Ramblings and Ruminations

Best Reads Of 2019 – 3rd Quarter

*trumpets sound, confetti is strewn, and a herald appears*

 

It’s . . . *gasp* . . . ALLISON!

Obviously, I’m rather late with post.  I keep trying to get these out on time but something always prevents me from keeping to a timely schedule.

 

But, hey, AT LEAST I HAVE A GOOD EXCUSE!

 

 

*BOWS*

 

Ahem.  Actually, I don’t think of my reviews as art at all.  But people seem to really enjoy them? So since you guys wanted it, you’re going to get it!

 

 

And so, without further ado.  *waves magic wand*  Onto the book reviews!

 

Find It On Goodreads

 

This book perfectly balances a tone of thoughtful sweetness with a plot involving daring and courageous adventure.

It was a relief, for once, to read a book that focuses entirely on mature characters (30s to 50s, approximately), all of whom had unique and lovable personalities.

The overall mood has the same quirky sensitivity of hobbits and Hobbitan, while still maintaining a unique element of world building.

This book does some beautiful fist-shaking at clichés, communes, and clans– boldly painting a picture of the bravery it takes to be unique and to stand out in the popular crowd.  If one chooses to think for oneself, there is a sacrifice to be made. If one chooses to go against the crowd, the crowd will most often reject them. But what is lost is nothing compared to the boldness and self-worth these characters gain by making a stand.

Charming and exciting by turns, this book was a delight from start to finish!

 

 

Find It On Goodreads

 

RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU GREW UP WATCHING THE LAND BEFORE TIME.

 

 

I know what you’re thinking:  “Hey, these are dragons – not dinosaurs.”

*bonks you on the head*  Don’t be silly! Where do you think dragon stories come from?  Dragons are basically like dinosaurs so – shush!  Pay attention!

Even the group dynamic reminds me of The Land Before Time team, with certain dragons bearing a marked resemblance to my beloved Littlefoot, Cera, Spike, and Ducky.

Anything that reminds me of The Land before Time is something that I’m going to be positively disposed to.  It also helps that this series is fun in its own right.  This series is so intriguing, so fun, so unique – it’s impossible not to enjoy it.

All of the books are well-written but also surprisingly on the grim and violent side, considering they are middle grade. This book was the least intense or violent installment of the series, which I personally preferred.

The author does a good job in switching narrators for each book, but I thought she especially shone in this tale about Glory, previously one of the least likable dragonets in the fivesome, as she dives into the girl’s motivations and feelings with great success.

Beautifully written and with appealing characters and mesmerizing world building, there’s something truly irresistible about this book.  Dragons, drama, and danger – what’s not to love?

Find It On Goodreads

 

don’t let the lurid cover fool you – this is a completely kid-friendly book!

This book is essentially Pirates of the Caribbean for tweens with a dash of Treasure Planet.

Is it over the top? Yes. Is it preposterous? Yes.

But the key phrase here is preposterously FUN.  This book allows middle grade readers to unabashedly fulfill their swashbuckling imaginations to the fullest and does not hold back on heroics or adventures. While I was reading it, it was almost like I was a kid again, visualizing myself doing anything an adult could do, only better as I defied physics, gravity, and all other rules in imaginary exploits.

But what keeps this book from being corny is the excellent writing, and the solid characterization. The MC is also one of the most admirable and likable MC’s I’ve read in a long time.  He is the proverbial diamond in the rough, the pirate with a heart of gold, and I was rooting for him through the entire book.  And neither he nor the author disappointed.

If you need some guilty pleasure reading that involves treasure hunts, kid pirates, missing heirs and sea monsters – this book fits the bills.

Find It On Goodreads

 

I listened to this book on audio when i was supposed to be resting.  As it turns out, I ended up roaring with laughter, rather than resting, but who’s complaining?

If I were inviting books to a dinner party, Wodehouse would be at the top of the list.  This light-hearted, amusing, bon vivant possesses an effortless sophistication that would make any gathering a merrier one, for he draws laughter out of his pockets and distributes them as liberally as after dinner mints. Ah, Wodehouse. What’s not to love about you, you ridiculous and charming fellow?  You seem like a feather-brained little duckling, and yet you reveal a great understanding of the human condition. You are flighty, and yet entirely predictable.  You act without thought and yet somehow, everything works out despite your bumbling. No, I’m not criticizing you, Wodehouse dear, I’m merely expounding on that indefinable air you have, for it is rather hard to summarize that sort of joie de vivre that follows in your wake. Why is it that I find you such a very great chum? Is it your turn of phrase? Perhaps the way you sum up what we’re all really thinking deep down inside?  Maybe it’s because you’re such a silly duffer we can’t help laughing at you and cheering you on?  None of these? All of the above?  Well, never mind, you’re a jolly good pal, so I’ll just have to leave it at that.

Find It On Goodreads

 

Sweep by Jonathan Auxier is a book that reached out and seized my heart from page one and hasn’t let go. It is one of the most intimate reads I’ve discovered in a long time as the author zooms in on the very essence of the hope, love, and courage that is embodied in sacrifice.

It’s about grief and joy. It’s about losing something and gaining something. It’s about surrendering and about fighting on. It’s about change and sameness. It’s about innocence and also about growing up. It’s beautiful, painful, and infinitely sweet.

Reading this book almost feels like holding a heart in your hands – a father’s heart, beating with the bravery and fear of a protector loving something as delicate, changeable, and easily lost as a child.

This book is so raw , it almost feels like some tender and private scene not meant for me to see. We feel the pride and wonder of a guardian watching a child experience their first sunrise, their first word, their first growth spurt. The novel croons over these moments with a fiery tenderness that warms the readers heart just as it breaks it.

This is a novel that I will never forget because it reaches us that we can be hurting and still create. You can be in despair and still love. You can be in pain and still sacrifice. A greater love is what makes life worth living.

There is a great deal of sadness and poignancy in this book as the characters go through unbearable loss and pain but, at the end of it all, we are only left with hope. For in a simple, good-hearted soot golem named Charlie there is an echo of a father’s love. A deposit of faith and happiness. A promise of salvation. Someone else lives on in Charlie.

Charlie, a soot golem made for one purpose, shows us all that we can be representatives of the Father’s Love and that we can follow His example of true sacrifice.

 

What do you think of my favorite reads of 2019’s 3rd quarter!  These are the few books (of many read) that received a 4 or 5 star rating from me.

I know. It’s not a great many, considering that’s three months worth of reading, but I’M A HARD WOMAN TO PLEASE.

 

*smiles sweetly*

So, have you read any of these books?  If not, are you going to?

 

 

Note that (as always) I have done a very cruel thing and added very convenient links so that you can add these books to your already-towering TBR pile!

 

 

What were some of your favorite reads of 2019?  Let’s talk!

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Best Reads Of 2019 – 3rd Quarter

  1. Those were awesome, Alli dear! I have so many many books to read, that I’ll put some of them on my TBR in the near future. (Hopefully 😄)

    God bless you, Allison, and give you His strength daily.

    Much love,❤🤗❤
    Faith

  2. Nice entrance!
    Earlier this fall my brother and I read the Gammage Cup, and we both loved it. I showed him your review of The Lost Prince, and we’ve decided to make it our next read. We’re currently enjoying some Trenton Lee Stewart.

    I tried listening to some Wodehouse via Librivox, but the narrator was better suited for reading something along the lines of the proper procedure for parboiling potatoes. It was tragic. I’ll have to get my Wodehouse elsewhere.

    1. Hi Blue! AW, YAY!! The Gammage Cup was such a smashing little adventure.

      HOORAY!! *BEAMS AND SNAPS SUSPENDERS WITH PRIDE* I’m so flattered that my review could convince you to try it – and you’re buddy reading sounds like so much fun. I hope you enjoy!

      OH MY GOOOSSSSSSH…. I tried the Librivox narrator, oh my goodness, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! *covers ears* You are being generous when you say he is good enough to read instructions for parboiling potatoes. *WINCES* Gracious, no, this is NOT how one consumes Wodehouse. Absolutely, positively NOT.

      I HIGHLY recommend the narrator, Jonathan Cecil. You can find his recordings on Audible. Have you tried the 30 day month free trial on Audible? If you don’t have a membership, they’re not QUITE as pricey as some of the other audio books if you want to buy them straight out (i.e. without the membership). There’s also infrequent promotions on Audbile where they give away a few months for a discounted rate.

      I’m being OVERLY helpful now, but I love Audible so much I keep egging people on to try it! 😛 Plus, I am incredibly anxious that you experience Wodehouse in the proper manner! 😀

  3. I’m definitely going to be reading these. I’ve already read all the Jeeves and Wooster books, those were some of my escapist-relaxing reads (checks goodreads) a few years ago.

    1. Hi Livia Rose! Yay!! *claps hands* I hope you enjoy them!

      WOOOOW. I adore the few Jeeves and Wooster books I have read so far, but the veritable mountain that is the rest of the series is somewhat boggling. I’m so impressed that you’ve read them all already! Mmm, yess. Wodehouse is like very light comfort food – they’re marvelous!

  4. I absolutely ADORE your reviews, yes! And I’m so glad you’re still doing these posts. They’re so fun!

    THE GAMMAGE CUP. Loooooved that one! It was absolutely a delight! Sadly, that’s the ONLY one on this list I’ve read. *hides in shame* But sooo many of these I’ve wanted to read for a while.

    OH OH. I GREW UP WATCHING LAND BEFORE TIME. *flails hand in the air wildly* And I’ve had Wings of Fire recommended to me by a couple of people now. I totally need to find those books!

    SoI…I’ve never read Wodehouse. I KNOW. I’ve wanted to for AGES though. I NEED that book!

    Sweep is another one I’ve heard such good things about and now reading your glowing review just wow. o.o I must read this book!

    Basically I need ALL of these so THANKS! My TBR obviously needed more books. 😛

    1. CHRISTINE SMITH! WHAT ARE YOU DOING WADING THROUGH MY BLATHERING REVIEWS? YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WRITING!
      .
      .
      Seriously, I’m horrified that I have tempted you away from the keyboard, but, I am also so honored that you took the time to read this post and comment during NaNoWrimo!! *HUGS* 😍 😍 😍 Thank youuuu! Your comments always make my day!
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      GIF
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      AHHH, The Gammage Cup definitely seems like YOUR kind of book.
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      *FANGIRL SCREAM* YOU’VE WATCHED LAND BEFORE TIME! EEEEEEEEEE. Oh my goodness, I’m so excited!! *laughs at self* I still have so many fond memories of that show and I intend to re-watch them in the near future!
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      GIF
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      I think you will enjoy the Wings of Fire! Because, OBVIOUSLY, THERE ARE DRAGONS IN IT. YOUR FAVORITE. *winks*
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      (note: I’ve only read the first five, and I’ve read that some of the rest of the series had questionable content. Just a heads up!)
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      *CLAPPING* YOU. MUST. READ. WODEHOUSE! Although, I DO strongly recommend that people try the audio version on Audible (the narrator is Jonathan Cecil). His sonorous British accent is the PERFECT setting for Wodehouse, and anything less just wouldn’t carry the same kind of humor!
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      OH MY GOODNESS. YOU WILL LOVE LOVE LOVE SWEEP. I am 99.99% POSITIVE you will adore it!
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      BAHAHA! 🙈😂
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      GIF

  5. EH OH.

    *cowers behind laptop*

    I haven’t read any of these!!

    (hopefully that worked. If it didn’t, it was a gif of you gasping with horror!)

    I need to read more. Life has really been thrown right at me this year, and with it books have gone careering out the window. Sigh. I miss em.

    But hey, there WILL ALWAYS BE MORE BOOKS!!! I will try someday to read my (and I quote) already ‘towering stack of tbr books’. 🙂

    My favourite reads of 2019? Hmm…I really got back into old favourites like Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, but some others I really have enjoyed were reading Corrie Ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place, The Endling books and – as always – the Green Ember. I’ve also delved deeper into Brian Jacques and Jane Austen. I probably have read more but have forgotten what (no surprise there, friends!).

    1. THERE’S MAH ABBIE! *beams and waves*

      Haha, that’s okay! *coaxes you out from behind laptop* Unfortunately, I didn’t see the gif, but I imagine it was pretty funny. 😛

      I know what that can be like; I haven’t had much time to read this month either! :/

      *laughs* You and me both! The BOOK TOWERS NEVER END!!

      I STILL need to try The Two Towers. I probably will in January. Oh, I’ve heard SO MANY GOOD THINGS ABOUT THE GREEN EMBER. But, ahem, I haven’t read it yet. Ahh, I’m re-reading Redwall, too!! We’re buddy reaching across vast distances, I love it!!

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