Book Roundup: March 2017

NUMBER OF BOOKS READ: 8. A bit of a slow month for me.

NUMBER OF FEMALE AUTHORS VS MALE AUTHORS: All ladies!

NUMBER OF DIVERSE (non-American) SETTINGS: Technically 2 had many scenes set outside of the U.S., but since those two were set in 1) England and 2) various locations visited by an American, I don’t know if it counts. Whoops! What I DO like is a lot of the books I read – especially All the Ugly and Wonderful Things and Dreamland Burning – explore parts of America and its ugly underbelly in ways I did not previously explore.

RATINGS SPREAD: Four 5-star reviews, Two 4-star reviews, Two 3-star reviews. Good month!

 

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WHAT I READ: All The Ugly and Wonderful Things (Bryn Greenwood)

WHY I READ IT: On many Best of 2016 lists.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Incredibly challenging, hard to decide how I feel, but such a well-written slice of life that kept me compelled the whole time.

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WHAT I READ: My Husband’s Wife (Jane Corry)

WHY I READ IT: One of my favorite lifestyle bloggers was reading it!

WHAT I THOUGHT: A fun read, but it could have used some structural readjustment to decide what kind of book it was going to be.

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WHAT I READ: The Diviners (Libba Bray)

WHY I READ IT: A podcast I listen to recommend this (and its sequel) as one of the Best Books They Read in 2016.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Totally scared the piss out of me (I’m very ladylike) and is definitively NSFchildren, but I’m pumped to dive into Book #2.

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WHAT I READ: Lair of Dreams (Libba Bray)

WHY I READ IT: See above!

WHAT I THOUGHT: Still totally scary, but I liked this one even more than the first. Too bad we aren’t closer to October and the release of the third!

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WHAT I READ: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas)

WHY I READ IT: I first read this book in 2015 and decided to give it a reread when I was sick and had little brainpower for anything else.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Ugh, I love this book SO much. I’m so glad I decided to give it a reread – it just hits everything I need in a book, AND it turns out the 3rd book comes out in early May so I had good timing in my reread!

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WHAT I READ: A Court of Mist and Fury (Sarah J. Maas)

WHY I READ IT: BECAUSE THESE BOOKS BLOW MY SKIRT UP AND I LOVE THEM!!

WHAT I THOUGHT: May 2nd cannot come soon enough. GIMME MORE!

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WHAT I READ: Dreamland Burning (Jennifer Latham)

WHY I READ IT: Book club!

WHAT I THOUGHT: An incredible and important re-telling of a deliberately hidden historical event. More to come next week.

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WHAT I READ: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding (Kristin Newman)

WHY I READ IT: Even though her name is spelled incorrectly in my opinion, I do like travel memoirs.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Well-written, albeit a little eye-rolley at times as all travel memoirs are, but I still slammed through this book and enjoyed reading it.

 

Need more thorough reviews? Goodreads, baby.

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Book Roundup: November 2016

Weirdly enough, I didn’t do particularly well this month with number of books read, even though none of my books were particularly long. I’m hoping to get some more under my belt this month – I have two cross-country flights ahead of me, and a couple weeks of holiday relaxing to knock out some more pages.

STATS:

Number of books read: 8

Number of female authors vs. male authors: 2 males, 7 females (one book had co-authors)

Ratings spread: Two 5-Star, Four 4-Star, Two 3-Star

Want more? Goodreads, baby

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WHAT I READ: Commonwealth, Ann Patchett

WHY I READ IT: One of those must-reads of 2016

WHAT I THOUGHT: I liked it, but there was a bit too much dipping in and out of other character’s perspectives for my taste.

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WHAT I READ: Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg

WHY I READ IT: #NastyWomen unite

WHAT I THOUGHT: Essential reading for every human. I learned SO much from it.

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WHAT I READ: The Sun Is Also A Star, Nicola Yoon

WHY I READ IT: One of those oft-loved YA authors!

WHAT I THOUGHT: Delightful, realistic, charming.

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WHAT I READ: The Trespasser, Tana French

WHY I READ IT: I LOVE Tana French and read all of her novels as soon as they come out.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Another fantastic addition to the Dublin Murder Squad for Tana – she’s great at writing compelling mysteries that also allow for character development.

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WHAT I READ: The Hating Game, Sally Thorne

WHY I READ IT: Some of my favorite bloggers lauded its praises.

WHAT I THOUGHT: I was thoroughly entertained – and loved their chemistry – but at times wanted a little bit more out of it.

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WHAT I READ: The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of A Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson

WHY I READ IT: It was in one of those displays at the bookstore: “If you liked A Man Called Ove, you’ll like this!”

WHAT I THOUGHT: A similarly delightful book about a grumpy Swedish old man, but went on a little too long for my tastes.

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WHAT I READ: Gemina, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

WHY I READ IT: I LOVED the first book, Illuminae.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Remarkable purely for its design, but the story itself is tightly written and compelling.

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WHAT I READ: Without You, There Is No Us, Suki Kim

WHY I READ IT: This book kicked up a storm in the past few years when the (female) author, an investigative journalist who went undercover at risk of her own life to write it, found out this book was designated by her editor as a memoir in the Eat, Pray, Love vein – even though it’s not a memoir.

WHAT I THOUGHT: As a piece of investigative journalism (which this is – don’t be fooled by the insulting “memoir” designation) this is a fascinating look at North Korea and compelling to consider what the author went through to collect this information. But, looking at it as a full-length book, I’m not sure there was enough new information throughout the book to insist upon so many pages. May have been better as a long-form article.

 

Book Roundup: October 2016

This was an embarrassing month for me, books-wise (life-wise it definitely had its ups and downs… more later). Usually I crush 12+ books a month. This month, due to a series of circumstances, I only read 11 books – and 3 of them I had read previously. SORRY.

This was due to the weirdness of October. I spent one week moderately sick with ear infections, and just wasn’t in the mood to dive into anything more substantial than books I already owned and could just glaze my way through. The next week, I was on vacation in London (woe is me!) and was too busy tourist-ing and spending time with my boo to do much reading.

So, sorry folks! Hopefully I’ll embarrass myself less in November…

STATS:

Number of (new/unreviewed on Goodreads) books read: 9 (8 new, 1 new-to-my-GR)

Number of female authors vs. male authors: All women! #NastyWoman

Ratings spread: Three 5-star books; Three 4-star books; Two 3-star books; One 2-star book

Want more? Goodreads, baby.

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WHAT I READ: Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, Ramona Ausubel

WHY I READ IT: Review from another blog!

WHAT I THOUGHT: I kind-of liked it, but think I would have liked it more had I lived in the 1970s and could compare my experience with what this book was representing.

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WHAT I READ: The Secrets We Keep, Trisha Leaver

WHY I READ IT: Book club!

WHAT I THOUGHT: Mostly negative things. This book has a really interesting premise, but the actual story fell short for me. Way too many generic characters; unrealistic action; and just not creepy enough for what I wanted.

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WHAT I READ: First & Then, Emma Mills

WHY I READ IT: It was described as Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights. Need I say more?

WHAT I THOUGHT: Strong book for me. Great relationship growths, mostly good secondary characters, largely a delightful read.

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WHAT I READ: Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman, Lindy West

WHY I READ IT: Everyone spent the summer freaking out about how good this book is.

WHAT I THOUGHT: LOVED it. Very funny, frank, open, and important book for everyone to read.

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WHAT I READ: Holding Up The Universe, Jennifer Nivens

WHY I READ IT: Another blog rec!

WHAT I THOUGHT: Another strong 4-star YA novel for me this month.

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WHAT I READ: Something Blue, Emily Giffin

WHY I READ IT: In the midst of my ear infection, I reached for this book (largely set in London) to comfort myself and pump myself up for my upcoming vacation!

WHAT I THOUGHT: It may sound dumb, but I really love this book. I haven’t read the first book (Something Borrowed -a movie was made with the same name) in a long time, but I love rereading this one. The author does a good job at growing the main character, and of course I love anything set in London. The only thing I didn’t love is that the author blithely ignores visa laws. An American can’t just move to England and live there forever! (I wish, though.)

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WHAT I READ: Paris for One, Jojo Moyes

WHY I READ IT: I’ve enjoyed other things the author has put out!

WHAT I THOUGHT: I never hugely love short story collections, and I didn’t LOVE this one. The first and longest story was delightful, but the short little guys after that were just shrugs for me.

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WHAT I READ: Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo

WHY I READ IT: The first book of this duology – Six of Crows – RULED.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Yes, yes, yes. Exciting from start to finish. When’s the movie?

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WHAT I READ: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli

WHY I READ IT: This is a highly praised book in the YA community, guys!

WHAT I THOUGHT: Charming, quirky, utterly delightful.

 

And that’s it! Excited to see what I dive into come November. I have a lot of work travel this month, so I’m hoping to get some good plane reading in.

Book Roundup: September 2016

Bringing back an old favorite (of mine, probably no one else’s) from way back when I kind of blogged in 2014 – a roundup of the books I read each month! I review a ton of books here, but not every book I read – so let’s dive in, shall we?

STATS:

Number of books read: 13

Number of female authors vs male authors: 11 females, 1 male (2 separate novels)

Rating spread: 3 five-starred; 4 four-starred; 3 three-starred; 3 two-starred

 

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WHAT I READ: Proxy and Guardianby Alex London

WHY I READ IT: One of the podcasts I listen to (The Worst Bestsellers – an EXCELLENT listen) recommended it in a back catalogue episode of “Best books of the year.” The best part of this podcast is that the hosts go to my book club, and now I feel like an awkward fangirl who knows these pretty virtual strangers WAY too well.

WHAT I THOUGHT: One of my favorites from the month! Wonderful macro- and micro-studies of humanity in a dystopian world that may not be very far away from our truth. Plus, well-done LGBT relationship, which is rare in YA lit.

 

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WHAT I READ: Truly, Madly, Guilty, by Liane Moriarty

WHY I READ IT: I love me some Liane – I’ve read her entire catalogue and lapped up this new release ASAP.

WHAT I THOUGHT: A little soapy, but well written and just so damn entertaining.

 

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WHAT I READ: Leave Meby Gayle Forman

WHY I READ IT: Gayle is another one of my favorite authors, primarily for Just One Day/Just One Year and If I Stay/Where She Went. 

WHAT I THOUGHT: In her first foray into adult fiction, I found a little bit of the magic that I love in her YA novels lacking here, but acknowledge it may be because I can’t relate yet – not being a mother or a wife myself. I’m interested in picking this up again in a decade or so and seeing my thoughts then.

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WHAT I READ: Listen To Me, by Hannah Pittard

WHY I READ IT: I believe it was recommended as a best read of the month somewhere?

WHAT I THOUGHT: Not nearly as exciting as the jacket made it seem. Give this a pass.

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WHAT I READ: Naughts and Crossesby Malorie Blackman

WHY I READ IT: Recommendation from one of my bookish Facebook groups.

WHAT I THOUGHT: A haunting look at racial divide and class structure in our society.

 

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WHAT I READ: You’ll Grow Out Of It, by Jessi Klein

WHY I READ IT: I’m a big ol’ fan of Jessi Klein and her oeuvre of comedian work.

WHAT I THOUGHT: I’m never a super big fan of celebrity memoirs/comic essays, but I mostly liked this one. Some of them were a little dull, but most were interesting enough and this made for a great plane book.

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WHAT I READ: Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plentyby Ramona Ausubel

WHY I READ IT: No idea.

WHAT I THOUGHT: May have hit closer to home were I a young adult during this time period (1970s, mostly) but as it were there was a lot of this I couldn’t really connect with. I think I liked it, though?

 

Additional books read and reviewed on the blog:

Some Kind of Happiness

Mischling

Sisters in Sanity

The Hopefuls

The Secrets We Keep

Happy October, y’all!