Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I show you my books, you show me yours... vol.19


Jana & Steph are bringing us book lovin' bloggers our favorite day of the month again - Show Us Your Books day!  The month that I read a lot of books (well, a lot for me)......................

What I've read since our last link-up:


1.  It's Complicated: Short Stories About Long Relationships by Karen Wright - Karen is a blogger friend (her blog is: Run Wright) who participates in my book challenge.  She is also a self-published author with this collection of short stories that examine dynamics between family members, early love, past love, toxic love, and more.  She lives in NYC and many of the stories are filled with NY touches, and I enjoy the fact that Karen was inspired as she people-watched others on the subway and imagined stories of their lives.  I found myself relating to some of the stories, relationships, and characters more than others, but that's real life, isn't it?  We relate and connect with some people more than we do others.  That made this collection feel authentic and genuine.  I recommend.  4/5

2.  In the Woods by Tana French - For readers who like mystery stories to be solved completely and be given all the answers, this may not be the book for you. To those that enjoy mysteries, different degrees of criminality, damaged characters, and questions that leave you wanting more, then, I recommend it. I really enjoyed some of the characters, others frustrated me, and a couple of times, I was disgusted or infuriated. But, I enjoy a ride that gives me different emotional responses. The writing was tedious at times, but overall, a good book for me, and I will continue reading the series. 3.75/5

3.  Things I Would Say by Alyssa Ammirato - Another blogger buddy is a self-published author with this collection of essays and poetry.  She blogs at "alyssa goes bang".  A quick, thoughtful read filled with raw emotion.  This felt personal.  It felt real.  She spills her brain, heart, and soul onto the pages.  I felt a little lost a couple of times, but I imagine that was more me (the reader's fault) than the writer's.  4/5

4.  The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale - I sang the praises of Patrick deWitt's The Sisters Brothers last month.  I was reminded of that book as I read this one, but I enjoyed this one even more.  I was also reminded of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight.  This one is rumored to have a movie in pre-production with Peter Dinklage as "Shorty", a ruthless "gun-shooting dwarf" (that's no spoiler; that phrase is in the first line of the book).  He will be perfect.  The rest of the cast of characters are just as "fun" and interesting.  I highly recommend for a change of pace, something different, with a fantastic group of characters.  5/5

5.  Some of Tim's Stories by S.E. Hinton - A collection of short stories about two cousins that are raised like brothers and how their lives have followed different paths.  A quick, but engrossing read.  The stories were good.  Yes, I read this for two reasons: a book challenge category and S.E. Hinton wrote The Outsiders

6.  Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight - This book is an example of what happens if you mix Gossip Girl with a Lifetime movie. As Steph often says, "it passed the time just fine." 3.5/5

7.  Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper - I am a self-professed fangirl of this author.  This is my 4th book that I've read of his, and I've enjoyed every one of them.  I may have enjoyed this one the least, but I don't want that to sound negative, because I still enjoyed it.  Tropper writes dysfunctional families and troubled characters really, really well often with off-color humor, and he has yet to disappoint me. 4/5


8.  I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid - I have no idea how to rate this book because I have no idea what the fuck I just read.  Part horror, part road-trip, part relationships, part 'the crazy thoughts that happen in someone's mind'...some of it bored me to the point that I almost quit, some of it scared the begeezus out of me with anticipation.  I don't want to say too much.  3/5

9.  Adrenalized: Life, Def Leppard, and Beyond by Phil Collen with Chris Epting - from the guitarist of a band that reached massive success during the '80s...kinda makes you assume this book is about the debauchery of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. It is not. Phil Collen has been a vegetarian for 25+ and is now a vegan. He has been alcohol free for 25+ years too. He was a self-professed mumma's boy. He has a strong work ethic and takes his craft seriously. His vice?  Women.  I couldn't keep straight all of his relationships, marriages, and babies' mamas.  I recommend only for diehard Def Lep fans, but that's probably it.  3/5

10.  Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - This author has written 3 books, and I've rated all 3 of them 5 stars.  You could say that I enjoy her writing style.  The story is told from four different characters' perspectives, young voices from different nations that are all directly impacted by WWII, culminating with one particular tragedy. My heart swells with emotion and my eyes swell with tears thinking about the atrocities of war and the innocent casualties. I recommend to historical fiction readers.  5/5

11. Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride - A Scottish friend of mine recommended this series to me months (maybe years) ago.  I'm so glad I finally read it. A solid crime/mystery book, and I will definitely read more of the series. 4/5

12.  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne - With a 9 year old boy as the narrator, this is a quick, easy read...but the subject matter is far from "easy", and its impact will last for a long time.  5/5
I've shown you mine, now you show me yours............
Will you add any of these to your "to read" list?

36 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to read Salt to the Sea, so I'm glad to hear you liked it. I haven't read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but someone came up with the bright idea to show it to us for a long lunch at work one day. It was so hard to go back to work after that. So incredibly sad.

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  2. In the Woods made me realize that I cannot do ambiguous endings with most mysteries. It drove me nuts, in large part because the mystery surrounding Detective Ryan was what captured my attention. I'm adding Salt to the Sea and Cold Granite to my TBR.

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  3. I have Into The Woods on my Kindle but haven't started it yet. I've heard good things about the series and I don't mind a detective/crime book every now and then. I'm hoping to enjoy it :)

    I picked up I'm Thinking Of Ending Things the other week, and you've intrigued me more about it. I didn't know too much about it, just the synopsis, so I'm excited to have a read after what you said there.


    I've heard lots of good things about Salt to the Sea but I'm hesitant to pick it up since historical fiction is really not my thing. I might if I see it at the library or going cheap on my kindle though.

    ~ K

    www.lifeasunusuals.com

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  4. I definitely want to check out Salt to the Sea sometime when I'm in the right mood. I am also intrigued by Tana French's series, but I've heard the warning before that if you are a person who likes everything tied up it's not for you and I AM THAT PERSON so I'm not sure. lol. I loveeee the Outsiders so I might need to check that one out someday.

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  5. I thought S. E. Hinton sounded familiar! I really liked The Outsiders, so I read one of the follow ups, That Was Then, This is Now. I was excited that Ponyboy gets a mention, but there's only so many sad endings I can take. If all her books end the same way, I'ma have to read other authors!

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  6. I will add Salt to the Sea to my TBR! You were busy this past month - 12!

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  7. You know how I feel about The Sisters Brothers so I will definitely be adding The Thicket. You also know how I feel about I'm Thinking of Ending Things so no sense in rehashing that.

    Between you and Steph, I think Tana French needs to go on my list of authors I need to read pronto.

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  8. Mysteries without clear endings make me nervous. Sometimes I like a good open ending, but when it comes to mystery books, I like it to be solved. The Thicket sounds too weird/interesting not to check out. Definitely adding Salt to the Sea to my list after reading the synopsis.

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  9. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas killed me when I read it.

    Salt to the Sea is on my list.

    I love Tana French. The fifth Dublin Murder Squad book is coming out this year.

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  10. Will def check out those WWII books since I'm still sort of on the WWII kick.

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  11. hmmmm the Tana French book is on my kindle, I have heard super good things so I might give it a go.
    the thicket sounds interesting, especially if it will be a movie with Peter Dinklage! love him.
    I read the boy in the striped pajamas like........ 10 years ago? maybe 9? and I still think about it, my stomach still drops and I get all emotional.
    I have Salt to the sea on my list but I will make sure and add everything Ruta Sepetys has written lol........ just kidding they are all already on my list hahaha

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  12. Just added Salt to the Sea (oops, it's already on it) and The Thicket to my list! And I love when people walk away from something thinking, 'I have no idea what the fuck I just witnessed/heard/read'- both in a good and bad way. Haha!
    Yay for self-publish blogger friends!!

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  13. Mysteries that are a little open ended drive me nuts so thanks for the warning! I had a Jonathan Tropper book on my list but never got to it (the one that was a movie with Tina Fey...) . Perhaps my time will be better spent adding something totally new to me. Thanks for the rec!

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  14. 3 added! Salt to the Sea, Striped Pajamas, and of course, the Tropper book. Actually, it may have been already on the list. I selected a Tropper book for the challenge and I'm excited to get to it. This challenge has contained much better selections than my last one!

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  15. I have In the Woods on hold & cant wait to get into that one

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  16. I'm glad you liked the Tana French! That is actually my least favorite book in the series. I was so frustrated that the mystery was unresolved at the end... That is not the case in the subsequent books.
    I didn't know The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a book. I saw the movie a few years ago... It's one of those terrible sad stories that lingers in your mind forever.

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  17. I'm a big Tropper fan too. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas has been added to the list. Love that it takes place in Berlin: one of my fav European cities!

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  18. Oh my what a list!!! I am going to add some Tropper books to my list after the way you described his writing. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas has been on my list for awhile and I keep pushing it back and I don't know why? I think I am going to have to be in a certain mood to read it.

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  19. The end of "Boy in the Striped Pajamas" blew my freakin mind! What a great book.

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  20. I have to read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It's been on my to read list forever. I read Ruta Sepetys Between Shades of Gray and loved it. I will have to check out Salt to the Sea. It's very cool that you know bloggers who are authors!

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  21. Um, I'm adding so many books from your list to my Goodreads! I'm glad that you said that In The Woods doesn't get fully resolved. I don't know if my mysteries have to be fully resolved, but it's good to know. We're reading Salt To The Sea for a book club next month, and based on all the reviews that I've read so far, I have a feeling that I'm going to love it! The Thicket and Cold Granite are also ones that I've added to my list! You read so many great books this month!

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  22. I loved The Sisters Brothers too so I'm definitely adding The Thicket to my list. I feel like I need to re-read Between Shades of Gray...I didn't love it like I had been hoping I would. Perhaps the timing was off? I liked Reconstructing Amelia too - sometimes I think it's terrifying having to be a teenager in today's world. I wouldn't trade my no cell phone/no social media high school life for anything!

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  23. You killed it this month.

    I've thought about Reconstructing Amelia.

    Also, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, the movie, stuck with me for so many years. I would never attempt the book for that reason.

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  24. I'm pretty sure In The Woods is on my TBR. The cover alone grabbed my attention!

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  25. I'm curious about in the Woods. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews of it, which make sense after your review.

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  26. I added not only Salt to the Sea but the other two Ruta Septys books I found on Goodreads. I thought I knew what books I wanted to read next...but this linkup just messes with my head!!!

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  27. You killed it with the reading since the last link-up! :-) When I see longer lists of reviews like this it inspires me to carve more time out for reading. I've been getting caught up in watching The Olympics, Big Brother, and Gilmore Girls (for the millionth time). Whomp whomp.

    Anyway, books!

    In the Woods has been on my list for years. I always look for it at Half Price Books and they never have it when I go. NEVER! They only have 2 copies at the library and apparently 9 people are on the waiting list right now. That's not a huge wait, but still ... I need to read other books for challenges (including yours!) first, anyway. Haha. I do love books that don't tie everything up neatly in the end (those are actually my favorite kind!), so I'm sure I'll love this one.

    Several of these are on my list already, and I'm currently on the waiting list at the library for I'm Thinking of Ending Things. I'm really intrigued by it ... Hopefully I'm not disappointed!

    I'm adding Salt to the Sea and Cold Granite.

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  28. Thank you for purchasing my book, and so sweetly and honestly reviewing it <3

    I have never read Jonathan Tropper but I'm always curious about his books. I think I would like him. Do you have one in particular you'd recommend starting with?

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things has been on my radar since Jana mentioned it last month. Part of me wants to read it just so I can discuss it with her (and now, you!) but I'm not sure I have the capacity to handle it right now. Or maybe it'll be escapism I need? Who knows.

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is another one that I want to have read, but I'm never feeling emotionally ready to read it! I can deal with heartbreaking stories if it's in the name of great storytelling, so that 5/5 you give it inspires me to bump it up on the list.

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  30. I really like the Tana French books, although the lack of resolution in In The Woods annoyed me!! Mostly because the mystery was the entire reason I even picked up the book - I didn't realise it was going to be just another crime novel with a slightly mysterious side story. They get better as the series goes on though - Faithful Place is my favourite.

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  31. Ahhhh - I just finished the Diary of Anne Frank, and plan on reading Night by Eli Wiesel next. Based on this genre, someone recommended The Boy in the Striped Pajamas to me. I think I need to gear myself up for it. It's hard to read a lot of Holocaust literature all at once. But I've heard very good things!

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  32. In The Woods sounds so good! I will have to check that out :)

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  33. I read Boy in Striped when it first came out and thought it was good. The story was so simple but heartbreaking. Is Thicket western based? I have Into the Woods and the next one on my bookcase but haven't gotten around to them. They seem to have mixed reviews.

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  34. I have two Tana French books sitting in my TBR pile right now!

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  35. The Thicket and I'm Thinking of Ending Things are going on my list. Both sound amazing and if it is true about The Thicket becoming a movie then I have to hurry up and read it. Most especially if Peter Dinklage is going to be in it!

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  36. Wow, you did read a lot! I've wanted to read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and my 17 year-old nephew recently told me how much he liked it, too.

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