Spring is almost here and I know it’s only been 2 months into the new year, but my reading has been chugging along quite nicely! I’ve been reading nicely through my Netgalley and Most Anticipated and working through the reading challenges — it’s been a steady two months of reading! There has already been some great moments and some not-so-great reading moments.
I’ve read quite a few of the Winter releases from my Most Anticipated list, although they haven’t been the blockbusters I was hoping for. 🙁 I thought this would be a good space to give my quick thoughts on those ones because I didn’t feel they warranted full and individual reviews.
I actually finished reading Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale before the new year. I didn’t even write anything about it on my Goodreads page! Just put up 3-stars. It appears it was a fairly forgettable story for me?
The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye was such an anticipated one! I loved the playfulness but also the beautiful writing found in Jane Steele and I read the first of her Timothy Wilde series, The Gods of Gotham, which I enjoyed immensely. Therefore, The Paragon Hotel was a no-brainer to want to read. Sadly it became a book I didn’t finish! A DNF already! Shocking! I never do well with dialogue-heavy books and this one was indeed heavy in that regard, but also the flapper-speak was much too overdone. It was laid on pretty thick and it became a jarring and unsatisfying read. I put it down three times and found it easy to fit in other books before reluctantly returning to it each time. So I thought to myself – I just need to let this one go completely.
I read the first two listed from my Netgalley challenge, almost back-to-back. The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells was a wonderful story. Somewhat melancholy and the theme of loneliness is quite pervasive throughout. This is maybe the only one I wrote a full review for, and it is one I highly recommend. Large Hearted Boy interviews authors and has them compile a playlist, a sort of soundtrack for the book. Benedict Wells created one that was perfect for this story. He chose Fiona Apple’s Across the Universe for the book’s closing credits and wow, that really is the perfect song to end this book. It feels so right for it! The End of Loneliness is one of those books that stays with you and your appreciation for it only grows after finishing.
Reproduction by Ian Williams on the other hand wasn’t as successful as The End of Loneliness was for me. Williams is quite experimental with his writing style and this was a mix of diary entries, rap lyrics, diagrams but the main part that I couldn’t get on board with, was the incredibly unlikeable character of Edgar. He was a despicable man. It just wasn’t the right style of book for me to read at this time unfortunately.
I just finished The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley this weekend. This was the #1 book on my Most Anticipated because I was so very eager to read it. It was also in high demand from the library, so I only had 7 days with it. Which was no trouble at all as it was a quick read. I did like some parts of it, but wow, was I ever taken aback by how similar this was to Ruth Ware’s In a dark, dark wood! Like, incredible similarities right down to plot points, characters and twists! (I also feel badly for Foley right now because of who wrote the blurb on the cover. (Have you heard the A.J. Finn story?! Wowzers.) The Hunting Party is receiving some amazing recognition for Foley, and that’s wonderful, but I can’t help but think it’s too bad she didn’t get this much hype for The Invitation, one which I enjoyed far more. The suspense and tension inside it was well done!
I’ve asked for The Black Ascot by Charles Todd to be brought in as an audiobook to the library. I adored The Gate Keeper in audio because of Simon Prebble’s narration. I couldn’t imagine not listening to The Black Ascot and I cannot wait to lose myself in Prebble’s voice once again.
There’s a few books from my Netgalley challenge that the library is bringing in, so I’ll wait until then so I don’t burn my eyes out reading these on my tablet. 😉 The Hiding Place, by C.J. Tudor is supposed to be coming in from Penguin Random House Canada, but if not, the library has this one. The Wolf and the Watchman is one I’ve put a hold on and Elsewhere Home is also due in soon to the library. I’ve also added a few more to my Netgalley list and have requested a few more since I first created the list. Oops. It’s a problem, I know, but there are just So Many Books coming out that look so wonderful!
My good bookish friend Jennifer (@Booktrovert) noticed that Lisa See’s latest, The Island of Sea Women (I have this one on hold too) sounded similar to Katherine Govier’s Three Views of Crystal Water. Our library has that one too, so I marked it down to read. 😉
How has your reading been going so far? Are you excited for Spring? What Spring titles are your most anticipated?