September Show Us Your Books

Our chief homework supervisor

Our chief homework supervisor

We’re back to school now, and I can already feel my reading life shifting. Luckily I had a great reading month in August to sustain me through all of the notices to be read and forms to be filled out ahead.

Here are my top nine from last month:

Best In Show (It’s a Tie)

A Better Man by Louise Penny - I love this series so much that I left my house after my bed time to be around other people. If you know me, you know this is a huge deal. See my book launch report here.

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag - This reminded me of a more feminine version of The Road by Cormac McCarthy. (I mean that in a good way; I didn’t really like The Road.) It starts slow, but then sucks you in. Not everyone liked the ending, but I did, a lot. I got an ARC from William Morrow, and my full review is here.

Sweet Romances Perfect for Hot Days

The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali - This is the story of two Iranian kids who fall in love, but it’s also more than that. It’s about the revolution, living with mental illness, and what it’s like to move to a new country. It’s great as an audiobook.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer - I’m a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, and this was no exception. I just didn’t know it was part of a series, and was frustrated when a whole new set of problems started right at the end.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys - A story about the daughter of a prostitute in 1950’s New Orleans. Hi-jinks ensue. An entertaining and easy read.

Non-Fiction For Fiction Lovers

Furious Hours by Casey Cep - This was about a series of suspicious deaths in Alabama told from the points of view of the suspect, a lawyer, and Harper Lee. I found it fascinating, and wanted to know more about each part, but could see why the author couldn’t give it to me. In a weird way the inability to tell the full story made me appreciate the Harper Lee section more. You’d have to read it to understand, and I suggest you do.

Dead Presidents by Brady Carlson - I visit a lot of presidential historic sites, so this book about traveling to presidential graves was right up my alley.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson - I almost never recommend the abridged version of anything, but for this and A Walk In the Woods those are the only versions the author reads himself, and it adds so much.

I Finally Finished This Damn Book

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - This is a good book, a classic. It’s themes are still relevant today, and I’m glad I took time for a post high school re-read. But man, is it slow in parts.

Life According to Steph

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July 2017 Quick Lit

Not to brag, but I have not read a bad book all month. It has been a great reading summer so far, and we've only just begun!

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review. Here are the best of them:

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie -- This book was everything I love: a coming of age story set in an far away location. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a genius, and I can't wait to read more of her books.

The Wanderers by Meg Howrey -- This book was billed as Station 11 meets The Martian, which it wasn't, at all. Those books had a lot of action, and this one mostly took part in the astronauts minds. Still, I liked most of the characters, so I liked this book.

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith -- A perfect summer read. Two creepy people meet each other on a train with murderous results. I liked this one a lot.

The Shining by Stephen King -- I HAD to re-read this after driving through Estes Park, CO.  I had forgotten how different it was from the movie. When I finished I was so creeped out I jumped at my husband's shadow. That doesn't usually happen to me.

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[REVIEW]: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I put off reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier for years because for some reason I thought it was a re-telling of Jane Eyre from the 1980's. Rebecca, it turns out, is a gothic novel, but it has nothing to do with Jane Eyre.

It does, however, have that sense of something's just not right like Jane Eyre does. It's that creepy feeling we love to indulge in this time of year. It should be a dream come true- poor girl marries rich man and gets to live like royalty at an English country estate by the sea. But we all know it never turns out all right for the down trodden shy girl.

When the twist comes you kind of suspect it, but it still knocks the breath out of your body. And the ending. Oh, the ending. I don't want to give anything away here, but I dare you to read the ending without immediately going back to the front of the book to read it again. I'll just say it's not the romantic ending that we somehow feel dirty about because he kept his wife in an attic ending that we got in Jane Eyre.

I'm so glad I finally read Rebecca, and I can't rule out reading it again next year around this time.

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I linked this post to Jenn's Bookshelves Murder, Monsters & Mayhem -- a collection of creepy books perfect for this time of year.