Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Show Us Your Books: Recent reads


Back to school. Back to books. I mean, I never left them, but you know. 

ALSO! Did you know there is now an Armchair Librarians account on Instagram? Follow here! Want to take over the account to show your book-ish life? Let us know in the comments! Jen from That's What She Read is our first volunteer! 

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up happens the second Tuesday of every month.
The next one is Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - this is the two year anniversary of SUYB!
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

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles - I adored Rules of Civility and was really excited to get this. It took me a little while to get into it but then I was hooked. Superb, beautiful writing and a cast of lovable characters set against the sometimes bleak background of Russia through a great many changes in the country. (free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel - Whoa, this book is fucked up subject-wise. It will not be released until February 2017, so you have time to decide. It draws you into its dark and twisted web and it's awesome like that. I could not put it down. (free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, expected release Feb or Mar 2017)

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch - I ripped through the Wayward Pines trilogy in a week, and I really wanted more from Crouch. This is not a continuation of the Pines series, but a force in its own right.I was glued to this book, which is saying something as it concerned quantum physics and I cared about them for once in my life. A great read. (free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review) Discussed on The Armchair Librarians here

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter - I read this in 24 hours. Quick and good. I loved the backstories on the honeysuckle girls the most and wish there was more of that, but other than that it was nice. (e-copy free under trial period of Kindle Unlimited)

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware - I finished this when I was home alone one night and was convinced someone was going to kill me in my own backyard. I hate that, but I do love a book that sets me humming. I was desperate to find out what happened at the end so I pushed on through the fear. ($5 buck paperback through a Barnes & Noble sale)


Passed the Time Just Fine

The Virgins by Pamela Erens - The writing style annoyed me a little until I got into the rhythm of it. This was a passable read but there is potential in this story that the author didn't fully tap into. (library paperback)

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas - This was not bad for a teen book with some mystery around it. I read it over Labor Day weekend. I think the author could have pressed deeper on some points and gotten more intricate in the who done it, but it was passable. (library hardback)

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - This is Ware's second book, but I read it first and then read In a Dark, Dark Wood immediately after. This book had me all sorts of WTF. Both contain an unreliable narrator, but I liked the premise and everything else about IADDW better. It was hard not to compare, reading them back to back. This was still a good, passable read and I had to go back and look over the last 20 pages again, but it requires much suspense of belief. (paperback copy loaned to me from Jen at That's What She Read)

Things We Set on Fire by Deborah Reed - I loved the title of this book. I feel like I've read a lot of books with girl and fire in the titles this year. Anyhoo I was into the story, too. I felt like a few things could've been explored a little deeper, but the writing was good and it was quick. (library paperback)

The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn - This was difficult for me to get into, but once I hit page 50, I liked it more. It ended up a little twisty at the end, which I liked. It would have benefited from more of that at the beginning. (library hardback)

Dork Diaries #2 - Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl by Rachel Renee Russell - Listen to the podcast on this here. (Amazon hardback)

Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty - Reading this felt a little like watching an early 80s soap opera. A quick love and loss read full of ups and downs. In the middle I had no idea how there was half a book left, but I liked how the author continued the story after a major climax. (free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)

Not Worth It

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris - This book pissed me off the entire time I read it. It sunk down like a large turd in the toilet. (library hardback)

The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich - Loved the title, and I picked it up off a library shelf based on that. I read half of it before asking myself what I was doing and relegated it back to the library bag. I was really intrigued in the beginning, but Erdrich's extreme attention to detail about shit that doesn't matter ground it down until it was so slow I couldn't take it. Sometimes when I'm reading on the beach it takes me a while to realize a book sucks - I take a lot of breaks to talk and stare at the ocean and eavesdrop. (library hardback)

What have you been reading? 




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41 comments:

  1. I really liked the Wayward Pines trilogy too. I forgot Dark Matters was coming out this Fall, so I'm glad to see that both you and Jana enjoyed it. Hopefully, I'll get to it this month or in October. It's such an intriguing set-up. You also have me very curious about The Roanoke Girls, which I've added to my TBR. Both Ware books are already on my TBR and I'm leaning heavily towards In a Dark, Dark Wood. It sounds like a great read for Halloween. :)

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  2. I just told Jana (about a different book) that when I see such varying reviews, I often want to read a book for myself to see what I think - that's how I feel about In a Dark, Dark Wood.
    I added The Raonoke Girls. I didn't really read what it was about. Your recommendation plus the fact that it is "fucked up subject-wise" is enough for me to be interested.

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  3. I'm really excited to get around to reading Dark Matter, it's on my TBR but I don't yet own the book nor is it at the library, so I'm just waiting.

    Ah, they just got In A Dark Dark Wood into the library, I might have to get that out after I've finished the books I've currently got from there. I haven't read a thriller in a long time! I do have The Woman in Cabin 10 on my Kindle so maybe I'll give that around between now and heading the library again.

    ~ K

    www.lifeasunusuals.com


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  4. You had some good Netgalley reads this month! I'm getting closer on the hold list to A Woman in Cabin 10 and I thought In a Dark, Dark Wood was just okay (I liked it, didn't love it) so I'm wondering what my thoughts will be on that one. I'm bummed to hear you didn't like The Beet Queen- I usually have bad luck randomly picking books from the library, but I'm always hopeful I'll discover a new favorite.

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  5. The Roanoke Girls sounds interesting. I don't think I can handle any book where I am afraid of someone trying to kill me in my back yard right now lol. Love that it gripped you though!

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  6. I have heard so many good things about Amor Towles' books...would you recommend starting with Rules of Civility?? Sounds like you had some great reads this month! (And lots of beach time to spend reading! ;))

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  7. The Intern's Handbook sounds pretty good, interesting to see a different take on office life. Hopefully it won't make me start looking sideways at my colleagues... And I'm a fan of quantum physics and general nerdery so I think Dark Matter sounds good!

    I also hate books that make me check behind the doors in my own house so... might pass on In a Dark, Dark Wood...

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  8. The Roanoke Girls definitely sounds good - adding to my list for later. I also loved Wayward Pines, so I'll have to check out Dark Matter. In a Dark, Dark Wood has been on my list for a while so I am glad you liked it.

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  9. I haven't read any of these but now I have a few more to add to my list!! :)

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  10. I've yet to read the Wayward Pines trilogy, though it's been on my to read list! I have put Roanoke Girls on my to read list and In a Dark Dark Wood was already on my to read list. I love a good thriller. I know my daughter used to read the Dork Diaries but I never read any of them.

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  11. totally agree with you re: the wayward pines trilogy. unfortunately, i won't be able to get to dark matter until the year 3000 because i'm #2943943578903457 in line of 3 copies #rage.

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  12. i can't believe y'all have been doing this link up for 2 years! all the high fives! i still haven't read dark matter but it's on my list.. i know nothing about quantum physics so we'll see lol. i added the rest of your engrossing reads to my list. i've heard amazing things about the woman in cabin 10, i might read that first and then read in a dark dark wood a couple months later. i always compare authors, so i try not to read them back to back because i'll always prefer one more, right? lol'd at your review for Behind Closed Doors. hilarious.

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  13. Normally I skim through everyone's posts looking for fantasy or dystopia but I'm definitely getting into the mood for some historical fiction, because a Gentleman in Moscow sounds really good. Plus some self-introspection? Yep, sounds good to me.

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  14. I just finished in a dark, dark wood but couldn't make it on this month's linkup, and dark matter is on my list. currently reading cabin 10! congrats on 2 years!

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  15. Those books that convince you a murderer is in your house are the worst and the best!

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  16. The other day I was thinking how I feel so busy all the time, and when was the last time I read an effing book?! I miss it, and feel like when I take some me time, I get distracted by the whole that is the internet. I need to read more, for sure. I have all these 'to-read' listed on my Goodreads - definitely adding some of these to the list!

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  17. I believe LaRose is also by Louise Erdich and among my many complaints about it, I think unnecessary detail was one. I'm with you. You know I liked Cabin 10 so I want to add Ware's other book to my TBR. Also I finally listened to the podcast for Girls on Fire last night since I finished the book and really, I should listen to the podcasts first since you guys kind of warned people that it wasn't so great. Oops. Lesson learned (I HATED it and thought you guys were very generous with your thoughts!).

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  18. Glad you enjoyed Woman in Cabin 10! I HATED Behind Closed Doors too!

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  19. I read The Woman In Cabin 10 this month as well, but it really wasn't my fave. I'll have to check out In A Dark Dark Wood though since you liked that one better. A Gentleman in Moscow and The Roanathe Girls both sound great too!

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  20. One day I shall make time to read again. Until then, I will continue adding your recommendations to my never-ending list. Just followed your IG account! :)

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  21. Man... you can truck through the books!!!!! Fast reader!!!
    I hate reading scary books when I'm all alone - or when its dark. Nope nope nope.

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  22. You plow through books. I admire people like you :) I'm glad you had so many good ones this month!

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  23. Your turd description might be the best review I've read in a long time lol. Burying the Honeysuckle Girls and The Roanoke Girls sound really intriguing though- definitely adding!

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  24. IADW sounds like a great book for pre-Halloween, haha :)

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  25. I loved Rules of Civility too and can't wait to read A Gentleman from Moscow.
    I read In a Dark Dark Wood. Wait, maybe I didn't finish it. I think I read half and then skimmed the rest. I think I'm a little impatient/tired of the unreliable narration shtick.

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  26. I just got approved for Roanoke Girls, so I am excited to read it! In a Dark, Dark Wood sounds interesting but super creepy!

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  27. I feel like I said this last month but we talk about books so much, when it comes to this day, I have nothing to add. But I am looking forward to our Ruth Ware discussion. She is a plane book for me next week.

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  28. I am in the middle of a book that might just make the "return" pile right away, too! Hate when that happens.

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  29. Ahh I haven't heard of any of these, but The Roanoke Girls sounds right up my alley! Added it to my TBR so I don't forget about it by the time it comes out ;)

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  30. I liked In a Dark, Dark Wood better than a lot of people I know. Dark Matter is my book club's September read but of course I haven't read it yet. Haha! I may have to reconsider reading Behind Closed Doors. It's on my to read list at the moment.

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  31. I really only consider a thriller/scary book or movie to be good if it makes me terrified to me in my own home. In A Dark, Dark Wood is being added to my to-read list now :)

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  32. I'm next on the list at the library for In a Dark, Dark Wood. Can't wait to read it.

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  33. Several of these looks great. I need to start frequenting the library. Start saving myself some money. Really like the look of The Roanoke Girls!

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  34. I kind of really want to try a Ruth Ware book now but I'm also kind of scared.
    Also, I *liked*, didn't love, Rules of Civility. Maybe I should try another Towles books?

    If you added me to the link, thank you! I was just sitting down (at 7:30pm) to do that ha ha.

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  35. Ah, you make me excited to read Dark Matter. I might have to move it up my to-read list.

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  36. Woah, looking into Roanoke Girls and Moscow Gentleman. Intrigue! XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  37. Added the Honeysuckle Girls; sounds interesting.

    Thriller—even if there's a suggestion of a thriller-type premise—books are generally not my speed; I admit I'm a total chicken and get nightmares really easily. It took me like two years to work up the courage to read Gone Girl, and that was mostly because FOMO.

    I only read 1.5 books since last linkup so I didn't post this week, but I can't wait to join the two year anniversary party next month!

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  38. I can't wait to read the new Amor Towles book, but I think I'm still like #45 on the library wait list. Glad to hear it's worth the wait!

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  39. In a Dark Dark Wood is on my list but I may just have to break down and buy it because the reviews have been so good.

    The Roanoke Girls has me so intrigued! I will have to make sure that I get on the list for that as soon as I can!

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  40. Everyone is talking about Wayward Pines this month and I'm torn between holding out and wanting to read it.

    Honeysuckle Girls sounds like I may need to that to my TBR.

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  41. I'm finally getting around to this link-up and slowly working my way through commenting and responding to comments and all of that. I really thought I'd be caught up by now, but no ... Just starting.

    Anyway, I'm glad you didn't hate The Virgins. I obviously liked it more than you did, but I also really loved the author's writing style. Sometimes that can make or break a book for me.

    I really liked In a Dark, Dark Wood as well.

    Many of these books are already on my "To Read" list, but I didn't realize The Roanoke Girls isn't going to be released until February. I wanted to move it up the list, but I couldn't find it on my library's website. Now I know why.

    I laughed so much over your review of Behind Closed Doors! I'm on the waiting list for it and I still want to read it, though now my expectations have been considerably lowered. Haha. And, if nothing else, sometimes a shitty book is good for a fun review. I always find reviews so much easier to write if I didn't like the book.

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