My Top 20 Favorite Books Read in 2017!

Good afternoon,
This year seems to have flown by and it’s been full of many wonderful memories. There have been some difficult moments and I struggled at times but overall in the reading sense, it was such a great year!
Last year I set a goal last year of reading 75 and only made it to 68. I was disappointed in myself because I was so sure I would make it and it was the first time in a long time that I didn’t reach my goal on Goodreads. This year I was determined to get to my goal of 80 and am happy to report that I exceeded it by 10! That’s 90 books of some authors that I already loved, some new ones and some genres that I tried because I don’t normally read them. I didn’t regret branching out and I found some new favorites! Not sure what my goal will be next year, ideally 100 but don’t want to push myself too much.
I also wanted to note that I think that whether you have read one book or hundreds, you are a winner because it’s not about the amount of books you’re reading but the quality and the enjoyment.
So without further ado, I present to you my list of 20 favorites for 2017
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1. Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon
2. The Silver Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey
3. Lady of Magick by Sylvia Izzo Hunter
4. No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes
5. A History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
6. The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
7. A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
8. Where The Wild Things Are by Molly Harper
9. Hunted by Meagan Spooner
10. Once Upon A Summer Night by Nancy Scanlon
11. Templar Scrolls by Jasmine Walt and Ines Johnson
12. Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack
13. Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis
14. The Lady and the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall
15. The Highland Duke by Amy Jarecki
16. The Intuitives by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown
17. Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
18. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
19. Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini
20. The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova
If any of these interest you, feel free to go here to learn about them!
I hope you had a wonderful reading year and if not, then maybe 2018 will be your year! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and it’s been such a pleasure to share my love of reading. Here’s to the new year and more chances to read great books!
Slainte
~Meg
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Enchantress of Numbers Review

Good evening,

I recently finished a book about Lady Ada Lovelace, considered to be the first computer programmer. I had not read much about Ada Lovelace before reading this book but when I was asked if I’d like to receive a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review, I couldn’t resist accepting. I’m glad I didn’t know much going into this book because it made the experience a lot more exciting and at times heart breaking. So without further ado, I present to you my thoughts.

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This is the fictional story of Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace whose father was Lord George Gordon Byron 6th Baron of Byron the famous poet and her mother Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke, 11th Baroness of Wentworth, whose marriage fell apart shortly after Ada was born.

She was raised mostly by her Mother’s doting Grandparents, a long range of Governesses, Tutors, occasionally her Mother and her Mother’s friends. Taught from a young age that her imagination is wicked, becoming a poet like her Father would be a terrible thing and encouraged to seek knowledge particularly of the Math, Science and Music variety, she had quite the interesting and yet at times lonely upbringing. Any time her imagination tried to soar, her Mother would clip those wings and repeatedly remind her that she’d better stay on the ground and keep her imagination in a locked box while also knowing how to be a well off lady.
It’s a wonder that she grew into being such a kind, considerate and creative woman with an amazing Mathematician . She became close friends with the brilliant Charles Babbage( known today as the Father of the PC), Charles Dickens, fellow Mathematician Mary Somerville (who was also her idol) and many other fascinating people that had a hand in helping shape the world today.
She was a Mother to three, loving wife, devoted friend and had a rocky relationship with her Mother. She was passionate about trying to get the funding for her friend Babbage’s Difference Engine to be shown to the world, even going so far as to write a series of notes as to he important this invention would be. One has to wonder how different life would be today if it had been successfully fully built at that time.
She was a woman ahead of her time who really cared about those around her and it’s a shame she didn’t get the fame she had hoped for and not just because she was Lord Byron’s daughter. Her life was cut short at the age of thirty six due to cancer which is tragic to say the least. One has to wonder what she may have accomplished had she lived to her seventies or eighties.

It was such a pleasure to read this book and I enjoyed getting insight into how Ada’s life may have been being a woman truly ahead of her time. This book has inspired me to want to know more about her and those she became friends with.

Well that wraps up my take on this fascinating book and I’m so glad I took a leap to give this book a shot. Thank you for dropping by to read about my bookish ramblings and I hope you had a great time. Be sure to tune in soon!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

 

 

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In Which Mysteries Abound, Oh My!

Good evening,

As a kid and teen, mystery didn’t much interest me because I was more interested in books about adventure, magic and romance. I am still very much into those kinds of books though as I get older my tastes are expanding to appreciate some mystery novels, historical romance, fantasy and sci-fi.

I was so happy when I was contacted about receiving a digital copy of a book that is about a mystery set in the early 1900s on a large ship bound for England and I of course accepted!

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Flora Maguire is Governess to the young Edward, Viscount Trent who are both traveling on the maiden voyage of the SS Minneapolis from New York to London. They had attended his eldest sister’s wedding with his parents and are bound for home while his parents do a tour around the United States.

Flora notices something peculiar about a man and woman who seem to be fighting about something though she soon puts the thought away while caught in the excitement of taking off from the dock and trying to get settled into her shared quarters with her young charge. When Eddy goes off to dinner, Flora walks the deck for a bit of fresh air and encounters Bunny Harrington who she finds herself drawn to.

Not even a day later, Flora is walking the promenade deck and happens to glance down at a set of narrow steps that lead to the Salon Deck and at the bottom appears to be a pile of clothing. Curious about the bundle, she moves closer and finds to her shock that it’s actually a person, one of the people she noticed having a disagreement the day before and who is now dead.

A crew member shows up shortly afterwards and a Doctor is sent for and is deemed an accident. Flora is quite sure it wasn’t accidental though not many seem to believe her and think she may be just experiencing shock. Determined to find out if it really was accidental or murder, Flora sets out to discover what happened and is determined to get to the bottom of things.

With her growing attraction for Mr. Harrington, keeping an eye on her young charge and trying to solve a mystery, Flora has a lot on her plate. It will take determination, a bit of luck and perseverance to juggle this combination and she just may be in over her head though Flora is not one to give up easily and just may have a few tricks up her sleeve to hopefully solve this death and catch the potential culprit.

This book was such a pleasure to read. The descriptions were so well done that I could almost imagine being on the ship and seeing the events take place. Anita really has a way with words and I found myself really liking Flora. It’s amazing how just a few details can later be a big help and she could very well be a female version of Sherlock Holmes.

I also enjoyed reading about the budding romance between Bunny and Flora who were so adorable from the moment they met and give me lots of warm fuzzies.

If you’re looking for a cozy mystery set mostly on a ship in the late 19th Century that has adventure, humor, romance and wonderful descriptions of life during that time, I highly recommend this book!

I’m so glad there are two other books in this series for me to enjoy and I hope there may be more in the future!

Thank you so much for tuning in and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. I’ve been trying to get better at updating my reading progress here more and it’s slowly starting to come together.

Until next time, happy reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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A Review of Hattie’s Home

Good afternoon,

I recently finished a book that takes place in the aftermath of World War 2 and talk about the feels! Before I gush about this book, I do want to mention that I generously received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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It’s January 1947 and Hattie Wright is a young English woman who has been relieved of her military post as an ATS Sergeant stationed in Belgium for the last five years. After receiving a letter from her Mom, urging her to come home to Bermondsey because she’s nearly blind, Hattie complies.
Shocked by the destroyed buildings, beaten up by a gang of unruly kids and finding her Mom with a boyfriend living in the only habitable spot is one room in a house, she knows that crashing on the couch can only last for so long and she hopes she can get a life away from Bermondsey.
Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned so Hattie finds herself working back at the Alaska which is a factory that turns furs into clothing, reconnecting with old friends, making a few friends including a woman named Clara who is a new Mother whose parents refuse to help her due having a child with a half colored Australian, trying to stay away from some of the drama that a couple of nosy gals are stirring up and avoiding her ex-fiance as much as possible.
After a month or so, she’s fed up with living at her Mom’s and decides to find a new place to live. Turned away from all but the most expensive places, not wanting to be put on a two year wait list for prefab, she comes across some abandoned huts that gunners used during the war and figures one wouldn’t be so bad with a few improvements. A man named Joe who works as a chemist at the Alaska is already staying in one and grumbles about her being there but eventually learns to be fine with it. She finds herself bringing a small crowd of people to most of the other huts when word spreads and working together, help make the huts habitable.
Just when things start to look up for Hattie and her fellow neighbors, her ex and his family start making trouble because they want to own the huts and force the inhabitants to pay rent. When two huts are burned and a man is seriously injured helping people escape one hut, the people of this small community know that actions need to be taken before things get worse.
It will take the unlikely help of a street smart kid, someone loyal to Clara and staying one step ahead of the family to take care of the issue once and for all.

There’s so much that went on in this story and yet they are all connected which I really enjoyed. I couldn’t put this book down because I needed to know how Clara’s story would turn out after her parents refused to help. How Ronnie and his Mom Lou would find a way out of the slums when Lou is half mad from all the loss she has endured and Ronnie spends more time on the streets with his friends, causing mischief than in school. Whether Hattie would get out of the rut she finds herself in and who she might fall in love with. These are just some of the many parts of this book!

Equal parts inspiring and heartbreaking, it was such a fascinating book to read. I loved the sense of community, unexpected love, adventure and the power of friendship during the aftermath of World War 2.

This was my first time reading a book by Mary Gibson and I look forward to reading more by her!

So that concludes my ramblings for this book and I hope you’ve enjoyed them. Stay tuned as I’ll be posting shortly about another book I read recently!

Happy Reading!

~Meg

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