What I Read…

Happy Book Day 📚 And happy sixth anniversary to Jana and Steph! Thank you both for hosting this awesome link-up month after month. Our community of readers wouldn’t exist without you two and I definitely wouldn’t have read some of the amazing books I have without you guys!

WordPress changed their layout and, as it turns out, I am not good at learning new things. Especially when I’m only blogging once or twice a month… Grrrr.

Enough whining. On to the books I’ve read.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
★★★★★/5; Contemporary Romance
There was something cute and relatable about this story. I haven’t read many romances about married couples- especially married couples with children. While it was sweet and playful, there were also some deep moments when characters reflected on childhood trauma, loss of one’s identity, and unresolved anger or fear. Nothing was super depressing or uncomfortably deep, but I found the characters more relatable and likable because of their flaws, imperfections, and histories. The twins were adorable, the sister was frustrating but sisterly, and the groups of friends were such a solid support systems for both Gavin & Thea. I love that the book club addressed chivalry vs. chauvinism… your wife/girlfriend/partner isn’t helpless but she wants to feel wanted. It’s a fun concept- men reading romance novels. Lol. I’m sure some do, but I think most would be as uncomfortable as Gavin- at least at first.
Read It? Yep.


That’s it. That’s all she wrote. I’m in the middle of four books right now and I have some Moo reads to share, but I’m already running late with this post soooooo… I’m wrapping it up.

Go read some other reader blogs that have their act more together than me 😉

Book Challenge by Erin 8.0

In 2018 I’m going to share my goals for the year, but you’ll find that one of them is to finally complete Erin’s book challenge.

https://i0.wp.com/www.wanderingweekenders.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Book_Challenge_Erin_8.jpg

This challenge runs from January 1st to April 30th and the rules are simple:

  • you can read one repeat
  • you cannot use the same book for two categories
  • books must be 200 pages long (audio books allowed)
  • you can read books in any order
  • you can change your book selection during the challenge

I’ve said it before but Erin is the MOST laid back host ever. Everyone who participates in the challenges are encouraging and supportive. It’s easiest to follow along and track your progress on the Facebook page, but Erin will work with you if you don’t use FB. If you’ve been thinking about joining a reading challenge I would encourage you to play along this time!

I know I’ve kept you in suspense so here are my picks for the 8.0 Challenge:

|5 points| Freebie: The Murder on the Links (Christie)
|10 points| Starts with the letter L: Last Christmas in Paris (Gaynor)
|10 points| Has a (mostly) red cover: Girl Waits With Gun (Stewart)
|15 points| A character’s name in the title: HP & the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
|20 points| From this list: Three Dark Crowns (Blake)
|20 points| The words “house” or “home” in the title: The House of New Beginnings (Diamond)
|25 points| Author whose first and last name begins with the same letter: Renegades (Meyer, Marissa)
|30 points| Originally published in a different language than your own: The Hangman’s Daughter (Potzsch)
|30 points| Most of the action takes place on a form of transportation: Dead Wake (Larson)
|35 points| A character that suffers from a debilitating physical illness: Finding Audrey (Kinsella)

Have you read any of these? If they sucked don’t tell me… (j/k, warn me).

Book Challenge by Erin 7.0

I don’t know how many of Erin’s challenges I’ve participated in, but they never get old 🙂 Here’s the link to her post. And here are my picks for this challenge!

Briefly, the rule are… books must be +200 pages, only one reread from your past, & no doubling up one book for two categories. It starts July 1 and ends October 31!

|5 points| Freebie (at least 200 pages): And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
|10 points| Starts with the letter “B”: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
|10 points| Has a (mostly) yellow cover: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
|15 points| Has a picture of an animal on the cover: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Published in 2017: The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver
|20 points| A compass or cardinal direction in the title: West With the Night by Beryl Markham
|25 points| From this list of the most commonly banned books in America: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
|30 points| A fictional book about mental illness: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
|30 points| With a non-human main character: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
|35 points| A book a Disney movie was based on/a book based on a Disney movie: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

 

I have a few books I want to (start and) finish before this challenge starts. I’m actually on a roll right now so I hope that carries over into July!

Join Erin’s challenge this month and tell me what you’d read in each category!

What I Read… vol. 2

Happy Valentine’s Day ❤︎ What better way to celebrate than loving on the books in my life?

Last time I mentioned that I’d be linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books this year and, therefore, labeling these posts a little differently than 2016’s monthly round-up.

What_I_Read_blog

The way I rate the books and how I summarize them is still the same.

Book Rating

Below I’ll include a brief summary, why I picked up the book, and what I thought. Then I give my oh-so-valuable opinion on whether or not you should read it and why. Images link to their GoodReads page (let’s be friends!). Let’s begin.

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis || ★★★★/5 the-magicians-nephew
Summary: The first book in The Chronicles of Narnia, this classic follows Digory and Polly as they discover new and old worlds, as well as the creatures that live there. | Why I Read It: I read this story a long time ago, but I’m working my way through TCofN and this book is the first. Plus it met a requirement for Erin’s Challenge. | What I Thought: I read another book in this series last year and found this one to be equally enjoyable. I love that this book is the “Genesis” of Narnia. I know not everyone likes it or cares about it, but I enjoy the religious undertones in these books. These books are short and full of storytelling, and I’ll be tackling the remaining five in the series, even though I know I’ve read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe before. It’s a smart, entertaining set of books to revisit.
You Should Read It Because… you enjoy children’s lit. or you’re a fan of C.S. Lewis or you’re in need of a quick yet meaningful fantasy series.

But Polly added, “But we are not quite as bad as that world, are we, Aslan?”
“Not yet, Daughter of Eve,” he said. “not yet. But you are growing more like it. It is not certain that some wicked one of your race will not find out a secret as evil as the Deplorable Word and use it to destroy all living things. And soon, very soon, before you are an old man and an old woman, great nations in your world will be ruled by tyrants which care no more for joy and justice and mercy than the Empress Jadis. Let your world beware. That is the warning…” -The Magician’s Nephew

Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber || ★★/5 dashing-through-the-snow
Summary: After missing their opportunity to fly to Seattle for the holidays, strangers Ashley and Dash end up sharing a rental car and making the trek north from San Francisco just before Christmas. Things prove to be a little difficult when the unlikely duo face a non-negotiable deadline, a surprise furry companion, and a mix-up with the law. | Why I Read It: I wanted a fun, festive read to kick off Erin’s Challenge. (below) | What I Thought: Holy cheeseball, Batman. This book annoyed me. Ashley annoyed me. Dash annoyed me. The law enforcement annoyed me. BLEH. I felt like the flirty conversation wasn’t realistic. I didn’t like the cat and mouse crap with the law. I just wanted there to be some action and it fell flat. *shrug*
You Should Read It Because… you’re in the mood for holiday fluff. Or you like this author? I don’t know. I won’t be picking this one up again. I don’t think this is my genre…

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin || ★★★★/5 the-westing-game
Summary: 16 “heirs and heiresses” are brought together to solve the mystery that is Sam Westing. The players include a bookie, a birdwatcher, and a bomber… but could one be a murderer, too?? | Why I Read It: I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time. I popped into the bookstore before our trip to San Antonio (as I always do before a trip ) and saw it on sale… so I bought it and tossed it in my carry-on. | What I Thought: Whew… I’m glad I tackled this book in a single day because there were SO many characters. I’ve tried to start this book a few times in my youth and I always ended up putting it down and forgetting about it. Not this time! I started figuring out the clues and mystery around page 100, but there were still enough twists to keep me entertained. I loved how the stories weaved together and the friendships developed. To be honest, there were 4 or 5 holes or unanswered questions. I wanted connects to happen where there weren’t any. I gave it four stars because of that untapped potential.
You Should Read It Because… you like the movie Clue. This is a good book for Nancy-Drew-loving pre-teens and teens (and adults)!

. . .

An update on Erin’s 6.0 Challenge:

| 5 points | Freebie: Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
| 10 points | Starts with the letter “W”: Winter by Marissa Meyer
| 10 points | Six words in the title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
| 15 points | Has a (mostly) green cover: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
| 20 points | A homonym in the title: The One by Kiera Cass
| 20 points | By your favorite author: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
| 25 points | Set in the city/town/state/territory/county/province where you live: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
| 30 points | A “Rory Gilmore” book: Atonement by Ian McEwan
| 30 points | From a genre that you’ve never read/rarely read (*thriller*): The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
| 35 points | With time travel: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Ending this post at a total of 40 points out of 200. I have about 250 pages left of Winter. I thought I’d have it done by now, but I needed a break so I picked up The Westing Game. Oh well. It’ll be done by the next one of these 😉

What did you read last month? Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia?

signatureLife According to Steph

What I Read… 2017 vol.1

Yes, I started one of these books in early December and finished them both in January. Yes, there are only two books here (December was a hectic month). Yes, I’m proud because I polished off one in three days (which is good for me, OK?! ).

What_I_Read_blog

Last year I organized these posts by month, but since I’m linking up with Jana and Steph on the second Tuesday of each month for Show Us Your Books I think I’m going to numerically categorize them, thus the wonky title. Alright, let’s do this…

Book Rating

FYI: Above is how I rate the books. Below I’ll include a brief summary, why I picked up the book, and what I thought. Then I give my oh-so-valuable opinion on whether or not you should read it and why. Like I said, there are two in the queue for this month. Images link to their GoodReads page (let’s be friends!).

The One by Kiera Cass || ★★★/5 what_i_read
Summary: Down to the last four girls, it’s time for America to decide what she wants and how hard she’s going to fight to get it. With a former love still in the palace and rebels trying to get in, the decisions facing America, Maxon, and the remaining girls aren’t easy ones.  | Why I Read It: Slowly but surely making my way through the series. Here are my thoughts on books one & two. | What I Thought: I was happy when this book ended. (This book wasn’t a 2 star but it wasn’t 3 either… call it 2.5) Love triangles, lack of honesty, and neatly tied endings tend to irritate me. I like America’s tenacity and I’m a fan of her & Maxon as a couple, but I could feel her creating problem where there were none (or avoiding things that should be resolved). I don’t know- that just annoyed me. Also, the ending was so neat & tidy with certain people dying, “true love” saving the day, and all shady debts instantly forgiven. (I think I’m being vague enough that’s not a spoiler.) Maybe it’s the YA-ness that I can’t get past. Whatever. I’ll be going for the fourth book since the story line is changing.
You Should Read It Because… you’re working on the series and it brings closure to Maxon’s round of the selection.

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan || ★★★★★/5 what_i_read2
Summary: A story of four Chinese mothers and their four Chinese-American daughters. | Why I Read It: My friend Amanda recommended it, then I used it as a pick for the #SCWBC16. | What I Thought: To be honest, I was halfway through the book and almost stopped. It’s challenging to keep the women straight and that frustrated me. That said, if I’d have read it in a shorter amount of time I think I’d have been fine. Or if I’d have kept a literary journal. Regardless, every story told was captivating and I felt empathy for both the moms and the daughters. And then the last page made me cry; that’s when I knew this was getting five stars. The book is divided into four sections, with four stories in each. POV switches between mothers and daughters and we get a look at their lives both through their own eyes and the eyes of their mom/daughter. All of the moms suffered hardships in their lives and all of the daughters struggled with being raised under Chinese expectations in an American culture. I ended up liking and disliking characters at different times, but in the end I understood why they all were the way they were.
You Should Read It Because… you’re looking for a book filled with stories of “how it used to be” and how that comes to affect future generations.

So way back I started on Megan’s #SCWBC16. Here’s how I’m doing:
|5 points| Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long: The One by Kiera Cass
|10 points| Read a 2016 finalist for one of the following literary prizes: National Book Award, Man Booker or Man Booker International: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
|10 points| Read a brand-new release: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
|15 points| Read a book by an author of a different race or religion than you: Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
|15 points| Read a book featuring a main character who is of a different race or religion than you: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
|20 points| Read a modern retelling of a classic: Winter by Marissa Meyer
|25 points| Read a book with an alcoholic beverage: The Whiskey Affair by Raymond Armstrong
|30 points| Read a book with a character that shares your first or last name: Tender Grace by Jackina Stark
|30 points| Read two books: a nonfiction book and a fiction book with which it connects: Etta Place by Gail Drago & Etta by Gerald Kolpan
|40 points| Read two books: one by an author whose first name is the same as the last name of the author of the other book: After Alice by Gregory Maguire & The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory.

So I have 35 out of 200. I think I’ll finish at least one, maybe two, more before this challenge ends.

Additionally, this is the first month for Erin’s Book Challenge (#MyFav)…
| 5 points | Freebie: Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
| 10 points | Starts with the letter “W”: Winter by Marissa Meyer
| 10 points | Six words in the title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
| 15 points | Has a (mostly) green cover: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
| 20 points | A homonym in the title: The One by Kiera Cass
| 20 points | By your favorite author: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
| 25 points | Set in the city/town/state/territory/county/province where you live: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
| 30 points | A “Rory Gilmore” book: Atonement by Ian McEwan
| 30 points | From a genre that you’ve never read/rarely read (*thriller*): The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
| 35 points | With time travel: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

20 out of 200 points. I’m determined to finish this challenge this time. Currently I’m reading Winter and The Magician’s Nephew.

Now I’m off to see what you’ve read this time around! Linking up with Steph and Jana!

signature

Life According to Steph