Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Show Us Your Books, October edition: Celebrating 2 years!

YOU GUYS. This month marks two years–TWO YEARS–of Show Us Your Books. I cannot even express in words how amazing that is and how honored I am that every month for the last two years, you have linked up and talked books with me and Steph. It is amazing to connect with other readers from all over the world and there are dozens of books I’ve read that maybe I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for your participation. So, as a thank you, we have a little giveaway. Make sure you read through the whole post to see what prizes we have for you guys and enter to win. 

As far as my reads this past month, it was quite a mixed bag both in terms of my reaction to the books and in terms of topic. I don’t want to say it was my most eclectic month on record but it’s definitely a contender. And, as always, these are either direct copies or derivatives of my Litsy reviews (follow me there if you’d like. Just search for my username, Jana).show-us-your-books-2016-300by300

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. You’ll get more of my feedback on this book when Steph and I discuss it on The Armchair Librarians but for now, let’s say that it’s exponentially better than her other book but it’s still an average, standard, passes the time just fine thriller. It’s a perfect plane or vacation book, one that keeps you reading but doesn’t hurt your brain and isn’t 100% unputdownable. She weaves an intriguing story, even if you solve the mystery pretty early on, but the storytelling is kind of lazy and boring at times. That said, I read the book in a day so it didn’t totally suck.

Heartbreaker: Stories by Maryse Meijer. I have mixed feelings about this collection of short stories. On the one hand, it’s a beautiful collection of gorgeously written, sad, and fucked up stories about love and sex and relationships and the really dark parts of all of those. On the other hand, they were so damn weird that I struggled through it at times. But I guess that’s what made it so compelling. I can’t say that I recommend it to everyone, because some might find some of the stories  offensive or way too out there, but it was good. Very good.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. While written in typical Picoult formula, it’s probably the most relevant and intense book of hers I’ve read (save for Nineteen Minutes. Probably on par with that). It addresses all the things regarding racism we’re afraid to confront and you can tell the care she took in researching and writing. This book will give you all the emotions and, in the end, gives you pause to truly think. This is not an easy book, and might upset people, but I’m glad it’s out there (and I can’t wait until Steph and I get to see her talk about it). *received as an ARC from NetGalley

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. NOPE NOPE NOPE. There was nothing about this book I liked except maybe the news reports and emails. Had I not had to finish it for The Armchair Librarians, I would have bailed. It was boring and sloppy and tedious and tried so hard to be The Girl on the Train but failed so hard. The main character was wholly unlikable and I gave zero fucks about what happened to her and I gave less fucks about the plot. And the ending sucked balls.

Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart. The Kopp sisters series is easily my favorite series of the last 5 years and I don’t generally like historical fiction. That’s how good this shit is. I love, love Constance’s tenacity and badassery and take no shit and get shit done and shut your face, I can take care of myself and don’t you tell me I can’t because I’m a woman attitude. We need more books about women like this, historical or fiction, and all the kudos to Amy Stewart for writing these. I swallowed this book whole in about 3 hours, I loved it so. It maybe wasn’t as good as Girl Waits with Gun but definitely close. 

Monster by Walter Dean Myers. I got this from last month’s SUYB but cannot remember who reviewed it but thank you to whomever that was. As a former juvenile probation officer, the subject of this book hurt me in places. It was such a creative way to tell Steve’s story, and the diary entries were particularly poignant but the end felt rushed. It tapered off when it shouldn’t have. For all the in-depth, thoughtful moments throughout the rest, it was disappointing. The author did a great job writing from Steve’s perspective and it really makes you think about some moral issues in our justice system. 

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight. ALL THE YESSES TO THIS BOOK!!! I loved it so, so, so much. Hilarious and practical and perfect for anyone no matter your level of fuck-giving. You will learn, you will laugh, you will have revelations. This is book #1 in my adulting starter kit. However, if heavy swearing is not something you enjoy or if you are offended by that kind of language, then maybe pass. And she has a second book coming out in December. I CANNOT WAIT.

TL; DR: Add The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, and Small Great Things. Run away from Ruth Ware. 

Now it’s your turn! Link up and show us what you’ve read! Make sure you visit some other bloggers, too. And below the linkup is the giveaway so definitely check that out.

 Loading InLinkz ...

Giveaway time!!!


Here’s the prize breakdown (and of course they’re all book related): 

  • First prize = $50 Amazon gift card;
  • Second prize = banned books socks and a library card catalog coffee mug;
  • Third prize = reading journal and book ornament;
  • Fourth prize = card catalog pouch (when we bought it, Out of Print sent a book to a community in need, so it’s a feel good prize too). 

Good luck and thanks again for 2 amazing bookish years!!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

resized signature 2


  1. Pingback: September Bookshelf: The Mixed Genre Month

  2. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    I enjoyed Lady Cop Makes Trouble too and like you, slightly enjoyed Girl Waits with Gun a tiny bit more. I added the Not Giving a Fuck book to my TBR from an earlier post you wrote. It sounds like something I need to read, right now!! I wasn’t sure if my library would have it – but they do! YAY! Congrats to you and Steph for the 2-year anniversary of Show Us Your Books. This is my favorite link-up and I thank you both for creating and nurturing this great community of readers.
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…September Bookshelf: The Mixed Genre MonthMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Your library HAS it?! I’m jealous! Mine did not (and probably would not) carry it. But I bought it and I feel like everyone needs a copy. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

      1. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

        I know, right? I never guessed they would have it. But it’s LA, so in some ways I’m surprised they don’t have arrows pointing at it when you enter the library. 🙂
        Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…September Bookshelf: The Mixed Genre MonthMy Profile

  3. texerinsydney

    You will be proud of me. I’m finally starting Girl Waits with Gun tonight!
    Yes to Monster, Heartbreaker, and Small Great Things as well.
    Happy 2 years! I’m happy to have joined you for most of them.
    texerinsydney recently posted…I show you my books*, you show me yours vol.21My Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I am so proud of you!!! I think you’ll really like it. Constance is such a bad ass!

      I’m glad you’ve joined us, too! I think a good bulk of the books I’ve enjoyed based on recommendations have come from you.

  4. kristen

    happy 2 year anniversary of this link up! legit my favourite link up ever. so yay! love being a part of this link up every month. great giveaway!
    that sucks that you didn’t love the ruth ware books, they are on my list, i’m not super into thrillery type books normally so maybe they will be good to me? because my expectations are pretty low/i get scared really easily? haha. small great things is on my kindle.

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I’m pretty big into thrillers and these just did not do it for me. Dark Dark Wood was better so I’d say read that before Cabin 10.

      Thanks for being with us for the last 2 years!

  5. Lisa

    Hi Jana!

    I just found your blog, along with Steph, and I am so happy and excited to find some more reading/book bloggers! I read Ruth Ware’s debut novel last October and I really enjoyed it and I am half-way through The Woman In Cabin 10! Looking forward to your discussion on In a dark, dark wood.


  6. Nadine

    Happy two year anniversary!!! I can’t believe it has been two years already?! I felt the same way you did about Small Great Things. It took me awhile to get through but it was done very well! Adding The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck to my TBR because ummmm that sounds right up my alley!

    1. Nadine

      Also, I am really interested to listen to the episode where you talk about The Woman in Cabin 10 because some people raved about that book but I have a feeling I wouldn’t care for it.

  7. SMD

    GDit this is going to make me buy the newest Picoult. Oh well I won a B+N gift card and I can give that copy away.

  8. Rebecca Jo

    I have always loved Jodi Picoult so I was really curious about that book.
    Congrats on 2 years. I totally love this day of the month. A book lovers DREAM!!! 🙂

  9. Jenn @ Optimization, Actually

    My brain kept trying to turn Maryse Meijer into Marissa Meyer. Lol! I pre-ordered her book Heartless, and it seems to be on my mind… The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck sounds good! But question: if I actually did really enjoy the Tidying one it’s parodying, will I get cranky when I read it? Is it mocking the self help genre or is it its own book that references other self help books to make a point?

  10. kathy @ more coffee, less talky

    dammit. My days are all screwed up because of our long weekend; I thought today was monday! But happy 2yr book linkup anniversary! I can’t believe 2 years has already passed.

    Apparently, a lot of people in my city don’t want to give a fuck since i’m in position 29324897546897234 of 10 copies. :\
    kathy @ more coffee, less talky recently posted…Back to blogging – 3 songs that impacted my lifeMy Profile

  11. Heather

    I have read none of those, but Jodi Piccoult sounds interesting and a name I recognize. I wish I enjoyed a lot of swearing because that last book sounds good. I might see if the library has it and try it out. I’m reading book 2 in the Falling series by Ginger Scott!
    Heather recently posted…All About the Books October 2016My Profile

  12. lauren

    congrats on two years! I love that our reviews of the ruth ware books are totally opposite. HAHA! adding that life changing magic book to my tbr.

  13. carly blogs here

    Congrats on 2 years of the linkup- it’s always my favorite! I preferred the Woman in Cabin 10 over In a Dark, Dark Wood, but definitely found the main character to feel a lot like Girl on the Train too. The Amy Stewart series is definitely on my radar!
    carly blogs here recently posted…Carly Reads Here | OctoberMy Profile

  14. Micah @ Unabashedly Me

    I’m currently reading “The things We Wish Were True” by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen. I’ve only just started it, but I’m already really intrigued.

  15. Ashley The Wandering Weekenders

    I didn’t think that The Woman In Cabin 10 was that great of a thriller either, and I thought that it was funny that the main character reminded me a lot of Rachel from The Girl On The Train. We actually read both of those books back to back for book club and I’m definitely going to bring that up this month. I’ve never read a Jodi Picoult book, but everybody keeps on talking about Small Great Things, I need to give it a try. Monster sounds like a hard book to read because of the subject matter, but it also sounds really similar to the HBO show The Night Of. I definitely want to give it a try!

  16. emily @ a little bit of emily

    Such a bummer to hear Ruth Ware was a no-go for you! That last book definitely sounds like a must-read!

  17. Kerri

    I’m pretty sure In A Dark, Dark Wood is at my local library, so I might grab it sometime. But, given your review, I’m probably not going to like it since thrillers and such aren’t really my jam, so if it’s just OK to people who enjoy them, I probably won’t find it that entertaining to read. But you never know, and I’m always game to give them a go, just in case I like it.

  18. Brittany Pines

    Yay, I’m glad you liked Monster. Although I understand your point about the ending. The Knight book sounds interesting! I was considering picking up Ware but maybe I will avoid it…

  19. Lauren

    I’ve only read one Jodi Picoult book… doesn’t someone always die? I liked Cabin 10 but I’m prepared to be in the minority and fully admit that it was the right book at the right time… I think it followed a string of YA books of varied good-ness, so I needed some adults, even if they were terribly flawed. I’m so mad – even though I haven’t read The Life Changing Magic, I thought it would be a perfect gift for a friend this weekend but neither Barnes and Noble nor Target sold it in stores! I need to at least double check the library for it.

  20. Jennifer

    I heard about the Kopp series on another podcast I listen to, All The Books. Now that I know you like it too, I’ll definitely check them out!

  21. Emma

    I have yet to read anything by Picoult, but I keep buying her books at library sales. I should probably try reading them! The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck sounds so much more appealing to me than the other life changing magic book! I’ll have to find me a copy!

  22. Heather

    I have Girl Waits with Gun on hold at the library, so I’ll read them in order but they sound so good! I had never heard of them until I kept seeing the second one around as a new release. I think I will avoid The Woman in Cabin 10…I honestly have not heard anything good about it yet.
    Happy 2 year bookish anniversary!
    I have yet to read any Jodi Picoult but my sister is a huge fun.

  23. Mackenzie

    People either really liked The Woman in Cabin 10, or they really hated it. I waffled a bit on whether or not I should read it, but if it is trying to be Girl on a Train, then I will pass. The Girl on a Train, although I read it, was a seriously screwed up book, and I couldn’t wait to be done with it.
    Mackenzie recently posted…As The Page Turns: September EditionMy Profile

  24. Brie @ A Slice of Brie

    Happy Anniversary! Thanks for creating such an awesome bookish community 🙂 I look forward to these posts every month!

    I haven’t read any Ruth Ware, and while I want to, I keep hearing mixed things. That’s a bummer about Cabin 10 – it did sound promising! I haven’t read any Picoult in years, but this new book of hers sounds REALLY good and I’m glad you thought so too.
    Brie @ A Slice of Brie recently posted…The Books I’ve Been Reading {#13}My Profile

  25. Heather Howell Wescott

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list this month but a couple sound intriguing. In the past month, I finished My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (good), In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri (fantastic), Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (just ok), The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield (loved it), and The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Shumer (listened as Audible book – more serious than I might have expected, overall I enjoyed it). I generally really enjoy Jodi Picoult’s books – Nineteen Minutes is probably her best one in my opinion. I’m looking forward to reading her new one. I read The Storyteller last month, and thought it was very good too.

  26. FF @ Femme Frugality

    I’m going to have to check out that last one! My reading has been embarrassingly stagnant recently. Want to check out that sliding door one you recommended, though, and another friend just pushed me towards a philosophy read—to the library!
    FF @ Femme Frugality recently posted…How to Get a Non-Clergy Wedding in CaliforniaMy Profile

  27. Gwen

    Happy Anniversary! I don’t do a lot of non-fiction, but I think I desperately need that not giving a fuck book in my life. Many of your books this month are on my list, and did you just slide in there something about seeing Jodi Picoult? Jealous! I told Steph that once I get my reading mojo back I’m totally taking over the Armchair Librarians Instagram.

  28. Kelly @ Noodle to the Rescue

    Thank you for this link-up! I really look forward to it every month.
    I didn’t love Girl Waits with Gun but I liked it enough that I’ll read the sequel.
    In a Dark Dark Wood – I agree that the writing was a little lazy/boring and slow-paced, like the big mystery was revealed so slowly while nothing really happens. I guess I’m not patient enough!
    Might take a look at Life-Changing Magic – Sounds funny.
    Kelly @ Noodle to the Rescue recently posted…Reading Roundup – September 2016My Profile

  29. Crystal

    Ooh, I need to look for the last one – I have so few fucks left to give, must work on conserving them!

  30. Heather Lockhart

    Happy Two Year Link Up-iversary! I love this linkup and my goodreads to read list loves it too!

    I just started Red Rising last night, which was definitely a rec I got from Steph/this linkup! 🙂

  31. alyssa

    I cannot wait to read Small Great Things. I have read and loved everything by Jodi Picoult, but I don’t know that I’ve anticipated reading her story about something so much as I have this time around. If I were a better planner, I would be spending tonight seeing her read and discuss it in NYC, but womp womp.

    Also, now THAT is a Life Changing Magic book I want to read.

    Thank you for two awesome years of this linkup, and for creating an awesome space for readers to gather. Happy birthday, SUYB!

  32. Alexandra

    Been wanting to read the Lady Cop books, also The Life Changing Magic. HA – sounds GREAT! Congratulations on 2 years! That’s awesome!! Xo – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  33. Kristen

    As you probably already know, I love this link-up! I look forward to it every month, and I’m so glad you and Steph decided to start it up two years ago.

    I liked In a Dark, Dark Wood when I read it earlier this year, but I was really disappointed in The Woman in Cabin 10. (I also reviewed it this time around.) The emails and news reports were my favorite part as well. I kept hoping she was setting it up for something really great, but then it was like … Oh. Huh. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either. Very “meh” for me.

    I’m adding Small Great Things, Monster, and Heartbreaker. I always seem to add short story collections even though I don’t always enjoy them. This one intrigues me, though, so maybe I’ll pick it up if I’m looking for something different.
    Kristen recently posted…From the Bookshelf: Recently Read – October 2016 EditionMy Profile

  34. Laurajj

    I am currently reading Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery…..I have really been in the Christmas spirit lately!

  35. Kristin

    SOOO many people seemed to like The Woman in Cabin 10. I’ve not tried it. Probably won’t. Will read the “not giving a f*ck” book. I read one this month too and it was pretty good.

  36. Jackie

    Congrats on 2 years! Thanks for hosting an awesome link-up!!

  37. Jill K.

    Amy Stewart’s books are on my list. Sounds like I have to move them up.

  38. Anne

    Stumbled across your linkup and I’m so glad I did! Fun to see what people have been reading lately and to share mine. I’m glad to see the review of the new Kopp sisters book – can’t wait to get my hands on that! I found the first one so delightful.

  39. Steph

    I’m so glad you posted that note about Ruth Ware. I have that on my to-read list and I’m definitely ready to remove it.

  40. Kimmi

    I am on hold for Life changing magic of not giving a fuck! I hope it comes in soon because it totally sounds like my jam!

  41. Teh Megan

    I want to read the Girl Waits with Gun and book 2, I just haven’t gotten to them yet. For the meantime, I’ll either waitlist them or wait for it to go on sale. Thank you Goodreads for telling me when my wishlist books are on sale!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge