Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Show me your books - May 2018

A good month with 2 really good books this month.
One making its way in my all time favorites list actually....
The reading continues...

Image result for knit by god's hands book

18293427The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
***** / 5 Stars - IT WAS AMAZING

Quick Summary: A grumpy widower  owns a book store & we follow his life & meet all the people that change & open up his world.

Oh my goodness.  I dont think I could love a book more. Truly.

I dont think I even really understood what the book was going to be about but the story just rolled out so beautifully.  Following A.J. in his life & seeing how his world changed through the years.

I dont know if its because it involved a bookstore & the quotes & ideas centered around how amazing books are - but I just wrote down quote after quote from this book in my Reading Journal.

It's such a fast read & I just loved all the characters.  There were moments that I gasped from shock, laughed at personalities & had my heart broken at how cruel life can be to the characters I grew to love in a short time.

This is honestly my favorite book of the year I've read so far & could be in my all time top favorites.  It's just that good to me.

Read if you loved The Man Called Ove.

"A place is not really a place without a bookstore"

25817531What She Knew
** / 2 Stars (It was OK)

Quick Summary: A mom let's her son run ahead of her in the woods & ends up missing. Who does she trust now? & a Detective is letting this case affect him in a deep way as he tries to live up to the standards of his detective father

I've heard a lot about this book, but it just didn't hit it for me.  I was intrigued to find out the answer to the mystery of missing Ben - but it just felt like a really long book for no reason - a lot of drawn out stories & words just for fun (Its over 500 pages long) & some of the story lines, I just didn't get.

Example - the dialogue shifts from the mom of the story, to the detective, to the counselor of the detective.  Which that in itself is strange.  What a random character - mainly because I dont see what was so traumatic for the detective.  Except, a remembrance of his father that I thought would be a big story & just sort of never talked about again.  Stupid stuff like that made me really not like the book.

Even a friendship with the mom & her best friend got totally ruined when something she kept secret for years came out... which if, you're best friends, you'd forgive & move on.

This book just sort of irked me. The more I talk about it, the more I may want to take my rating down another star. I'd better quit while its ahead.

Just not for me.

Read if you enjoy a mystery & dont mind drawn out dialogue & different shifts of point of view

"I marveled at how the mundane activities that life demanded still needed to be done, even while the worst was happening."

35791968Still Me
***** / 5 Stars - It was Amazing

Quick Summary:  We follow Louisa as she's moved to New York to become an assistant to a couple & finds her footing at being away from everyone she loves back home in England & finding out who she really is & what she wants in life.

So I loved the first book - adored the movie - & then totally hated the 2nd book. Felt like it didn't connect & didnt really have the same spirit of Louisa Clark that the first book had. This one?  TOTALLY makes up for that 2nd book mess. This one totally screams Louisa & her sweet personality of caring for others - all the while in the Big Apple making a new life for herself as she LIVES BOLDLY... (I just choked up a little hearing Will's voice).  I truly adored this book & loved all the new characters we meet - I now need a dog named Dean Martin - & really loved seeing old characters we love.  Its funny, sweet, heart tugging, full of relationship drama, & so much love in so many ways.  I really am glad this book happened.

Read if you loved Me Before You & rooted so much for Louisa Clark

"I thought about how you're shaped so much by the people who surround you, & how careful you have to be in choosing them for this exact reason, & then I thought, despite all that, in the end maybe you have to lose them all in order to truly find yourself" 

27161156Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family & Culture in Crisis
2 Stars / Its OK

Quick Summary:  The story of a man who grew up in Kentucky & how he saw his family & his community.

I keep seeing the reviews of this & people saying they get now why Trump was elected. I'm reading it the whole time like, "What are people seeing that I'm not seeing?"... I just didnt get it like an earth moving book like others. Mainly because I honestly saw my own family in this book. Reading stories of Mamaw & Papaw, it literally sounded like my own Mamaw & Papaw. There's even a line where Mamaw used the GD word talking about how much she believed in Jesus - which, honest to goodness - my own grandmother did herself. LOL ... So reading this, it may have felt shocking to some people, but it just felt like someone in my own family probably wrote this book. Seriously -I looked it up to see if it was someone in my family.

Read if you apparently are shocked at Kentucky upbringing... don't if you've lived it & know what its like.

"There is nothing lower than the poor stealing from the poor. It's hard enough as it is. We sure as hell don't need to make it even harder on each other"

Life According to Steph


  1. I enjoyed The Storied Life...glad to see you loved it! I still haven't read Jo Jo Moyes. Crazy, right?!

  2. Wow glowing review for the first one, I'll have to find it!

  3. Oh my goodness!! You don't know how happy I was to see your post in my feed this morning! Yay! I hope this means you're back!

  4. It's the best when you come across a new favorite! I loved Still Me and AJ Fikry too!

  5. I'm definitely going to have to check out The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. You've sold me on it. Hillbilly Elegy is on my TBR list, too, but I wonder if I'll have a similar experience as you. There are quite a few backwoods folk in my town/area... and our family has been around here for a while ;)

  6. That first one....5 Stars...I’m in and with with you. What she knew was just ok.

  7. I'm going to have to read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry because I LOVED a Man Called Ove. Can't wait to get it. I have been in a series of books since December by Brandon Sanderson. He is a fantasy writer and each book is like 1200+ pages. He is an amazing writer and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one, I"m on my 7th. I started with The Way of Kings trilogy, then The Mistborn Trilogy and am now in Warbreaker.

  8. I agree about What She Knew. I think it took too long to get to the end to know. And way too much unnecessary dialog on it.

  9. Definitely going to need to check out the first book!

  10. I didn't find Hillbilly Elegy shocking or particularly revealing. Like you, even though I live in southwestern PA, it was more like a look at people I already know. Over here where I am we are firmly in the rust belt and it so happens that we're in the Laurel Highlands, part of the Appalachians. My bus route is up on the ridge and trust me, we've got us some hillbillies right here. The only reason I've got for Trump getting elected was that he made the blue collar working class feel like he was listening and cared about their values and beliefs. Unfortunately, both parties have made that slice of society feel like they are irrelevant in recent years...it doesn't make for getting the vote.

  11. I am on the list at the library for Still Me, I think there is still a few people in front of me. I am so glad you enjoyed AJ because I felt like that was an amazing book as well!!!!

  12. I didn't think Hillbill Elegy was a good, sociological study or representative of anything. I thought it read better as a memoir and that's how I approached it.

    AJ Fikry was a phenomenal book.

  13. I am with you on Hillbilly, this book told me nothing of why the president got elected... like Jana said, it was an interesting Memoir, but that's it. In fact, I found the one reason he mentioned for not voting for Obama, to be completely out of context. He said he didn't vote for him because he couldn't relate to him, Obama having an Ivy League education and being rich.... that is almost any president before him!

  14. I thought The Storied Life was just such a fun book for any book lover---always so fun to find a book that just resonates with you :)

  15. yay A.J. Fikry! so so so good. very interesting about still me - i did not hate after you, i know a lot of people did. i am hoping to get to still me soon!

  16. What a banner month with two 5 star books. I am heading to Goodreads now to put them on my to-read list. Especially interested in the first one. Somehow the cover looks like a YA read. Is it? Thank you for some great suggestions.

  17. I think I read What She Knew, but I can't remember anything about it, so that shows what an impact it had on me. Haha. I STILL haven't read AJ Fikry. Definitely need to do that ASAP.

  18. LOLOL @ seriously I looked it up to see if it was someone in my family.

    Fikry is one of my best reads ever.

  19. I have Still Me on my Kindle. Need to get it started. Thanks for the reviews!

  20. I think I wanted Ove to be like A.J. Fikry and it just wasn't to me. I loved A.J. Fikry.
    Growing up in a coal town, I could connect to Hillbilly Elegy so I would recommend it to anyone who wants that perspective presented to them in an eloquent (?) way.

  21. I loved A.J. Fikry too and I definitely need to re-read it sometime. What a truly phenomenal book about books. Still Me was so good too!!

  22. We read the A.J. Fikry book for book club & we so totally loved it. Made up for the travesty that was Little Paris Bookshop (now that was a tremendously annoying book - at least to us).

  23. AJ Fikry is one of my favorite books EVER! Great reads this month!

  24. Excited to read AJ Fikry someday!! :) Have to bump it up my list now!! I am so intrigued by your thoughts on Hillbilly Elegy. I know there was a thread of comments on Goodreads, and I honestly think I will feel like it is eye opening, but I live in Kansas! LOL. I'm so so so so lower-middle class. LOL. I am not fancy, and we grew up in a super rural town... but I feel like it will still be eye opening to me. We shall see. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


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