March 12, 2019

Books in 2019 (#1)

I didn't link up in February because, in January, I read exactly half a book.

Onward and upward.

I'm not forcing myself to read but I also realized that I missed reading.

Something else: I can't do audiobooks anymore. Podcasts, great. Books, not good. The habit reminds me too much of Colorado and I just can't get into it. With a podcast, I already know what it's going to be about. There's too much mind-wandering with audiobooks for me now.

Plus, my new library system has all the books I've been wanting to get my hands on (physical copies!) for up to a year or more. That's motivating me in itself because it involves very little work on my part.

Dear Mrs. Bird
I rarely go for a WWII book these days. I saw this on a book post last month, and then it was front and center on my first trip into my new library.
I found it charming and depressing at the same time. I wasn't a Guernsey fan in the slightest (though the movie was fantastic) and this was what I wanted Guernsey to be. It wasn't perfect but I liked the POV that took me into the bombings and what it was really like to live in London during that time.

Not So Nice Guy
I wanted to try an R.S. Grey book because people seem to like them. I picked this one because I've seen it on multiple blogs. I would read another. It was a cute story in a lot of ways and I liked the characters. I was kind of worried I wouldn't like any in the romance genre after I strongly disliked The Hating Game. This one had three-dimensional characters. So it's not the genre, it's the individual books.
If you like the genre, I highly recommend The Wedding Pact series by Denise Grover Swank. I read them about three years ago. The Substitute was my favorite.

Jar of Hearts
This was creepy and weird and heartbreaking. Since having a baby, I'm particularly triggered by sad baby/kid/adoption stories so this might not have been my wisest choice. Still, I read it in one day.

All the Beautiful Lies
I couldn't put this down. I've actually avoided Peter Swanson's books because I really disliked The Girl with a Clock for a Heart. But this book was messed up in a really good way.

The Kind Worth Killing
Same. Messed up in a really good way. It'd been on my TBR for a year but, thinking about his book that I didn't like, I didn't want to try another.

This was a DNF about five chapters in. I was put off by the main character saying how she basically lives off her rich uncles. Yet, she was pining for some guy who hangs out by the subway who seemed to really dislike her?
Also, NYC is never my favorite setting...especially when the main character moves there to "achieve" and just lives off her relatives instead.
There was probably a lot more to it than that, but I didn't get to it, so oh well.

Confessions of a Domestic Failure
Ugh. I feel like...if you have an 8 month old, you should be able to shower and get dressed most days without it being a hardship. It was just too extreme. And especially given our situation when we had a newborn...commuting between two states...and then a cross-country sympathy and empathy were both non-existent for this ridiculous character. I didn't mind the story itself but the details were reaching into ridiculousness.
We all have piles of clean laundry laying around, baby or not. We do not all struggle with finding clean clothes on an hour by hour basis.
I ended up giving it two stars on Goodreads because I didn't stop reading. Not "couldn't stop". I just chose to finish it. I don't do that with every book I dislike at this level.

This was good but it could've been 75 pages shorter if you took out the descriptions of nature. I have a really hard time, sometimes, picturing scenes in Europe when I've never been there. I felt this with Lisa Jewell's descriptions of the town in Watching You too. But the prose describing it in Ghosted didn't actually help; it just made it worse and kept me turning pages more quickly to get to the point. I liked the story and it was definitely a little twisty. Almost falling into the unreliable narrator category.

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
I read this in 24 hours. I liked it better than The Age of Miracles, which was one of my favorites of last year. However, I generally hate the apocalyptic-type books because it's just too much for me...probably why I stopped watching TWD after so many seasons. Also, I didn't like Station Eleven very much at all and Emily St. John Mandel praising The Dreamers (on the cover of The Dreamers) didn't give me a lot of hope for it. Maybe she should take a note or two from Karen Thompson Walker: this book had exactly what Station Eleven was missing (a story).

My favorites this month were All the Beautiful Lies and The Dreamers, followed by Jar of Hearts, but The Kind Worth Killing was good too. 

Linking up with Jana and Steph!


  1. Nadine and Kristen turned me onto RS Grey and those books are pretty good!

  2. Just added The Dreamers to my TBR! I really enjoyed The Kind Worth Killing! I enjoyed Jar of Hearts, but honestly it was a lot for me and I needed a pallet cleanser afterwards! lol

  3. Dear Mrs. Bird was probably my favorite book of last year. It was sad, but something about it charmed the pants off me.

  4. can I say I'm impressed you have a little baby & you got in all these books???? That's awesome.
    I just saw I have Ghosted on my library hold list & dont even remember doing that - weird.

  5. Not so nice guy wasnt my fave Grey but I did like it. Jar of hearts is also so good.

    PS - go you for reading so much after a slump. Super impressed

  6. I'm reading Jar of Hearts right now, what a story. I'll finish it tonight I'm sure, I just had to work today so it wasn't the best idea to start that one when I did!

  7. I have a few RS Grey on my list...that list that doesn't stop growing!

  8. wow, i am a little shocked about the audiobooks - but totally get it. i got super into them in 2011 but have fizzled out over the years and they are just extra for me now. like, 12 audiobooks last year out of.. a lot. glad you liked dear mrs bird. i'll just ignore that line about the amazingness that is Guernsey ;) i am a bit shocked you liked that RS Grey book! i'm glad though lol. jar of hearts was messed up. glad you liked it, but totally get it about being weird with certain subjects now. a lot of choices get nixed at book club for those reasons. i have only read one peter swanson, don't remember which one lol but the others are on my list. ghosted is up soon for me, i have a super hard time with describing things like places or nature with any book, i just don't absorb it. we read a book for book club last year and everyone was talking about the house that played a very big part in the book and i couldn't remember a thing about it lol. lol @ station eleven - SO true. hated that book. what story?

  9. I really struggle with Audiobooks too, I get distracted so easily or I listen while doing something else which means I have no idea what whats going on by the time I'm done with other things.

  10. Audiobooks have failed me over and over, but I keep trying. The only ones I seem to be able to stick with are repeats of books I've already read. I read to get lost in a book and escape reality -- multi-tasking while listening to a book is counterproductive for me.

  11. Dear Mrs Bird has such a great cover .

    After reading everyone's reviews of Jar of Hearts I really want to read it but I don't know about sad baby storylines. I seem to keep picking up books that have some kind of infertility aspect that wasn't mentioned on the synopsis (because it's back story or not the main plot) and I'm just like "why now of all times?!" Argh!

  12. So that was not my favourite RS Grey book and to be honest I am a bit over her books in general but I'm glad you liked it - ish! :) I just got the Dreamers from Netgalley so I am really excited to hear it was good!!! I'm surprised audiobooks don't work as well for you but also not surprised because sometimes I needed less aural stimulation when my kids were super young. I am leaning on them heavily these days particularly when I am doing totally annoying household chores on my own. :)

  13. I like Peter Swanson. I'm waiting for his newest from the library.

  14. The Kind Worth Killing has been on my TBR for a very long time too. Eventually I will get to it! Jar of Hearts is everywhere on the link-up. I have it in my Netgalley shelf, so all these positive reviews make me happy. I just love the cover Mrs. Bird. I read Josh and Hazel by Christina Lauren last month and I like it but a part of me (the old coot part) got irritated repeatedly, which could be an ongoing issue with me and Lauren's books.

  15. I liked Ghosted a lot. It was not what I expected at all. The Dreamers has a better concept than execution.

    I've had that Peter Swanson on my list forever.

    I can't do audiobooks, either. But I do love a good podcast.

  16. I'm so impressed by how much you read through this month! I've heard great things about R.S. Grey too.

  17. Not So Nice Guy is definitely my least favorite RS Grey book. haha I really enjoyed Roomies, so maybe we don't have the same taste in fluffy romance. hehehe To each her own! :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


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