Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Showin' My Books - September '16

It's the best day of the month for book lovers!

Life According to Steph

I took a summer vacation from posting about books, but I have several to talk about today and they run the gamut from awesome to meh.


I'm participating in Erin's book challenge (details here) and maybe this time I'll finish it, but halfway through I've only finished two of my chosen books. Happily, they both made it to my five-star list.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - I'm late to the party on this one, my first Rainbow Rowell book. A lot of friends seem up and down on Rowell, but most agree that this is a great one. I adored this book. I truly ached for these characters, possibly because it takes place in 1986, which is not so far from when I was their age. I loved that we got both of their viewpoints; it made me realize that teenage boys have feelings too. This took me back to my own awkward years, and not in a bad way.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - Part of me wishes every teenage girl who feels like an outcast should read this book; the other part of me thinks it's more appreciated as an adult. Either way, I really loved the way the story was told. I thought it was beautifully written, yet easily read. I want a movie if only for the drag queen scenes.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson - If you've never read Jenny's blog, The Bloggess, do yourself a favor and at least read this post about Beyonce the giant metal chicken. I've had this, her first book, on my list for a long time and I finally read it (actually listened to it) because I received her second book, Furiously Happy, as a gift. I really enjoyed the audiobook. Her voice was not what I expected, but now I can read the next book with her voice in my head (I wasn't a fan of her sing-songy introduction to each chapter but that's a small annoyance). She has hilarious stories, but also some very serious ones. I liked the balance.

Good, not Great

Jason Priestley: A Memoir by Jason Priestley - Don't judge me! I was strolling through the biography section of the library and for some reason this jumped out at me. Of course I watched 90210, but I also watched Sister Kate and Tru Calling, so I was intrigued. This was a quick read; the chapters are short and cleverly titled with the location and zip code of where the chapter takes place (Chicago 60601). There are some interesting stories, but none are fully fleshed out. One that sticks out - Jason was at a party and was excited to see Andrea Corr, of the singing group The Corrs, because they had met previously and he thought they had a connection, but at the party she treated him with disdain. His response "wonder what I did to deserve that." And I kept waiting for something more, but no. That was it. Still, it was kind of fun to revisit the 90s.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub - I read this for my IRL book club but then couldn't make the meetup. This was OK for me. I didn't love it, didn't hate it. I sort of felt like this was a sequel, yet it wasn't. It seemed like a lot of backstory was missing, but it wasn't hateful. How's that for a rousing recommendation?

Maybe Another Time

I'm getting better at giving up on books that just don't do it for me. These next two fall in that category, but they might work for me later.

The Girls by Emma Cline - This was also for my book club. I got it from Audible because the wait list at the library was too long, and while I'm not generally a returnER, I actually returned this to Audible. I could not get into it.

The Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams - I got this as part of Amazon's Kindle First program and I was excited to read something before its publication date (I haven't yet gotten into NetGalley). This is historical fiction about Josephine Marcus, who married Wyatt Earp. The book started out strong, with an elderly Josephine reminiscing about her time in Tombstone in a feisty old lady voice. Then we go back to her youth and I got bored. I may pick this up again sometime, but it didn't hold my interest.

Currently reading: Summer Secrets by Jane Green, as my "blue cover" book for Erin's challenge.

What's on your bookshelf these days?


  1. I detested The Girls.

    Damn Jason Priestly! I wish you delivered more.

  2. I have Jason and Jennie's biographies on my TBR list! I can't quit those 90210 cast members. Haha! I also gave up on The Girls. I read about 100 pages and just didn't care at all. I hadn't heard about Kindle First! I'm off to check it out!

  3. The Girls really frustrated me. It started strongly with good insight into how girls give up parts of themselves to fit in, but then it ended so weakly and oddly. Grrrr.... I'm reading Eleanor and Park for Erin's challenge too but haven't gotten to it yet. I've read part of Furiously Happy before I returned it to the library. Not because it was bad, but it hit a little too close to home at times, so it is something that is best read in small pieces for me.

  4. i agree about dumplin! i wish i had read it as a teenager, but i don't think i would have appreciated it or enjoyed it as much as i did as an adult. i loved eleanor & park as well. so many emotions.

  5. I haven't read Let's Pretend This Never Happened, yet! I loved her first book. And my mom and I both love the Beyonce story. One of my mom's neighbors once had a giant rooster on their porch for the longest time and it looked just like Beyonce. It cracks us up.

  6. Definitely agree with your Superstars. Loved them all!

    The beginning of The Girls was without a doubt boring and awful. I can't believe I made it through.

  7. i LOVED Dumplin'! that was such a great, uplifting book.

  8. I completely agree with all of your superstars! :) Seems like every other blog today has a different opinion on The Girls...I'm going to have to read it just to see what side I fall on!

  9. So interesting to read all the different opinions about The Girls! I almost want to read it to see where I land on the spectrum! Haha. Dumplin' and Eleanor and Park are both on my TBR. Need to read them soon!

  10. Dumplin' has a huge chunk of my heart!! I love it SO SO SO SO SO much. :) I digress... I definitely have E&P on my TBR, so I need to look into Let's Pretend this Never Happened next. :) The Girls is totally trending right now... but it doesn't really sound like my jam. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  11. The Girls does take a little bit to get into... it's like the lazy days of summer in the plot and it kind feels that way to the reader in the beginning as well. I can see why you put it on pause!

  12. I can not judge you for reading Jason Priestly's bio. I'm a girl who has read almost every bio by an '80s hairband musician. I even know that Bret Michaels (Poison) and Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) both have ones due out in 2017.

    I feel like I got an added bonus on the enjoyment factor of Dumplin' because I have a gay aunt that lives in Texas. :)

  13. I really liked all of your superstars as well! I didn't love Furiously Happy as much, though, and I'm not sure why. I too couldn't get into The Girls and stopped about a chapter in!

  14. From the reviews it seems like people either really love The Girls or can't get into it / really dislike it. I've definitely been tempted from all of the hype, but don't think I'd like it based on the synopsis, so it's one I'll probably skip. I felt the same way about Modern Lovers- it was okay, but pretty boring!

  15. I'm late to the Rainbow Rowell party as well, I need to get on it before I'm completely behind the times! Sounds like a good read, you can't beat a good bit of nostalgia

  16. I enjoyed Lawson's first book, but haven't bothered to reach for the 2nd book yet. I felt like some parts were fluffed, but over all it kept me entertained. I always look for opportunities to share the story about Beyonce, I've even shared that story at work after a particularly depressing conference call so we could all relax a bit.

    I have shunned Dumplin' on Audible because it's so short, but I have a feeling I'm going to have to just suck it up.


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