jeepgirl77 (jeepgirl77) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

March and April reads

March was a pretty slow month for, just knocking two books out, but here they are:

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam

This was a short read that provided insight into what successful CEOs do before beginning their work day. Bottom line is that the most succesful people tend to be those who get up early and set aside time for exercise, meditation/prayer and family. I enjoyed reading it and learned a few things to incorporate it into my daily routines.

Prince of the Elves (Amulet series #5) by Kazu Kibuishi

This was a great entry in this series with a compelling storyline and beautiful art. I'm enjoying it, even though it is a little too YA for me. But, I'll finish it out since I've invested time into it.


Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

This is my obligatory, once-a-year romance read, but I was pleasantly suprised by this year's entry. Amanda Quick *finally* moved away from paranormal romance (a blah for me) and went back to her bread-and-butter historical mystery. I loved the storylien between Benedict and Amity. The dialogue was great, the plot moved quickly and the book kept me engaged. A solid read for anyone who is a fan of Quick's books.

The Walking Dead Vol. 19: March to War by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (artist)

Rick, Jesus and Ezekial must join forces if they want to remove Negan and his band of Saviors from their lives. In this installment, the three men work diligently to implement a plan that will finally give the three communities freedom from the extortionist band of maruaders. But something goes terribly wrong and now, the three men and their groups face all out of war.

As always, TWD offers a compelling look into what a world without rules might look like. As more and more people look to Rick for leadership, he questions whether he's making the right choices. In addition, he must work to ensure Carl's safety. Beautiful, stark and often horrifying art complement this volume.

The Walking Dead Vol 20: All Out War (Part One) by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (artist)

Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom have joined forces to launch an attack against the Sanctuary, where Negan and his band of men have gathered. Rick's preemptive strike doesn't go quite as planned, though, and Negan retaliates against Alexandria, forcing Rick and company to find safety elsewhere.

This volume was definitely action driven, with panel after panel of gunfire, grenades and not a whole lot of zombies. That last distinction is important, as we see humanity fighting not against the undead, but rather themselves - a theme that becomes prevalant in the next issue.

The Walking Dead Vol. 21: All Out War (Part Two) by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (artist)

In this volume, Rick and his group face one final battle against Negan and the Saviors. The latter invent the post-apocalypse version of the dirty bomb - taking their weapons and rubbing and rolling them in zombies, thus infecting them with whatever accelerates the zombie mutation.

As they advance to the Hilltop for one last stand, Rick and his army must decide how to meet them on the battlefied.

I really enjoyed this final installment in the war trilogy. I feel like Rick has finally found himself again and is becoming comfortable with a leadership role once more. Carl is still struggling to regan his humanity, but Rick is there to guide him along. As the survivors come together, they must decide whether they'll continue to fight one another or band together to unite against the zombie enemy.

Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Parisy Eric Jager
B&N synopsis
A riveting true story of murder and detection in 15th-century Paris, by one of the most brilliant medievalists of his generation.

On a chilly November night in 1407, Louis of Orleans was murdered by a band of masked men. The crime stunned and paralyzed France since Louis had often ruled in place of his brother King Charles, who had gone mad. As panic seized Paris, an investigation began. In charge was the Provost of Paris, Guillaume de Tignonville, the city's chief law enforcement officer--and one of history's first detectives. As de Tignonville began to investigate, he realized that his hunt for the truth was much more dangerous than he ever could have imagined.

A rich portrait of a distant world, BLOOD ROYAL is a gripping story of conspiracy, crime and an increasingly desperate hunt for the truth. And in Guillaume de Tignonville, we have an unforgettable detective for the ages, a classic gumshoe for a cobblestoned era.

This book started off slowly. I wasn't sure what to expect, but initially, it read like an interesting, but dry, history lesson; however, as the scene was set, the story began to pick up pace and become more intriguing to me. I enjoy history, so I'm sure that helped me get through it during the slow parts.

I really enjoyed this book, learning more about France's history - much of it was new to me - and discovering the underlying factors which led to the French Civil War. If you're a history fan, I recommend reading it.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

If you like post-apocalyptic books, read this book. If you're an animal lover, read this book. If you love Colorado, read this book.

Peter Heller has crafted one of the best-written, post-apocalyptics stories I've ever read. It's evident he's a Colorado resident. He paints his state with reverance and care, instantly transporting the reader to plains and mountains that dot the landscape. The story centers on Hig, a pilot who flies a 1957 Cessna, and his blue heeler, Jasper, as they navigate life after a flu and blood-disease wipe out most of the American population. Living on an airfield with a gun fanatic named Bangley, the two take life day by day, protecting their small refuge while trying to retain some semblence of humanity.

This book could have easily been just another PA-book, but instead, Heller infuses it with love, warmth, danger and sadness. I'm not going to lie. There was a part where I sat and cried for a solid five minutes, even though I knew the part was coming long before I got to that page.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this book. It's worth the time and tears.

Books completed: 16/50
Tags: graphic novel, historical romance, history, post-apocalypse, self help

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