Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Books Lately - Oct 2015

My book club seems like it might, tragically, be defunct. We met twice in two months and then life seemed to get really busy. People got married and traveled. Our group also grew. People invited friends to join and while I think it's great that I know so many women that are enthusiastic about reading, it's impossible to coordinate the schedules of ten people. I think I'd like to be in a book club of about five or six. Maybe it will be easier to form one this fall or winter. Anyway, I got some good summer reading done and I've kept pretty good momentum even after school has started. I never buy books because the expense would add up quickly and we don't have the space for all of them! I borrow from friends when they volunteer them and I frequent our public library. I wish the library would keep a record of things I have checked out in my online account because I'm sure I'm missing something!

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This was meant to be our next book club book. I flew through it. It reminded me of Gone Girl and other Gillian Flynn books. It's completely nerve wracking and I had to stay up late to finish the last one hundred pages last night because I wouldn't have been able to sleep. I wish I would have been able to talk about it with my girlfriends. I hear it might be a movie soon, too! 4 stars.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns) By Mindy Kaling

I love books by female comedians. I love Bossypants by Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler's books. Mindy Kaling is so cute, modest, and unapologetically girly. I also love that most of these books are essays or short vignettes so they are quick and easy to read on a beach (not that I've been to any beaches lately). I found Mindy very relatable and I started watching her show The Mindy Project after reading this. She has a new book out, Why Not Me, that I hope to pick up soon. 4 stars.

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

This book is dumb. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it. It's a light, fast-paced, and entertaining story. I actually listened to it as an audio book and didn't really enjoy the narrator's voice which can really put a damper on it. However, it was easy to listen to while I cooked, cleaned, and ran around without intense focus on the story. It was good enough, not great. 2 stars.

Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

This was a beautiful, hearbreaking, and adorable love story. When I started it, I was surprised that it was about teenagers. I don't typically reach for books about teens. There's a reason I don't teach high school. They're just not my scene. But, I got really interested in the story because I've recently learned more about trauma and it's effects on people/children. 5 stars.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Ok. I didn't finish this. I was listening to it on audio from the library and it's very long. My time ran out and I couldn't renew. But I fully intend to get a hard copy soon and finish it. It's a very interesting story about a surgeon from India who lives in Africa. I think 4 stars, we'll see!

The Martian by Andy Weir

I know everyone is reading this and I'm so glad I picked it up. I thought I would get bored with his internal monologue but I was totally hooked. The narrator states in the beginning the truth about humanity and the need to save others and the bigger message rang true for me. He also had a great sense of humor. I read this in its entirety driving from Milwaukee to Minneapolis (thanks for driving Cody!) and I totally cried at the end. And now I'm obsessed with space. 5 stars.

Yes Please by Amy Pohler

Another great comedy book that I listened to on audio. Amy narrated a lot of her younger life and how she got to where she was today. It was refreshing that she was totally honest about many topics including her divorce and struggle with self image. However, she continuously complained about how difficult it was to write a book. I'm sure this is true and I know she was saying it over and over to be funny but I got a little annoyed. 4 stars.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

This book is so cute.  It's an adorable love story of two college students. It's an extremely quick read and you defiintely want to find out what happens so I just flew through it. The story is told from the perspective of everyone except the couple, including their friends, professors, bus drivers, acquaintences, and even a bench and a squirrel. If the last two seem a little excessive, you might find this book a little annoying. 3 stars.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I loved this book. It's established at the beginning that it's a murder mystery and they're trying to find the murderer. But we don't even know the victim is for the entire book. I think it's possible that you could get annoyed by all of the mommy drama throughout the book, but as a non-mom I found it entertaining. I also loved that it was set in Australia. There were several subplots going in that became intertwined and I found it really engaging. 4 stars.

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

Ugh. I don't know. This book is just okay. I picked it up at the library in one of those situations where I realized I was returning everything I had to read and none of my reserved books were ready to be picked up but that I also live by a small branch of my library and there were very few options. I spent the better part of a half hour hemming and hawing over what to get and just grabbed something. It's the story of an overstressed mom who becomes addicted to prescription pain medication. Despite saying I found mom stories interesting the last book, I just didn't feel for this character. I find addiction really interesting and even watch Intervention sometimes. But this wasn't even as good as that. But did you know Jennifer Weiner live tweets Bachelor/Bachelorette episodes. I love that.
2 stars.

Seriously, I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

I think I hit my limit with audiobooks by comedians for a while. And this one just wasn't as good as the others. I love Ellen and her attitude about kindness and life in general. But this whole book was basically her stream of consciousness. I know that's her style and there are definitely cute parts but I feel like she didn't say anything at all. 2 stars.

My first book link-up. Yay!

Life According to Steph


  1. here from the link up - I loved Big Little Lies and The Martian! And The Sea of Tranquility!! Great books lately :) Have you read Mindy's new book yet?

  2. Oh I want to read so many of these! The Martian is definitely on the top of my list! I have been buying books at the thrift store recently, they have a great selection, they're so cheap, and since I didn't spend a lot on them, I don't feel bad donating them when I'm finished!

  3. yay for your first book link up! you read so many books. so glad you liked the martian, sea of tranquility and big little lies. i LOVED a little something different, but understand people not loving it as much as me lol. i wish i was in a proper real life book club, but no one i know likes to read, so i have to settle for the internet book clubs lol

  4. You're the second person to recommend The Sea of Tranquility. It seems intriguing enough, I'll have to look into it! As for comedian audiobooks, I think something gets lost in those. I much prefer to read them myself.

  5. Welcome to the link up!

    I loved The Martian, Big Little Lies, Sea of Tranquility, and Girl on the Train.

    I have Cutting for Stone on my kindle I think. I'm pretty sure it's been there for years, unread. Maybe I'll make room for it this month!

  6. The Martian, I LOVED. Big Little Lies and The Girl on the Train were enjoyable. Also, I loved Yes Please and Mindy's book was good, too.

    I thought All Fall Down was one of her better books. The end was irritating but overall, I liked it way better than some of her others.

    Sea of Tranquility was added today.

    Thanks for joining us this month! Hope you come back again!

  7. Loved The Martian! I also bought Girl on the Train for a bookclub which ended up not happening. Funny how that works out! I still haven't read it - I might just return my copy. I also loved Yes Please! But after that and Bossypants, I think I need a break from comedian books. It seems like every celebrity has written a book at this point and I just can't read them all!!!

  8. The Sea of Tranquility was so good! I just got Why Not Me, and i am excited to read it. She is just so open and nice seems like she would be cool to hang with IRL.

  9. Awesome mix of books! I saw so many people recommending The Sea of Tranquility that when I finally read it, I had forgotten what it was about. But, I love love loved it. When I read Big Little Lies, I was convinced the author wrote from personal experience. She gets that scene! And the book was so entertaining. I was one who loved The Girl on the Train. I liked the severely flawed, effed up characters.

  10. You had some real winners this month! Having read several of them as well, I completely agree with your reviews.
    I'm looking forward to reading Big Little Lies and Sea of Tranquility!

  11. It took me awhile to get into Cutting but thoroughly enjoyed it. It's one of those books that you think about after you finished it. It was such a heartbreaking story.
    I did not enjoy Girl on Train. But loved Martian.