Unreviewed Books

I feel like I’m doing a lot of posts of unreviewed books these days. I checked the date of my last post, and it was April 21st, so about 1 post a month, which isn’t terrible.
And surprisingly, this last weekend I didn’t get much reading done because I made a list of (mostly) 90s movies I wanted to rewatch, and this weekend involved longer movies like The Green Mile and The English Patient. I don’t watch a lot of tv, I never have, so it’s nice to sit down and do something other than reading…occasionally. Anyway, let’s get into the books!

The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern
Fantasy
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

This is a reread of one of my most favorite books ever, I give it 5-stars. I (sort of) reviewed it the first time I read it. It’s a hard book to review because it’s everything about books that is good in this world. It’s so magical it sucks you in.

About the Book
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood.

Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow
Historical Fantasy
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

This is another 5-star, reread of a book that is life to me and is already reviewed. Alix, Erin, and Charlie (Holmberg) are the female trio that I hold as the gold standard of books.

About the Book
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.


In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories await in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic. 

The Princess Bride, William Goldman (30th Anniversary Edition)
Fantasy/Classic
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

Anther 5-star reread, though this edition is a new edition for me. I shared this book in my TBR a few months back after my daughter bought this for me. I love the cover and the illustrations.

About the Book
What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it’s about everything.

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Literary/Classic
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

This was a mandatory read in high school back in the day because Salinger’s house was local. It’s been on my list to reread, and I’ve finally gotten to it. I would give this 4-stars.

About the Book
It’s Christmas time and Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from yet another school. Fleeing the crooks at Pencey Prep, he pinballs around New York City seeking solace in fleeting encounters – shooting the bull with strangers in dive hotels, wandering alone round Central Park, getting beaten up by pimps and cut down by erstwhile girlfriends. The city is beautiful and terrible, in all its neon loneliness and seedy glamour, its mingled sense of possibility and emptiness. Holden passes through it like a ghost, thinking always of his kid sister Phoebe, the only person who really understands him, and his determination to escape the phonies and find a life of true meaning.

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Sci-Fi/Dystopia
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

Over the summer I bought 3 of Ishiguro’s works so I’m working my way through them. I would give this 4-stars.

About the Book
As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were.

Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.

The Whale Rider, Witi Ihimaera
Magic Realism/Classics
Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

I can’t remember how long ago I first read this, but it quickly became a favorite. In fact, my daughter’s nickname has been Paikea for almost the whole of her 18 years. I would give this 5-stars.

About the Book
Eight-year-old Kahu, a member of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, fights to prove her love, her leadership, and her destiny. Her people claim descent from Kahutia Te Rangi, the legendary “whale rider.” In every generation since Kahutia, a male heir has inherited the title of chief. But now there is no male heir, and the aging chief is desperate to find a successor. Kahu is his only great-grandchild–and Maori tradition has no use for a girl. But when hundreds of whales beach themselves and threaten the future of the Maori tribe, it is Kahu who saves the tribe when she reveals that she has the whale rider’s ancient gift of communicating with whales.


No DNF’s this time around because they were all rereads except for Never Let Me Go. Do you reread books, or are you finished with them when you hit the last page?

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