Tuesday, April 11, 2017

SUYB: March 2017

Life According to StephAnother month of praising audiobooks.  Seriously, I wonder what I did with my life before audiobooks were my life.  The library came through for me this month and I was numero UNO on the King's Cage list so I got to "break the binding" of the book, if that's possible with ebooks. 

This past month has taught me about about the long duration of a library hold and just how miserable it is to be #20 on 1 copy of a book.  WTF?  If each check out is 2 full weeks (assuming no one turns in early but me), that will be FORTY WEEKS until I can read that book.  There's 52 weeks in a year.  Math is hard, but even I can tell you that's too long to wait.  Le siiiigh.

Now that my Audible queue is caught up, I have a feeling I'll restart Outlander.  I am torn though because the Lord John books are only available from my library in ebook format.  This is relevant because technically the Lord John series should be consumed before book 4 and I'm debating if I want to read them via ebook (if a 2 week check out will be long enough to get through a Diana Gabaldon book) or listen on Audible, which essentially means using my monthly credits on Outlander for the next 16 months, unless there are good sales (which I've been looking for and not finding).  #readingproblems

I got to talk about books and audiobooks throughout the weekend and I even browsed a bookstore while we were in Asheville which brought me so much joy in my heart.

Anyways, on to this past month and what I've devoured.

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.
3.5/5 - I liked parts of it.
4/5 - I liked the whole thing.
4.5/5 - I liked it a lot, but not sure I'd read it again.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

*Subject to change based on my mood, the phase of the moon, or other unpredictable variables.

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

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly   4/5 (audiobook)
Throughout the entire book I hated Caroline.  I struggled with Kasha's bad attitude, as if I would be any different.  I also struggled with Heta's indifference, but appreciated the view from the other side of a well-told story.  I would actually groan when Caroline's parts started.  Learning that Caroline was a real person didn't make me like her anymore.

This book has 3 main characters.  An American who is obsessed with France and has an affair with a married French dude then war happens and they are separated then they reconnect and then she ignores him and then gives him a chance, then ignores him again, and in the end we learn what I thought all along, she's a selfish bitch.  A Polish teenager who ends up as a Nazi test experiment and a bitter woman (expectedly) and in the end finds redemption.  And finally, a Nazi doctor who was very pro-Aryan and ends up getting let off the hook for the shitty-shit she did while working as a doctor in the camps.  The characters do eventually all connect in the end, but I was worried that wouldn't be the case for a while.

TL;DR:  WW2 book about 3 different characters.  The title is only relevant because lilacs are a very hearty flower that bloom despite adversity (adversity being war, of course).

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard    3.75/5 (ebook)
The 3rd book of the Red Queen series, which was "long" awaited after Kristen turned me onto the Red Queen last summer.  Picking up where I left off, I still hate Mare Barrow.  She's whiny and annoying and I want to punch her in the ovaries.  So to see her tortured made me feel better that I had suffered for so long.  But then, it becomes a passive torture with silent stone and even I started to feel like I was wearing silent stone manacles.  About the time I started getting bored, Mare was "rescued" and characters started turning on each other (as they tend to do in this series).  The bullshit with Mare and Cal and Maven continues on; "I'm fucked up, so I should be with the most fucked up of the brothers."

There is supposed to be a 4th book.  I still mostly hate Mare.  I'm reading now because I'm committed and want to know how it ends.  Lord, please let it end soon.

TL;DR: When Mare is like, "Thanks for rescuing me, but go fuck yourself," to Cal, I probably would have thrown the book if I hadn't been reading this on my Kindle.  I HATE MARE.  She is infuriating.

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron   4.5/5 (audiobook)
This book is written from the dog's perspective and I worried at first that I would get annoyed with it.  I can't say that I didn't, there were parts of the narrative that were just story telling and then the author remembered this is from the dog's perspective, so we need to remind readers about that.  I started to get annoyed with the cycle of life and I was glad when the book finally ended.

Parts I cried at: Putting Bailey down.  Holy balls, the ugly cry.
My neighbors are trying to talk me into reading A Dog's Journey, which is the sequel to A Dog's Purpose, but I'm not sure how motivated I am.  Maybe if I can find it from the library for freeizzle?

TL;DR: A story about dog who is on a quest to fulfill his life's purpose.  For as many lives as it takes, apparently.

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid    4.75/5 (ebook)
TJR is officially one of my "must read the entire collection of works" authors now.  I was skeptical about this book because I wanted a resolution.  I was riding the struggle bus for the first half because I just wanted to know which scenes were "real" vs not.  It's complicated.  Also, there's been a lot of recognition lately that I'm not a kid-person, so the whole story line about being knocked up just didn't really do anything for me.  That was probably just a Megan problem.

But by the end, I really enjoyed this book. 

TL;DR: Hannah either gets hit by a car or doesn't and you get to read both story lines.

Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations by Garson O'Toole
   1-DNF/5 (ebook)
I wanted to like this book because I like quotes and history and language and technology and this book was just boring to me.  Essentially he took a quote and presented his research and that was it.  I'm not sure why I expected more after all the reviews, but maybe I took them with a little too much salt?

TL;DR: Word Etymology is so much more intriguing that quote history.  Says me.

In Progress:

On Deck:

YAY for books!

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


  1. Maybe in Another Life sounds interesting. I've had Lilac Girls from Netgalley for ages and ages. I really need to read it. I've been putting of WWII fiction because sometimes the recent state of the world makes me want to read escapist fantasy or fluffy things. It's more distracting. But I want to read them at some point. Maybe this spring/summer I will break a few open. I can't handle sad animal books. I know people love them, but I just get so depressed. hehe oh well. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  2. totally skipped your king's cage review because i haven't read it yet. i was like #3 on the real book but wasn't able to get to the library in time so it's gooone and now i'm #7. UGH. hopefully soon. i'm so curious! then we can talk about it.
    i loved maybe in another life. i didn't love the ending (how they were different) but overall i did love the book. she's a great writer.

  3. I love quotes but the last book sounds like a ruiner.

    I haven't read a WWII book since Lilac Girls. It tore me up.

  4. I enjoyed The Red Queen but then fell off the wagon and from your review, it's not worth picking up again. I can deal with unlikeable characters but when they become unlikeable, annoying and stupid, then nope. Life is too short! LOL! I don't think I can do A Dog's Purpose. The movie trailer made me cry and when my cat passed, I was wrecked for months. It's been four years and it's still too soon!

    1. I think my struggle is that Mare is supposed to be a likeable character.
      The Art of Racing in the Rain is still my go-to dog book.

  5. I love TJR, so I really need to read Maybe In Another Life.

  6. A Dog's Purpose is probably a book that I won't want to read because I'm too much of a dog person and would probably cry my eyes out. Marley and Me was one of those books, and I swear that I cried so much over it! I'm glad that you liked Lilac Girls! It really was a good book. And I need to read the rest of the Red Queen books! I read the first one and loved it!

  7. I joined a new library that will be much more convenient to the new work location. I need to organize my library wait lists. Lilac Girls needs to be in my life soon. And, I've yet to read a TJR. I need to change that.

  8. I love reading books from the library. I need to give audios another shot though - maybe when I'm walking.


  9. I love TJR and I think that is the only one I haven't read yet beside her newest one that I have waiting on my Netgalley shelf. I love audiobooks too!

  10. I LOVED the dual ending to Maybe in Another Life. That made it my favorite TJR book.

  11. Oh I want to read the Girls & Sex book, it's been on my TBR for a while. Really enjoyed her book Cinderella Ate My Daughter.

  12. I really enjoyed a dogs purposeand I also read a dog's journey but I think if you struggled a little bit with the first one and then definitely wait until you can get the second one for free as it was really enjoyable but it was almost out of the realm of belief at times? If that is possible and a book that is written from the perspective of a dog.


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