Books #61-80: the Recap Edition

Total number of pages read

Grand total of 7151 this round. Longest was Grave Mercy at a whopping 550p; shortest was the gutpunch 176p of When Everything Feels Like the Movies.

Fave read?

It’s a toss up this time between two titles! At least they have a common theme: mental health.

The first – a teen book, obvi – is All the Bright Places. This one hit me HARD in the feels. It is added to my trifecta of teen feel punching books along with Eleanor & Park and The Fault in our Stars. Finch and Violet’s struggles hit a LITTLE too close to home for me.

Next up – Furiously Happy. I dig Jenny Lawson. I want to be friends with this lady. Her blunt honestly makes my heart feel less along. Plus she’s fucking hilarious.

Honorable shoutouts to Winterkill and Bitten for just being rad. It’s hard to narrow it down when there aren’t too many stinkers in this batch of books.

Least fave read?

Toss up between the (not so) erotic and pretty boring Mary Higgins Clark-esque Sweet Surrender and my foray into Steampunk teen fiction with The Girl in the Steel Corset. The books I read can tend to be predictable, but these two titles were both predictable and BORING. In this case, two strikes and they are out (or on my least fave read list, at least…)

What did I learn?

Werewolves can still be sexy (Obvi). I was proudly team Jacob while reading Twilight. Swooned for Alcide in True Blood. Crushed pretty hard on all the sexy lycanthropes in Bitten. (Also – watch the Space Channel remake of this show. Clay is droolworthy! Elena is a babeorama!)

What did I confirm?

Teen fiction hits me hard in the feels. Harder than adult fiction. Destroys me.

Best book club pick?

There was surprisingly only one book club pick in this recap – The Autistic Brain. It’s been pretty loosey goosey for book clubs. More to come in the next 20 titles.

Surprise find?

I was a little hesitant to jump into a series that had like ELEVEN books in it – but Bitten was a nice find. Helloooooooo werewolves. But like seriously. That’s a lotta books, Kelley Armstrong.

Biggest letdown?

I’m gonna have to go with The Silkworm. I REALLY REALLY dug The Cuckoo’s Calling. This one, not as much. Maybe it’s because I have a horrible memory and couldn’t remember who half of the characters were. Maybe it’s because some of this story grossed me out. But it didn’t live up to the first book for me.

What I’m looking forward to in the next 20 books

The return of Maggie Stiefvater to my reading list! The Raven King was pushed back so many times, I didn’t think I would ever read it! Blansey for life, yo. ❀

Books #41-60: the Recap Edition

I have been the absolute slackiest slacker when it has come to blogging for the last four months. All it took for me to catch up was a migraine the size of Jupiter that left me bed ridden and bored. So here ya go. Bulk blogging catch up time.

I realistically hit the 60 book milestone almost a month ago. Yikes! But I always find it super fun to reminisce and look back at what I’ve read. Remember what I loved and get gushy about it again. Remember what I loathed and get all seethy about it. 

Total number of pages read

This round it was 6953. I can thank tomes like Outlander for bumping up my stats this round. Longest was Outlander; shortest was Hector and the Search for Happiness. 

Fave read?

I had a bunch of goodies in here and a bunch of not-so goodies. The fave title is a toss up between two reads. Surprise, surprise – they are both teen fiction. Surprise, surprise – they are both continuations of series’ I’ve been gushing about. 

Scarlet was great. I liked Cinder, but I adored the dynamic of Scarlet and Wolf’s characters. It doesn’t hurt that Cinder and Kai were still kicking around in this one. To me, this book was the strongest of the three I’ve read so far – and I hate to say it, but Cress was the weak link.

Can you guess what my second favey is? Have I gushed about this author enough? Should I just get “I ❀ Maggie Stiefvater” tattooed across my forehead? Obviously Blue Lily, Lily Blue rounds out this list. I obsess over the Blue-Gansey not-quite-a-love-story storyline. I love Ronan. I  get annoyed with, but then crush on, Adam. I’m the most bummed that the fourth book isn’t going to out FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE FOREVER. But I know it will be worth the wait. 

Least fave read?

Oh John Green. We started in such a good place. Until I realize that you essentially just rewrite the same story and insert in slightly different characters with different quirky names. Paper Towns left me seething. 

What did I learn?

This revelation has been coming for a long time. Adult fiction just can’t grab and hold my attention like teen fiction can. I mean, there are obviously exceptions, but overall it’s true. The teen fiction novels I’ve been reading get happily sped through. I look forward to them. They are entertaining and easy to digest. The only thing adult fiction has going for it is sexy, burly men – because that would be super pervy in a teen book. Am I right?

What did I confirm?

Typically I read for fun. Yes, I read to inform myself about somethings – like running or mortgages – but my primary reading goal is enjoyment. I don’t read for stats and numbers. I don’t read to remind myself of the horrors of the world. I read to escape.

Best book club pick?

Yes Please! I love me some funny ladies. Amy Pohler is no exception. She is hilarious, yet so down to earth. I loved her candidness about her childhood and her divorce. What a good read!

Surprise find?

I’m counting it as this more for its super twisty-twist ending than for anything else. As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. We Were Liars was so dark and stormy. Unpredictable. Great read.

Biggest letdown?

Guys- I really wanted to like The Girl on the Train. I really, really wanted to. But you can’t always get what you want – as the Rolling Stones have crooned time and time again. Predictable. Awful characters. 

What I’m Looking forward to in the next 20 books

The Red Queen is sitting on my coffee table taunting me. I’ve heard such good things about it and I can’t wait to dive in. I’m feeling a little easy-breezy this summer and will be looking to escape with some erotica. 

Books #21-40: the Recap Edition

Wow. Another 20 books down the hatch. I am now… wait for it… 4% of the way through my journey. I feel like I have barely grazed the surface of the surface’s surface.

But I am excited to sit back and reflect on the last 20 books I have read. I had someone ask if by reading this many books, do I really digest them and take them all in. Am I enjoying them? I have to say there are some that definitely stick out and some that are completely erased from my mind the minute I hit post on my blog and move onto my next read.

Total number of pages read:

This time around it was 6052. This number is significantly less – almost 800 pages less – than my last 20 books. I touched on this in my blog post about reading challenges. By focusing on getting to 75 books in 2014 (which I failed…), I really weeded out longer reads. Honestly most of the books I read were around 300 pages. The shortest book was Dealing with Difficult People in a Week; the longest was The Dream Thieves.

Fave read? 

I am having a hard time narrowing it down between three books by three very funny, witty, smart women I read this time around. Seriously, memoirs really stood out from this pack.

How to be a Woman takes the cake. Not only did Morin tackle feminism head on in a crass yet totally rad manner, I felt that she wrote an entire chapter on not having children that felt like it was dedicated solely to me. The more I read about this woman, whether from articles on teen fiction to her ridiculous tweets, I adore her. She just seems to get it.

Runners up in this round would be Running Like a Girl and Let’s Pretend this Never Happened. Seriously both amazing in their own right.

Least fave read?

Well, Charlaine Harris, it has been a slice, but I am officially giving up on you. Midnight Crossroad should never have been published. I seriously think the only reason it was published was due to the popularity of the Sookie Stackhouse books, which I also am refusing to finish. Garbage.

What did I learn?

I really, really need to listen to my friends’ reading suggestions. More specifically my friends’ who read the same types of books as me, which clearly means they have AMAZING taste in novels. In this case, I’m hinting towards Cinder, because realistically there is no way it should have taken me this long to pick this book up.

What did I confirm?

Women are really, really fun. Memoirs written by women are totally my jam. I am looking forward to continuing on with the trend of reading female focused memoirs going forward. I am also looking forward to recommending all of the hilarious memoirs to anyone who will listen. Because they really are that funny.

Best book club pick?

This is going to make me sound incredibly conceited, because it’s a book club pick that I chose. But The Raven Boys was really, really good. Granted, I’m a Maggie Stiefvater addict, but this series is shaping up to be pretty fabulous. Oh how I swoon over Gansey.

Surprise find?

There is nothing really on this list that jumps out at me as a ‘surprise find’. I finally got around to reading a whole pile of titles that have been on my TBR list forever.

Biggest letdown?

I have two this time around. I think I left these books simmering on the back-burner of my brain for too long and built up the hype too much. Needless to say, they left me feeling less than thrilled.

First off, Landline. I loved Eleanor & Park, which has a special spot on my bookshelf and in my heart next to the Fault in our Stars. Attachments was quirky and different and at least entertaining. Landline fell completely and utterly flat for me. The premise was neat, but I feel like it was too gimmicky and really didn’t help out the story line. I really didn’t like the characters, to be honest Georgie annoyed me.

Secondly, is Say What You Will. I’m pretty sure I heard about this book through Entertainment Weekly. It had too many issues for me to enjoy it – mostly the focus on ‘changing’ someone with a mental illness. I didn’t care for the characters or the plot, which made me sad because I was really looking forward to reading this book.

What am I looking forward to in the next 20 books?

Finishing off the remaining released books in the Raven Boys series. Getting my hands on the rest of the Lunar Chronicle books. Reading books on running, nutrition, and training for my half marathon (yikes!). Crossing some more titles off my 2015 reading challenge. Seeing what other fun titles my book club place in front of me.

Bring on book 41. πŸ™‚

Books #1-20: the Recap Edition

I have been brainstorming always to reflect on the books I’ve read so far on my reading and blogging journey. I’m now officially 2% of the way done. Yeah, that percentage doesn’t leave me feeling overwhelmed or daunted AT ALL. Pffft.

I thought that 20 books seemed like a good number to pause at and look back. I’ve come up with some questions I’ll ask myself after every 20 book milestone. I will likely make some changes to said list as time goes on, because that’s the way I roll, yo.

Total number of pages read?

6816. Yowza. Shortest book I read was The Sense of an Ending; longest was City of Heavenly Fire.

Fave read?

I’m finding it hard to pick just one, so I’ve narrowed it down to two titles. Both of them are teen titles, which shouldn’t be a shock, considering nearly half of the books I read were YA. But these two are incredibly different reads.

First pick – My Brother’s Shadow This one was dark, haunting, and beautiful. I had never heard about this book or its author before and just happened to see it on a walk around the library. I have subsequently found and followed the author on Twitter, because I’m cool (read: nerdy) like that. This book has stuck with me and I’ve recommended it to tons of coworkers. I’ve even placed it on our staff picks shelf. Seriously, you should try it.

Second pick – Anna and the French Kiss This book was just freaking adorable. Yes, it’s pretty much your stereotypical teen romance but I loved it so much. The characters were cute and hilarious, especially Etienne St Clair, who would definitely get my literary crush award from these twenty books. It was a quick, fun, entertaining read.

Least fave read?

There’s really no contest – sorry to Christopher Moore or any Moore disciples. Lamb took this one with a landslide (or should I say lamb-slide. No, no I probably shouldn’t).

This one was just totally not my style. Yes, I chuckled a few times, but it was agonizing for me to get through. Maybe it’s religion; maybe it’s just that Moore isn’t for me.

What did I learn?

Well, erotica can be fun to read. After a boring try with 50 Shades, I found a series that I sorta liked, enough to give the genre another try. It’s entertaining and mindless. It also makes me blush. It’s not all bad! I’ve received quite a few “dirty” recommendations that I will be adding to my TBR pile.

What did I confirm?

As mentioned, Christopher Moore isn’t my cup of tea. I’ve tried out three of his books now and only slightly tolerated one of them. That means more Moore for everyone else!

Best book club pick?

This was a toss up. One is from my lovely book club with my library school ladies; the other is from work.

First is Graceling . This is a very typical Laurie type read and one that somehow kept slipping my mind. I adored the characters and thought the storyline was pretty inventive for supernatural fiction.

Second is Persepolis . This one took me very much out of my comfort zone – non-fiction AND a graphic novel. I’m happy I was essentially forced to read this one as I never would gave picked it up otherwise. I’m looking forward to picking up the sequel.

Surprise find?

I’ve touched on this already, but I cannot pass on another opportunity to gush about My Brother’s Shadow. Please, please try it and tell me what you think.

Biggest letdown?

Sorry Lauren Oliver, but Panic was blah. I liked Delirium so I had high hopes, but they were quickly dashed with this one. Yet I’m still going to give her another shot with Rooms.

What I’m looking forward to in the next 20 books?

Finishing up Stephanie Perkins pseudo series with Isla and the Happily Ever After, picking up new reads with another book club, starting Stiefvater’s Raven Boys series, branching out into mystery and more non-fiction.

Now onto book 21 and to get past 0.02%

Happy reading –
Laurie πŸ™‚