Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Book Love is True Love: Show Us Your Books February 2018

Human love can be wonderful. It can also be a fucking mess. 
Book love is much less complicated. 
Happy Galentine's Day to my rock solid ladies 
happy book love day to books and the authors responsible for them...
but every day is book love day 
just like
every day is the day to smother your pets with affection 
 every day is the day to show and tell people you love that you love them.
If you only do those things on certain days, you might be a douche. 
tra la la

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is March 13, 2018. A mere two days before my birthday.
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 been reading since the last linkup

Engrossing Reads

Vanishing Girls (Detective Josie Quinn #1) by Lisa Regan - I had not read a Regan novel before, and apparently she has quite a few. I was totally into this one. I'm not sure how she'll top it with a Josie Quinn #2 but I'll tune in to find out, and that should be out in April. I know this because I tweeted the author and she was kind enough to reply. This was recently on Amazon for $1.99 if you're a kindle person. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander: There is no way anyone can read this book and continue to spout a favorite - black people are ruining their own communities/what about black on black crime etc. If you read this and you cannot see how every institution most of us hold dear (United States Supreme Court, I am appalled) and presidents on both sides of the aisle have been complicit in this, you need to return to school and learn critical thinking. Although I'm not sure if they're allowed to teach that these days? I couldn't stop thinking about this and fretting about how big this is and how deep it goes. I didn't really pay attention to another book until five days later. I started one the day after but couldn't concentrate on it. Paperback, own

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah - Something about this book grabbed me and squeezed. I liked some of the characters, but none more than the character of Alaska itself and life there in the 1970s and 1980s. I wish more time was spent on the events of the last 50 pages at the expense of some of the front end of the story, but nevertheless I sped through it and enjoyed it. Free ARC e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez - Julia is raw and real and I loved her. Family, frustration, desire for independence. I enjoyed the story and sped through it. That title too, though. Amazon kindle e-copy
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - This gutted me in a great way, just like The Piper's Son and to a slightly lesser extent when I compare all three, Saving Francesca. These Marchetta  teen novels get to me. When I read them I can't help wondering if they are over the heads of a lot of teens because there is some yearning realness and sadness and hope to them that is so adult. I think of the reader I was in my teen years, and some books I got then that I probably shouldn't have, so maybe I'm wrong.This took me a little to get into but once I did I could not put it down. I was glad because the last one of hers I attempted, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil, I couldn't finish. Philly library paperback

Passed the Time Just Fine
We Are Okay by Nina La Cour - This book was beautiful in the particular way that only YA books can be - it reminds me of a time when everything feels fleeting but also somehow forever and like everything that happens or doesn't is a line in the sand. Reading it required me to swallow a lump in my throat a few times. Philly library hardback

Dear Martin by Nic Stone - The subject is important. The writing style was not for me. This is a YA book covering a hugely important topic in our world right now, just like The Hate U Give is doing. In my opinion, The Hate U Give had more to offer adults and Dear Martin is more YA, you know what i mean? Check this one out, it won't take you long, and definitely pass it on to your teens and talk about it together, but don't expect what you got from The Hate U Give if you read and loved that as an adult. Awesome cover. Philly library hardback

The Burning (Maeve Kerrigan #1) by Jane Casey - Is everyone trying to do a series? It took me forever to read this book. Not because it sucked, but because it followed The New Jim Crow and my mind was elsewhere. When I finally latched on, I finished it quickly, but it took me a while to get there. The author attempted a case within a case and it worked in some parts but not in others. Paperback, own

The Silent Girls (Detective Anna Gwynne #1) by Dylan Young - It was fine. I would not run to read this. I am happy to see more thrillers based on women detectives. Lots of them are coming out of the UK. Well done. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Woman Before Me (Cate Austin #1) by Ruth Dugdall - I sped right through this little jobby. Solid quick read. Very seriously don't see how this can be a series - are they putting #1 on the covers of these things just for fun now? Philly library hardback 

The Crush by Sandra Brown - I think this is only my second Sandra Brown novel? It was fine. I love sinking in with a mystery-ish book in paperback form bending the spine every which way and reading it in 24 hours. This fit the bill. paperback, own
When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen - While I liked this book, I feel like it was poised on the edge of being something much better than it was. The author almost went all the way. Still a good read with parts being almost lyrical. Amazon kindle e-copy

Not Worth It
Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta HallI love reading about the crazies but this lacked direction and made no fucking sense. I am not one to comment on endings because I believe authors live with a book and it's up to them, not me. I absolutely hated this one though, and not because of HOW it ended. More for reasons that are difficult to discuss without spoiling but I strenuously objected to serious themes being injected into the end chapters and sort of glossed over. It made me angry because I felt like the author was trying to slip a commentary on the state of women in the world today in in a flip manner that didn't fit. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Did Not Finish
Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen - I have read and enjoyed many Anna Quindlen books. I could not get through half of this one - mundane and tired. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What have you been reading? 


  1. Vanishing Girls sounds vaguely familiar to me, although the author's name doesn't. But I like my female detective series so adding it to my TBR. I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is already on my TBR too. I want to read The New Jim Crow but I'm afraid it might make my head explode. At the same, there are a handful of people I'd like to force them to read it. And I bet you can guess who those people are.

  2. I am reading The Hate U Give now. My mom is a big Sandra Brown fan. Adding The New Jim Crow to my list. Did you see the Netflix documentary, The 13th? Have a great day, Steph. Still faithfully reading, just not always out of the weeds enough to comment. <3

  3. I loved The Great Alone too. I will check out Dear Martin and Vanishing Girls!! Sounds like a pretty good reading month. ALL the book love!!

  4. I'm on page 50 of The Great Alone now. Hannah is one of my favorite authors and I normally enjoy her books, so I'm hoping this one is a winner, too. Thanks for the VDay love, Sista! I did not mention one damn thing about it on my post! Being from Louisiana, I should have at least wished everyone a Happy Mardi Gras!

  5. I've wanted to read Jellicoe Road for YEARS now, so I should probably get on that, huh? lol I have an ARC a friend sent me of Dear Martin so I hope to read that one soon too...

    Happy Galentine's Day!


  6. The Great Alone is on my TBR since I've enjoyed Hannah's other books. Glad to see it was worth your time. Tanya was saying up ^^ in her comment that Vanishing Girls sounds familiar. I read another book with the same title but different author - Lauren Oliver. It's really strange to me when that's allowed or even that an author would want the same title as another book!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  7. I think that's exactly why I love YA books - they do hold an innocence that you cant ever really get back once adulthood slaps you in the face.

  8. I'm adding the New Jim Crow to my list. A friend and I were talking about how difficult it is to incarcerate a child molester, or a rapist, but how easy a poor, single, black Mom can end in jail for unpaid parking tickets... the justice system is truly set up to protect white males.

    I'm so glad you liked Mexican Daughter! My family is making their way through the book too.

  9. 'you might be a douche' hahahaha
    The New Jim Crow sounds like a must read.
    i'm glad you liked The Great Alone as it's on my kindle from netgalley.
    Also adding I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. basically adding all the things!
    We had to read Melina Marchetta books when I was in high school - the only one we were 'forced' to read was Looking for Alibrandi, but everyone jumped all over her other ones. I hated her (and everything Australian) when I was a teenager because.. I don't even know. But everything about Looking for Alibrandi went over my head, so I am glad I didn't read Saving Francesca or The Piper's Son until I was an adult. I feel like they definitely got in my heart that way. I do want to read Jellicoe Road. She also has a fantasy series I own that I want to get to one day lol.
    Hmmmm interesting about Dear Martin. I was holding off on it because I wanted to wait until The Hate U Give wasn't so fresh in my memory.
    'Is everyone trying to do a series' YES SERIOUSLY. I am so sick of series. I mean, I love them when I want them, but why does every single book have to be part of a series? I don't have that kind of attention span, and I am not waiting years to find out what happens. I quite like Sandra Brown, I have a bunch of her books at home but not that one. She fits the bill when I feel exactly like one of her books. Well, duh.

  10. I can't wait to read The Great Alone - I'm drawn to anything related to Alaska though, so it's a given.

    I've noticed how authors are going to series now - it actually prevents me from reading more of their books. I won't pick up a #2 or #3 or whatever because I'll feel like I need to find #1 first. They could probably tell the same story with #2 or #3 or whatever with a different main character and they'd all be standalone stories.

  11. Just added The New Jim Crow to my TBR. I was watching a documentary with my husband called 13 (or 13th?) also about mass incarceration and it was RIVETING. I need to read this. I'm intrigued by The Great Alone too. I've read two books by Kristin Hannah, one I loved (The Nightingale) and one I felt meh about (Magic Hour)... so I feel like I need to read another to see how I feel about her. :)

  12. Well I love any and all things Alaska as you well know, so The Great Alone is going on my list.
    LOLed at 'you might be a douche.' Word.

  13. Ohhh, The Great Alone sounds really good! Just requested that from the library. We are almost birthday twins! Mine is on the 13th - will be even better with the link up that day!

  14. The New Jim Crow sounds so good, but obviously heavy. I need to get into a good mindset and read that. If you recommend non-fiction, then I know it's good! I have loved good YA lately, so On the Jellicoe sounds like something I would like.

  15. So many great books to add to my list! Thank you so much!

  16. The New Jim Crow needs to be required reading. It's so good. I have The Great Alone and Mexican Daughter on hold! I added Jellicoe Road when I saw your instagram post.

  17. The Great Alone is at the top of my list, glad to hear you enjoyed it.

  18. I have the Great Alone on my TBR because I loved The Nightingale so much. Not my usual genre to pick, but she is such a great author that it works for me. The New Jim Crow sounds interesting. I am reading When We Were Worthy right now.

  19. I was curious about The Great Alone. She is such a good writer, but I wasn't sure if I would like the topic.

  20. A friend of mine just told me about The New Jim Crow and had a similar experience, she couldnt really read anything else for a few days.

  21. Ha! The comment on critical thinking. Yeah, schooling seems to be more about memorization and recitation these days. The resistance to critical thinking is strong. I hadn't heard of The New Jim Crow, but I will be definitely checking it out. I have been hearing about Marchetta's work for ages now and really need to read one of her books! Which would you recommend starting with?

  22. The Great Alone is at the top of my TBR list. Thanks for the fun link up!

  23. I have Jellicoe Road sitting on my Kindle, waiting for me to finish my current read(s)--although I'm probably going to give up on one of the reads. Hoping I can bust through at least another book or two by your next Show Us Your Books so I have something to share!

  24. I’ve loved all the Kristin Hannah books that I can get my hands on, so I’ll definitely have to get her newest one! I feel like sometimes she does take a little too long developing her story though.

  25. The Kristin Hannah book is on our new display shelf at work, and I have to fight myself not to check it out since I have approximately 400 other things out right now. Must...finish...those...first!

  26. I'm definitely going to check out Vanishing Girl and The Woman Before Me. I like good reads! Haha I think we all do ;)

  27. Someone else had very good things to say about The Great Alone. I liked the two Hannah books I've read (The Nightingale and The Winter Garden), so I will definitely add this to my TBR.

  28. Every day IS book love day! :-) I loved the opener for this post ... So true. Haha.

    I added a bunch of books to my list that weren't already there (a couple were).

    I'm kind of bummed that Dear Martin is more on the young side of YA because I was looking forward to checking it out. I don't always do well with the young YA books (which is why they're always so hit or miss for me). The Hate U Give has been on my list for a while, though, so I'll definitely prioritize that one over Dear Martin.

    I'm glad you liked The Woman Before Me! I really loved that one, mostly because the ending really fucked with my head. I couldn't stop thinking about it for days after. I did laugh at your comment about the series, though. I think it's supposed to be a very general series ... Like the probation officer is a character in each of the books, but the books don't really have a connected storyline (other than the fact that she's involved somehow, obviously). I have a few of the other books from the series on my list, but this is the only one I've read. That's the only reason I knew anything about it beyond the tacking of a #1 to the title.

    I have another book by Araminta Hall on my list, but my library doesn't have it. I was considering buying a copy, but now I'll probably prioritize other books first. I know every book by the same author isn't necessarily going to be bad (or good, for that matter), but your description of this other book doesn't really inspire me to run out to read her stuff.

    Thanks for all the great recommendations! :-)

  29. The Great Alone is on my list at the library :)

  30. What a bummer about the Anna Quindlen book - she's usually one you can count on! Adding Jellicoe Road to my library list.

  31. I would try Josie Quinn, just because a good series is worth at least a try.

    I've never read Anna Quindlen.

    I will get Mexican Daughter back from the library eventually!

  32. Dear Martin made my faves list last year. Although the subject matter was similar to The Hate U Give, I thought the story lines were different. I do understand you on it feeling a little more YA. I found The Crush to be okay. I am a huge Kristin Hannah fan and The Great Alone was already on my to read list.

  33. I've been meaning to read New Jim Crow for ages - really need to make time for it!

  34. Kristin Hannah was a favorite I discovered a few years ago. Need to try this book.

  35. The Great Alone sure sounds like a must read! Adding it to the top of my list for March. Thanks for the awesome suggestions!

  36. My brother has read The New Jim Crow. He actually left it my place when he was visiting 2 years ago but I returned it without reading it. Maybe I should have.

  37. I haven't read anything by Kristin Hannah, but The Great Alone is definitely one of my most anticipated reads right now for some reason.

  38. The Great Alone is definitely on my list.
    I need to pick up and read The Hate U Give. I absolutely plan to, I just haven't fit it in yet.
    I love how you're able to articulate exactly why you didn't love or get along with a book. I like that you don't say the book is *bad*, it just didn't do what you wanted it to do. And you explain that without spoilers! <3

  39. another Sandra brown I'll need to keep my eye out for. I think I've read maybe 2 books by her. I found them to be entertaining enough.

  40. I am not your perfect Mexican daughter sounds fantastic - I also have The New Jim Crow on hold at the library and can't wait to get through it.

  41. It looks like you read some great books! I love the way you arranged this blog post, with the engrossing books first all the way down to the ones you didn't finish!

  42. Cackling at "you might be a douche!"

    I'm currently reading Books for Living by Will Schwalbe, and because of that I added Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to the list. So many people have raved about that book, and I don't know how I missed it, but I think I'll head to my library this weekend and see if it's there.

  43. Vanishing Girls sounds like it would be a good read. I’ll have to add it to my list when I’m ready for that kind of book!

  44. I really want to read I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. I also really want to read Dear Martin. Glad you enjoyed We Are Okay. It was pretty emotional for me. Old people are one of my triggers.. so... yeah. But it was really lovely, and yes, very teenager-y. The New Jim Crow sounds like required reading. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


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