Books

What I Read…

Apparently the reading bug bit me because I’ve been picking up and finishing books like crazy. And today I’m linking up with the fabulous Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books! to share them all with you!

(Happy 11th Birthday to my sweet little cousin Andria!)

I actually read these first two before the last SUYB link-up, but I was afraid I’d get burnt out in June and have nothing for today so I saved them. Plus, I had FIVE in May and that was crazy for me so I decided to hold off on more reviews. Who knew I’d end up with six this month.

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
★★★★/5
A collection of historically amusing and literature-rich comics.
Sometimes it’s nice to break up the novels and nonfictions with a few humorous and witty comics. I loved the ones about the suffragettes and anything with the Tudors. Occasionally she’ll draw short comics purely based off book covers- those are pretty funny. The Austen sisters comics had me laughing out loud, too. Beaton is a well-studied historian with a feminist flair and a snarky sense of humor. I think we’d get along nicely.
Should you read it? If you like history and classic literature then you’d probably find this collection extremely amusing.

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
★★★★/5
Ella’s life is the perfect rags-to-riches fairy tale. A prince, a castle, a kingdom with servants- what more could a girl want?
This was a fun, quick read about Cinders-Ella’s real story. A.k.a. the one where she’s a witty and brilliant girl who gets sucked into one enslavement after another. I liked the twist on this classic tale. I liked that Ella was smart and strong and resilient. I know I’d have enjoyed this book a lot more when I was younger, but it wasn’t a bad read as an adult.
Should you read it? Maybe. It’s a good empowerment fairy tale for young teens.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
★★★★★/5
A criminal twist on The Breakfast Club: Five students walk into detention, four walk out alive. Who done it? And why? What are these four students hiding?
I loved this book. The title and cover alone absolutely hooked me. I was ready to end up hating one or all the teenagers- none of them were perfect and they most definitely had secrets. Nothing was how it seemed, though, and McManus managed to weave in some diversity while shattering stereotypes and growing her characters into well-rounded and self-aware young adults. I knew my heart would break when someone was outed as a murderer. I had my guesses about what really happened in the detention classroom, but I didn’t guess everything and I was never 100% confident. I really enjoyed the suspense and twists and overall outcome. It took me no time at all to read this book and I was always itching to pick it back up!
Should you read it? Yep. I don’t usually read suspense, YA, or contemporary. And I loved it.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
★★★★★/5
A short speech about feminist from an award-winning author & Happy African feminist.
I was told by many folks in Blogworld that this was a must read. They were all completely and totally correct. It’s short and it will take you a half hour at most. It will make you questions why girls feel the need to be likable (and therefore diminish themselves and their “aggressive” behaviors in society & business). It will draw comparisons between masculinity and money for males. (I’d honestly never thoughts about that.) It will force you to notice the societal stigma surrounding unwed women (cats, spinster, failure) and unwed men (bachelor, hasn’t picked one yet). It’ll piss you off. A few weeks ago someone was talking with K and made a joke about me spending his money. Not OUR money- his money. K tried to counter and slip in there that I sign the checks, but it didn’t matter. WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS, friends.
Should you read it? You betcha.

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins
★★★/5 
With dreams of opening her own restaurant in California, Eddy is on her way west to make it a reality. When tragedy leaves her stranded and weak in the desert she must rely on the kindness of strangers, including the handsome Rhine Fontaine, to help her get back on her feet.
Ho hum… trying my luck with another romance novel. This one was entertaining enough. I think I found it for free through the Book Bub emails & there were a handful of grammatical errors, but I can get past that. Eddy is the daughter of freed slaves and Rhine IS a freed slave passing as a white man (his father was the plantation owner). The divide and attitude between White Republicans and Black Republicans in the town of Virginia City was a big part of the story. I mostly enjoyed the flirting between Eddy and Rhine but the whole ending seemed kind of rushed. I also think a few things that the characters did might not have gone over so well in real life. But it’s a story so take it for what it’s worth.
Also, there are A LOT of romance novels entitled “Forbidden.” Lol
Should you read it? Probably not unless old west romances are your *thing*.

A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood
★★★★/5
A collection of fifteen short historical fiction stories featuring badass girls through America’s decades.
I don’t read a lot of short stories. I don’t dislike them, they just don’t usually cross my path. I liked the option of putting down the book and feeling complete after only reading 20 pages or so. As far as these stories go, I really really really loved them. They’ve all stuck with me in some way or another. Stories about bank robbers and protesters and pirates and more. Some girls lived to the end and some didn’t. Some girls pretended to be boys and some were incredibly feminine. It was a wonderful mix. One of my favorite authors, Marissa Meyer, contributed a story to the mix. The stories occurred between 1710 and 1968 and were all historical fiction, some even a bit fantasy. My favorite ones were Los DestinosPearlsGold in the Roots of the GrassThe Color of the SkyPulse of the Panthers, and The Whole World is Watching. I tried to whittle that list down. I couldn’t.
Should you read it? YES.

Erin’s 9.0 Book Challenge started this month, too.

|5 points| Freebie: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
|10 points| Starts with the letter N: Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen
|10 points| Has a mostly orange color: A Tyranny of Petticoats by various authors
|15 points| A book with an unlikable character: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| From 100 books PBS calls “The Great American Read”HP & the Prisoner of Azkaban (illustrated version) by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Related to water in the title: On A Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell
|25 points| Owned/TBR the longest (GoodReads): The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
|30 points| An emotion word in the title: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
|30 points| Each word in the title begins with the same letter: After Alice by Gregory Maguire
|35 points| A book featuring a character who shares your profession or similar one (i.e. does the same kind of thing as you do day to day): The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Kicking things off with 10 points.

What did you read this month? Do you tend to read more in the summer or winter? I thought I was a winter reader but these past two months have been great!

Thanks for hosting, Steph & Jana!

Link up with us, friends!

Life According to Steph

44 thoughts on “What I Read…”

    1. Hark A Vagrant was super cute and funny. It was a nice way to break up the steady stream of heavier or longer novels. I *thought* maybe it all went down as it revealed, but I doubted myself WAY too much to lay any claiming to having “figured it out.” Lol

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    1. Despite being about death, it was kind of fun and light and entertaining.
      Petticoats is a fun read. I like that each “chapter” is a story with some form of closure.

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  1. Isnt it funny how a reading bug actually exists 🙂 I’ll go through stages like that where I’m shocked how much I read in a month.
    one of us is lying seems to be making the rounds today 🙂

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  2. I just purchsed one of us is lying on my kindle and Im so excited to read that one as I go through a kindle read out. Glad you liked it. also, it seems to be on everyones list!

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  3. I read Hark! A Vagrant a few years or so ago? Not sure exactly, but it is a good one! I really need to read One of Us Is Lying – it’s been on my wish list since before it came out and I hear good things, so I’m pretty sure I’ll love it. I’m curious about A Tyranny of Petticoats; glad to hear you liked it.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  4. i am not a fan of short stories but that collection was one of my favourites as well. i think they have a couple and i’ve enjoyed them more than other short story collections. Just Ella sounds adorable so i might give it a go. you know romance is my jam but i’ll steer clear of that forbidden one.

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    1. I don’t read many short stories, but not for any reason. I really like Petticoats. I think I might look into the other books in that collection! Just Ella will be a quick read for you. Definitely safe to avoid Forbidden 😉

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    1. Giiiiiirl, I think you’ll really like both of them!! We Should All Be Feminists is an extremely quick read. I bet it’ll take you 30 minutes, 45 minutes tops.

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  5. Way to go on getting started on Erin’s challenge! I just picked up my first book today because I was wrapping up another book. Just Ella sounds so cute! I love a good retelling, especially a fairytale!

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  6. I’m halfway through One of Us is Lying and it’s killing me that I haven’t had as much time to read this week so far! I can’t wait to see what happens!

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  7. I didn’t realize We Should All Be Feminists was so short! I’d heard of it, but didn’t want to devote the time to reading a full length book on that topic ha. Now I’ll definitely pick it up!

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  8. I loved One of Us is Lying too! I’m currently reading On a Cold Dark Sea for Erin’s challenge! I really like it so far.

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    1. I think my patterns are changing. I used to read a lot more in the winter. This summer has been great for reading so far, though! Hoping I don’t lose momentum 😉

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  9. OMG Audrey I’ve actually read one on your list!! (Which is a big deal considering I always comment “those sound good, I’m a bad reader, etc. etc.”) I read Just Ella a while back and remember loving it 🙂

    I also love the idea of the historical fiction pro-women short stories! I’ll have to pick that one up!

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    1. Hahahaha! Nice!! I saw Alexandra from My Favorite Things gush over it and I didn’t borrow it from the library right away because I was SURE that I’d read it before. Turns out I hadn’t!

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  10. One of Us is Lying was a good one! I think I wanted it to be totally frivolous and fun, but it was kind of serious once you realize what actually happened. It was making an important statement about depression, but the overall tone of the book seemed more lighthearted, so it was hard to reconcile that. But I still enjoyed it!

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    1. Yeah… it was tough to see serious issues so intertwined in a “fun” book. It was hard to know how to feel about it. I really liked the story and all the characters, though. I was a fan of the end, too. For everyone involved 🙂

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