August Reading Roundup

Saturday, September 17, 2016


I'm starting to think my blog should just be called A Day Late and a Dollar Short. I started August out all gung-ho with all of these plans. When August began I had it in my mind that we were going to end summer with a bang! On top of that I would do such a great job getting myself on a writing schedule, cleaning and laundry schedule and we wouldn't go out to eat for the majority of the month. You guys, August and these first two weeks of September have completely kicked my butt.

I may not have accomplished a ton, but I did spend way more time reading than I normally do. Thank goodness for audiobooks! It's kind of mind-blowing to me to see just how many books I made it through, especially considering that I spent a ton of time accidentally falling asleep. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
Here's the thing, I don't actually plan on purchasing a copy to grace my shelves, but I do think that anyone who has enjoyed the Harry Potter series owes it to themselves to give this a shot. The format (stage play with very few stage directions) is beyond irritating, but the story itself is solid and enjoyable. I think Rowling did us all a grave disservice by not sitting down and writing this out in a novel format, but whatever.  

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey LeeUnder a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee 
This book was SUCH a surprise to me. It's a tale about a Chinese-American girl and an African-American girl and their escape on the Oregon Trail. I thought it sounded dull, but I'm so happy that I ignored my initial reaction.  This book is full of adventure, a splash of romance and even a bit of girl power. This ended up being one of the best books that I've read this year.
Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
For the past four years I've been trying to figure out what relationship I want or don't want with the religion in which I was raised. At times, such a journey can seem lonely, especially when there are so many around you who are able to just make it work. I found so much comfort and peace in this book. There were sections that I wasn't super interested in and skimmed over, but overall it was a book that I would recommend to anyone who is on such a journey.
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
This was a fantastic audiobook!! It's a great story about learning to be comfortable in your own skin and embracing who you are without apology. Definitely something I'm still working on. The characters are quirky and I really enjoyed myself. 
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Oh my word I am SO glad that I'm not currently dating. Although the stats on infidelity are unsettling. I'm not a huge fan of Aziz's comedy and there were moments during this audiobook that I felt the sudden desire to punch him. Listening to an audiobook does NOT mean that I'm lazy and you insinuating that I am, over and over again, is frustrating. Overall this was very interesting and put together surprisingly well.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
I LOVE this book! There aren't nearly enough characters like Don out there. I love that the romance was confusing and not neatly put together. I love the obliviousness of Don and his growth as a character. It's a great book and definitely one I've already recommended to a few people. This is up there as one of my favorites of 2016.
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
I have officially read everything by Gillian Flynn and I have come to the conclusion that if she adds some poetry to her lineup she may just be the modern-day Edgar Allan Poe. I thought that this was a full-fledged novel, but it's actually a short story that you can fly through in one sitting. It's creepy, confusing and leaves you to draw your own conclusions. 
Still Life by Louise Penny
This is not at all the type of book that I normally gravitate towards, but if Anne from Modern Mrs Darcy recommends it, repeatedly, then I figure I may as well give it a chance. It turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Still Life is very well-written, easy to read and quite enjoyable. I don't know that I would read it again, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who claims to enjoy a decent mystery.
Invincible Summer by Alice Adams
I really, really enjoy stories that follow the characters for a number of years. This particular book felt almost like a smaller British version of my favorite show, Friends. I didn't actually relate to or even particularly like any of the characters, but I still found myself feeling invested in how their lives turned out. It was an enjoyable read for sure.
I really enjoyed listening to this one. Sheryl called me out on so many of the different things that I am completely guilty of doing thus far in my "career." She makes many valid points, provides some decent advice and left me feeling empowered. I'm still not sure that financially I can have my cake and eat it too, but I feel like I have some decent tools in my tool belt for some future use.
Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas
First off, why didn't Kristen Bell read this audiobook? It just wasn't the same! This novel is much heavier than first Veronica Mars book, so prepare yourself for that. Overall, I don't know that I enjoyed it as much just because I didn't expect it to be quite so heavy.
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
I'm only saying to borrow this, because if you read the other two books in the series then you may as well finish it. I didn't love this and thought it was the weakest of the the three novels. It just seemed like the characters that were built over the past two books were turned on their heads and became entirely different people. My other issue is that almost the entire novel is spent prepping for their chance to overthrow the current regime and that lasts all over 2 sort chapters. 

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
This is not at all the type of book I gravitate towards and I'm not really even sure how it wound up on my radar. I don't read a ton of "Christian Romances," but it seemed like kind of a unique tale. It was an interesting story, but seemed to drag in places. The main character, Angel, drove me a bit batty as well. It's not a bad read though. 
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry
I hate Puritans. For some reason I thought this took place in present-day so the fact it was a Puritanical village threw me for a loop. It bugged me how everyone in the village reacted to the main character, especially considering that she had been kidnapped and managed to make it back alive. You would think that someone in that stupid village would think that to be a miracle of sorts. Then again they are crazy Puritans, so why should I be surprised. I also am not a fan of the writing style. Not the book for me.

Fast Girl by Suzy Favor HamiltonFast Girl by Suzy Favor Hamilton
Suzy participated in the Olympics and ended up becoming an escort in Vegas. Somehow her husband was okay enough with that to stay with her, but it's all okay because it turn out she is Bipolar and her medication was making her manic. I understand that mental illness can make you do things that you normally wouldn't, but I don't understand blaming all of your poor choices strictly on that illness. At some level you have to know what you are doing is wrong. It felt like this book was either soft-porn or blame placing. 



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