Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Showin' My Books - May '16

Hola, book lovers! It's time again for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana. I think last month they had over 50 bloggers link up, which is amazing, and I think I had a book hangover after reading all the posts. But that's a much better hangover than the other kind.

Life According to Steph

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta - This is by the author of Saving Francesca, which was on my best of 2015 list. This book is not a sequel but it includes the same characters. It's five years after Francesca and we're focusing on Thomas Mackee. On the Goodreads star scale, which I'm not a huge fan of but what can you do, I gave both books 5 stars. The Piper's Son is told from the perspective of both Tom and his aunt Georgie (early 40s, single, pregnant). At times I wanted to both shake some sense into these two and give them hugs.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (Audiobook) - This is my first Kristin Hannah book and it won't be my last. It's the story of two grown sisters whose beloved father dies and they are left to take care of their mother, who has been nothing but cold toward them their entire lives. But then they find out much more. We're told a story of WWII-era Russia, and it's one that I've not heard. There were times that I thought "wrap this up, we know what's going to happen," except that I didn't really know and I realized that the long build-up was all necessary. This is a heartbreaking, yet heartwarming book.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - I read this for Erin's book challenge as the "written in the year I was born" book. I'm sure I read this book in high school, but I remember the movie, which came out when I was in high school. So I couldn't help but think of Patrick Swayze and Matt Dillon and Rob Lowe, et al, while reading this. I enjoyed revisiting these characters. Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.

Maestra by L.S. Hilton (Audiobook) - I found out about this through the All the Books podcast. It starts out with Judith who works in an auction house and ends up moonlighting as a "hostess" in a champagne bar, where she's known as Lauren. She discovers art fraud shenanigans at work and ends up getting sacked (oh yeah, she's British and since I listened to this I find myself using British terms). But let's be clear, she is no innocent lamb. This book was kind of all over the place. There were a lot of characters and I had trouble keeping track of them, and then I just didn't care. Also, warning, there is a lot of NASTY sex going on in this book. I mean, I enjoy some sexy times reading, but this is beyond. (The main character regularly refers to her naughty bits as the "c" word, so there you go.) Admittedly, the podcast recommendation mentioned that there were X-rated parts of the book so I had fair warning, but... wow. At the end of the epilogue she says "to be continued..." but she'll have to continue without me, not just because of the raunchiness but I just don't feel like there's any more to the story.

Funny how I wrote more about the book I hated more than the ones I loved.

Currently reading: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. I'm doing some traveling this week so I hope to get through some books.


  1. Your first three are all books I adored.

    I don't think I'm a Mary Kubica fan.

  2. I love Kristin Hannah books, my favorite by her is Fire Fly Lane but she has so many to choose from you'll have a good book to read any time you want one!

  3. I read my first Kristin Hannah book for Erin's book challenge, and I fell in love with it so much! I chose The Nightingale, but I'll definitely have to check out Winter Garden, especially since I'm a huge fan of WWII fiction!

  4. The Outsiders is the book that made me want to be a writer. True story.

    I loved Saving Francesca and have been meaning to read The Piper's Son so I just made a list of all the books I've had on ye old TBR for awhile that I finally need to request from the library and will do that later this week.

  5. I just finished Maestra last night. Overall I liked it but it is very sexually graphic which I didn't know going in. It didn't bother me, per se, but it did surprise me. It is apparently a trilogy and I also am not sure where she goes next because it really felt like a complete story. And I always write more about the books I didn't like than the ones I do. I really enjoyed The Nightingale and Winter Garden sounds equally as good.

    1. Right? I wasn't offended by the sex but it was pretty out there. I can't imagine a trilogy. I guess there's the possibility of revenge on Rupert, but beyond that I don't know.

  6. I really liked The Winter Garden (though I did think it started a little slow). Such a beautiful read! Since you loved it, you should definitely read The Nightingale! :)

  7. i have only read one kristin hannah book (the nightingale) but that one is on my list. i have not read the outsiders, or seen the movie, but i listened to rob lowe's book a few months ago and he talked about it a lot. the piper's son... loved that book, in a different way to saving francesca i think.

  8. I adored both Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son. I want Marchetta to write a book from the perspective of every character in this group, don't you? :)
    I joined a challenge that asks the reader to read a book set in every US state. For OK, I chose The Outsiders after seeing you choose it for our challenge. I'm like you, I loved the movie, and I know I read it ages ago, but it's time to read it again.

  9. Loved Loved Loved Winter Garden! I'm so glad to see someone else has read it and loved it! I recommend it to everyone!

  10. I have never read or seen The Outsiders; I don't even know what it's about, although I've heard of it. I should probably check it out. The Kristin Hannah books sounds good. I haven't read any of her books, yet.

  11. I loved The Outsiders as a kid and after listening to Rob Lowe's memoir, I have wanted to re-read it! I really liked The Nightingale so I may need to read the other Kristen Hannah book you recommended. I read The Good Girl and had mixed feelings - why must every thriller with a female character be the next Gone Girl - so I'll be interested to read your take on it next month!

  12. Oooh, Winter Garden sounds good!

    I've been on this weird kick lately where I'm wanting to re-read some of the books I had to read in high school (Fahrenheit 451, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, etc.) and The Outsiders is definitely on that light.

  13. I also read The Good Girl. Curious as to what you think. ( Sorry if this shows up as a double post like the last time!)

  14. I also heard about Maestra from the All the Books and added to my list. It seems like my tastes aren't very similar to those 2. Their recs always fall short with me.


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