What I Read…

Before I get in to what I read, I have a huge book-related THANK YOU to say to Alexandra, Olya, Stephanie, and Amber. My super sweet blogger pen pals friends sent baby & me some bookish goodies and they are TOO perfect not to share.

Everything is so ME (and, I hope, so HER)! I am so in love with all these items. Thank you, ladies ♥ I returned home from a business trip to this package and I think it’s made my entire week. You girls are so sweet and I’m so glad we’re friends!

I had another low number reading month. My brain and body are so damn tired in the summer (mostly from work) and this year is no different- possible a little more intense (mostly from growing a human). That said, I finished up 2 books (and they were both 4 stars so silver lining, I guess!).

Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!

Columbine by Dave Cullen
★★★★/5; Nonfiction, True Crime
Never in my life would I have picked up this book on my own. Frankly, I avoid death and terror when it comes to entertainment- there’s enough in real life. But I don’t regret reading this book for a second. Cullen did his research and unturned every stone to expose the shooters & the kids, teachers, and parents affected & the law enforcement protocol that happened at Columbine before the shooting, during the attack, and years afterward. He also wasn’t too graphic, which I appreciated. Obviously this book can be triggering and he doesn’t shy away from the havoc inflicted by Harris and Klebold, but he does everything (as) tastefully (as possible when talking about children being killed).
Honestly, I  don’t remember Columbine. I have a vivid memory of 9/11 just two and half years later, though. I would’ve been 8 when Columbine happened and I’m guessing my parents worked hard to shield me from it. (My husband, who is older than me, said he remembers.) The only thing I do remember was the circulating question, “If someone put a gun to your head and asked if you believed in God, would you say yes?” Turns out, that story wasn’t entirely correct anyway.
Read it? Yes. It was a difficult read, but it shines a well-researched light on psychopaths and the building blocks of violent disaster.
*I read this for Influenced the Podcast’s book club

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
★★★★/5; Fantasy
I saw this rec on Alexandra’s blog and I am SO glad I did. I devoured this book. I’ve always loved fantasy but it’s been a while since I picked up a book from this genre. Harper, Rhen, and Grey were SO incredibly likable and relatable while still being flawed and complicated. The love story, the good vs evil story, and the pulling ones self up from failure story were all so well done and engaging. I hated the bad guys, loved the good guys, and laughed outloud at the snark. Two things bothered me, thus the four stars. First of all, it almost felt like there was a forced love triangle between three characters. I didn’t see that; I only saw a friendship between two of them. (Highlight that if you want to- not a true spoiler but kind of.) Secondly, the ending (epilogue) was odd. I know it’s a precursor for the next book in the series- which comes out in January, UGH-, but it felt just a little out of character.
Read it? If YA fantasy is your thing, YES.

I’m not doing great with Erin’s Challenge but that’s because I had a bunch of books to finish up before I would let myself begin…

| 5 points| Freebie: Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
| 10 points | Starts with “F”: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
| 10 points | With rain(s), thunder, lightning, or monsoon in the title: The Lightening Thiefby Rick Riordan
| 15 points | With a picture of a building: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
| 20 points | The author uses an initial in name: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
| 20 points | An article of clothing/accessory in the title: The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie
| 25 points | A book set in India: The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
| 30 points | Has won/been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
| 30 points | About a human with superpowers/supernatural powers: Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
| 35 points | Has the same title as a book of a different genre: Soulless by Gail Carriger

I’m reading to launch into these now so we’ll see how many I can get through!

A few weeks ago members of my family that read my blog asked how I pronounce the title of this reoccurring series: “What I Red” or “What I Reed”? I have always said it in my head as “red” but now I’m curious. How do you interpret my title each month? Lol

32 thoughts on “What I Read…

  1. Love the baby gifts!! I was in high school when Columbine happened and I don’t remember hearing about it either. Weird. If I don’t usually read fantasy, I wonder if I’d like A Curse So Dark and Lonely. I am doing Erin’s challenge too, with two books to go!


    • I was so shocked and touched by their thoughtfulness ❤ A Curse… was definitely fantasy but it didn't go into chapter after chapter of world building or explaining. It was a very smooth read and super easy to get into. Way to go!!


  2. I agree with what you said about Columbine, hard to read but very well written. I love those gifts for baby girl- so, so sweet! Bella has the same Nutcracker book 🙂 have a good week!


    • I don’t think I struggled *too* much with Columbine because I don’t remember it in real time. The descriptive stuff (Dave Sanders’ death, the shooters’ suicides) were definitely tough to read, though. I LOVE the Alice in Wonderland one! Such cute gifts from those gals!


  3. Funny – I got Alexandra’s recommend of that book too & put it on my wish list!
    Look at all the HP baby stuff!!! Perfect for that little wizard of yours


  4. Aah, those gifts are the CUTEST! So perfect for you ❤

    I was 16 when Columbine happened and I honestly don't know whether I remember hearing about the actual event or remember it because of the many, many times I've heard it mentioned over the years. I mean, it obviously would have been in the news in the UK but I have no memory of when I first heard about it.

    I interpret it as "red", probably because I'm influenced by my own post, which is very definitely "red" since I put the month after it.


    • I agree completely! (And thank you, again, for your sweet package!)
      I can’t imagine what the rest of the world thought about Columbine. Sheesh, at this rate our gun laws and gun violence are STILL atrocious to the rest of the world, I’m sure.
      I thought it was obviously “red” but I guess it could go either way! Lol


  5. Oooh I wanna read Columbine as well. Im not doing great with the challenge either. In the last challenge I had completed already. Ive only read 4 this time. But Im going to try to finish this month.


  6. I have heard so many people state how good the reporting and storytelling in Columbine is that I’m going to have to read it; I’ve heard the same feedback about his book Parkland too. I do vividly remember Columbine even though I was in fourth grade. What precious baby gifts – hoping your daughter shares your love of storytelling and reading!


    • I “enjoyed” Columbine but I don’t think I’ll go on to read Parkland. First of all, it was so recent I just don’t know that I could handle it. Secondly, so much info came out years and years later about Columbine. I kind of wonder if he jumped the gun on writing about Parkland. I might be totally off base, though.

      Thank you! Me too!


  7. aw that gift is so cute! love it! glad you liked the curse book, i loved it! i agree about the epilogue – in my opinion, epilogues should never be about other characters. they aren’t epilogues then!! i haven’t finished a single book for Erin’s challenge. oops!


    • I agree completely!
      And YES- the epilogue totally threw off that character for me. I was already on board with a sequel. I didn’t need that weird out-of-character story.
      We’re in the same boat. LOL


  8. I say what I “red” because it’s past tense; you already read the books. I’ve owned Columbine for years (maybe even around the time it came out, I don’t know…) and I STILL need to read it. I really should check that out, especially since he has now released the book Parkland. I’m sure it’ll make me sad and angry, but I’m also curious about the stories behind the events, you know? I don’t remember Columbine either…though I remember 9/11 clearly.

    And omg, I love all those little bookish gifts for your little one! So so cute. I got one of those Snuggle This Muggle onesies for a friend’s little girl last year. 🙂



    • Yeah, I figured “red” was the typical pronunciation. Lol
      I don’t remember Columbine making me mad… but I felt a lot of emotions so “mad” could’ve been one of them. It’s just nuts how everything fell into place for the killers to have their opportunity… BUT so much went wrong for them which saved hundred of lives. It was certainly interesting.
      SUCH cute gifts! I can’t thank those girls enough!


    • Honestly, it wasn’t as tough to read as I thought it’d be. The author doesn’t smack you in the face with all the killing and violence. That said, it IS about kids killing kids and it’s not a happy go lucky story. It’s a lot to stomach.


  9. I’m slowly getting back onto the reading train… Columbine sounds really good, though I’m not sure I’m ready to read a book like that right now. I do remember Columbine very well as I was watching TV at the time when it happened and ofc that is all that the networks were covering. 😦 Its hard to stomach that it would be one of many shootings.


  10. Those baby gifts are SO CUTE! Love them! I am also during terrible on Erin’s challegen – just finished the first one today (Ask Again Yes) for the same reason! I had too many others to get to first! I’ve always pronounced it “red” in my head LOL


  11. Those baby gifts are perfect! I love the I Solemnly Swear That I’m Up to No Good onesie. Freaking adorable. A Curse so Dark and Lonely is on my TBR. I read your spoiler and it doesn’t make me happy. I’m not a fan of that kind of trope, especially since so often what you’re complaining about is obvious to readers. Still gonna read it though and it’s better that I know about this in advance so it doesn’t annoy me so much! I was 24 when Columbine happened (I think) and I definitely remember it very vividly. It hurts my heart so much that 20 years later this is still an ongoing problem.


  12. I was a senior in college when Columbine happened and watching it on the news is burned into my brain. It was horrific then, it’s horrific now, even amidst all the other mass shootings, and it’s not even the worst one anymore, which is just another layer of awful. I know I need to read this book.


    • I remember so much about 9/11 and nothing about Columbine. Our school definitely didn’t show it on TV and my parents never said anything about it to me. But the whole “Would you admit you were a Christian thing?” stands out to me so much.


  13. Those books are TOO cute for mini-Audie Lou!! I’ve downloaded A Curse So Dark and Lonely – I’m so intrigued (and still very impressed by the spoiler/highlight thing!)


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