Here are the books I’ve been munching on the past couple of weeks.
The Green Mill Murder and Blood and Circuses (Phryne Fisher #5 and 6)
Still on my Phryne kick. The Green Mill Murder was typical Phryne book. Murder at a dance competition, family intrigue, and we get to see more of her famous flying stunts. I’m loving these books not only for the characters, but also because they give a look into Australian and WWI history.
Blood and Circuses went off the rails a bit. To help her friends, Phryne has to go undercover as a circus horse rider and solve a murder. She has to leave all her fancy clothes and luxuries behind, taking her far out of her comfort zone. I mostly liked this one, but one thing bugged me… I am accustomed to the fact that Phryne is going to take a new lover in each book, but does she need two? At the same time? And the men don’t even seem to mind. It just seemed a bit unrealistic.
You Can Buy Happiness (and it’s Cheap) How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too
This was a really interesting book, and one I can recommend to a few of the hoarders in my life. You probably don’t want to live in a Tiny House (300 square feet), but the author doesn’t expect you too. She tells lots of stories from her own life, and people she knows, that show the benefits of decluttering and “right sizing” your life (Side note, I have immense hatred for the term “right sizing” in any other context). She offers small action steps at the end of each chapter that almost anyone can benefit from. She also stresses that each person and family are different. You have to find your own version of happiness. This is something I super strongly believe in. We are much more into “experience gifts” than giving each other stuff. The part on time management and commuting was especially interesting to me, and something we’ll definitely take into consideration when our lease is up in April. The only downside to this book is that her writing style gets a bit repetitive. She says the same few phrases and tells the same stories over and over. If you can get past that, it’s definitely worth a read.
In the President’s Secret Service, Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect
This book was half interesting, informative book, half US Weekly. It’s so trashy in parts that it made me cringe. Do I really want to know about the President who took a leak in front of the press corps? Or about the (many) extramarital affairs of our government officials? Well ok, yes I do. But I don’t want those stories mixed in with Important Stuff, like the history of the Secret Service, assassinations, and budget and morale problems that are undermining the efficacy of today’s SS. It’s almost like you’re reading two different books. Two very interesting books, but two books that don’t even belong on the same shelf. The author shows a clear Conservative-leaning bias, and some of the anonymous accounts stretch credulity. But the actual fact-based parts of the book give a fascinating look into the men and women protecting our nation’s leaders.
I went from trashy politics to trashy vampire romance. Actually this wasn’t very trashy at all. An entertaining story about a woman who hates vampires falling for… wait for it… a vampire! I know, right? It was a fun read though, and despite a few truck driver sized plot holes, I enjoyed it. I have the unfortunate habit lately of picking up books in a series without realizing it. And then getting really pissed off when I reach the end. Do people even write one off books anymore?
Anyhoo, next up will probably be Cuckoo’s Calling. And I have a couple of gardening books in my queue. I’m not sure how well audiobooks about gardening will translate, but we’ll see.
Oh, and one other book-related thing. We watched Beautiful Creatures the other night. I talked about the book in my last post, and I’m happy to report that the movie was WAY better than the book. I know a lot of BC fans were pissed off about some pretty major divergences from the book, but I think they made it better. And Serafina made that movie. Totally. Jason actually loved it too. He thinks it’s even better than Hunger Games. I don’t agree, but I’m glad he liked it 😛
You can read more of my blatherings on books here.