Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The best book I've read all year, plus one that made me feel gross... &a cookbook! YEAHHH!!!! {Show Us Your Books}

Image result for knit by god's hand books

The book reading has still been on a roll.  I can't believe in this month's book post, I have 7 books - WHAT????   That is crazy.  I've been that person walking around with a book in my hand wherever I go.  I think I've needed the distraction in my life - so there's that.  

So only this past month's reads....

When Jesus was a Green Eyed Brunette
 Max Davis
3.5 out of 5
(Netgalley Book)

I started off really not liking this book.  I mean, the writer used the phrase "The green-eyed brunette" wayyyyyyyy too many times - & it just references his wife. Just use her freaking name sir.  The first quarter of the book was about his life & how he got to where he was as an author. Bored me to tears.  

But somewhere in there, it took a shift & became really interesting to me.  He started telling other's stories about the way Jesus showed up in their lives in some amazing circumstances & also in ordinary every day life - & these stories really held my attention.  If it was all stories like that, I would have given it 5 stars. 

Lysa TerKeurst
5 out of 5 stars

There are a few authors that really speak to me & can just write about God & understanding Him more in just a way that speaks to me.  Nothing too over the top.  Just simple, basic, every day talk.  Like a part of this book, she feels like the hot girl in the gym judges her about her thighs.  This is the kind of talk from a author that I can relate to.  Lysa is one of those writers for me.
This book is about that feeling of being rejected or turned away from people, the world, in any relationship.  The book wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, but it turned out being things I didn't know I needed.  I really enjoyed it.  Have been going back & rereading parts of it now that there is an online bible study doing this book.  Another thumbs up for Lysa.

Harry Potter & the Cursed Child
J.K. Rowlings, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
5 out of 5 (... want to give a 10 out of 5)

OK... I keep seeing reviews of people that don't like this book, or find flaws in it, or find things that aren't the best ideas & theories that make this not the most sound of follow ups.
.... I DONT CARE!!!!!!!!! ... It took me back into the world of Harry Potter & had me revisit the world of wizards & Hogwarts & Magic Ministry, etc etc etc..... all the things I've missed so much. The feeling & emotion it gave me was worth it all. 
I LOVED IT! Every single second of it.  It will probably be my favorite book of the year. Unless Beauty & the Beast comes out with some sort of book....
& in all honestly, I really liked the story too. I thought it fit in very well with the other stories.
I mean, we're talking wizards here people - how REAL is this stuff anyways?
I loved the new characters... (I want a book about Scorpius please!) & so adored more than words can say to visit old ones. 
I also really liked the format of the writing being in like a script. To me, it really helped form the pictures in my mind. I could seriously envision the whole play in my mind. Which is now on a bucket list to go actually see! 
I legit cried when I started reading it, laughed in it, gasped in it & cried again when it ended.
To me, it doesn't get any better than that.

18651924The Things You Kiss Goodbye
Leslie Connor
3.5 out of 5

I had no idea what this book was going to be about, but it ended up being about abuse. In a few different forms.  A teenage girl from a strict Greek background is allowed to date a very nice boy from school that her dad finally approves of, only to watch him change through the year to this person who is cruel & physically abusing her.  Bettina starts feeling trapped as she can't tell anyone about this relationship, especially her parents, who the father sort of has a verbal & emotional abuse going on with his own children & wife.  In all of this Bettina starts to befriend an older man who owns an auto shop by the school.  This is where it got a little strange because he was in his early 20's & they started developing feelings for each other.  That made it very odd for me because I was like, EWWWWW on one end of it, but then glad she had a real adult helping her & giving her advice & looking out for her.  The end didn't turn out how I thought it would & it was actually very sad.  I was totally invested in it & left the book just feeling really heavy.  It may not have been the best book I have ever read but it held my attention & I didn't want to put it down.

29405093The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
Amy Schumer
2 out of 5 

First off, I am not someone who is easily offended. I'm not a prude. I love humor & comedy - especially women comics.  But I just did NOT like this book.  I like Amy's sense of humor & how she tends to take the way the world looks at women & makes it a bigger joke - but this was just a gross book to me.  Just too much. I even said if someone looked over my shoulder at this book & some of the words on the pages, I would have been horrified.

I LOVE Tina Fey's autobiography... I also love Amy Poehler.   They're not saints - they can tell some funny stories.  Give me all the comics & give me all the autobiographies. Neil Patrick Harris is one of my favorites too.  This book?  I just felt gross reading it.
I will say, there were parts of the book where you could see some serious talk - about her life - some of her struggles & I loved those parts. I loved seeing some of the person that is Amy ... I really loved her diary entries she put in & footnoted from when she was a teenager.  Those things, I loved which is why I gave it 2 stars & not a big zero.... But man, she knows how to push the limits even in this book.... a little too much pushing for me anyways.
I probably won't even keep this book on my shelf. It'll be going to Goodwill - or if anyone wants it, let me know.  

The Decent Proposal
Kemper Donovan
2 out of 5 stars

I thought this had a cute idea.  Instead of an Indecent Proposal (think Demi Moore movie of being paid to sleep with a man) this is a story about a stranger that pays 2 people who have never met to meet at least once a week for a year for at least 2 hours at a time to just talk - interact with each other - get to know each other.  You know where this is going to go... right?  Totally opposite couple meet, learn about each other & falls in love. Bam! Easy! ... & I thought it had a lot of possibility - I just really struggled with it though.  There was a lot of flashback stories that just confused me. I wasn't sure what if we were in the present or still rehashing a story. It got to be too much for me. It just seemed a little too winded for me.

I did like that it had a few movie references from some great classic romance movies though.  I will give it that.

I really wanted to like it even more when I posed about this book on IG & how I was reading it in the dentist office - & the author commented on my post & sent me well wishes for my dental problems... ahhh - makes me want to bump it up to 3 stars now just for that kindness!!!

28523793Mix & Match  Mama / Eats
Shay Shull
5 out of 5

I know this isn't 'technically' a book, but kinda... but I did spend a few days reading through it so yeah, we're going with it....

OK - if you haven't ever gone to Shay's blog Mix & Match Mama  you dont know the cuteness you are missing. Go there now & look at their trip as they are adopting their SECOND little girl from China... like right now... they are still in China.  This family is PRECIOUS.
I just love this whole family that I've never met...
& Shay has wrote other cookbooks but this is her latest & I was so blessed to get an early copy of it sent to me.
Listen, I'm not a great cook but this cookbook is ADORABLE!  It has recipes broke out in it for every season.  & I am a vegetarian so I'll have to change some of these recipes but there are a few vegetarian options in there.
But the thing I can't stop looking at - the desserts. OH MY WORD.  Now those? I can eat.  & Ricky can eat ... & he's requested a few of the recipes to be made ASAP.
& the cookbook is BEAUTIFUL too. Like, I want to give this to all my girlfriends for Christmas.

Have you read any of these?

What are you currently reading now?

Life According to Steph


  1. I like Amy Schumer, but I'm not a huuge fan and I could imagine her book being a little too far in the gross side. I still haven't read the new Harry Potter! I need to get on that.

  2. I really hope I feel the same way you do about the HP book because I have read a ton of negative reviews too. So much so that I haven't started it yet because I am afraid I wont like it and be sad. I have Amy's book on my TBR and now I am like hmmmm do I want to read this? lol I will have to check out Shay's blog and book. I am such a sucker for cookbooks. Like I have an embarrassing amount of them and I am hope that in my next house I have a bigger kitchen with wall space where I can get a bakers rack and display them because seriously....it is a lot! Take up a whole shelf in my pantry a lot.

  3. i try to ignore the negative reviews but sometimes it's hard....i'm glad you liked the book regardless, though. i know when i love a book and someone says they hate it, i secretly judge them haha! one of my friends says she hated A Prayer for Owen Meany and I straight up said "bitch, you crazy; you need to reevaluate your life!" LOL.

  4. So, I've seen all the Harry Potter movies but haven't read a single Harry Potter book. Obviously I have to change this.

  5. These are all new to me! I'm still waffling on the Harry Potter book. I'm scared off by the bad reviews. I just love the original stories so much that I'm worried about the new one not living up to the previous ones. But I would definitely cave and see the play if it was around here at some point.

  6. hmmm i still haven't read the HP book because i am not sure if i want to! i think i can make my own mind up and ignore the reviews, but i'm just not sure if i want to read it.... which probably makes no sense.
    i am personally not a fan of amy at all, and have no desire to read her book. i tried to watch her movie and didn't last more than 10 minutes. just not my kind of humour i don't think.
    The Things You Kiss Goodbye sounds really interesting.. i might add it to my list.

  7. I'm glad you liked the HP book. I was in the opposite camp, but I'm really happy reviews like mine didn't sway yours!
    I'm sad the Amy Schumer book was such a (gross) let down! I'd like to read it soon, but I'm not dying to get my hands on it. Haha. Sounds like I'll need to read it in private...
    Definitely adding The Decent Proposal to my TBR list!

  8. I am not aa fan of Amy Shumer. I'm not sure why but something aabout her just rubs me the wrong way. I thought perhaps I was just being to harsh because I don't know that much about her but now after your book review, I guess I don't care to know more. Tina Fey on the other hand I like very much. I have never read anything she wrote but I like her in her movies.

    Good for you for sticking with a book that you weren't quite into in the beginning. Thats always hard for me to do. One one hand I feel like I shouldn't waste my time with a book I'm not enjoying but on the other hand I think what if this book really gets better and I miss out on it..lol
    I am hoping to read "the girl on the train" before the movie comes out next month!

  9. I can deal with Amy in small doses. Like, not book sized doses. LOL. I don't mind her pushing the limits, I don't mind any words that appear on pages that are offensive...I just find her a little grating after too long.

  10. I'm not a huge Amy fan. Some of her stuff is brilliant, but she is someone who is only tolerable in small doses. I couldn't make it through a book. I loved the HP book. Would I have preferred a traditional book? Yes. Am I grateful to have new HP to read? YES! I loved little Scorpius too. He was a delight! And Snape made me ugly cry again. I'm sure there is much picking that can be done but come on! I just feel so grateful to have new HP to read!

  11. Can't wait to get my hands on that cookbook next month! And thanks for the heads up about the Amy Schumer book. I had considered reading it!

  12. I am nervous about Amy's book. I plan to read it but I am sick of her right now and I feel like that would bleed into my opinion of the book.

    HP is a hard pass for me but I love how enthusiastic you are about it!

  13. Man, the Harry Potter reviews really run the spectrum. So glad to hear you really loved it! I love Shay and her family. So cute! I need to pick up one of her cookbooks!

  14. As some others have said, I like Amy in small doses. Sometimes she's really thoughtful and edgy and funny...and other times she's just gross/distasteful. I don't think I could handle her for a whole book.

    I'm glad you liked HP. I haven't read yet...I think how you feel about it depends on what you are looking for. If you want it to be Rowling and the original story, it's going to be dissapointing...or you can just be happy for a taste of HP.

  15. I haven't read any of those books, but I'm not a huge Amy Schumer fan, I find her a little obnoxious! But... I am a big fan of Shay and want to get her new cookbook! I bet I can modify many of her recipes and make them gluten free!

  16. I think I'll skip the AS book. Butit has got to be better than the Lena Dunham one, right? That was the worst!! And I had it on audiobook which make it unbearable (her voice).

  17. Woohoo! You read a ton! I definitely STILL need to get HP going. Oy. Also, that cookbook looks great! I'm looking into it now! Bummer about Amy Schumer's books. That's how I feel when I try to watch popular comedies. They can be funny, and I can take some of the gross, but then it goes too far for me. : / I haven't really read any celeb memoir type books.. .but I have Mindy Kaling's on my shelf, so I guess I'll start there. :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  18. I haven't read any of those books and don't recognize the authors either. I did click over to Amy's blog page. What an adorable family!!

  19. Based on what you say about Amy Schumer's book, it makes me want to read it more? Is that wrong? I feel like the underage kid that wants to get into a R rated movie. The movie may not be great, but I still want to go.
    And, I love any and all fangirling. I don't do Harry Potter, but I appreciate your passion.

  20. So, I watched Trainwreck on the plane when it came out because I wasn't really familiar with Amy Schumer and wow, I had no idea what I was in for. Some of the scenes! And I was on a plane where everyone could see over my shoulder! Mortified.
    (It didn't help that directly after that I managed to accidentally pick another film with lots of graphic nudity in it, firmly cementing me as some kind of deviant in the minds of my fellow passengers)

  21. Ohh Shay's cookbook sounds awesome! I love her recipes and following along on her blog, I'll definitely check it out. Uninvited is definitely going on my list & I'm excited to eventually read HP & the Cursed Child!

  22. I don't think I like Amy Schumer enough to try the book. I *think* I saw Trainwreck and didn't love it either.

  23. After not loving books by Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Chelsea Handler, Rob Lowe, and Felicia Day, I think I'm going to have to pass on the Amy Schumer book just because. I don't overly love her as an entertainer, she pushes the limits just a bit too far for me more often than not, so I'm glad for your review. I also think I'm over "books by stars" for no reason other than general disinterest. I'd rather read fiction than stories about your sex life or drugs or your struggle to the top. Give me historical fiction any day.


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