Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What I read in January

My life's priority these past few weeks have been puzzles and chill books.  Seriously, listening to an audiobook while doing a puzzle is my favorite way to kill my kindle.  It's less work for my brain and I get to do puzzles.  Also, I think Teh German doesn't mind the audiobooks since it's like he's "reading" too.

I actually cancelled my Audible subscription because I didn't want to pay for it and I'm regretting it.  I only listened to 1ish audiobook per month, but that's $15 a month for a book.  I may break down and resubscribe just because I really enjoy my puzzle and audiobook time.  We'll see how much guilt I feel about taking money from the House funds.

Life According to Steph

Rating scale:

1/5 - Hated it, didn't finish.
2/5 - Tolerated it on principle to finish, didn't like it.
3/5 - Eh, didn't love it, didn't hate it.  Had some good parts/kept me interested/finished it on principle.
4/5 - I liked it.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

Skimmers, stick with the bold text (TL;DR* parts).
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.

The Sea of Tranquility - Katja Millay  4/5 (ebook)
I often found myself wishing I was home to finish this book.  I wanted more about the Josh and Nastya (which I still can't pronounce, despite one of the characters actually saying the pronunciation at the beginning).  I wanted to know what happened to her and then I got annoyed with wanting to know what happened to her.  By the time we found out I wanted to be all IDGAF, but I did GAF.  Ugh. 

I know that this is just fiction, but sometimes I like my fiction to be believable unless it's fantasy or sci-fi.. and I can tell you my parents wouldn't have handled this situation the same way.  Nope, nope, nope.  But in another way, it was believable since something so horrible had happened to her.  The ending was sweet and exactly what I needed after such horrible things happening the entire book.

The part that I didn't find weird?  The relationship between Drew and Nastya.  That seems completely believable for teenagers.

TL;DR: If you can get past the weird names and the fact that teenagers are doing whatever the fuck they want, this is a good book about the healing process after something(s) devastating happen.

The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan   4/5 (ebook)
I started reading this when we were driving up to NC for Teh Sister's wedding after finishing The Sea of Tranquility.  I figured this was easy enough for me to read outloud and for Teh German to understand despite my speedy reading.  The story is simple enough, a kid always seems to get into trouble and turns out, he's "special" because he's the bastard child of a Greek god.  I kept thinking of Phil from Hercules while reading it because the best friend is a Satyr (goat man).  I ended up finishing it without Teh German, but he'd seen the movie, so it was fine.  I haven't seen the movie, so I needed to know how it ended.

This was an easy book to read, but I wasn't so enamored by it that I'm rushing to read the rest of the books in the series.  My TBR list is already long enough.

TL;DR: Easy YA read that puts all that useless knowledge of Greek mythology to use.

Summerlong - Dean Bakopoulos  3.5/5 (audiobook)
This book was strongly recommended by Jana (a host of this linkup) but I wasn't overly thrilled by it.  It wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't anything to write home about, IMO.  The story line was pretty depressing and the characters all are linked but it takes a while to find out how.  ABC's name annoyed me for the entire book.  I also struggle with books that make pop culture references (Facebook, Twitter, actors, etc) because I question how those things will be relevant years from now. 

I'm also still not sure if I liked the fact that the narrator addressed the Reader.  It was funny, but weird.  It's like when actor's break the fourth wall.  Sometimes, it's just weird, unless it's House of Cards, then it's not.  Maybe this book is supposed to represent middle age and life in middle America, but it just felt like the characters needed to talk to the people they weren't talking to.

Also, I waited on something "spiritual" to happen with ABC to explain that whole determination to meet Philly in the afterlife.  Overall, it seemed like a book where adults were getting stoned and avoiding their responsibilities.

TL;DR: A good story to pass the time, especially if you're stoned.

If you wanted to read any of these 3 books, I'd start at the top and work down.

In Progress:

On Deck:

*TL;DR = too long, don't read


  1. i cancel my audible membership all the time. one time i cancelled it and they gave me a 3 month membership for half price, woo. also, i got a $1 a month deal around black friday, but i'm not paying $15 a month for one book. i'm stingy. do you know the 'trick' to getting cheap ones? i just 'bought' a free kindle book and then you can add the audible narration for $1.99, so i did, and basically that book cost me $2. woo. it's different for every kindle / audible, so it could be like $3 for the kindle, $3 for the 'whispersync' or whatever, but that's only $6 compared to $15 on audible, you know? sometimes it works out cheaper and sometimes it doesn't. just a thought.
    i lol-d at 'especially if you're stoned'.
    i read the first book in the percy jackson series a couple years ago and still haven't read the rest. part of me wants to, the other part can't be bothered.
    so glad you liked the sea of tranquility, though i get what you mean about certain things being believable. i still have no idea how to pronounce Nastya. haha.

  2. I got such a different vibe on Summerlong. Like, not at all what you think. I found it such a sad, realistic story of marriage and debt and not being able to cope. And the fact that they didn't talk to each other and escaped to others was part of what made it sad. It was definitely strange at times, and ABC's name was ANNOYING, but I loved it anyway.

    If you didn't like Summerlong, don't read any of his other books. This one probably has the most mass appeal.

  3. I liked Summerlong too, more for the writing and less for the story.

    I never mind pop culture references.

    I am always a little shocked when the narrator breaks the fourth wall. And a little thrilled like something forbidden has been done. LOL

  4. I've heard so many wonderful things about The Sea of Tranquility! I need to read it very soon because it sounds so good! Plus you know it's a good sign if you want to be reading it all the time!

  5. I think it's very sweet that you were reading The Lightning Thief out loud to The German.

  6. I remember reading this book "The Sea of Tranquility" about 2 weeks ago. It was really a great read. I love the author's style of writing.Anyway, thanks for the share.

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  7. Sea of Tranquility has been on my TBR list forever but I haven't gotten to it yet. I have Audible and sometimes it burns me to think I spend $15 on one book each month. But then I remind myself how much joy it brings to my commutes while I have it....and that I get a lot of books for free from Blogging for Books and Netgalley so really it evens out to be not much. LOL.

  8. When I listened to "The Sea..." on Audible, I just sat and stared at the wall for 2 hours because I couldn't NOT finish it. I loved it so much. There was an Olympic gymnast with the name Nastya a few years back, so I'd hear it before. It's a Russian name. "Nah-stee-ah". That's my poor man's pronunciation guide. Anyway, I loved it.
    A lot of my students read Rick Riordan books, but I haven't yet. It's not really my preferred genre. Maybe someday...

  9. My brothers and I split the audible account to make it cheaper. I Need it in my life.

    Sea of Tranquility was such a good book!

    I have The Lightening Theif on my list. I have seen the movie but I need to read the book to decide if I like it!


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