Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found by Gilbert King 3/5 Stars
The description of this book led me to believe that it was largely about one woman’s rape, but it seemed to be about everything but that. That crime was used to kick the book off, but then we learned about everyone and their cousin’s family history. Black, white, lawyers, out-of-town military, law enforcement: no one’s history was spared. There is an unnecessary amount of background and details that made the book feel sluggish. If you do manage to get through it, the overarching story is interesting and infuriating. I grew up in the area where this book takes places and I really enjoyed hearing all of the familiar town names and getting more of a history on the area. It even mentions the private school I went to! I can see how it wouldn’t have the same appeal to someone with no ties to the area.
The Paris Hours by Alex George 100/5 Stars
My most recent Book of the Month pick, The Paris Hours, was a delightful read. I get excited any time I find a book having anything to do with France or Paris, fiction or non, and even more excited when the book description appeals to me. This book follows four different people and I admit to making a few notes on my phone to keep main details straight while I was getting to know them. I love that it is about four ordinary people (a puppeteer, a journalist, the former maid to Marcel Proust, and a painter) who interact with popular names that were in Paris in the 1920’s. I love that this book has *a painting* in it; I love it when stories have intriguing and importing paintings (mine does! What exists of it anyway.) And I love that this book is about people growing and learning and it feels like it means something. It changes you a little bit when you read it. This is the kind of book I want to write and I can’t think of any higher compliment.
The Murmur of Bees by Sofía Segovia 3/5 Stars
This book, embarrassingly, took me almost a month and a half to read. It was my “kindle book,” the one I read before I go to bed at night. It wasn’t enthralling enough for me to pick up outside of this late-night reading time until I hit 75-80% and I finished in a few hours. I did enjoy this book but it’s a slower read that you should take your time with. Worth reading if you like magical realism.
Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs 3.5/5 Stars
I don’t usually write reviews for books this far into a series, but I wanted to make this series known to anyone who may be reading this, hasn’t started, and likes Urban Fantasy. It’s by far my favorite UF series and has held up pretty well despite being 12 books in (I tend to prefer shorter series because there’s only so much an author can do with one). The 12th book is starting to get draggy and is taking a much more different turn due to the increase in weird magical things that Mercy and Adam are now experiencing. It kind of feels like Briggs doesn’t know where to take the series and is grasping for magical straws. I’m not going to stop reading these books and very much look forward to new ones coming out but I hope they wrap up soon. If you haven’t read them, I recommend any of the series by Patricia Briggs, especially the ones set in this world.