What I Read: October

Goodbye October!

I’ll be sad to see you go. Mostly because October is the perfect month and November is only here to tease me with it’s cold New England days. No snow yet though so I shouldn’t be complaining.

I also had an awesome month of books!

I’m currently at 87/100 for my yearly goal. Which for you non-math nerds that means only 13 books to go and with 2 months before the New Year, I think I can do it.

So last month I told you I forayed into the world of audio books and wasn’t much of  a fan because it took me seven thousand years to finish a book. I guess since I only listened while working-out that makes me a pretty lazy person, but I swear while I was listening to the book I went to the gym an hour every morning!! I wanted to finish the dadgum book! I had to “check” it out three times for 2 weeks before it was done though, whoops.

What I Read October

 

This month I decided to skip the audio and try the kindle check out. Again, if you didn’t know this was a thing it’s awesome. You can check out ebooks from your library. I happen to have the kindle app on my ipad so thats the version I download. But once you’re done reading, simply delete from your device and it “sends” it back? At least that’s how my tiny brain understands it.

Another good thing about going the ebook checkout route is that you can be a bit more choosey in your picks. My library is large but it seems like all the books I’m looking for are always checked out! And ain’t nobody got time to be put on the waiting list. Actually I have no idea if there even is a waiting list, that just seems like a very library thing to do. With the ebooks though there’s a really easy waiting list, if you even need it. Plus once your number comes up, it’s automatically downloaded to your device…sups easy ya know.

So let’s get to the books!

WHAT I READ: OCTOBER

Insatiable by Meg Cabot 4 stars. I can’t help it, I love vampire books. And yes I did enjoy the Twilight series #TeamEdward. More than that though, I enjoy the element of fantasy that they bring. My head is in the clouds half the time anyway, so why not let it fly while I’m reading. Of course it was a little ironic that the main character hates the idea of vampires and the women that fall for them in stories, but once she finds out vampires do exist falls in love with one. I won’t ruin the ending though. If you like vampires, you’ll love this book. Hint, there’s  a war between vampire factions.

The Memory Thief by Emily Colin 5 stars. Love this book. It’s a crazy plot but perhaps more believable than the vampires. It was such a sweet story of love, but I gotta say I was team best friend guy the entire time. But to each their own I suppose. It’s the story of a guy who dies and his memories end up in some other guy who now feels the compulsion to find dead guys family. Make sense? It’s actually kinda creepy when I say it that way. More murder thriller than lvoe story, but I swear it comes across like an epic love not a newbie serial killer.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio 5 stars. Am I the last person on Earth to read this? I’m pretty sure I’m the only one to read it and not cry. I certainly felt all the feels, but cry? Sadly my stone cold heart couldn’t manage even a tear. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, or maybe I just didn’t feel a connection to the characters like everyone else. Either way it’s still a cute story with some sad parts. I think the author did a great job of showing all different emotions from all the characters and how complex the issue can really be for everyone involved. Also I love any book that writes from various points of view. Check it out.

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Hate List by Jennifer Brown 5 stars. Ok this may seem like a twisted opinion, but just like any Jodi Picoult book (think The Pact, Nineteen Minutes) it’s a story that will make you think. It does involve a school shooting so if that’s not something you’re comfortable in reading about I suggest you skip it. However if you like books that deeply examine the psyche of humans put through horrendous circumstances then you should pick it up. It’s one of those, there’s more to it then originally shows kinda books.

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick 2 stars. Maybe because I’ve never wanted to be alone or because I know how to be in a relationship without losing my own identity, or it could be because the author has a habit of adding in all the words making her sentences really, really long (kinda like this one). No matter the reason, this was a struggle to get through. I wanted to like it. I just didn’t. I’d avoid if I were you.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 5 stars! I have been waiting to read this book every since I read Gone Girl forever ago. I like deep and twisty novels because I can never guess what’s coming next and usually can’t relate. In case you missed it, that was my subtle way of saying my soul is all rainbows and sunshine. 😉 But my golden angel status aside, this was such a good read I immediately started reading Dark Places as well. I didn’t finish this month though so you’ll havtea wait until next month to read about it. Sorry!

So those were my October reads. All ebooks which is so crazy to me as I even write this sentence.

Read anything good lately?

Let me know in the comments below!

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What I Read: September

Hello Friends!

I’m back with more books than the past like 3 months combined almost. It was a nice return to books and I’m now sitting pretty at 78/100 for my yearly goal with 3 months left to go. I’d say unless something drastic happens, like me actually getting a FT job, I’ll easily make it. If you couldn’t detect the sarcasm in my voice just then I’ll come right out and say I’d much rather get a job than meet my 100 book goal.

Alright let’s get to the books.

Hint, the following list is more of a don’t-bother list then an actual book recommendation list. September was a bust with a few bright spots in the book realm. Actually, that’s a pretty accurate metaphor for my job search….ok I’ll stop, here’s the books.

Books I read September

Books

I Am having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum 3-4 stars. I couldn’t decide on how many stars to give this book. On one hand it was a good story about a man who cheated on his wife, then realizes what a mistake he’s made and tries to win her back. On the other hand it had some serious political undertones (slightly anti-American vibes) and that’s just not my jam. Good read if the political agenda was left out of it.

The Perfect Witness by Iris Johansen 4 stars. This story really had me hooked even if it was slightly hard to understand the inception level mind work that the main characters could do. However, beware, the dialogue leaves something to be desired. The main female character’s response to everything is literally “bullsh*t.” Examples, “How are you?” “Bullsh*t, you don’t really care!” or “I’m hungry” “Bullsh*t, you aren’t!” A little over dramatic and reaching for substance, but the plot keeps it moving.

Last Orphans by N. W. Harris (meh) 3 stars. The fact that the book opens with very graphic deaths of all the adults in the world, I suggest not reading this one unless the detailed demise by killer bees won’t bother you. It was a good story in theory, but when the answer to the problem is a top secret government cover up that is conveniently located just a few short miles from where the main character lives? You lose a few stars for lack of creativity.

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand. 5 stars! Of course I love her books so this is no surprise here. I also love reading about weddings, always have, always will. I’m that girl that cries at weddings, watching weddings, thinking about weddings, and reading about weddings. I love love and that’s that.

You Should Have Known by 3 meh stars. I kept waiting for the the action to begin. Like where was the scandal? Where was the action? Where was the conclusion? Unless you want to be bored to death with the occasional glimpse of brilliant writing. I say skip it.

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson 3 stars. Again, I picked a book that just didn’t seem to quite get going. I just couldn’t relate to the main character and she had the weirdest back story with her high school boyfriend that it really made no sense how she ended up with her husband (who did she ever really like?) I guess that’s the point of the story, but then the author slipped in some under-cover FBI something or other story line that was just out of place.

The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai 4 stars.  This book drew me in instantly and had me going all weekend long to finish it. I love the reverse time hop and seeing the connections back generations. I also love history and thinking about the stories behind buildings, locations, geography, etc. It was a bit helter-skelter on the relationships between characters. For example, there was a husband-wife combo that seemed to have zero communication which was a bit odd in the story-telling aspect, but a great book.

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls 2 stars. Ok if this book got published, then so could I. It had good bones, but the author couldn’t quite string them together. The apex of the story happened in a very anti-climatic manner and then just kind of kept going and ended in the strangest way…..If I didn’t feel compelled to finish a book I start, I would have put this one down. I recommend not even picking it up.

The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons 4 stars. Cute story, quirky characters, one was a Kentucky student (go Wildcats), predictable ending. A good palate cleanser. I think it only took me two days to finish it.

Tempting Fate by Jane Green

Audiobooks

Here’s where I ventured into audiobooksSeveral people have told me they listen as they exercise or commute so I figured I’d give it a try. (ps. I used OverDrive and checked audiobooks out of my library) It seriously took me all month to finish this book which blows my mind. I can read a book in a week but listening to it takes 4. Either I gotta step up my workout game to over an hour a day or put it on other than exercising because I kept forgetting the storyline it took so dang long lol

Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline 5 stars. The voice, yeesh. But other than that definitely a book to add to your list if you like thrillers and or books about sociopaths!

So besides a pair of winners, I had horrible luck picking books this month. Although my picks gave me some great hope that pretty much anyone can get a book published. Sorry authors :/

What have you been reading lately?

Leave me some recommendations in the comments!

 

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Bookish Side of Life: August

We made it through the summer!

I don’t know about you, but I drastically cut down on my screen time so I feel very accomplished. I managed to read 19/20 books for my summer goal (I know, 1 short how lame right?), but I still can’t believe that I’ve read 69/100 books for the year.

I realize how lame it is to host a challenge and come up 1 short. I blame my crazy work hours over the summer, but I still managed to read 19 books while working 60 hour weeks so I’m not too upset about that. PLUS! I drastically cut down on my screen time with what little free-time I had so summer challenge accomplished!

I also wanted to thank everyone who stayed with me all summer. I had some grand dreams about this link-up and the reaches it could make before my job took over my life and I felt like I was merely treading blog-water and just keeping my head above water. I can’t say what the Fall will bring, but I am excited to make a few renovations around here.

But enough about my delusions, let’s get to the books!

What I Read August

Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet 2 stars. The fact that this book is about Mermaids I gave it 2 stars because how cool would that be! But unless you enjoy reading conscious streams of thought then this book isn’t for you. It actually felt like three separate books all narrated by the same ADD mind of the main character Deb…..I was happy to be done with it.

Tomorrow and Tomorow by Thomas Sweterlitsch 3 stars. Really good concept, but I had a hard time following it. With any book set in the future, the author can take lots of liberties with how that world looks and functions. This one was kind of hard to understand for me though. Part Inception, part Mind F. If you can follow along though you’ll be rewarded with a deep sinister plot if that’s your thang.

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran 5 stars. I’m a huge fan of anything within the realm of possible and since this is based off a true story, obviously it’s possible. I also went through a phase when I was younger when all I read was Native captures stories. I think it always amazes me what the strength of will can get people through. Also, I imagine what I would have done in that situation and would I have survived it myself. And older book, but definitely a great read!

The Promised World by Lida Tucker 5 stars. BEST book I’ve read this month by far! It kept me guessing the entire time, trying to figure out the dark secret from her past. I will admit the ending was a bit, “Done, then end” with not quite the resolution I would have wanted, but that hardly took away from the great writing throughout. Highly recommend if you like drama with a reveal.

Now it’s time for you to link-up below! Give me all the brutally honest reviews!

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Bookish Side of Life: July

Whew, we ‘ve now made it two whole months putting reading above electronics. Unless you’ve been reading electronically, but it still counts. 😉

This month my numbers are slightly down. Partly due to my intense work hours and partly due to picking some heavier tomes. Nevertheless, my numbers for the Bookish Side of Life Summer Book Challenge are now sitting at 14/20 and my yearly goal is 64/100

What I Read July

If I Stay by Gayle Foreman 3 stars. Being completely honest, I picked up this book because there were a ga-jillion (actual number) copies of this book at my library and I knew there’s a movie and I was swayed. It was ok. Real potential with the point of view, but the story wasn’t all that original besides that. Good read though, just nothing spectacular.

World War Z by Max Brooks 5 stars! I hate zombies and everything related to zombies whether it be movies, shows, or books. NO thank you. I have nightmares from just reading about them, no joke. It’s just gross. This book however, focused on how the world would actually respond to a zombie crisis and very little on the actual chomping of faces by the zombies. If you remember I love fake history books, and this one did not disappoint. Read it, just don’t watch the movie….shudder…..

Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter 2 stars. This is a best seller but I’m not entirely sure why….Who comes up with the criteria? It’s a total chicken and egg scenario in my opinion. Someones tells me it’s a best seller so I read it and supposedly it becomes a best seller because people are reading it? Total sham with this book. If you like reading about really depressing characters in a really disgusting and grody type of way then this book is for you. If you don’t enjoy the feeling of finishing a book and wanting to take a shower, then I’d steer clear.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by 4 stars. I don’t remember who recommended this book to me but I’m really glad I listened. It’s a cute story that’s an easy read. You also know it’s a good book when the very first page pulls you in and you finish it in a day. Granted that day was a Sunday and I was worn out from the day before so I spent all day reading, but still. Cute read, I recommend it.

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner 4 stars. After attempting to read All The Light We Cannot See (and not finishing it) I needed something light and breezy. I really enjoyed Weiner’s last book I read so thought this would be a good read, and it was. Easy to read with characters that keep you entertained, it was the perfect palate cleanser. The teenage daughter frustrated you like any adolescent would, and the Mom was over sensitive in that relatable yet infuriating way that keeps you reading. Also, it makes me want to write a book. Go read it to find out why.

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Bookish Side of Life: June

Welcome to the first link-up/check-in/report for my Summer Book Challenge the Bookish Side of Life. Make sure to grab the button in my sidebar and link up your book report posts at the end of the post!

After June, my count is 7/20 for my summer goal, and 57/100 for my yearly goal. Pretty stoked I actually got that much reading done. Netflix was only turned on Maaaaaaybe once a day and that was usually on in the background as I did my freelance work. I never was solely focused on Netflix though which I count as a victory!

Books I Read June

What I Read:

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham 1 star. Am I the only one to not get this book? I’ve always been a fan if somewhat uncomfortable with her work, but after reading this book I’m seriously questioning that fandom. More power to her for doing her thing, but through her stories I came away with a sense of annoyance and felt like she was whining and creating most of her own problems….also she was one headache of a child. Props to her even though I didn’t enjoy her book.

The World of Ice & Fire by George R. R. Martin A Billion stars!! I’ve taken my nerdom to new levels by reading not only a history textbook, but a history textbook about a completely fictional world. No shame though, I was entranced by this book from start to finish. I should mention history has always been one of my favorite subjects and whether fictional or not, I enjoy the subterfuge of royal families and seeing how rivalries and dynasties transform and develop over generations. If you’re a fan of the books, you’ll love this text which gives tons of context to current characters and explains their actions centuries in the making.

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner 4 stars. I can’t say I relate to the whole addiction thing. Except sugar, but that’s not really the same I guess. Anyway, I found this book really intriguing with how a person can change so quickly from something that seems so easy and simple. A Doctor’s prescription. It’ll suck you in until the end.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng 4 stars. So good! It really made me think about how so many people can only know a few parts of our lives and it’s rare that someone knows all of it. Secrets and hidden selves. Go get this book now.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett 5 stars. This is actually a re-read, I know. I haven’t had a single minute to get to the library so I started reading one of my favorite books again. 5 stars is too little.

Gray Mountain by John Grisham 3 stars. John Grisham my favorite author, what happened with this book? No seriously, what actually happened in this book? A whole lotta nothing. There were lawyers, big cases, bad guys, and the little guy, but no conclusion. Say what now? That’s J.G.’s whole schtick! Also, call me sexist if you want, but he’s always had male protagonists and this time he had a female leading the legal charge and it left me feelin weird. She consisted of trying to avoid the main conflict, pining for New York, and wanting to sleep with both male characters introduced…..not cool bro. There’s more to women than that. Call me what you want, but I just really think he’s better at writing male characters and his female one was kind of offensive anyway. Breaks my heart to say it, but Grisham my friend, you need to go back to the drawing board on this one.

Last Single Woman in America by Cindy Guidry 2 stars. This reminded me a lot of the Blogess’s book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Very rambly and not connected in the slightest, crazy strings of thoughts. I slogged through the mind of Jenny, but couldn’t quite get my brain to focus through Cindy’s. Just not my thing, but I will admit she is very witty and good with words. Check it out if you like rando.

So there ya have it. My reads for June! It’s quite a bit less than both my May and April book count, but working 70 hour weeks really cuts into my reading time unfortunately, whomp whomp.

Now be sure to grab the button and linkup below so I can get more books to add to my Goodreads list! (P.s. want to receive an email reminder before next month’s linkup? Just click here and enter your email. I promise that’s the only thing I’ll use it for, scout’s honor!)

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Books I Read: May

Happy Moving Day Friends!

JB flew into town yesterday and he’s helping me pack on up and head on out today. As you’re reading this we’re probably on 75 towards Knoxville. Whoo!! Next stop Boston!

As you can see from the title, today is all about the books. And y’all…..I’ve now read 49/100 for my 2015 goal……(be sure to check out my summer book challenge as well!)

My social life is doin well, thank you for asking 😉

But seriously, most of May was spent only working a few days a week so I had plenty of lazy days spent in my giant chair by the window losing the hours in a good book, wandering the various hiking trails near town, and lounging my days away. I live a charmed life.

Also in case you missed it, click here (LINK) to check out my reading challenge for you this summer!

Books Read May

So I decided to do another book recap. I really will read just about anything, I think I’ve mentioned my annoying habit of finishing any book I start whether it’s good or not. For that reason, perhaps I can spare you that same annoyance. Unless of course I’m the only one with that weird OCD tendency, in which case you can still skip the boring ones.

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout. 5 stars. I was still on my memoir kick from the end of April, so this was my first book of May (following the Elizabeth Smart book. Note: poor writing made for a painful read despite already knowing the story well.) Anyway, as a self-proclaimed non-foreign wanderluster, I love reading about other’s exotic escapades and adventures. Of course Amanda’s had a very tragic event happen, but her spirit inspired me and I devoured the book quickly. A must read!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 4 stars. It’s a YA book and a quick read (which is why I only gave 4 stars) but I guarantee you won’t guess the ending.

The Stranger On The Train by Abbie Taylor 4 stars. I nabbed this book because I have yet to be able to find Girl On A Train that everyone is talking about so much. Girl, stranger, they’re on a train. Anyway, it kept me guessing, but I honestly had hoped for more of a twist or more suspense. Still a good read though if puzzle-solving is your cuppa.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 5 stars. I knew I was gonna like this book, because I’ve liked all her other ones. If you like quirky characters, different points of view, and never getting the full picture until the end, then this book if for you. Seriously, the entire structure of this book had me guessin until the very end. Who dies, who killed them, why are the most beautiful ladies always the ones most damaged? These are the questions we must ask ourselves….

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones 5 stars. Dear Hollywood, please make this into a movie like yesterday. Holy Fast-paced Thriller Batman! This has history, time jumps, mystery, nobility, murder, torture (yeesh), OCD, and a little girl named Leah…..go put this book in your hands now.

[Tweet “Book reviews for the book lover #bookwormlife”]

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 4 stars. I saw this recommended on Lauren Conrad’s website I think. I take any suggestion from her as gospel so added it to my list. I scored big at the Knoxville library and found several of my YA picks. This was a quick read and was cute. I gave it 4 stars for the cuteness alone. (also I’m beginning to think I’ve a pretty lenient critic.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson 4 stars. As  the one who IS the more reserved one in the friend duo, this book spoke to my soul. I also love how my friend’s challenge me and push me outside my comfort zone to really live. Also, lists…..It’s a YA book so again I couldn’t give it 5 stars just on principle. Sorry if that makes you mad.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica 3 stars. Obviously I’m a sucker for books that write from more than one point of view and this one certainly delivers. It gives everyone’s thoughts and feelings besides the girl who was actually kidnapped. Even her kidnapper gets a voice, say what? And despite the ending having a good “you’ll never guess it” twist, it just didn’t have me raving about it to anyone, so 3 stars…

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver 5 stars. Go get this and read it now. Big twist, feuding sister’s, teenage love, tragic accident. If this isn’t made into a movie sometime soon I’d be surprised. It’s got everything you want in a drama. I also can usually eventually guess the endings of most books, so the ones that literally make me stop reading, look up, and say what are keepers!

I ended up reading another ——- books this month as well, but we’ve already established from last month’s recap, y’all think I have no life so I capped it at 9. My favorite number, don’t steal it!

Now give me more recs to add to my list, yo!

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Bookish Side of Life Challenge and Linkup

I’ve made it no secret that I love reading. I read books like normal people breath. Physical impossibility aside, I really do read more than the average bookworm. Last semester of grad school with no classes really frees up lots of time…..

I’ve already mentioned my goal to read 100 books in 2015. A daunting task of about 2 books a week. So far so good. However, with Summer weather upon us, the call to spend all my time outdoors is a strong one. I shall not fight that pull. I will give in to it and bask in it’s infinite wisdom.

Here’s where the tricky part comes in then. When I am inside once the Sun goes down, I need to read, not watch Netflix. I challenged myself back in April to read instead of Netflix and I ended up ahead of my goal! That’s really a sad statement of how much Netflix I watched while in school my last semester so feel free to judge me, I don’t mind, I have a Master’s degree now.

How I need your help and where this challenge and link up comes into play.

Introducing the Bookish Side of Life challenge.

Bookish Side of life

I challenge you to set a goal of books this summer. June, July, and August. Three months of putting books before technology. Mine is 20, but I’m a crazy person. Choose something realistic for you and your own crazy person tendencies.

At the end of every month (June, July, August), we’ll all linkup! You can do a book review, talk about your experience thus far, or just linkup whatever you have scheduled for that day simply because you’re reading and we’re friends.

[Tweet “Lookin for a fun summer book challenge? Look for further! #BookishSideofLife”]

You can also use the hashtag #BookishSideofLife on all social media as a way to interact and encourage each other.  I am under no illusion that this will garner thousands of hashtag uses, because it’s not really an instagram challenge or anything, just a fun way to connect and possibly trend (kidding)

You should grab the button anyway 🙂

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life

Also if you’d like to receive an email reminding you each month to linkup (I promise that’s the only thing I’ll email you about) then just add your email to this form below.

Alright, now my fellow bookworms, I wanna hear your goal for the Summer?

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