Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Show Us Your Books - December 2016

Another year of reading draws to a close. Jana and I are celebrating with a giveaway below, be sure to enter! As I say over and over and over again on Instagram, ho ho ho, mofos. 

Don't forget, December is a special Double Show Us Your Books month - the regular monthly link up today and the Show Us Your Books Best of 2016 on the last Tuesday of the month (December 27). You can see my post from last year here

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up happens the second Tuesday of every month.
The next regular monthly one is Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Special Show Us Your Books Best of 2016 on Tuesday, December 27, 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 from the last linkup.

Engrossing Reads

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens I liked the story, the writing, and most of the characters. It could be from jet lag but I didn't see the twist coming. I read it in 24 hours. Stevens has let me down before but not this time. Free e-copy from netgalley for an honest review.

If the Creek Don't Rise: A Novel by Leah Weiss - Appalachia is one of my favorite settings for a book. It often leads to novels that are so despairing yet full of pockets of hope. I can't resist it. This book was no different. I really enjoyed the parade of characters with intertwined stories. Free ARC from Netgalley for an honest review, e-book

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay - Lured in by the title, I did not realize this was a book of short stories. Not my favorite type of read by far, but this collection absolutely was. Roxanne Gay is masterful, and this is a stellar follow up to her essay collection Bad Feminist. Free ARC from Netgalley for an honest review, e-book

Cause to Kill (Avery Black Mystery #1) by Blake Pierce - I think I heard about this through BookBub. I tore through it. A strong but faulty female lead + a redemption story + serial killers = homerun for me. e-book, Kindle

Passed the Time Just Fine

In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch - These people got on my nerves, but the thing that got most on my nerves was Scotch not doing her homework and talking about people buying beer in Wawa in Philadelphia. When this was written, you couldn't buy beer anywhere in Pennsylvania except in a beer store (this is slowly changing). I get it, it's fiction, but some things are really easy to research and that's one of them. This is the kind of thing that annoys me and crawls up my ass sideways to cast a shadow over the rest of the book. The dramatic antics of the characters didn't help. e-book, Kindle

The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6) by Tana French - All of the Dublin Murder Squad books take me a bit to get into, and a few days to get through as they're big. But this one was just a drag ass book. I liked Antoinette a lot and I liked the story a lot, but the pace is off here. I can't remember the last time it took me a week to get through a book I liked. library hardback

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill - This was sort of predictable, but sort of not predictable. A few things: the lead character is a lot more forgiving than I'd be, there was too much manufactured crazy here, and I think the author wants you to feel bad for the teenagers in the story but she makes them so one dimensional and unlikable that it's hard to empathize with them. This passed the time fine for me, but if you don't read a lot, I'd probably skip it. e-book, kindle

The Unquiet Dead (Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak #1 by Ausma Zehanat Khan - This book haunted me and just gutted me with a plot around the Serb conflict in the 1990s, but as fiction and particularly as a mystery this sort of missed the mark. I did like Rachel and Esa, so I will probably give the second one a go. library hardback

Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers #9) by John Sandford - All of the Virgil stories are a little far fetched, but this one seemed like it was taped together with Scotch tape and lacked some of the verve and humor the previous eight had. library hardback

The Good Mother by Sue Miller - I like Sue Miller, but sometimes it takes an epic century for her to get to the point. Then you realize the point is not actually the point - as in the action you've been waiting for is not actually what the story is about, it's about everything surrounding that. This was hard to read, and I'm not exactly sure why but I don't think I'd recommend it even though it was okay for me. e-book, kindle

Good Behavior (Letty Dobesh Chronicles 1-3) by Blake Crouch - Three novellas in one book, all around Letty Dobesh. Interesting character, interesting reads. This is a TV show now on TNT I think, I might even watch it. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Not Worth It
Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith - I waited for this YA book for eons from the library, and now I think that the person who had it for an eternity before me also thought it a slog to get through. library hardback

Winner gets a $25 donation in their name to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which looks to early childhood literacy in kids around the world, regardless of their economic status. And as a merry happy joyful everything, the winner also gets a $25 Amazon giftcard.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. In excited to read Never Let You Go. I get sower annoyed when authors don't do their research too, especially if it's super easy.

  2. I've read one Chevy Stevens and really enjoyed it. I need to read more.
    That author not doing their research for PA reminds me of a book I read this year set in TX. Just little minor things, but still annoying.
    Difficult Women sounds interesting.

  3. I caught the first episode of Good Behaviors (it was decent) but I didn't realize it was based on a set of novellas from Blake Crouch. That makes me a bit more interested in giving the show a second look! Ah, Chevy Stevens, I had to DNF a book of her's in October. Not because it was bad but the jerk guys in book hit a little to close to real life (this was at the height of "grab her pussy") but I will return to the book eventually. Cause to Kill sounds right up my alley and I'm adding it to my TBR.

  4. Short stories appeal to me ! I will look at the library for Difficult Women. I am a difficult woman sometimes! The name Chevy intrigues me. This time a female Chevy. The only other Chevy I know is Chase!
    Have a safe and sound Tuesday!
    ❤️ Your Momma!

  5. added everything in your engrossing section..... except the short stories haha. cause to kill sounds great.
    the research thing would drive me crazy. it's something Erin and i have talked about with an aussie writer writing a book set in the US and getting things wrong.. really silly small things that most people wouldn't notice, but when you know, it drives you bonkers because seriously, don't write a book if you're not willing to do the research.
    oh man that sucks about the dublin murder squad book. those books are on my list.. is it an ongoing series like neverending or does it have a last book in mind? i normally like to wait for a series to end before i read it, unless it's not going to for ages like the in death series or stephanie plum.
    the unquiet dead sounds intriguing.
    dolly's charity is amazing!

  6. Never let you Go and Cause to Kill both sound good!!! After reading The Likeness last month, I thought I wanted more of the Dublin Murder Squad but I started one of the other ones and had to put it down for awhile. Those books seem mostly good but sooo long for what they are.
    I love Dolly Parton's charity!!! Amazing giveaway ladies!

  7. I have to read that Chevy Stevens book! I've read several of her books and have enjoyed almost all of them. I'm not a big short story fan myself, but Difficult Women sounds good.

  8. I didn't make it through Bad Feminist. I liked the beginning but I got stuck in the scrabble chapter. I might have to pick it back up sometime.

    I had 2 books that annoyed me with inaccuracies even though they weren't terribly important to the story! I don't want to be nitpicky, but it's just distracting. One of the ones I hate the most is when authors write super precocious toddlers who speak in full sentences. I don't know why, but it bothers me so much.

  9. checking out all your engrossing reads! I bet you got a lot of reading done on those international flights!

  10. Cause To Kill and Never Let You Go both sound like really interesting reads! I'm adding them to my list! It really bothers me when you read a book and there are just some things so glaringly wrong with the plot, like buying beer in a Wawa if you know that it's not possible. I guess that only people from Pennsylvania would catch that, but I feel like there's a lot of people that would pick up a book based on where it's set.

  11. Cause to Kill sounds awesome, added to the list!

  12. If the Creek Don't Rise sounds really good. I won't usually read short stories either, but maybe will make an exception on your say so.

  13. I just downloaded Cause to Kill! I also put the book about Appalachia on my want to read list. I might have to buy that with Christmas gift cards :) I read In Twenty Years too and I read it quick enough but I found myself skimming a lot of parts. I felt like it could have been something great but instead it was an eh I've read enough I have to see how it ends book.

  14. Wow! You were zipping right through books. I didn't have such a great reading month. I got stuck on a couple of books I should have given up on. I'm currently searching for something really great to read. Not having much luck!

  15. So many new (to me) books in this post- I can't wait to check out a few of them a little bit more. I always find short stories to be hit or miss.

  16. I love the Dolly Parton Imagination Library! I signed my daughter up for her free books the week we brought her home- love getting them each month. What a great cause!

  17. I have a weird relationship with short stories - need to be in the mood.
    I just bought the JoJo Moyes book of short stories. I'm holding off for that mood to kick in before I open it.

  18. A lot of these sound pretty interesting. I don't usually read mystery or thriller, but I added that In Twenty Years to my list.

  19. I am so excited- these are all books I haven't heard of yet, so I need to start adding some, it looks like!! I usually like Chevy Stevens so hers might be the first on to make the list!

  20. Glad you enjoyed so many. Definitely interested in dublin murder squad. I'm so out of reading thrillers or mysteries. I always enjoy them... I just don't ever reach for them. I should though. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  21. Lots of good books! In Twenty Years is one of the books that I'm currently reading, so I'm curious to finish it now so I can see if my opinion aligns with yours.

  22. Oh, too bad on the new Tana French! She is my favorite favorite author, so that perhaps biases me to think she can do no wrong. I enjoyed it - liked Antoinette's perspective on the murder squad. Sounds like that Caused to Kill one could be up my alley too - thanks for sharing!

  23. Looks like you read a lot of good books this past month! That's awesome. I got Cause to Kill for free, so I'm happy to see you enjoyed it. I do love a good mystery/thriller type of read.


  24. I've loved the two Chevy Stevens that I've read and slowly working my way through all of her stuff. I'm almost certain I read Good Wife but cannot for the life of me remember anything about it even after reading the summary. Must not have been good.

  25. I've heard mixed things about the Dublin Murder Squad series, but I'm hoping, when I eventually get around to reading the first book, that I might enjoy it. If not, it was going cheap on Kindle so it's no loss.

    It's been a while since I picked up anything from the crime genre so the New Year might be the time to have a read.

  26. I need to read the Roxane Gay books.

    I haven't read anything by Chevy Stevens yet either, but that's one author who keeps showing up in my GoodReads feed, so maybe I'll have to.

  27. I keep saying that I need to start reading Chevy Stevens, but, for whatever reason, her books haven't been pushed to the top of my "To Read" list. Maybe in 2017? (And I could say the same about the Dublin Murder Squad books.)

    I read a novel by Roxane Gay last year called An Untamed State, and I remember really liking it. I'll have to check out more of her work.

    I also hate when authors don't research simple things. Sometimes I think they're like, "Oh, it's a minor detail. It doesn't really matter." But it DOES matter if it lessens someone's enjoyment of the book!

    Oh, and I wish I read more quickly. When I saw that it's rare for you to spend a week on a book you actually like, I was like, "Oh. I do that all the time!" Haha. I guess that's why I won't be hitting 100 books in a year any time soon. :-)

  28. I read Good Behavior, too. I liked it. I felt the character was a little inconsistent, but it wasn't bad. I'm going to check out Never Let You Go.

  29. I think I'm going to try the first Tana French. I started with a recommendation to do the 2nd one first, and I didn't love it.

  30. I am flabbergasted by how much/quickly you read! I love reading too, but since I: a) am in grad school and have to read constantly for school and b) work for a publisher and have to read constantly for work, I end up doing less personal reading than I might otherwise. But your list has seriously inspired me. I just read an academic article written by an expert witness on Appalachia in death penalty cases, so I'm most drawn to If the Creek Don't Rise--gonna check it out on Amazon. Thanks!


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