Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I show you my books, now you show me yours........ vol.8

Books, books, books, and more books!  Linking up with Jana & Steph to talk about books!


1. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - This book (and author) has received a lot of hype in the book-reading blogger world.  Deservedly so.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book set in the fictional coastal suburb of Pirriwee, and I can see why there's talk of a movie in the making (except I'm not too sure about the casting rumors). This book is full of fabulous characters and dirty secrets. There are families and friendships; plot twists and a murder investigation; domestic abuse and kindergarten bullies; ex-spouses and single parents.  This will not be the last Liane Moriarty book that I read. 4.5/5

2. Still Alice by Lisa Genova - What a beautiful book. In this fictional gem, Alice, a tenured professor at Harvard for twenty-five years is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. This strong, capable, brilliant, successful woman digresses as the disease takes hold of her. Obviously, no one can know exactly what the thoughts are in someone who suffers from such a debilitating disease, but the author does a tremendous job at expressing the thoughts unspoken.  A book that served as a reminder to not take the life I'm living for granted.  There is no guarantee what tomorrow holds. 5/5

3.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - I read this book as a category for a book challenge to read a banned/challenged book according to the American Library Association.  Does this book deal with some tough topics?  Yes.  Instead of parents or educators who ban it or challenge it, why not use it as a tool to talk to teenagers about those tough topics?  Topics such as alienation, depression, abuse, drugs & alcohol, homosexuality, dating, bullying, date rape, problems at home, problems with friends, sex, and more...all of these topics are realities for most teens today.  The book was published in 1999.  How have I never read this?  Now, I need to watch the movie that I've never seen either.  4/5

4.  The Paris Mysteries (Confessions #3) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro - This is the 3rd book of a series that James Patterson has in his YA collection (because the man obviously doesn't have enough other book series going on in his life.)  I read the first two, and quite frankly, I enjoyed them a whole lot more than this one.  This one was average at best.  2.5/5

5.  Black Dahlia & White Rose by Joyce Carol Oates I have never read Joyce Carol Oates and have intended to for years. This is a group of short stories.  Each story was a little dark or morbid or macabre. I don't mind that. But as a collection, it was just okay for me. I found myself enjoying some stories much more than others.  Some, I skimmed. One, I thought was fantastic.  As a whole: 3/5

6.  May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes There are so many layers to this book: family dysfunction; growth, change, and hope; effed up personal relationships; fulfilling obligations; coming of age; a dash of religion; avoidance; a little bit of adventure; some ridiculousness; and more, with a hint of Wally Lamb's "I Know This Much Is True" and Jonathan Tropper's dark humor in the midst of dysfunction. I felt that there were some parts that could have been eliminated completely without any detriment to the story. For that reason, I give it a 3.5/5.

 7.  Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez - Originally published in 1993, I picked up a copy with a new introduction by the author and published in 2005, printed in 2011.  A firsthand account from a former hardcore Chicano gang member on the streets of L.A. has reformed himself, yet finds his 15 year old son following in his footsteps of the gang life.  That inspired him to write this book.  Why haven't I read this before?  I have a fascination with criminal justice, crime & punishment, redemption & reformation, and juvenile crime.  After reading the intro, I was ready for a gripping read. I was disappointed. Parts were provocative, gritty, and engrossing; other parts seemed self-indulgent. Having worked with juvenile criminals in the past, many who were gang members, I probably have a stronger opinion than others about the topic. Although the author eventually took many steps in a positive direction and saw that the life of "cholo" criminality was a "useless existence", I can't say I ever felt any remorse. I feel like there were a lot of valid reasons he gave to why gangs exist particularly in minority and lower socio-economic communities...but I felt he used these reasons to excuse his own behaviour. Although fessing up to some terrible things that he participated in and witnessed is part of taking responsibility for your actions, having empathy and remorse is another important part of that process. I felt the latter part was lacking. 3/5

8. Girl Defective by Simmone Howell - Part of the summary of this book on goodreads says: "It’s about summer, and weirdness, and mystery, and music."  That all sounded like a good reason for me to read it.  It was better than good and a quick, easy read.  4/5

Didn't finish:  Pride & Prejudice

Currently Reading:  The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry (released as The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry in the USA)

Next Up:  The Power of the Dog, Cutting for Stone, Paperboy, Not Without My Sister

Challenges Update (really for my own personal bookkeeping):
Literary Ladies Book Challenge = 10/10; finished!
Book Challenge by Erin = 10/10; finishes October 31st; this one has a bonus round & I'm 2/10 for that.
Aussie Author Challenge = 10/12; finishes December 31st
The Official 2015 TBR Pile Challenge = 8/12; finishes December 31st


  1. Some of these covers are so intriguing! I have a Liane book on my TBR and shelf, so I'm looking forward to reading her!

  2. Love Liane Moriarty! I've got a few of hers to read on my shelf too! Also, Still Alice looks awesome. I will have to check that one out.

  3. Oh my gosh, I LOVED Perks! My only regret is that I read it in college instead of high school. And thankfully the movie is also pretty good, it felt like it stayed true to the tone of the book. Hope you enjoy it!

  4. I loved Big Little Lies so much, and I'm glad that you did too! I've heard great things about Still Alice, but I know that it can be a heavy book so I didn't want to pick it up unless I was in the right mindset for it.

  5. i could never ever do a book challenge. i think i read like two a year. more if i get super into it. i can't ever find the time. but love that you put perks of being a wallflower up there. ugh i just LOVED that book. great list! now i know who to ask when i finally pick up another book!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  6. I'm going to try Girl Defective.

    I loved May We Be Forgiven. I felt like it was a marathon, not a sprint, but that it was worth it in the end.

    My favorite Oates is We Were the Mulvaneys. Try it!

  7. I feel that I have an obligation to read all the banned books so I can champion them so now I must read The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

    Still Alice was fantastic and I enjoyed Big Little Lies.

  8. Big Little Lies was one of my favorites this year as was A.J. Fickry. Can't wait to see your review on that next month!

  9. I've read Big Little Lies, Still Alice and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. As much of a fan I am of James Patterson, I may be giving up soon on his stand-alones and new series. I haven't read any of his Confessions series, but I just haven't been wowed by him in a long time. Adding Girl Defective to my to be read list!

  10. I had no idea Big Little Lies was in consideration for a movie. That is great!

    Still Alice was a good one- definitely so sad though.

  11. Still Alice I have at home and I really want to read, loved her other book as well. I haven't read James Patterson in awhile but I am surprised it wasn't good though his books with other writers aren't as good as when he writes alone.

  12. Big Little Lies and Perks of Being a Wallflower have been on my too read list forever and I just need to read them both!!!! Still Alice sounds like an interesting one, I will have to add it to my list!

  13. totally agree with everything you said about Perks. Glad you liked Big little Lies and Still Alice. Hope you are enjoying AJ Fikry!

  14. I read Perks of Being a Wallflower for next months linkup! It was amazing.

    I LOVED Big Little Lies! I think it was my favorite of hers....I know I didn't give a great review of What Alice Forgot but I will continue with more by her because Big Little Lies was just so good and even if she does have a formula for her books I think she is talented enough to keep coming back to!

  15. I'm a big fan of Perks of Being a Wallflower. I have Big Little Lies (finished the Husband's Secret last month and loved it) and Still Alice on my "to read" list.

  16. Big Little Lies was my favorite Liane Moriarty book, but I enjoy most of them and still have a few of hers to read. I've been meaning to read May We Be Forgiven forever. I LOVED Perks!

  17. Still Alice was amazing. I cried. My grandma had Alzheimers so it's a cause near and dear to me. The movie was actually really good too! Of course, not as good as the book but they never are. I've read two stellar reviews of Big Little Lies today alone...can't wait to read it!

  18. I've never read Perks of Being a Wallflower. I watched the movie instead. LOL I can't wait to read Big Little Lies and I think Still Alice is a must-read, too. I also added Girl Defective.

  19. I read Cutting for Stone earlier this year and LOVED it. It took me a while to get through but I found myself thinking about it long after I finished reading it. Glad to hear you liked Perks. I tend to shy away from short stories.

  20. A.J. Fikry was good! Hope you're liking it.
    I loved Big Little Lies and, as an "Australian", I'm glad you liked it too!
    I might look for the Wallflower movie. I could not find the book and refused to buy it.

  21. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was my favorite, favorite thing in high school. I read it repeatedly and made everyone else I cared about do the same. I tried to watch the movie and it just wasn't right. I would rather be left with my perceptions, you know? I liked Big Little Lies - it's my favorite Moriarty so far. I really want to read Still Alice but it seems so sad... I need to be in the right frame of mind for it.

  22. I'm glad you loved Big Little Lies!

    I felt similarly about May We Be Forgiven. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. (I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.) I think A.M. Homes is incredibly talented, but I much preferred another of her novels, The End of Alice. (Just a warning, that book is beyond fucked up and definitely NOT for everyone. It's graphic and horrifying and made my skin crawl … But I loved it. It made me feel so many things, and it's one of those books I'll never forget.)

    Girl Defective sounds awesome, so it's definitely going on my "To Read" list! I'm also interested in reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower (and I also feel like I probably should have read this one by now).

    I like Joyce Carol Oates, but I think I want to love her and just can't. (If that even makes sense.) She wrote my favorite short story of all time, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (I think you can find it online), and I enjoyed Beasts (which is more of a novella than an actual novel). I've read a couple of her other books (Expensive People and Zombie), and I want to read more … Sometimes I just don't know what to choose because she's written so many books!

  23. Oh, I'm SO happy you read and enjoyed Perks. It is and always will be one of my very favorite books of all time. I read it in high school, and then every single summer afterward up until just about a year or two ago. And I feel overdue for a reread. I haven't seen the movie, but I did hear that even lovers of the books had great things to say about it. I know the author contributed to the movie, so that's likely why.

    I feel intrigued by Still Alice, but my grandmother died of Alzheimer's just two years ago and I doubt I can really handle reading it. I've just added a bunch of Liane Moriarty books to my goodreads and lirbary hold list too!

  24. You certainly read a lot of heavy/deep books this month. I still haven't read Perks, but know I should.

  25. Still Alice and Little Big Lies are on my TBR list. At least Still Alice is a challenge book so I'll get to it soon!
    P&P is a difficult read. If I hadn't seen the movie (Kiera Knightly version is best, imo), I probably wouldn't have survived. I struggle with older English sentence structure and verbiage, so if it's too difficult I'll put it down. This is also why I've only ever read P&P and none of Austin's other books.

  26. I really need to read some Liane Moriarity. I keep hearing amazing things.

    And I want to read Still Alice. I really liked the movie, and I'm sure the book is even better.

  27. I will definitely check some of those out! I always love reading your book recommendations. I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower when it got published and loved it very much back then. I think it is time for a re-read. And I also need to watch the movie!


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