Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Show Us Your Books, September 2017 edition

Although it’s been 5 weeks since our last SUYB and when we have an extra week in there I get an extra book or two read, such was not the case this month. The culprit? The TV show Rectify. I found it on Netflix and it proceeded to consume me for about 2 solid weeks. It’s not that many seasons or episodes but it left me emotionally spent. I’m not a crier but I cried MULTIPLE times, sometimes multiple times an episode, watching it. It’s a mystery, character study, and scathing indictment of our criminal justice system all at once and it centers around a man freed from death row after spending nearly 20 years on it for a crime he did not commit. You have to see it. I implore you. 

Anyway, you’re here for the books so that’s what I’ll give you. Don’t forget to visit Steph and the other bloggers who’ve joined us to talk books this month and if you’ve been on the fence about joining because you don’t feel like you read enough, I say fuck that and join us anyway. The average American reads less than 10 PER YEAR so at even one book a month, you’re above average. And we want to know what you’ve been reading! Share with us! Next one is on October 9 and we’ll be celebrating 3 years. It’s a big deal.

Reviews copied and/or embellished from Litsy.

The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose. This book just didn’t do it for me like I’d hoped. It started off interesting enough but the level of detail about art and conspiracy theories I had to retain in order to follow half the plot was simply too much. It became distracting and it felt like this was an art version of The Following but less good. Lee’s story and subplot were engaging enough but overall, I struggled with this one. However, I can absolutely see why people would love it. But I did not. 

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. My god, what a book this was. It was beautiful and haunting and not at all what I was expecting. Sometimes when a modern book takes place in the 70s or 80s, it feels gimmicky but in this case it was perfect. Given the storyline around AIDS, it would not have been as powerful if it had taken place now. This book also had a central theme around art but unlike The Readymade Thief, this one connected with me. 

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. This is a good book. Not amazing but a solid read. The separate yet connected plots kept me intrigued and I had no interest in putting the book down. She’s a strong writer who knows how to tell a complicated story without being obnoxious about it. The characters are complex, she doesn’t tie up all the loose ends, and she smacks you hard with the unexpected that’s balanced with the easy to guess and it’s just the right about of fucked up. WAY less fucked up than Pretty Girls. So that was nice. 

The Cleaner by Paul Cleave. This was my 3rd book of his and he does not disappoint. He has quickly become my go-to for a violent psychological thriller because: he’s a great writer who messes with your head, knows how to develop a fucked up plot and characters, and he’s darkly funny. The only thing that bothered me about this book was that Joe, the main character, reminded me so much of Joe from YOU with the ego and narcissism and sociopathy and murder that it was hard not to think of them as the same character. But like I did with YOU, I read the sequel and I will read the sequel to this one as well. 

A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave. If I read two books by the same author in one month, you know I like them. He is such a phenomenal storyteller and writes about fucked up things in such a different way and it makes it difficult to not stay up until 3AM reading. This one is WEIRD and so so unique for a thriller because it’s thrillery with twist after twist and such a blurring of good and bad and morals that you don’t actually know who is responsible for anything. I mean, you do, but not in the way you normally think about it. 

The Dinner Party and Other Stories by Joshua Ferris. Short story collection so if you don’t like short stories, this should be a hard pass for you. I have loved all of his books I’ve read. They’re weird and interesting and I appreciate the elements of realism. And I felt that way about some of the stories in this collection but after awhile they all felt like a rehashing of the same story with the same characters and it became repetitive and uninteresting. However. Any book that pays homage to Coach Taylor is okay by me.

TL; DR: The Paul Cleave and Karin Slaughter books are must reads for my fellow thriller lovers. Tell The Wolves I’m Home is outstanding. Maybe don’t read The Dinner Party and The Readymade Thief.

Currently reading: Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions. I’d hoped to have it done by today but life happens. 

Now it’s your turn. Link up below and Show Us Your Books!

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  1. Pingback: August Bookshelf: The Likeable Books Month

  2. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    I really enjoyed Trust No One by Paul Cleave and The Cleaner/A Killer Harvest sound really good. He does such a great job writing messed up books! Adding both to my TBR.

  3. Pingback: The books I read in August 2017 – Confuzzledom

  4. Confuzzled Bev

    Tell the Wolves I’m Home has been on my to-read list for ages! I feel like I should bump it up.

  5. Heather

    Tell the Wolves is on my list!! Paul Cleave sounds like he might be a bit too intense for me, haha, but maybe I will check him out!!
    Rectify sounds SO good. Maybe we will try that one when we finish Ozark.

    Wow, 3 years of SUYB!!
    Heather recently posted…September Show us Your Books (short book reviews)My Profile

  6. Laura

    My mom raved about Tell the Wolves I’m Home. I’m going to need to read that.

  7. Elizabeth

    Adding Tell the Wolves to my list, for sure! Haven’t heard of the others but I will check them out.

    I’m guilty – I participated in SUYB last month and figured I didn’t have enough of a list completed to make it worthwhile to participate this month … BUT had already figured I’d just aim for every 3-4 months. I’ll definitely join in for the anniversary month in October. πŸ™‚

  8. Rachel @ Never Enough Novels

    Sounds like The Good Daughter is the better choice for me between those two Karin Slaughter novels. Thanks for the quick review!

  9. Lauren

    I thought it had felt like forever yet I did not read anything extra, either. I really liked Tell the Wolves I’m Home. It wasn’t what I thought it would be at all. Adding The Good Daughter to my list if it isn’t as screwed up as Pretty Girls… I think I’m still scarred from that one.

  10. ShootingStarsMag

    I’ve been quite curious about Tell the Wolves I’m Home so I’m glad to hear that you really loved it!!

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…The Darkness Within by Lisa StoneMy Profile

  11. Ashley The Wandering Weekenders

    It looks like you read some great thrillers this month! I haven’t read a Paul Cleave book, but The Cleaner and A Killer Harvest both sound really interesting, so they’re going on my list! I’ve heard so many great things about Karin Slaughter, but I have yet to pick up one of her books! That needs to change!

  12. Ana

    On your recommendation, I’m requesting a few books from your list… right now requesting the good daughter.

  13. Gina

    Ooh, I’m definitely going to have to check out Paul Cleave! Hadn’t heard of him but I love a good twisted thriller.

  14. Brittany Pines

    Pretty sure I have a Slaughter book on my Nook…maybe I will finally read this month after that good review πŸ™‚

  15. SMD

    I will read both Paul Cleaves.

    Rectify destroyed me multiple times. I actually watched that! A while back. I’m proud of myself. LOL

  16. Stephanie

    I honestly can’t remember the last real thriller I read, but now I really want to add Paul Cleave everything to my list.

  17. Nancy @ NY Foodie Family

    Tell the Wolves I’m Home has been on my to read list for awhile. I’ve never read a Paul Cleave book. I’ve had his book Trust No One on my to read list for awhile. Not sure I want to start another any of his series though, just because I’m already in the middle of too many series!

  18. kristen

    definitely adding Rectify to my netflix queue. 3 years is a huge deal!!! glad you liked Tell the Wolves. I still think about that book. i will add the Karin Slaughter book to my list for when i’m in the mood for something like that. meanwhile i just realised her last name really suits her genre.

  19. Karly

    Guess I need to add some Paul Cleave books to my list! They sound intense but intriguing. Thanks for the recs!

  20. Nadine

    Tell the Wolves sounds interesting. I think I have The Good Daughter on my list already but I’m going to make sure. I didn’t get in any extras even though it was a long time either.

  21. Rebecca Jo

    I wish I liked short stories but I just cant get into them. I guess it would be good to keep in a car for traffic, but I need a story to continue.

  22. Audrey

    I’m not typically a thriller reader but The Good Daughter sounds intriguing. Tell the Wolves I’m Home is already on my TBR list, but I’ll add the other now!
    Audrey recently posted…What I Read… vol. 9My Profile

  23. Monica

    I haven’t checked out any of the Paul Cleave books but now I feel like I need to!

  24. Ashley Ziegler

    Those Paul Cleave books sound good! Though I’m not sure I could handle his type of writing! They still sound good though!

  25. Laura

    Hi Jana! The Good Daughter is on my to-read list. Glad to hear that it’s a good one!

  26. Olya @ The Siberian American

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a Paul Cleave book, but I definitely need to!

  27. Jill K.

    I haven’t heard of Paul Cleave. I’ll have to give him a try.

  28. Christina Mapes

    Adding Rectify to my already too long list of TV shows. Haha! I’m reading the Good Daughter right now and people keep asking me how it compares to Pretty Girls. I didn’t read that one because of the detail so I’m glad to hear this one is more tame.

  29. Kay

    Its been a while since I’ve read a short story collection. will check this one out.

  30. Kerri

    I’ve heard a few people saying good things about The Good Daughter so I might have to give it a go. Even if thriller aren’t my thing, I’m always up for giving a highly rated one a try because I’m still on a mission to give a thriller a four star at some point in my life (got to have some plans in life, right?).

  31. Alyssa Ammirato

    I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its title, but I am a SUCKER for a good title. Tell the Wolves I’m Home would make me add it to my list regardless of the rave review.

    I’m also tempted to pick up the short stories just for the Coach Taylor reference.

  32. Hannah

    I love a good short story collection. Some of my favorite reads ever are short stories, but on the other hand, if you end up hating a short story at least you didn’t invest much time in it.

  33. Alexandra Consolver

    Seems like a really good reading month! That’s so awesome that it has almost been 3 years! πŸ™‚ 10 books a year is not enough. ha. I think most people I know don’t even read 3. Most people I know well read over 10. πŸ™‚ I like short stories so I am going to check out that one. I want to be reading more short stories in general. XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  34. Alison - Puppies & Pretties

    Tell the Wolves sounds like it would be a good book. Not one that I would usually pick up, but it has me intrigued.
    Alison – Puppies & Pretties recently posted…Flannel for Almost FallMy Profile

  35. Amber

    10 books a year? Wow! That makes me feel better about my progress declining over the last couple of years!

  36. Pingback: 31 down, 19 to go! – Hot Mess, Cool Day

  37. Lindsay @ Hot Mess, Cool Day

    I’ll have to try the Karin Slaughter book – I’ve read others of hers and liked them!

  38. lauren

    so I went to look up the paul cleave one and saw it has something to do with eyes… LOL I am super weird about anything having to do with eyes… definitely cannot read it haha! I will check out the karen slaughter πŸ™‚

  39. jenn

    thanks for hosting this challenge with steph, jana. it’s gotten to where i’m looking forward to this thing, and i’ve been kind of down about blogging lately, so it’s nice to have something that creates a bit of enthusiasm in me.
    jenn recently posted…show us your booksMy Profile

  40. Kimberly

    I know this is meant for next month’s roundup but I LOOOOOVE the Constance Kopp books.

  41. Laura

    Definitely adding Paul Cleave to my TBR – sounds amazing. Also a big fan of Slaughter, but haven’t read this one yet.


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