Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Books Books Books! Fall 2019 Edition

Ok, so I'm month late on this one.  Mah bad.  There is a reason though.  So you see, what had happened was, last semester was... rough.  And subsequently, that meant not keeping track of my reading and also not achieving my Goodreads challenge (and accepting it gracefully with a no fucks given attitude) and not even creating a draft for this post (fret not, the "Winter 2020" draft has already been created).  Truthfully, something had to give me for me to stay afloat and reading really took the hit.  I made straight A's though, so I guess #WorthIt?

Audiobook and Run.
It's totally a thing.

I'm linking up with Steph and Jana for the Show Us Your Books linkup, because I needed motivation to post this post after being a slackass.

Ultimate TLDR** 
Definitely Read:  
Maybe Read:  
Hard Pass:  

Rating scale*:

1/5 - Hated it, DNF (did not 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.
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.

October/November 2019:

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson   3.75/5 (Audible, audiobook)

This is the book that killed my ability to complete my Goodreads challenge.  When I started listening to this "gem" I was 4 books ahead of schedule.  When I finished, I was one book behind, WITH completing this book.  FML.  Other comments I wrote included the fact that I wouldn't continue on if book 4 was over 40 hours long, it wasn't a commitment I could make.

My actual review:
The story was good.. but LAWDDDDD this book trudddddged on and on and on and on and on and on.. and I don't need to know that the spheres are dun if you tell me someone ran out of Stormlight. I GET IT.

I guess was "DUN" with that shit.

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis   3/5 (Audible, audiobook)

I struggled with this book because there were things I couldn't really identify with (mom life, entrepreneur dreams, etc), but I was still able to take away some solid points. The bonus portion at the end of the audio book from a Rise event was a solid choice.  It actually made me tear up, but that might have been the affects of PMS.  I didn't love this one nearly as much as Girl, Wash Your Face, but I think GWYF came at exactly the right time, where this one didn't.  This mostly had to do with the fact that I had just finished Oathbringer and I wanted something that wasn't 55 hours long.  This fit the bill, even though I knew it wasn't the right time.  Oh well.

I think the biggest reason this book didn't resonate with me is because I am 110% ok with NOT being the boss.  I don't want to own my own business and I'm totally ok with the peon, be-told-what-to-do, life.  I like being able to go home at the end of the day and be DONE.  As a boss/manager, that's difficult to do.  Work/separation balance is extremely important to me.

December 2019:

A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean   3/5 (Kindle, ebook) 

A historical fiction story that involved sister twins, life during WW2, and a modern timeline too.  This book had me hooked pretty quickly and I didn't hate it, but parts of it felt unbelievable.  I also still have no idea how much time actually passed in the modern timeline.  I will say I didn't expect what happened to actually be what happened, but it was logical as you went on.  Also, the drama of the modern timeline was unnecessary and childish, IMO.

Crossing Tinker's Knob/And Then You Loved Me by Inglath Cooper   3.75/5 (Kindle, ebook) 

IDK why Goodreads has this listed with a different title than on the cover of the book, but whatever.  I enjoyed this book but felt that parts of it pushed believability, or maybe not.  I never decided.  Emma's decision was a relief to me because I was tired of that storyline.  The mom made me hate her quick.  Becca started to get on my nerves but I couldn't help but like her.  I finished this pretty quick, so I was hooked right away and couldn't put it down/had a lot of free time.

Dark Age (Red Rising Saga #5) by Pierce Brown   3/5 (Audible, audiobook)   

This book was extremely gory and 85% of the book was battles while the remaining 15% was character interactions between characters with Roman names.  It had been so long since I read the prior books that I had no idea what side anyone was on anymore.  It ultimately sorted itself out, but it was pretty distracting for a while.  Part of me wants to know what happens to Darrow and Virginia and Sevro and Victoria, but after having to slog through parts of this, I'm not sure I am committed enough to find out.

January 2020:

You Can Thank Me Later: A Novella by Kelly Harms   3/5 (Audible, audiobook novella)  

A Thanksgiving novella from Audible, a freebie.  This was a meh for me.  Not bad, but not good.  Despite not being very long, it got repetitious quickly; family gathering for Thanksgiving, some in between life, family gathering for Thanksgiving (same drama), in-between life, family gathering for Thanksgiving.  /rolleyes.  Cute premise but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

I understand it's a novella and supposed to be short, but we spent a long time on repeating what had already happened and then it was like, OH YEAH, sorry we didn't pay you attention all these years because we were more focused on someone else... THE END.

True West by Sam Shepard   1-DNF/5 (Audible, free audiobook novella)  

This was so stupid that it was intolerable.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane   4.5/5 (Audible, audiobook) 

I was hooked by 15% and that's unusual for my hyper-critical self. I appreciated how this book ended, even if every single issue wasn't tied up perfectly. This story felt REAL which is probably why I enjoyed it so much.

The Institute by Stephen King   4.5/5 (Kindle, ebook, won from SUYB!)  

This book had me hooked by 10%, which is rare. Luke is a child prodigy with special skills. Tim is a not-cop in Podunk. Ultimately, their stories will come together. I appreciated the realistic rawness of the story-telling, even if sometimes vulgar and almost unbelievable (it's fiction, so duh). It has been many years since I read a Stephen King book and I can't remember why I stopped now.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes   4.25/5 (Audible, audiobook)  

I listened to this on audio and was not disappointed by the narrator's voices for the different characters and her KY accent. I was disappointed that Alice's inner voice wasn't with an English accent, but oh well.

Story wise, this story felt like historic fiction based on real life events, like these people could have actually lived. I was quickly drawn into the story, always a relief not to have to trod on and on waiting to get to the part that hooks you, and was genuinely curious how this would end, even though I had a solid (correct) hunch.

I did get a little tired of hearing how much sex everyone but Alice was having, but otherwise, very enjoyable.

All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living by Morgan Harper Nichols   5/5 (own, hard copy)  

MHN's new poetry book.  I preordered this the same day she sent the email that said she was releasing a book.  I had favorite "stories" but can't remember off the top of my head which ones they were.  Guess that means a re-read is in my future.

That said, I feel like this would have been better on the Kindle because then you can zoom in to read some of the tiny cursive and, depending on your device, you can screenshot and share.  Because it's not a standard book, it's a quick read.

There will be days when you do not feel
and you choose to get up
and go out anyway.

And my friend,
let me tell you,
that is what it means to be breave.
It is that gentle shove toward the water
that says "I will go,
and I will go afraid."

It is not a feeling.
It is not a thought.
It is that inward wind that pulls you out of sleep
and says "I will go forth,
with all I have now;
a breath, a dozen steps,
and a pocket full of fears,
but no matter what tries to pull me back,
I will find the strength to be here."
(Morgan Harper Nichols)

**TLDR: To long, didn't read.


  1. I enjoyed Ask Again, Yes too. It was a little slow starting for me, but once I was in, I was in! I liked Girl, Wash Your Face better than her second as well.

  2. I think I used to follow MHN on her blog?? So cool she has a book. Ask Again Yes was a bit overhyped for me.

  3. I read Ask Again Yes this month and really enjoyed it.

  4. Ask Again, Yes is on my TBR and apparently I missed the memo to read it last month. LOL! I loved the original Red Rising trilogy but wasn't a huge fan with book #4 and didn't bother with #5. It feels like he added on because they were money-makers, not because he necessarily had more story to tell. I'd rather he wrote something original. I've been curious about The Institute. I love Stephen King ... sometimes. The Institute seemed like the kind of Stephen King I love.

  5. I read a Sam Shephard book last year and remember liking it but not understanding what all the fuss was about.

    Ask Again Yes was so good.

  6. Ask Again, Yes was fabulous.

    Rachel Hollis is meh.

  7. I like your rating system. I think mine is similar. I don't think I've read any of the books you finished in this post. Glad your life feels more back on track, and way to go on straight As!

  8. ugh, i don't like rachel hollis lol. but the main reason i don't want to read her books is the same reason - i don't *want* to be the boss. why do people assume everyone wants that? rage.
    will have to check out all along you were blooming. really enjoyed ask again yes!


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