Show Us Your Books: March 2020


Another month gone! Y'all, February was a long one for us. My family got pink eye...repeatedly. My husband has a beautiful straight nose I've always loved...and he's always claimed it doesn't work right. Apparently this is true, because he has been plagued by sinus issues this month...which, FYI, can cause pink eye if it gets bad enough. After two rounds, I've told him I love him with all my heart but he's quarantined. I'm on the couch until he has fully recovered*.

He offered to take the couch. But it's easier to wash the bed linens than the couch, and it's easier to keep Babycakes off our bed than off the couch. This is just the most logical option.

Anyway...Babycakes & I seem to be doing okay, it's been several days without drops and our eyes are nice, light, healthy pink. We're keeping a safe distance, taking ALL precautions, and Hubs went back to the doctor for some super antibiotics so let's all pray that in 7-10 days I can kiss my husband again!

Until then, I have my books to keep me company. That's why we're all here, let's get to it.


One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying #2


This was a fun and frustrating who-dunnit. Again, as I've said...I really just need to accept that I like to binge read a series. Wish I could have remembered a little more about the first in the series- it wasn't super relavent to the plot, but since it was in the same community I'm sure it would have been a more enjoyable read had I actually gotten all the references instead of constantly thinking "Hmmm that sounds vaguely familiar." Rated it 4 stars on GR, probably more like 3.5.
★★★★


The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao


This book was slightly creepy. It was a slow, calm creep though. I didn't necessarily feel sucked in but I just interested enough to keep going. This may not sound appealing to everyone, but I loved it. The ending was dissapointing...I am just not a fan of that particular twist. Eh. Rated it 4 stars on GR, probably more like 3.5.
★★★★


A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum


This book was hard. I did not like reading it. I wanted to quit so bad, but forced myself to keep going because it's been SO well lauded. The writing is fine but I kept thinking some form of hope would show up and...it kind of did and kind of didn't. A question was answered literally on the last page, but even that answer was a "Well yep that's exactly as fucked up as I should have expected" more than an "Aha." As someone who tries to be very open-minded and liberal and understanding and all that jazz, it honestly made me super uncomfortable to read about such a closed community because I felt like I was reading every stereotype about a group of people and that's the opposite of what I want. But at the end there an interview with the author (and I cant remember the appropriate term but...she was a part of the community she writes about...own voices?) and she did talk about her side of that fear; that it was bad for the community at large and would she be critized for drawing more fire on them...but that she had to speak up because, like the characters, she never saw that part of her story. It's not all Muslims/immigrants but it is something she witnessed repeatedly, to varying degrees. Maybe this is an important book to read, but as a woman it was so. fucking. hard. I didn't feel good at the end. But...everyone deserves to know they aren't alone. And sweeping things under the rug isn't good. Just...be prepared, because I was not, and it put me in a dark space. I guess I'm saying...trigger warning.
★★★★


When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald


This book was exactly what I needed after A Woman Is No Man. It has some of the same issues (violence, socio-economic problems, abuse/neglect) but in a hopeful way. Zelda, the main character, was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She's high-functioning but also sees things in very simplistic terms, and doesn't always pick up on nuance. Maybe because of this, she was a fucking delight to read. I want to say sweet, but that has a negative connotation nowadays. She's tough AF, determined, smart, very logical once you understand how her mind works, and cares. She wants to be a Viking and she fucking is. This was a story of redemption and determination and loving your tribe and loving yourself and fucking READ IT.
★★★★★

Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who's Been There by Tara Schuster


I really enjoyed this book, to the point where I ended up buying the ebook. As someone with anxiety...it's both comforting and frustrating to realize that all self-help books basically boil down to to the same things: journal, exercise, eat well, spend time in the sun/nature, and build social boundaries. These things can be done differently depending on personality, but they need to be done. I appreciated all the step-by-step suggestions and rituals. I appreciated that she was upfront about hard things, and how she felt. It's interesting to see that while she certainly does have some privilege and in some ways has an enviable job (re: money+career+travel, etc)...she's dealing with the same feelings that many people with anxiety have...because anxiety doesn't care where you are in life. It's just the worse.
★★★★★



What have you been reading lately? Link-up and let us know!
Life According to Steph

14 comments

  1. I hadn't heard of When We Were Vikings, but you had me add it to my TBR list.

    I'm on the library wait-list for Buy Yourself the F****** Lilies - I've heard nothing but positive reviews.

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  2. I had no idea there was a 3rd book in the One of Us is lying... I've got to get the 2nd book read first... heading to my libraries site right now!

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  3. I ended up caving and putting a physical copy of One of us is Next on hold at the library so I don't have to wait for the e-book. So anxious to restart it! I have A Woman is No Man and am looking forward to reading it, so it was interesting to hear your perspective and the extra info on the author. Fingers crossed you guys all stay healthy this month! It feels almost impossible not to pass illnesses back and forth at home, especially with kids.

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  4. I deal with anxiety as well. I hadn't heard of that book, but I am going to see if my library has it. Thanks for the recommendation :)

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  5. So sorry you have had to deal with pink eye! I also prefer to read a book series as a giant binge because I can not stand trying to remember where we left off and all those little details I often forget after I've finished a book.

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  6. A Woman Is No Man has been on my to read list. I thought One of Us Is Lying was okay, but don't think I'm interested in reading the sequel.

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  7. I keep saying this, but I liked One of Us is Next marginally better than the first one. I think maybe it was just a more interesting story?

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  8. I am intrigued by the F*cking Lilies book. Anxiety is the worst and its held me back the past few years something fierce, so anything that can help give me perspective and a little sanity, is appreciated. I still haven't read One of Us is Lying. I've checked it out at least twice but my reading mojo was so bad that it went back to the library unread. Sigh. I want to read A Woman is No Man but know it's going to be a hard read. while I don't believe one should avoid hard reads (they most often are the ones that need to be read), I do have to be in the right mind-set so I don't end up on the floor.

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  9. A Woman is No Man was not easy or enjoyable but it was worth it.

    Hope everyone is well at your house for the foreseeable future!

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  10. Oh, I so hear you about series. I don't have the memory to retain detail if I have to wait too long.

    And you are totally selling me on Vikings!! It sounds a bit like The Reckless Oath We Made (main character there had autism and was a knight).

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  11. Pink eye sounds awful! I remember in my teaching days: if anyone had it, I would have to deep clean all the desks. Same with hand-foot-mouth :/

    A Woman is No Man is one I've purposefully avoid. I read the in-depth description a few months ago and I just can't.

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  12. Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies sounds like something I'd really enjoy. I need to read One of Us is Next!!

    Ooh pink eye. I've *knock on wood* only had it once in my life, but it's not fun. I hope your whole family is back to normal soon.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  13. I've had A Woman Is No Man on my list for a while but haven't picked it up, and reading your review made me equally want to go read it, but also make sure I'm in the mood for it. I love a book that challenges me, and I really appreciated reading your honest thoughts about it and why it challenged you.

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  14. Buy Yourself the Lilies looks curious to me, as well as the first series you mentioned. Maybe with some time at home I can make a dent in my TBR list.

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