Show Us Your Books Link-Up: August 2019



I've had a pretty great reading month! Hope you have also. Here is what I've gotten through. 

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon
I'm giving this book 3 stars...it got a bit repetitive. We get it, it's a book about the South...you don't have to say it every paragraph. Also, it's very clear that Reese is from a upper middle class background- her South is not the only South. However, it's a 5 star coffee table book- if that makes sense.  Beautiful pictures and some yummy sounding recipes.
★★★

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
This was fun, kinda spooky who-dun-it type book. I liked the characters and the plot, and didn't guess who it was until fairly close to the end. Although the one secret, the one Ellery kept, was a bit of a gut-punch.
★★★★

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I was a huge fan of Circe, so I had high hopes for this one...maybe too high. The first half of the book dragged for me- I get it, Achilles was super hot and there's some boy-on-boy torment. This may have been exacerbated because I knew the battle of Troy would come up at some point, so it felt like a lot of waiting around until that. This was a complaint a lot of people had for Circe, but I didn't feel it then- thinking maybe it's because I didn't have any preconceptions of that story. But later on I began connecting with Patroclus (the main character) a lot more. The idea of gods and fate and heroes and all that is always appealing so I appreciated that we got more into that as the book went on.
★★★

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
I enjoyed this story a lot. The "revelation" was pretty obvious to everyone but the main character, but it was fine. I really enjoyed the point of view from someone on the bottom of the financial food chain. It showed the realities of poverty without removing dignity from the characters, which felt unique.
★★★★

I'm Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan
This was a Kindle recommendation. It wasn't the most gripping book I've ever read, but I appreciate that it examined the idea of perfection and what we present to the world via the internet and how healthy that is. Also it dealt with the fact that we never really know people...while this isn't a novel idea, it's one most of us avoid acknowledging in the real world.
★★★

For the first few chapters, I couldn't decide if Eleanor Oliphant was just quirky and socially unaware or a psychopath. And the answer was...a little of both. I am a little over the "recluse/mentally ill person meets a single shining individual and this sparks a turn that ends up with them getting help they've needed for years." But Eleanor did still have some rough turns and there is something nice about the idea that one little thing can spark a change.
★★★★★

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
This book was totally worth the hype for me. It was difficult to read at first, because it's a terribly sad situation and just...heavy. I couldn't handle a lot of it at once. And while the characters were all kind of unlikable...they also felt very real and I felt for them, even when I disagreed with their actions. I also like how it showed situations from various perspectives- it showed a lot of depth and how different people can view and feel the same events.
★★★★★

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
This a YA retelling of The Beauty and The Beast...nothing mind-blowing but I did appreciate having a disabled heroine. I don't know anyone with CP myself so I hope it was an accurate portrayal.
★★★





Life According to Steph

10 comments

  1. You hooked me with a retelling of Beauty and the Beast! Definitely going to have to check that one out!

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  2. oh gosh, yes the secret Ellery kept was definitely a gut punch. It was probably the most shocking part for me. I loved Eleanor! I'm a little over that trope now too, but when I read that one I wasn't lol. Glad you liked the Curse book!

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  3. Loved An American Marriage so much, as well as Two Can Keep a Secret.

    Lots of people reading that Camille Pagan.

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  4. I actually enjoyed songs of achilles. I think Im just a sucker for greek mythology.

    i LOVED American Marriage and Two can keep a secret

    Eleanor was darker than I expected but I liked it

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  5. Two Can Keep a Secret sounds really interesting :)

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  6. Eleanor was not at all what I expected. For some reason I thought it was a fluff book so the darkness/trauma/depth surprised me but also delighted me. I've been putting off reading An American Marriage because it does feel so heavy. I don't doubt that it's a great read but I'm just not sure that I can mentally tackle it right now. Some day!

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  7. Two Can Keep A Secret was just so much more interesting to me than her first book was. Also, I don't know if I'll pick up Achilles. But I did enjoy Circe.

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  8. An American Marriage has been on my to read list for awhile now. I started Whiskey in a Teacup but gave up not even halfway through. I love Reese Witherspoon, but this book just didn't interest me.

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  9. I am reading Elinor soon! I can't decide if I should read Circe or A Curse So Dark And Lonely. I'm not usually into fantasy...

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  10. I think Blogger ate my comment so let's try again.

    I felt the same way about Lawn Boy. In fact, you said exactly what I thought but in better words than I had.

    An American Marriage, Eleanor, and Two Can Keep a Secret were all excellent books. I was not expecting how dark Eleanor was, though.

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