August 2017 @BookOfTheMonth Reviews: Fierce Kingdom, Killers Of The Flower Moon And 2 More Titles

August 2017 Book Of The Month Reviews On Novels And Nonfiction

Book Of The Month is a subscription service that sends you one hardcover book per month out of five selections for a low monthly subscription fee. You can add 2 more titles to your monthly delivery for $9.99 each, and the price overall is very cheap for full-size hardcovers.

Book Of The Month is not paying me to promote their service. I just love it so much that I’ve turned my monthly deliveries into a feature on my blog 🙂 I do encourage you to try it though, because if you like hardcovers it’s a great deal.

You can use my referral link to sign up if you’re interested in trying it. You’ll get your first three months for just $9.99 each plus a cute tote. And I’ll get a free book when you join. Win, win!

I had a pretty lucky month for my Book Of The Month selections. I ended up with two five star picks (Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips and Killers Of The Flower Moon by David Grann) and one solid three star pick (The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan). I also ended up with a bonus book (The Sisters Chase by Sarah Healey) because Book Of The Month sent it to me accidentally. Once I let them know, they shipped the correct book out to me asap and let me keep The Sisters Chase as well (great customer service). I ended up not loving it, but I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Read my full reviews below!

Links I Loved This Week – 10/22/17

Links I Loved From The Bookish World For The Week Ending 10/21/17 On Novels And Nonfiction

I’ve had a pretty good week, aside from a small debacle with my rabbit getting sick on Friday (still ongoing, but hopefully he’ll be better soon). I mostly stuck to my blogging plan and made progress on my reading as well.

I read my Book Of The Month copy of Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips in one sitting, staying up till 1AM to finish it this past Sunday night. It’s under 300 pages and different from the usual thriller with the girl gone missing plot. Considering that shootings are now a sadly regular occurrence in the news, it could be triggering for some, but I found it exceptionally well done.

Book Of The Month also brought me another 5 star read this week in Killers Of The Flower Moon by David Grann. I loved its mix of history and true crime. Reviews for both Fierce Kingdom and Killers Of The Flower Moon will be up on the blog this week (along with reviews of the two other Book Of The Month books from my August delivery).

Hope all of you had a good reading/blogging/regular life week as well!

Just Read: The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules Of Magic Book Review On Novels And Nonfiction

Just like many other women who grew up in the 90s, I loved the movie Practical Magic, in which fresh-faced Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman played two rebel witch sisters. I had no idea, at the time, that the movie was based on a novel by Alice Hoffman, written in 1995.

My first encounter with Alice Hoffman’s writing was actually by reading two of her other novels. First Faithful, which I really ended up not liking and decided to skip reviewing. And then The Marriage Of Opposites for a book club, which was better than Faithful but still felt slow and repetitive to me. Both novels had elements of magical realism, but definitely not to the level of the Practical Magic series.

Based on my lackluster prior experiences with Hoffman’s writing, I wasn’t sure if I’d like The Rules of Magic as much as I loved the movie based on its sequel. Maybe it was the familiarity of the story and settings, or that I actually do need more magic from Hoffman to enjoy her writing, but I definitely ended up enjoying it. Find out why below.

Just Read: The Best Kind Of People by Zoe Whittall

The Best Kind Of People Book Review On Novels And Nonfiction

I don’t actually remember why I decided to request The Best Kind Of People from Net Galley. It may be that I heard about the book during some blog hopping. The premise is definitely intriguing – with a scandal at the heart of a small and close-knit community tearing the family it affects apart.

It was my first read by Zoe Whittall – she has two other novels whose names sound familiar – Bottle Rocket Hearts and Holding Still For As Long As Possible – but I’ve read neither. If you have, leave me a comment to let me know which one you think I might want to read next.

Overall, I liked Whittall’s writing style in The Best Kind Of People and the care she put into character development. However, there were some elements of the book that I found lacking, due to which I gave it 3 stars. I was a bit undecided between 3 or 4, so you can call it 3.5 if you’d like. Continue reading for my full review!

Links I Loved This Week – 10/15/17

Links I Loved This Week On Novels And Nonfiction

Anyone else ready for it to actually be fall? We’re going through another unseasonable heat wave in LA at the moment, and it’s scheduled to be over 90 degrees today. Whyyyyy! The sad part is nearly every day for the next week is supposed to be over 80, so there’s no end to this in sight for now.

I can’t be the only one who is firmly a creature of Fall and Winter. All I’m waiting for is the opportunity to layer, wear chunky scarves, drink tea or cider non-stop and in general have even more excuse to scorn society for my books. There’s also just something regenerative in the cold air and the feeling of holidays approaching. This week I was able to book my flight home for Christmas to Milan and that’s also something I always look forward to. I’ll be home for two weeks, hopefully doing nothing but stuffing myself full of Italian food and reading 🙂

I enjoyed reading through everyone’s posts this week. Here are my favorite links!

Book Pairing: What Made Maddy Run By Kate Fagan And Reconstructing Amelia By Kimberly McCreight

What Made Maddy Run And Reconstructing Amelia Book Pairing On Novels And Nonfiction

I first included What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan in my list of Nonfiction Book releases I was looking forward to in Summer 2017. I knew it would be an important read, although there’s something to be said about the fact that a book about suicide that did not involve a beautiful, young, white woman would not have gotten the same level of attention. I actually felt that Maddy’s story was important exactly because she fit so neatly into that image of an ‘ideal’ or privileged life and was still subject to intense pressure, depression, and ultimately the impulse of taking her own life.

This was the kind of book pairing in which one book directly leads you to another. What I mean is that I didn’t read What Made Maddy Run and then decide to find a novel that covered suicide to match it with. Rather, Reconstructing Amelia is mentioned in Kate Fagan’s book about Maddy because Maddy decided to leave a copy of the novel at the top of the parking structure from which she committed suicide. Once I learned that, I felt that reading Reconstructing Amelia might help me understand Maddy better.

If you read both books, you’ll realize that Maddy’s story and Amelia’s don’t fit neatly together and it’s impossible to know exactly why Maddy decided to leave Reconstructing Amelia behind. It’s possible Maddy may have been drawing a parallel between herself and Amelia when it comes to the kinds of social pressure they were subject to through social media, their own expectations, the groups in which they participated and the assumptions of people around them.

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