Quick Lit | June 2017

It's Quick Lit time! I read 8 books over the last two months, which is a bit behind my 5 books a month goal. But I read quite a few good ones, and I'll take quality over quantity any time. 

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This was probably my favorite book that I read this month. The Hate U Give tackles tough, current issues and does so in a way that's accessible to everyone. The book opens with a young black teen being shot by a police officer and goes from there.  You will root for the characters and cry with them, and pray that to the next generation that reads this book, police shootings of unarmed black men will be a thing of the past. Full review here

Working Stiff | Judy Melinek  

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Another solid 5 star book. Working Stiff is a non fiction memoir written by a medical examiner who tells tales from her training. It's fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time. She worked in Manhattan during 9/11, and describes the aftermath with such compassion. She also offers a unique perspective into the families of those who have loved ones who committed suicide, because her father committed suicide himself. Excellent book for those with and without a science background! 

The Breakdown | B.A. Paris  

This book is firmly my wheelhouse- a new release and a psychological thriller. It's the sophomore novel from B.A. Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors. I enjoyed it! Cass is a teacher whom, when driving home from a summer break happy hour, takes a shortcut home and finds a woman sitting in her car in the middle of the road. It's a huge storm and when the woman didn't indicate that she needed help, Cass decides to go home and call the cops. The problem is, she forgets to call and finds out that the woman has died. She does into a downward spiral and becomes obsessed with the case and in finding out what happened to the woman. It was a definite page turner (if not a little predictable)!  Full review here

George | Alex Gino  

I'm always trying to add more diverse books into my reading list, and I'm glad that I came across George. I hadn't read a book like before. George is biologically a boy, but inside she knows that she is a girl. She's in elementary school and thinks she will have to keep this secret forever. However, she falls in love with the character Charlotte from Charlotte's Web and when her school puts on the play, she decides to audition for her. It's a YA book and I think it would be great for a young kid to read to get introduced to what it means to be transgender. 

 The First Word | Isley Robison

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This was a book that I happened to come across on Kindle First. Did you know that if you're an Amazon prime member that you get to purchase to one free e-book a month? You get to choose from 5 and theres usually a wide variety. I picked The First Word on a whim and i ended up really enjoying it. It's a light read and a love story about a man and his child with Asperger's who begins to fall in love with his son's Occupational Therapist. It's a little 50 shades, but it ended up being a sweet story. 

Into the Water | Paula Hawkins  

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This was the biggest letdown to me. I wrote a full review here. I know a lot of people say they hate leaving bad reviews for books or they hate to give books low ratings, but I don't see it that way. No matter how much you read, we all have a limited amount of time in our day. I don't think it's constructive for readers to rate books high because they're trying to be nice or because they like the author. There is a different between books that are good, but not for you and books that are downright not good. Into The Water falls into the second category. There were too many characters, the story was way too convoluted, and I thought it needed quite a bit more editing. The bones were there, and I did get through it pretty quickly, but that was mostly because I was hoping that it would eventually make sense. (Spoiler: It didn't.) 

The Moth Presents: All These Wonders

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if you're looking for an uplifting and inspiring book, this might be it. The Moth is a collection of short vignettes from people that shared their story at the Moth. I first heard about The Moth from the TV show Girls, and I love the idea of getting to hear a snippet of someone's life. There are a ton of different stories and some of them made me cry, laugh, think, and shudder. It's also a physically beautiful book with a matte blue cover and gold etching, if you're into that sort of thing.  

 Gwendy's Button Box | Stephen King, Richard Chizmar

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Gwendy's Button Box is a brand new release from Stephen King. It's a very short story- only 180 pages- but it was absolutely engrossing. You could easily read this in a weekend. What I loved is that we're introduced to something that might have caused epidemics in other King books (The Stand, anyone?) I always love reading King and this is a great one for anyone who wants to read King but is intimidated by horror by length. 

What was your favorite book you've recently read?

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May, Etc. | Monthly Favorites, May 2017

Wrapping up some of my May Favorites!

New to the TBR

IT | Stephen King |  While this certainly isn't a new book, it is one that has had a surge in popularity recently, thanks to this whacked out movie  trailer! With over 28 million views, I have no doubt that the re-boot will be a huge hit come September. If you're interested, @Jobis89 is hosting a weekly discussion in June over on her Instagram. Follow along with the #WeAllFloatReadalong hashtag! 

Speaking of books that I can't get away from... This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankl keeps coming up for me. I see it on Instagram, hear it talked about on podcasts. So when I saw that it was just sitting there on the shelf at my local library, I knew I had to finally pick it up. I hear it's better if you go in blind, so here goes nothing... 

New to the Bookshelf

In the Woods | Tana French | Set in Dublin, a detective who lost two friends in the woods when he was a child is set to investigate a murder that looks shockingly similar to the unsolved mystery he was involved in as a kid. Part psychological thriller, part police/crime fiction. I saw it for $2 at Half Price Books and couldn't pass it up! 

The Dark Tower IV: Song of Susannah | Stephen King | To be honest, I don't know much about this series, other than it's often cited as the favorite series by fans of Stephen King. The only other book I have in this series is Book V, but hope to collect all of the illustrated hardcovers someday. The movie comes out later this year and the trailer looks intense! (What a year for Stephen King movies!)

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life | Jen Sincero | This  book offers up direct advice on how to stop sabatoging yourself and go after what you want. One of my good friends recommended that I pick this up, and I think he's right in predicting that I'll enjoy it. I really like an inspiring pseudo-self-help book now and again, and this looks like a great blend of humor and motivation. 

Into the Water | Paula Hawkins | Hawkins' follow up novel to The Girl on the Train came with a lot of hype. A single mother is the most recent victim to the river in a small town. It looks like suicide, but there's more to what's going on in this town than meets the eye. This was by far and away my most anticipated book for the summer.... and it was just okay. Longer review to come.

Since We Fell | Dennis Lehane | In Since We Fell, a journalist has a very public, on-air, nervous breakdown and becomes a shut in. She's been enjoying her life of relative obscurity until something happens that causes her to further unravel and question everything she thought she knew. The plot does sound like it could be your run of the mill domestic thriller, but I trust Lehane and have high expectations. 

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry | Neil deGrasse Tyson | Filed under my most random pickup for May, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry addresses the Big with a capital B questions that humans have been asking themselves for centuries- who are we? How do we fit within the universe? deGrasse makes physics accessible and addresses these questions and more- all in bits that you can read over your morning coffee. 

Around #Bookstagram

You know the yellow line next to the train tracks? It's there for a reason... | Working Stiff 

Listened

May was a great reading month for me, but I didn't get to finish any audiobooks. I did start On Writing, Americanah, and 1984, but I've yet to finish any. I love audiobooks on long car trips and haven't had any of those recently, so I'll probably get back into these during my busier travel times.

Watched

The Handmaid's Tale | I'm sure you've heard people talking about Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's classic book, but if you're on the fence then I recommend that you push this to the top of your list. It's a dystopian society where most women and men are infertile. To continue to populate the country, women who are known to be able to have kids are captured and forced into government sanctioned breeding for rich families. It's haunting, thoughtful, creepy, and well done.. Elizabeth Moss acts her ASS of; I heard that she memorized Offred's monologue from the book and went through the lines silently in her head to match her facial expressions with the voiceover. It's insane! 

What were your favorite May discoveries? 

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