The Siberian American: Sixteen Books I Read This Summer and Fall

Monday, November 5, 2018

Sixteen Books I Read This Summer and Fall

Hey there, book friends! It's been too long since I've shared my books with y'all. We had a crazy summer that included four weeks in DC, and then it was time for Anthony's first birthday! I wasn't posting, but I did manage to read a lot! When we were in DC, our AirBnB was all one big room, so I spent most of the time after Anthony went to bed reading. Thankfully, most of the books were great, so I'm excited to share them with y'all.

On a Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell
(c/o NetGalley)
On a Cold Dark Sea is a historical fiction that focuses on three women who were in the same lifeboat during the sinking of the Titanic. It focuses less on the event itself and more on how it impacted the women for the rest of their lives. I liked how there was a chapter about each woman before the Titanic sank, which helped develop their characters. Overall, it was a good read.

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable
(c/o NetGalley)
I have mixed feelings about this book. It felt like it dragged in parts, and I think the main reason for that is it's way longer than it should have been. I had never heard of Alicia Darr and her relationship with JFK, so that was interesting, but I will say this book read more like women's fiction than historical fiction. My biggest complaint is all of the characters felt underdeveloped. Everyone in the Kennedy family (except maybe Pat) was deemed awful with no redeeming qualities. I enjoyed the other Michelle Gable book I read, but this one fell a little flat for me.

Willow's Way by Sharon Struth
(c/o NetGalley)
I needed to read something light, and Willow's Way fit the bill. That's not to say it's fluffy-there are definitely some serious topics discussed in the book. Overall,though, it's a sweet love story, and I really enjoyed it.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
There's not much else to say about this book that hasn't been said. It's beautiful, heartbreaking, and important. I've read so much WWII historical fiction, but this one stands out with both the narrator (Death) and the perspective of a German girl. I'm just thankful for Erin's challenge. I've been wanting to read this forever, but I hadn't made it a priority until the challenge.

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
(c/o NetGalley)
I don't think it's fair to call this book a thriller. Even though it's centered around a murder, it's more of a family drama. Still, it sucked me in and kept me interested. The ending ruined a really good book for me. I think a lot of people will like the ending, but I hated it.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
I can't believe it took me this long to read this book-this is one of the first books I added to my "to read" shelf on GoodReads back in 2013. I really liked this book. The twists were interesting, and in my pre-baby days, I would have definitely read this in one sitting. There is one part that made me almost physically ill based on my current life stage, but overall, it was so well done.

The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam
(c/o NetGalley)
I mostly enjoyed this historical fiction about Pushkin and his wife Natalya. It got a little bit boring in the middle, but it picked up at the end. It was interesting to read about the years leading up to Pushkin's duel, and how Natalya felt in the aftermath.

Secret Shores by Ella Carey
(c/o NetGalley)
I wasn't sure if I would like this book based on the description, but I LOVED it. I thought both the past and present (though present is 1987 in this case) parts were done well, and I really liked the love story in the past section. I did hope the present section was a bit more developed, especially at the end, but overall, it was an interesting read.

Intercepted by Alexa Martin
(c/o NetGalley)
Overall, I loved this read. Marlee and Gavin are both fantastic characters, and it's the perfect read to kick off the beginning of football season! I thought it was really realistic for a romance novel, and Marlee's one-liners were funny, though I could have done without all of the hashtags. The pace of the novel threw me off a bit. It was hard to follow at times because the author would jump ahead a week or a month. Still, it was a great story, and I was excited to see this is a series!

The Girl from Berlin by Ronald H. Balson
(c/o NetGalley)
I'm at the point where I will basically read everything Ronald H. Balson writes because it's SO good. He's definitely one of my favorite historical fiction writers. The past/present format is done so well, and the mystery sucked me in pretty quickly. It was both heartbreaking and hopeful. If you're a World War II historical fiction fan, you need to read this one!

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton
(c/o NetGalley)
I'm a big Kate Morton fan, and I enjoyed this novel, but it wasn't one of my favorites. I liked the character of the Clockmaker's Daughter, and the reveal of what happened to her was interesting, but it felt like there was a lot of extra information in between. Also, Kate Morton usually does such a great job of weaving the past and present together, but all of a sudden in the middle of the novel the present -day story disappears, and it barely gets resolved at the end. I'm probably being a bit overly critical just because of how much I usually love Kate Morton's books. I still enjoyed it and would recommend it to historical fiction fans!

Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
(c/o NetGalley)
I loved Elin Hilderbrand's new book. It's fast-paced and really kept me turning the pages. The characters are all relatable and well developed, and the setting of St. John is perfect. My only negative is that I have to wait a year to read the next book in the series!

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I really enjoyed this short story told exclusively in letter format. I especially liked the ending. TJR can really do no wrong!

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin
(c/o NetGalley)
Holly Martin has been one of my go-to authors for a quick feel-good romance over the last few years, and this book was no exception. The story was super sweet, and I loved the setting. Melody and Jamie weren't my favorite characters that Holly Martin has created (I like Tori and Aidan from the first book in this trilogy better), but I still really enjoyed this book. I can't wait to read the last book in this trilogy (though all the books also work as stand-alone novels) because I really like Isla and Leo.

The Suspect by Fiona Barton
(c/o First to Read)
This is the first time in a long time that I've read a book this quickly. Every page was interesting, and I was eager to see how it ended. This would have definitely made me pull an all-nighter reading before I became a mama. I'll definitely be reading more Fiona Barton books in the future!

The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall
(c/o NetGalley)
One of my favorite parts of reading historical fiction is learning something new, and I really enjoyed learning about New York's Miss Subways beauty contest through this novel. The past and present parts of the book were woven together brilliantly, and Charlotte and Olivia were both great characters. It kept me interested the whole time and was a light read while still dealing with some relevant topics. If you're a historical fiction fan, definitely pick this one up!

Favorite reads from this summer and fall: The Book Thief, Secret Shores, Intercepted, The Girl from Berlin, Winter in Paradise, The Suspect, and The Subway Girls.

Linking up with Steph & Jana.

I love book suggestions. What have you read lately?

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