What I’ve Been Reading | September

I’ve had a somewhat slow burning month of reading, if we’re going to be honest. I seem to be flitting from book to book quite a bit, especially on my Kindle where I have finished nothing for ages. But I did finish two books on my nightstand in the past month or so and they were both excellent.

Here are the books I’ve finished:

51cZnaZEEfL._SY346_My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi MeadowsFinished 8/16 – The retelling of Jane Eyre that you never knew was missing from your life. I loved this as thoroughly as their last book and was frankly disappointed when it ended. Can I demand a sequel? 5 stars (full review)


13316328The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper FfordeFinished 9/12 – I continue to love Fforde’s world building. This was a fast paced beginning to a new series, this time geared towards a more Middle Reader / YA crowd – but he’s not dumbing it down for the kiddos. I really enjoyed it and plan to read the next one. 4 stars


Right Now I’m Reading:

I picked up a copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman at a used bookstore and I’ve just started to tiptoe into this story. I’ve been looking forward to reading this one for awhile so I’m psyched to finally be getting to it.

I’m also still reading Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham on my Kindle, but it’s been slightly tossed to the backburner in favor of I’d Rather Be Reading, Anne Bogel’s new book. I’m enjoying both but not making much progress with either because I haven’t firmly decided which one I’m actually reading right now. Also I’ve been concentrating more on writing during the day so I haven’t been reading on my Kindle as much anyway. I feel like this is sort of a good thing though, as it means I am writing more.


I’m linking up with Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy to talk about the books I’ve read this month and what I’m reading now. Let me know if you are participating also and I’ll come check out your post!

What are you reading right now?

What I’ve Been Reading Lately | July 2018

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Guys, I have been reading like crazy this month! At least compared to my typical reading habits this year of finishing roughly 1.5 books a month, July has been insane. Book snobs might comment that perhaps this is because I’ve pretty much only read YA / Middle Reader books this month. This is true. But I’ve also loved reading this month and it’s been awhile since I felt like I could say that honestly.

I just listened to an old podcast episode at the Lazy Genius Collective about improving your reading life and I pretty much spent the whole 20 minutes nodding my head and thinking, “Yes! This exactly!” So I’m reveling in this reading for the pure joy of loving to read thing and not feeling any guilt about what I’m reading and what quality of literature it is.

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Here’s what that’s looked like for me in July:

35247769Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Finished July 12th

This one pretty much got by on nostalgia for me. It was oddly anticlimatic for most of the book because Lara Jean spent most of the story nope-ing right on out of any stressful situation. Guess how well that works out for her? Overall the book was perfectly fine but not as good as the first two. I am seriously excited to see the new Netflix adaptation of book one.

3 stars


27876157Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Finished July 12th

We listened to the audio book as a family during our last family road trip and it proved well worth a “re-read” – I think I enjoyed it more the second time around. This was my first time listening to an audio book of this series and I agree with the masses – Jim Dale is phenomenal at narrating the books and it’s well worth a listen.

5 stars


34930815Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve Vol. 2) by Marissa Meyer

Finished July 16th

This one is less recappy than the first one – it really delves into the story more and covers more ground. It kept me up late towards the end, wondering how everything would play out. I am still not sure if these graphic novels would stand alone without having read the original series but who would NOT read the original series? Seriously, go read Cinder right now!

4 stars


348573The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Finished July 19th

I read this out loud to the kids. The story was interesting but it was kind of a bear to read out loud, if I’m going to be honest. The first half is pretty slow and the whole books seems like it’s written with a bigger vocabulary than the target audience is likely to possess if only because of all of the outdated terms.

3 stars


51raXxdzJPLFrom Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Finished July 24

A very bingeable YA book. I stayed up late 3 nights in a row with this one (old person late, like 11pm). Well worth the general fatigue that this caused me. Sahlil will be your next book crush. Twinkle is both brilliant and kind of dumb – easy to relate to even in between wondering when teenagers became so driven so young – seriously I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at their age!

4 stars


What have you been reading?

 

3 YA novels to stay up too late shipping.

Quick Lit: 09.15.2016

It’s mid-September which mean’s Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy is writing about the books she’s been reading recently as part of her Quick Lit link up series. Wanna play along? Write about the books you’ve been reading over the past month or so, then head to her blog to link up!

I’ve read three books since mid August, not including the hefty handful of books that seem to be perpetually in the mid-read but never finish zone. I noticed as I was starting this post that the three I did finish all have something in common – they were all young adult love stories with characters and writing styles that were fresh and crisp and super binge worthy. All three of these books had me reaching for them in any quiet moment and all three found me staying up too late so I could maybe read just one more chapter…

They also all feature intelligent, funny if slightly romantically clueless leading ladies and their romantic counterparts are all going to be your next literary crush. Sound good? Here are the three books you’ll want to squeal to all your friends about:

22840421My Lady Jane by coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

I honestly loved everything about this book from the premise to the characters to the writing style. Hysterical and well written with several characters that you will root for and an incredible story to boot!

I’ll warn you, the premise of this book is a little wonky so when you start trying to describe it to your friends they will probably wonder what drugs you are on. It’s kind of like that time when I said, “so there’s this cyborg Cinderella story that you have to read!” and only people who had also read The Lunar Chronicles didn’t smile uncomfortably and pretend to be on board. Get ready to justify being super excited to go read a few more chapters about a girl who unknowingly gets married to a horse. 

This book has multiple couples to ship, an historical timeline to learn more about… kind of… and some magical / fantasy elements for good measure.

23305614Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to read this one and it was definitely worth the wait. After just a few chapters in, I found myself carrying this book with me everywhere I went so I could sneak in a few more pages here and there until it was done.

This is a sweet love story, a very funny peek inside the main character’s family life that will have you relating to everyone and groaning in commiseration. It’s also an honest and up close peek at social anxiety at it’s worst and shines a light on teen bullying.

But did I mention the love story? Oh my gosh, it’s the sweetest. I love Sophie Kinsella and I was just super loving this foray into young adult fiction.

18189606Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I got sucked into this story really quickly. The main character, Emily, is extremely shy and totally oblivious but you love and root for her anyway and Frank is just allllll the things. I loved this book.

Aside from being a love story, it’s also a friend story. We’ve all had the Emily / Sloane friendship and maybe we’ve even had moments of being both Emilys and Sloanes. The list of items that Sloane left for Emily to do really made for a funny and interesting book and the characters are all very fleshed out.

And again, the family aspects of this book were great, too. There were a lot of different kinds of families in this story and I think each character probably thought their families were the craziest and their friends were so lucky, but as you work your way through the book, Emily kind of starts to realize that everyone feels that way and starts to feel more appreciative about what she has. I liked that the book felt real and honest – characters felt authentic even when you sometimes wished they wouldn’t.

Of the three, this book had my favorite love story and left me feeling super angsty that my time with them was over. I would not turn down a super self serving sequel just so I could spend some more time with them.

What have you been reading lately?

What’s your most recent favorite couple to ship?

Quick Lit: July 2016

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It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve linked up with Anne’s Quick Lit series so I’m going to give you guys a full recap for the last two months just in case you missed out on hearing about my bookish tendencies in June because there were some goodies last month! Here is the low down on what I’ve been reading lately:

 

    • 25852870Eligible by Curtis SittenfeldI’m a sucker for Pride and Prejudice adaptations and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Sittenfeld took some interesting departures from the original but overall I think it was an excellent modernization. I would imagine some people might not enjoy a few liberties taken, especially P & P purists, but I thought it was a lot of fun.

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  • Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst – I live in Wisconsin so it was a lot of fun reading a murder mystery that takes place in my state. Lots of local references to enjoy. Additionally, it’s a good and compelling story that took awhile to build but kept my interest and then consumed my interest in the second half. It ends on a cliff hanger that led to me immediately downloading the next book.
  • 13449693The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I’ll be honest, I didn’t love this as much as I was hoping too. I think the hype got the better of me. Something about the book kept me at arm’s length and I wasn’t able to really lose myself to the story. But it ended with a lot of questions still unanswered that have me considering reading the next book at some point. I liked a lot of aspects of this book, I just didn’t quite love it.
  • 18079710Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead– I really enjoyed this. One of the rare instances where having seen the movie first did not deter me from reading the book later – I think this was an interesting take on the world of vampires and I’m definitely planning to read book 2!

28669464Right now my book club is reading The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett so that book is on my front burner. It’s kind of a sliding doors style story of how two people’s lives would be depending on how small details of their lives play out.

What are you reading right now?

 

Save

7 Books I’ve Enjoyed Recently.

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I’ve been a busy reading beaver this past month – so this might be one of my longest Quick Lit posts to date! Since I last linked up with Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy’s monthly mini book review roundup, I’ve read seven books – admittedly most of them are YA books which tend to take a little less time. Here’s how my month shook out:

Terrible Typhoid Mary by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

26055345My book club discussed this in March. I thought it was extremely well written and engaging for a nonfiction title, the author did a good job at breathing life and wit into an old story and kept it from getting too try. It was not necessarily favorite book material for me but for a nonfiction book, I thought it was good. LIKED

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

7796279I loved the premise of this book. The plot lagged occasionally but overall I really enjoyed it and downloaded book two pretty much immediately after finishing this one. REALLY LIKED

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

9462775I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one. Something in the writing felt fresher and tighter and it probably helps that I’d grown accustomed to the cast of characters. I also really loved Oliver – probably more than I’d liked Keith in book one. LOVED

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

22716447I think I liked this book even more than her last one. It was funny, informative, dishy and inspiring jut like Mindy. I just started watching The Office last month and it was even better having just read this. REALLY LIKED

Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

17657649It took awhile to warm up to this book. Initially I was irritated by the main character and the whole thing was too similar to Daddy Long Legs (which I loved) but the book picked up in the second half and I ended up enjoying it. LIKED

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

29145429Short but sweet. I enjoyed it but was kind of bummed when it was over. I’d gladly read a full novel about these characters. It’s a short story about a teen girl who camps out for the latest Star Wars premier and the handful of people she meets while she is there. Very sweet. REALLY LIKED

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

25573977My book club is discussing this at the end of the month. It took me a little while to get into this book but once the plot started to pick up and I got to know all the characters I found myself reading in larger and larger chunks until the last two nights when I stayed up WAY to late to finish. I found the premise interesting if at times a bit unrealistic but a few of the characters tugged at my heart strings enough that I suspended my disbelief long enough to enjoy the ride. Still, I always felt slightly at arms length away from everyone. For a book full of internal dialogue, it still felt like it was slightly emotionally removed and the end of the book wrapped up almost too quickly and left me feeling unresolved even though all the plot points were mostly tied up. A good book but not quite great. LIKED

22574090Right now I’m also reading Women Are Scary by Melanie Dale, a funny parenting memoir that is silly and sometimes insightful. It’s about the scary notion of making mom friends – something I can definitely relate to. I’ve been reading it on my kindle in spurts when the kids are at karate or I’m waiting to pick the kids up after school – that kind of thing. I’ve been trying to read the many paperbacks taking up space in my room at night so this has been more of a long lingering read than a sole focus which works great when I have a book club title plow through. Now that I’m finished with the book above, I’ll probably start reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking which is one I’ve been meaning to read for awhile.

What are you reading right now?

Quick Lit: March 2016

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I’m linking up with one of my favorite bloggers today, Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy who shares a list each month of the books she’s been reading. It’s called Quick Lit and the premise is pretty simple – a quick round up of your recent reading.

Here are the books I finished since mid February:

13206900Winter by Marissa Meyer

This book was such an undertaking – each book in the series seems to get bigger as it goes and more characters are introduced. This book felt like the fireworks finale that it should be with #allthefeels all over the place. Every moment you were waiting for finally happens and Meyer only tries to break your heart eleventy billion times so it’s all good. I’ve already got Stars Above waiting for me to crack into. LOVED

Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson

680923I wasn’t sure I would finish this one in time for the book club discussion, if at all, but I’m glad I stuck it out. Although many of the chapters felt excessively long at times and filled to the brim with information that might be fascinating for some people (not me), there were a lot of golden nuggets inside. The story this book tells is incredible especially because it’s a true story – and the people within the book have a lot to say. Lots of life lessons to be learned and everything you ever wanted to know about deep sea diving, shipwrecks and U Boats. LIKED

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick

16000983I’m a fan of Amber’s blog and this book was like a sweetened condensed version of that. She shares stories about pretty much all aspects of parenting with her signature “crappy illustrations” (her words not mine) to add extra levels of hilarity to her stories. My only complaints would be that some of the stories felt abruptly cut short. This is something that never bothered me with the blog, but as a book I wish they’d been fleshed out more. And the book itself seemed to end so soon! I want more! REALLY LIKED

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

16081588This book is kind of like that high school English assignment where you write a chapter and then one of your classmates writes the next chapter and so on. Except the three authors each wrote one short story – about 10 chapters – and all their stories linked up and eventually featured most if not all of the same characters. I’ve read several John Green books before but the other two authors were new to me. All have a fairly similar vibe but the different characters in each story were all very unique and different from each other. I think Maureen Johnson’s story and characters might have been my favorite of the three so now I’m adding all her books to my wish list. REALLY LIKED

Right now I’m reading a couple of books:

26055345My book club is discussing Terrible Typhoid Mary by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. It’s a nonfiction account of Mary Mallon’s life and how she became known as the infamous Typhoid Mary. The author does a good job of making the book readable and not too text booky and includes letters and pictures from the time of Mary’s life. I’m technically done with the actual story of the book but I’m still looking through the timeline and other details at the end of the book. So far I’d give this book a strong LIKE.

7796279I have a short attention span for nonfiction, so I’ve also been reading 13 Little Blue Envelopes, a book by Maureen Johnson that I was psyched to find on my Kindle after reading Let it Snow. I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile but it kept slipping out of my sight with book club picks and you know life and also there are too many books on my kindle. I’m enjoying this one – it’s a story about a girl whose aunt died and left her this collection of 13 envelopes that she has to open and then accomplish the task inside before opening the next, which leads her on a kind of scavenger hunt across Europe (and perhaps more, I’m only a handful of envelopes in so far).

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Speaking of books I’ve owned for too long: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling came in one of those subscription box things that I seem to keep asking for trials of like back in December. It was a box from Pop Sugar’s Must Have Box Subscription which was fun but a bit out of my price range so I just ended up doing the one box. I loved Kaling’s last book and was excited to read this one but found myself saving it like the one thing on your dish that you LOVE but save for last because you like torturing yourself. I finally decided that I could just start reading it anyway even though I was already reading two other books because I’m worth it. Obviously I’m loving it.

What are you reading right now?