Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Show Us Your Books - What I Read in December

New Year, same book link up. New button on the right sidebar if you're interested.

What have you been reading? Lay it on me!

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up happens the second Tuesday of every month.
The next one is Tuesday, February 9, 2016. 
1. Please visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me
2. Please display the button (need it? let me know) 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!

Here's what I read since the last linkup

Engrossing Reads

The Girl With a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson - My second Swanson novel of 2015. Similar to the first one (The Kind Worth Killing), the end was sort of like the balloon lost its air suddenly. Regardless, I enjoyed this and gobbled it up, frequently wishing I was home reading instead of doing whatever I was doing.

Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes - All year I've been pining for this advanced copy of the second book in the You series. The first time it came out, I wasn't really using Netgalley. Well, they re-released it, which I found out because I was on there trying to find out who the publisher was so I could stalk them in true Joe style and get me a copy. It did not disappoint. I still liked the psychotic Joe. He's still psychotic. It was like visiting a fucking crazy old friend. Like oh that crazy Joe - still the same psycho! Joe was just as funny as the first time around, but the shock factor had worn off and it was just like living life alongside Joe. Which is psychotic, but really, really interesting. He's one of my favorite characters.

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin - I sort of slowly rolled into this book, then all of the sudden the one day, all day, I wished I was home finishing this book. When I was at work and out at night, I was like damn I wish I was reading Black-Eyed Susans right now. And that's what I did that night, stayed up too late on a school night to finish it. There were some holes and weird things, but overall I really enjoyed it and the people in it. It was interesting.

Passed the Time Just Fine

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh - I spent much of my time reading this waiting for something that was surely going to happen soon...and did not. The actual action is quite abrupt and close to the end. This is absolutely a character study, and not a bad one, but I was looking for more of a story.

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave - I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. It had some annoying shit that I hate in books - the female lead is painted as overly emotional and unable to see her own path, blah blah bullshit - but I liked it anyway.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff - Given that her novel Arcadia ranked as one of my 10 top books of 2015, I thought I'd love this. I liked it, and liked the second half much better than the first, but I think girlfriend fell victim to some overwriting here. Don't get me wrong - the writing was lovely, but sometimes the story got lost in the quest for the turn of phrase. It turns me off when that happens.

The Family by Marissa Kennerson - Thanks to Karen for this title, given my love of cult books. I found this a little scary and intensely interesting but the ending pissed me off. A lot. And I typically don't have problems with how authors choose to end their tales but this was like what?

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin - It was beautifully written. It was evocative. I really enjoyed Talmadge. But the plot seemed to take a backseat to the characters and the prose, neither of which were enough to catapult it into greatness for me. It was good. I won't remember it by the end of the year. 

Hard No
No hard nos, per se, but I did start and stop a few books. Some I will go back to, like the next Anna Curtis novel by Allison Leotta, some I might go back, and some couldn't hold my attention past four pages so they might be in the wind forever. 

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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40 comments:

  1. The first two you list are already on my tbr. The 3rd, I've read. So, I jump to "passed the time just fine". I feel like I will read Fates and Furies at some point, I'm just not going to run out today to get it. Someone selected The Orchardist in my book challenge, and it was the first I'd heard of it. I'm interested...

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  2. I read Black-eyed Susans this month, and thought some of the similar things. I don't know, I just didn't love the ending. I was not a huge fan of The Girl With The Clock Heart, I felt like it was all this lead up to nothing. I have not read any of the other ones on your list!!

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  3. You were busy this month! Seriously hoping to get through more books this month than I did in December.
    I keep hearing about Fates and Furies on the ol' internets, which makes me wonder if it's one of those books that's good, but is mostly just popular because it is popular. (If that makes sense?)

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  4. Black Eyed Susan is on my list to read so I'm glad you liked it. Eight hundred grapes has gotten mixed reviews so I wasn't sure about that one but I'll give it a go. You had a good book month!

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  5. Black eyed Susans have been on my list for AWHILE, I need to get it off the list and in my hands. Looks like a pretty good book month, best kind of month to have :)!

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  6. Well I've never heard of black eyed susans but anything that makes you wish you were reading the book makes me want to read it! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  7. i really liked black eyed susans as well. these past few months have been terrible for books as work has taken up way too much of my time. rage.

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  8. I have got to read You!!! It has been on my list forever. I remember Kathy texting our ahole bros group a picture of the Black Eyed Susans cover and I had added it to my list then so clearly you are giving it a thumbs up as well and I need to bump it up. So many books! At least you didn't hit any real awful ones. I hate when that happens.

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  9. I have The Girl With a Clock for a Heart and Hidden Bodies on my TBR as well. I am soooo looking forward to when the audiobook of Hidden Bodies is released next month. I kinda have a crush on Santino Fontana's voice.

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  10. I instagrammed Lola's books for today and tagged you and Jana! Loved that video I took of you reading Lola her first book! I will read to her every day she is here!
    I keep avoiding immersing myself in a book because I do not want to stay up all night and I know I would!! I need my sleep LOL! Love, Your Momma

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  11. Wow, you got a lot of reading done in December!! I do miss having a commute that facilitated reading!

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  12. Definitely checking out Black Eyed Susan's but probably not The Family because I hate when books have awful endings!

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  13. I just linked up. Found you through Pinky's blog via our Tuesday Talk link up. I'm excited about this. I was saying the other night how I need to find some good reads for the next month. This gives me a lot to choose from. Thanks for the party.

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  14. 'the story got lost in the quest for the turn of phrase' - yes! perfectly worded. i haven't read that book, but i've felt that about a lot of books before and it annoyed me but i couldn't pin point why. i'm not sure if i should add that book to my list, i've heard a lot of the same thing, that the second half is better and i don't know if i want to slog my way through the first half. we'll see. just requested hidden bodies from netgalley yay!

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  15. That's a great way to describe Fates and Furies. I felt like I read a really long time and the guy was just a manwhore with a dead father and I couldn't keep going. I've already added Hidden Bodies and Black Eyed Susans based on your recs. The Family sounds interesting but nothing ruins a book more than a bad ending.

    Also - thanks for putting the button + code in your sidebar! SUPER convenient!

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  16. You know how I feel about Fates and Furies and we'll talk more about it on Thursday (in fact, we should copy some of the other bloggers' comments because they're pretty good and definitely convey how I feel, too). I LOVED Hidden Bodies but we talked about that, too. Black Eyed Susans in on my TBR but I keep forgetting it's there.

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  17. I love a book that its all you think about & cant wait to get back to reading.

    You couldnt get past 4 pages? You KNOW its bad then

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  18. Thanks for hosting the link up! My first time...
    I have a few of your books on my to read list.

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  19. I've REALLY got to get my hands on You...seriously.

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  20. I added Black Eyed Susans to my TBR list after Erin recommended it a few months ago, so I'm so glad that you loved it too! And I keep on hearing great things about You, so I need to read it sooner rather than later! I love a good crazy person book, which is probably why I loved all of the Gillian Flynn novels so much!

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  21. Wow it's impressive how many books you've read! I have a hard enough time keeping up with reading blogs lol...Wish I was more into books like the rest of you ladies.

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  22. i just finished The Kind Worth Killing and liked it enough that I was planning to read Swanson's other book, glad to hear it's worth it. Fates and Furies is popping up everywhere right now! I've heard a wide range of reviews about it. I'm at the point now where I want to read it just because I'm so curious. The premise of it sounds extremely interesting. Thanks again for hosting! i love this link-up :)

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  23. You are a reading fool, I successfully read no books last month [cowering]. PS the pic of you and MFD in the middle of your title college is really pretty!

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  24. I just started reading All the Light we cannot see after reading Alex Garland's the beach. I need something lighter! i saw you only gave the girl with the clock for a heart 3 stars- was it because of the ending?

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  25. DRUMROLL PLEASE *** I finished Sophie's Choice. Not sure why... to get to the end, which I already knew having seen the movie eons ago? To upgrade my vocabulary? To kill several months? Or (most likely) to satisfy my OCD which rarely lets me give up? Bottom line -> it's done, my vocabulary was properly chastised, the ending was the same as I recall from the movie, and I will never get these months back.

    So I started I Am Malala and then decided almost immediately that I deserve to read something more readable. Hence (OCD be damned) I put it the hell down and started All the Light We Cannot See. Now I feel like reading.

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  26. I really did not enjoy 800 grapes as much as I though I would either. I loved the parts about the vineyard but the main character, I forgot her name, started to annoy me with her indecisiveness. Yea she had a breakdown over the fiance but make up your freaking mind already! That just bugged me.

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  27. LOL at stalking the publisher a la Joe! I want to read all three of your engrossing reads (well, first I want to read The Kind Worth Killing). Glad to know that you enjoyed Black Eyed Susans.

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  28. I keep hearing about Eight Hundred Grapes... it's time to finally add it to my list! Great round up :)

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  29. I will end up checking out The Girl With a Clock for a Heart and Hidden Bodies since I've read other books by these authors and liked them. I thought Eight Hundred Grapes was okay and you've already seen my review of Fates and Furies.

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  30. I need to check out Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. Sounds interseting and am all for any book that makes you want to be home reading it instead of being anywhere else.

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  31. I just finished You today. I can't believe there's a second one.
    My thoughts are many. I can't believe someone wrote such a descriptive book about nothing but unlikeable character (let alone a sequel). Anyway...
    Adding your other engrossing reads to my list!

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  32. You and Hidden Bodies are at the top of my TBR list! I really liked Fates and Furies, but agree that the story got lost. It took me a long time to get into it too. I especially hated the end of the first half when talking about all his plays. Snooze. The second half was definitely better and made me appreciate the first a little more.

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  33. Oooh adding Black Eyed Susans to my TBR! Sounds crazy!! First time linking up, though the Nov/Dec reading was not all that exciting .. bahaha XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  34. I've been in a reading rut lately, which is why I didn't participate this time around. Nothing is truly grabbing my attention. I do have You and Black Eyed Susans on my TBR list though, so I should get on the waiting list at my library for those two, at the very least.

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  35. Leland just ordered and started reading Fates and Furies (I swear by the library but he insists on purchasing actual books to read. Apparently he has access to a money tree I don't...), and it's been on my to read list for awhile. So, I will be reading it soon-ish. Sorry the 2nd Anna Curtis book didn't hold your attention!

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  36. Don't you just love/hate that feeling that all you want to do is go home and read a book? I will say The Girl with a Clock certainly sounds interesting.

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  37. I have The Kind Worth Killing on my "To Read" list already, and I was wondering if The Girl With a Clock for a Heart would be worth reading as well. I was initially drawn in by the title, but I can't remember why I hesitated to add it to my list after looking it up on Goodreads a few months ago. I added it after reading your review.

    Hidden Bodies is (of course) already on my list. I put a hold on it at my library as soon as I saw it listed as "On Order," and I'm #7 on the waiting list. I shouldn't have to wait too long for it once it comes out!

    The Family was also already on my list. I added it after it popped up on my Goodreads feed when you were reading it. (I always think I sound like a stalker when I say things like that, but oh well. That's the point of friending people on Goodreads!)

    I felt similarly about Black-Eyed Susans. It took me a while to get into it, and then I finished the last chunk in a day. I liked it overall, but there were enough things I didn't like that made it worth only 3 stars for me. I'm still glad I read it ... I just think my expectations were too high.

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  38. I'm just sure if I need more Joe in my life. I think I added #2 to my TBR list, but it's way down at the bottom. I was satisfied with just the first book.

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  39. Black Eyed Susans sounds really interesting—I love when I find a book that has me feeling like that, like all I want to do is be home reading it!

    I was annoyed by the same thing with Eight Hundred Grapes. Felt a little too predictable and trope-y, but I finished it anyway, which must mean I enjoyed parts of it!

    Fates and Furies...I want to try again in book form. I started the audiobook but was confused within a half hour, so I let it go. I hear mostly positive reviews for it though, so I'll probably give it another try.

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  40. I've seen Blacked Eyed Susan on a few people's post from the link up and I need to read this. It sounds like my kind of book.
    I wonder if I should bother with Eileen? I had it on my list but it sounds like it was hard to get into.

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