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Show Us Your Books, March edition: Really, that’s all I read?

I feel like I read zero books this past month even though I really read 6, not including one for work and I don’t review books I read for work on my blog. So that’s 7. But it feels like zero. I don’t know why. 

That’s said, at least this month’s reviews will be shorter. And by that, I really mean there will just be less of them. I’m still the same long winded book reviewer you know and love and there’s a TL;DR summary for the skimmers in the group who just want to know what to add to Goodreads. 

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In no particular order: 

The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield. I loved this book so, so much. It was as fabulous as Jake (once you read the book, you’ll understand what I mean) and it was heartwrenching and funny and weird and infuriating and full of hope and I loved that it took place in 1990/1991. The nostalgia didn’t feel forced and while I could see this story taking place now, it just worked better as an early 90s novel, with homages to Madonna and trashy romance writers and Laura Ingalls Wilder (actually, there are a lot of book references in the book). The ending was SAD but also so fucking amazing. The only thing that got on my nerves was this one particular character, Red Mabel. I pretty much detested her and whenever she was in the story, I found myself getting enraged. Fun and unrelated fact: My first car was named Mabel.  

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes. A very fine chick lit book, one that served its purpose of being a light, entertaining read amidst all the heavy books I read. Almost all of the characters are assholes, including the main character, Stella, but for some reason, their collective assholery comes together in a way that makes for a decent read. There’s some good stuff about what happens when you publish a book and it disappoints, there’s some good stuff about the disintegration of a family, and the backbone of the plot, Stella’s illness, was pretty different than anything I’d read before. This book didns’t set my reading world on fire but it was just fine.

Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser. A very short book you desperately want to be longer. I don’t think any review I could give this book will do it justice. It was that fucking good. A little rushed at times, but so incredibly well written you can forgive it. Taking place in Michigan, (like another favorite of mine, Please Don’t Come Back From the Moon), it tells the story of a teenager in search of her meth addicted mother and instead finds a baby and the tragic mayhem that ensues as Percy tries to rescue the baby. You find your heart racing and breaking simultaneously, and the part that gets to you the most is the fact that this is not an unrealistic situation. But it ends on quite an optimistic note and if there’s a sequel, put me on the list to read it.

Glass by Ellen Hopkins. The second in the Crank trilogy, it deals with Kristina’s relapse in her meth addiction (I really do read an awful lot about meth. I’m starting to get worried) after the birth of her son. So, I didn’t quite like this one as much as I did Crank and I think a lot of it has to do with the writing style. Hopkins is a wonderful writer but stylistically, trying to write this stuff as spoken word poetry does the story a disservice. It would work better for me if it was written as a disjointed diary. I think I said this in my review of Crank–this book reminded me of The Heroin Diaries if they’d been written by a wholly unlikable teenage girl. That said, it’s the addiction that makes her unlikable. That’s the part that kicks you in the gut. 

Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt. You can probably file this one in the “just like Gone Girl” review pile that I love so much. It was actually a pretty weird book but it was a well done thriller, and I liked the memory loss/memory recovery part of it. Burt knows how to construct a mystery that, while it reveals itself to you and you can figure it, you still want to keep reading specifically to see how and why and what happens next. And unlike the main characters in some of the other “next Gone Girl” books, Estelle is pretty likeable and sympathetic. You definitely find yourself feeling her frustration and agony and caring about what happens to her. *selection for Erin’s reading challenge

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A reread. This is my favorite in the Little House series because to me, it’s the only one where she doesn’t sugar coat anything. The whole book is basically “this fucking sucks and it’s hard and I hate it”. There’s no idealistic prairie living or disguising what a racist her mother was or what a terrible farmer her father was or what an asshole her sister was. I also enjoy the later books where the perspectives go back and forth between Laura and Almanzo. *selection for Erin’s reading challenge

TL:DR–Definitely read The Flood Girls and Sweetgirl (as of now, these two are on my best of 2016 list, along with Violent Ends, if that helps). Remember Mia if you like a good thriller. Glass is a decent follow up to Crank but you can probably go right from Crank to Fallout without reading this one and not lose anything. The Woman Who Stole My Life is a perfectly adequate chick lit book. The Long Winter is a perfect winter read because if they can survive that shit, we can survive our crappy winters. 

Now it’s your turn! Bloggers, linkup with your posts and nonbloggers, let me know in the comments what you’re reading. Don’t forget to visit some of the other participants!

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P.S. I bet you’re wondering where our podcast episode is! Well, until I work out a few of the tech glitches I’m having, you can have a listen to the raw audio right here (it’s also embedded below). This is the first episode we ever recorded so we apologize for the poor audio quality and assure you it improves with each one.

In this episode, we spend a good deal of time discussing Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies and then there’s a whole bunch of other random crap. And a lot of me using the word “um”. Steph is more articulate than I am. Warning: we talk like write. As in, there’s cursing. #sorrynotsorry

 

 

35 Comments

  1. TexErin

    “(C)ollective assholery” is wonderfully descriptive. Truly. I understand exactly what you’re saying.

    Added The Flood Girls. 1990/1991? How could I not? I’d already added Sweetgirl.

    I can’t wait to listen to the podcast on the way home.
    TexErin recently posted…I show you my books, you show me yours 3.16My Profile

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  2. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    I grew up near Walnut Grove and attended a Laura Ingalls Wilder festival when I was kid. I read all the books, although I never liked the TV show. I’m adding The Flood Girls and Sweetgirl to my list. I have two books sitting on bookshelf waiting to be read but I have this itch to go to library and pick out some more books to read, which is kind of silly since I’m struggling to find time to read the books I have! I am just book greedy! Looking forward to checking out the podcast.
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…Spring Cleaning Your Life in 4 Easy StepsMy Profile

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  3. Pingback: February Bookshelf: The Books I Loved, Liked and Loathed this Month

  4. Jenn @ Optimization, Actually

    Interesting commentary on the Little House series! I read it as a kid, and I don’t remember any of that stuff. I just remember it being a story about a little girl growing up with a wholesome family. Now I have to reread as an adult to see what elements I completely missed the first time through.
    Jenn @ Optimization, Actually recently posted…Bookin’ ItMy Profile

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  5. Kristin

    TLW is also my favorite Little House book. I’ve read it more times than I can count, starting when I was in 4th grade and eating gingersnaps for breakfast while I read (because I refused to eat breakfast so that’s what my dad would give me). I STILL connect it to gingersnaps and want them whenever I go to re-read it.
    LIW wanted to call it “The Hard Winter” and the publisher didn’t like the connotation, so it was named “The Long Winter” (fun fact…)
    Anyway.

    I also feel like I read nothing this month. I hate that feeling.
    I don’t know how I feel about getting pulled down the depressing hole of meth addiction right now, but maybe I’ll check out Crank.

    Reply
  6. Olya @ The Siberian American

    The Flood Girls and Sweet girl both sound right up my alley! Adding them to my TBR. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Linda sheridan

    I love that Sweetgirl ends on an optimistic note. Someday I will read some of these books that you and my Stephanie love!!
    Enjoy the warm weather this week!
    Love. Steph’s. Momma.

    Reply
  8. carrie

    I laughed a lot at the line “collective assholery”. How true is that though! I’ve read several books where all of the character are assholes, but I’ve loved the overall story line. I had a weird month for reading as well. I read some good books, but I still just felt like I was missing my reading mojo.
    carrie recently posted…What I Read: FebruaryMy Profile

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  9. Kelli

    I just got my copy of Flood Girls from the library, I was one of the first one’s on the hold list for it. I’m excited to read it after your review.

    I added The Woman Who Stole My Life, sounds like a pretty good book for summer reading on the beach.
    Kelli recently posted…All About The Books – Vol. 11My Profile

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  10. Brittany Pines

    There has been a lot of Laura Ingalls Wilder talk lately it seems, LOL. I think I remember The Long Winter…

    Reply
  11. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders

    The Flood Girls, Sweetgirl, and Remember Mia all sound like great books! I’m always in the mood for a good thriller, and the fact that you think that it’s like Gone Girl with more likable characters makes me want to read it right now! Sweetgirl definitely sounds like a book that I’d have to be in the mood for, but a good one nonetheless.
    Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders recently posted…Show Us Your Books- What I Read In FebruaryMy Profile

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  12. kristen

    the woman who stole my life is on my list, so good to hear you enjoyed it 🙂 adding the flood girls!

    Reply
  13. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    The Flood Girls and Sweetgirl are already on my list per previous conversations with you.

    I can’t with Marion Keyes. I used to read her a lot right after college, I don’t know why.

    Hurrah for Laura Ingalls! I think I’m due for a Plum Creek re-read especially after our convo last night with Erica.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…Show Us Your Books – What I Read in FebruaryMy Profile

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  14. Nancy @ NY Foodie Family

    Remember Mia sounds like my kind of book. I’m always up for a good thriller. I haven’t read The Woman Who Stole My Life but I’ve read some of other of Keyes books and think she writes decent chick lit so I may end up checking that one out.
    Nancy @ NY Foodie Family recently posted…Books I’ve Read- February 2016 EditionMy Profile

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  15. lisacng @ expandng.com

    You usually read sooo many books so 6 doesn’t feel all that much. I read 5 and I was like, YEA, productive month for me, hehe. The Flood Girls sounds good with the nostalgia and the feelings. And any book you want to be longer must be good (adding Sweetgirl!). I love thrillers (trying to fill the “Gone Girl” hole in my heart) so will give Remember Mia a try.

    Reply
  16. Sara

    “That’s all I read?” YES TO THIS!!!!! Oh Laura Ingalls… I loved the Little House books when I was a kid. I should revisit some of the books that I loved as a kid and see if I notice anything different in them now. That sounds like a great idea. 🙂

    Reply
  17. Heather H

    Sweetgirl sounds like quite a wild ride! I am looking forward to hearing the podcast tonight!!

    Reply
  18. Brie @ A Slice of Brie

    Ooh yes, Remember Mia sounds interesting, and I love a good thriller from time to time. Thanks for the heads up about it.

    “their collective assholery” – hahaha! Best sentence ever.
    Brie @ A Slice of Brie recently posted…The Books I’ve Been Reading {7}My Profile

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  19. Nadine

    Just added Flood Girls to my TBR list! I love love LOVED your podcast!! I listened to it on my way to work this morning and it was like you and Steph were in the car chatting books with me. Cant wait to hear more!
    Nadine recently posted…Books LatelyMy Profile

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  20. Lauren

    Will the podcast ever be on itunes? Excited to listen but I can only focus when I’m doing other things!

    I added your top two recs without realizing they were your top two. I’m giving thrillers a break for now but I may have to circle back to the one you recommended.
    Lauren recently posted…february books in haikuMy Profile

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  21. Mariah-Food, Booze, & Baggage

    Sounds like you had some good one this past month! I have not read a single one of those. Sweetgirl and Glass sound interesting. I’m not 100% sure I’ve read any books focused around drug addiction.
    Mariah-Food, Booze, & Baggage recently posted…Show Us Your Books: January/February 2016My Profile

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  22. Jackie

    Hmm…somehow I keep missing all the books about meth.
    Jackie recently posted…Two Amazing Books: February ReadsMy Profile

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  23. Amber

    Some of these sound interesting. I’ll write them down.

    I recently finished The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth and I liked it.
    Amber recently posted…Hey, It’s Okay Tuesday!My Profile

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  24. Carly

    The Woman Who Stole My Life has been on my list for a little while- love the cover- but will probably keep pushing it off for a while. Just added The Flood Girls- it sounds so good!
    Carly recently posted…carly READS here | march 2016My Profile

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

    The Flood Girls looks like an interesting book. I love some early 90s nostalgia!
    Ericka @ A Quiet Girl’s Musings… recently posted…Recently Read – Show Us Your Books Vol. 5 (Feb. ’16)My Profile

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  26. Christina

    The Flood Girls is on my list and I’m adding Sweetgirl right now. I didn’t like Glass as much as Crank either. I didn’t bother with the third book. Let me know how you feel about if you read it.
    Christina recently posted…Latest NetGalley ReadsMy Profile

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  27. Kristen

    I didn’t feel like I read much since the last link-up (and I didn’t). I only reviewed 4 books this time around, which seems insane since I reviewed almost twice as many last month. Oh well. We all have those months.

    I already have Remember Mia on my “To Read” list, and I know I read that Laura Ingalls Wilder book years ago. Unfortunately, I don’t really remember much about it.

    I’m adding The Flood Girls and Sweetgirl to my list. They both sound like the kind of books I love!

    I’m definitely going to listen to this podcast when I have some time to just sit down and listen with no distractions. Oh, and I also say “um” a lot, and I’m sure I would say it even more if I knew I was being recorded … So don’t feel bad about that!
    Kristen recently posted…From the Bookshelf: Recently Read – March 2016 EditionMy Profile

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  28. Whitney LaDon

    I LOVED Crank, so I’m disappointed that the second one doesn’t seem to be as good. 🙁 But you said you didn’t like the spoken word poetry at all? I really liked the style of the first one (and it makes it a faster read), so maybe I’d still like the second one…hmmm…
    So glad to have found this linkup!! <3

    Reply
  29. alyssa

    Just added The Flood Girls and Sweetgirl to my list—they sound really great. Thanks for sharing!

    I read the entire Little House series as a kid but I don’t remember much. I wish I could find the box set I used to have (it probably got lost in the divorce/childhood shuffle) and I would re-read them all. Maybe I’ll see what my library’s got. I do remember loving, devouring that series!
    alyssa recently posted…A Few Recent ReadsMy Profile

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  30. Teh Megan

    I’m excited to add Flood Girls and Sweetgirl to my list.
    I never read the Little House series although my mother LOVED it and talked about it all the time. Mostly I think I didn’t read it because she loved it so much and also because she talked about it, but we never had a copy.
    Teh Megan recently posted…Confessions {3/9}My Profile

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  31. Femme Frugality

    Loved it! I hadn’t even read that one and still enjoyed the commentary. Thanks for saving me the time haha. And the audio really isn’t that bad… I’ve heard much worse! I’m between tomes at the moment… Need to get my butt to the library.
    Femme Frugality recently posted…The Frugality Challenge: Gamification of Your FinancesMy Profile

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  32. Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad

    I’m adding Sweetgirl, although I may need to work up to it as it sounds a bit full on! I’m still going gently with my reading material for a while. Maybe it’s time for some Little House re-reads, as I haven’t read them since I was very small. It’ll be interesting to see them with new eyes…

    Reply
  33. Jess

    I’m adding The Flood Girls to my list. I like small town stories.

    Reply
  34. Rose @ Ramblin' Rose

    Flood Girls and Sweetgirl are getting added to my list. Also had no idea that you and Steph were college friends. I knew you were friends but I had assumed it was through blogging. I didn’t have time to listen to the whole podcast but want to get back to it. I love this idea!
    Rose @ Ramblin’ Rose recently posted…February Book ReviewMy Profile

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