Tuesday, April 14, 2015

List #25 - I'll show you my books, you show me yours... vol.3

ISteph and Jana host a monthly link-up - a place for bloggers & readers to share what books they've read the previous month.  I blog.  I read.  I've talked about the multiple book challenges I'm tackling.  So, this link-up is a great way to share my thoughts on books I've read, keep track of my book challenges, and find (even more!) books to read that are shared by others.

I know, I know.  I already posted about a book today.  That was a requirement for challenges that I'm participating in.  Sorry not sorry for the repetition.  I've read a lot this month.  This may be some kind of record for me.  I probably deserve a treat for my efforts.

 1.  Stolen by Lucy Christopher - I read this for the Aussie Author Book Challenge, and you can read my review here.  Go on.  Read it.  Because this book was gooood.

 2.  The Martian by Andy WeirStory - wonderful. Characters - fantastic. But....... I'm not science-y enough for this. I skimmed A LOT. The math talk and science talk was WAY over my head and out of my zone of interest. When talks of oxygenators, RTGs, EVAs, how much space needed for farming, how many solar panels needed for energy, etc...it was too much for me. All VERY important things to maintain life, but things I'm happy we have scientists to study and mathematicians to calculate. Astronauts are smarrrrrrt. The characters are the winners for me. If it weren't for the characters, I would have quit the book.  I will watch the movie because I really like the casting.

 3.  The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom - When I finished this book, I was almost at a loss for words. I experienced a full range of emotions from disgust to joy. The most important lesson to me to take from this story is what traits determine a family...loyalty, protection, support, and love...regardless of birthright, heritage, or race.  A book filled with interesting characters that will make you feel all kinds of "stuff".  

4.  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith - This was my first J.K. Rowling book (because she's who wrote it).  Don't try to draw me into your Harry Potter world.  I'm glad you're a fan.  I'm not interested.  Anyhoo.  It took me a little while to get pulled into this. I felt the skeleton was there, but the meat and muscle wasn't. I'm glad I persisted because I grew fond on the lead detective; he's the kind of damaged goods character that I enjoy.  I was happy with how most pieces of the story came together.  There was one big question I had that wasn't answered very well, but I can't really discuss that without giving away important details. So, forget I said anything.  This book did not convince me that J.K. Rowling is the world's greatest writer, but I plan on reading the new book in this series, so I thought it was good enough for that. 

 5.  All That I Am by Anna Funder - I read this for the Aussie Author Challenge.  I thought this was a superb historical fiction read, so if you're into that sort of thing, read my review.

6.  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - Again, Rainbow Rowell has written characters who are almost impossible not to fall in love with. Reagan - although a supporting role, was my favorite character by far. I loved her spirit.  The only criticism I have is I never "got" Harry Potter, so I had to be really creative in imagining the love and fandom of the world of Simon and Baz. If you were into HP, then you'd like this book even more than I did. A joy to read.

The next three books that I read (7,8,9) were all for the Aussie Author Challenge - you can read what I thought of all three of them in this review.  Go read now; I'll still be waiting here for you to return.

 7.  Strange Places by Will Elliott 

8.  Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

 9.  Frantic by Katherine Howell

  10.  Private L.A. by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan - I am one of the reasons James Patterson is a gazillionaire.  I read almost all of his books.  I like Jack Morgan - the lead character of the Private series.  He is featured a lot in some of these books, and a little in others.  I find the ones that he is in a lot (Private #1 Suspect), I like more than the ones he's not (Private India, Private Games).  As with almost all James Patterson books, it is quick, easy to read, with several storylines happening at once that seem to be wrapped up by the end.  It feels like watching a movie rather than reading a book.  You know how Law & Order SVU will take a real life story straight from the headlines and tweak it for fiction?  This story does that featuring a Brad & Angelina-type power couple being kidnapped with their three adoptive children.  This one was good, but not great.

 11.  Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta - This is a fantastic book about transformation, growth, family, friends, mental illness, and finding your own voice. I found myself caring about the characters...all of them...and interested in their lives and wanting the best for them.  This was written in 2003, so keeping that in mind, it was fun to see that the kids didn't seem to all have mobile phones yet, and one of the characters is always listening to his "discman".  Highly recommend it...I'd give it an A-

I enjoyed it so much, I immediately followed up by reading The Piper's Son, where the author takes a look at the same social group five years later through another's eyes.  I'm enjoying that one even more.  So, look for that next link-up :)

Book lovers - have you read any of these?  What did you think?  Will you read any of them?


  1. I just bought Fangirl recently and I can't wait to read it. I read one of her other books, Attachments, and absolutely loved it, so I was hoping I would love this too. And I AM a big Harry Potter nerd so I will probably really like it! lol. I read The Martian a couple months ago and LOVED it. I'm not a big science or math girl either but ended up really enjoying it. I can't wait for the movie

  2. I agree on the Marchetta books - loved Francesca and loved The Piper's Son even more.

    I might try Stolen.

  3. I've been hearing a lot about Marchetta's books. Guess I will have to check them out.

  4. You've sold me on Francesca... gonna have to add it to my library queue!

  5. I read the Martian and just absolutely adored it!

    And I am thinking of picking up the Kitchen House!

  6. Saving Francesca and The Kitchen House are on my to-read list.

    I reviewed The Martian and Stolen this month, too (but you already know that). We'll chat. Fangirl didn't do it for me the way Attachments and E&P did, and since her next book is based on Simon Snow, I'll probably pass on it.

    I feel the same way about Harry Potter.

  7. I am glad you still enjoyed Fangirl even though you aren't a HP fan! I am going to be adding pretty much all the rest to my list at the library!

  8. girl, get on Harry Potter ;) just kidding.
    I'm so glad you liked the martian, but that's why I listened to it rather than reading it - I am way not smart enough for all the sciencey and math stuff so listening to it rather than reading it was 100 times better, in my opinion. my husband is literally the smartest person i know and i'm not just saying that, he has all the knowledge and is a bloody science teacher - even he struggled with some of it!!

  9. I want to read The Cuckoo's Calling. Haven't gotten to it yet. I really liked, well, Harry Potter, obviously, but also The Casual Vacancy. It's VERY different from Harry Potter. I was shocked JK Rowling even knew some of those words! :-)

  10. I really want to read Stolen. That looks like a great read! :)
    -Jenna :)
    Help me get to 300 followers? The Chic Cupcake

  11. Everyone has The Martian on their list...I put a hold on it. I'm really intrigued since it seemed to have good reviews across the board! I also added Stolen to my hold list. So many books!!

  12. Stolen and Fangirl are totally on my list. The Kitchen House sounds interesting.

  13. i was on the waiting list for the martian since the beginning of time but then i got an email from a dear bloggy pal who sent me the epub for it!!! can't wait to start reading it.

  14. Awesome job on all the reading! I haven't read any of these, but I have been doing lots of reading for school. I've enjoyed a lot of the books that I've had to read, but I'm looking forward to reading a book because I want to and not because I have to. I've been into memoirs a lot lately, so I have a few of those lined up. I laughed about The Martian. That book sounds like what it's like living with my boyfriend lol He is such a geek and always talks about these things and I'm just like, "Mmm-hmmm...."

  15. I added Stolen, it has gotten a few good reviews. Also added Fangirl!! I have no interest to read J.K. Rowlings other stuff, I liked her Harry Potter series but I am good not reading the other stuff lol.

  16. I can't wait to read The Martian. Everyone saying the math & science was too much frightens me ;). And yay you liked Fangirl! It's one of my favorite reads. I LOVED Reagan too. I'd give her best supporting character award if there were Oscars for book characters.

  17. The Martian is on my to-be-read list as well but I am also not so sure about all the science stuff. Lots of people I know liked it a lot so I will give it a try. I started Fangirl a while ago but then got distracted. I liked Eleanor & Park a lot so I guess I will give this another try. And I want to checkout the Galbraith and Patterson books!

  18. I read Stolen a few years ago and really liked it. I feel like "enjoyed" is the wrong word considering the subject matter!

  19. I'm adding Stolen to my list! I won The Kitchen House in a giveaway about a year ago. I need to read it already! I also just out The Martian on hold at the library. The science stuff put me off, but everyone's loving it and I like reading books before seeing the movie. :)

  20. Seriously Im going to buy the Martian. This is literally the third post for the night I have seen it. I was avoiding it for a while but now I think Ill take the plunge!


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