What I Read…

It’s the very first Show Us Your Books link-up of 2018!

As I mentioned last year, I’m changing my reviewing process just a bit. Nothing to write home about. You’ll navigate the new waters just fine. Hopefully I’ve settled on this format.

I included my favorite quotes from some of the better books. I won’t do that all the time, but if the words truly speak to me I’ll probably pass them along here.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig
A somewhat quirky, sad but hopeful & unique story about Father Christmas.
I added this book to my TBR list at the beginning of 2017 and made a note in my planner to start it in December. Good call, past-Audrey. It was whimsical and cute, but it wasn’t all fluffy and unconditional happiness. I loved how Haig tied traditional Christmas elements into the storytelling. While I believe this book is aimed at middle schoolers and teenagers, there were so many applicable lessons for all ages.
Should you read it? Yes! Especially around the holidays!
*read in 2017

There was a gasp. ‘A human? Will he eat us?’
‘Should we run away?’
‘It’s perfectly safe, I’m sure. And even if it’s not, we must never let fear be our guide.’

. . .

‘That’s impossible.’
Little Noosh gasped as Father Topo covered her ears. ‘Elves never ever say that word.’ He shook his head. ‘An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet…’

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Summoned to the grand apartment of living Hollywood legend Evelyn Hugo, Monique Grant is surprised to find that the once-private mega star is suddenly ready to talk and specifically requesting Monique to tell her story.
This was my first TJR and obviously it didn’t disappoint. I loved the old Hollywood drama and the complex characters and the spirit and drive and cruelty and fierceness of Evelyn. Man… she wasn’t a flawless heroine or a soft and gentle role model. She was just….. determined and human and calculating and smart. And that makes for an extremely interesting character. I picked this book up one night and devoured 100 pages, then came back for more the second evening, and sat down after work on the third night and knew I’d finish it. I felt like the story was easy to read and understand, but it kept me guess and craving more.
Should you read it? Yes, I believe that you should.
*read in 2017

“When you dig just the tiniest bit beneath the surface, everyone’s love life is original and interesting and nuanced and defies any easy definition.”

Finding Audrey by Sophia Kinsella
Completely devastated and broken by an incident at school, 14 year old Audrey hides from the world behind her family, therapist, and black sunglasses, but then she meets Linus and her brain starts to change.
First, and totally unrelated, it’s fun to read about a character with your name. That’s rare for me. I loved when they called her Aud 🙂 That’s my nickname, too. Anyway… the story was cute and quick. Audrey’s family was SO frustrating but they meant well. I loved the way Kinsella tackled tough issues like bullying and depression and social anxiety. The focus of the story was never on the drama of Audrey’s past. Rather, it focused on her present situation and her healing and her different outlook on the world. I thought the story and characters were likeable and relatable. It ended a little neatly and the last half felt rushed, but I didn’t mind. The video camera moments were fun.
Should you read it? Yes, if you enjoy the occasional quick YA novel.

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
A cry for help summons Hercule Poirot and Cpt. Arthur Hastings to France but they arrive too late and are suddenly swept up into a murder with many suspects, clues, and victims.
I very much enjoy the mystery and pace of Christie’s novels. She/Poirot reveal most of the clues and details, but I have yet to solve any of her damn mysteries. Lol. The Hastings character makes me absolutely insane with his stupid naivety. He always so quick to judge or fall for a pretty girl or doubt Poirot. Seriously dude, just chill. But anyway, it was another solid mystery set in a quaint 1920s French seaside town.
Should you read it? Maybe. If you like English mysteries.

Right now I’m participating in the Book Challenge by Erin 8.0:

|5 points| Freebie: The Murder on the Links (Christie)
|10 points| Starts with the letter L: Last Christmas in Paris (Gaynor)
|10 points| Has a (mostly) red cover: Girl Waits With Gun (Stewart)
|15 points| A character’s name in the title: HP & the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
|20 points| From this list: Three Dark Crowns (Blake)
|20 points| “House” or “home” in the title: The House of New Beginnings (Diamond)
|25 points| Author’s first & last name begins w/ the same letter: Renegades (Meyer, M)
|30 points| Originally published in a different language: The Hangman’s Daughter (Potzsch)
|30 points| Most of the action takes place on a form of transportation: Dead Wake (Larson)
|35 points| A character suffers from a debilitating illness: Finding Audrey (Kinsella)

Kicking things off with 40 out of 200 points.

Linking up with Steph and Jana today!! Comment and tell me what you read this month!

50 thoughts on “What I Read…

  1. Taiwo B. January 9, 2018 / 1:43 am

    These four books look simply amazing. I haven’t read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo yet but everyone says amazing things about it. If you like Sophie Kinsella’s books, Surprise Me is a book you might like. It’s very good. I’ve got a review somewhere on my blog. You can just search.


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:41 pm

      I might have to check that Kinsella book out! This was my first time reading her work!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:27 pm

      It really was. He has one or two other Christmas books. I want to read them next year around the holidays.


  2. Rebecca Jo January 9, 2018 / 9:16 am

    I loved Audrey s relationship with her brother though if I’m remembering right. I think they’re making,that a movie, arent they?
    I have GOT TO get my hands on the TJR book!!!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      I completely agree with you. Her brother was just protective enough and so understanding of her illness.
      If they make a movie I’ll definitely see it!
      I loooved Evelyn Hugo! I haven’t read any of her other books, though.


  3. Kelly @ Noodle to the Rescue January 9, 2018 / 11:04 am

    I loved the first half of Evelyn Hugo (Golden age Hollywood is so fascinating to me!) but I thought the second half was a little slow.


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      I can see where you’re coming from. It kept my interest all the way through, but that might be because I don’t mind when novels get kind of slow. My brain likes the little break from the drama. Haha!


  4. Heather January 9, 2018 / 11:18 am

    I have that Matt Haig book on my list for next CHristmas!! Glad you liked it!! I’ve only read Murder on the Orient Express so far, but I love Poirot’s character too. I picked another one for Erin’s challenge – Death on the Nile. Her writing is great!!! I have Renegades on my list for Erin’s challenge too, but I might postpone it – I didn’t realize it was the start of another series and I have a hard time waiting for the next to come out!! Also excited to read Last Christmas in Paris this month, I’ve heard amazing things about it.


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:34 pm

      Whoaaa, I didn’t know Renegades was going to be part of a series. Dang it.
      Definitely pick up the Christmas book around the holidays this year!
      I’m working my way up to the Orient Express- it’s #10 in the series.
      I’ve heard great things about Last Christmas in Paris, too!!


  5. bhlair January 9, 2018 / 11:21 am

    I also enjoyed Finding Audrey, simple but relatable. Finished it in one sitting. Thank you for sharing 🙂


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:36 pm

      If I’d have had more time I’d have probably finished it in one sitting, too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lauren Becker January 9, 2018 / 11:22 am

    A Boy Called Christmas sounds great. I haven’t read this Christie novel, but I do love her…and Poirot! 🙂



    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:39 pm

      The Christmas book was super cute and a perfect read for the holidays.


  7. Nadine January 9, 2018 / 11:48 am

    I really loved Finding Audrey and Evelyn Hugo! I will say that Evenlyn Hugo isn’t like any other TJR book, but all of her books are amazing and you must read them!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:44 pm

      I really liked her writing style. I don’t read too many contemporary books but people really seem to love her so I might be picking up more TJR in 2018. Lol


  8. kristen January 9, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    a boy called christmas sounds fabulous. i have a couple of his books on my tbr i think.
    yay TJR and Evelyn! love love love that one.
    i don’t think i have ever read a book with a main character who had my name. lots of side characters and a few authors, but no main character!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:46 pm

      Ha, I’m glad I liked the Audrey character. I feel like it would’ve really affected my thoughts on the book if she’d have been a bad character. Lol!
      Haig’s writing style was so fun and cute!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:49 pm

      I’m so glad I decided to pick it up 🙂


  9. SMD January 9, 2018 / 2:06 pm

    Yay! Evelyn. I love seeing that book on lists. What a great female main character.


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 4:50 pm

      It’s been on SO many lists this past year. Lol
      I’m glad about that, though. It’s probably why I picked it up 😉 Lol


  10. A Mindful Migration (@MindfulMigrate) January 9, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    Loved Evelyn so much. Your description of Evelyn was spot on. She felt real. I believe Finding Audrey is on my TBR. I enjoy Sophia Kinsella but she can be a bit formulaic. This sounds different and it interests me more. I want to read an Agatha Christie mystery this year. I can’t do Murder on the Orient Express though. While I haven’t read it, I know the ending, which I assume will influence my enjoyment. I may have to try Murder on the Links or is there another Christie mystery you would recommend?


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 5:38 pm

      Evelyn wasn’t perfect by any means but she was unapologetically herself. I liked how fiercely she fought for herself and those closest to her.
      I think I read Finding Audrey was Kinsella’s first YA novel? It was definitely YA but I enjoyed it.
      Murder on the Links is the second in the Poirot series. If you want to start into those start with A Mysterious Affair at Styles. But honestly, if you just want to check out an Agatha Christie book start with And Then There Were None!


  11. Elyse January 9, 2018 / 2:50 pm

    I have always wanted to pick up an Agatha Christie book but I am afraid it will be too archaic to actually get any enjoyment out of it. I may have to try one this year though!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 5:39 pm

      Surprisingly, for being written in the 20s and 30s, they never feel dated or “old.” They’re super easy to read. Start with And Then There Were None. 🙂


  12. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders January 9, 2018 / 3:54 pm

    I totally agree with you that it’s fun to read a book that has your name as a character! Little Fires Everywhere had a character with the same first and middle name as one of the girls and I loved it! Evelyn Hugo is on my list for Erin’s challenge and I can’t wait to read it! I’ve heard such rave reviews!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      I hope you love it! It was so entertaining and empowering! (But also dramatic and a little twisty, lol.)


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 5:52 pm

      I really did! Thank you so much!! (I wouldn’t have picked it up when I did if it hadn’t been in the exchange package!)


  13. Ana January 9, 2018 / 11:13 pm

    I really liked Evelyn Hugo, it made want to read Jennifer Lopez book, because in my mind this book was about Jennifer Lopez.

    Audrey was an interesting book, it reminded me a lot of another YA book about similar subjects.


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 5:59 pm

      That’s so funny! I know it reminded a lot of people of Elizabeth Taylor (self included). It just made me want to turn on TCM channel and look up all the actors and actresses on the screen. Lol!
      I don’t read a lot of YA so it was a nice change of pace for me 🙂


  14. Lux G. January 10, 2018 / 3:56 am

    Oh, this reminds me I have an Agatha Christie novel yet to finish. LOL Thanks for this list. I’ll check them out for my 2018 reading. Happy 2018!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 6:03 pm

      Haha! I always struggle when I stop halfway through a mystery novel- I forget all the details I need to remember. Lol!
      Happy 2018 & Happy Reading!!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 7:02 pm

      I can’t believe how many people love that book! (Self included!)


  15. Ashley Ziegler January 10, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    A lot of people give good ratings for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo… I need to read it asap!!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 7:06 pm

      It’s a really captivating story. I loved the old Hollywood setting and the biography-type feel.


  16. chelseajacobs January 10, 2018 / 2:05 pm

    Just added The Seven Husbands to my list!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 7:07 pm

      Yes yes!! I think you’ll love it! I can’t believe you haven’t read it yet, actually! I think it’s right up your alley.


  17. StephTheBookworm January 10, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    Finding Audrey has been on my list since it came out! How fun to find a book with your name right in the title. 🙂


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 7:08 pm

      I think you’d breeze right through it and really enjoy it!
      ‘Audrey’ isn’t really an unusual name, but it’s pretty uncommon. It was so fun to read it in a book!


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 7:09 pm

      Based on her writing style in Evelyn Hugo, I DEFINITELY need to read more TJR!


  18. simplyalexandra12 January 11, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    I love that you read so much Christie! Still on the fence about Evelyn Hugo. Added A Boy Called Christmas to my TBR. Love that you left a note for yourself to read it! Totally Brill. (that’s a holiday reference… and yes, I almost bought you that movie for your ss gift, because it’s essential.. but KC was like… babe… I’ve already talked you out of over-committing… ) so I just painted a portrait instead. LOL. XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


    • Louise January 11, 2018 / 7:13 pm

      Clue is one of my favorite movies and the Christie novels remind me of that setting and story and the characters 🙂 I love it! You will LOVE A Boy Called Christmas 🙂
      Hahahahahaha- well I LOVE my portrait! I think The Holiday is on one of the streaming platforms (hulu or amazon) so it’s my own fault that I haven’t watched it yet. Lol
      Evelyn Hugo is really great but it definitely has some drama and sadness and controversy.


  19. Christina January 12, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    Oooh, I’m adding a Boy Called Christmas! I also loved your other two 5 star books. I’ve never read an Agatha Christie book!


    • Louise January 16, 2018 / 9:17 am

      It was a cute, quick read for the holidays!
      I’ve found that I’m a big fan of Agatha 🙂


  20. Amanda @ Anchored to Sunshine January 15, 2018 / 9:06 pm

    I recently read The Seven Husbands by Taylor Jenkins Reid and fell in love with her writing! Since then I picked up two of her other books, such a fun author to read. I love how lighthearted her writing is.


    • Louise January 16, 2018 / 9:18 am

      Her book was so easy to read and get lost in. Those are definitely wonderful books to pick up when you fall into a slump or just need a quick pick-me-up! Evelyn Hugo was a really great story of Old Hollywood and I loved it!


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