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The Cozy Reading Nook

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

TBR Mix & Mingle - What I'm Reading for March

TBR Mix & Mingle

March 2019

Find my March books:

TBR Mix & Mingle - What I'm Reading for March

As we start blooming into spring and leaving that cold, wet winter behind, I’m gearing up for a great reading month.  While I didn’t exactly read what I planned in January and February, I did finish five books each month.  Now, with warmer weather around the corner, outside activities, and a month full of birthdays, we’ll see if I’m as successful this month!

I'm linking up with Literary Quicksand for March's TBR Mix & Mingle.

The Locksmith's Daughter by Karen Brooks 

The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks

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After her reputation is ruined, the locksmith’s daughter, Mallory Bright, has a questionable future.  It is 1580, Elizabeth I is queen, and Mallory gets swept up in the world of espionage that was famous during this time.  It turns out her unofficial training from her father has made her specially equipped to become a spy. 

I’m interested because… Elizabethan times are intriguing and mysterious, and I just read A Column of Fire (my review)… that has a backdrop of the spies and religious conflict surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s England. 

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton


The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

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I think I might be becoming a Morton-ite (is that a thing?).  After finishing The House at Riverton (my review) last year and The Forgotten Garden (my review) last month, I’ve picked up another of her books! 

Like other Kate Morton books an old house (in this case a castle) is a central character to a story that spans time to figure out the secrets of a family.  In the Distant Hours, Edie discovers a 50 year old letter that leads to questions about her mother’s time during World War II. 

I’m interested because…it’s Kate Morton, obviously, but also because of the connection to World War II.  Plus, the inside cover says, “Morton pays homage to the classics of gothic fiction”, and I’m interested to find out what that means and how she does that.

The Witch Elm by Tanya French


The Witch Elm by Tanya French

Find it on Amazon

Way back in October, I was looking for suspenseful reads for fall, and The Witch Elm was on my list.  However, I’m just now getting around to it!  Part of me says it’s not a book for spring, but since I have it now I don’t think I can wait. 

After Toby is attacked and left for dead, he decides to retreat to his ancestral home.  This turns far from restful for him, as a skull found on the estate leads to detectives asking questions about his past.  But how much can he trust his past?  Does he know who he is?

I’m interested because… knowing ourselves seems to hold us grounded to our past, present and future.  But, as the cover asks, what will we become, “when we no longer know who we are.”

The Reckoning by John Grisham 

The Reckoning by John Grisham

Find it on Amazon

Honestly, I’ve never read John Grisham because I view him as a “author for men”.  As I look back over the books I’ve read recently, an overwhelming number are by female authors.  So, as to not hold myself back, I am going to read The Reckoning this month!

After coming home from World War II, Pete Banning shoots Reverend Dexter Bell, pastor in the Methodist church.  And, afterwards, he refuses to shed any light on his motive.  While set in the middle of last century, it seems relevant to today’s turmoil surrounding gun violence.

I’m interested because… John Grisham is a celebrated writer, WWII is incorporated, and a legal mystery has to be solved.

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro 

Bonus: The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

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Most of these books are a little dense (look how thick those spines are!), so I’m trying to be realistic about how much I will read this month.

BUT, I might just add this one to the list.  I have been wanting to read this third book in the Charlotte Holmes series after finishing Brittany Cavallro’s first two novels last January.  Charlotte is a teenager descended from the one and only Sherlock Holmes, and she finds herself to be much more like him than one might imagine.  Also, she inherited his knack for stumbling upon cases to solve, alongside another descendent of a famous character – Jamie Watson. 

I’m interested because…while Sherlock Holmes is interesting, Cavallro’s YA twist on the classic is exhilarating! 

Four New Books on my TBR List

What are your book plans for March?

Happy Reading!


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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Reading Wrap-Up - Five Books I read in February

Five books I read February 2019 The Cozy Reading Nook

Reading Wrap-Up for February

If you read my post, TBR Mix & Mingle for February, where I planned out what I was going to read in this short month then you know I was being a tad bit idealistic!  Not only did I have high hopes to read books that I owned, but I checked out a few from the library, AND I got some more from my book swap.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to everything!  Here is what I read, and decided to skip, this month.  Look out for my TBR Mix & Mingle for March for what I’m reading next.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld - what I read in February 

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

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An easily readable rewrite of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set in present-day Cincinnati.  While the characters and basic plot are exactly the same as the original, it does not disappoint.  The ST (As Charlotte and Liz would say) between Liz and Darcy was palpable.  The ending felt like it arrived a little too abruptly, but the tension in the middle was pulling and compelling. 

Going deeper than simply rewriting a magnificent classic, Sittenfeld presented an exploration of modern prejudices.  Not only is it a modern setting, with modern occupations, but the pride and prejudices the characters hold are timely and relevant.  

Read if….you love Jane Austen

Kitchen Yarns by Ann Hood - what I read in February 

Kitchen Yarns by Ann Hood

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Food has something to say about tragedy and loss, about the wonderful, happy moments, and even about the mundane, everyday cooking.  Like when you come home after a long day and realize nothing is in your pantry except rice. Ann Hood takes us through her life as she remembers the food that surrounded it.  From her Italian grandma who cooked massive amounts of gravy and meatballs, to her dad who loved cooking for his loved ones, but was terrible at it, to her days as a young mom figuring life out, to her present marriage to a cook and a writer, savoring both.

The chapters were short and the recipes detailed.  Something about hearing the personal backstory of each dish has made me want to try them out, so I’ve been trying my hand at several of her recipes.  They have been delicious, if I say so myself!

Read if…you love (or aspire) to be great in the kitchen

The Silence of the Girls - what I read in February

Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

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In the most glorified war of all time, The Trojan War, the men are worshiped and lifted high, even still today…while the story of the women is shrouded in silence.  Pat Barker brought a voice and a narrative to the women of the Iliad and to the horrors of war and gruesome realities of a slave’s life in a war camp.  Reading Briseis’ story, the women’s story, was enlightening and emotional, yet not too graphic to make it all unbearable.  Pat Barker expertly weaves together the narrative, incorporating Greek myth and reliance on the gods, as she makes a commentary on how we only remember what history tells us.

Read if…you believe in the women’s side of history

The Wife Between Us - what I read in February 

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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A physiological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.  An ex-wife is jealous of her replacement.  The narrative switches back and forth,  building up a situation, until you discover…that is not what is going on at all.  While I did end up figuring out the first twist, there were so many more that it was worth it. 

Read if…you like to be kept guessing.
Read NEXTAn Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (find it on Amazon here)

Educated - what I read in February 

Educated by Tara Westover

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This memoir has been celebrated since its release last year, and it is readily apparent why as you read it.  Educated is expertly written, telling the story of her childhood, using small anecdotes as an allegory for what was happening to her, and sifting through all the memories, to build an understanding of her life.

This was much more than a story about a girl beating the odds to go to college.  It was an emotional, spiritual, mental upheaval to right herself in a world where she didn’t belong.  But she would be safe.  It was incredibly moving.

Read if…you ever question your surroundings.
Read if…you value education and thinking for yourself.
Read if…you enjoy hearing how someone overcame a difficult childhood.

DNF (did not finish)

The Dust that Falls From Dreams by Louis de Bernières

I had one DNF this month.  The plot sounds interesting, and I want to learn more about the first World War… but I couldn’t get lost in this one.  Perhaps I could if I wasn’t surrounded by a myriad of other appealing novels and memoirs.  My excitement for this one each time I picked it up was just a little bit less than Educated or Kitchen Yarns or The Wife Between Us.  I’ll keep it on the back burner of my TBR, maybe for a rainy day. 

What did you read in February?  Let me know in the comments!

Look out for my TBR Mix & Mingle to see what I’m reading in March!

Happy Reading!

Five books I read in February - The Cozy Reading Nook
Pin to remember these books!

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