What I Read: September + October 2017
Another joint post. While I would love to blame it on time, the real reason is that in September I only read Christian historical fiction (a guilty indulgence) and was too embarrassed to do a post only about that series. So here we are. If you remember, back in July and August I barely read. What I did read wasn't entirely thrilling. When I hit a point where reading doesn't excite me, the to-read stack feels more like homework, and nothing on my library list sounds good, I reach for old favorites. Hence the eleven books of historical fiction over the past eight weeks. Here is what I read, including a standout novel that may be on the top ten list for 2017. Enjoy!
Cheney Duvall M.D Series (1-8)
This series is a long time favorite and also one of my sister's favorite things to tease me about. I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon these books. What I can tell you is that if you enjoy When Calls The Heart on Hallmark, if you are above 65, or if you have a love for leading women with gumption who buck old tradition, then you will enjoy these. Set in the early 1900's, Cheney Duvall is one of the first women to graduate medical school and become a doctor. Over the series, she seeks to prove herself as capable and fights prejudice against her gender along the way. Along with her nurse, Shiloh, she travels to fill jobs and help in areas where there is no medical care available. Are there some cheesy Christian fiction parts? Sure. But, truthfully, they don't take away from the epic saga. If you're not a believer, these inserts would make you roll your eyes. If you are a believer, they would probably make you laugh a little. Either way, the story is great and I'll never apologize for having these on my shelf. I may hide them between current literature ... but I'll always keep Cheney and her adventures near to my heart.
verdict: read if you are an old soul, love history, or want to be my best friend
Shiloh & Cheney The Inheritance (1-3)
The short follow-up series to Cheney Duvall M.D. The first one is super enjoyable and after that, they kind of go all over the place. They never really wrapped up this series so it ends without any major resolution of the characters. However, if you love the characters from the first series then you won't be able to help yourself.
verdict: see above
Christmas at Little Street Bakery
A sweet palate cleanser that was ultimately a bit forgettable. If you have read any of Jenny Colgan's books, you will enjoy this quick read. While not as strong as her other work, it's a cute and Christmasy novel that would be a good distraction from your holiday family drama. Outside of December though, it's on the skip list.
verdict: skip unless it's Christmas
The token non-fiction book this round was a book recommended to me by my dear friend Jen. Jen has three kids, who quite possibly are the most adorable children ever, and they are incredibly well behaved. Their family started sleep training from an early age and worked to incorporate each baby into their existing life versus changing their entire world on the arrival of a child. We adore how they parent and raise their kids so when Jen suggested this, I drove straight to Barnes and Noble (a rare occurrence) and purchased the book right away. This book is full of enlightening information about feeding, sleeping, wake-time, and scheduling infants. Multiple times, I would pause and read parts out loud to my husband. It was informative without being overwhelming and will definitely be one I reach to again and again once our baby gets here!
Verdict: read, if you have kids or are having kids soon!
The Bookman's Tale
Remember the standout novel mentioned earlier? This is it. One night after I finished reading a few chapters, I set the book down. For the next hour, I kept thinking about the story until I finally turned on the light and finished the entire thing! The Bookman's Tale is a mystery about a Victorian-era watercolor painting and a book that may answer the question of who truly wrote Shakespeare's plays. There is a murder but the book is never gruesome. Instead, the story takes you on twists and turns into the world of historical books, theft, and greed. It was brilliant. The central character is a young, grieving man who lost his wife the previous year. He is obsessive, passionate about books, and a recluse. The rest of the characters are equally unique, including the sections in the book that give you a peek into history. It's dark, exciting, and totally different from the majority of mysteries on the market. This is not my typical read, however, I've had to restrain myself from ordering Charlie Lovett's other books until I finish a few more on my shelf. But, rest assured, I will be adding his additional works to my collection as soon as I can.
In case you missed it, here is what I read earlier this year.