January 7, 2015

Fourth Quarter Reading (and a Link Up!)

You know what makes me feel like my life is a little hectic? Having not finished a book in nearly a month.

Frankly, I've hardly read a picture book aside from the Christmas ones.

We did make a library run this week (where I picked up this book about living like a Parisian that I've been looking forward to for months and it was so terribly disappointing, I gave it up less than halfway through).

Plus there was an (ugly) bookshelf left in one of the bedrooms of this house so I set that up in Ella's room and put a few books in there, which makes me feel a little better about life. Bonus! It matches the ugly curtains in her room.

Anyway, before my reading dropped right off a cliff, here's what I read in October, November, and December (and look for my favorite books of 2014 coming up soon!):

  • Revolution by Deborah Wiles
  • I know people LOVE her, and I really like the premise of these books (filled with art, music, and photography from the 60s to go along with the storyline), but they just don't QUITE grab me. 
  • The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age by Catherine Steiner-Adair
  • This was so interesting and has significantly impacted the amount of screen time in our house (except for on our cross-country drive when our girls watched, no exaggeration, 8-10 hours straight of the same five Doc McStuffins episodes). 
  • Noggin by John Corey Whaley
  • I was super not thrilled by his first Printz-winning book, but the premise of this one (a guy dying of cancer has his head frozen and a few years later, it's transplanted on to a new body) was so intriguing I gave him another chance. It was medium. 
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (full review here)
  • Why can't she write about five books a year? Is that asking so much? 
  • Sinner by Maggie Stiefavter
  • This one fell fairly flat for me. It just felt like so much effort to keep reading. But she is pretty hilariously funny and some lines were just excellent. 
  • Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
  • This one felt like Shopaholic lite (which, if you're read any of the Shopaholic books, may seem like an impossible feat). 
  • Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
  • I listened to this one and kind of loved it, but the ending was. . . .kind of ridiculous. I kept Bart up way late one night lying in the dark explaining the whole plot line to him just so he could affirm that, yes, the ending was bizarre. 
  • Saving Grace by Jane Green
  • I picked this up off the new release shelf at the library in London and it was pretty good. A fun, fluffy read. 
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
  • It's no Unbroken, but it's pretty excellent nevertheless. 
  • This is Falling by Ginger Scott
  • I can remember almost nothing about this book. 
  • Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
  • This was really a fascinating book about a girl with cerebral palsy and the boy she hires to help her navigate high school without an aide,  although it was maybe a little more mature than I was prepared for. 
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • I wish I'd read this instead of listening to it. C'est la vie
  • Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
  • I loved this book. Definitely do the audio version because he reads it and he is very amusing. 
  • Dangerous by Shannon Hale
  • Someone said it was like a trilogy in one book, and they meant it in a good way. I felt the same way, but in a bad way. This book just would. not. end. 
  • I Was Here by Gayle Forman
  • It was no If I Stay, but that woman can write YA. 
  • The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin
  • Unlike Bomb, which I totally loved every second of, I had a hard time keeping track of the main people in this storyline. 
  • Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle
  • This was just. . . not that good. When you think the main character is a whiny hack, it's hard to be really into the book. But obviously both of the hot movie star guys are completely in love with her for no apparent reason. 
  • A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
  • Everyone I know LOVED this book, but it took me six months to get through. It just did nothing for me. I'm so sorry. 
  • Love, Lucy by April Lindner
  • April Lindner is kind of hit or miss for me, and this one was more on the miss side. On the upside, I read an entire book on an airplane flight with two small children and no other adult back-up, so. . . .win! 
  • Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (full review here)
  • This had an interesting premise and I can see why people like her writing, but I don't know that I'll be running to pick up her other stuff.  
  • The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley (full review here)
  • Oh man, I loved this book. So fascinating and made me think a lot about Ella's education starting next year. 
  • Skink -- No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
  • Kind of a bizarre, semi-delightful book. It wasn't painful to read, but when I saw it on this list I thought, "I already forgot I read this!"
Go ahead and link up your posts below with your quarterly reading! I promise to come check them out! And the button is below the link-up if you're inclined to add it to your post!

Link Round Up


  1. Ooh, I'm interested to check out The Big Disconnect. Here is what I read in December: October.

    1. I'm having troubles with linking, oops. Here is November and here is October.

  2. I returned The Big Disconnect to the library unfinished. I thought it was wordy and boring. Reviews on goodreads say the second half is better, with concrete suggestions for managing screen time, so I might need to check it out again.

    Have you read Liane Moriarty's Three Wishes? Fantastic. I liked it even more than What Alice Forgot.

  3. I really love Liane Moriarty. I also really enjoyed the Boys in the Boat. While reading A Snicker of Magic I told my husband that it was so sweet I feared it would give me diabetes. Some fun elements, but it was WAY over the top for me.

  4. Ditto for A Snicker of Magic. I know SO many people who love it, and I just couldn't handle it. And Big Little Lies--YES. I did not care at all for What Alice Forgot, so I came into BLL very hesitantly, and totally loved it. It kills me that my favorite authors write so SLOOOOWLY. Please pump out a new book every week or so.

  5. I'm reading Big, Little Lies now...per your recommendation, and am really loving it.

  6. I started reading Lonesome Dove over vacation in November, before I realized that it's NINE HUNDRED PAGES LONG. I really liked it! But it overtook every other reading ambition I had last quarter, so my numbers are low.

  7. I'm still wanting to read The Smartest Kids in The World and How They Got That Way, and now I'll be adding The big Disconnect to the list too!


  8. oh man, it sounds like you didn't really like a lot of those books. I would hate having too many misses in a row. But I do have 3 books on hold at the library, all recommendations of yours so I'm excited. And the last dozen or so were also nearly all your suggestions, and I loved them all. I think we're about on the same page.

  9. Not many books you liked this time. So what am I supposed to read now? Usually I pick up some of the books you have recommended ;)
    I read "the Circle" last quarter and I liked it. Maybe you would like it too!

  10. I am excited to hear about your education plans for Ella. I have a son starting school this fall, and I'm planning on homeschooling. I never thought I would (I taught public school), but here I am! I have no experience (I don't even know what home school looks like or how to pull it off in a practical sense), but I feel like our kids are similar in both personality and academics, so I have high hopes of gleaning ideas from you! No pressure. :)

  11. We are a bit out of sync this time around. I put Love, Lucy and Sinner on my list of favorites for the year! The only other book I've read on this list is Say What You Will, and I agree with your assessment. I'm excited to see your 2014 favorites. You can see mine here: http://www.intellectualrecreation.com/2015/01/jolees-favorite-reads-of-2014.html

  12. how do books take you 6 months to get through? Do you purchase them? Or are you just really good at remembering to renew them at the library?

    1. I just kept putting it back on hold. It was an audiobook, so I could just do it on my phone, which helped.


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