Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Show Us Your Books - What I read in August

Books books books. It's book talk daaaaay. I mean, if you know me, every day is book talk day. I always want to hear what you're reading, especially if you recommend it. And the Show Us Your Books Linkup is certainly not the only day I discuss books on this blog. But it is my favorite day to discuss books because you're all out there all over the place discussing your books too!

Linkup Guidelines:
1. Please visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me
2. Please display the button or link back to us on your blog post
2. Please visit a few other blogs who've linked up and get some book talk going!

Now for the nitty gritty - what I read since the last linkup. The library screwed me and didn't deliver on a lot of my holds so I actually used my kindle Lori passed down to me. I know, shocker. I need to assimilate myself to it anyway given that I cannot haul books throughout the National Parks later this month and overseas to Africa and Europe next year. Well, let's be honest - I will take one or two actual books, but I will need more than that. 

Engrossing Reads

Bad Blood (Virgil Flowers #4) by John Sandford - I'm really enjoying these. I mean, Sandford has this guy referred to as "that fucking Flowers" throughout the novels. That is totally something I'd do and say. This was probably the most fucked up of the four books so of course it was the most engrossing thus far. I read it in a day.

The Lies We Tell by Meg Carter - I got a free copy of this book from netgalley for a review. This does its job as a thriller - I really wanted to know what the heck was going on. There were a lot of good threads to this story - maybe too many as a few times I had to stop and go back to re-read, which doesn't happen to me often. And it wasn't because I wasn't paying attention. It was a little sloppy but I can overlook that. I was driven to finish by my need to know how far the lunacy will go. Which is a good indication of a book that is more than passable for me.

X (Kinsey Millhone #24) by Sue Grafton - The Millhone series is one of my favorite of all time. Between this and the Stephanie Plum series, I go back so many years with these strong female characters. I feel like we're old friends. The latest by Grafton does not disappoint. I was so excited when I realized it was released that I bought it immediately on Amazon and started reading it on the kindle. I don't buy many books at opening prices.

Passed the Time Just Fine

Loyalty (Fina Ludlow #1) by Ingrid Thoft - This is going to be a series (obviously) and I liked Fina and her friend and I'll read more of these. Fina kicks ass.

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach - This was interesting for a while, then it sort of fizzled in a hurry. There were so many other places to take this. Moggach did real work to subtly point out the issues and unreliability of the narrator without shoving it in the reader's face. Then she played it safe and buttoned it up. Tsk tsk.

Everything I Left Unsaid by M. O'Keefe - I got this for free from netgalley in return for a review. I'm not typically a mommy porn reader, and being that this was really heavily centered around phone sex, that's what this is. If I had to say something to the author, I would say that I actually like Annie's character and how she comes out of her shell. The Dylan character wasn't fleshed out as much. There's great potential in the trailer park characters too that isn't tapped into. You can keep your sexy times and add some more substance, it won't hurt! I am annoyed because the cliff hanger is such that I feel compelled to read the next one...that's the mark of a good cliff hanger though, no? It is totally sex heavy and not for prudish readers!

Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers #5) by John Sandford - That fuckin' Flowers again. Another good one in a series of good ones from John Sandford. I really enjoy series I can rely on to deliver.

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick - There were a lot of things I could crap on about this book, but something about it just got me so I won't. It felt a little fly by the seat of your pants and leap of faith-ish, but I truly loved Chuck Bass (for more reasons than that he shares the awesome name of The Chuck Bass) and his part of the book, although last, was my favorite. It made me feel a little yearn-y and a little hopeful and a little believe in miracles-ish and I guess it hit me at the right time. I really enjoyed it.

Hard No

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume  - This is not a hard no but I wasn't adding a category. This pains me because I've read and loved every single thing Judy Blume has ever written.. But I couldn't get through this. I think it's a case of reading it at the wrong time. I'm going to try it again over the winter.

The Red House by Mark Haddon - I really like Mark Haddon's turn of phrase. I basically subsisted through this book on the beauty of some imagery and how he strung together words. The story was weird and too scattered.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith - I picked this up at the library and thought oh good, a weird one. This will be interesting. It wasn't. It was straight up torture. Save yourselves. I couldn't finish.

This link up happens the second Tuesday of every month. The next one is Tuesday, October 13. 
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.


An InLinkz Link-up

And one more thing! Sara was kind enough to share a Philly love post of mine over at Journey of Doing today - please check it out! 

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38 comments:

  1. It's pleases me to see my man "that fuckin' Flowers" on this list. I've read both of the ones you listed, but I didn't account for that on goodreads. I never re-read books like this, but part of me wanted to so I can give the proper goodreads score. #booknerdproblems

    I've read Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time", and I liked it for what it was...but I didn't feel the need to read anymore of his books.

    I added Loyalty and The Lies We Tell.

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  2. I love the Millhone series so much. I can't believe the alphabet is almost over. The Flowers seems to be a series I need to get into, I'll have to check it out.

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  3. I'm reading the Millhone series again! I'm on K now and I'm sad that it's so close to being over. I have found I can read them again every 10 years so I guess there is that, haha!

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  4. Listened to Where'd You Go Bernadette and loved it. The fact that the chick who played Luke's sister on Gilmore Girls was the reader was a huge plus. Listening to Life After Life and loving that too. Perfect for the insane amounts of driving I've done lately.

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  5. I'm going on a quick vacay this weekend so I'll need to pick up the lies we tell!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  6. I've seen several people not like the latest Judy Blume to hit shelves, hope you have a different story to tell when you try it again! I love that you have a book series or two that you've read over several years. I'm thinking a couple series by Marie Force will be like that for me!!

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  7. I read In the Unlikely Event last month and I was disappointed. I loved Judy Blume as a child. I've never gotten into the Sue Grafton letter mystery series but am slowly making my way through the Stephanie Plum series.

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  8. The Sanford book series intrigues me. Perhaps I should read some fiction.
    Goddess speed for a happy week!
    Love, Your Momma

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  9. I've read a few of the Millhone series, need to add more because it was a fun character.

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  10. I need more of that fucking Flowers guy in my life. Right after John Corey.

    We've already discussed Love May Fail but did I mention I loved all the local references? And I really, really want to know how people from outside the area pronounce "Schuylkill".

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  11. I read the first Kinsey Millhone book and didn't really enjoy it enough to read the second. Maybe I should give book two a try.

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  12. If I believed in using the term "right in the feels," that's how I would describe Love May Fail. I don't know why but I just loved it even though it wasn't the best book ever. I just liked the writing style and the characters. And I read In the Unlikely Event and I'm so sad that you didn't love it (I didn't either, but I had low hopes... for me, it was a passed the time just fine.) I'm going to add The Lies we Tell, though I'm a bit tired of the shifting narrator perspective in thrillers lately... seems like every damn book I read has at least three narrators for me to keep track of!

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  13. I heard the same thing about Judy Blume's new book. It's a real shame :(. P.S. I really enjoy the reading experience with the Kindle. It's much easier on the eyes (and my phone's battery life) than reading on my phone. Though it does mean that I can't use the 3M e-book service from the library. I gotta wait for them to come on Kindle.

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  14. So sad about Judy Blume's book, you're not the only person I've heard that from. I had been debating putting it on hold on my Overdrive library app, but now I won't. I have SO many other books I need to read right now so I don't want to waste my time on it! Linked up with you today for the first time!

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  15. Would you believe I've never read a Sue Grafton book? I feel like if I start I'll do what I did with the Stephanie Plum series and read all the way through until I'm caught up. Dangerous!!

    And totally with you on the Judy Blume book :(

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  16. I haven't read any Flowers books yet, but clearly I need to. add them to my list!!! I felt like you did about Everything Left Unsaid. I could have used less sexy time and way more of the trailer park characters! I warned you about all the phone sex lol. I really liked Annie as a character and I was a little pissed it ended on such a cliffhanger. I have no desire to read Judy Blume's new book. I read the plot and was like nope. Not for me.

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  17. I have Love May Fail in my stack of library books. I just started Best of Enemies by Jen Lancaster and MWF Seeks BFF. Both are ok so far. I have the new Jennifer Weiner on hold...people need to hurry the hell up with it. I LOVE her and her early books especially.

    I just finished Jennifer, Gwyneth, and Me and it was cute...I feel like I would be friends with the author in real life. Got a bit repetitive though.

    I also just checked out Snuggle Puppy, Jack and the Dragon, Hi!, and the Babies & Puppies book, but I'm not sure you want those reviews :)

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  18. I keep hearing that about Judy Blume... that makes me so sad. My inner child who loved her is crying. I guess as an 'adult' writer, just does isn't nailing it anymore. Give me more talks funny books about having your first period & talking to God about it :)

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  19. There's a new Millhone book?! What the what?!?!?! LOVE that series! I want to start over from the beginning one day.

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  20. when i worked at the bookstore in my teens, everyone was buying the Sue Grafton books and i've always wondered what they were about....so now i must go and check them out!!

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  21. I'm sad to report that I have done no reading this month! Yikes! These link-ups always make me want to have a book in hand in that moment. So sad how many people disliked Judy Blume's new book. It just seems to impossible to not like what she has to say but that's my childhood speaking. I'm sure all who didn't love it felt the same.

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  22. This was a very lean reading month for me... too busy, plus overtired. When I DID find time to open a book, I promptly fell asleep.
    I did finish 'Look Me in the Eye' by John Elder Robison. It was ok, not a highly recommended one though. Not really believable, but fairly well written. Had I known it was by the brother of Augusten Burroughs I probably would not have started it.
    I'm currently reading (and almost finished) 'Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness' by Susannah Cahalan. It definitely has my attention and I would NOT want to be her. Waiting to see the outcome.

    Like I said, a very lean month here.

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  23. I've been sucking this month on reading. gotta get back to it. glad to know i should NOT read In the unlikely event. Does not sound like my cup of tea at all.

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  24. every day is definitely book talk day! and yay for kindle haha i hope it wasn't too horrible! i read a couple paperbacks this month which is rare for me (i normally listen or read ebooks and then buy paperbacks if i liked them enough to warrant a home on my shelves) and then i had to switch back to my kindle and was kinda mad about it. my library sucks a lot of the time, so my main way to get paperbacks is to buy them and that adds up, whereas ebooks are free/cheap. anyway. less about me, more about the books you read.
    i have never read a Sue Grafton book so I am adding that series to my list. phone sex, ew. haha. adding matthew quick's book to my list!

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  25. I'm adding The Lies We Tell right now! I don't know why Love May Fail didn't work for me, but I totally agree, Chuck was the best part. I loved Portia in the beginning so I was dissapointed with how she turned out.

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  26. I was doing good with my reading but the last few weeks I have been bad about it. Currently, I'm reading the third book in The Outlander Series, Voyager. I'm loving it so far, better than the first two.

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  27. A bad Judy Blume book?! Say it isn't so!! I really hope it is just a case of reading it at the wrong time.

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  28. I have been collecting the Grafton books from Thrift stores....but I have yet to read any of them! It is on my to do list!

    I will be adding Loyalty to my list this month.....for some reason it is striking me as a series I will enjoy...

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  29. I'm so disappointed to see all these bad reviews for the new Judy Blume. I'll still read it anyway, but I wish I could feel more excited about it than I do.

    I have that Matthew Quick on my holds list at the library; I think I should be getting it soon. Looking forward to it!

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  30. I'm going to check out The Lies We Tell, and of course, X. LOL at "save yourselves."

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  31. Have you read A Spot of Bother by Haddon? I actually liked it better than Curious Incident. The Lies We Tell is getting added to my list.

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  32. I tried so hard to get together a post for this linkup but it just did not happen before i started student teaching. oh well, i'll just double up next month! i love these posts, I found that I am encouraged to read more so that I can have a substantial post for this linkup. as always, love the suggestions/opinions.

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  33. I like the way you categorize.

    I'll have to look up The Lies We Tell. I'm overdue for an engrossing read.

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  34. I got The Lies We Tell from Netgalley too, and am even more psyched to read it now. Ugh, sorry the Judy Blume one kinda sucked, that's so disappointing. Sometimes timing is everything though, so hopefully you'll enjoy it more the second time around.

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  35. I really want to love E-readers, but I'm so stuck in my ways … I love the feel of an actual book. I may eventually decide to get one, though, because they're so much better for travel. I always lug way too many books on my trips!

    I added Kiss Me First to my "To Read" list after I saw it pop up on Goodreads as the book you were currently reading. It sounded really interesting, and though it sounds like the ending was shit, I'll probably still pick it up at some point.

    And you know I'm a sucker for a good thriller, so The Lies We Tell will be added as well.

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  36. I know a few people didn't enjoy In The Unlikely Event either. I enjoyed it...I was so fascinated by the real life events! I'm interested in checking out Love May Fail from your list. And I'm also inspired to start reading a series. I haven't got into one in so long. Maybe I'll give the Virgil Flowers series a try.

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  37. Any book that refers to a character as that fucking Flowers sounds like a good idea to me. Ha!

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  38. I wanted to read In the Unlikely Event for the book club but by the time I got it from the library I was out of time so I returned it. I probably won't borrow it again. I was never a huge Judy Blume fan.

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