Quick Lit | September 2016

Quick Lit | September 2016

Time to take a look back at the books I've been reading this past month! I always have to laugh, because the books that I say I'm going to read for the month rarely end up being the ones I read. I blame it on the library and all of my holds inevitably coming in at the same time. 

Tiny Little Thing | Beatriz Williams

It's safe to say that I am firmly a fan of Beatriz Williams. Tiny Little Thing is Book 2 in the Schuyler Sister series and it did not disappoint. The Schuyler Sister series is a group of 3 books that tells a story from each of the sisters' perspective. The series starts with curious and outspoken Vivian as the protagonist. Tiny is the lead in Book 2. She is Vivian's perfect little sister, who seemingly has it all. She is (you guessed it), tiny, smart, beautiful, and married to a man who is on the fast track to becoming president of the United States. This book had a twist that I definitely was not expecting, and I ended up being very happy with the ending. It’s a story told from multiple viewpoints but isn’t hard to follow. I think it's so interesting that Williams is able to create these characters that have voices that are so different from one another, yet clearly come from the same family. I recommend this series if you like books with likable characters and strong female leads.  The series is set in the 60s but it reads very modern. I immediately picked up book 3 and proclaimed my love for the Schuyler Sisters to the author, Beatriz Williams, on Instagram, and she replied with this:

Can’t wait! And I love an author that interacts with her fans.  Rating: 4/5

Don't You Cry | Mary Kubica

This was a pleasant surprise, ya'll! I've written about this book and author more than once here. I LOVED the first book that I read of hers, The Good Girl, and borderline despised Pretty Baby (I find that the further away I am from a book that I didn't like... the stronger my feelings become. Anyone else?) Don't You Cry is definitely in the same vein as The Good Girl. Don't You Cry starts out as the simple story of two roommates in Chicago. One morning, as the hot mess roommate is recovering from a night out, she realizes that her type-A, reliable roommate is missing. She waits for her to come home, and waits, and waits. And she doesn't come back. We are also introduced to a young busboy living in Michigan. To be honest, the two stories seemed to be completely at odds with one another, but unraveling the mystery was part of the fun! I would recommend this book for anyone that likes a psychological thriller. Nearly all of the loose ends were tied up (but there was one still one very small piece that made me run to Goodreads to see what others thought about it...). Still, I was entertained and read this very fast. 4/5.

Valley of the Dolls

If you saw my last post, you know that I'm a giant fan of Valley of the Dolls. It was a book that was so ahead of its time and I loved getting to read about each of the ladies' lives. It's a touch cheesy and campy and that's why I love it. There were a few parts that surprised me and I loved watching the women make it, and then lose it... I'm going to read this one again and again. I see why it's on Amazon's list of 100 books to read in a lifetime. 5/5. 

Ready Player One 

I can't wait to write a full review on this one! Ready Player One was one of the best books I've read this year. (39 books in to the year... I think that's saying something!) I first heard about this book from Modern Mrs Darcy's podcast. Let's be honest... it's where I hear about a lot of my books. Ready Player One had SUCH an interesting premise. Basically, it's the future and we've used up all of the fossil fuels. A mad genius (who gives me Steve Job vibes) has created this virtual reality where most people spend the bulk of their time. The genius dies... and instead of having a traditional will vows to give his entire fortune to anyone who can solve a series of puzzles and find a very well hidden Easter egg in the world he created. There are a ton of 80's references, so you will especially like this one if you are a fan of the 80s and/or a dystopian buff. 

That does it for this one! I think I'm starting on the beautiful Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert next!

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TBR August | New and Noteworthy August 2016

TBR 1- The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo | Amy Schumer | Release Date August 16th, 2016

Of course this is on my list. Amy Schumer is my girl. She's hilarious, and I'm sick of seeing people say that women can't be funny. I'm so hopeful that this novel will do really well. She gets bonus points right from the jump because of the title. I think she's a great mix of self-deprecation and wit, and I hope this novel is more Amy Poehler Yes Please/Tina Fey Bossypants than Chelsea Handler My Horizontal Life.

TBR 2- All the Ugly and Wonderful Things | Bryn Greenwood | Release Date August 9th, 2016

I received an ARC from Netgalley, and I am so excited for it. All The Ugly and Wonderful Things has a very dark premise- Wavy is the daughter of a meth dealer and has taken on the responsibility of raising her 8 year old brother. Wavy, a child herself, somehow befriends one of her father's "thugs"  and is witness to him wrecking his motorcycle. I think befriends is putting it lightly, because I gather there is romantic involvement between the two. This is a tough read that's not for everyone, but I can take a lot of darkness and I am so interested to dive into this. Based purely on the synopsis, I'm getting a Sons of Anarchy meets Lolita vibe. If nothing else, you can't say that this premise has been done to death! 

TBD- Heroes of the Frontier | Dave Eggers | Release Date July 26th, 2016

And finally, dear friends... one that is TBD. Yes, this comes out in July and not August, but that's close enough for me. Also, nothing is coming out in August this year, likely because they fear competetion with the new Harry Potter. I digress. Eggers' novel, The Circle, was probably one of the most frustrating books I've read in a long time.  It started out super strong, but had a terribly weak ending. That's one of my least favorite traits in a novel; a big build up to a fat nothing at the end. This is his new one, Heroes of the Frontier. It also has an interesting premise. A mother going through a divorce and mid-life crisis decides to move her kids as far away from their father as possible... bringing them to the Alaskan frontier. The Circle had heavy commentary on the ills of overuse of technology, and I have a feeling this story will also have an agenda from Eggers. Since Heores describes the journey as being "plagued by wildfires and a uniquely American madness", I have a feeling I'm right. We'll see!

TBR July | New and Noteworthy July 2016

TBR 1- Truly, Madly, Guilty | Liane Moriarty | Release Date July 26th, 2016

Yay, a new Liane Moriarty! Moriarty is one of those authors that I will read regardless of the synopsis of the book. I love how she is able to take seemingly ordinary adult relationships and take a deep dive and tease out the complexity that exists within love, family, friendship, and marriage. And there's almost always a twist that gets neatly resolved by the end. Picking this one up ASAP!

Update December 2018- This was not my favorite. Probably my least favorite Moriarty, unfortunately!

TBR 2- The Woman in Cabin 10 | Ruth Ware | Release Date July 19th, 2016

I've seen the Woman in Cabin 10 all over Instagram and I was interested in knowing more. When I read that it features a woman that is an unreliable narrator who is witness to someone being thrown overboard but is having trouble getting people to take her fears seriously, I immediately added it to my list. Being trapped in a large boat sounds pretty terrifying to me. So why, then, am I adding this to my list? Glutton for punishment, I guess. I've heard some very good things about it so I'm excited to get started! I'm picturing Girl on a Train....on a boat. 

Update December 2018- This wasn’t my favorite Ruth Ware! There were some high points, but the ending was so far fetched it bordered on absurd. I’m a much bigger fan of her first, In a Dark Dark Wood.

TBD- You Will Know Me | Megan Abbott | Release Date July 26th, 2016

When I read the description for this book, I got interested right away. It’s a psychological thriller with a protagonist whose daughter is an Olympic hopeful gymnast. Sign me up! I knew the author’s name was familiar, and then I realized why. I read Abbott’s “The Fever” this year, and was so disappointed. I was expecting The Fever to be such a page turner (it's about a mysterious plague that hits high school students and the hysteria that unravels) but I was so disappointed with its execution. If nothing else, I'm impressed with how prolific she is, having published 4 books in 4 years. While this would only make the 2nd book I've read of hers, I'm going in with caution.

Update December 2018- Of all of the books listed here, this was my favorite! I thought she captured the world of competitive gymnastics perfectly and really enjoyed the twists.

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TBR & TBD | New and Noteworthy June 2016

I feel like there are so many highly anticipated books that are coming out in the next couple of months, but it makes sense. It's summer! I always have grand plans to amp up my reading this time of year, but I inevitably find that I fill my time doing other, non reading things. Like live-tweeting The Bachelorette. And finding excuses to drink outside on patios.

At any rate, I wanted to share my choices for the books that I'm most excited to pick up in June. And one that I'm nervous about. The picks span a couple of genres- horror, fiction based on real events, chick-lit, and a cookbook!

TBR 1- End of Watch: A Novel | Stephen King | Release Date June 7th, 2016

First of all, I need to read On Writing by Stephen King. This man is the insanely prolific and comes out with about 2 books a year. That kinds of dedication is amazing and I need to know how he does it.

End of Watch is book 3 in The Bill Hodges Trilogy, following Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. Hodges and his partner, Holly, are faced with the prospect of having to investigate a murder-suicide with ties to a past case- a case that was almost certainly resolved. I'm still working my way through this series, but it's got elements of mystery mixed with supernatural and I'm expecting the final book not to disappoint.

Update December 2018- The final book indeed did not disappoint. I only just finished the trilogy- but I loved it! Really good on audio too.

TBR 2- The Girls | Emma Cline | Release Date June 14th, 2016

You guys, I'm about to be a rabid fan of this book. There is nothing I like more than a creepy murder story, and I'm especially into ones that are based in truth. (Think Cartwheel by Jennifer Dubois, a take on the Amanda Knox murder trial). I know I'm not the only one who's highly anticipating this one; this book has been everywhere! 

"The Girls" is a debut novel by Emma Cline that is a take on the Charles Manson murders. Main character Evie Boyd becomes a sort of 'Manson girl', a hippie girl who, in an attempt to find herself, becomes entangled with a cult with a charismatic deranged leader. I can't wait to see what the author does with this! If you're interested in true crime and this case in particular, I highly recommend the "You Must Remember This"  podcast. They cover the Charles Manson murders over a series of 12 episodes, and this will catch you right up. If you're into that sort of thing.

Updated July 2016- I was not a rabid fan of this book. Full review here. 

TBR 3- The Wicked Good Ketogenic Diet Cookbook | Amanda Hughes | Release Date June 21st, 2016

I know this is random,  but I'm so excited about this cookbook! In case you're unfamiliar, the Ketogenic Diet is  a high fat, low carb diet. You can read more about he Ketogenic Diet here. It involves a lot of calculating macros- macronutrients as in fats, protein, and carbohydrates. First of all, I'm interested in this cookbook because I love wicked as an adjective. But more importantly, there are 175 keto friendly recipes with a clear breakdown of the macros in here. I've already pre-ordered it!

Updated July 2016- This cookbook is fantastic

TBD- First Comes Love : A Novel | Emily Giffin | Release Date June 28th, 2016

I've got a lot of trepidation about this one. I really enjoyed Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof years ago, but I was really unsatisfied with Where We Belong (it just... ended. I wasn't left with anything that stuck with me), and borderline HATED The One and Only (unrealistic, unlikable, and one note characters). First Comes Love centers on two sisters in their late 30s who are coming to terms with their relationship with one another, their family dynamics, and their relationship with their position in life. It sounds like the sisters are foils; one sister has a successful career and family but is dissatisfied, the other is single and desperately wants a child. I'm hoping for strong women who don't fall into cliches and signs of the writing from Giffin's earlier books. 

What do you think? There were so many books to choose from, but I'm particularly interested in these.

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