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What I read: The Winter Edition 2020

I have been trying to read as much on my list as possible (it also doesn’t help that the list keeps growing as I discover new and interesting authors), especially since I will start work soon and won’t have so many leisurely hours in a day to power through books.

Such a Fun Age

WOW. The first chapter hooked me in because it is INTENSE. I had my heart beating in my chest as I read the words, and I felt as though I was that young woman in the store. It really hit home, how racist people can be.

The Daughters of Rome

More of Quinn’s fantastic writing. I devour her books like candy. She goes into such great detail, I can see it all in my head, and the writing/characters are so engaging, even the villans.

The Empress of the Seven Hills

Again, another great read, the sequel in the series.

Lady of the Eternal City

Same. I am devouring the entire series before I have a chance to even take a shower or breathe. If you love historical fictions, she is hands down my favourite author for them. The ending was just as satisfying.

Sushi Chef Sukiyabashi Jiro

This book just made me hungry, talking about all this fish and all the seasonal eating. It was created after that hit documentary on food called Jiro Dreams of Sushi which talked about THE BEST sushi master in the world and how he creates food. It’s a simple, seasonal book about why certain fish may be available year round but not necessarily at their peak – so why insist? Just eat it when it’s at their best, in season, and enjoy it.

The Lion and the Rose

What a satisfying ending. Truly. I read the first book in the Borgias Series, and this sequel to that book is as with all of Quinn’s books, a masterpiece of historical fiction. I loved it. I want to re-read the last part again actually, the ending was that good.

Love your Life

Kinsella has been disappointing as a chicklit writer for me, with her later works, but I am still reading them (unless they’re truly terrible) because I still enjoy her style of writing. This book was okay. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t so terrible that I wanted to toss it out the window. The plot was a bit strange in how they met, but I think near to the middle/end, it became much better, deeper and richer with the characters and their stories. I don’t think she’ll ever hit her Shopaholic stride again but this wasn’t a terrible book, it was enjoyably fluffy.

The Song of Achilles

I love historical fiction, and Miller is an excellent writer. I am SUCKED into her novels, although not as much as Kate Quinn, so you may want to check her out first before reading Miller’s books. This is about Achilles, and his mother Thetis was the inspiration for one of my necklaces.


The Heiresses

Was this book amazing, scream-from-the-rooftops-must-read? No.

Was it a page-turner? Yes. I really wanted to know what happened, but the whole plot is a tiny bit farfetched, and there wasn’t enough real drama, just a lot of … superficial drama, if that makes sense. I wish there was more on each character on how they each grew up and so on.

Murder on Cold Street

She’s a fantastic author. This new variation of Sherlock Holmes as Charlotte Holmes is both exciting to read and interesting from a feminist point of view. I truly enjoy her work, and I welcome any future endeavours of hers.

Ribbons of Scarlet

The French Revolution brought to harsh and stark reality from the lives and perspectives of women – from the fruit seller to the aristo. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this. I learned so much more about this event (not having been educated on it before, as I am Canadian), and it was quite an interesting read, as well as enlightening as to how mob mentality starts and corruption sneaks in.


A fantastic book as always by Williams. This one is a true love story, along with that hint of chicklit all-consuming exciting love that we enjoy, but it is not overly clichéd (except for a few points), and kind of a mind-bending twist. I won’t give away what the twist is, but it is pretty apparent after a few chapters.

The Wicked City

This is Book One in the Wicked City series and I was hooked by chapter one. Obviously a lot of what she writes about is unmarried mothers with/without options, the nuances of relationships between men and women, both in the past and modern-day … and this book is no different.

The Wicked Redhead

Book Two in the series (I like reading things in order), and I enjoyed the series so much I am waiting on pins and needles to find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT TO KELLY. I need to know. Please please please let there be a book 3.

Big Summer

Not a typical chicklit book, has a twist of a mystery in there (I WILL NOT REVEAL IT, it shocked me when it happened), and I love that she confronts the body image and size talk of bigger women in this. How they feel, how they’re made to feel, how they’re treated… this is all very important to read for ..well, anyone, because all women have body issues, no matter how confident they are.

I cannot say it was completely satisfying as a mystery novel (too many little things to remember about the plot and the characters), but it was decent in that respect, and better as a chick-lit and look into the psyche of social media affecting young people these days.

The Serpent and the Pearl

The BORGIA SERIES!!! You know I am reading Book 2 in this the minute it becomes available at my library. I have only briefly heard of the Borgias and how powerful they were, but this book brings them to life. She’s another strong writer that really gets into the mind/thoughts and feelings of characters to make them feel so real in your head, it’s scary.

Free Prize Inside

This is more of a business “rah rah” book, like “HOW TO GET MORE CUSTOMERS AND WIN FRIENDS!” sort of thing. I guess I could use it for my personal life in terms of blogging and selling more of my books or whatever, but I really can’t be bothered to work that hard (in case we haven’t met yet, I am quite lazy…)

A Hundred Summers

I am working through her whole stash of writings, so this is another one I enjoyed thoroughly. A lot of her books are based in the past which is a nice twist/different perspective, since she talks about independence and freedoms while in the setting of let’s say the 1940s when women didn’t have many options, if any at all. And her men are equally as liberal which I suspect sadly, was not the case back then.

The Bride Test

On the one hand, I like the Vietnamese culture being peppered throughout the book, little cultural explanations, etc. On the other hand, I found it a bit awkward to read but I can’t put my finger on why. I suspect it is this whole bride thing, or the unbelievable outrageousness of how she even got into that position because there’s no way it would happen IRL, what happened in that hotel bathroom and the offer being made. I won’t give it away but it started off on an outrageous situation.

The Shelf

Horrible plot. What a .. stupid show for the plot. I read it anyway, because it wasn’t horrible enough to stop, and on the bright side, it got marginally better before the end, about halfway through. I just found all of the plot so insipid, but that’s not to say what was said wasn’t true – lots of gaslighting from guys, and things society tells us of who we should be if we are “ladies”, is all in this book.

The Love Season

A typical book for her. Kind of dark with what happened (won’t give away the surprise reveal), but it was a decent book that explores love, friendships…

The Switch

LOVE THIS BOOK. I love the whole book. The writing, the characters, the premise, it’s all so good. I loved this book a lot.

Recipe for a Perfect Wife

This book triggered me so much. In a good way. I like how half of the story turned out, but not the other half, it wasn’t as satisfying as I expected. The quotes at the start of each chapter were artfully placed to barb you, and they certainly triggered me. There were a lot of parts of the book that I also felt quite triggered by because it described violence against women.

The Honey Don’t List

I feel like this book is loosely based on the success of the Gaines’ (TV heartthrob couple that fixes up old homes for people), but with a typical “they’re faking it” twist. A lot of it sounds quite.. close to them, down to their personality descriptions, though the woman in this novel is more uptight.

At any rate, I found it hard to slog through, but I just wanted to know how it turned out, so I finished it. It’s obvious who the love interests are going to be, and I think I very much DISLIKED the start of the book because the main character Carey is such a bloody doormat.

I really dislike books where women are so … doormat-y. It makes it hard for me to read it as I just get frustrated and want to scream at them, especially if they’re not artfully depicted like in some other chicklit books.

What I couldn’t read:

I usually give these books 2-3 chapters to draw me in, then I cut my losses.

  • The Night Watchman – Louise Erdrich (No pull)
  • Year of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks (Triggered by hearing she had young children and now no longer had them; lost interest)
  • The School for Heiresses – What a horrible book. It is basically romance short stories, and I was not looking for this.



  • HeatherC

    Love these lists! We have a lot of favorite authors and series in common. I have never read Kate Quinn though so I am going to add her to my list! Might I recommend one of my favorites too? I am loving CS Harris.

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