Tag Archives: books

Things I Read

I was about the write about my race last weekend when I found this half written post about books. Now even more have piled up since I started it, so here’s what I’ve read since – well, I have no idea. Maybe last September? I’m surprised there are so many because I took a decent break from reading.

1. Armada by Ernest Cline (Goodreads link)

Armada

This book wasn’t what I expected. I thought it was a sequel to Ready Player One and not just the second novel from the author. Had I know that in advance (or in this case paid attention to the book summary), I probably wouldn’t have read it. I loved RPO but I don’t usually follow authors. So anyway, this is a whole new story and is similar to RPO in that it’s an adventure based on playing video games. At first, I was bored, then it got better, and then the ending really screwed the pooch. Overall, I liked it because the good part was long enough to warrant a “like,” but I wouldn’t recommend it.

2. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (Goodreads link)

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I read this one on a recommendation from Michelle and really liked it. The story starts out with a bunch of bad decisions from the main character, and if you can get past those, it’s a really good mystery with a great ending that doesn’t go overboard. I feel like a lot of books have endings that are so crazy that they don’t match the rest of the story and this one stayed pretty nicely consistent.

3. Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore (Goodreads link)

bloodsucking

I read this one because of a friend that pretty much gave every book from this author five stars on Goodreads and curiosity got the best of me. It’s about a guy that gets unwittingly involved with a vampire and the mishaps that happen around their relationship and the vampire’s maker. I really liked it. It’s really funny and light and fluffy, which was what I needed after In a Dark Dark Wood. If you’re looking for something with those qualities, I would recommend it.

4. You Suck by Christopher Moore (Goodreads link)

you suck cover

This is the second book to Bloodsucking Fiends. I liked the beginning, I liked the end, but somewhere in the middle it lost me and then took me forever to finish. I think I mostly had a problem with Abby’s character. She’s so annoying and I hated reading her parts, and didn’t find them funny even though they were supposed to be. From the description of the third book, it seems like Abby is a main character, so I’ll probably pass on that one for that reason only.

5. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (Goodreads link)

I really liked this book. I liked it so much that I bought it for my best friend for Christmas and I never buy books for other people. It’s about a girl that’s kidnapped and the parents that are trying to find her. The book goes back and forth to past and present, so you know from the beginning that the kidnapped girl is found; it’s about finding out the details of what happened while she was kidnapped. Out of all the books in this post, I’d recommend reading this one the most.

6. You by Caroline Kepnes (Goodreads link)

YOU-A-NOVEL

You is about a guy that works at a book store who starts stalking one of his customers. I find it really surprising that this was written by a woman, but I guess if it was written by a guy, it would seem even creepier. Anyway, I liked the first half so much that I was blowing through the pages but then, something happened. I still liked the book as a whole, but it became disconcerting to read from the viewpoint of a stalker. He had no redeeming qualities so I just felt uncomfortable after awhile. There’s a second book in this series, but I don’t think reading from that viewpoint is for me.

7. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (Goodreads link)

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I have a few friends that loved this one so I thought I’d check it out. It’s about a girl that may have died from suicide or she may have been killed. The girl’s mom reconstructs what happened to her by talking to people she knew, and through her texts and emails. I thought the book was alright. I didn’t love the writing because things were over-explained and too simplified, but my main issue was that I never really cared what happened to Amelia. As I discovered what happened, I’m like, who cares? There was no basis for an attachment to the character so I didn’t care how anything ended.

8. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Goodreads link)

Miss-Peregrine-Home-Peculiar-Children-Ransom-Riggs

This book was on some Buzzfeed list of books to read and is going to be a movie later this year, so I was pretty excited to read it. It’s about a teenager named Jacob that tries to uncover his grandfather’s mysterious past. This is another book that started off great, but lost steam once it got to the meat of the story. The end is a cliffhanger that I didn’t give a rat’s ass about, so I won’t be reading the next book. I’m not saying it’s a bad book. It’s a cute adventure, kind of like a kid’s X-Men, but something was missing for me.

9. Never, Never Part 3 (Goodreads link)

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The story is about a guy and a girl that lose their memories at the same time and have to figure out what is going on and how they’re connected to each other. It’s kind of like Memento with a love story. I really loved these books but it was one book divided into three parts. Really dumb. Each part is less than 100 pages. Had I known, I would have waited to read it when all three parts were out because I couldn’t remember some stuff by the time part three was released. I definitely recommend this one and now is a good time to read it so you don’t get annoyed by how it was split up.

Whew. Ok, that’s it.

Right now, I’m half way through “14” by Peter Clines. At the rate I’m going, I’ll post about that one in 2017.

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More Books

My reading has really slowed down since the beginning of the year what with school and life happenings. Since my last book post in June, I’ve managed to read five books.

1. Never, Never Books 1 and 2, by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher (Goodreads link and Amazon link)

Never Never

I was a little disappointed that each of these books were barely 100 pages because I loved them. The story is about a guy and a girl that lose their memories at the same time and have to figure out what is going on and how they’re connected to each other. It’s kind of like Memento with a love story. The second book isn’t as good as the first only because it gets into some really sappy love letters that I couldn’t unread. But other than that, they are both super fast reads (how can they not be at 100 pages?) and really interesting.

2. The Secret Wilderness by Jennifer Bradley  (Goodreads link)

secret wilderness cover

This book was written by a friend of mine and she asked a few people at work to read it and give her feedback. It’s a coming of age story about a girl that can shape-shift into a wolf. I don’t think I could really explain the story fully without getting long in the tooth (get it? wolf. tooth. anything?). Anyway, I liked the book but I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first two or three chapters had I not know the author personally. After those couple chapters, it really picked up and I enjoyed it. I did have a few constructive criticisms for Jen that seemed to be the consensus of the girls that read it at work. She’s currently updating it  based on everyone’s feedback, which I’m sure will make it even better. She’s already written a sequel and she’s going to re-release the first book, so I hope she has some success with it.

3.  A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin  (Goodreads link and Amazon link)

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After five seasons of watching Game of Thrones, I’ve officially forgotten half the stuff that happened in the show. So I decided to read the first book as a reminder and I really liked it. The first book is very similar to the first season and was a good reminder of who is connected to whom. Also, Sansa is the worst. I don’t remember hating her when I was watching the first season but hoo boy did I hate her in the book. I will definitely read the second book but I need to wait until I’m ready to take on another 800 page monster.

4. Lock In by John Scalzi  (Goodreads link and Amazon link)

LockInScalzi

I’ve been reading a lot of book samples lately to see if they’re worthy of buying and this is the first one that I wanted to keep reading. This book reads like a FBI crime drama married I Robot and had a book baby. I’m surprised I liked it because I don’t even like crime dramas, so I’m happy I listened to Matt’s book review and gave it a shot. I noticed when I bought it, it was labeled as book 1 so that makes me kind of excited that there will be another one. Plus, it’s one of those books that doesn’t end on a cliffhanger so you won’t feel stabby at the end.

 

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Three (Books) for Thursday

I haven’t been reading many books now that I’m running again. I would say 99% of my reading is done while walking on the treadmill. So less walking equals less reading. I can’t sit on the couch and read. I get antsy like I should be doing something else, which doesn’t make sense because I can sit on the couch and watch hours of TV. Anyway, this is what I’ve managed to finish over the past couple months.

1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

You can find the summary HERE.

Ugh. I hated this book. 80% of it was written in email and letter correspondence, which I guess could be fun and different, but I just found it annoying. A lot of the time, I felt like the correspondence didn’t even pertain to the story. I considered not finishing over and over from page 20 on. It’s one of those books that get just interesting enough for a few pages to keep you going but then goes downhill again. So I finished because I like to torture myself and then didn’t like the ending, of course.

2. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

You can find the summary HERE.

I loved this book. Remember how I said The Fault in our Stars was the best book I’ve read in years? This one is a very close second. Michelle, the book whisperer, recommended this to me, of course. Can she do no wrong? There’s a lot of humor in this one even though it deals with some dark subject matter. I love how Nastya is so self-aware but still has so many problems that she can’t handle. It’s just very real and it has a great ending. I definitely recommend this one.

3. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

You can find the summary HERE.

This is another one recommended by Michelle. I started this one yesterday and I’m already 1/3 of the way through. So far I’m liking it a lot. The main character is so miserable but he’s written in a really funny, sarcastic, self-depreciating way. I feel like if I had enough talent to come up with a story and write a book, this is how I would write it. Something about the humor reminds me of me.

So hopefully I’ll be finished with this one by the end of the weekend. And season 2 of Scandal. And season 4 of Parks and Rec. Big, exciting plans going on over here this weekend.

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What I’m Reading

I don’t think I’ve read this much since I was in college. I feel like a real grown up. Maybe I’ll even graduate to reading actual adult books at some point, but no promises. Here’s what I read to kill time walking on the treadmill while I was patiently waiting to be able to run again.

1. Reached by Ally Condie

You can find the summary here.

Reached is book 3 of the Matched series. I had no interest in reading another dystopian novel but somehow I managed to plow through all of them quickly. I thought the whole series was really good and I like how the writing seemed to mature in each book as the characters matured and got stronger. If you liked The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner series, you’re going to like these.

2. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.

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You can find the summary here.

I.loved.this.book. A friend of mine posted about it on Facebook so I thought I would give it a try since I loved the movie. Well, the book is so different from the movie. I want to watch it again after reading but I’m afraid I won’t like it now in comparison. While reading, I had a hard time not picturing Will Smith, when the lead character was more like an alcoholic Chris Hemsworth that doesn’t work out. The end is amazing, has interesting social undertones, and makes the title make sense unlike the movie. It’s a short read (maybe 200 pages), and if you like vampire stories, you’ll like this one.

3. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

You can find the summary here. Unrelated, I’d like to go drinking with whomever designs those covers. I think it would be a good time.

This is book 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series. I read the first nine books back-to-back several years ago, bought this one right after I read book nine, and then let it sit on my Nook for three years for no particular reason.

I love the series but this was probably one of the least interesting of the books. Half way through I thought, I’m never going to read another one of these. By the end of the book, I was ready to buy the next one. Even though it wasn’t as good as most of the others, it still sucks you in and reminds you how different they are from the series.

4.  Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

You can find the summary here.

I read most of this book. I skipped some of the long tables and hormone descriptions that got repetitive after awhile. What I did read I thought was really informative. My take away was that everything is poisoning us and wreaking havoc on our metabolisms. Sometimes I felt like the book had too much information to take in at once and it also seemed impossible to follow all the rules she suggests without making it your 24-hour job to rid your life of artificial foods and products. If you want to worry about everything you’re doing to your body even more than you already do…read this.

5. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

You can find the summary here.

I read this book on Michelle’s recommendation. It’s about a girl who is unwillingly sent to live at a leper colony in Hawai’i. The summary doesn’t sound like anything I would normally want to read, but man am I glad I did. I even almost stopped reading 20 pages in because I thought I couldn’t get into it, but I would have really missed out. This book is amazing. It’s sweet and sad and emotional and uplifting and heartwarming and just so, so, so good. I highly recommend it. It’s up at  the top of my list with my other fave of the year, The Fault in our Stars.

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Moar Books

Lots of reading going on in these parts. It’s weird, because until three years ago, I hated reading. It once took me five years to read a Stephen King book. When hubs bought me a Nook for my birthday, I was *thisclose* to returning it because I thought it would collect dust. Needless to say, I’m glad I kept it because I have become a reading fool.

1. Terra by Gretchen Powell

Terra

Summary can be found here.

I didn’t mean to read this book. I wanted to finish a few miles on the treadmill and picked a random book off Michelle‘s Nook to make my walk less boring. At first, I thought it was just a hodge-podge of every dystopian book I’ve ever read, so I was annoyed that it wasn’t original. Then somehow my annoyance turned to interest and I ended up getting sucked in and read it fast. I really liked it and if you like fast, easy reads along The Hunger Games lines, you’ll like this one. Now, I have to sit around and wait for the next book to come out. Because of course it has to be a trilogy. Of course.

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Summary can be found here.

I read this book on several recommendations because there is no way I would have read it by looking at that cover. (Yep, I’m a judger.) I loved it. It was so weird and different and dream-like and I wasn’t always sure how the pieces fit together, but it didn’t matter because it all came together at the end.

The story unravels slowly but it’s still interesting because it leaves you wanting to know more. The end was fairly abrupt compared to the rest of the book. It’s like you get used to a certain pacing and then the end speeds up so fast and resolves itself too easily. So I guess I could have used more there somehow, but it was still completely worth it. And, it was nice to read something that wasn’t written for my inner 14-year-old. (See #1 and #3)

3. Matched (and Crossed) by Ally Condie

Matched

Summary can be found here.

Speaking of my inner 14-year-old, this is another dystopian novel. I could tell when I started reading it that I need a break from dystopias soon. I’m reading too many of those in a row. Still, I liked it a lot even though it seemed elementarily written compared to similar books.

I guess I liked it enough to jump on the second book in the series (Crossed) right away, because I’ll be done with that one tonight. It’s really good so far as well and seems written more for adults, which makes sense with what the characters are going through. Plus, it’s really different from the first book. It reminds me a lot of The Scorch Trials, so it’s not winning any originality contests but if you like that type of book, you will really like this series.

So that’s all I got for books. For now. I’ll take more recommendations if you have them. 🙂

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Sometimes I Read

I’ve been reading a lot lately. Way more than usual which is normally pretty minimal because I spend my time watching hours upon hours of television. Most of these were recommended (and lent) to me by Michelle. I forget books exist until she tells me I need to read something that she loved. She is my Book Whisperer. So, it’s super rare for me to read five books in five weeks, so I’m feeling kinda accomplished right now.

1. Unwholly by Neal Shusterman

UnWholly

Summary:

Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Is it me or does the dude on the cover look like Eminem? He’s all I could think about during that scene. Anyway, this is the second book of the Unwind trilogy and I was pretty excited about it because I loved Unwind. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near as good as the first book. It started off slowly, so I read about 50 pages and put it down for three months until I picked it up again. It took a good hundred pages to get me interested enough that I wanted to finish. Overall, I liked it but it was just disappointing after the first book.

2. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles

Summary:

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

I liked this one. It was interesting, particularly because something like the Earth’s rotation slowing could really happen which gave it a real/creepy factor. If I can be nit-picky, it started off a bit slow and I got tired of reading, “this was the last time I stepped foot in this house” or “this was the last time I’d play the piano” or “this was the last grape I’d ever eat.” I get it. This was a new time. But overall, it was a really good, fast read. I didn’t love the ending. It wasn’t bad but it ended with no real resolution and makes you want more. Also, it took me till almost the end of the book to figure out what the title meant which was slightly annoying.

3. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

Summary:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs… for now.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I loved it. It’s probably the best book I’ve read in the past year or two. It’s so sad and funny and touching. This is the only book I’ve ever read that’s made me laugh out loud. I loved the characters and loved the author’s writing. I definitely recommend this one. Prepare to cry unless you have a cold, black soul

4. Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns

Summary:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life–dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge–he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

After loving The Fault in Our Stars, I was ready for MOAR John Green, and I gotta say…I didn’t like it. It takes place in Orlando, so it was cool to know the streets and landmarks. It also had some of the same humor that I liked so much in TFIOS, but I just didn’t give a shit about any of the characters, especially Margo – the character the entire book is centered around. I don’t even get why Q would care about her so much to go through everything he did to find her. Did not make sense. I considered not finishing the book half way through but I guess I hoped it would get better or I would care at some point but it didn’t happen. I also hated the ending. (Side note: I know Michelle loved this book so maybe I’m just a grumpy old woman.)

5. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook

Summary:

Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him — the return of his estranged wife Nikki.

I finished this one last night. I know I’m late to the game and probably the only one left that hasn’t seen the movie, but I keep hearing good things so I went for it and loved it. Again, if I can be nit-picky, the sports talk got a little old after awhile but overall it’s such a sweet and (sometimes) funny story. Plus, the ending leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy-like.

What have you read that you love or hate?

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Girl’s Night Out

Saturday morning started out with a 10 mile run with my running group. The run was harder than I expected it to be. After doing 16 miles last weekend and not working out at all the three days prior, I thought this one would be a breeze.

Nope. It sucked. Thank goodness Michelle ran with us this time because the entire running group was ahead of me again. I just can’t keep up with them and it’s really bumming me out. Sad smile

There was one good thing that came out of this run. Or maybe I should say it didn’t come out…

I did the no sugar thing again and my stomach was great the whole time. Yay for no pooping! We finished the run in 1 hour and 43 minutes (a 10:20 pace). Not bad since that time included all the walking breaks.


After the run, I finally finished this book.

I thought there were several areas in the book that weren’t descriptive enough for me to visualize exactly what was happening, but besides that, I loved it.

Divergent is a young adult book that is very similar in genre to The Hunger Games. It’s the author’s first book (She’s 22. Feel free to hate her now.) and it’s the first in a series. I highly recommend it, but be warned that if you read this one, the next one won’t be out for a year. (You can check out the book summary at the author’s blog if you’re interested.)


Saturday night, I met up with Michelle, Jackie, Kate, and Kate’s sister-in-law, Kelley, at Frank and Steins – a new pub and eatery in downtown Orlando.

We arrived around 8:00 pm and grabbed the last table available.

Frank and Steins has a beer menu as big as most restaurants’ regular menus.

The food menu looked like a newspaper article, which I thought was super cute.

The pub had all sorts of board games you could play – we noticed other tables playing Hungry Hungry Hippo, Jenga, Operation, and Connect Four. There was even Ski Ball.

There were over 300 beers to choose from and I started off with the most girly beer I could find. My beer taste doesn’t go too far past the “Bud Light meter.”

That is until Michelle ordered a Kasteel Rouge Cherry beer that was so good I had to get one myself.

We took lots of pictures.

Michelle asked everyone to pull her finger.

And we witnessed a near bar fight.

(The balding guy in the middle put his beer down on an occupied table and the girl that was sitting at the table slammed it. hahaha. GOD I love Orlando.)

By the time we were ready to leave, the place was packed. We gave up our table to the hovering vulchers and walked over to Ember.

More drinks were consumed.

Gang signs were thrown up.

I think Michelle sang a Miley Cyrus song to us. And then at some point, we made it home.

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Weekend Recap

This weekend has been pretty chill and plan free as far as weekends go. Usually my weekends are jam-packed with plans and I never get anything done around the house, which makes my work week more relaxing than the weekend.

Well, this weekend I feel like I got a lot of stuff done around the house including making my flower bed go from this:

To this:

I think those new plants get fairly big, so I didn’t want to crowd it with more plants until I know for sure. It’s not done, but it’s much better.

This weekend, I also finished the book I started on the flight out to California last weekend, Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Michelle recommended this one to me a long time ago.

Unwind was awesome. I loved it! It’s a young adult book along the lines of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner and it’s a super fast read. There was one scene in the book that I thought was seriously disturbing, and I don’t often think that with books. I think it’s because I don’t really have that great of an imagination and a lot of times books are what your mind makes of them.

Next up on my read list:

Master your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. I’ve been wanting to read this one forever.

Book 10 of the Sookie Stackhouse Series. I bought this one awhile ago and it’s been waiting patiently on my Nook.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

That cover seriously creeps me out. Am I the only one? I’m not much of a reader so it usually takes long plane rides or chemical peels, that make me stay in all weekend because I look like Goldmember, to actually pick up a book.

Speaking of books, Michelle started a virtual book club. If you’re interested in joining, head on over to her blog. She just picked the first book for June.

Lastly, I just got back from seeing Bridesmaids.

EVERYONE is saying this movie is crazy hilarious. While I thought it was very funny and cute, I didn’t think it was hilarious. (Although, there was one scene that I laughed so hard I cried.) Honestly, I was tearing up most of the movie because I felt so bad for Kristin Wiig’s character. So, I thought the movie had more heart than being drop-dead funny.

Also, it was awesome to see Kristen Wiig play normal instead of one of her whacky SNL characters. She’s a really great actress in this movie, which I didn’t expect. So, go see it. You’ll love it if you’re a man or a woman.  Or a man-woman. They’ll love it too.

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