What I Read… vol.5

I slowed waaay down with reading this month. I also failed to finish Erin’s challenge. (Heck, I still haven’t finished Atonement. I think that one might be a lost cause…) Oh well- the two books I did read were four star-ers so I consider it a good month.

What_I_Read_blog

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On to the books…

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier | ★★★★/5
Summary: After fleeing with her sister from personal embarrassment in England, Honor Bright finds herself all alone in rural 1850s Ohio at the mercy of strangers. Trying to find her place in the midst of Quakers, runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad, and crass-yet-kind Americans, Honor all but loses herself. She soon finds that right and wrong isn’t a matter of black and white. | Why I Read It: According to GoodReads it’s been on my TBR list since 2015. And it met the criteria for Erin’s Challenge. | What I Thought: Books like this are why I love historical fiction. Not everything is 100% true, but I learned so much about Ohio’s history with the Underground Railroad and the necessary involvement of Quakers. It sparks the desire to know more. Honor was a naive character at first but I think she progressed and developed as the story went on. I would have made VERY different choices than she did and I wasn’t expecting the final scene, but it was a good piece of historical fiction that taught me a little more about the state in which I live.
You should read it because… you enjoy historical fiction- more specifically, the turbulent pre-Civil War/slave era in America’s history. I loved that this was set in my state. It was also minimal on the cruelty/violence that’s often written into novels about slavery. Still heavy, but not soul-crushing.

A Most Novel Revenge by Ashley Weaver | ★★★★/5
Summary: In the third installment of the Amory Ames Mystery series the clever, amateur detective and her dashing husband Milo are invited to join Amory’s cousin at a cold and drafty countryside estate. While Lyonsgate may have once been a lovely getaway, it now holds memories of a wild evening gone wrong. | Why I Read It: I love this series. A fourth book comes out in September and I wanted to be all caught up. | What I Thought: I really love Amory Ames. I think she’s progressed through the books and found her voice and her confidence- with and without her husband. I also love that they work as a functional, adoring team in this novel. Milo gave her a little more attention than he has in the past and Amory found herself letting some walls down. I found their evolving relationship adorable. As far as the mystery goes, I had 85% of it figured out by the reveal, but I think I was supposed to suspect certain characters. I loved the speed of the story line as well as the heavy dialogue. I highly suggest reading the first two mysteries before you read this one- they set up the characters and their quirks.
You should read it because… you enjoyed the first two novels. And you should read those if you love a polite English murder mystery with a fair share of twists and surprises. It’s less thriller and more fun, but that’s my kind of mystery 😉


Erin’s Challenge officially ended at midnight on April 30th…

| 5 points | Freebie: Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
| 10 points | Starts with the letter “W”: Winter by Marissa Meyer
| 10 points | Six words in the title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
| 15 points | Has a (mostly) green cover: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
| 20 points | A homonym in the title: The One by Kiera Cass
| 20 points | By your favorite author: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
| 25 points | Set in the city/town/state/territory/county/province where you live: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
| 30 points | A “Rory Gilmore” book: Atonement by Ian McEwan
| 30 points | From a genre that you’ve never read/rarely read (*thriller*): The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
| 35 points | With time travel: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I ended with 170 points out of 200! While I didn’t complete the challenge, I feel so accomplished and happy. This was a personal best!

If you’re in a reading slump like I was I strongly encourage you to join Erin‘s next challenge. (Categories released June 1, starts July 1.) While I’ve never finished it, I’m pretty darn close. And Erin never puts any pressure on her readers- it’s such a supportive group. I tend to read at a rate of three-ish books a month… which would allow me to finish the challenge if I’d just stay consistent, lol.

What did you read this month? Linking up with Steph and Jana!

Life According to Steph

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48 thoughts on “What I Read… vol.5

    1. Thank you! There have been challenges where I got one book in and then fell off the wagon. It happens. I keep doing better and better with Erin’s challenge, though. Hopefully that means next time I’ll complete it!

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  1. You did such a good job with the challenge only missing out on one book in the end. The Last Runaway sounds really interesting- just added it to my tbr!

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  2. Great job on the challenge. I always see them & think I”M IN & never can do them. I just have the hardest time picking out titles to go with the challenges. Sigh. I just need a “read a book that has pages” kind of challenge 😉 haha

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    1. Hahaha, thank you! When I first started doing Erin’s challenge I was in a reading rut and it really helped me to pick up books again. Now it’s more about achieving a personal best 🙂

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  3. I’ve never started Atonement because I watched the movie and it seemed like a book it would take me ages to get through. I enjoy Tracy Chevalier’s books but haven’t read that one so it may be one I need to check out. I do want to read the Avory Ames series. I used to love Agatha Christie books so maybe it’s slightly similar.

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    1. The covers of the Amory Ames books compare them to Nick and Nora (which I’m unfamiliar with).
      Atonement is just not for me. I think I need to just watch the movie and check that story off my list forever.

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  4. The Rory Gilmore book (The Time Traveler’s Wife) was my hardest read too. I just struggled to get into it and the book was long. So much longer than expected! I’m adding the Amory Ames Mystery series to my TBR. I love a good mystery series and it sounds like one that won’t give me nightmares, which I need after what I read last month. 😀

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    1. Hahahaha. Noted. After three attempts I think it’s time to put the book in the give away/donate/sell pile. I’m done wasting time. I’ll just watch the movie (*gasp*).

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    1. It had a nice mix of American history, Ohio history, and controversy… but it didn’t make me stomach seize like some slavery novels do. (Although that kind of horror is necessary sometimes.)

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  5. I thought I had read everything by Tracy Chevalier, but I’ve never heard of The Last Runaway. I’ll have to read it soon!

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  6. have you seen the movie for Atonement? i say give up on the book lol. it’s not worth it…
    i think the Amory Ames Mystery series is on my list.
    you got closer to finishing Erin’s challenge than I did. womp womp!

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    1. I’ve been holding off on the movie but I think I’m going to say eff-it and toss the book aside, watch the movie, and be done with it. Lol
      As a fellow Miss Fisher’s lover, I think you’d enjoy Amory. She’s a little less flashy and bold, but it’s equal as fun and quirky.
      Next time we’ll both rock that challenge 😉

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  7. You did amazing on the challenge! I’m in a bit of a reading slump right now, trying to find something that sparks my curiousity since nothing seems to be keeping my attention.

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  8. I’m so glad that you liked all of these! I think I added both to my list on goodreads after seeing you add them. They both sound awesome. I don’t read enough historical fiction or mystery. 🙂 I was in a major reading rut. Hoping to keep reading some fluff and fun things and compelling things to dig myself out. Why does May have to be SO busy?! 😦 XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  9. I’m feeling a gradual slow down as the weather gets warmer. And with the close of another school year, reading usually picks up for me at this point. Not quite sure what is going on. But a few books is better than no books,r right?

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    1. My mom is a teacher and she always has a huge stack of books at the beginning of the summer that she’s put aside throughout the school year. I tend to read more in the summer, too, but my mojo hasn’t kicked in yet =/

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    1. I probably could’ve changed my book and completed the challenge, but I wanted to finish with all my original picks. My stubbornness is what made me fail. Lol

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  10. I felt that this was a slow reading month for me as well, and I also didn’t manage to finish Erin’s Reading Challenge. There’s always hope for next time though, right! The Last Runaway sounds like a really good book! I love historical fiction, although sometimes I tend to pick up WWII fiction and I know that I need to branch out!

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    1. We’ll definitely finish that challenge next time 😉
      I used to read a TON of WWII historical fiction but now it tends to hurt my heart more… I also used to read a lot of Tudor-era English fiction, but I’ve seemed to step away from that. I go through phases 🙂

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  11. Whew, good for you reading two books in a month!! I know you claim that’s “slowing down” but that’s 2 books more than me, so….I’m STILL trudging through Samurai’s Garden and have started the audio book of Anna Kendrick’s memoir (which, if you were at all interested, let me warn: you it’s a bland description of being middle class white in America. But now I feel like I have to finish it since I started it…)

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    1. Hahahaha. Two books is pretty typical for me. MAYBE three some months… ha.
      I’ve heard mixed reviews on Anna Kendrick’s book… Based on your thoughts I might keep avoiding it. Ha.

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  12. that’s a good list, audrey, and some of those are no small feats: hitchhiker’s and atonement, especially. i don’t know that i could finish the latter. i’m not even sure i’d want to read it, so i’m impressed that you’ve read any of it. nice work.

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