Show Us Your Books Link-Up

Hello! This is my first 
Show Us Your Books link-up 
since the move...and of 2016! 

Life According to Steph

Honestly, until looking back at last month's post I did not realize that I actually read a decent bit over the holidays.

  1. Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg
    1. ★★★★ (4)
    2. I really enjoyed this book. If you are looking for something that is just Aziz doing bits about modern romance, don't read it. He actually partners with some psychologists/sociologists and looks at studies to prove his points. There are some fun personal descriptions but there are statistics involved. As a psych major, I loved it and really felt this added to the overall examination of romance in the 21st century. But some people do not like it, so just know what you are getting into.
    3. Also, this book further solidifies the fact that I am SO GLAD I got married at 18. Dating sounds like the actual worse. 

    1. Whiskey Rebellion, by Liliana Hart
      1.  ★★★
      2.  I don't really remember why or how I got this book- I'm thinking maybe it was Nook Free Friday? I started reading it mainly because I had my iPad and I have all these books that I never read on there because I just keep downloading free things without necessarily doing a quality check #NeedToStop
      3. This book was good, not great. The writing wasn't the best, and at first I thought it was going to be pretty fluffy and stereotypical...and to some extent, it was.
      4. Lots of sexy talk (but almost no actual sex), lots of Southern stereotypes, and a protagonist who is basically a friggin' mess.
      5. Overall, it was good but not great. Actually better than I originally expected, and I would definitely read more of it when I want to read something that isn't super heavy (somewhat similar to how I felt to the Stephanie Plum books)

      1. Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
        1. ★★★★⋆ (4.5)
        2. Why do I keep thinking Ranobow Rowell is just going to be a cute, fun YA novel? It never is. There is always so much heart and meaning in her stories...
        3. Basically, I love this. Great characters, great first loves, but not easy. Like, I love love love it. 

        1. The Wettest County in the World: A Novel based on a True Story, by Matt Bondurant
          1. ★★★
          2.  So, I liked this story but didn't love it. Knowing the specific history of that region/trial/writer would probably have helped peak my interest sooner. That being said, I think a lot of time was spent trying to really create this world- down on their luck community, really tough men, hard lives, etc. Not saying I have experienced this, but I personally didn't feel like I needed that much background to build the story. It was more buildup than actual story in a lot of ways.
          3. Also, it took way to long to realize the book did not go in chronological order but instead leaped back and forth, picking one story up for a bit then heading back and circling around. I partly blame myself for this, but it made a large chunk of the story hard to follow.
          4. This book was one I got from B&N in the clearance section, and has been on my IRL TBR list forever so this hit a 2016 Reading Goal!  
          1. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
            1.  ★★★⋆ (3.5)
            2. This book hit two of my 2016 Reading Goals- my diversity reading challenge (character of color on cover, and IRL TBR). I can't remember where I picked this up, but I felt like it was one of those I've heard of a lot and should have read.
            3. Overall it was good. It took a little bit to get into, and there were some chunks that I just didn't feel were needed- somewhat descriptive or metaphorical (like lists of a dozen metaphors or notations).
            4. However, it was really interesting to read something from this viewpoint and time period (young boy in the Jim Crow South). This past year was full of racial tension and reading this book actually puts a lot of that in context. Especially as a millennial, I think it's easy to forget how we got to where we are when it comes to race relations. I feel like reading this brought me back to a place where I could potentially participate in a conversation about race more positively and fairly.

            1. A Madness So Discreet, by Mindy McGinnis
              1. ★★★★⋆ (4.5)
              2.  This is one of my favorite books that I've read in quite a while. I loved it in the way I loved Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It was a unique story (more realistic than MPHfPC, but still a very unique viewpoint). 
              3. MINOR SPOILER**************************I had to put this down when I first tried to read it last December, because there is a miscarriage pretty early on in the book. Normally I can handle this as a part of life, but after experiencing a miscarriage myself and currently being pregnant it was just a little too heavy for me. Maybe it was just a hormone change, maybe it helped that I could now feel my baby girl kicking away as I tried again, but I'm glad I pushed past this because the book got...not lighter, necessarily, but the issues went in a different direction. I couldn't have handled a book ALL about loosing a baby, which it thankfully wasn't. SPOILER OVER********
              4. I'm not going to say a lot about this book, because it's one where if I say anything I'll just go on and on and on. But I highly recommend.

             What did you read this past month? Link-up & share!
            Life According to Steph


            1. I LOVED E&P; it was one of my 2014 favorites. And Modern Romance was on my list of 2015 favorites! Good choices :)

              You are not the first person to talk about Black Boy but for the life of me, I cannot remember where I first heard about it. I probably should add it to the old TBR because you mentioning it has to be some sort of sign.

              1. That's how it was for me, it's one of those books I've just heard so much about but couldn't tell you where it first popped up.

            2. I've never read a Rainbow Rowell book, but I've heard from so many people that I need to add them to my list, I just haven't gotten to it yet. I actually just bought Eleanor & Park today from Barnes & Noble because it was such a cheap price for a Nook Book. I can't wait to dig into it! A Madness So Discreet sounds really interesting, I'll have to check that one out too!

            3. i skipped your minor spoiler because i really want to read a madness so discreet! good to hear it was good though :)

            4. I loved Eleanor & Park!! It's one of my favorite Rowell books! After reading Modern Romance, I too was very happy not to have to be dating in today's age! I added A Madness So Discreet to my to read list!

            5. I'm intrigued by the last one!

              Black Boy is a blast from the past. I read that in high school.

            6. I really need to get to Eleanor and Park it's been on my TBR pile forever!

            7. I've seen a lot about Eleanor and Park recently and I think it's about time for me to read it!!

            8. Oh I loved Eleanor and Park too, that book sealed me as a Rainbow fan :) I've had several people recommend Modern Romance to me, though two of them recommended getting the audio version. Have you watched Master of None his show on Netflix? Some of the storyline comes from the book.

            9. I REALLY need to read E&P! Actually any Rainbow Rowell. I have good intentions, it just hasn't happened yet! & A Madness So Discreet sounds really really good.

              Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

            10. I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell last year, and I really didn't like it. A lot of people told me that it's not her best and I'd probably enjoy Eleanor & Park or Attachments more ... So I'm going to give her another chance. I really want to like her anyway because she's from Omaha and she includes references to actual places in Omaha and Lincoln in her books (she did in Fangirl, anyway). I've been living in Omaha since 2009, so it's cool to read about places I frequent and/or pass by regularly.

              A Madness So Discreet has been on my "To Read" list for at least a couple of months. I skipped the minor spoiler because I want to be surprised, but I'm glad to see you gave it such a high rating!

            11. I like Attachments by Rowell better than E&P, because it's more adult themed.
              MODERN ROMANCE YAY!!! I lurved that book and I'm glad you didn't hate it. I got lucky with my online dating and I know I'm a unicorn, but some of the stories that I did get out of it were amusing while it lasted, lol.

            12. Ugh, Eleanor and Park. So many emotions. I think I liked Fangirl just slightly better, but I loved both so much. I also read Attachments, which was good but not as emotionally gutting as the other two. For some reason I enjoy getting my heart stabbed repeatedly when reading a book.

              Glad you liked Modern Romance! It was definitely more fact based than I expected from Aziz. I used to be kind of annoyed by him (I think it was his character in Parks and Rec), but I've come to really really respect him lately. His show, Master of None, is so well done and realistic about what it's like to be a single adult.

              I think I may have read snippets of Black Boy for a class, but I know I haven't read the whole thing. I might have to check that one out.