December 2016 Reading Recap

I haven’t posted much this month – December is always insanely busy! Anyhow, this will be a reading recap for November AND December!

I have officially completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 30 books, finishing the year at 32 books! It probably doesn’t sound like a lot compared to other book bloggers but that’s a good number of books for me!

In November and December, I read:

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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart: I really enjoyed this! I had the opportunity to hear the author speak at an event shortly after finishing the book, which is always fun. The way the female characters each approached feminism in their own distinct way was really interesting to me. Some of Frankie’s thoughts seemed contradictory but that’s totally normal for a 16-year-old so I thought that was pretty smart of the author. I’m looking forward to reading her latest book, We Were Liars. Here’s a blurb about Frankie:

Over the course of one summer, Frankie Landau-Banks, a somewhat geeky girl with an unassuming nature, has developed into a 15-year-old with an attention-grabbing figure, a new attitude, and sights set on making changes at her elite boarding school. The teenager also has a new boyfriend, a gorgeous senior who belongs to a long-standing secret society on campus—The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, known mostly for silly pranks and a history of male-only membership. With a witty, sharp, and intelligently scheming mind, Frankie manipulates the Loyal Order to do her bidding with pranks meant to make a political statement about the male-dominated and classist nature of the school.

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Mystic River by Dennis LeHane: I think I’ve finally made my way through all of LeHane’s books! This was good but, as usual, dark and sad. I highly recommend the book as well as the film!

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson: This is a re-imagining of Peter Pan. As you probably guessed from the title, this is the story of Tiger Lily and her relationship with Peter. It’s told by Tinker Bell. I have mixed feelings about this book, mainly due to the ending, but overall I thought this was really well done.

That’s it for me! Until next year!

September Reading Recap

September has been really crazy! I feel like a slacker because I haven’t had time to participate/comment on other blogs much this month but I’m finally back in the swing of things. However, due to lots of time spent in airports, I did manage to read 5 books!

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Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane – This is the fifth book in the Kenzie & Gennaro series and I enjoyed it. Like the previous books in this series, the topic was pretty dark so it isn’t for everyone. But if you like super creepy stalker weirdos you may enjoy it 😉

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Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane – I followed Prayers for Rain up with the sixth (and probably final) Kenzie and Gennaro book. I was actually pretty disappointed with this one which was a bummer since I really enjoyed the first five. Two of the main characters – Angie and Bubba – were barely in the book. The writing style felt different as well. For some reason I kept reading this thinking that Lehane was either trying to hurry and wrap up the series or got paid a boatload to write this and just threw something together. I liked that it was tied to the characters in Gone Baby Gone (book #4) but was otherwise not impressed.

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P.S. I Like You by Kasie West – After two fairly dark books I really wanted something light and fluffy to read and this fit the bill. It’s a YA romance and I thought it was pretty cute. The two characters write notes back and forth without knowing each others identities. It’s pretty obvious who the mystery writer is but it was fun to read anyway.

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The Distance Between Us by Kasie West – Another Kasie West title, The Distance Between Us is also pretty light and sweet. I enjoyed the humor of the main character, Caymen. It’s a rich guy/poor girl love story. Between the two West books, I preferred this one but if you like YA romance, both are pretty fun.

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The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer – I received this one as part of my Book of the Month Club (I got a subscription as a birthday gift!) I have mixed feelings about it. I’m not a super fan but I’ve seen her show a few times and thought it was funny. Some of the essays fell a little flat to me. That being said, I really liked her diary entries (and years-later footnotes) and some of her more serious essays were really good as well.

That’s it for me! What did you all read this month?

August 2016 Reading Recap

Another month gone by, another reading recap post to write!  In August I read three books, keeping me on track to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of reading 30 books this year.

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah : I loved this book! For some reason I stopped reading it after the first chapter originally. A few months later I picked it up again and couldn’t put it down. This is one of those put-a-box-of-Kleenex-next-to-the-bed books. I’m sure this will be made into a film at some point.

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The Drop by Dennis LeHane: I really like Dennis Lehane books and this was no exception. I usually read the Kenzie and Gennero titles but this was only $2 on Amazon so I grabbed it. It’s fairly short and if you haven’t read any of his books, this is a good place to start. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I’d like to (Tom Hardy + Cute Dog = I’m in.)

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Wool 2 by Hugh Howey: I read the first book (well, short story) last month and had to get this one right away. Howey really does a great job with bringing these characters to life, especially considering the short length of these stories. I’ve got #3 downloaded and ready to read!

I have somehow been talked into joining a book club starting next month so we’ll see how that goes! We’re reading a book called The Nest, which I’m not particularly excited about but maybe it’ll surprise me – has anyone read it?

Until next time!

July Reading Recap

I’m officially at 18 of 30 books for my Goodreads Reading Challenge, putting me 1 book ahead of schedule. I really don’t know how people read 100 books a year! This month, I read:

Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading the sequel. I could pretty much tell where the book was going but it was still a page-turner. I know there was some controversy surrounding both the film and the movie (which I haven’t seen yet) – I’m wondering what others thought about the book?

Woo

Wool by Hugh Howey: Okay, this doesn’t really count as a book but…I’m counting it anyway. This short story is the first of five in the Silo Series. Mankind lives in a giant silo because the air outside is toxic. People can look outside via a camera feed but the lenses have to be cleaned…which involves going outside (aka a death sentence, which is why they make criminals do it.) Sheriff Holston has doubts about whether the air outside is actually toxic but to know for sure he has to go outside. This story left me with so.many.questions. So I’ll be reading the next installment asap!

Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater: I can’t recall why I wanted to read this but it was on my to-read list and was affordable on Amazon Kindle so there ya go. (I think maybe a friend recommended it?) It reminded me a little of Twilight but focused on werewolves instead of vampires. The average rating on Goodreads is 3.78 and people seem to really love it or really hate it. It’s just not my cup of tea.

That’s it for July! If you do a monthly recap on what you’ve read, feel free to post a link in the comments section!

Goodreads Reading Challenge – June 2016

Well, the year is officially half over (yikes!) I’m almost halfway through my goal of reading 30 books in 2016 though so that’s good! Here is what I read in June:

Stolen

Stolen: A Letter to my Captor by Lucy Christopher: Oh, this book. This book is well reviewed on Goodreads and I thought it sounded interesting so I gave it a try. Here is a quick blurb:

              A girl: Gemma, 16, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.

              A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.

             She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what’s happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. To sand and heat. To emptiness and isolation. To nowhere. And expects her to love him.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I do think that it’s well-written and it kept my attention. BUT…we are supposed to eventually sympathize with Ty, the man who kidnaps Gemma, because he’s (a) really attractive, (b) had a rough childhood, and (c) doesn’t rape her, etc. Nah. He stalks her for years (creepy) and then drugs and kidnaps her (creepier.) I just really really didn’t feel bad for or like Ty at any point. But lots of people on Goodreads feel completely differently so it’s probably just me!

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The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau: This is a YA dystopian book and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I think if you enjoy books like The Hunger Games or Divergent you’ll enjoy this one. The Testing is the first book in a trilogy so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the next two books are also good.

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Shizzle, Inc. by Ana Spoke: This book is pretty darn funny. It’s an indie title and I was really entertained by it. To me it had sort of a Janet Evanovich vibe, because there are some super zany characters and one-liners. This gives you an idea of the main character, Isa:

“The hurt feelings of last night didn’t seem as immediate in the morning light, but it was important to give Tara an opportunity to admit that she was wrong, and that I’m hot enough to seduce billionaires and cops.”

Isa is totally (I mean, really truly) clueless so some readers may find that irritating after a while but I found it amusing and look forward to the sequel!

That’s it for me – what did you read in June?

Goodreads Reading Challenge – May 2016

It’s the end of the month, which means it’s time for my Goodreads Reading Challenge recap!

I was busy traveling this month (San Diego for fun and Oklahoma for work) so I have two airports reads this month, along with a book written by a fellow blogger! Here we go…

good girl

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica: I picked this up at the airport during my trip to Oklahoma City. As with 99% of the books I pick up at the airport, this is a mystery/thriller. This particular title grabbed my attention because it’s compared to Gone Girl on the jacket. I enjoyed Gone Girl so I figured I’d give it a shot! Here is a brief section of the blurb:

I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

Okay, so here’s the deal. I think without the Gone Girl comparison I would have enjoyed this title more. The comparison made me assume there would be a “twist,” so I really wasn’t surprised when there was one. I also didn’t love the ending. All of that being said, I think my lack of sleep during this trip made me grumpier than I normally would have been while reading this. It’s was interesting enough to keep my attention so I would read another Kubica novel in the future.

night sister

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon: I picked this up at the airport on my way to San Diego. I’d read another book of McMahon’s previously (also an airport pick!) and enjoyed it. I suppose I’d categorize her books as paranormal mysteries. Here is a section of the book blurb:

Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel’s past, something that ruined their friendship forever.

I really like Jennifer McMahon’s writing. This book is definitely a page-turner but I think Winter People is a lot better/creepier. This book really kept me guessing until the end and if you like monsters-under-the-bed type stories, this is the one for you!

folded dreams

Folded Dreams – The Beginning by Pearl Kirkby: I follow Kirkby’s blog, Old Fossil Writes and really enjoy it so I was looking forward to reading her short story. The blurb:

When we reminisce, we think we’re remembering our past. But if time is relative, rather than fixed, what exactly are we thinking back on…The past, or the future? Maybe some time in between?

Memories from birth, to a death by flaming inferno and the uncomfortable gifts of seeing, which plague her throughout life – all of these things are seen through the eyes of Relativity, when Time and Space seem confused.

Folded Dreams – the Beginning is a short story that is destined to become Folded Dreams – The Novel.

Or was it the other way around?

Folded Dreams was my favorite read this month! Kirkby is a really strong writer and I finished this in one sitting. The way the author tackled the relativity of space and time, along with the idea of memories v. premonitions was really intriguing to me. The characters are unnamed in this, which I found to be effective (not sure if Kirkby plans on adding names in the novel?) This story eerie and odd (in a good way!) and I’m looking forward to the novel. Side note: this is free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

What did you read this month?

Top 5 Wednesday – Favorite Mothers / Maternal Figures

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The last Top Five Wednesday of the month! (Is April really almost over?)  As always, click the link to join the Goodreads group and see the weekly topics!

Top 5 Wednesday Topic: Favorite Mothers/Maternal Figures

little women

1. Marmee in Little Women: Little Women was one of the first “big” books I read when I was young and it holds a special place in my heart. I also love the various film adaptations. I always thought it would be fun to live in the March house.

cheaper by dozen

2. Lillian Gilbreth in Cheaper by the Dozen: If you haven’t read this book, you totally should! It is a true story and nothing like the Steve Martin movie. This book is hilarious and both parents are fun and very intelligent. Fun facts: Lillian received a BA and MA from UC Berkley  in the early 1900s and earned a PhD from Brown. She was also the first female professor at Purdue’s engineering school. AND she raised 12 kids!

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3. Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables: I LOVE Anne of Green Gables – the books and the movies. Going to Prince Edward Island one day is totally on my bucket list. Marilla is one of my favorite characters and a great mother figure for Anne.

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4. Mary Poppins: Does this count as a maternal figure? I’m going to say yes. Who doesn’t want to have Mary Poppins as their nanny?!

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5. Mrs. Weasley in Harry Potter: Need I say more?

Who are your favorite literary mothers or maternal figures?