Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Show Us Your Books - What I Read in January

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up happens the second Tuesday of every month.
The next one is Tuesday, March 8, 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

Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf - I read this from beginning to end in a few hours. It was one of those. I hated the wife/narrator, but really liked the story even though it creeped me out a little.

The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins - This is one of my favorite types of books: the book written many years ago with no shits given for political correctness; a tale of business and fortune, luck and rich people. It was a little Kane and Abel-ish.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz - ARC from Netgalley. I liked the writing and the plot and despite anything that happened, rooted for the main character. I also liked how the book was laid out and the sequence in which the author passed on information. The end felt a little rushed and anti-climactic but not enough to take away from my overall feeling on the book.

Passed the Time Just Fine

Tampa by Alissa Nutting - This is about a female pedophile. It is totally fucked up and insane and hard to read given the subject matter - but it's damn good writing. It might be the most fucked up book I've ever read as it basically shows you the mind of a pedophile and she is a total nightmare sociopath to boot, but these things do exist in our society. Given its graphic nature, this novel will never ascend to Lolita type levels of fame and I could probably talk for a while about what that means in regards to gender roles, but I won't. If you can stomach it, go ahead.

Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye - This almost read like a play to me. Or a soap opera. I liked it - the speed, the writing, a lot of the characters, and the plot. Worth the read.

Somebody I Used to Know by David Bell - I liked this but it had a lot of inconsistencies that I thought were a little too far fetched...and I'm not one who is unable to suspend belief. Still I sailed through it.

Hollywood by Zachary J. Ferrara - For a while I wondered if it was going to amount to anything other than smoking cigs, drinking, drugs, and feeling young and invincible and thinking too much and being angsty. This reeks of early 20s angst and I probably would have identified with it a lot more then. 

Hard No
I tried to read My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. Has anyone read the first book in the Neopolitan Novels trilogy? People rave about it but I find the look back into childhood really fucking boring and hard to get through. 

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. I saw Jana mention Tampa last week. I looked it up. I like books that make me uncomfortable and push the boundaries, but even I thought that I'm not quite sure I can stomach this one. Since...I was a teenager preyed upon by a teacher. Out of all the things in my life, this is one topic that I still can't quite face for entertainment purposes. But, that's due to my own personal experience.
    I'm glad you enjoyed Under a Dark Summer Sky. Now, that you mention it reminded you of a play...I'm thinking it would make a good movie (as long as they ask us to cast it.)

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  2. I'm currently on my 3rd Discworld (Terry Pratchett) book of the year as I work my way through the series. I've got a while pile of books to catch up on though!

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  3. I have Somebody I Used to Know on my TBR, so it was interesting to hear your thoughts on it. Have a good one!

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  4. Missing pieces sounds great - especially since you were able to get past not liking the narrator! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  5. Ah, yes! Harold Robbins! I will need to read that again! Valley of the Dolls was a good one for me, too. A good idea to revisit the old novels. Stay safe and sound in this wintry mix. Lights and Angels extra. Love. Your. Momma

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  6. The Carpetbaggers sounds fabulous. I love books that give no shits to any kind of PC!

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  7. i agree with hollywood. i liked it, but i think i would have identified with it a lot more if i was in a similar situation or mindset? maybe? it was good though.

    tampa sounds intriguing and messed up. sometimes i like books like that. adding missing pieces and the carpetbaggers to my list!

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  8. Putting The Carpetbaggers on "want to read" list right now! :)

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  9. Definitely had that feeling of enjoying a book but knowing it would have been more impactful at a younger age.

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  10. Carpetbaggers sounds good, adding it to my list!

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  11. Looks like a good assortment; I think I'm still erring towards non-stressful or upsetting books. Which of yours would you recommend on that basis?!

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  12. I have Under a Dark Summer Sky on my iPad and need to read it soon-- it's one that I was excited about, but it somehow keeps getting pushed behind other books, but I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

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  13. LOL... Reeks of early 20s angst and I would have identified with it more back then... Pretty sure you just summarized both of the chick-lit novels I read last month!

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  14. Every time I see show me your books, I see show me your boobs and I die laughing at my desk.

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    1. Well it is Mardis Gras...so go ahead, show them too if that's your thing! LOLOL

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    2. That's exactly where the name of the link up comes from :)

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  15. Missing Pieces was on my library hold list and I don't remember putting it there, I have the book at home now waiting to be read so I'm glad someone I know has read and enjoyed it.

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  16. Hollywood is DEFINITELY a representation of a really specific time in the author's life. Not for everyone! I've been so slow to finish anything lately, and I don't know if it's the books or if it's me. But something like The Carpetbaggers is normally what can get me out of le funk so maybe that's a good one to add to my list today!

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  17. Last week I finished Descent by Tim Johnston and while it left me with more questions than it answered, it was a good thriller that kept me reading to find out what the hell happened.

    I am halfway through The Royal We and it is the perfect amount of fluff and romantic comedy type shit that I love. No thinking necessary.

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  18. I'm just a few pages into Black Eyed Susans. I'm hoping for good things from it because I was a little disappointed with the last thriller I read (You by Caroline Kepnes). Thanks for hosting! :)

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  19. Under a Dark Summer Sky sounds interesting to me. Tampa sounds intriguing, but I don't know if I could stomach it. Question - how do you always have "new" books to read? I feel like a lot of people who link up (myself included!) keep reading the same books. We're passing them on to one another. I like that a lot, but I need a resource besides the link up so I can do more than review books so many others have read. Any good places you find new titles?

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  20. You know how I feel about Tampa so no need to rehash that (until tomorrow).

    The top 3 you mentioned seem like books I'd enjoy so I'll add them.

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  21. I'm going to check out the Carpetbaggers-- heard its a great soapy type read. He reminds me a bit of Sindey Sheldon-- who I loved many years ago.

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  22. I so love this link up - I've been visiting so many of these pages & my Amazon Wish List has already grown at least 8 books

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  23. YAY! I've been searching for a book link up and I'm so glad to have found this one! :)

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  24. Missing Pieces and Under a Dark Summer Sky are both already on my To Read list. Haven't heard of the other ones that you posted about.

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  25. currently reading Saturn Run, a sciencey-geeky type of book reminiscent of The Martian. my SVP recommended it to me since i gave him The Martian to read. so far, i love it!

    definitely going to read the carpetbaggers since Kane and Abel was such an amazing story.

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  26. The Passenger is on my list, glad it is worth the read.

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  27. I haven't heard of any of these! I need to step up my game, I added all your faves to my good reads.

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  28. Oh man, I haven't heard of any of these! Eek. Tampa sounds really interesting, but not sure I could stomach it...although, I'm going to check it out still.

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  29. I've heard of Tampa and based on the synopsis, I don't think I could stomach it. The Passenger has a character named Blue?! Adding that one, even though the premise sound a little bit like Gone Girl? Missing Pieces sounds really interesting too.

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  30. Wow, you covered some good ground in January! Nice! Do you read on a daily basis?

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  31. Even though I know that it would be hard to read, Tampa sounds like such an interesting book! Jana recommended it too, but warned that it's pretty graphic, but the gender role reversals sound very interesting!

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  32. Hmm...I think I'm going to have to add Tampa to my goodreads list. I'm really interested especially since it's by a woman writer.

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  33. It is interesting how the teacher/student thing takes on a different vibe depending on which is male and which is female. Can't help but wonder how much it messed with the author's head to get into that mindset!

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  34. Tampa has been on my "To Read" list for years, but I've just never gotten around to it. In my comment to Jana, I mentioned that the storyline kind of reminds me of The Kingdom of Childhood. I really liked that book, and it also focused on the "relationship" (if you can call it that) between a female perpetrator and a male student. The main difference, though, is that the characters in that book seemed drawn to each other specifically. With Tampa, it sounds like the main character has a thing for young guys in general. I may bump this one up on my list a bit because now I'm even more intrigued after reading the thoughts you both had.

    Missing Pieces and Somebody I Used To Know are also already on my list (I'm on the library waiting list for Missing Pieces right now). I have at least one other book by Heather Gudenkauf on my "To Read" list, so I'm glad to hear that her books are really good.

    The Carpetbaggers and The Passenger also intrigue me, so they're going on the list!

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  35. Well, I got nothing. I do love that I know these posts are here and when time permits, I can check out some recommended books!

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  36. I read another Heather Gudenkauf book and had similar thoughts as you did on this one. The story was intriguing even if I wasn't so sure about the narrator/way it was being told.

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  37. I thought I was doing great to read 3 books last month!

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  38. The Passenger sounds really good! I'd be into that one.

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  39. I also have The Passenger ARC, so I'm glad to hear you loved it!

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  40. I added Missing Pieces, but I'm on the fence about Tampa.

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  41. Great list. Ive had a hard work year so far and probably read 3 books. I wrote a post and didnt bother to link it because it was so lame. I miss my reading time!

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  42. Just like blogging, reading has gone by the wayside for me and that is no bueno. I'll have to check out a few of these and add them to goodreads.

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  43. I haven't read any of these ones, but I did add one of your previous recommendations to my Audible cart this week: Black Eyed Susans. I think I remember that you liked it!

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  44. I read Tampa a few years ago and it's easily the most fucked up book I've ever read. I usually steer clear of stuff like that, but was intrigued after a few friends of mine read it. I kept returning it then checking it back out again and I was embarrassed to admit I'd ever read it. It starts off bad and it's in such detail. Gross. I'm glad I read till the end though. Under a Dark Summer Sky and Hollywood are on my list. I also requested The Passenger from NetGalley, but they've been denying me for everything lately, so who knows.

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  45. So as much as I didn't like Lolita, I'm really intrigued by Tampa. I've been on the fence with the Neapolitan novels. I'm a total cover judger and they just look bad but I've heard good things so I was semi-interested. But it sounds like maybe no?

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  46. I will have to add Missing Pieces to my list!

    Tampa may go on the list at a later date. I am intrigued.

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