret Life of Kinds to my Around the World in 80 Books list 🙂 Shadow of the Wind also sounds really great! I’m way behind on my SCWBC, too. I’ve pretty much give up on it at this point lol

    • Haha I thought that I was going to have to give up on the SCWBC as well, but I’m actually making a pretty big push right now, so with only 3 books left, I might be able to finish it! I hope that you end up liking The Secret Book of Kings and The Shadow Of The Wind! They’re both very different but so good too!

  • Well, I guess Shadow of the Wind needs to go on my list. It sounds great!

  • Emily Dunham

    That second book sounds great! Added it to my list!

  • I sit in the not liking the Nest category!

  • I’m curious about Shadow of the Wind! I HAVE TO read The Nest just because of all the conflicting reviews. Even if it’s not super great, I am just too curious about it!

    • I think that it’s worth a read because it’s still an interesting book, I just hated the characters so much! I’ll be really interested to see what you end up thinking about it! The Shadow of the Wind is such a great and beautiful book, and I hope that you’ll pick it up soon!

  • The Nest was definitely a book where you don’t like anyone- I remember thinking there was going to be some big twist or something at one point, but no, nothing really happened. So excited to read Shadow of the Wind, and strangely Secret Book of Kings is giving me slight Wrath & the Dawn vibes, which makes me want to read it.

    • 100% agree with you about The Nest! I thought that there would be some sort of redeeming quality, but there really wasn’t! Everybody just kind of stayed the same. The Shadow Of The Wind is so beautiful, and I hope that you end up loving it too! I haven’t read The Wrath & The Dawn yet, but I really want to! They might be pretty similar!

  • Shadow in the Wind is on my TBR and you’re the second person today to give high marks. I may need to move it up my lists because it really sounds like something I’d enjoy immensely. I had The Nest but didn’t even crack it open before returning to the library and removed it from it from TBR after seeing so many negative reviews.

    • I really don’t think that you’re missing much with The Nest. It wasn’t a book that I was mad about spending my time reading it, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. The Shadow Of The Wind is so incredibly good and so beautifully written too! It’s a great book about books too, so I think that a book lover like yourself will like it even more because of that.

  • You are doing so well with the challenge so far! The Nest sounded like an interesting read, but I hate when all the characters are selfish and they totally sound it from the plot. I need to get back on the reading wagon, I am so far behind schedule!

    • Yes you definitely do need to get back on the reading train! It is really tough to do though along with everything else. The Nest is not one that would recommend that much. The characters really were so annoying and only seemed to care about money which made me more angry than anything else.

  • so glad to see you liked The Shadow Of The Wind! i bought it last year and it’s just sitting on my nightstand, so hopefully i’ll get to it soon!

    • You definitely need to get to it sooner rather than later! It’s a beautiful book and I think that it would be one that you would love a lot because it’s a book for book lovers too.

  • The Nest was meh. I didn’t love it, either, and really didn’t understand the hype.

    The third books seems interesting but I feel like it won’t be for me. Kind of like The Red Tent.

    • If you didn’t like The Red Tent then I don’t think that you’d care for The Secret Book of Kings. I love anything historical fiction so I totally ate it up. I don’t get the hype about The Nest either! I just felt like it was a money problems book because people were just being stupid.

  • I didn’t get the hype behind The Nest, either! It was fine but no one was likable and there was so little true resolution. Like, life just happened. So weird that so many loved it!

    • I know! I think that’s the reason why I didn’t love it either, the fact that there really was no resolution to the whole thing. To each their own though, I guess.

  • I will probably stay away from The Nest, because I’ve read lots of bad reviews and it doesn’t seem like my kind of book. I’ve had The Shadow of the Wind on my list for probably years, so this makes me want to pick it up.

    • You definitely need to pick up The Shadow Of The Wind! I actually had no idea that it’s a series, so I definitely want to try and pick it up the next book. And if you don’t like characters that basically have no redeeming quality, definitely don’t pick up The Nest. It just wasn’t the most enjoyable of books.

  • I’m pretty sure I have Shadow of the Wind somewhere on my Kindle, so I definitely need to read it! Can’t wait to hear more of your thoughts on it. 🙂

    • You definitely need to pick it up soon! It’s such a great book, and I didn’t realize until afterwards that it’s actually a series of books. I definitely want to pick up the next in the series!

  • I wasn’t a big fan of The Shadow of the Wind, but I did read it over five years ago. I think I’m in the minority of people that I liked The Nest!

    • Even though I did love The Shadow Of The Wind, it was definitely a book that took a while to get into and to read. It took my about 2 weeks to read, which is very slow for me. Maybe it had something to do with the translation and that’s why it wasn’t your favorite.

  • Rachel

    The Secret Book of Kings sounds really good! So true about the winners writing history so this would be an interesting perspective. I’ll have to add this to my list, too! Thanks for sharing, Ashley!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

    • You’re so welcome! I hope that you end up picking it up! I thought that it was so cool to read a different perspective of stories from The Bible because it is history and filled with so many stories!

  • I need to read that last one for sure, sounds right up my alley! And thank you for your honest review of the Nest. It seems like it just shot up Amazon’d best seller list for no reason!

    • I know! There are those certain books that have these great reviews and then when I pick them up they’re just not that good and I wonder how they got those reviews to begin with. Definitely pass on The Nest, but the other two were so good!

  • I felt the exact same way about The Nest. They were horrible people and maybe that’s the point, but I feel like there should have been some sort of redemption for at least one of them!

    • I totally agree! They were just too obsessed with money and I just couldn’t fathom how they had just expected the money and based their whole life around something that wasn’t for sure. It still just makes me so frustrated!

  • The Shadow of the Wind was such a unique book! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I’m excited to talk about it more in the book club! I went to a Catholic high school and I remember learning a lot about the Bible but I honestly don’t remember a lot of those stories. But just from my background The Secret Book of Kings sounds fascinating to me!

    • I think that Jana mentioned it earlier, but if you liked The Red Tent, you would probably like this one. It’s a different perspective of The Bible which I think is so interesting! And I can’t wait to talk more about The Shadow Of The Wind! It was such a good book, and it makes me want to pick up the next one in the series.

  • I’m jealous of how many books you read! I need to start making reading a priority!

    • I definitely have an advantage in the fact that I get to read during my commute in the mornings, but it really is so nice to be able to escape during that time!

  • shootingstarsmag

    The Shadow of the Wind sounds really intriguing. The cover looks familiar, but I don’t think I’d read anything about it before.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    • Definitely check out The Shadow Of The Wind! It’s such a beautiful book and it has a really interesting storyline too! I hadn’t heard of it either until my friend told me about it.

  • I’m glad you loved The Shadow of the Wind! Almost feel like I should it read it again because I read in soooo many years ago. Such a great book!

    • It really is such a great book! I had no idea that it was actually the first book in the series, and it makes me want to pick up the next book soon!

  • The Shadow of the Wind sounds like something I would enjoy. I always love getting recommendations from you 🙂

    • Thank you, and I really hope that you end up loving these books too! The Shadow Of The Wind is just a beautiful book, and I can’t recommend it enough! I hope that you get to pick it up soon!

  • I’ve been debating reading The Nest, but don’t think I will now. That doesn’t sound like a book I’d enjoy at all.

    • I think that if the characters had had a redeeming quality that I would have liked it more, but I just couldn’t stand them! If that doesn’t appeal to you, then definitely pass on The Nest!

  • Erin @ TexErin-in-SydneyLand

    I’ve decided to give The Nest a pass and based on your review, I’m pretty comfortable with that decision. The Shadow of the Wind definitely sounds like a “must read” for me..

    • It really should be a must read, especially since you love to travel too! It really transports you to Barcelona! And The Nest is definitely not something that you’re missing. It would have been different if the characters had some sort of redeeming quality.

  • It’s Audiobook land over in my neck of the woods!

  • I hated The Nest! I thought it was so terrible… I don’t understand how all that hype got built up…

    — Dara || http://www.peoniesandhoneybees.com

    • I don’t understand it either! The characters were just so terrible and I hated them the whole time! If they had some redeeming quality at the end it would have been different I think.