Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Show Us Your Books - What I Read in April


It's that time again, book nerds! My favorite day of the month, the Show Us Your Books linkup with me Jana of Jana Says!

Here's what I've read since the linkup on April 14:

Euphoria by Lily King - I'm a fan of anthropology - I find it fascinating in its heydey, which is when this novel takes place. Not a ton of in depth characterization and some starts and stops in the plot made it a motley little book, but one that I found to be intelligent and worth it despite its faults. I flew through the 250 pages in less than two nights and enjoyed it.

Dark of the Moon by John Sandford - This is the first in a series with the character Virgil Flowers. I like John Sandford books - I can depend on him to provide a good story and keep me entertained without a ton of brain output. I'm going to continue on the Virgil Flowers path.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven - My heart swelled with joy and withered and broke about 10 different times reading this book. Young adult with some very heavy and adult themes. This was an excellent read.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin - A lot of times throughout this book, I was like where is this going? and each time realized that I really didn't care. I like books about quirky characters, readers, small towns, and improbable circumstances. This book had them all.

Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam - I don't see a ton of books about people wading through their early to mid twenties all fucked up knowing so much less than they thought they would about the world even though that's how many people FEEL at that time. This book was a glimpse into that and also dealt with some heavy women's issues. I liked it and thought it was well written.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover - This was basically a book about attraction and sex with a cloak of love and pain thrown over it to make it marketable to the masses. There was a lot of sappy and ridiculous but I was sad as hell about some of the chapters that took place in the past. If you don't like sex in your novels, don't read this book. Otherwise, it was a quick and mindless read which I like sometimes especially after reading heavy shit like All the Bright Places and Babylon above.

Stolen by Christopher Lucy - Reading this really let me visualize how Stockholm Syndrome works. I know about it and have read about it before, but this made it click. Even as a reader I knew I should be more pissed off and repulsed by Ty than I was. This is a story built on writing and two characters with the land itself playing the third, most important character. This is not an action novel but it's a worthy read.

Two books I started and couldn't finish:
The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery - If you need to hammer the issues of each character home so much that I'm struggling with the repetition by page 30, I'm not going to enjoy the rest of the book. I can typically overlook that to a degree but this was relentless and didn't allow me to pick up any thread of a plot in between.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence - I might have tried reading this book at the incorrect time. I truly believe we need to be in the right frame of mind to receive some books. This might be one of those, so I might give it a go in the future. I was not in the mood for the crazy level of detail the narrator went into about everything. But I might be in the mood in the future.

This link up happens the second Tuesday of every month. The next one is Tuesday, June 9. 
Life According to Steph

Non-bloggers, what have you read recently? Let me know what you recommend and what to stay away from. Bloggers, link up your posts below.

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48 comments:

  1. Added the Last Train to Babylon to my to-read list. I already have Stolen & All the Bright Places on there. I haven't read any of the other ones either!

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  2. All The Bright Places was so good. It was a rollercoaster of emotions but one I was happy to be on. Stolen is on my list to read, and I added The Storied Life of AJ, sounds interesting.

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  3. yes, alex woods is one of those books (much like life of Pi and a prayer for owen meany) where you need to be in the right mindset to finish it but once you do - OH SO GOOD. i'm still trying to get in the right mindset for harry potter. it's been nearly 9 nears and so far, no luck.

    i totally shit the bed with reading last month because my life was taken over by Gotham.

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  4. I totally agree about being in the right frame of mind. I'm so bad at giving up on books, I push through and end up not enjoying them which is just stupid.
    totally agree about ugly love. i enjoyed it but it's not a literary masterpiece. i have added every other book of yours to my list!! :)

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  5. I'm always in awe by how much reading you get done in a month, I need to channel my inner-Steph! Last Train to Babylon is definitely on my list!

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  6. All the Bright Places is one that I've had on my "to read" list for a while now. I've heard a lot of great things about it. I've been curious about Ugly Love but haven't given it a try yet. Maybe another one to add to the list!

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  7. I listened to you and made it to the library... and I'm (currently) reading Red Badge of Courage. Turns out, the plane is a good place to read uninterrupted.

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  8. Oh man. So many on my list to read that are on yours! Also, I had to quit a book in the middle this past month too. It was so WEIRD!

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  9. I'm going to add some of these to my list! I've been in a book funk but I did manage to read Orphan Train, you read that right? And Room. You need to add that to your list! It's a book with a 5 year old as the narrator. Very messed up book.

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    1. Omg Room. So good, so sad, kind of confusing. Worth reading!

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  10. I'm going to add some of these to my list! I've been in a book funk but I did manage to read Orphan Train, you read that right? And Room. You need to add that to your list! It's a book with a 5 year old as the narrator. Very messed up book.

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  11. I haven't read any of these. Now I have more to add to my list!

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  12. I read All The Bright Places last month and didn't love it.

    A.J. Fickry is a strange but lovable book!

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  13. I added last Train, just started Stolen, and appreciate the Ugly Love warning (though it hasn't made it on my to read list yet for other reasons... glad to know that it probably isn't something I would enjoy...) I love this linkup. Please don't ever get rid of it completely.

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  14. All The Bright Places is so, so good! I'm adding Last Train to Babylon and Stolen!

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  15. So many great reads - Ugly Love sounds right up my alley! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  16. I love books with quirky characters and dysfunctional families. I need to read All the Bright Places. I've heard such good things about it. That Lily King book sounds good too!

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  17. I am glad you enjoyed All the Bright Places! I felt the very same way reading it! I am putting Stolen to the top of my list today! That sort of thing fascinates me!

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  18. I can't wait to read All the Bright Places! The Storied Life and Last Train sound interesting. I totally hear ya about needing the right time to receive books. It's like me and To Kill A Mockingbird. I was graciously gifted audio files of the book by Kristen, so maybe after listening to the book, I could enjoy it more.

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  19. All the Bright Places wrecked me for days. DAYS. Stolen was another one I loved, too. I have Alex Woods and AJ Firky on my nightstand right now. I'm slightly nervous for Alex Woods after reading your review. Last Train to Babylon...I feel like I have that on my list already because it sees like a book I'd enjoy.

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  20. Every month I tell myself I will remember to link up...and then I forget! NEXT month for sho'.

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  21. Someday I will start reading books again! I cannot read sad, heartbreaking stuff. I just can't! I can't even read gruesome crime stuff. I do enjoy your reviews and so do my friends who read them!!!
    Have a happy Tuesday- last day of the heat wave. Tomorrow- 70's!
    Love, your MOMMA

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  22. Four of these books are already on my "to read" list. I read Alex Woods this month. It did take me a little longer to get into it than I like, but then it grabbed me and endeared me to the characters. Stolen = loved this perspective of a book.

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  23. you are a reading machine!!! You are just like my husband. He reads like 3 books a week. That 'Last Train to Babylon' one sounds really interesting!!!

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  24. I am totally adding All the Bright Places and Last Train to Babylon to my list to read. Kathy suggested Alex Woods to me and I still have it on my list and will probably give it a go. There are plenty of books I couldn't get in to at first (hello Harry Potter) and absolutely adored on the second or third chance.

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  25. I'm thinking I'll have to add "Last Train to Babylon" to my to-read list. Sounds fascinating!

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  26. As always, I added a bunch of these to my reading list :) I have a huge email draft going with all your recommendations so I know what to get next time I'm ready for a library trip!

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  27. I love that you link to goodreads. I just added 5 to my "want to read" list. you're the best!!

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  28. I'm struggling with one of my 15 in '15 books now. I feel bad because I haven't finished 2 or 3 of them already and it kinda defeats the purpose of doing the 15 in '15 but I'm also finding myself less enthused about reading right now because I'm stuck with this book

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  29. I can't stand overkill descriptions. I bore easily!
    I'm reading The Girl With no Name right now. A strange book for me, but I'm still at it. Read She's Not Herself last week. Was pretty good.

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  30. Ok, I just added All the Bright Places to my to-read list. I am not allowing myself to request any more books until I finish the ones I have. I just got an email that 2 more are available to pick up. Too much!!

    I got Still Alice (just came out as a movie with Julianne Moore) and I am scared it is going to be tough to read. I also have a few James Pattersons and a spin-off of Orange is the New Black, written by the woman that Piper Kerman was in a relationship with when she got involved in the drug trafficking (can't remember if you read/watch this).

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  31. I'd rather know by page 30 its a thumbs down then get half way & it be awful... at that point, I force myself to finish.

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  32. I'll add some of these to my list, thank you!

    I'm reading Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight. It's interesting. They find the body of an infant and have to figure out who the baby belongs to.

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  33. So many books I haven't even heard of! I think I have Ugly Love on my to-read list, as I'ma fan of Colleen Hoover, but if not, I'm definitely adding it! I'm sad that I haven't been able to participate, but for some reason I thought this was the last one until the end of summer? So happy to be wrong- can't wait to join in June!

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  34. Ok so I am intrigued by All The Bright Places now. Sounds really good. Stolen has also been on my list for a long time. This weekend I had a reading fest and I'm looking forward to having some time to read more this weekend too!

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  35. I have read one of the Virgil Flower books.. didn't do much for me. It was set in a lesbian resort or something.
    The Storied Life of AJ Fikry is on my bookshelf waiting to be read..
    looks like you got a lot of reading done this month.. i am waiting to be able to do that again.. little kiddo's and sleep deprivation doesn't help

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  36. Oooo I love new book recommendations! I am a huge fan of YA lit so I'm putting All the Bright Places on my list!

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  37. Ahh! I want to read All the Bright Places so bad! I'm glad to see a positive review. I'm adding Last Train to Babylon and Ugly Love to my to-read list!

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  38. We're reading The Storied Life for book club this month. I wasn't that interested in the blurb for the book on Goodreads, but if you say it's good, I'll take your word for it!! haha.

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  39. I had already added All The Bright Places to my list based on someone else's recommendation (I assumed it was you but it must have been another blogger). Stolen looks good, too. And I'll keep Ugly Love in mind for non-thinking, sex-filled fluff!

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  40. I really should read some of the John Sandford books. They're all set in Minnesota (where I live) and everybody I know loves them and recs them.

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  41. I'm so jealous you read all of those. I've just been happy that I've gotten halfway through one book that's not baby related, lol. Pretty soon I will have no work, no volunteering and just focusing on Charlie, Will, and ME, so hopefully then I will have time. At least I can read anything I want to her at the beginning because she won't understand yet.

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  42. I typically don't read a lot of YA fiction, but the Jennifer Niven book intrigues me (as do many of the others). I'll be adding a bunch of these to my "To Read" book list. Thanks for the awesome recommendations!

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  43. also... I loved Stolen! I read it when it first came out way back when :) It was one of the first books I reviewed when I had a book review blog.

    Sarah
    Midwest Darling

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  44. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry was one of those books that came into my life right when I needed it. I loved it! added a few new books to my list thanks to you! I'm reading Ruby and Americanah. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is such a beautiful writer. Soon I'll be back to reading books for school though :-( thanks summer semester...

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    1. Americanah is on my list, a coworker's wife recommended it to me last summer. I will look into Ruby!

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  45. I really liked All the Bright Places. I also liked Girls of Mischief Bay though- we can't always agree!

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  46. I loooooved All the Bright Places. :):)

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