The first book I read by Dinah Jefferies was The Tea Planter’s Wife (read my review here) which was set in what is now Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) in the 1920s and told the story of a young Englishwoman who married a plantation owner and moved to Ceylon to live with him.
I found the plot of Before The Rains, Jefferies’ new book, to be a bit less surprising and engaging than that of The Tea Planter’s Wife, which had a major twist that I absolutely did not see coming. I also felt like the central character of The Tea Planter’s Wife was more rounded and complex than the main character in Before The Rains. I think in general Before The Rains felt less multi-dimensional than The Tea Planter’s Wife, which is why I gave Before The Rains 4 stars instead of 5.
However, Before The Rains was still a thoroughly enjoyable read that had me staying up past 2AM to finish it all in one sitting. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, I think this is a great one to add to your TBR, but I would read The Tea Planter’s Wife first.
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Winter 2017 was my second full season blogging on Novels And Nonfiction. I was going really strong until I was lucky enough to get an awesome brand new job, which understandably slowed my momentum slightly. I feel ready to pick back up now that I’ve adjusted to the new position though.
I ended up reading a total of 34 books in Winter 2017 (16 Nonfiction, 13 Contemporary Fiction, 4 Historical Fiction and 1 Classic). It was a little short of my goal of 40 books, but I’m very happy with the result.
I reviewed a total of 38 books in Winter 2017 (19 Nonfiction, 15 Contemporary Fiction, 3 Historical Fiction and 1 Classic). The discrepancy in the numbers between what I read and reviewed is due to the fact that I reviewed several books for my True Crime and Hillary Clinton Book Lists and Liane Moriarty Author Spotlight that I read in the past few years.
There are also a few books I read in Winter 2017 that I have yet to review, including: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Worth It by Amanda Steinberg, Before The Rains by Dinah Jefferies and Cannibalism by Bill Schutt. Reviews for all of these are coming in the next few weeks.
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I’m currently reading Virginia Woolf’s journals for an Author Spotlight I’m planning on her, but I’m having a hard time getting into anything I’m reading at the moment, which is weird for me. I’ve loved so many of her novels and yet when I tried to start The Waves, I simply could not connect with it. Part of the issue may be that I’m picking long books (like the history of China I’m also reading), so that I never feel like I’m making progress and it affects my motivation. Maybe I just need to focus on one title at a time so that I can feel I’m getting through it quicker. What is for sure is that these are definitely #firstworldproblems .
Now that I’ve bored you with my concerns about how fast I’m reading or how much I’m reading (though I’m sure many of you can relate) let me share some of the links from the book world that I’ve enjoyed this week.
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Another month, another list of a dozen books I hope to find time to read someday! The FOMO is strong with these ones, but I’m trying to be realistic about how fast I can get through books and how fast I can also post about them. I may only read half of these at some point in the next few months, but I found all of these titles deserving of mention.
I hope you’ll find something in my list that’ll catch your eye and luckily enough, most of these titles are currently available for request on Net Galley (a resource for book bloggers and reviewers to get access to ebook versions of books for free in return for honest reviews), so I encourage you to look them up and request them if you’re interested.
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A few months ago I joined Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s new online book club. It’s $10 a month and allows you to participate in discussions of the books chosen each month in an online forum or on the book club’s Facebook group, as well as take part in a scheduled live discussion for each month’s book, just like in a regular book club. I’m not paid to promote her Book Club or anything, I’m just trying it out and sharing my impressions with you.
For This Is How It Always Is, in addition to the regular discussion forum on the website, Modern Mrs Darcy was amazing enough to organize a live chat with author Laurie Frankel. I sadly had to miss it since I’m still very busy with my job change, but what’s so great about the online book club is that all webchat book discussions or other events like the one with Laurie Frankel are provided as recordings after that fact to members, so that you can still benefit even if you can’t make the event live. I tried to listen to the chat ahead of this review, but my internet wasn’t cooperating. I’m definitely adding it to my weekend to do list.
This Is How It Always Is would have been on my radar even without Modern Mrs Darcy‘s recommendation (I included it in my February 2017 Releases post), but I have to say that so far her recommendations have been excellent. She’s aced 2 out of 2 to date for me. Her March 2017 pick will be A Piece Of The World by Christina Baker Kline and I’m already looking forward to it. In the meantime, here is my review of the amazing, moving, thought-provoking This Is How It Always Is.
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Another busy week, but I didn’t want to miss out on checking out all the great reviews and posts on my favorite book blogs. It’s March and we’re almost at the end of Winter, when I’ll be reviewing my reading for the season and setting reading intentions for the Spring.
My reading has kept up a good pace despite the additional time and energy required from my recent job change, but blogging has taken a bit of a backseat. On a definitely positive note, I’m definitely feeling like this job transition was the right choice and I’m already feeling more settled in my new position.
I think I’ll have to be realistic about how much I’ll be able to post in the next few months. I’m planning to stick to one bigger post like a book list, author spotlight or reading summary post per week plus one individual book review, and of course Links I Loved.
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