Variations on a Reading List

It came as no huge surprise to me that I started the year reading two books that are not on my reading list.

If you read this blog regularly, you may have seen the post about free or nearly free books.  (You can read it here.) Since I wrote that post, I have now signed up for a new service. I receive an email each day with 2 or 3 e-books that are on sale for a cost of somewhere around $1.99. The special price is for that day only. If you are interested, you can sign up at .

itty bitty lies

The first book that I read was a result of receiving a deal from Book Perk.  The book, Little Bitty Lies  by Mary Kay Andrews, was a $1.99 purchase. I do love a good popcorn book.

POPCORN BOOK – A book that you read for entertainment. The plot moves quickly and has no huge redeeming value but for light reading. 

This book was really popcorn but perhaps without the good butter and salt. I guess I like the plot in my light reading to at least seem plausible. This one didn’t but it was still okay. If you were to read it, do it for the silliness and not any moving plot.  To be honest, I had not read a book for a few weeks (except for all those children’s Christmas books in December.) and it was a good way to kick start my reading. The author, Mary Kay Andrews is a bestselling author who has written at least  eight books. I would try another book by her just to see if I liked it better.

Not really a ringing endorsement, huh?

(Slight rant here. I like taking e-books out of the library. The problem is with timing. I will get the notice that the book is ready for me but I am not ready for it. I have taken out a lot of books and not read them in time which makes me feel guilty.)  (I am good at feeling guilty.)

The second book I read was one that I had been considering for a long time. In fact, I had taken it out of the e-book section of the library but I didn’t get to it before it was returned.

I went to the library site last week and thought of the book again and put a hold on it again. I got the message several days later that the book was available for me. I downloaded it and discovered that I had only 7 days to read it. I decided that I would read it as I didn’t want to take it out for a third time in the future. Also, I knew that the author was about to release a follow up book.

Miss Peregrine

So after all of this, what was the book? The name of the book is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and it was written by Ransom Riggs. I will start by saying that I liked the book. It is categorized as a fantasy book. It is a fantasy but it is more in the vein of Harry Potter than a book of fairies and demons. Yes, there are good guys and bad guys and people with strange powers.  The cool thing about the book is that there are photographs scattered throughout the book of the “particular” children. These photographs are photographs that he actually found and used as inspiration.  Unfortunately, the photos, when the book is read on an e-reader (or one as old as mine), do not come across as well as they might. I think that looking at them in a book would add to the story.

I liked the story and the premise. I will admit that I was a bit irritated at the end. It just ends so that the next book can start. It is TBC – to be continued. While on television we expect that, I did not expect it as much with a book.  The new book, Hollow City, has now been released.  I am not ready to jump into it which is surprising as I should want to know what happens.

The story has children with special powers and time loops and suspense.  It was a quick read – I made it in the 7 day deadline. (Okay, I made it in 4 days.) I did enjoy the book except for the unfinished end. It may be that you will enjoy it more because you know that the end is not the end. I would not discourage you from reading it.

What are you reading this weekend? Let me know. I obviously stray from my reading list.

Thanks for reading!


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About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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7 Responses to Variations on a Reading List

  1. A good source for free books is The only exchange needed for a book is to agree to write a review (I don’t think they track them though). From the five books I’ve read from their list (which is quite large) I’ve been very pleased with three of them, one okay, and one I stopped reading–which is fine because I didn’t pay for them anyway. I have reviewed them on Net Galley and on Goodreads.
    Currently reading, “What Nora Knew,” by Linda Yellin, “…with help from Nora Ephron’s movies, Molly learns to open her heart, suppress her cynicism, and find her very own fairytale ending.” So far it’s entertaining and witty.

  2. With our library system, when I check out an e-book, I can actually extend the default due date (they give you an option to change it from 7 to 14-day). You might want to see if your library does the same.

    I also read Miss Peregrine, and I really enjoyed it. Actually, I found it interesting in its portrayal of war & immigration, beyond the supernatural themes. I was a little annoyed at the lack of a conclusion. On the other hand, it was quirky enough, with its photos (which, I agree, do not translate well into e-book) to hold my interest. I’m just not sure if I really *need* to read the sequel because the newness of the photos wouldn’t be as exciting the second time around.

    • Jennifer,
      I used to see that you could change the date – it used to be that you could get three weeks! – but I didn’t see the option this time. Sometimes they restrict it down to one week. I am glad you felt the same way about the book.

  3. Julia Tomiak says:

    Thanks Carol! I’ve been curious about Ms. Peregrine and have enjoyed your thoughtful review. I, too, dislike TBC endings- it’s something I don’t like about the Divergent series. The cover of this book has turned me off, but perhaps I’ll give it a try. I also like your tip re: book perk. Thanks!

  4. elissa field says:

    Carol, I’ll second Julia — thanks (to you and Jennifer) for sharing your reaction to this book, as it’s one I’ve had in my hand to bring home a couple times, but have not yet moved up on my reading list. I actually became more interested after reading a profile on Ransom Riggs, the author, explaining how the book completely arose out of his collections of photos, which made it seem more authentic than if it were just a gimmick to sell books. I wonder if his lack of an ending is because he comes to writing as a screenwriter, rather than novelist.

    I’m feeling about as critical of my current reading: When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’m convinced it must have been the first book he ever wrote (even if published later) — the whole time I’m reading it, my internal editor is crossing out unnecessary clauses and explanations and editing the constant passive verb tenses. The story itself (hard to read through all the clauses) is just interesting enough that I might make it all the way through, but so far it’s a 2-star book..

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