Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Show Us Your Books - What I Read in March

My friends...it feels like it's been an age since we've all gathered to discuss books...like, it's been longer than usual. But here we are, on Show Us Your Books day! Something new this month: In parentheses at the end you will see where/how I read the book. I just want to keep track and I'm doing it here.

If you want to actually hear Jana and I talk about books, reading, and other things that may or may not be related out loud, you can catch us once a week on The Armchair Librarians. It's on iTunes or you can click here: http://thearmchairlibrarians.libsyn.com/podcast
And one more thing before we start - Dani from Faster than Forever and Erin from Texerin-in-Sydneyland are challenging themselves and everyone else to read their books...like all the books you own that you haven't gotten around to reading yet. They're doing that in June and linking up on Thursday, July 14, so if you link up here you'd have Show Us Your Books on July 12 and that on July 14 and there you go, you pretty much have two posts that write themselves that week. Plenty of time to go through your books and get a pile going.

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up happens the second Tuesday of every month.
The next one is Tuesday, May 10, 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. As an example of how I don't really count books...when I sat down to write this post, I was sure that I had only read four books since the last linkup. 

Engrossing Reads

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly - Based on actual occurrences of women in Nazi camps, specifically Ravensbruck. Good Lord, this story. World War II stories are so hard to read, which is exactly why they must be told and re-told and read in all of their incarnations. So we don't forget how terrible humans can be to each other. And so we don't forget how resilient the human spirit can be. It was a very emotional, very good read. I liked the alternating viewpoints. (Free from Netgalley, e-book)

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda - I spent most of the book in a WTF daze. Everyone is unreliable, especially the narrator, but in a book like this that's part of the fun. I did not like how they tried to sell how the story was told in the forward...let me read it and decide for myself. Overall interesting. (Free from Netgalley, e-book)

Water From My Heart by Charles Martin - Have I mentioned how I hate the star rating system on Goodreads? I hate the star rating system on Goodreads. But this is a flat out five star for me. It gutted me in a wonderful way. I do love a good redemption story. Probably the best book I've read so far this year. (Library, hardback)

Passed the Time Just Fine

If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go by Judy Chicurel - Mouthful of a title, huh? Mouthful of a story, too. I wasn't sure if I liked this book as I was reading it. I'm still not really sure. It was almost like each chapter was a short story with characters from others. Some of it was out of order. It was interesting, that's for sure. (Library, hardback)

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga - So I read this right after Lilac Girls. Nazi torture and teenage suicide...tough week for books. I liked this one, the spin was a little different and the main characters were interesting. I also liked how the author touched on depression. (Library, hardback)

Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright - I needed a break after two heavy books and this was perfect. I liked the characters and the story. It was a good, quick read. (Free from Netgalley, e-book)

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley - The writing was beautiful and I like the way the story was told, but I felt like the book was trying to be and do too many things and coming up a little short on all fronts. Fewer threads to tie together and less backstory in some cases probably would have put this book to a 4 or 5. I loved the Scott character.(Free from Netgalley, e-book)

Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry - I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this book. It wrapped up the glass ceiling problem a little too tidily. And in a world where equal pay for equal work and family/work balance are still both huge issues, I wasn't really in the mood. (Library, hardback)

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain - The main character bugged me. A lot. Like an annoying little gnat. A lot of things about this bugged me now that I think on it. But it was still passable. (Library, hardback)

Hard No

56 comments:

  1. First, you know you're a booknerd when you sit and stare at the timestamp in the corner of the laptop for it to roll over in time to add your link to the SUYB link-up. I'm guilty!
    Second, thank you mucho for the challenge shout-out!
    Third, I was wondering if it seemed longer than usual. I seemed to read a few more books than normal.
    Fourth - hooray for a month of no "hard no" books.
    Fifth - there are a couple of books that I added with gusto!

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  2. Water from My heart is going on my list! If it gutted you then it is a must reads in my opinion!

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  3. I have both Lilac Girls and All the Missing Girls on my NetGalley list, so I'm super excited that you loved them! You explained so beautifully why I love WWII historical fiction. :)

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  4. I didn't realize how many books I read until I wrote my post too. A good problem, although I need a better system because I'm getting old and forgetful. :) I agree WW2 books can be difficult but important reads. Lilac Girls is making the list but I'll have to be mentally prepared for the story. The Silent Sister was already on my list and I'm bummed to hear that you thought it was only passable.

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  5. Water From My Heart is going on my list. I've done quite a few light reads recently and I think it's time to step back into the more challenging arena. I'm really not good with books that annoy me, especially if the main character annoys me. I had an annoying main character(s) this month and it was a struggle. So I might be avoiding your last two...

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  6. yay for no hard no books! water from my heart sounds good, added it to my list. i have lilac girls on my kindle so i am glad you liked it! i'm gonna wait until i am in the right mood for it though.

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  7. Wooohoo for not having any hard no books this month! Definitely gonna check out your top reads!

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  8. Awesome! Adding more to my to be read list. Also. I'm in love with listening to The Armchair Librarians. I can't wait for the next episode to post.

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  9. Adding Water From My Heart and Lilac Girls to the TBR! Yay for no DNF!

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  10. I saw someone reading Lilac Girls on the bus the other day and I thought the cover was beautiful so I checked it out on Goodreads. I think I'll add it to my list to read sometime later this year...I have already read a lot of WWII books this year and I am feeling burnt out with them a bit. Water from my Heart sounds so good...I am adding that to my list!

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  11. I'm going to check out Lilac Girls next. I love WW2 stories. (as morbid as that sounds)

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  12. How exciting to have a month with no hard no's!

    I'm interested in All The Missing Girls, I like books that leave you wondering WTF they are some of my favorites.

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  13. Finishing my IRL TBR is one of my yearly goals. Not sure I could do them all before then, but nice to see I'm not the only one with that problem! Haha.

    Yay for a good reading month- no "No's" is always a good thing!

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  14. All the missing girls sounds really good!! So glad there were none that you outright hated! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  15. I feel like since we talk about books every week I have very little to say BUT...I did see The Lilac Girls on some best of list. I probably won't read it because I cannot handle historical fiction, especially ones revolving around the Holocaust, but maybe. You never know.

    I have Before the Fall in my NetGalley backlog. I should probably get to it.

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    1. The Lilac Girls sounds like it would be good, but I don't know if I could handle it either. The Silent Sister and Before the Fall are going on my list to read :)

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  16. I feel like you girls talk about books quite a lot! It's a good thing. My heart can't take certain topics. The Lilac Girls!! I will file this for the day I decide I want to read fiction! Your reviews are spot on. Stay dry. #aprilshowersbringMayflowers. Love. Your. Momma.

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  17. I have Lilac Girls from NetGalley and you've made me so excited to read it! WWII books are never easy to read, but like you said you have to continue telling the story so people remember. I just started reading The Nightingale this week, and I'm definitely preparing myself for a great story but a difficult one to read as well. I added Water From My Soul on Goodreads! It sounds like such a good book, and that's awesome that it got 5 stars from you as well!

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  18. If it's your favorite book of the year so far, then I have to check out Water From My Heart. I still haven't gotten the hang of NetGalley and forgot my password, so I should get into that. If it can get Steph, lover of paper, to read an ebook, then I must really be missing out!

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  19. It is always nice to have a great month of books with now BLAHs. Gonna grab the WW2 book since we'll be over there soon.

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  20. I added all three engrossing reads to my Goodreads. They all sound good. I'm on board with Lilac Girls. As I mentioned before, I love historical novels focusing on women. They are fascinating and I enjoy the different time and setting.

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  21. I am actually listening to your latest podcast right now :) I have been loving catching up on them.

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  22. I have literally never heard of any of these books or authors! Where do you find them?! I've been in a bit of a book slump though so we'll see how May pans out :)

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  23. reading all the harry potter books is really making me want to switch it up! added all the engrossing reads to Goodreads! I'm also listening to some non fiction about the Lufthansa heist and it's awesome!!

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  24. As always you rocked it! I really need to start listening to your podcast - so exciting!

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  25. I do love a good redemption story as well! Going to try Water From My Heart. I have Opening Belle on my TBR list but my library doesn't have so not sure it's worth buying now. I think it's in the "if I don't have anything else to read" category, which basically means never... We'll see.

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  26. I've decided that for the rest of 2016 I'm not reading any WWII stories. I read both Winter Garden and Salt to the Sea and both just completely messed me up. I'm emotionally exhausted and disgusted with people! I hate the star system as well on Goodreads! When are we going to get half-stars?! I've added Water From my Heart to my to-read list.

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  27. I'm adding all of your Engrossing Reads to my list! Actually, I didn't know you and Jana had such strong feelings against the rating system until I listened to the podcast. I get where you're coming from. Yay there were no "hard nos" this month!

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  28. That's awesome that you didn't have any hard nos! I listened to the first podcast episode yesterday - so fun to hear your voices (although I have already met Jana).

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  29. Thanks for the shout out!!! All The Missing Girls is already on my TBR list. I have yet to read a Diane Chamberlain novel but keep hearing positive reviews, and this one sounds like a good place to start. Also, I just wanted to say that I (finally) started listening to your podcast last night and I LOVE IT, particularly all the tangents you guys go on. It really made me miss my old book club because that's exactly how we were! I've only listened to the first 2 so far, but I'll definitely be listening to the rest shortly. You may have turned me into a podcast listener/lover after all!

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  30. I have had Lilac Girls in the pipeline for a while and I will definitely pick up Water From My Heart- I hadn't heard of it yet!

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  31. I was so hoping to like Before the Fall more than I did, but definitely too much going on-- I think sometimes I prefer more development from fewer characters/storylines.

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  32. Yay for no hard nos! I added all your engrossing reads to my list. I'm such a sucker for WWII/Holocaust books.

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  33. Awesome you had no 'hard nos'!!! That's great! And wow, so many books. Go, go, you!

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  34. I added Water from My Heart and Lilac Girls to my to read list. I already had All the Missing Girls on my list! Opening Belle is sitting on my night stand waiting to be read.

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  35. The Silent Sister was kind of weird but I enjoyed it. Glad you didn't have any hard nos this month!

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  36. I'm not sure I could stomach a WW2 concentration camp novel. I can only imagine how powerful and heartbreaking that book was.

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  37. Zero books in the hard no category, nice! I need to add a few of these to my list!
    I'm currently reading a few art, DIY, and writing books.
    XOXO
    www.mrsaokaworkinprogress.com

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  38. I have a love/hate relationship with Goodreads ratings. Sometimes I feel like a book is worthy of an extra half star, but I usually just end up rounding up since there's no real option to say "3.5" (unless I actually write it in). I do like the ratings system for the most part, though, because it's a quick and easy way to record my immediate thoughts/feelings on a book without really thinking about it too much.

    I had to laugh when you said you thought you'd only read 4 books since the last link-up because, well, that's a LOT more than 4 books! Haha.

    I'm adding the first three to my list, as well as Before the Fall. For some reason I thought I already had Before the Fall and All the Missing Girls listed, but I didn't. Maybe I saw them on Goodreads and forgot to add them at the time or something. Regardless, I'm glad your post reminded me to add them now! My Heart and Other Black Holes has been on my list for a while, so I'm glad to see it was pretty good.

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  39. All The Missing Girls sounds interesting! Putting that on my to-read list!

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  40. Interesting selections. I have added Water from My Heart to my TBR. Have a good one!

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  41. Great reads from NetGalley! I'm adding Water from My Heart to my list!

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  42. You read more than me! The only one I've read of these is Silent Sister. I know I liked it, but I can't remember any of the story right now. Maybe that should tell me something.

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  43. This makes me happy because I get THREE new books that weren't on my to-read list. Also, I'm always happy when people have a round up without books they didn't like.

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  44. Adding All The Missing Girls and Water from my Heart, both sound really good. I am looking forward to the summer since my reading has been slacking lately, and beach days are the best for reading.

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  45. Water from my Heart and Lilac Girls both added to the to read list. I so wish that Goodreads let me rate in .5 increments because 3 to 4 and 4 to 5 are huge jumps in my head. I probably spend too much time agonizing over this when rating books...

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  46. I felt like it had been longer than usual since linking up too. I haven't heard of any of these books, but off to goodreads to look them up! Lilac Girls definitely sounds like a must read. I'm always drawn to anything WW2.

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  47. I love the way you group these! It makes it so much easier to decide on what to read next!

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  48. I actually have never heard of any of these titles, so I have some Goodreads searching to do! Always great to have no "Hard Nos" to report. Sounds like it was a bit of an emotional month of reading but these sound interesting, especially the "If I Had Known..." one!

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  49. Lilac Girls sounds really interesting! I'll have to remember that one the next time I'm in the mood for an emotional read :)

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  50. I think I have the If I Knew on my tbr already...but Lilac Girls is definitely going on my list. I love WWII period books both fiction and non. Water from my Heart looks interesting too.

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  51. Most of these are books I haven't heard of, which is great because I love hearing about books i haven't heard of. I also am not a huge fan of the goodreads rating system. It honestly floors me they have not yet updated it to include 1/2 stars. step it up goodreads!

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  52. I read The Silent Sister last year and I have to say the main character bugged me a bit as well. And I'm bummed about Opening Belle, I have it on my to read list.

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  53. Lilac Girls just got added to my list. I love those kinds of reads.

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  54. I would try Lilac Girls but I feel like I'm over WWII at this point. I've read so much of that in the last few years. Maybe All the Missing Girls? I love unreliable narrators.
    Thanks for giving me a place to talk about books!

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  55. I posted my books on Monday and am THE WORST at remembering to link up to this!!! I have Lilac Girls on my netgalley list... I'm kind of the worst at netgalley too. But after knowing how much you liked it.. .maybe I can bite the bullet. I know once I start I will enjoy them! :) XO - ALexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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