Saturday, July 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves: July

What I bought in July and why I bought it...

From Amazon (Physical Books):

  • One Plus One by Jojo Moyes - because I needed a road trip book for the Popsugar Reading Challenge
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - because I totally want to read a mystery/thriller set onboard a cruise ship when I go on my September cruise
From Amazon (Kindle Books):
  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey - because I was interested in this YA fantasy book when it came out last year and never bothered to buy it then
  • The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza - because it's a thriller and it was super-cheap
  • He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker - because I'm on a thriller/suspense kick and it has good reviews
  • Roses and Rot by Kat Howard - because it's a dark fairy tale/fantasy
  • Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton - because it's YA set in the world of elite ballet
From Barnes & Noble:
  • The Babylon Rite by Tom Knox - because I love adventure, anthropology, Indiana Jones, and The DaVinci Code and the description reminded me of all of them
  • The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern - because it was the first book I saw (in the bargain section) and I needed something to fill that prompt in the Popsugar Reading Challenge
  • Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant - because I'm all about the thrillers lately, apparently
From Better World Books:
From Netgalley:
  • The Graces by Laure Eve - because witches are awesome
  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova - because Latin American witches are even more awesome

Friday, July 29, 2016

July Wrap-Up

2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge progress: 28 out of 40
Total books read so far this year: 31
Books completed in July: 5

An awesome reading month for me!  Tons of stress at work = lots of books read at home!  

Winter by Marissa Meyer
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #18: A book that's more than 600 pages
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 (because I'm really tough with that full 5 star rating!)

Wow. Mind blown. 

Prior to reading this book, I liked the series but I didn't love it. However, I was super-impressed by this book and all its characters. Winter is delightfully nuts. Really love the Thorne and Cress relationship that develops a lot more in this book. I actually even liked Scarlet in this one, probably because she and Wolf are separated for a lot of the book...I've determined that I like them a lot better individually than as a couple. 

I haven't read a book this long in years, but there isn't a lot of filler and it really keeps up a breakneck pace for the majority of the book. 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #33: A classic from the 20th century

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

I read this book for the first time in high school, so around 20 years ago. My memories of it were a bit dim...I recall liking it but not loving it and not particularly getting what the fuss was about it. I think in my memory I gave it something like 3.75 stars.

I appreciated it more this time around. I think I picked up on more nuances in the writing and identified more with Nick, the narrator, as an adult. Glad I chose to pick this one back up.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #12: A book that takes place during the summer
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This is the kind of book that is really hard to give thoughts on without verging into spoiler territory, but I'll try.  I saw the movie so I knew the major twist going into it, but I had forgotten parts of the story line. I think it works a lot better in book format.

The characters are really messed REALLY psychologically messed up, yet they were still identifiable (at least to me), which probably makes it even more disturbing. 

The book is divided into three sections, two of approximately equal length and a shorter end section. The shorter end section is what kept me from giving this book 5 stars; I feel like I lost a bit of the connection to the characters. I wanted it to wrap up, and I felt she was dragging it out a bit too much. Overall, though, it was a fantastic read and I would like to try other books by this author.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman (AKA The Oatmeal)
Rating: 3.25 out of 5

As a fur-mom, I had high hopes that this graphic novel would be a lot of fun, but it was a bit of a let down - lots of repetition, not really all that amusing, and a section on "how to tell if your cat is homosexual" that is completely random and inappropriate regardless of your sexual orientation.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #17: A book at least 100 years older than you
Rating: 2 out of 5

What a disappointment. I kept waiting for a point/moral/symbolism/etc. that just didn't come (or else I missed completely). Drivel. Absolute drivel. Thank goodness it was short. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Finds

Hello, friends, it's been awhile!

Here are the books I've added to my (virtual) TBR pile over the past week:

The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder
Historical fiction/thriller

Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville
Historical fiction/dark fairy tale retelling (YA, I think?)

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
YA contemporary with a September release date

Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth by Jennifer Chiaverini
Historical fiction

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
YA mystery/thriller with LGBTQ themes (October release date)

Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
Contemporary romance

Dead Secret by Ava McCarthy
Psychological thriller

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert