What I Read…

Happy Tuesday! This is my first Show Us Your Books link-up of the year. It’s hard for me to prioritize reading right now but I’m trying! I’m including my picks for Erin’s 12.0 Book Challenge, too. It started at the beginning of the year. I will most definitely not be getting to all the books I selected, lol. Linking up with Steph & Jana!

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
★★★★/5; Mystery
I can’t decide if this is a 3 or 4 star book. I’m settling on 3.5 and rounding up. There were moments that I really loved. But then there were parts I kind of hated- mainly the very end. Sigh. The concept is amazing. Even the mystery was cool to follow. I got lost a few times but I always found my way back. I also solved two of the twists before their reveal, but there were countless twists so it didn’t spoil the story at all. My biggest beef is with the story outside of Blackheath. It seems unfinished and convenient and strange. That said, the author worked HARD to weave this story together and that deserves serious kudos. It’s a cleverly written book and a beautifully woven plot. I’m looking forward to his next book.
Read it? Yes, if you like a good twisty mystery. Keep in mind there’s a mystical element.

Baby/Kid Books:

M and I read together & she asked me to share our favorites each month. Only the favorites so you don’t waste your time 😉

Be Kind, Be Brave, Be You by Charlies M. Schulz, Elizabeth Dennis Barton, Scott Jeralds (illustrator)

A is for Awesome!: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen, Derek Desierto (illustrator)
The amazing Steph bought this for M when I was pregnant! I love reading her this book. That said, I change the words “girl boss” to boss and “sheroes” to heroes. Also, we add “badass” to RBG’s description 😉

You’re My Little Sweet Pea by Kit Chase
This is such a cute read.

The Story of Rock by Nicola Edwards, Lindsey Sagar (illustrator)
This book cracks me up & I love that it’s a quick introduction to rock music. There’s a country, pop, and rap music one, too. We still need those 🙂

You can find M’s list of read books on Goodreads HERE.

And here are my selections for the Book Challenge by Erin 12.0

| 5 points | Freebie: Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
| 10 points | Starts with “I”: Impossible Dream by Gemma Jackson
| 10 points | Written by two+ authors: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
| 15 points | A  picture of a tree on the cover: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
| 20 points | One of the following words in the title: who, what, when, where, why: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
| 20 points | A book set in Africa: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
| 25 points | One of the words in the title: mother(s), sister(s), wife/wives, grandmother (or variation of), daughter(s), niece(s), aunt(s): Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
| 30 points| A book that has won an Edgar award: Long Way Down (Jason Reynolds)
| 30 points | A “locked room mystery”: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Stuart Turton)
| 35 points | A book from the 2018 Show Us Your Books favs: Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng) – Kristen‘s list

I love the prompts for Erin’s challenge this round. Are you participating?

What have you read so far this year?

What I Read… 2019 Recap

Another end of the year book recap. I love writing this post- probably because I like wrapping up the year and I like books, lol. I missed the monthly December post (#becausebaby), but I’m linking up with Jana and Steph for their Show Us Your Books yearly recap.

I really dragged on books this year. I set a goal of 40 and only ended up reading 28. Between work, being pregnant (& exhausted), and life… I just didn’t make a lot of time for reading. I’m sad about that, but that was 2019 in a nut shell. Oh well.

The past few years I’ve shared this survey from Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner.


Number Of Books You Read: 28
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: Romance



Best Book You Read In 2019? Jurassic Park by Michael Cricton

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. Really disliked this one.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. (I really enjoyed it- more than I thought I would!)

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? I strongly suggested the Saga series (I don’t know if people read it or not, though).

Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender of 2019? I started the Cursebreakers series (A Curse So Dark and Lonely) by Brigid Kemmerer & loved it. I also read both Jurassic Park books and enjoyed them.

 Favorite new author you discovered in 2019? Michael Crichton

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? The Whisper Man by Alex North (thriller).

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?

Most memorable character of 2019? Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park/The Lost World).

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019? Columbine by Dave Cullen

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019? 484 pages (A Curse So…) and 128 pages (Lumberjanes)

OTP OF THE YEAR: Either Alexia & Lord Maccon (Soulless) OR Rhen & Harper (A Curse So…).

Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously? Make Me Bad by R.S. Grey

Best Book You Read In 2019 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/ Etc.? The Whisper Man (book club pic from Influenced the Podcast)

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019? Grey (A Curse So…) or Ian (Jurassic Park/TLW).

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? Either Nevermoor or A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Gone Rogue: Wires & Nerve #2. It was so fun revisiting the Lunar Chronicles.

Hidden Gem Of The Year? Definitely the Jurassic Park novels; I loved them.

Book That Crushed Your Soul? The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

Most Unique Book You Read In 2019? Definitely the Saga series.

Book That Made You The Most Mad? Either A Man Called Ove or The Idea of You by Robinne Lee.

Here are my stats for 2019:

And that sums up my 2019 as far as reading goes… Definitely not my bet year, but we had a pretty crazy, stressful, overwhelming 365 days so I will take those 28 books, thankyouverymuch.

What did you read this year?

Life According to Steph

What I Read…

Happy Book Day! I had nothing to show last month but this one was a little better.

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

Ok. Here we go.

Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson, etc.
★★★/5; Young Adult, Graphic Novel
These little stories take 15-20 minutes to read so I figured I’d give volume 2 a shot. Unfortunately, I still didn’t love it. The main characters (including counselor Jen) are all fantastic and wonderful in their own way but I don’t love the dialogue or how the story comes together or really anything about the actually plot so…. I’m done with these. This second book tied up the story from the first book so it makes it pretty easy to walk away. I don’t know… the whole thing felt random and spontaneous, but not in a good way. Haha. Maybe a younger audience would enjoy these, but I think I’d have had a tough time following and getting hooked when I was younger, too.
Read it? I gave them a second chance & didn’t love it, so no.

The Whisper Man by Alex North
★★★★/5; Thriller
This was the October pick for Influenced the Podcast‘s book club. I definitely wouldn’t have picked this up on my own- thriller isn’t my choice genre. That said, this one was great. I liked the spooky element, I really liked that there wasn’t an unreliable narrator in charge the whole time, and I love that I figured very few things out before the reveal. My issue with thrillers/mysteries is that I try to figure out the bad guy the whole time. I did that with this one, but I was only right about one thing and it was after a major hint. Of course, I have a few issues… there was one or two dangling storylines. And it was super convenient that this town was the crux of everything. I was wrong about quite a few things and sad about certain resolutions, but I’ll go into detail in the comments with y’all individually if you want to get into it 😉
Read it? Given that I don’t read thrillers and I really enjoyed this one, yes. Go read it.

Soulless by Gail Carriger
★★★/5; Fantasy, Steampunk, Romance
Man… I really wanted to love this book and dive into this series. I didn’t dislike the book, but I don’t think I’m going to continue. I enjoyed Alexia & I really enjoyed Lord Maccon. I liked their tension and romance. I think it was the victorian/steampunk slowness that turned me off to this story. I don’t mind historical or proper romances but this one didn’t feel consistent. I really liked the secondary characters and the supernatural parts and the reveal of the bad guys but… I don’t know. The speed felt off and I never really connected to the story. I know some people really love this book/series so it could definitely be a me thing. Haha.
Read it? I know a lot of people enjoyed this one, but my vote is no.

Three books is definitely better than zero. And while none were five stars, I still enjoyed them enough. We’ll see what I pick up between now and the end of the year.

What did you read this month?

Life According to Steph

What I Read…

Today is Show Us Your Books Day with Steph and Jana, and I have nothing to show for it. Between travel and baby and losing Lylee and life, September was the biggest clustercuss of my existence. I’m glad that month is over and I appreciate October being a little gentler.

Happy Anniversary to the link-up!! I wish I was contributing more today!

We have a ton of baby stuff this month (breastfeeding class, birthing class, baby shower, maternity pictures). My birthday is this month. We’re also still adjusting to life as it is now. Will I get anything read this month? Only time will tell.

I’m going to say it one more time: thank you so much for all the love these past few weeks. The comments and messages and cards and small gifts have been overwhelming. You are all wonderful & I love you. We are healing & we are grateful.

And now I’m off to read about all the fantastic books y’all read these past few weeks.

Life According to Steph

What I Read…

Happy Book Day! 📚 Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!

I actually finished a few this month. Yay! Let’s get to it 😊

The Lost World by Michael Crichton
★★★★★/5; Science Fiction
I FINALLY FINISHED. My slow reading had nothing to do with the book and everything to do with my slump. I really enjoyed the second installment on dinosaurs island, lol. Man, the bad guys were SO hateable- including the raptors, lol. For being 400+ pages (and taking me five months to read), the plot moved quickly. I loved how strong and badass Sarah Harding was. And even the kids were helpful- not annoying like the ones in the first book. These stories definitely have a science-y feel to them, but it’s only a few paragraphs or pages and I actually found it very interesting. Of course, it’s all fiction, but I know my heart was racing during the chase scenes and high stakes moments. I haven’t seen these films, but I really love the books.
Read it? If you’re ok with the sci-fi aspect, yes.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
★★★/5; Contemporary Romance
First of all: Holy 🔥, Batman. This was a very steamy romance (and my first Tessa Bailey). I know I’m in the minority with my low rating but… I don’t know. They seemed hot for each other 24/7 and, call me cold, that seems unrealistic. Lol. I know K loves me but I know he doesn’t want to jump my bones every minute of every day. Haha. (Too far?) Anyway, that and the animalistic dirty talk from Travis was kind of… odd to me. Ha. The drama toward the end didn’t bother me and I think it fit in with everyone’s on going issues- and I loved how the 3 siblings issues kind of came together in the end- but the very end was a cheese fest to me. Again, maybe I’m just coldhearted. Ha. I wanted more from Rosie and Dom but I just saw there’s a new book featuring them out in January 2020! I will definitely read that; this wasn’t my last Tessa Bailey novel.
Read it? If you like steamy romance, then yes.

Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, etc.
★★★/5; Young Adult, Graphic Novel
This book has the ingredients for a badass female masterpiece. Lots of girl power and friendship (to the max!) and adventures… but it didn’t suck me in. I enjoyed the characters but the writing and story seemed ALL over the place. You’re dropped right into the middle of a wild adventure and I think it takes time for the reader to get a handle on what’s going on and who everyone is and what the heck is happening at the camp. (And honestly, you still never really find out- it’s a series, after all.) I put the next two volumes on hold at the library so I’m obviously interested enough to keep reading… plus it takes about 30 minutes to get through a book so it’s worth it.
Read it? Only if you love (very) young adult graphic novels… Otherwise it’s safe to skip.

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
★★★/5; Historical Fiction, Mystery
Ho-hum. I really wanted to fall in love with this story and this series. Kristen warned me a long long time ago that book-Phryne and TV-Phryne were two different people with different story lines, so that didn’t bother me much. I think I was just a *little* bored and it took some time for me to get into the story and the language was a little tough for me. (It’s an Australian story & author.) As of right now, I won’t be continuing with the series. Maybe if I’d have read the books before seeing the TV show I’d feel a little differently. It pains me to say this… but even if you skip the book you MUST watch the TV series. I love it!
Read it? Meh, maybe not. But watch the TV show. (My fingers burn just typing that!)

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand
My failure to finish had little to do with the quality of the book. This just isn’t my favorite genre and I’m already in a slump so I walked away before the guilt set in. Most people I’ve talked to about this book loved it!

An update on Erin’s 11.0 Challenge:
| 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

15 points is better than 0, I guess. I’m currently reading Soulless.

I’m also reading Bringing Up Bébé. It’s the only parenting book I’ve read so far. Lol

What did you read this month?

Life According to Steph