What I Read…

February has not been a good reading month for me, but fortunately I finished four books by the end of January.

I’m all over the place with ratings today but nothing drops below a three. Maybe I’m too nice? Or maybe I’ve just been good at picking books this year. I don’t know…

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
★★★/5
When Scarlet joined Robin Hood & his merry men she buried her secrets, her identity, and her long hair under her hat and took on the roll off Will Scarlet, thief. When Scarlet’s past suddenly catches up to her she’s forced to make a decision: run or fight.
This book should’ve be right up my alley. It’s been on my TBR list forever & when Alexandra sent it to me this Christmas in our blogger gift exchange (thank you!!) I finally cracked it open. Unfortunately, there were three big things that irked me. First, I hate love triangles. Second, there was SO much self loathing. Damn. Everyone has demons, but geeeez. Third, and most irritating of all, the entire book was from Scarlet’s p.o.v. and she used very poor grammar to imitate English peasants. As a coping mechanism, I forced my brain to correct it while I was reading. Scarlet was a bad ass character, though, and the story itself was very quick and interesting so overall it was a decent YA Robin Hood retelling.
Should you read it? Maybe… keep in mind it’s YA and it needs to be your kind of story.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
★★★★★/5
In his second year at Hogwarts Harry can’t stay out of trouble. With a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher wreaking havoc on his life, Harry tries to continue his studies, catch the snitch, protect his friends, and solve the mystery of the sinister Chamber of Secrets.
Harry Potter reviews are weird because I love these stories so much. #biased CoS isn’t my favorite book in the series, but I love that you can get lost in these stories like you’re falling into an old memory stored in a diary. 😉 This book reveals a little more about the Weasley family and their way of life. And I’m obsessed with the illustrations in all these editions.  Also, if you’re familiar with the stories, some foreshadowing and “Easter eggs” appear that support future story lines. I love how Rowling weaved the books together. This was obviously a reread for me.
Should you read it? Yep, but only after The Sorcerer’s Stone.
*I shared my thoughts on this book last Thursday!

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking
★★★/5
The Hygge (hoo-ga) trend is sweeping the nation & this book dives into the titular traditions, lifestyle, and behaviors- further proving why Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world.
I am a skeptical person. While I like the idea of happiness and coziness throughout the home (as hygge represents), I took issue with the author making broad, general statements about Denmark and the Danes. I’ve never been and I don’t really have any Danish friends, but they ALL can’t possibly be candle lovers and bread bakers, right? The book was informative about hygge, but not without sounding a little… uppity? arrogant? I’m not sure… Again, I’m skeptical and cynical so I didn’t enjoy the *voice* of this author. (It wasn’t an audiobook- I’m referring to his textual tone.) You might like it- it just wasn’t for me.
Should you read it? No, not unless you’re really interested in this new millennial craze 😉

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb
★★★★/5
Evie Elliott is stunned and excited when her brother Will & his best friend Thomas leave England to fight in WWI. Letters travel to & from France for four grueling years as the threesome and their friends and family keep in touch during those dangerous years.
Halfway through the book I decided it was three star-er… then the last 80 pages happened. The entire story was told in letters and telegrams. I haven’t read a book like that in a while. I loved all the friendships and relationships. I loved the slow romance and the build to the final year of the war. There were big gaps in letters and heartbreak and happiness- pretty much everything you’d expect in a WWI romance novel. I cried at the end, too. Big surprise. Lol
Should you read it? If you’re a fan of historical fiction, specifically wartime romance, then yes.

Erin’s Challenge has been progressing…

|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)

Up to 65 out of 200 points.

Linking up with Steph & Jana again! What’d you read this month?

Life According to Steph

66 thoughts on “What I Read…

  1. Confuzzled Bev February 12, 2018 / 3:54 am

    Scarlet sounds like it has such an interesting concept, but I think the constant bad grammar would make me want to claw my eyes out!

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 10:04 am

      It was 100% on purpose and it played into the story, but it drove me batty. Lol
      I’ll *probably* still read the next two in the series…? I’m not really sure.

      Like

  2. Elyse February 12, 2018 / 5:14 am

    I’ve heard SO much about The Little Book of Hygge. Too bad it was a dud, I don’t think I’d read it after your review since I can’t handle snobby books.

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 10:05 am

      It totally could’ve been me and my mindset. Who knows. I know some people really loved it. And Michelle just commented and said that the generalization of Denmark and the Danes is dang near spot on, so that’s good at least. It all just rubbed me the wrong way- mainly because of the author’s tone.

      Like

  3. shelldbell February 12, 2018 / 8:31 am

    As a Dane and someone who comes from a Danish family, the hyyge book was kind of spot on. I had no idea that concept was a thing until I read it, and I realized my whole family is exactly like this. We LOVE all forms of coziness, winter, comfort food, candles, fires in the fireplace, you name it. I called my dad and read him parts of the book and he was astonished that it described us so well! Hygge must be in our blood or something. On the other hand, I completely agree about his tone! He was so uppity and rather obnoxious. He made it seem as though it’s no big deal for eveeyone to go on these big ski trips and all that, and I just don’t buy that at all.

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 10:03 am

      I’m glad that I’m wrong and a country/people really do operate like this and value the Hygge lifestyle. I really really love the idea of it. (I like the convenience of buying bread, too, though). I modeled our new living room off the concept- big fluffy blankets and pillows, candles and books, etc. I just didn’t jive well with the book, I guess. I’m glad it was more accurate than I thought, though.
      He definitely sounded uppity, unfortunately. Can’t get past that part. Lol

      Like

  4. Rebecca Jo February 12, 2018 / 8:52 am

    I had added Last Christmas in Paris when either you or Alexandria talked about it in your time period posts… this confirms that I need to find it & add it to my list.

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 10:10 am

      It was just a cute, semi-light read. (I mean, it’s during a war so there’s some heavy stuff but nothing like slavery or the Holocaust.) I felt a melancholy warm and fuzzy when it was over, though.

      Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 10:10 am

      The end definitely makes it, but the slow build-up makes the end 😀 Lol!

      Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 10:39 am

      HAHAHAHAHA- that pretty much sums up how I feel about it now, too.

      Like

  5. A Mindful Migration (@MindfulMigrate) February 12, 2018 / 10:56 am

    Bummer about Scarlett. It’s been on my TBR forever too. And everything you disliked about it, are things that will annoy me too. Love triangles make my head hurt because so many just feel like a lazy writer checkmark these days. Grrrr … I like the idea of hygge but honestly can’t see myself really living that way and how weird that he’d have such an arrogant tone in a book about cozy, happy living?

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 4:26 pm

      I feel bad ragging on it. The idea of a bad ass female who isn’t scared to stand up to/fight men but still refuses to cut her hair off because she likes it is sooooo good in my mind. But it had flaws.
      I feel like Hygge is a kind of survival in the Midwest (and probably Denmark) when it comes to living through winter. It might not be so necessary in your neck of the woods… Lol!!

      Like

  6. Kaity Bee (@BeeautifulBless) February 12, 2018 / 11:12 am

    I wish I liked Last Christmas more than I did. I wanted to so badly, but even the last 80 pages didn’t do it for me.

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 4:27 pm

      I think it could’ve easily gone south for me (a.k.a. been boring), but I was feeling emotional and romantic when I read it. Haha!

      Like

  7. Nadine February 12, 2018 / 11:30 am

    Last Christmas in Paris sounds fun, I will have to add that to the list. I had to laugh about your comment about the new millennial craze and not everyone baking bread and burning candles. I feel the same way about a lot of the minimalist or hyygge stuff as well. I want to enjoy my home and be cozy, but I dont want to read about how to do it lol. I think we all have our own version of what brings us joy.

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 4:30 pm

      It was sweet, but I’m not kidding when I say it was “slow.” It took the entire war for the climax to happen. Ha.
      I think you’re right about our own versions of joy and ways to achieve that. I’m glad I read the hygge book, but I think it was very much, “You must do it this way to be the *right* Hygge…. but there are so many ways to achieve Hygge!” Kind of annoying and confusing.

      Like

  8. Lindsay Latimer February 12, 2018 / 11:45 am

    I need to up my reading game. I haven’t even made it through an entire book yet this year!

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 4:31 pm

      I don’t know how I’ve read so much this year. I think January was just slow for me. February is NOT giving me much time to read, though. It’s going to be a rough post next time around. Lol

      Like

  9. Kelly @ Noodle to the Rescue February 12, 2018 / 1:20 pm

    I like the idea of Scarlet – I think it sounds really fun! – but YA, love triangle, bad grammar… I don’t think I can do it.

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      Gah…. I feel bad because there were some bad ass aspects of that book. But it also had flaws. It just low-key annoyed me while I read it… lol.

      Like

  10. StephTheBookworm February 12, 2018 / 3:06 pm

    I still need to get those illustrated HP books. I think they’re great because I’ll enjoy them now, and Caleb will enjoy them when he’s a bit older.

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 4:33 pm

      YES. YOU. DO.
      Seriously, I love them. If our house was on fire and K & the dogs were out and safe, I’d run back in for those books. LOL

      Like

  11. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders February 12, 2018 / 3:24 pm

    January was not a good reading month for me either, but you still got more read than I did! I love picking up on all the foreshadowing when I reread Harry Potter too! It’s been a while since I read them though, and I think that I only read the last one once.

    Like

    • Audrey February 12, 2018 / 4:34 pm

      I think the best part about rereading the HP books is the foreshadowing. I mean, besides revisiting Hogwarts and all my friends 😉 lol
      My Feb. post is going to be weaaaaak. I’ve read NOTHING this month. UGH.

      Like

  12. Emelia Lawrence February 12, 2018 / 8:02 pm

    Last Christmas in Paris sounds cute. I’m bad at judging books sometimes because I love Thrillers so much that if it’s not a mystery I spend a lot of time determining my rating ha-ha.

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:43 pm

      Hahahaha. I think historical fictions are the easiest thing for me to rate, but then I advise people to take it with a grain of salt. You have to LIKE historical fiction in the first place for my rating to hold any weight. Lol

      Like

  13. Heather February 13, 2018 / 7:09 am

    I loved Last Christmas in Paris and I’m trying to recommend it to everyone I know. SO good. Yay for re-reading Harry Potter :):):)

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:43 pm

      It was cute, right? Just a good ol’ wartime romance.
      I’m LOVING rereading HP!

      Like

  14. Lauren Becker February 13, 2018 / 8:00 am

    I have the second and third illustrated Harry Potter books to read, which I plan to start the second one soon for my #FebruHARRY2018! 🙂

    Last Christmas in Paris sounds good; I really like books told in letter format.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:45 pm

      If you like letter format books then I think you’d like it.
      I have the third illustrated HP book sitting on my shelf. I’m trying to pace myself, though. Haha!

      Like

  15. carly February 13, 2018 / 8:07 am

    I’m reading a book on Danish living right now, and have had some of the same thoughts on the author’s experience / her research, wondering if she’s really representing the majority, but I am finding it really interesting so far.

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:46 pm

      According to some feedback I’ve gotten the Danes really DO all think and live that way. It just seems so strange to think of one culture as so united and universal in thought. Maybe it’s just because of how divided and diverse the US can be/is…

      Like

  16. Ana February 13, 2018 / 8:59 am

    Hygge sounds a little intereting… is this the feng Shui of 2018?

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:47 pm

      Ha, YES! That’s the perfect definition for it. Although it might be soooo 2016/2017- I’m late to the party and I know it.

      Like

  17. Shea February 13, 2018 / 9:11 am

    Your take on the Little Book of Hygge was the second book I’ve read recently about Danish living and you’re right, it does seem a little implausible that ALL THE DANES do these things. I did enjoy it and appreciated many of the practical tips, but to me it was just kind of a fun, gifty book that I more or less took with a grain of salt. I haven’t read any Harry Potter yet (the shame!) but I plan to read with my son in a couple of years when he’s old enough.

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:49 pm

      Perhaps I should’ve taken it with a grain of salt… lol.
      Oh man…. I envy those who haven’t read Harry Potter. If only I could experience it for the first time over and over again. I hope you BOTH love it like I do when you crack them open!!

      Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      It was a cute and heartwarming wartime romance. I’d definitely recommend it to historical fiction lovers 🙂

      Like

  18. kristen February 13, 2018 / 11:33 am

    Scarlet has been on my list for years so I am sure I will get to it some day. But, ugh love triangles? UGH. Who even thinks they work anymore? There was a phase where every book had a love triangle and then I feel like authors realised that we all hated them, we all know who we want the person to end up with and you risk annoying your readers if they want the other person. Rage. I’ve heard great things about Last Christmas in Paris so I’m glad you liked it!

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:51 pm

      Scarlet has some really really good qualities. I hope you like it more than I did!!
      I freaking haaaaaate love triangles. Hahahaha.

      Like

  19. Elizabeth February 13, 2018 / 12:29 pm

    I love all things Harry Potter and really want to find the illustrated editions! Love triangles in books annoy me … well, in real life too.

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:52 pm

      You NEED to find those illustrated books! They are gorgeous 😀

      Like

  20. Kristen from Pugs & Pearls February 13, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    You are able to review books like I wish I could! I have such a hard time nailing down why I do or do not like a book.
    Scarlet sounds like it could be such a cool story! If you had given it a 4 I may have added it to my to-read list.

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:54 pm

      Ha. I do, too… I usually write a review right after I finish the book, then I end up going back and editing it and amending what I said and revisiting my thoughts on it all. Ha.
      Scarlet had GREAT qualities…. it just had too many things going on that grated on my nerves. Lol

      Like

  21. amberiam February 13, 2018 / 5:48 pm

    I like the idea of the concept of hygge, but I feel like it would encourage me to wear leggings more than I already do…maybe that’s not such a bad thing though! Ha!

    Wartime romance books are my jam. Adding that to my list!

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      I styled my living room after the whole hygge concept- blankets, big pillows/couches, bookshelves, candles, cool colors. Beyond that, I don’t know that I want to embrace the concept much more. Lol

      Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 8:57 pm

      It was a cute, quick wartime romance that I got lost in 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

      Like

  22. Kristen February 13, 2018 / 7:37 pm

    I think the hygge concept is awesome, but I just can’t muster enough interest to actually read an entire book dedicated to it. To be fair, though, I doubt I will ever read any similar type of book … It’s hard enough to get me to stray from my beloved fiction, but if I do read nonfiction, it will most likely be in the form of a true crime book or really interesting memoir.

    I also have to admit that I’ve never read any Harry Potter books (or seen the movies, for that matter). I sometimes want to because obviously people love them. But fantasy isn’t really my thing and YA is so hit or miss for me … I’m just not sure how I’d feel about Harry Potter. Maybe one day.

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      I probably won’t read another book like the hygge one. At least not on that concept.

      I’ve never ever ever thought of Harry Potter as YA. It’s definitely fantasy, but I’ve never classified it as YA. I guess it kind of is, though. If you do decide to give it a shot (& I recommend that you do, lol) start with the books. Even if you alternate between book and film, I’d advise books first!

      Like

  23. Akaleistar February 13, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    The illustrated Harry Potter books are beautiful!

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      I think I audibly gasp when I turn each page, lol.

      Like

  24. Angela February 14, 2018 / 11:52 am

    I tried reading The Little Book of Hygge, but I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t even finish it. But I’m still interested in this topic, so I checked out 2 more books on the subject from the library. I hope they end up being better than this one was.

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 9:04 pm

      I hope the other ones are much better for you! Halfway through The Little Book… I realized I was force-reading. Ugh. Lol

      Like

  25. ppanda65photos February 15, 2018 / 10:17 am

    The The Christmas in Paris is on my tbr. Bought it before Christmas haven’t gotten a chance to pick it up yet! Pam 🙂

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! It was a quick and heartwarming read for me!

      Like

  26. carolann823 February 16, 2018 / 1:14 am

    Nick and I went to Denmark during the winter season and we loved all things hygge so I’ve been dying to read this book! But now I am not so sure because I hate when authors have that uppity/condescending tone!! I’m doing Erin’s challenge too !!

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      Maybe you’ll like it!! Especially since you have some hands-on experience with the culture! My mood sometimes determines how I perceive an author- give it a try just in case you end up loving it!

      Like

  27. Christina February 16, 2018 / 2:40 pm

    I loved the hygge book! I have yet to implement much of it though. I really need to work on the lighting in my house!

    Like

    • Audrey February 18, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      I’m glad you liked it!! Maybe I was in a mood when I read it…? lol
      I’m trying to turn my living room into a very Hygge place, haha!

      Like

  28. simplyalexandra12 February 19, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    heheh girl you crack me up. I loved Scarlet and Hygge. Hygge was pretty basic though, and I get your reasons for disliking Scarlet. I think *some* of those things change as the books go on. But it’s been a hot minute since I read them. 🙂 I want to read Last Christmas in Paris!! 🙂 XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    Like

    • Audrey February 23, 2018 / 8:45 am

      Scarlet was such a hate-love for me. I really disliked the language… but I did eventually get over it/figure out a way to see past it. I LOVED the badass-ery of Scarlet, though. And I liked her slow burn with Robin. I don’t know… I came out of that one conflicted.
      Maybe I was in a bad mood when I read Hygge? Haha. I dunno. I like the concept, just not the book 😉

      Like

  29. chelsea @ the new wifestyle February 26, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    ohhh i’m so glad you reviewed “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well” because i keep hearing about it too and was curious. our minds our similar so it’s a pass for now 🙂

    Like

    • Audrey February 27, 2018 / 10:38 am

      I half wonder if I was in a feisty mood… but yeah, I didn’t like the tone or the sweeping generalizations. Lol
      Try it closer to Christmas- maybe if you’re jolly and festive it sinks in better. Ha!

      Like

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