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Living life from cover to cover

Show Us Your Books!: March edition

You know those months when you read a ton of books and it’s hard to pick which is the best one because with the exception of maybe one or two they’re all so damn good and then you don’t really want to keep reading since you’re confident the hot streak has to end but you don’t want it to? That’s me after reading 8 books last month, loving 6 of them, and not thoroughly despising the other two. It was a good month, reading wise (in case you’re new to the linkup, my reading month is not a calendar month; it’s from the day after the linkup until the weekend before, when I write the post). 

So what did I read? Let’s find out.

book button linkup

Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy, and Stupid by Denis Leary This book was exactly what you’d expect from a book by Denis Leary. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, particularly his stand-up and when I read the book, much of it sounded like the rants in his routine. Hilarious, offensive, rude, and also true. However, peppered in between the rants are stories about his childhood, his family, his career and to me, what’s abundantly clear is how much he loves his wife and children, the respect he has for his parents, and how proud he is of all he’s accomplished (which he manages to do without humblebragging). If you like him, read the book. If he bothers you, don’t. 

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin Have you ever read a book that just destroyed you, emotionally? That how I felt about this one. It’s a YA book but it truly didn’t matter. I mean, some of it annoyed me, particularly how whiny Violet could be and her parents were atrocious characters but Finch’s part of the story? Holy shit. I cannot commend Jennifer Niven enough for dealing with mental illness and when Finch starts to go down the hole, you feel yourself going with him. The book has you forgetting you’re reading a YA book. And the end, well, that had me ugly crying more than The Fault in Our Stars. 

Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter I really wanted to like this book more than I did. The premise had so much potential. So much. And the last third made for compelling reading but you had to muddle through the tedious, boring, first two-thirds to get to it. What got on my nerves more than anything wasn’t so much the story line but the fact that the author, who’s clearly an adult, was trying way too hard to make the teenagers in the book sound like teenagers and wow, did they have poor grammar. It became painful to read after a few pages.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng Jumping back and forth in time from the 1950s to the 1970s, it deals with a mixed race family dealing with the death of their favorite child. I don’t even know how to sum it up properly or express what I think about it except this book gave me all the feelings and I completely understand why this book made it onto every “best of” list for 2014. While I couldn’t relate to some of the experiences of the family, as a parent, and the parent of a girl, I could relate to the mother in the story more than I thought I would and their grief was palpable, which also struck a chord for me.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler I don’t know how I feel about this one. It’s a great, creative concept about the intense and short burning high school romance but Min was way too dramatic and over the top for me. She was also obsessed with classic movies and when I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. And not real classic movies, made up movies with made up actors and titles and it got to the point with the constant talking about it I’d get angry. Also, the book is printed on photo paper (like Yes Please) and if a book is going to be that heavy, it needs to be better. 

You by Caroline Kepnes This book does down in my reading history as the single most fucked up book I have ever read. Every single character was contemptible, particularly Beck, the shallow, selfish, spoiled object of Joe’s affection (Joe is the narrator) and let me tell you, Joe is psychopath stalker with even more issues beyond that. But when you put them together, it makes for a story you cannot stop reading, even if it makes you paranoid and disturbed and compulsively checking your doors. I can totally see this being made into a movie and I’m crazy excited for the next book in the series.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green Oh, John Green. Why did you have to write a book involving math? Despite that, this book the epitome of John Green YA. A boy gets dumped, he goes on a road trip, and meets/falls in love with a girl…blah, blah, blah. The math bugged me, it had an abundance of footnotes that made Jen Lancaster’s footnotes seem not so annoying, and the overuse of the word “fug” (instead of “fuck”) plucked every single one of my nerves. Had this book been longer, and had Colin been less likable, I probably would have put it down. And I love John Green so that says a lot.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins I recently learned the term “cozy mystery” to describe a book (it’s when someone who’s not law enforcement gets involved in the investigation of a murder or something along those lines) and when I think of that term, I think of a campy, simple book. This one might fall into that category but it is anything but light and campy. Murder, infidelity, domestic violence, alcoholism, infertility, jealous, and obsession feature prominently in the plot. Like the characters in You, it’s hard to like anyone in this book, although you will find yourself pitying Rachel at times, but when you put them all together, it makes a story you need to read.

If you’re going to add any to your list, make it The Girl on the Train, You, Everything I Never Told You, and All the Bright Places. I’m okay telling you to skip the rest, even if I enjoyed them. 

On tap for March: The Martian, The Economy of You, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works, and The Son. That’s just what I have checked out. Not sure what else the library will send my way.

Now it’s your turn! Link up with me and Steph and let us know what you read. Nonblogger, leave a comment with your favorite (or least favorite) reads from last month:

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44 Comments

  1. Erin

    Okay. This is crazy. But, the four books you list as most recommended are already on my “to read” list. (I think you mentioned “You” somewhere else, and I added it then) There are times that I read “fluff”, but other times (more often than not) I like to read emotionally-fuelled books…and those four seem to have that going for them.
    Erin recently posted…List #23 – I’ll show you my books; you show me yours…My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I need fluff to balance out the emotional ones.

      Also, I feel that if we lived closer (you know, like in the same country), we’d be inseparable. We’re so similar it’s scary.

      Reply
      1. Erin

        I totally agree. If you ever find yourself in Sydney, I’ll buy you a drink and play tour guide. 🙂
        Erin recently posted…Thoughts #26 – NieceMy Profile

        Reply
        1. Jana (Post author)

          It is on my list of places to visit. Hopefully sooner than later!

          Reply
  2. Kristin

    I’ve recently made up with the library on base here (they wanted all kinds of ridiculous information I didn’t have about Scott’s job in order to let me check out books) so I came home with a stack on Saturday. My issue is that I can never finish them all in time!
    I’ve have Everything I Never Told You on my list but have never gotten around to it…And yes, yes, yes to The Girl on the Train. “Cozy mystery” indeed.
    Kristin recently posted…Advice for Military WivesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Definitely make time to read that one!

      Happy you made up with the library. Why did they want so much information for you to borrow books?

      Reply
      1. Kristin

        They wanted a unit phone number because they don’t trust spouses to bring back books. If I’m late, they’ll call his boss and Scott will get in trouble. He’s switched units 3 times in less than a year, so I’d had no phone number to give them for the longest time.
        Kristin recently posted…Advice for Military WivesMy Profile

        Reply
        1. Jana (Post author)

          That’s so crazy that they don’t trust spouses!

          Reply
  3. kathy@real talk

    i have girl on the train on hold but im legit #247 wtf. how is that even possible.

    right now i’m reading the fourth of july creek; so far, so good.
    kathy@real talk recently posted…green is the way to goMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I have never loved and hated a book so much at the same time as I did Fourth of July Creek.

      Reply
  4. Julia @ Grace Makes New

    I want to read The Girl on the Train! I need to see if I can get it from the library because I am super cheap and don’t want to spend the money!
    Julia @ Grace Makes New recently posted…Weekend Recap: Spring Forward EditionMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I rarely buy books because I am also cheap. I have a few I’ve bought that I need to read but mostly it’s library books for me!

      Reply
  5. Linda Sheridan

    I will look for the Denis Leary book. I have a hard time reading books that are emotionally draining, because the news already does that to me. The recent death of the 13-yr-old Shipley student upset about his grades destroys me! Losing a family member to suicide will forever make me despair whenever it happens again.
    I like the sound of cozy mystery! Thanks for the reviews.
    Love, SMD’s Momma

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I hope you like the Denis Leary book. If you like his comedy, you won’t be offended by anything in the book because it’s exactly the same style.

      Reply
  6. Kristen

    I track my reading the same way, from one post to the next lol. i love a good reading month, and sometimes i really am so afraid to continue because i know it can’t keep going!
    an abundance for katherines has been on my kindle for so long but i have never picked it up because it didn’t sound like my jam, and now i know there is maths in it….. ehhhhh i dont know if i’ll read it now. i have only read the fault in our stars & looking for alaska.
    all the bright places and you are already on my list, adding everything i never told you. the girl on the train is on my list for march!! i’m excited.
    I really, really, really hope you like the martian. i get so scared when i recommend books that people wont like them.
    Kristen recently posted…Books LatelyMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I didn’t know there was so much math. I mean, it was relevant to the plot and all but still. Math. Blech.

      With regard to The Martian, I love the author’s style. The science is a bit much at times. But he’s really funny and that helps offset it.

      Reply
      1. Kristen

        I think it helped that I listened to it, because I know my eyes would have glazed over and gotten bored of the science, I barely understood it, you know? But listening to it really helped, and I thought he was super funny.
        Kristen recently posted…Books LatelyMy Profile

        Reply
  7. lisacng @ expandng.com

    I’ve already got All the Bright Places on my to-read list. Sorry your love, John Green, didn’t deliver this time :(. It’d be like if I didn’t like a Rainbow Rowell book! I really liked Everything I Never Told You. I related a lot as a someone who has Chinese immigrant parents. But I could also put my shoes into every character. Like you said, the sadness was palpable and I was crying uncontrollably at the very end. I hope Celeste writes more.
    lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…Tweetviews – book reviews in 140 charactersMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I didn’t cry at the end but I got the lump in my throat throughout. I’ll read her next book.

      I’m mad at him for this book because math but I can forgive him because everyone is allowed one mistake.

      Reply
  8. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    I cannot wait until All the Bright Places comes in at the library.

    I DETESTED the Katherines book. I couldn’t finish it because of things like the use of fug. I wanted to claw my eyes out.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…Show Us Your Books! – What I read in FebruaryMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      The first couple of times it didn’t bother me. By the 120432947 time, I wanted to throw the book against a wall.

      Reply
  9. Julie @ Artwork by JM

    I really want to read Girl on the Train. A lot of people said they liked it. I have a few of the other ones on my list too. I read The Martian last month and LOVED it! I couldn’t put it down, I hope you really like it too!
    Julie @ Artwork by JM recently posted…What I’ve read recentlyMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I’m liking it so far, mostly because of the author’s style. The science is a bit too much at times.

      Reply
  10. Kate

    I was trying to figure out why I’ve had such good luck with book choices lately and realized its because they are almost always recommendations thanks to everyone sharing their own reads. Eliminates the unknowns!
    Kate recently posted…Showing you my booksMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I think that might be part of it for me, too! This is probably my favorite day of the whole blogging month. I love all the recommendations and summaries and even the what not to reads.

      Reply
  11. Christina

    I keep meaning to read a Dennis Leary book. I like him! I felt the same way about All The Bright Places and Why We Broke Up. Haha! I just started The Girl on the Train. And I’m adding You to my list! Great picks, as usual!
    Christina recently posted…Road Trip – SavannahMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Thanks 🙂

      I want to read more of Denis Leary’s books. I think he has one or two more and his wife is an author, too, so I’m curious to check out her books as well.

      Reply
  12. Kelly @ Finding a Skinnier Me

    That is exactly what I was thinking about The Girl on the Train.

    I already had Everything I Never Told You on my list and now I have added All the Bright Places.
    Kelly @ Finding a Skinnier Me recently posted…Show Us Your BooksMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I hope you like those two! All the Bright Places just wrecked me for days.

      Reply
  13. Mariah-Food, Booze, & Baggage

    I have The Girl on The Train on the hold list for a copy! Everyone I’ve seen who has read it seems to give it a positive review, I may have to break down and buy it. I want to read You, I may have to buy that one to. It does sound like you picked some great books.
    Mariah-Food, Booze, & Baggage recently posted…Show Us Your Books: January & FebruaryMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      You is so messed up, you actually wonder what’s wrong with the author that she thought of all that. And there’s another book on the way! Totally not a waste of money if you do buy it.

      Reply
  14. Karen

    I have You on my list to read. It keeps popping up on my Goodreads feed so I have to check it out. I really liked Girl On The Train, read it in one night! I’m a big John Green fan also and I haven’t read this one yet. It just didn’t sound that great to me. Thanks for the recommendations!
    Karen recently posted…YA Paranormal Romance // Death Wish (The Ceruleans Bk 1)My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      YES! Read You! You’ll be panicked and freaked out but worth it!

      I love, love, love John Green but this book didn’t do it for me. Maybe without the math and the incessant use of “fug” and its various conjugates I’d have an easier time recommending it.

      Reply
  15. Amber

    I’ve added a lot of books to my list, thank you. I just ordered The Girl On The Train since I’m going on vacation and need a book for the plane.
    Amber recently posted…Hey, It’s Okay TuesdayMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      You are welcome! The Girl on the Train will be a great plane read!

      Reply
  16. Kay R.

    I totally had this post drafted and then sucked at posting it. Ive read a couple of these but the girl on the train is the main one on my list I think Ill read this month!
    Kay R. recently posted…A zip-lining weekendMy Profile

    Reply
  17. Kerry

    The library finally delivered All The Bright Places so that is next up for me. You is on the top of my list to read too, as is The Girl On The Train.

    Reply
  18. Kelli

    I just finished The Girl on The Train and I wasn’t really that impressed, I was sad I didn’t like it as much as everyone else does.

    Everything I Never Told you has been on my library wait list for a few months, hopefully I get it soon!
    Kelli recently posted…All About Them Books Vol. 1My Profile

    Reply
  19. Jen

    This is so crazy, my husband just showed me You a hour before I read this post! I liked The Girl On the Train alot. It was weird but I really liked the storytelling. I will definitely add You to my list!
    Jen recently posted…Show Us Your Books: February EditionMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      YES! Add it to your list! My favorite book I read last month.

      Reply
  20. Amanda Elizabeth

    Seriously between all of you my running list of to read books is so long!
    Amanda Elizabeth recently posted…Wedding Wednesday – Pictures GaloreMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I know, mine, too! But I love it because I’ll never be bored!

      Reply
  21. Teh Megan

    Oh poo, and here I wanted to read An Abundance of Katherines. I’m not an overly huge fan of John Green, but I didn’t HATE The Fault in Our Stars. I did struggle with the teen angst though, it’s a personal YA book problem.
    Teh Megan recently posted…Confessions {3/11}My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I LOVE (like majorly. It’s a problem) John Green so I was very upset with this book.

      Reply

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