Current Book Obsessions

I have a lot of books in my TBR pile.  Like, a lot.  Up to about 400.  So, I’ve been trying to read like a crazy person to put a dent in the pile.  But, I’ve become obsessed with a few series over the past few months that I just had to talk about.

First, The Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard.



The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Currently at four books (and some short stories), this series hooked me from the first book.  Mare Barrow lives in a world that is divided by blood.  Mainly, the ruling “Silvers” and the lowly “Reds”.  There is an undercurrent of rebellion in the red community, but Mare doesn’t have the drive to join the group until all her brothers are conscripted into the never ending war against the Lakelanders.  The Reds are used as cannon fodder for the Silver soldiers.  When given the opportunity to work in the palace of the Silver king, she takes the opportunity.  When a freak accident at the Queens trial reveals that Mare is something all together new, the manipulative Queen Elara brings her into the fold of the family under the guise of helping her family.  The Silvers have various powers that can  be called upon, and now Mare is found to have powers that were never seen before.  Known as a “newblood”, Mare must navigate family politics, dangerous Silvers, and the growing rebellion in the Red camp.

The next few books in the series follow the rebellion….does Mare join up with the rebels?  Will she survive against the Queen?  Can she find and save other New bloods?  I just got the fourth book, War Storm, and it’s crazy big.  But I’m cracking it open this weekend and hope I can spend the time out on the deck with the cats and a breeze.

The second obsession, The Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir




Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Huh.  Weird…..this is also a book that involves an overpowering regime and a scrappy band of rebels.  With supernatural elements.  I think I sense a theme.

Laila, daughter of notorious rebels, escapes arrest in which her grandparents are murdered and her brother captured.  She finds her way to the same rebels her mother worked for and promises to spy in the notorious military academy in exchange for breaking her brother out of prison.  Of course, things aren’t always as they seem.  She encounters the sadistic martial of the academy, but also manages to make an uneasy alliance with Elias, the unwilling student looking for a way out.  Oh yeah, and he’s also the daughter of the head of the school.  There is an element of mystery that there is some shadowy figure looking to take over the ruling party, but that doesn’t really play out until the next book.  The newest book, A Reaper at the Gates, just came out and again it’s on my pile to read and I can’t wait to crack that one open too!

Another obsession is the author V.E. Schwab (Victoria Schwab)

Not only is she a great follow on the twitter/Instagram, her writing is just so good.


Vicious by V.E. Schwab

The first book in the Villains duology.   Victor and Eli were college roommates from different sides of the tracks.  They became best friends until a shared research project goes horribly wrong, killing a person and leaving them with “extraordinary abilities.”  The book jumps forward ten years, Victor was in prison for attempted murder, and Eli is on a separate mission to get rid of those with these extra abilities.  Once friends, now arch enemies, this book leads to their ultimate showdown.  The second book in the series comes out this fall, Vengeful, and I”ve already pre-ordered it.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

The Shades of Magic series shows the parallel worlds of London (Red, Grey, White, and the mysterious Black London).  Kell is the last of his kind who can travel between Londons with the help of a special token and magic.  Some London’s have more magic (Red, White), while the other London has no magic (Grey).  Kell is protected in his own London by being best friends with the Prince, and has determined to be his bodyguard as well.

When a trip to Grey London goes wrong, he encounters Delilah Bard, a thief with aspirations of being a pirate.  One of my favorite characters ever BTW.  She saves him, and he repays her by spiriting her away to another world.  The books provide a nice bit of escapism that we so desperately need in this world now.  I’m in the midst of the third book, A Conjuring of Light, at the moment, so I hope it continues to blow me away.

Finally, I just finished this book last night, and it was so good.



A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson

I didn’t know this was the second in the series, but I really enjoyed it anyway.  So, it’s Agatha Christie, crime-fighter!  She’s still the same person, but now she finds herself assisting the British Secret Intelligence Service,  investigating a murder of an agent in the Canary Islands.  She is also using it as an excuse to continue her next novel and also get away from the drama in her life in England.  Traveling with her secretary Carlo, and young daughter Rosalind, she boards a cruise ship to head to her destination.  While on board, she witnesses a suicide.  Saddened by the event, she continues on the trip to the resort that she intended.  Featuring a diverse set of characters, Agatha finds herself in many precarious situations as she investigates the murder (s) on the island.  I was a big fan of this mystery and will probably go back and read the first one too!

And now, something completely different:

If you are horrified like I am at the thought of children being separated from their asylum seeking families at the border, please consider marching next weekend (June 30th) in support and also donating money to an organization to help those families become reunited.

One such organization is their site has been inundated with support, and they have links to follow for other information.  #resist


Love and Ruin by Paula McLain


Love and Ruin by Paula Mclain


This historical fiction is based on the real life marriage of Ernest Hemmingway and Martha Gellhorn (whose name tried to autocorrect as I wrote this….which is a travesty).

I’m not going to pretend that I knew all that much about Martha Gellhorn before diving into this book.  And while a fan of some of Hemingway’s work, I was more of a fan of his house in Key West overrun with six-toed cats.  This book paints a devastating picture of a woman trying to “have it all” with a tempestuous (insert another word for verbally abusive and jerkish) man considered a “genius” at the time.

Martha Gellhorn became one of the fiercest women reporters of wartime, embedding herself in with the Spanish Civil War.  She survived bombings, midnight raids, and even crossed borders by herself in a time when women weren’t exactly expected to that.  Even when forbidden to go over and cover D-Day, she snuck onto a hospital ship and was one of the first reporters on the scene of the devastating attack.

All that pales in comparison to her crazy war like marriage to Hemingway.  The book does a good job of showing Martha trying not to lose herself, even when faced with the love of her lifetime in Hemingway.    They met while he was still married, and she was still living at home.  It wasn’t until they were together in Spain covering the war that they began their affair.  Through the Spanish Civil War, life in Cuba, and his divorce, the book follows the years they were together and while they were apart.  It’s not a very flattering portrait of Hemingway, but it made me want to learn so much more about Gellhorn.  What an amazing woman who had one weakness which was Ernest and their life in Cuba.