Looking for something different?

Hello and happy summer, everyone! I didn’t think it would be possible, but this year has been even busier than last year was. Has anyone else noticed that? Despite being run off my feet while the days become weeks and weeks dissolve into months, I have found time to enjoy a little literary peace and tranquility.

Himself  by Jess Kidd
I have to admit, I was immediately drawn to this book because of the cover. As a honeybee enthusiast and admirer, I couldn’t resist picking this up at the bookstore and was pleasantly intrigued by the synopsis. There are some brief moments of graphic brutality that caused me to question my choice, but I persevered and I’m glad I did. This book was an enjoyable step out of the norm and I really liked it. As per my usual, it’s out of the ordinary and would definitely be at home in the ‘quirky’ category.

The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley
Oh my goodness, was this ever a fantastic book! I highly, highly recommend it. Once again, this is beyond the scope of your average mass market read; a really engaging look into Renaissance-era art and forgeries. Intrigue, murder, scandal and a touch of romance make this a wonderful escape from the everyday. If you are looking for something different, this is another book you might just love.

Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
This one was a real surprise. I don’t know why I always expect older books to be kind of slow, but this was amazingly gripping. I am a huge Wilkie Collins fan, and I think Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s style is similar in a lot of ways (but slightly less wordy). There was murder, tons of mystery, secrets galore, suspense almost from the very first page, and a delightfully happy ending. Again, this is one I would definitely recommend.

What are you reading this summer? If you’re looking for a break from the ordinary, I hope these books will give you a nice change, leaving you refreshed and ready for your own next chapter!

You gotta read this!

Hi everyone! I am so sorry I have been such an infrequent blogger this year. Interesting, original blog posts have been hard to come up with, and life has been so busy that I haven’t had many opportunities to read. But I hope I will be able to create more posts as we move into the second half of 2016.

This year, my goals is to re-read some of my favourite books, as well as to read some of the classics that I still haven’t read yet. Future posts will bring you up to date on my progress in those areas, but this post is about some new, interesting, and entertaining books I’ve read lately that I highly recommend.

  • The Case of the Secretive Sister by Nilanjan P. Choudhury

I first heard of this absolutely delightful book from another blogger, The Bibulous Bibliobiuli. His review here is definitely worth reading to get more of a sense of this witty, engaging read. It’s published in India, and I have not read much contemporary Indian fiction, but this was a quick read that was fun from cover to cover. Perfect summer reading, or just to get away from everything for a while, I know you’ll be glad you read it.

  • Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

This is the second book I’ve read by Amy Stewart, and I thoroughly enjoyed them both. Girl Waits With Gun takes place in pre-WWI America, and is based on true events. The author brings the past vividly to life in this story about a thug and his gang of hoodlums who hit a horse-drawn buggy while they are driving in their car. The three Kopp sisters were in the buggy at the time of the accident, and the story unfolds as they try to get the driver to pay up for the damages. A very satisfying story with a dose of history as well!

  • The Great Pearl Heist by Molly Caldwell Crosby

The Great Pearl Heist falls into the true crime category. It’s a well-researched tale of the amazing theft of the world’s most expensive necklace. It happened in London in 1913, and as well as full details on the theft itself, we also learn a lot about policing and the art of detection at that time. For a synopsis, click here – but I have to warn you, if you don’t already, you will want to read the book after you learn more about it!

Some Quirky, Unusual Titles to Enjoy

The 100-year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

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  • This book was a treat from cover to cover (just a few moments that dragged). I  love how bizarre all the characters are, and the epic scope of the tale within a tale made it all the more interesting. Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.

Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was by Barry Hughart

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  • This novel’s main characters were very endearing, and the story itself was therapy for an active imagination. I loved every page. Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.

Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant

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  • Honestly, the style of writing was an adjustment for me, but once I got going, Audrey’s memories of her childhood warmed my heart. An out-of-the-ordinary, refreshing and quirky read. Check out more reviews on Amazon.ca.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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  • This book gives those of us who aren’t Asian and/or filthy rich a fascinating glimpse into the world of the Asian mega-rich, with lots of comedy thrown in. Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.

Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story by Vickie Myron

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  • When I saw that this is a true story about a tiny kitten who shouldn’t have survived, I was instantly intrigued. A quick read, this book was wonderfully uplifting. Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.

The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley

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  • Set in post-WWI New York, this book was thoroughly heart-warming. Very interesting to those who enjoy reading about how things used to be, with murder and espionage to boot! Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

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  • Books like Landscape of Lies and Rule of Four come to mind with this one, although the humor and very currant setting makes it even better. The protagonist’s wry humor and the swirling mystery place this book firmly into the quirky category on my list of fun books to read. Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (YA fiction, but don’t let that keep you from a truly delightful read)

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  • Besides reviving memories of first hearing this read to me by my father sometime before my tenth birthday, this book was interesting in its wonderful characters and epic scope. Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (and other Flavia de Luce mysteries) by Alan Bradley

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  • This quirky little detective is absolutely adorable, and she’s a very smart girl. Also set in times past, this is another thoroughly delightful read from beginning to end. Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.