Reading Catch Up

Guess what! It isn’t Sunday!

I normally post my reading updates on Sundays, then I realized that I was having trouble finding the time during the day to write up the posts. So, I’m switching my update days to Fridays. Of course, I’ve missed a few weeks, so this one is a big catch up post but, going forward, it will be my weekly reads.

As usual, I’m linking up with Kathryn at Book Date. However, her It’s Monday…What Are You Reading? post doesn’t go live until 8 pm Pacific Time on Sundays.

Also, before I forget…is anyone on StoryGraph? I’ll never be able to leave Goodreads (mostly because of some book club related stuff), but I am also on StoryGraph. If you are over there, I’d love some friends. My username is melinda_ott. You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter and this blog has a Facebook page.

Okay, onto the books:

Books I’ve recently finished and 3 things I want you to know about each of them:

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
4 stars (Goodreads Review)

  1. This is a wild ride of a book
  2. Don’t think too hard about it
  3. My only issue was a love-triangle aspect…those almost never work for me.

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
4 stars

  1. If you liked When Harry Met Sally, this one might be right up your alley.
  2. However, if you lose patience when people just won’t have the talk with each other, this may not work for you.
  3. The audiobook, narrated by Julia Whelan, is excellent.

The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #6.5) by Louise Penny
4 stars

  1. Yes, it is a Three Pines Novella….It’s perfect for when you are waiting for the next book on your hold list to come in.
  2. It’s a tight mystery, but it is a good one.
  3. I can see why it was a short story as I don’t think Penny could have stretched this story into a full-length novel.

While We Were Dating (The Wedding Date #6) by Jasmine Guillory
4 stars (Goodreads Review)

  1. If you liked Notting Hill, you will like this one
  2. This is probably my 2nd favorite book by Jasmine Guillory (her most recent before this one was my favorite)
  3. I really loved at how Guillory talks about mental health in this one.

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner
4 stars (Goodreads Review)

  1. I believe that this is going to be the 2nd book in a 3 book set (not really a trilogy, but 3 related books). The first being Big Summer, which came out in 2020.
  2. If you didn’t like Big Summer (I didn’t), this one is much better. You also don’t need to read Big Summer to read this one.
  3. This is a pretty smart study on toxic masculinity, the best I’ve read in novel from since the advent of the #MeToo movement.

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves (audiobook)
3.5 stars

  1. This book has a neuro-diverse heroine, which would be more impactful if Graves didn’t try to balance things out by always saying how beautiful she is despite her autism.
  2. The “big event” in this book will be painfully obvious from the first page of the book/first 5 seconds of the audiobook.
  3. Even so, the “big event” part is well enough written that it made up for a lot of the other shortcomings of this book.

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
3.75 stars (Goodreads Review)

  1. This book is very heavily steeped in Asian mythology, which is both unique and sometimes confusing
  2. Still, it was action packed enough that it kept my attention
  3. My dead grandmother would TOTALLY inhabit my body to exact revenge….,

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto (Audiobook)
2.5 stars

  1. This book solidified something that DOES NOT WORK for me in books: plots that depend on stupid decision after stupid decision
  2. I finished this out of curiosity because I wanted to see how Sutanto would get out of the box she created
  3. The Aunties were fun.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
4 stars (Goodreads review)

  1. If you have trouble reading dialogue in dialect, you may want to get the audiobook version of this one.
  2. It is clear why this is an American masterpiece
  3. There are also some really difficult things to read in this.

Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara
4.5 stars (Goodreads review)

  1. If you love Chicago, this book has a fantastic sense of place
  2. I really loved the story with this one
  3. I must read more by Naomi Hirahara!

Books I’ve recently started:

I have a number of books going that are what I call background books–I pick them up now and then or only read them under specific circumstances. Because of that, going forward I am only going to be sharing my “current reads” once until I finish them.

How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #9) by Louise Penny

It’s time to go back to Three Pines! I had to wait a while for this one, so I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it, especially since the 8th book ended the way that it did. I’m glad that this one is back in Three Pines as I missed it in the last book. I’m also very invested in the background story arc with Gamache and Beauvoir and how that turns out, although I am enjoying Lacoste taking a more prominent role in this one.

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

This is one of the last books for my Summer Reading Program Bingo Challenge and it fills the “Book set in the Pacific Northwest” box. I’ve had this one for a while as I got it through the Book of the Month when it was released. However, I was warned early on by a friend not to read it while Trump was in office, and I could quickly see why. But besides that, this is set primarily in one of my favorite places in the world–the Oregon Coast (the town, Newville, seems to be a composite of Depot Bay and Newport–two towns I know very well) and there are parts of it that are in my hometown of Salem!

Phew, I’m now caught up with my reading. I’ll be back with a more manageable post next week!

8 thoughts on “Reading Catch Up

  1. I need to read more of the Armand Gamache series…I’ve only read three so far, but loved them. I also enjoyed Finlay Donovan Is Killing It…and I’ve learned there is a subsequent book about her.

    I also loved That Summer.

    Have a great week, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES


  2. I’ve never heard of StoryGraph. I really like your numbered lists about the books you read. I do my weekly updates on Saturday – usually in the morning – because that works best for me. I schedule the post for early Monday morning and then link it when I get up. It’s a system that works for me. Come see my week here. Happy reading!


  3. Oh my Melinda I love your three points on each book, it gives me a clear idea of whether I’d want to read them or not, and well Notting Hill is my all time fave movie! Not come across StoryGraph either, and probably won’t get into it at this point – time you know!!


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