Show Us Your Books: Favorites of 2016

It's a Special Edition Show Us Your Books!!! Yes, it's a TWOFER this month!

These aren't books that came out in 2016, but rather books I personally read in 2016.

This just my kind of book. It's fictional but the characters feel real, it's in today's world so no adjusting to new situations or worlds or times (there's a time and place for those- but sometimes I like to be "in" my world but not...if that makes sense). It examined family and love and the way life ebbs and flows throughout the years. It was just a great snap shot  Full review here.

This book was a surprise love. The diversity reading challenge that I did included "any book by Walter Dean Myers." I didn't expect to enjoy the format, but I loved everything about it. Everything. It was great and packed so much emotion into such a short story. Highly, highly recommend it. Full review here.

This was probably my favorite nonfiction book this year. It read so casually and friendly- it was as though the author was your BFF who was taking a course called 'Women in History' and gushed to you about it after each class. Highly recommend, especially if you are looking for nonfiction but need to ease in.

You guys...I cannot recommend this book enough. All the feels, straight to the fucking heart. AHHHHHH. SO GOOD. Please just read it. Especially if you are a woman/daughter/mother in any way. Because OMG it touches on so much of what it means to be each of these things and family and love and I cannot beg you enough to read it. Please please please GO READ IT.

I don't even know what to's an intriguing book about a terribly creepy psychopath. But somehow...hilarious.  I think it's the snark factor. Also slightly terrifying (I mean, the President Elect probably thinks similarly to Joe). The writing here goes back from "Haha sarcasm" to "OMG this guy is clinically insane how does no one notice?!?"

What books did you love in 2016?
Life According to Steph

The Surprise of Motherhood

Since having a baby, a few people have acted like I am in on a big secret. It's a secret that mothers love children in a strong and unique way, but now I know.

In a way, sure. Being a parent is unique. Not that YOU are unique as a parent, but that it's a different role than all the others in your life.

But...loving my child, even deeply, has not been a surprise. 

Maybe it's my individual personality- if I lower my guard enough to love you, it's going to be pretty deeply. I just don't have it in me to partly care for someone. So I can't say for sure that my capacity for loving my child is more than my capacity for loving anyone else.

But there is something that has been a surprise, and that is the pure joy that my child brings.

I'm not an overly emotional person. At least, not positive emotion. That sounds bad- it's really not. I just tend to be more thoughtful and introspective and stressed and analytical...rather than happy. When I feel, it tends to be deeply and the kind of feelings that others don't want to acknowledge.

But this kid makes me so. damn. happy.

She is a super smiley baby. As someone with a textbook RBF, I do not understand this habit of smiling all the time. But she does it- at the dogs (she LOVES the dogs), at me, at my husband, at her reflection, at her bottle, whatever. She smiles and my friggin' heart melts. Or grows like the Grinch. Maybe a combo, I don't know, it's hard to explain.

And it is so cool to see her learn. 

I mean...she used to just be a bean-looking shape in my stomach. Now she moves and thinks on her own. The first time she reached out to pet one of our dogs on her own, I almost lost it. It was so cool to see that first glimmer of independent thought and action.

To me, that has always been the appeal of kids. Maybe that sounds weird. But having this tiny little person and watching them grow is the ultimate mystery.

There are a lot of ways in which I am nothing like my parents. I'm the only one in my family who likes to read and enjoys getting an education, and all this started very early in life. So, while many people seem set on working to ensure everyone "matches" in a family, I'm so excited to see what unique features she brings to ours.

To me, that has been the big surprise- pure joy.

Not love, which...I'm sorry, it's a little insulting to assume someone is incapable of deep love.

The joy, though. That has been completely unique and overwhelming. 

Show Us Your Books: December 2016

Thanks to a free month of Scribd and lots of searching for free audiobooks online, I kind of beasted Nonfiction November. But I did not read what I had originally planned to read (see the TBR here).

Along with nonfiction and audiobooks, this month I soaked up a bunch of women writers.

It was both incredibly inspirational in the face of the election...and that much more disappointing. I love so many of these scrappy, bold women and I'm so fucking tired in my soul that the rest of my country apparently does not see the greatness that I do...and instead glorifies someone who basically goes against almost everything I believe in.

But I digress. I'd recommend all these books- I didn't agree with all of them but I was interested and very much wanted to cheer during a good portion of most of them.

Nonfiction November Picks:

I was very excited about this book, because Anna Kendrick is hilarious and the millennial queen of snark. It didn't disappoint. An interesting look at Hollywood and acting and being a young woman.

I needed this book. I don't know that I can put it into action, but it was so nice to hear that you don't have to care about everything, since I have a stereotypical small town Southern family that kind of tells me the opposite.

This was hailed as feminist iconography. It was good, but not great in my opinion. There were some pieces I highly agreed with, and some I did not. For some reason, I expected her to be American and a little younger (not that she's old, but older than me and older than I thought she was). Not being British, I can't attest to everything she said but I enjoyed it. Especially the Lady Gaga part ("We do this for us") and the idea that yellow shoes are neutral- think about it. Totally true.

This was good- I kind of wish I had the physical copy because there are several lists given that are super helpful. Of course I didn't agree with everything, but there is a ton of good advice here and it's perfect for a young adult who is moving out on their on for the first time.

Fiction Picks:

I briefly mentioned this in my Monthly Recommendations post. It was heart-wrenching and really examined what makes a family and how we are bound to what we love, as well as having very well-done examinations of the trouble that "patriotism" and identity can cause when it causes people to see someone else as "other" and therefor lesser. But...I did not love the ending. It was rushed, it was unfair, it just killed a wonderful book. I will give it a 3-3.5 but it could easily have been a 5 star book if the resolution had been handled with more care.

This was a completely random read, that I got from a "neighborhood library" while visiting family and centers on a teenage girl visiting Italy due to some family upheaval. It was cute, and interesting- in some ways a pretty fluffy YA but it also had some deep moments about family and identity. Plus the main character is kind of re-tracing her mother's young adulthood with a diary and that was a cool plot device that I really enjoyed.  

This one happened to be one of the monthly credits on Scribd, so I could read it without using a "credit" so to speak. It has been praised by Kirstie from Melbourne on My Mind so I figured "Why not?" It involves a group of beauty pagent contestants who get stranded on an island...that turns out not to be as remote as they thought. It was very campy, and satirical, but hit SO MANY IMPORTANT POINTS. It gets major diversity points (an African American & Indian contestants, bisexual and lesbian contestants, a deaf contestant, a transgender contestant). Also examines marketing and politics and points out the fucked-up-ness of it all. Highly recommend- 4/4.5 stars (just because it took me a while to get on board with the half realistic/half hyperbole style). But definitely hits some important points.

I almost don't even feel like I can review this properly. It's technically the third in a series (Dirty Girls Club) but has a very different feel. While the other two are kinda chic lit-y and follow a group, this one focuses on three friends in particular and has a very different vibe since it's more of a thriller. The author's note explained a lot of this (she felt constrained previously, like she had to fit into a specific box kind of, and wanted to branch out and acknowledge that today's world is very different than when the original book came out). I completely understand, but as someone who was in the mood for the previous vibe it was a little disconcerting. Also, I kind of really liked the idea of chick lit that was diverse. I've linked to the Goodreads description, and if it sounds interesting don't worry that you have to read the first two in the series. It's really not necessary IMO.

What have you been reading this month?

Life According to Steph

And don't forget that the yearly wrap-up- Show Us Your Books of 2016- will be December 27th!

Biography in 5 Words

Thanks to the Dear Hank and John episode with Hannah Hart for the inspiration.

Three Things

I am completely stealing this from Stephanie at Life According to Steph. Gracias, amiga. 

Three things I frequently forget
My coffee on the way to work
Where I put my phone
To feed my dogs in the morning

Three errands I love to run
Going to the library
Shopping for crafty things/home goods
Ummmm....I don't know. I hate grocery shopping so much it's all I can think of when thinking of "errands"

Three errands I hate to run
Grocery shopping
Visiting/calling any service company (looking at you, Suddenlink)
Taking the dogs to the vet

Three famous people I'd like to meet
Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Yes, stealing this from Steph also)
Nora Roberts
Jennifer Lawrence

Three famous people I'd like to avoid
Any Kardashian/Jenner/their relations in any way (again, Steph inspired- smart lady)
Pretty much anyone on a reality show, actually

Three things I recommend
Painting your toenails bright red
Getting up earlier

Three books I loved in the elementary/junior high days
Baby-Sitters Club
Sweet Valley High (& onward)
Little Women

Three things I always look forward to
Quiet coffee time
Reading on the beach
Long hot baths

Three things I always dread
Scheduling Holidays
Doctor's appointments
Brushing my dogs

Putting Effort in Physical Appearance

Trying to title this was difficult. I'm not sure how to sum up what I want to talk about in one snazzy little line, so I'm just going to jump right in. 

For many years, I did not like make-up. 

It felt like a waste of time, and I never felt like I was doing it right.

I had a very minimal make-up routine...and still felt like it sucked. I even went without make-up for a little while as kind of an experiment to see if anyone noticed or how I felt.

I tried using just BB cream. I tried using just powder. I never really gave up on mascara though- I feel as though I look sleepy if my lashes are in their natural state.

My feelings have changed lately. 

Rather than feeling like make-up is something I have to do, I've actually wanted to put forth an effort.

I've been trying to pinpoint what prompted this change...and I can't really put my finger on it.

Maybe it's something to do with having a baby...but "because of the baby" feels like a cop-out. Lots of people use that "excuse" for everything (because you can...seriously, such a good excuse).

All I know is- I've wanted to put some effort into my appearance lately.

And I'm enjoying it. 

Game-changer: using BB cream and then foundation.

It actually lasts all day when I do this, y'all.

Also, making sure to wash my face morning and night. SOMETIMES I GET TIRED AND DON'T WANNA. But I'm doing it anyway. Before I always thought my face broke out due to make-up...turns out you just need to take care of your skin in general. Who knew?

I'm also using whitening mouthwash. And wearing earrings on a regular basis.*

For years, it hurt to wear earrings. They would get red and irritated starting around hour 4. Thanks to Pinterest, I now clean with rubbing alcohol and use Vaseline and I can wear them ALL DAY. 

I think it has something to do with the need to practice self-care.*

Ugh, what an annoying Millennial statement. 

There's been a lot of...not good stuff going on lately- both personally and as a nation.

Well that's not accurate- personally it's not so much that there's a lot of bad stuff, just more that we've been super busy. I don't have the time to fold my laundry or make a great taking a minute to do my mouthwash or 10 minutes to do my make-up gives me some semblance of control and being cared for.

However insignificant or shallow it may seem to be, I'm making myself and my appearance a priority for 15 minutes a day. 

That can make a world of difference in my personal mindset.

And maybe it's not important to really figure out why. 

Maybe all that matters is that I'm having fun and doing what I want and feeling good about myself.

What are your thoughts when it comes to make-up/jewelry/physical appearance? 
Have they changed over the years?

Daily Habits

Since the little one arrived a few months ago, there have been some changes in my household. I knew this was going to happen, because it's inevitable.

This isn't me complaining at all- I love being a mom, it's awesome, my kid is super cool (although talking about how much I love her just feels...icky- can we just assume I like her and I'm happy and not get into mushy weird emotional territory? Kthanksbye).

But being responsible for someone else has made me realize...I am barely keeping it together to take care of myself!

Organization and planning sound sooooo boring and uncool. But here's the thing- otherwise, nothing gets done ever.

All that stress and anxiety you feel? Probably because you don't know where the hell any of your clothes or dishes are.*

*Anxiety and depression are serious mental conditions and you should absolutely get help if you suffer from them- but I know many people who use these terms flippantly and what they really mean is "I can't be bothered to care ahead of time so my basic idleness creates mild chaos in my life." This is the type of "anxiety" I am referring to in this particular instance.

I think I can really bring my stress level down by doing a few specific things each day.

-Make my bed
-Brush my teeth (Yes I sometimes get busy and skip, I know but it happens)
-Drink a full glass of water 

-15 cleaning rush
-Go over my (sadly neglected) bullet journal
-Read a book before bed instead of looking at my phone
-Drink a full glass of water

If I can manage to get into these habits, there are a few more I'd like to work on also:
-Monthly meal planning
-Setting out my outfits for the week
-Setting out Pumpkin's outfits for the week

I've done these in spurts and I know they are helpful. But they require getting ahead of schedule and I spend so much time playing catch up- hoping my time off at the holidays will help get me where I want to be.

Monthly Recommendations: Family Focus

Finally! A Monthly Recommendations theme that I can actually provide good recommendations for ;) Over the past few months I've enjoyed the link-up but it just hasn't been my wheelhouse.

I almost forgot, Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group from Kayla  [Kayla Rayne] and Trina [Between Chapters]. They pick monthly topics and we all's fun and you should do it too!

Family Focus

I've only read the first 2 books of The Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Scarlet. These are sci-fi, steampunk-y stories but contains complex characters and family relationships. As a retelling of Cinderella, Cinder obviously deals with step-family relations. But there is also the relationship of Prince Kai and his father, which includes a royal legacy and responsibility. Scarlet is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood- there is a wonderful relationship with her grandmother, plus an interesting dynamic between the pack of "wolves" she ends up with.

On basically the exact opposite end of the spectrum, Delirum involves a society where they have developed a "cure" for love. People are matched with a future spouse in their early teens, shortly after receiving the serum. The cure prevents them from loving not only their spouse, but their parents/siblings/and even children. Any sign of love or basically happiness at all is frowned upon, even criminal. It's not implicitly stated, but basically apathy is the goal. Apathetic people don't fight or fuss or rebel or care.

This book is one of my favorites that I've read this year. It follows different family members surrounding an adopted baby girl- the child, her birth mother, her adoptive mother, her adoptive examines culture and love and family and I just love love love love it.

This is almost similar to Secret Daughter...but with some big differences. It made me cry and think and my heart bled for two families, but mostly for a little girl caught in the middle. To be perfectly honest, I did not like the ending...but overall it did a great job of showing emotional gray areas.

 This was such a cute book. It involves a teenage girl and her unusual aunt...I like that it examined an important relationship with someone outside the immediate nuclear family. It's important to realize the importance of having someone to vent to.

Another one of my favorites for the year. Alice wakes up one day thinking she is 29, newly married, and pregnant with her first child. Turns out she hit her head and is actually 39, in the middle of a divorce, and has 3 kids. It's wonderful and heartbreaking and wonderful again.

Lola has two gay dads. They are great parents...but the real reason I like this book is because she has a very awkward and uncomfortable relationship with her birth mom. The birth mom is NOT made out to be a hero...which I like.

For the same reason, plus what it's like to love someone with mental illness, try Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.


This series is a little cheesy at times (Christian fiction) but involves a desperate mother's love and the duty of friendship.

I just love Pat Conroy. This is a dark story (trigger warnings for abuse, child & sexual) but so good.

I believe families are messy, because people are messy. And it's love and commitment and time and shared experience that make a family- these stories reflect that.

What are your favorite family-centered stories?

Nonfiction November Challenge 2016

This week on Show Us Your Books I was surprisingly drawn to several non-fiction books. Then Kristi at Melborne on My Mind posted a video about the Nonfiction November Challenge and it just seemed perfect.

There are four individual challenges within the overall challenge- some could overlap but I am choosing four books...not sure I will make it, especially since I am starting a week and a half late. But one is an audio book so it's possible!

Challenge 1: New
                    -Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (audio)

Challenge 2: Controversial
Challenge 3: Important
Challenge 4: Fascinating 

I had to rethink my choices, because the library was missing 2 out of my 3 top picks.

I'm not really worrying about the order, because anything controversial is important and vice versa. And they're all fascinating to me or I wouldn't have chosen them. So if I only finish one more in November, I'll consider it successful. But I hope to get at least 2 and the last one can piggyback into October.

  -Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein  
  -How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  -Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Have you ready any of these, or do you have plans to participate in Nonfiction November? 

This is actually my first "challenge" so I'm pretty pumped!

Show Us Your Books Link-Up: November 2016

Woot woot! It's time for the Show Us Your Books link-up!

I really thought I had read more books this month...but I guess that's what happens when you start and stop 3 books.

Apparently I was in the mood for some dystopian YA this month...


(The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer) 

This book was a crazy departure for me, as I usually do not do sci-fi/steampunk-y stuff. But this is a great story! I love the characters and plot line. Plus, it delves into diversity topics like nothing I've ever read before. It's futuristic and deals with cybors/androids/etc (I had to google the difference) but there are clear parallels to racism/etc in our current time.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Y'all...this book grabbed me. It deals with a culture that has decided to blame love for almost all of society's problems. So at a certain age (17?) they are injected with a "cure" to make them...immune to love. Not just romantic love- all kinds of familial and platonic love also. It would also get some diversity points (mental health).

I paused on reading two separate books for these two series- and I don't regret it.

In Progress: The Light Between Oceans
Paused: On the Road
DNF: The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

What have you been reading?
Link-up & share!

Life According to Steph

Are Formulaic Books Bad?

I've heard a lot of complaints about books being "formulaic." This is typically brought up when discussing very popular authors such as Jodi Picoult, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, etc. And I completely understand this.

One great thing about reading is that it introduces you to new worlds and people. 

It can stretch your mind and present ideas that radically change your world. It can make you more open-minded and compassionate.

So if you read the same type of book over and over, you aren't getting the "dedicated reader" experience. And, sometimes you just get surprised and love things you wouldn't have thought you would love. It's a great thing to read widely, and it's needed.

But today I want to argue in favor of formulaic books.

For one, sometimes you just need a break.

Reading diversely and complexly is important. But it is hard. Stretching your mind and heart can hurt. And you can't do it all the time. Or at least I can't. Sometimes I need to return to something familiar and stand on steady ground for a minute. 

Secondly, it's a good starting point when recommending books.

I think of formulaic books as the foundation of reading, actually. Especially if you are talking to someone who isn't a big reader, it can be easier to grab their interest if you can confidently say "Well this is XYZ and it involves XYZ" and they can go in knowing what to expect. And then you can figure out what it is about those formulaic books and dig deeper into more diverse stories with those same enjoyable characteristics. Sometimes you gotta crawl before you walk, people.

As with most things, moderation is key. 

It's really easy to hate on authors who "sell out," or to laugh at books like Twilight or, God help me, even 50 Shades of Gray. And those books can definitely be problematic- but they can also be a great starting point. I know women who literally haven't read a book in 20+ years who read 50SOG. And as a reader, I have to believe that the act of reading itself is a valuable thing that should be celebrated. I have to believe that reading itself can grab people no matter the subject.

Rejecting Mom Guilt

There is this prevailing theory in our society today, at least among 99% of mothers I know, that feeling guilty is just part of being a mom.

If you work, if you don't breastfeed, if your child is ever sick or injured, it's inevitable that you- as a mother- are supposed to feel heartbroken and like everything is your fault. You should want to be with your child every second of every day, and you should enjoy every second of every day no matter how hellish the tiny dictator in your house acts.

I see moms feel distraught and they are told "We all feel that way, it's part of the package, best wishes."

And I don't think the women responding this way mean it to be condescending. 

They truly feel like it is just our lot in life as mothers, and they are welcoming another one into the fold of despair. At least we have each other, right?

I've decided that personally, I am going to reject this idea that being a mother means I have to feel like crap all the time. 

Mom guilt can be very real y'all; the mental hell I went through trying to breastfeed was possibly the most stressful time in my life- and I say that as the wife of a combat veteran.

It's real, and it does nothing to make me a better mother/wife/person. In fact, I get sucked down into the abyss and the fail spiral only continues.

Look, I am who I am because of the choices I have made in my life. 

I will not apologize for loving to learn, and for using that education to get a halfway decent job. I will not apologize for getting cabin-fever if I stay in the house for 24 hours straight and desiring (limited) adult interaction. I will not apologize for enjoying my thirty minute child free lunch where I can read in peace. I will not apologize for leaving my child with her father, aka the man I chose as my life partner and father of my child and oh yeah he is not baby-sitting he is BEING A PARENT.

So screw it. I'm saying no to the mom guilt. 

It does nothing but belittle women for no reason.



I refuse. 

Show Is Your Books: October 2016

Alright guys, my computer has decided to crap out...who knows if it's for good or not. Anyway, I'm trying this on my iPad so apologies if this post looks horrible.

My reading streak hasn't been bad, although I did hit a bit if a slump. But I started Delirum last night and I'm hoping that will break it!
This book gave me ALL THE FEELS you guys. It follows a family of women- an Indian woman who gives up a daughter for adoption due to familial/societal pressure, the adoptive white mother, the child, the adoptive grandmother. It discusses love and ethnicity and family and seriously you NEED to read this book right now.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
Ah, Joe. Joe Joe Joe. I still feel bad for how much I sometimes enjoy Joe. He's back in his sarcastic, pervy, self-righteous glory. I enjoyed the East Coast versus West Coast observations (and truly, this book made me happy to be an "Easterner") but gotta say...not sure how I'm feeling about Love. I mean It seems kind of unbelievable..Kepnes has said their will be more Joe in the future so I'm going to need a lot of background on this crazy chick. 


Everland by Wendy Spinale
This is a steam-punk, dystopian version of Peter Pan. It is told from the POV of both Wendy and Captain Hook, and multiple perspectives are usually a sign that I'll like the book. It just gives e book more depth IMO. This was an Audible book and hubs really liked it too.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
I know, I'm soooo late to the game on this one. But it was super cute! Don's way of thinking and reasoning things out was interesting and somewhat adorable. Also the side characters felt very rich- I would totally read about Claudia and Jean on their own.


Naked Heat by Richard Castle 
This is the second book in the Nikki Heat series, and captured my interest more than the first one. I'm not rushing out to get the next one, but if I find it (these were random used bookstore finds) I'd give it a go.

Sorry for the lack of cover pics- technology hates me today.

If you have anything, even 5$, to donate to the relief effort for Hurricane Matthew please do so! 
We are experiencing major flooding here in Eastern ENC and people seem to think that it's fine because the storm has's not. Due to river runoff we are actually expecting things to be the WORST in the next 72 hours as all the water flows into our rivers from the west. This is projected to be the second biggest disaster for the region- second only to Floyd in 1999. Places in SC and GA are even worse. I spent half the day yesterday gathering supplies for evacuees and helping people move- literally dozens of strangers just converging on homes, throwings in bags, and trying to find storage units outside the flood zone. Anything you can spare will be greatly appreciated, I garuntee it.

Life According to Steph

Writing & Stuff

It's been almost 2 weeks since I have written a blog post. I can't blame any one thing, really...I just haven't blogged at all. I have ideas, drafts sitting in Blogger...

Maybe it's because of the presidential election and the racial tension that has finally erupted in my beloved home state- when this much is going on, anything I put here would be either inadequate or just ignoring these major life developments.

Sometimes all I can do is ignore it. That's terrible. It's not fixing the problem. But I don't know what to do. My heart bleeds for so many, for the ridiculous terrible state of our nation. And I can only bleed so much and stay whole. So sometimes I have to be in my personal, day-to-day bubble.

Maybe it's because there has been some schedule changes in my household and it's been hard to carve out time for myself.

Maybe it's because we were actually somewhat social lately so I've been living outside the internet (I know, shocking).

Maybe it's pure laziness. Who knows.

Anyway. I will try to do more stuff around here soon. Hope things are going well and the news isn't making you loose your mind too much.

Struggling to Stay in My Lane

I have written before about how my biggest struggle is insecurity. Insecurity about my worth as a person and contribution to the world, insecurity about my intelligence once I didn't get into grad school, insecurity about what I am putting into this space since I don't get as much interaction as I wish for, insecurity about my faith (not that I lack faith in Christ, but that I lack faith in myself to truly live out that belief).

Basically, I deal with a LOT of insecurity. It's less than it was- or, more likely, I have just somewhat learned to deal with it. And by deal with it, I mean I tell that sucky little voice in my head to STFU and barrel through life doing what I have to do. 

This has worked for a while, and still does to an extent.

But every now and then...I desperately want some external validation.

I'm not sure if it's being a new mom, or if it's approaching 30 and not being quite where I thought I would be in life. Maybe it's the fact that some of my co-workers act like I am a terrible person because...our department has a budget and regulations that I don't even set.


I just know it's been harder to tell that little voice to fuck off lately. 

I am taking little comments personally and having conversations in my head where basically everyone is fighting me and letting it color my actual relationships even though it's just my imagination.

I'm not entirely sure what to do about this. But the good thing is, even amidst this doubt I am seeing confirmation. I am seeing confirmation that I am helpful in some situations, confirmation that I am following His plan even if it's by taking baby steps. Maybe one day I will shut that little voice off once and for all. Until then...I cling to the knowledge that it is a liar.

Show Us Your Books: September 2016

 This month has been pretty good, reading wise. I've enjoyed almost everything I've let's just get straight to it.

I really enjoyed this, I have been experiencing major Dr Who withdrawl since they took it off Netflix :( There were a few editing errors in the beginning that worried me, but it was fine the rest of the book. This is actually two stories and while different, I feel like they both captured the spirit of the characters. I LOVE the Ponds and their relationship with 11, so this was right up my alley. freakin' gorgeous is this cover? It's the TARDIS!!!

Hubs & I enjoy the show Castle, although we have not watched it consistently. The book was...good. I think it was better because I could see the TV characters and that actually made it more likeable (similar to the Dr Who book)- I don't know if I would have liked it as much without already having affection for the characters and a feel for the world.

Y'all, this book was such a fun read! Seriously. That makes it sound cheesy and fluffy, which it wasn't. It was written very conversationally, like you were talking to a close friend. Some of the women I had heard of, and some I hadn't. I appreciate that she acknowledged the women's flaws and acknowledged that they weren't always great people just because they made a great difference. I highly recommend this one.

OMG. Y'all. Jana & Steph (who host this link-up and the podcast The Armchair Librarians) have been talking about this book for a while. totally lived up to the hype. Joe is...sick. But there were also times when I totally went "Yep I know a guy who would think like that." I think that is what makes it so creepy- the fact that Joe sometimes seems like just a slightly creepy/sexist guy, then an almost good loving boyfriend, and then a complete fuckin' psycho. And back again...I'm waiting on the second book from the library (not holding my breath, because You was 3 weeks overdue when I finally got it and Hidden Bodies is overdue).

This book was a random choice from the used bookstore, I thought it would be a good summer read. And it was a fine, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. It was the type of book that doesn't have a specific climax or purpose...and sometimes that's pleasant. Other times you just sort of wonder why the author felt this was the story worth writing. 

What have you been reading lately? Link-up & let us know!

Life According to Steph