Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Show Us Your Books, third anniversary edition

Holy shit, you guys. I cannot believe this is the THIRD ANNIVERSARY of Show Us Your Books. I think I can speak for Steph when I say that we are thrilled you guys love our little linkup and we are astonished that it’s lasted for three years. If that doesn’t speak to the power of books and how book lovers come together, I don’t know what does. 

As a thank you, we have a little giveaway for you (you can find it at the end of the linkup). But before we get to that, let’s check out what I read last month. It’s a bit less than I’d hoped but you know, it’s hard to read when you can’t stop crying.  Also, we were supposed to reveal the new button this month but I suck at life and responsibility lately so next month for sure.

As always, my reviews are copied/embellished from my Litsy reviews (I’d encourage you to follow me over there but honestly, it’s very boring):

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart. To know me is to know how much I love the Constance Kopp books and how much I love Amy Stewart for bringing her into my life. This book is a little busier than the other ones but it ties itself up so well at the end. The social politics of the time are infuriating but necessary to read because without that context, you don’t realize how Constance is so groundbreaking and such a pioneer and integral to feminism. An unsung and under-noticed hero. This is the only historical fiction I read for a reason. (P.S. This review is Amy Stewart approved. She liked it on Litsy!) 

Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein This book is sad, eye opening, frustrating, maddening, inspirational, and every emotion you can think of. She immersed herself in this town and legit cares for it and the people and it shows in her writing and careful portrayal. It’s a very political story but she does a phenomenal job of removing her biases. This is a fascinating look at what happened to this town during and after the Recession and for me, is on par with Matthew Desmond’s Evicted

Bird Box by Josh Malerman I have no idea what the flying fuck I read. Some sort of bizarre apocalyptic commentary on mass hysteria and what our imagination can do to us or a terrifying horror novel? That is a question I can’t answer and won’t even attempt to but I do know I was not a fan. I didn’t hate it and would recommend if you like weird novels with strange endings and a tinge of horror but if you like linear books that actually make sense, pass on this one. 

Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates Sometimes you read a book and despite the fact that it has all your plot pet peeves rolled into one, you love the book anyway. It’s about the dangers of secrets and friendship and what can happen when you don’t know the whole story and it’s set in the aftermath of a tragic event (and also the Recession which made for an interesting side story). It’s horribly sad, a little thrillery, and wonderfully written. ARC from NetGalley. 

The Locals by Jonathan Dee This was more of a character study and analysis of a town in the wake of 9/11 and through the Recession and the Occupy Wall Street movement and all that rather than a novel with a tightly woven plot. Similar to Did You Ever Have a Family?, it was sad and beautifully written and SLOW and there was a distinct story progression that including the importance of otherwise peripheral characters but you kept reading because you wanted to learn about the people. The end was not the payoff I’d hoped for but the journey there was great. 

American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land This short book about arson on the Eastern Shore of VA is engrossing, interesting, and meticulously researched. It explores the region, the crimes, criminals, the firefighters, investigators…everyone and everything in a careful and sympathetic manner. Her bias does show but her sympathy shows more. It balances history with the way things are done currently and the only part I found lacking was an exploration into motive and the relationship between the arsonists. (P.S. My in-laws live near the Eastern Shore and my mother in law confirmed that this was BIG NEWS when it happened a few years ago so that’s pretty cool)

TL;DR. With the exception of Bird Box, I loved every book I read this month. If you’re not a nonfiction fan, Janesville won’t be for you but American Fire might be. The three Recession books in one month were unplanned. As was two books by women named Amy. 

Currently reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng with The Both Die At the End and Caroline in the queue. 

Now it’s your turn! Link up, visit some other bloggers, and show us your books (and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom and enter the Amazon giveaway)!


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  1. Olya @ The Siberian American

    The Locals sounds really good, even though I usually get frustrated with slow books. Happy three years! That’s amazing.

  2. Pingback: September Bookshelf: Am I in a Book Rut?

  3. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    Happy 3rd Anniversary! Thanks to Show Us Your Books, the second Tuesday of the month is my favorite day. ๐Ÿ˜€ I enjoyed Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions too and am grateful that Amy Stewart brought Constance’s life to the masses. And it’s mind-boggling to me how much has changed and improved and how much has stayed exactly the same. Grist Mill sounds interesting to me and adding it to my TBR. Bird Box is already on my TBR. I like horror and weird books.
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…September Bookshelf: Am I in a Book Rut?My Profile

  4. Kay

    I haven’t read any of these. I don’t like horrors but by our crazy description of Bird Box I may have picked it up if I did haha.

  5. Rebecca Jo

    I think so many of us look so forward to the 2nd Tuesday of every month… you’re right – shows the power of readers & books. Thanks for hosting this every month. Happy Book-versary ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Kristin Darhower

    Thank YOU for hosting for 3 years and keeping me accountable for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m on the wait list for the Celeste Ng book. I feel like it’ll be awhile.

  7. ShootingStarsMag

    That’s great you loved most of your reads! I personally loved Bird Box, but yeah, not for everyone. haha Ooh I have They Both Die at the End to read soon too. I just love Adam Silvera.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Show Us Your Books: 5 Mini Book ReviewsMy Profile

  8. Heather

    I love that it has been 3 years! Happy anniversary to SUYB. So saddened for you and your family over Dobie and so sorry for your loss. I can completely understand how difficult it is to read through tears. I haven’t read Bird Box and have no desire – it’s just not my thing. I am loving Little Fires Everywhere (about halfway through it right now).
    Heather recently posted…Show us Your Books – Recent ReadsMy Profile

  9. Elizabeth

    I have had Evicted in my queue and just added Janesville – makes me sit back and wonder how/when my reading tastes changed. I’m glad they’ve expanded though, but that just means still more books that I might not get around to reading.

    Happy 3 year anniversary though! Reading while grieving stinks, I know. It can also help with the process – as much as it sucks. Hang in there!

  10. Ashley The Wandering Weekenders

    I’ve never read any of the Candace Kopp books, but they sound really interesting! I’ll definitely have to try and pick up the first one in the series and give it a try! And I love that y’all do this linkup every month! It’s seriously one of my favorite ways to get new book recommendations!

  11. Gina

    Happy Third Anniversary! I sometimes have those unintentional topic overlaps in my books and that always amuses me. I NEED to read something by Celeste Ng. Hadn’t heard of her until last week and now you’re the third person to mention her since Wednesday!

  12. Brittany Pines

    So far I’ve recognized none of the books on you or Steph’s list- I feel so out of the loop! Haha. Glad you had a great reading month, and Happy Anniversary<3

  13. SMD

    Bird Box was so fucked up.

    Happy three to us! Of course in honor of this occasion I forgot to add our links when I created the link up so had to add them this morning. LOL

    Reading while grieving is really hard. I had to stop a book I liked and will never be able to go back to it.

  14. kathy @ more coffee, less talky

    bird box was super weird but i liked it.

  15. Nancy @ NY Foodie Family

    Happy 3 Year Anniversary! Grist Mill road sounds like my kind of read.

  16. kristen

    happy 3 year anniversary! i cannot believe it’s been 3 years. i mean obviously i can because i know how time works and all that, but seriously. time flies when you’re having fun ๐Ÿ™‚ the Constance Kopp books are on my list, and oh my goodness, so cool the author liked your review!!! that’s always squeal inducing (or maybe just me lol). oh bummer about bird box, that thing gave me nightmares but i enjoyed it. i am easily scared though. Little Fires Everywhere is next on my list!

  17. Ericka @ A Quiet Girl's Musings...

    Will be interesting to hear your thoughts on Little Fires Everywhere next month. It has me intrigued.

  18. Carly

    Yay for your third linkup anniversary- I’m so thankful you guys started this! I think I heard about American Fire on a podcast and this just reminded me that I really want to read it and need to make sure it’s on my tbr!

  19. Laura

    Happy book anniversary!! I’m a sucker for a good nonfiction book, so adding your suggestions to my list!

  20. Audrey

    I seriously need to start into those Amy Stewart books. Every time you talk about them I’m reminded that I need to pick them up!
    Audrey recently posted…What I Readโ€ฆ vol. 10My Profile

  21. Ana

    I’m adding Janesville to my list of books to read, it sounds really good!

  22. Karly

    happy 3 years! Iโ€™m so glad that I found you ladies and decided to join in the linkup every month. Itโ€™s my favorite day in blogland! You always share books/authors that I havenโ€™t heard of, and I canโ€™t wait to check a few of these out.

  23. Amber

    I’m a sucker for nonfiction so Janesville is definitely on my Goodreads list now!

  24. Hannah

    Happy 3 years! You can never have too many book reviews.

  25. Confuzzled Bev

    I’m late to the party, but HAPPY THREE YEARS! That’s amazing!
    Confuzzled Bev recently posted…The books I read in September 2017My Profile

  26. Laura

    American Love sounds really interesting. I love reading books that are set somewhere I have some sort of a connection to.

  27. Shea

    I was going to ask if the recession theme was planned! ๐Ÿ™‚ I keep hearing about American Fire. I’m not typically a big non-fiction reader but in the past year I’ve challenged myself to read more of it and it’s growing on me. Narrative non-fiction especially.
    Happy 3-years! I’m new to this link-up but I can’t wait to join in more!

  28. Alexandra Consolver

    Happy third anniversary and thank you so much for bringing this amazing linkup to life. It’s my favorite every month for sure. I am looking into Janesville, I have Evicted on my TBR, Matthew Desmond is actually coming to speak at our university next month related to his book… so I hope to get it done in time to attend. Not that I couldn’t go without finishing, but you know. My FIL works in the office that organizes the lectures, so he’s super jazzed that I might be going to one. haha. The other topics haven’t been up my alley yet. Glad you had so many great reads this month! ๐Ÿ™‚ XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  29. Anne

    Oh, fun to know there’s a new one in the Kopp sisters series! And I cannot wait to get my hands on Little Fires Everywhere – will look forward to hearing your review of it next month…

  30. Nadine

    I saw American Fire and I think I added it to my list? Going to go check now. It sounds like you had a decent reading month. Three years of sharing books and still going strong! Best link up ever!

  31. Jill K.

    I liked Bird Box because I read it in a crappy cabin by the beach with the wind howling. If it weren’t for the spooky atmosphere I think I would have had a similar reaction.

  32. texerinsydney

    I felt the same way about Bird Box. When it ended I was mad and thought I’d also lost my fucking mind.
    I added Grist Mill Road.
    texerinsydney recently posted…I’ll show you my books, you show me yours…vol.32My Profile

  33. Kimberly

    Happy Anniversary! (It takes me a week to make the rounds through this entire linkup!)

    I’ve been waiting for Miss Kopp to become available for me at the library but I think I’m losing patience and might just pay the money.
    Kimberly recently posted…Friday 5: Dear Old Golden Rule DaysMy Profile

  34. Pam

    Hi Jana! I own the first Constance Kopp book. I am going to force it up on my tbr. Pam ๐Ÿ™‚


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