The Prisoner of Heaven

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  • a mystery or thriller
  • a book set in a different country
  • a book with bad reviews
  • a book that was originally written in a different language
  • a book set during Christmas

Like I said in The Angel’s Game, my memory is killing me with these books. I’m pretty sure this book started around Christmastime. Pretty sure. I was actually pretty disappointed in this book, for several reasons. I didn’t enjoy the narrator as much (another audiobook). I don’t think the plot really held up to the first two books. It felt like a bridge book – all it seemed to do was set up Book #4. AND – it was published in 2012 but there is still no Book #4!! I was on such a high from the thrill of Angel’s Game that this was a let down. I still gave it a decent rating because I really enjoy the series and am desperately waiting on Book #4. Which may never be released.

Four Stars | The Wilson Buzz

Amazon | Goodreads


The Angel’s Game

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  • a book with more than 500 pages
  • a mystery or thriller
  • a book set in a different country
  • a book with bad reviews
  • a book with a love triangle
  • a book that was originally written in a different language

Curse my procrastination! And my faulty memory!! It’s been too long since I “read” (I listened to the audiobook) this book that I can’t remember the details that well. Plus I immediately started the next book, so the two plots (as well as the plot to the first one) are kind of muddled in my brain. I really enjoyed this trilogy, though. And I don’t think it’s actually a trilogy! I think he’s still writing books. But they are written in Spanish initially, and then translated. So who knows when Book #4 will come out? My Goodreads review is just “Whew… What a trip!” lol

Five Stars | The Wilson Buzz

Amazon | Goodreads


The Secret Garden

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  • a book that became a movie
  • a book set in a different country
  • a book more than 100 years old
  • a book based entirely on its cover
  • a book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
  • a book from your childhood

Such a fun book! It’s also fun to see historical racism. lol! I’ve always loved The Secret Garden and actually told our realtor when we were looking for a house that I’ve always wanted a “secret garden” type of backyard. Ours is…kind of like that? lol! (Oh, side note – the bush trees in that last picture that I thought were dead? They erupted in leaves a week or so ago. No clue what all that was about…but we’ll probably trim them down some this winter.) Oh, another fun fact/side note/what-have-you: I just did a search on Netflix to see if the movie was available to stream, and apparently there is a Japanese TV show called The Secret Garden that is about: “A wealthy man and a poor stunt girl fall in love. But things get complicated when their souls become inexplicably swapped and dark secrets surface.” You better believe it’s been added to my queue!!

What was I talking about again?

Five Stars | The Wilson Buzz

Amazon | Goodreads


Ragnarok: I Bring the Fire Part VI

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  • a book published this year
  • a book with a number in the title
  • a book with nonhuman characters
  • a funny book
  • a book by a female author
  • a book you haven’t read yet from an author you love
  • a book with magic

I loved this series. I really want to read through all of them again – maybe next year! C. Gockel is a great storyteller. These books have made me laugh, made me cry, etc. and so on. Love them! I highly recommend reading the series. Plus it’s dirt cheap. The first book has been free for ages – hopefully that won’t have changed by the time you read this post. Even this one, the newest, is only $5 on Amazon right now. They’re all eBooks, but she has begun to release them in paperback. Read them, love them, rate them.

Five Stars | The Wilson Buzz

Amazon | Goodreads


Bedwyn Saga

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I’m not counting these guys toward my 2015 Reading Challenge, but I’m still gonna talk about them.

I really enjoy Mary Balogh‘s books. They’re all fluffy romances, and with 70+ books all with the same theme (love) and time period (Regency era), there are some aspects that can get a bit…repetitive. But as long as you don’t read only her books, they’re fun! I usually read one series every year or so.

Anyway, between March 28 and April 6 I read…

Like I said, they’re all pretty good. I’d feel guilty if I gave them less than a five-star rating, considering how many times I’ve read this series over the years. Wicked and Sinful are the two I like the least, but they aren’t terrible…just not my favorites. And if you care at all, you don’t really need to read them in order – there’s no great surprise about who ends up with whom, and they are tragedies where someone eventually dies off or anything like that.


This is Where I Leave You

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  • a book that became a movie
  • a funny book
  • a book with bad reviews
  • a book that made you cry
  • a book by an author you’ve never read before

This was another book I was shocked to see with bad review on Goodreads. Some people are just lame and don’t know a good thing when they read it. ;) I laughed, I cried, and even though the ending was ambiguous – I didn’t hate it! One of the reviews that stuck with me was a woman complaining about how much the author discussed all the negative appearances of characters – even minor ones. The story is told in first person, from the perspective of a man closer to 40 than 30, who is dealing with a cheating wife, dysfunctional family, and dead father. He’s got a negative outlook on life, okay? And it’s not like he’s saying all this stuff to these people’s faces. Don’t you get all high-and-mighty and tell me you don’t judge strangers by their appearance. All the characters in this book are flawed. Deeply deeply flawed. But they’re also hilarious, and feel real. This book rocked my socks. I originally checked it out of the library, but I’m definitely going to buy a copy one day.

Five Stars | The Wilson Buzz

Amazon | Goodreads


The Picture of Dorian Gray

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  • a book set in a different country
  • a book a friend recommended
  • a book more than 100 years old
  • a book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
  • a book with bad reviews
  • a book with magic

I hated this book. Well, maybe that’s too strong. I was disappointed with this book. We read it in my book club. This is what I wrote when I finished it:

Here’s what I thought the plot was:

Dude commissions a painting, realizes how beautiful he is and wants to stay that way forever. He finds some sort of magician/wizard/witch doctor and they do some sort of magical who-doo to transfer his aging onto th
e canvas. But no one can ever look at the canvas, or he and it switch back. So he lives years and years (I’m talking decades, not just…20, or whatever), never aging. Eventually he or someone else accidentally looks at it, or he’s like “I’m old enough…let’s end this.” and looks at it. Fin.

Spoiler alert: That’s not how the book goes. >.> Maybe I’m just too uncultured to appreciate the classics.

three-stars

Amazon | Goodreads


Me Talk Pretty One Day

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  • a funny book
  • a book of short stories
  • a book set in a different country
  • a nonfiction book
  • a memoir
  • a book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit

I was so surprised to see all the negative reviews of this book on Goodreads! It’s still at 4/5 stars, but most of the written reviews on the first page (I’m not sure what the “default” sort is, though) are 3 stars or less. I guess some people just don’t like David Sedaris? One guy complained about how Sedaris tends to bend the truth to make his stories more interesting. So? It’s not like he’s a reporter lying to the public about a war somewhere. It’s funny stories about his life that are meant to entertain. I’d much rather read a pseudo-true entertaining story instead of a 100% true dull one. Do you really think all the jokes comedians tell about their lives are true? In this book he tells a story, then reveals that it got great laughs at a previous show, too. After the show a guy emailed him, upset because the story he’d told wasn’t true. He was all “Well I guess I can’t tell that story anymore…” But he still told it. It was a story-within-a-story. And who knows if the outer story is even true?? Either way – it was funny. And that’s all I ask for. lol! Oh, and I highly recommend getting the audiobook version. He narrates it himself and I love his voice.

Four Stars | The Wilson Buzz

Amazon | Goodreads


A Discovery of Witches

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  • a book with more than 500 pages
  • a book with nonhuman characters
  • a book by a female author
  • a book set in a different country
  • a book with magic
  • a book by an author you’ve never read before

This is the first in the All Souls Trilogy and it was pretty good! Kind of your basic supernatural romance novel. She’s a witch, and there are also vampires and daemons. Of course she falls in love with a vampire. I thought it was decently written, and her take on vampire/witch/daemon lore was fairly reasonable and well-constructed. Better than Twilight at any rate. ;) I do plan on finishing out the series soon. I’m on a waiting list to check the eBook out from the library.

Five Stars | The Wilson Buzz

Amazon | Goodreads


The Leftovers

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  • a book by an author you’ve never read before
  • a book based on or turned into a TV show

This was a pretty good book! I really enjoyed the narrator (I listened to the audiobook). It was a male – of course – and he didn’t really try to change his voice for different characters. I appreciated that. Men just can’t pull off female voices, and women definitely can’t do male voices. And an adult doing a child’s voice will haunt you for all your days. Outside of the narration, though, the plot was pretty interesting. Nothing too dramatic happened, other than a huge chunk of the human population disappearing with no explanation. ;) It was just a simple fictional guess as to how humanity would react if such a thing happened. It was interesting to see how the family splintered apart…the ending was a bit vague, which always kind of bugs me, and I was disappointed in the choices most of the characters made, but what can you do? The book itself was written well, even if the characters made poor choices. lol!

Four Stars | The Wilson Buzz

Amazon | Goodreads