April 12, 2016

March Books (the month of Rose Gardner)

Daddy, Stop Talking by Adam Carolla B+
I'm drawn to Carolla's books. They're laugh out loud amusing. My favorite part of this one was when he was interviewing his 8 year-old son about why he didn't participate in crazy hair day at school. The kid said, "It's pointless! It doesn't move the needle!".  THAT is my kind of kid. Just a few weeks ago we had Wacky Wednesday at school and I was a non-participant. Why? Because I was given all of 18 hours notice (first of all) and because it doesn't move the needle.
If you're looking for a funny book, I liked this one.

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank A
Maybe this was just a southern mystery that was reminiscent of Sookie Stackhouse. Maybe a lot of it was annoyingly unbelievable. But I liked it. And I kept going because I enjoyed it a lot.

And then the rest of the series...

Twenty-Nine and Half Reasons A-
Still good. Not as good as the first one. But good.

Thirty and a Half Excuses A
Really good. Character development is happening and things are getting interesting.

Thirty-One and a Half Regrets A+ (This is where I started giving 5 stars on Goodreads...)
My favorite one yet. I like this narrator better actually. MUCH BETTER now that I think of it. And I really couldn't stop listening. It's like you know what's going to happen but you really want to see how the characters get there. For 97% of the book, I was TEAM MASON. For the last 30 minutes, I was TEAM JOE. It's such a predicament. Like, seriously...I can't decide.

Thirty-Two and a Half Complications A
Firmly holding onto my TEAM JOE status.

Picking Up the Pieces (Book 5.5, a Rose Gardner Novella) A+
Short and sweet and covers the time/distance between books 5 and 6. I didn't read the first novella (Falling to Pieces, after book 3) but this one really adds to the character development. It lets you see the different POVs, and I almost (for a second) felt bad for Violet.

Thirty-Three and a Half Shenanigans A
More plot development. Character storylines are getting more detailed.

Ripple of Secrets (Book 6.5, novella 3) A++
Also, this is all about character development. I both like and hate that the author is creating empathy where there was none previously.

Thirty-Four and a Half Predicaments A-
This one was starting to lose me in the middle and then it picked up in the last hour and the ending was very interesting.

Thirty-Five and a Half Conspiracies A
How long until the next book comes out? 
I would love to see this as a TV show. I was loving the end of this book and I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT. #teamjoe #teamjoe #teamjoe (hopefully)

(oddly, no picture of this book)

Should you read these books? Yes, if you like the southern mystery genre. It was like the best parts of the Sookie Stackhouse series without all the faerie stuff.  HIGHLY recommend. It might be because I grew up in a small town, but I can understand the dynamics very well and it's believable. Also, I enjoy the way they focus on the mundane AND the bigger plot developments. Some of it is corny (Mason is kind of corny in general), but it all blends well together and, I think, makes for a generally compelling story.

That brings my book count for the year up to 20. Not a ton, but I told myself I wouldn't stress out over trying to read all the books. Or, in my case, listen to all the books.

Also, I don't really want to even talk about how much I've been spending on audiobooks. I will say that these Rose Gardner mysteries aren't available at either of my libraries and I don't have a lot of time to sit and read anyway. Let's file it under "entertainment". I don't go to the movies or anything. This is just my self-imposed entertainment budget for the month.


Also, I tried Room. I couldn't do it. The narration done by a 5 year old who can't speak in proper English (yet seems to know a lot of big words like gnash??) pushed me over the edge. Maybe I'll still watch the movie if the opportunity arises. The book just wasn't for me. I tried the audioversion (download from the library) and read a few pages of the paper copy. Neither were impressive in my opinion.

And I'm re-reading The Wilder Life. I highly recommend it.


What's the best book you read in March?

Linking up with Jana and Steph!


  1. I always appreciate your book recommendations! I've started reading way more lately, which is fun, since I used to read tons before KIDS (insert crying face). Anyway, I just finishing The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult & The Art of Racing in the Rain... pretty sure you've read both of those? I loved them! Now I'm onto Big Little Lies since we're reading it for book club.

    (And for some reason I feel like a creeper saying this too, but I started that Pilates challenge and decided I loved it, and joined her Sisterhood thing! Now I'm all into Pilates. I need to get a mat!)

  2. I so love reading about books that booklovers enjoy. Even if I don't think I'm ever going to read them myself. When someone is clearly enjoying what they are reading, it makes my heart sing!

  3. Wow! You read SO many and all in the same series, it looks like? Sounds like it's a great series!!

  4. I downloaded the first from this series and I'm hoping to give it a try! I've heard mixed things but I appreciate your recommendation of the entire series!! I'm supposed to read Room for a book club later this month, and I am just so reluctant even though it is so highly rated...it's the subject matter that gets me, not the narrator.

  5. Good to know about "Room." I might have it on my Audible wish list, and I think that narration can really have an impact on if I like a book or not. Then again, if I try it and don't like it, I can always return it and get something else!

    You are definitely #obsessed with those books! As a fellow Audible subscriber, I can certainly imagine how much you've spent! But whatever, if you like them, it's probably still cheaper than buy the actual books that are hard to find time to sit and read anyway! :)

  6. You always share some great books! :)

  7. I read Room years ago and it was such an amazing book, it kind of hurts me that you didn't enjoy it. I did read her next book, Frog Music, and it sucked so definitely avoid that one.

    I don't know how you do audiobooks. I have to read it because I feel like a bad narrator would make me hate an otherwise awesome book.

  8. Okay so I'm pretty sure I've had 28 and a half wishes on my kindle for eons and haven't read it. I'm glad to know it's worth it!

  9. I've never heard of this series, I might jump in on it. Is it vampirey?

  10. oh that sucks you didn't like room. the kid narrating it was super annoying for sure. you have officially convinced me to read the rest of that series, who the heck is mason!? haha.

  11. Room was pretty good. Not one of my favorites, but I enjoyed it. I didn't know there were that many books in that series!

  12. Forget Netflix, you're binge reading!

    Room took me awhile to get into. I thought the kid was SO annoying (and probably x10 for you as a teacher!) but it added to the story overall and I missed his voice at the start of the next audiobook I listened to. I still want to see the movie, though they apparently omitted one pretty big point, so I'm interested to see if I miss it or not.

  13. You have officially hooked me on the Rose Gardner series. I enjoyed Sookie Stackhouse up to book 10, then lost interest, but I did love the Southern mystery aspect of it. Definitely going to check it out because I love a good series!

  14. Wow, Twenty Eight & A Half Wishes must have been extremely good if you read so much of the series in a month! I definitely need to check it out!

  15. Love the progression in your feelings there! And audiobooks are so handy for busy lives, definitely justifiable expense! Funny story, my husband bought me Room to cheer me up when I was down. !!!!. Of course I read it, and no it didn't make me feel much better...

  16. Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes sounds interesting and I do love stumbling upon a series and then being able to binge on them so I might have to check it out! I didn't know that Adam Corolla had books, how fun!

  17. That series sounds super interesting to me! I will have to look it up! :)

  18. Sorry you didn't like Room. I imagine listening to a kid narrate might be exhausting but the print version was great. I loved it!


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