Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Show Us Your Books: the gift of reading

How fortuitous that this falls on my Gamma's birthday - one of the people who fostered a love of reading in me early by taking me to the library constantly and not only reading to me, but having me see HER read and talking to me about how much she enjoyed it.

It is so important to kids that we show them that, no? When I spent a day off from work with my niece at the end of October, she handed me my book out of my bag, went to her bookshelf and got her book, and pointed to mine for me to read. Then she picked her book up and did the same. I nearly cried with happiness. She's two. They learn early.

Anyway, last typical SUYB of the year until the Best of/Favorite reads of the year edition, which is Tuesday, December 26. I love seeing what was the best of everyone's reads and have kicked off a few Januarys with a solid library haul based on those recommendations.

Happy Hanukkah to my friends celebrating! 

And can I just say please Lord don't let Alabama put Roy Moore, racist slavery lover, xenophobe, woman hater, and teenage girl predator in the Senate. Amen.

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next is a special Favorite Reads of 2016 Show Us Your Books on Tuesday, December 26. We pick up in 2018 with the January 9 link up.
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me
2. Display the button and/or link back to us on your blog post
2. Visit other blogs who've linked up and talk books as booknerds are wont to do

Here's what I've read since the last linkup.

Engrossing Reads

Two Girls Down by Louise Luna - I could not put this book down. I loved the characters and the quick pace. I’d read many more books with Cap or Vega in them. Free e-copy courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell - I liked this so much. It was sad and weird and lovely all at the same time. And since it's about stuff, it made me think about my stuff more than I usually do, and what I hold onto and why. Philly library hardback

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - Sometimes when I love a book so much I have a hard time talking about it intelligently. Anyone else? I'm all just read it for yourself. I feel like that here, but should comment that it took me longer than normal to read this. Part of that was Thanksgiving weekend and being on the go and part of it was really needing to sit with each chapter in the beginning and think about it - not because it's hard to follow, but just because I found myself needing to. I also referred back to the family tree a zillion times. White people are all tracing lineage back to the freaking dark ages and black people...we've cut them off from that in so many instances. I have feelings for this book. The story itself and the telling are absolutely masterful as well. I've never read anything like it. Philly library hardback
Wonder by R. J. Palacio - I read it in a few hours on Saturday. Like Homegoing, it's one of those that I was like why did I wait so long to read this? I loved the alternating chapters, a few from characters I did not expect to hear from. Good lessons for people of all ages in here. Hardback, own

Passed the Time Just Fine

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green - My favorite John Green is Looking for Alaska, which I know is not a popular opinion but nonetheless it's mine. I liked this and it was good, a little bogged down in the way that YA can sometimes get bogged down. Hardcover, own, passed on via mail

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke - I liked the characters and the storyline. Race, crime, old hurts,
the south - the possibilities are endless. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Now You See Me (Lacey Flint #1) by Sharon Bolton - I will pursue this series. I love a flawed but essentially good main character with closets full of secrets. Philly library hardback, Bruce ate the cover so the memory of the fine will outlast the memory of the enjoyment

If Snow Hadn't Fallen (Lacey Flint 1.5) by Sharon Bolton - Damn these authors with their tiny novellas in between big ones in a series - looking at you, Linda Castillo. I must read them because I fear missing something if I don't, but they are really not satisfying. Kindle Amazon purchase

The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley - This is different for sure. The main character is quite obviously mad so it was interesting to read from her point of view. She devolved quickly after a big lead up in the first 3/4 of the book. Free e-copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review

In a Cottage in a Wood by Cass Green - I spent Sunday with this one. An easy read that kept me interested enough to start and finish it in one day and made me push off my hausfrauing. The author really threw a lot of shit into the conclusion of this one. Amazon kindle purchase

Not Worth It

Six Little Secrets by Katlyn Duncan - Quick, and mildly interesting, but the ending was nuts and not in the best way. I am not an overall YA lover because you get books like this as well as John Green books. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan - What an amazing WWII real life story I had not previously heard of buggered up by the telling of it in a book. Paperback, own, you want to read? I'll send it to you

Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy - Is it wrong to only look forward to the very few chapters here and there from the killer's point of view? I thought so. Unfortunately the book started on one, so I thought it would be delicious throughout and turned out stale. free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Did Not Finish

And you? What have you been reading? 


  1. I got Homegoing a few months back from the library but I brought it back unread. It's a book that I need to read, will likely be blown away by, but I'm avoiding it at the moment. I need to see reviews like this to remind myself to be brave and read it. I'm adding Two Girls Down and Now You See Me to my TBR.

  2. oh my gosh, your niece handing you a book? i would have cried also. i really hope if/when i have kids they love to read. i know they will see me read, but still. i hope they are little bookworms (that would be cheaper than them doing lots of sports and after school activities too haha).
    definitely requesting homegoing from the library again - i had it but i didn't get to it in time. if it's the kind of book that takes a bit to read, i might just buy it.
    glad you liked Wonder! i thought it was such a good book, everyone should read it. KC was reading it with his 6th grade class which I thought was super cool.
    interesting that your favourite john green is looking for alaska. i've only read 3 but i didn't love that one (didn't hate it). i'm not sure about turtles, might wait for the hype to die down.
    the beloveds sounds really interesting!

  3. I loved Wonder and we read it together as a family when it first came out. I really want to see the movie. John Green has been hit or miss with me, but so many people have raved about Turtles. Homegoing has been on my to read list. I hope to read it sooner than later!

    1. We loved the movie Wonder! It ranks right up there with the book! Five stars!!

  4. I just loved Wonder and felt the same way about waiting so long to read it. I had actually taken it off my TBR list when I found out it was a YA book (normally not a fan of that genre), but oh, how surprised I was! Merry Christmas!

  5. That's so cute of your niece! Wonder is such a great book - I'm glad you loved it. I need to see the movie. Looking for Alaska is my favorite book by John Green too! :)


  6. Happy Birthday to your Gamma and that's such a sweet story of your niece with the books. I just added Two Girls Down to my list and Wonder is one of the books I keep putting off for some reason, but think I'll probably love so I really need to prioritize it. Homegoing is a book I keep meaning to buy a hardcopy of because I loved it so much- it really was such wonderful storytelling and writing! I haven't read anything by John Green but I'm on the wait list for Turtles.

  7. Amazon is constantly trying to tell me I need to read Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and the reviews are so positive, but I think I'll pass based on your review! Both of my kids loved Wonder and I've been thinking about reading it since I do know some adults who loved it (now +1 including your review), but I may end up seeing the movie first so that may ruin the book...TBD.

    1. I really enjoyed Beneath a Scarlet Sky! I saw some reviews on Goodreads that were horrible, which surprised me, but maybe it's just one of those love it or hate it books. I have to stand up for it though and say give it a shot! :)

  8. Bummer on all the not worth it duds. At least there were no DNF. I've only heard good things about Homegoing and Wonder. I need to add those to my list and pick them up soon.
    Enzo chews books. Fortunately my library books haven't met that fate yet...

  9. Such a great list! Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

  10. So cute about your niece! I'm reading Two Girls Down for Erin's Challenge in January, and now I'm excited.

  11. I want to hear more of Beneath a Scarlett Sky. Bad writing? Bad character? I love a good WW2 book.

  12. I'll be spending today adding to my TBR ... I chuckled at Bruce's taste in books though. Sorry about the fine. I loved LOVED Wonder and wanted to reread it before going to the movie - didn't, but that is one of the few movies I've seen that everyone was applauding and/or crying at the end.

  13. Now that you read Wonder, check out the Julian Chapter, it is a great book to wrap up Wonder.

    I am absolutely with you on your Alabama thoughts!!

    Thank you for hosting this amazing link up!

  14. The House We Grew Up sounds great, & Wonder keeps getting good reviews, I really need to add!

  15. If no one else has claimed it, I'll happily adopt Beneath a Scarlet Sky. I'm a WW2 addict, and it's moderately alarming since Teh German is.. well German. He loves me for who I am, despite my reading preferences.

    So many of these books are on my TBR list. I had originally passed on Homecoming, but after your review, I think I will pick it up.

  16. You read so many books on my TBR - Turtles, Homegoing, House We Grew Up, Wonder. Glad to hear you liked them all. I am adding Two Girls Down to my list now! Sounds interesting. I love that your niece likes reading already! I am trying to instill that in to Zoe as well. She loves flipping through books and looking at pictures in them now so hopefully that is a good sign!

  17. Okay, that story about your niece is just so cute!!!! I seriously hope I can instill a love for reading in my children someday. Also, Bruce eating that book cover.... oh no!! Did you laugh & cry at the same time??

    I’ve never read Wonder and I’m probably one of those people who will “wonder” why it took me so long to read it! I felt the same way about in-between books when I read the Shatter Me series... what if I miss out!?!?

  18. I love that your niece initiated reading time! Totally agree that teaching them to love reading early is key- that's why I always buy my friends with kids a book and a toy. I have yet to read a John Green book and I'll probably start with this one. Homegoing and Wonder are on my list as well. I love finding other 12/12ers- happy birthday to your Gamma!

  19. I really want to read Bluebird Bluebird. I think I missed it on NetGalley so now I wait for the library to come through.

    Can Erica borrow your copy of Wonder?

  20. Loved Loved Wonder, and am really excited to read Homegoing. Alabama voter down here NOT voting for Roy Moore! :)

  21. Homegoing is the best book I have read this year for sure. I kept going back to the family tree too. It was an amazing journey for me and I learned things I didn't want to know but need to know. And I wish I could make more people read it.

  22. I added the first three to my list! Wonder really is so good for people of all ages. Nolan's been reading it, but has to take a lot of breaks because he is so sensitive. I loved the movie adaptation, too. They kept in different POVs, which was lovely.

  23. I’m glad that you got to read Homegoing! It really is such a great read that makes you really think. And I’ve been wanting to read Wonder since I’ve seen all the movie previews. I think that I’ll have to pick it up!

  24. I DNF'd a Lisa Jewell but it wasn't that one. The only John Green I've read was The Fault in Our Stars so I saw Turtles but was a little hesitant. How YA-y is it?

  25. So many good options as always! Wonder has been on my list forever.

  26. Awww, that story about your niece made me so happy. Yay for baby book-lovers!

    I loved The House We Grew Up In.

  27. Two girls down sounds really fun. Adding that to my list for sure. I've enjoyed two Lisa Jewell novels in the last couple of years so that one is on my list too. I've heard mixed things about Beneath a Scarlet Sky but I might still get to it someday. I'm not always in the mood for war books. I love hearing that about your niece- TOO CUTE :)

  28. Love that Lola story! I've had Homegoing on my list for so long. I must get to it.

  29. I totally agree on "just read it yourself!!" regarding Homegoing--I had a hard time summing up my feelings on that one. And I had to keep looking at the family tree too. I need to read Wonder--I've heard so many good things, I can't believe I still haven't read it. And Now You See Me... oh no! You're right about always having a (maybe not so great) memory about that one.


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