Category Archives: Show Us Your Books

Show Us Your Books: June to July

It’s the second Tuesday of the month, so it’s time to link up for Show Us Your Books!

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (3 out of 5 Stars)

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You know, I waited months for this book, and by the time I finally could get it from the library, I was underwhelmed. I enjoyed hearing about her Broadway days and what goes on behind the scenes of awards shows. Oh, and I was a fan of her dream holiday parties. But overall, it just rubbed me the wrong way. Kind of like she was trying to say certain things just for the shock value? Still, I’m an AK fan, so I’m glad that she took the time to write the book.

I’m in the middle of a book now for Erin’s Book Challenge, and hopefully I’ll have more than one book to review for next month!

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Show Us Your Books: May to June

Another month, another pathetic showing of reading. But I’m determined to really buckle down to reading this summer, especially since I’m joining up for Erin’s Book Challenge! However, he’s the book I did get under my belt:

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline (3 Stars)

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This book had its ups and downs. I was intrigued by the premise of a couple using a sperm donor in order to get pregnant and then finding out that their donor might be a serial killer. Pretty shocking, right?! But I felt as though there was a LOT of exposition to this book and then by the time we started building to the climax, there were a lot of weird twists thrown in, some of which just seemed a bit too much. But still, it kept me reading!

Did you read anything great this month?

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Show Us Your Books: April to May

Happy Tuesday! It’s time for another edition of Show Us Your Books! Sadly, I only finished one book this month, but it was a good one!

Life According to Steph

Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen (4 out of 5 Stars)

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This book was simply adorable! A light read for the romantic in me. There were comedic parts, sad parts, and in the end, happiness. Just what I needed! Oh, and even fake celebrity gossip–even better! It’s the story of how one “it dress” makes its way to 9 very different women in very different situations. Probable? Of course not. But that’s what makes a great rom-com!

Right now, I’m reading Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline–I’ll report back on it next month!

What have you been reading?

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Show Us Your Books: March to April

It’s time for another edition of Show Us Your Books! I haven’t been a very avid reader during the past month, but I’m working on ramping up now that Spring is here!

Life According to Steph

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham (5 Stars)

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I love love loved this book! First of all, listen on audiobook–it makes all the difference because Lauren Graham is so delightful! If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, then this is an absolute must-read. Plus, as you read, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to become BFFs with Lauren Graham in real life. Lauren, if you’re reading this, call me!

Open When…Letters to Lift Your Spirits by Karen Salmansohn (2 Stars)

Funny, but I thought this book would be a little different. I really thought it was going to be a gift book full of envelopes with letters that I could write.  Or at the very least, I thought that there would be more in-depth letters. Instead, although the motivational notes are sweet and colorful (love the one with the picture of the unicorns), it’s a little too cliche. Oh well.

*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.*

What have you read this month?

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Show Us Your Books: January to March

Oops! It looks like I’ve been falling behind on my book reviews! But here are the latest with Show Us Your Books!

Life According to Steph

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (3 out of 5 Stars)

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I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of this book. I only knew that my mom had read it, and so I decided to give it a try as well. I truly enjoyed hearing about J.D. Vance’s upbringing and family (especially his grandmother). When he would get a little too into specifics, I could feel myself tuning out, but overall, it was a very interesting read.

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (3 out of 5 Stars)

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Well, this book certainly didn’t do anything to help with my anxiety around flying, but it was full of fascinating characters. The only problem, in my opinion, was that it went a little long. Some things could have been wrapped up with less detail, and the ending section seemed forced. But it’s still written in Judy Blume-style, which I will always enjoy.

What have you been reading?

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Show Us Your Books: December to January

I sure did read (or attempt to read) a lot in December and the first half of January!  Linking up today for Show Us Your Books!

Night Film by Marisha Pessl (Did Not Finish)

Eh, I just couldn’t get into it. The way it is written is pretty creative, but as a whole, it just seems kind of weird.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman (Did Not Finish)

There are just WAY too many upsetting things happening within the first part of this book. I was just too uncomfortable to continue.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (3 out of 5 Stars)

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People have been raving about this book, and while I was definitely intrigued, it gets a little convoluted after a while. I did enjoy how new information about the characters is doled out as the book goes along, so I found myself surprised, but overall, it’s only okay.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines (4 out of 5 Stars)

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I’m much more of a House Hunters fan than a Fixer Upper fan, but I still really enjoyed this book. These two have worked so hard to get where they are and have had some amazing strokes of luck along the way. Even if you’re not a fan of the show, give it a read!

Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon (3 out of 5 Stars)

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Oof, this novel deals with a really painful topic (a school shooting), but it’s pretty well done. I thought it went on for a little long, and spoiler alert, the ending is pretty heartbreaking, but I was compelled by the book.

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (Did Not Finish)

There isn’t anything WRONG with this book. I think I just picked it up at the wrong time.

Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries by Andy Cohen (Did Not Finish)

Eh, I tried listening to it on audiobook, and Andy just began to annoy me after a while. Maybe it’d be better in paperback.

Siracusa by Delia Ephron (2 out of 5 Stars)

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This is another very compelling novel, but there isn’t a single likable character in the entire book. And the ending is just kind of vague. But I stayed til the end because I really wanted to know more about the character of Snow, and I wanted to know what the ending would be…which is sort of disappointing.

Boston Girl by Anita Diamant (Did Not Finish)

This book just couldn’t hold my attention. It seems like a nice story, but there’s just too much exposition.

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter (5 out of 5 Stars)

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I was SO SAD when this book was over! I absolutely loved it! And due to this book, my husband has been forced to hear Hamilton fun facts for weeks lol. But I love knowing how a show is put together, and it just made the experience of seeing the show so much more worthwhile. If you a Ham fan, READ IT!

 

 

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Show Us Your Books: November to December

It’s time for another edition of Show Us Your Books! I’m pretty impressed by the amount of reading I got done in the past month. I tell ya, books on Overdrive and on CD are your friends, folks. Linking up with Jana and Steph for:

Life According to Steph

 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (5 Stars)

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This may be one of my favorite books by Ms. Picoult. The characters are powerful, the story is compelling, and I never found myself getting bored. Also, as I listened via audiobook, I got to hear the amazing voice of Audra McDonald. The topic is certainly one that is difficult, but unfortunately it is very real and needs to be more out in the open. Definitely give this one a read.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (5 Stars)

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This book was so good that as soon as I finished it, I gave it to a coworker. I said, “I don’t know what kind of books you like, but you need to read this.” I was constantly trying to figure out the answers to the mysteries of the book and was completely satisfied with the ending. READ IT!!!

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (Did Not Finish)

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Yes, I think Amy Schumer is typically quite funny, but from the first page, I just knew that this book’s content was going to be all about “shock value.” Not for me.

I Don’t Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer (3 1/2 out of 5 Stars)

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Since Schumer’s book was a bust, I turned to another comedienne. You know who Judy Greer is. Seriously, you know her and have seen her in tons of things, but since she’s the queen of the sidekick characters, you may not know her by name. This book is both funny and endearing. I especially love the chapters on how awesome the behind-the-scenes movie folks are (although, I may be biased, as my brother is one of those folks) and her chapter on good advice (“If you wake up in the middle of  the night and wonder if you have to go to the bathroom, just get up and go”).

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (3 1/2 out of 5 Stars)

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This book would have received a higher rating if it had ended sooner. Much like In a Dark, Dark Wood, the story is compelling, and the climactic twist is fantastic…but then the journey to the finale just takes too long. Still, it’s a great story and worth the read (after In a Dark, Dark Wood though).

Do you have anything to recommend? Did you read any of these books?

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Show Us Your Books: October to November

Hey hey hey, it’s Show Us Your Books Day! I read three great books this month, and I can’t wait to tell you about them!

Life According to Steph

 

The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Sayings from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders (4 1/2 out of 5 Stars)

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

I never get tired of learning fun facts or quippy sayings, and this book is a delightful merging of both! Sure, we all know the cliche phrases like “what goes around comes around,” but it’s so much more satisfying when you can give some advice using an adage from another country. One of my personal favorites from the book is a Japanese saying “Even monkeys fall from trees.” So next time, instead of saying, “Nobody’s perfect,” try reminding someone that even the most agile ape occasionally slips from a branch.

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand (4 1/2 out of 5 Stars)

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This book sucked me in QUICKLY…much like the characters in this town were sucked into the rumor mill! I first heard about this book from Chelsea, and I’m so glad that she recommended it! I listened to it on Overdrive while I worked and drove–and there were times that I didn’t want to get out of the car because I was so engaged! The only downside to the book was the ending for one of the characters…even though what she did was wrong, I still wanted her to end up happier.

The One & Only by Emily Giffin (5 out of 5 Stars)

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Are you suffering from Friday Night Lights withdrawal? If so, grab this book ASAP! It’ll put you right back in a football-loving Texas town with characters who live and die for a National Championship. I would also highly recommend listening to the audio version of this book, since the narrator’s southern accent truly sets the right tone. Sure, it wasn’t the most serious of books, but I felt very connected to the characters and was so sad when it ended!

What did you read this month? Anything good?

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Show Us Your Books: September to October

Happy Tuesday! It’s the second Tuesday of the month, so that means I’m linking up with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books!

The Assistants by Camille Perri (4 out of 5 Stars)

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This is one of those books that got such mixed reviews, so I wasn’t sure what to think. And honestly, the characters aren’t all that likable. But a book about some assistants to high-powered men stealing money to help those in need is compelling, to say the least, and it’s really entertaining! Love all the pop culture references, and even though I’d be way too nervous to take the same paths as these characters, I have to admire their chutzpah.

Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming (4 1/2 out of 5 Stars)

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Alan Cumming is a marvelous and daring actor, so when I read the title of this book, I figured that it would be about how different he is from his father. Well…I was sort of right, but you should definitely read it to find out more! I highly recommend listening on audiobook because Alan Cumming reads it himself and OH that Scottish brogue.

What have you read this month that’s been great?

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Show Us Your Books: July to August

Three books ain’t bad, right? And let’s be honest–August is going to suffer due to all the Olympics-watching. But either way, it’s time to show my books!

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini

(4 out of 5 Stars)

I could listen to Leah Remini talk all day (audiobook, obviously). She’s a tough New York broad, complete with New York accent. I was a huge fan of hers as Stacy Carosi on Saved by the Bell, and I’ve been following her career since then.

I’ll say this now: I believe that people should be able to worship any faith that they wish (or no faith at all, if they so chose). While Scientology isn’t for me, I can understand how some people might worship that faith. I knew that Leah had issues with some of the leaders of Scientology, but I had NO IDEA just how bad her experience was.

Oh, and you want some Tom Cruise dirt? It’ll blow your mind.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

(4.5 out of 5 Stars)

I think that on some level, Felicia Day and I could be best friends. Actually, as kids, we TOTALLY would have been besties. A lot of the references that she makes to things she enjoyed in her childhood had me going “Yep yep yep!”

This is another book that is SO much better listening to her read it. First of all, Joss Whedon reads the introduction. Yes, the same Joss Whedon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That had me geeking out hard right away, but then she went on to just be so personable and awesome that I hated to get out of the car and stop listening to her! A girl who was homeschooled, started college at 16 on a violin scholarship and then went on to write a hit web series and star on Supernatural?? Seriously, Felicia, when do you want to go grab some curly fries at Arby’s? I’m ready anytime!

The Royal We by Heather Cocks

(3 out of 5 Stars)

I waited and waited and WAITED for this book to be available on Overdrive so that I could listen to it. Finally, it was ready, and I was hooked from the get-go. I even went by the library to get a hard copy of the book because I couldn’t wait to read more about the William and Kate-esque romance! But that was in the beginning of the book…and then it lost me.

It may be my fault. I love a royal wedding and a royal romance, especially William and Kate’s, so the fact that this book is obviously loosely based on their romance got me even more excited. The problem is that although there are obviously obstacles in any relationship, I felt as though this book through in too many. And I don’t want to spoil the end, but it wasn’t what I was looking for.

What was the best thing you read this month? And don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win an Amazon gift card!

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