This is one of those memoirs where the author is interesting but hasn’t evolved in any meaningful way so it feels … empty. Lovely reading voice. #25wordbookreview (link)
There are some really beautiful (and funny) pieces in this memoir but almost as many come off as tragically lacking in self-awareness. Loved the audio. #25wordbookreviews (link)
Stephen Frey on audio is a dream but I’m done with HP. This is a series that’s great for kids, but it’s not for me. #25wordbookreview (link)
Just as good as The Hate U Give. Audiobook bonus: narrator Bahni Turpin rapping. #25wordbookreviews (link)
Nothing new; some of them are a reach (start a gratitude jar? Really?). Might be better to read weekly rather than straight through like me. #25wordbookreviews
PS – here’s a link to it if this review didn’t completely turn you off.
Her mother died of cancer. So did mine. That’s where our similarities end, so it was hard for me to relate. Great poetic writing, though. #25wordbookreviews
On my radar this week:
Started the audiobook of Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Partially because I want to start off the year with something thoughtful, partly because I have a grudge against Brene Brown that I feel like I have to get rid of. I don’t know why. Anyway, I’m having some trouble focusing on it–I had to start the introduction over, and I keep having to go back a few minutes to relisten to what I just heard–but I’m hoping it will grow on me because seriously, I need to learn how to be more vulnerable and do some greatly daring things in my life.
What I really want to be reading:
I was planning to start this one on New Year’s Eve, but then the family party I went to ended up being interesting enough that I didn’t have to hide behind my Kindle. It would be a third reread for me in about as many years, but what can I say. It’s one of my favorite YA books. I’m trying to branch out from YA–hence the Brene Brown–but I have a feeling I’ll go back to it for this one soon.
Started but not likely to finish:
The premise sounded good, but it just hasn’t grabbed me. Sorry, universe. Might try it again later in the year, when I don’t have the pressure of “it’s the new year, you must read good, important books!” hanging over my head. I’m not the only one who feels that way, right?
Better late than never, isn’t that what they say? I think it applies here, too. Besides, we’re only one day into the new year. There’s still time to reflect, right? Right?
Well, regardless, I’m going to share the 10 best books I read and/or listened to in 2018. In order, too!
10. Thinking About Memoir by Abigail Thomas—this slim book was funny and warm and actually full of good advice without battering you over the head with it.
9. 10% Happier by Dan Harris—I get that some people didn’t like this book—it can come off as pretty glib—but I enjoyed it. I thought Harris was funny (I actually laughed out loud a few times), and it’s a good (for me) primer on meditation.
8. Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson—a library book I knew nothing about and took a chance on, and I’m glad I did. I still think about the thing with the mushrooms sometimes. *shiver*
7. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee—fun gay historical romance with a bit of swashbuckling. Loved every word of it.
6. The Outsider by Stephen King—included mostly because of the audiobook, which is narrated by the best Stephen King narrator there is, Will Patton. He is phenomenal. The book itself is good, too.
5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas—because of course. I feel like I should put it higher on the list, because it’s such an important book. Settling it at #5 was a tough decision, but in the end my love of YA sci fi/fantasy won out.
4. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson—one of my favorite YA authors. He can do no wrong.
3. The Bus on Thursday by Shirley Barrett—described as The Exorcist meets Bridget Jones, and that’s pretty accurate. Not too much on The Exorcist, but enough to make it creepy, and it’s absolutely laugh-out-loud funny at the same time. I listened to the audiobook at 1.25x speed, which made the narration seem even more frantic and crazy. It was awesome.
2. A Blade so Black by L. L. McKinney—I liked it well enough while I was reading it, but even months later I still find myself thinking about it. Like it just keeps growing on me, even in its absence. An Alice in Wonderland retelling with a Buffy-esque POC in the lead? Yes, please.
1. White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig—the book that got me started on my current kick, YA murder mysteries. This one is atmospheric and dark and—I was going to say it’s also romantic but it’s not so much about romance as it is about painful, angsty love and trying to figure out who you are in the wake of it. Pretty deep for a teen novel that’s also kind of like a slasher movie.
So we’re halfway through the year (holy shit, we’re halfway through the year!). How are we doing? How is our reading going?
Speaking for myself, it’s going great and not so great at the same time. Great because I feel like I’m living up to at least some of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year; not so great because I am (shudder!) three books behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’ve been in a little bit of a reading slump lately—I’ve just had a lot of other things going on and haven’t been able to quiet my mind enough to sit down and read too often. But I’m getting back to it!
Anyway, here’s a roundup of what I’ve read so far. You can be the judge of how well I’m doing (or not).
SH: Self-help/motivational book
TBR: From my to-be-read shelves/wish lists/Kindle library
NR: New release
P: Print book
A King of Infinite Space by Tyler Dilts. I liked the cover. Turned out the insides were good too. (K)
Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann. I listened to the audiobook, and all I remember is that Colum has a lovely Irish accent. (TBR, A)
The Pain Scale by Tyler Dilts. Second in the series. Liked it, but not as much as the first. (K)
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin. I don’t remember one of them. (SH, A, K)
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I have avoided John Green for years because I think a grown man who writes exclusively about teenage girls is creepy. But it was a good book. I enjoyed it. (P)
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Fun and funny historical fiction. (K)
A Cold and Broken Hallelujah by Tyler Dilts. Third in the series. I don’t remember much about this one, but I know I liked it while I was reading it. (K)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I was late to this party, but in the end I was glad I went. Solid YA, great writing, important subject matter. (P)
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. The audiobook. Simon Vance is the perfect narrator—so dramatic! (R, A)
10% Happier by Dan Harris. Smart and witty and educational, a really well-written memoir and a convincing meditation primer. Made me laugh out loud a few times. (SH, P)
The Changeling by Victor LaValle. I always have a hard time putting my finger on what exactly I like about Victor LaValle books, but I do like them. (TBR, K)
Thinking About Memoir by Abigail Thomas. I love this little book, read it in one sitting. It’s rambling and funny and shares some really good insights into memoir writing. (TBR, P)
Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman. Great audiobook narration by Armie Hammer. Portrays all that awkward teenage longing for love and belonging to a tee. (TBR, A)
Come Twilight by Tyler Dilts. Last in the series. I was sad to see it end. (K)
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. Good, solid, satisfying YA romance. (TBR, A, K)
Release by Patrick Ness. I wanted to like this book so much. But I just didn’t. (TBR, A, K)
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. So much fail on so many levels. (TBR, NR, A)
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson, who never disappoints. This is how YA LGBT fiction is done. (TBR, K)
The Outsider by Stephen King. Phenomenal audiobook narration by Will Patton. Solid creepy King story. (NR, A)
Now, what have you been reading? How do you like it? Let me know!