Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Show Us Your Books - What I Read in Junely

Junely means part of June and part of July since the last Show Us Your Books was mid-June and it's now mid-July (how?). But you get my drift.

I officially broke my brain a little by over-reading as you can see by my burly list of books below. Breathe, brain. Breathe.

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up happens the second Tuesday of every month.
The next one is Tuesday, August 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've read since the last linkup. 

Engrossing Reads

Curious Minds (Knight and Moon #1) by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton - I am a huge fan of the Stephanie Plum novels by Evanovich. One of the reasons I like them: the characters. I liked the characters in this new foray into a series as well. I will surely read more of them. (free e-copy from Netgalley)

Things I would Say: Essays, etcetera by Alyssa Ammirato - Alyssa's collection took me less than a half hour to read but left my mouth hanging open for longer than that. Raw, intense, gripping. Get it. (kindle edition purchased from Amazon)

The Forgotten Girls: A Bella DeFranco Mystery (Suburban Murder #1) by Alexa Steele - This one has been sitting on my kindle for an eternity. I could kick myself for that, because I liked it and I'll definitely read more of them. (e-copy purchased from Amazon)

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale - This was the book that sucked me out of my reading slump. It was quick and good even though it took quite a few liberties with what is conceivable. Perfect for a hot summer day. (e-copy, free, I think this was an Amazon first book?)

The Lost Girls: A Bella DeFranco Mystery (Suburban Murder #2) by Alexa Steele - Officially a fan of this series, I hope Steele writes more. They're quick reads and I enjoy the main characters that carry over to the next book. (e-copy purchased from Amazon)

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman - Jesus Christmas, this book was fucked up. I didn't love it - if you're into star ratings it was a lower three for me - but I did find it engrossing in a cannot look away from an accident scene sort of way. So there is something to be said about that. Jana & I will be discussing this on The Armchair Librarians. (library hardback)

Passed the Time Just Fine

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner Mystery #1) by Denise Grover Swank - It's hard to find a cozy mystery that isn't droll or dimwitted as fuck. This series seems to fit the bill. I could have happily leapt into Rose Gardner world for the rest of the series after this like Kristin did, but I'm going to spread them out a little. (this has been on my kindle forever) 

Murder in Missoula by Laurence Giliotti - I read it in less than 24 hours, which is typically always a good sign for me in a suspense novel. It means I'm on the edge and I need to know what happened. (free e-copy from Netgalley)

Dropped Third Strike: A Portland Pioneers Novel (#1) by Micah K. Chaplin - Micah blogs over at Unabashedly Me, and I've read about her writing this so I was excited to actually read it. No offense to anyone who has self published or published without editors, but I always find a ton of errors in those books and it always detracts from them. I was relieved to find that was not the case here. The writing is tight and the story is enjoyable. I enjoyed the integral role of baseball to the story and loved the male lead. The female lead...I wanted to tell her to get over her damn self many times. I'll read the next one. (kindle edition from Amazon)

Do Not Disturb (Deanna Madden #2) by A.R. Torre - I still like Deanna, but I didn't like this one quite as much as the first. I feel like the story was more natural in unfolding in the first one. It seemed a little pushed and perfunctory in this second attempt. (library paperback)

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton - This one leans a little more towards engrossing than just passing the time. I enjoy Morton's books. This one was a little spooky and I felt sort of like I was reading a modern day summer Poe-ish ghost story. (library hardback)

Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel - Eh...this one leans a little more towards not worth it than just passing the time. I've read a lot of girls are bitches books and this wasn't one of the better ones. (library hardback)

Not Worth It

Since She Went Away by David J. Bell Started out strong, but got over-complicated in the middle for no good reason. Bell seems to trip over his own suspense novels. I don't have the patience for the bumbling. (free e-copy from Netgalley)


Intrusion by Mary McCluskey - Another book that appeared to be leading up to something and in the end, it was like a soft fart in the wind. Not worth the time, and the lead up wasn't that great either. (kindle first e-copy free from Amazon)


What have you been reading? 



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48 comments:

  1. You did read quite a few books and not too many "blah" ones, so hooray for a good month of reading! The ones that grabbed my attention, I already have on my to read list. I'm still debating Girls on Fire ... I think I'll just listen to what you and Jana have to say.

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  2. Holy shit, you weren't kidding ... That's a lot of books! I fell into a reading slump this last month(ish), though, so maybe I'm easily impressed. Haha.

    I'm intrigued by Girls on Fire. It's already on my list, but I'm curious to hear what you guys have to say about it in the podcast.

    I agree that Do Not Disturb wasn't as good as the first book. I gave them the same rating, but this one was probably more like 3.5 or 3.75 for me and I rounded up to 4. I liked learning more about Mike and his story, though, so that helped push the rating up a little higher. I hated her weird obsession with her car.

    The self publishing error issue ... Oh God. I'm glad you didn't have that problem with the book you reviewed, but two of the four books I read since the last link-up were self published and I swear I kept thinking, "Where are the fucking editors???" while I was reading them. It's so frustrating to see so many sloppy, obvious mistakes in a novel.

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  3. "and in the end, it was like a soft fart in the wind." Still laughing! I enjoy the Stephanie Plun novels too, although the latter ones I like a little bit less. I didn't realize Evanovich had a new series come out, so I'll have to check it out. Adding Things I Would Say and Bella DeFranco books to my TBR. I love a good series!

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  4. Your library is lovely!

    I didn't know Evanovich had a new series. I'll have to look it up at my not so pretty library.

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  5. Great list of books! I enjoy Stephanie Plum as well, so I'll have to check out that new series. I read the first book or two in her series The Heist and it was OK too but I haven't gotten to the rest of them. The Alexa Steele series sounds good but maybe a bit too scary for me...haha. Glad you enjoyed The Distant Hours and what a great description of it.

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    1. The Distant Hours was definitely Poe-ish and I really loved it! :)

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  6. Look at all those books!!! I enjoyed Curious Minds as well and I am glad we were both approved from Netgalley so we could remain friends LOL! I have 28 and 1/2 Wishes in my Kindle app for a rainy day whenever I finish all these damn Netgalley books I keep adding. I was doing so good this month and knocked four out....then added 5 more. I mean, WTF?!?! I dont even remember adding some that I was approved for? Adding The Forgotten Girls and Everything We Keep to my TBR.

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  7. I felt similarly about Hyacinth Girls. It was good but not great.

    Very much looking forward to next week's discussion about Girls on Fire.

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  8. I have an addictive personality and no self-control when it comes to enjoying a book series. I'm glad you liked the first Rose Gardner though! I never really read mysteries so I wouldn't have known how to classify it.
    I've been wanting to try another Kate Morton book after The Lake House...maybe I'll go for The Distant Hours.

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  9. Great reviews. Someday I will read non-fiction again. Reading the magazines you gave me and the magazines that I don't subscribe to, but are being mailed to me! Thanks, universe. Reading Teen Vogue by the pool right now. Interesting stuff ! #tuningintotheyoungergeneration
    Love. Your. Momma.

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  10. junely! haha. i have curious minds on my kindle and i can't wait to read it. i'm glad you liked it! everything we keep sounds interesting as well. girls on fire - love your review. i will wait and see what you say on your podcast about it before i add it, to see if i'd like it.
    i felt the same way about twenty eight wishes or whatever. i have the twenty nine on my kindle, i wasn't going to continue but kristin convinced me.

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  11. Thanks for the feedback on my book. :) One of the downfalls of self-publishing is the propensity for errors. I have found some in my past few books and it made me so angry. I read and re-read this one more than a dozen times trying to catch everything. I'm sure I didn't catch it all, but at least it wasn't to the point of being distracting. I'm glad you enjoyed the story (yeah, Kate has trouble getting out of her head and over herself), and I'm really happy to hear you'll pick up the next one too.

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  12. When I saw you liked Curious Minds I tried to put it on hold at the library, they don't have it. I have been pretty offended this summer by the books I can't find at my library.

    You read a TON of books, no wonder your brain is broken.

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  13. Girl! Last month you were a Reading Machine!

    It was interesting to read your thoughts on Do Not Disturb. I read the first one as well, but stalled on the second because I wasn't certain if I wanted to continue. Not sure how to express it, but I was pretty satisfied with how the first one ended and didn't really care what happened next. That's the trouble with sequels is that they sometimes have a forced feel to them and I don't like that.

    Good insight into a slew of books!

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  14. I have Things I Would Say on my list & just added Everything We Keep!

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  15. Everything We Keep has been added to my list! I WISH I could keep up even slightly with the amount of reading you do, it's amazing!

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  16. The Forgotten Girls seems like my type of book! It sounds like it could be straight out of an episode of SVU, which I love! I'll definitely be trying to pick that up soon! Everything We Keep also sounds like a really good book, and somebody else recommended it as well. I think that means that I should read it sooner rather than later!

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  17. I totally get your Junely, haha! I have a couple other Morton books on my tbr list because everyone seems to rave about her, but I haven't read any yet for some reason. I remember not really caring for Hyacinth Girls when I read it, but I can't remember what happened at all now! Your library looks so pretty!

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  18. Everything We Keep sounds great, adding it to my list! Thanks again for hosting this linkup month after month! :-)

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  19. I love murder mystery books but I completely agree that they can get pretty dimwitted quickly. I will have to check out the Suburban Murders and the Rose Gardner books!

    Things I would Say is going on my list right now. I have to know what left your jaw dropped!

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  20. Everything we keep and the forgotten girls sound great for Summer reads.

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  21. Junely! Haha! You were a bit of a reading machine ;) I didn't know Evanovich had a new series out - I will have to check it out! I haven't read a Morton book in years...not since the Forgotten Garden.

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  22. Girls on Fire - that is so crazy how some books are like that. Totally have you confused on how to feel about it. I'm never sure how to rate those.
    Your library looks HUGGGEEEEEEE

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  23. I've had Micah's book on my TBR list so I will check it out and probably take Hayacinth Girls off to make room for others!

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  24. I read all the Rose Gardner books in a month too! They were so great! I'm hoping a new one comes out by the time I go on vacation.

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  25. And here I thought my 5 books was an accomplishment! lol I love your review of that last book...Intrusion..."it was like a soft fart in the wind." BAHAHAHAHHAHAHA That is hilarious.

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  26. The first Lost Girls book is freeeee on Amazon today! I grabbed it. I've been reading the Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas this month. Books 1 and half of 2, the Night Circus and I started the Art of Hearing Heartbeats for book club in July! I am also reading another book on my Kindle, but the name eludes me. It's set in India and revolves around the British there in the last 1800s. One day I'll remember the name :)

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  27. I'm so excited to try those Alexa Steele books. I just saw that Lost Girls is free on Amazon today, so I'll be scooping that up as we speak. I can't wait to click around on all the posts this evening and add a million more books to my list. Happy Booksday!

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  28. I like the Stephanie Plum series and didn't know Evanovich had this series. The Suburban Murder series also looks good!

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  29. That photo of you is brilliant! And you have a very pretty library. I've read too many soft fart in the wind books recently and it's really put me off. I'm hoping to get back into my game asap but until then I've got nothing worth sharing!

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  30. You had a busy month! I'm still chipping away on one from last month so nothing to report. Thank you a million times for the kind words about my book and for supporting me by buying a copy! It means a ton.

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  31. Your library is so elegant. :-)
    The Bella DeFranco mystery series sounds good.
    I like Kate Morton but The Distant Hours wasn't my favorite. I think I liked the latest one, The Lake House, the best. But I did like the castle setting in this one.

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  32. I liked The Distant Hours, though not as much as The Secret Keeper and The Forgotten Garden. I agree-it really did feel like a more modern Poe!

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  33. I've read Girl on Fire before and it is just crazy to read!

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  34. Jesus Christmas? Sounds like a must read book for me!

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  35. I love what a big reader you are, very inspiring! I am reading three books right now. 1) "Rising Strong" by Brene Brown, self help isn't for everyone but I love how she blends her research with the deeply personal. I always learn a lot when I read her books. 2) "Imagine Me Gone" by Adam Haslett - haven't made it very far but so far so good! What's not to love about a Mass family struggling with chronic depression and anxiety?! Wee! 3) LISTENING to "Talking to Crazy" by Mark Goulston on Audible - very practical and usable ways to manage and thrive despite all the crazy people we encounter at work and in our personal lives. ....At this point I realize I probably need to add something a bit more fun in there to balance out all the psycho babble. Oh well. Happy reading!

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  36. just put The Forgotten Girls on my libary queue!

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  37. I added the Evanovich book and the Alexa Steele books. I bought Alyssa's book but haven't read it yet. I didn't manage a post this month, but I'll visit the other posts, you know, so my list can get even longer!

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  38. It's hard to find a cozy mystery that isn't droll or dimwitted as fuck.
    ^ I love this. Haha

    Umm, I thought I was a reading machine, but, I have been proved wrong. I don't have a Kindle, or any e-reader, so, I'm stuck toting around physical books, which prevents me from sneaking in just a minute or three of reading while I wait for something.

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  39. everything we keep sounds goood! I'm interested to hear what you guys say about girl on fire based on your review!

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  40. I read The House at Riverton by Kate Morton and I would also say it was fairly engrossing. I like her writing style, and I might check out The Distant Hours or some of her others. Not sure if I'll continue the Deanna Madden series by A.R. Torre. I liked the first one, although I didn't love it. There was a lot of time spent on her and less on the uncovering the crime part.

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  41. Adding both Alexa Steele books to my must read list! Even though it wasn't your favorite, you've also gotten me interested in Girls on Fire just because I want to see what was so disturbing about it.

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  42. I love how much you read. I've been fantasizing about a beach, a stack of books, and a couple of good sunsets. I blame you.

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  43. Love your word "June-ly" as these two months always seem to blend together for me. Sad to hear about Do Not Disturb, I was very intrigued by that one! I need to channel my inner Steph and enjoy some more evenings outside reading :)

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  44. Hmm interesting. I am always looking for more mysteries. So I'll have to jump off to look at those two series. Everyone has been praising those essays, it's totally convinced me to go for it. :) Xo - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  45. I spy Morningstar! Have you read it yet?! Are you loving it!?

    I need to read Alyssa's book. I love all the good reviews this month with it!

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  46. I've heard The Forgotten Girls is really good, that's on my list.

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  47. That's a lot of books. I finished my book 2 night ago that I started in March. I read. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan.
    http://therantingsofadramaqueensmum.blogspot.com

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