Mar 14, 2017


SUYB!!!  Books and blogging are 2 of the things that make me feel the most like myself so I was bummed last month when I missed it.  But I'm slowly and surely figuring out ways to make time for my 2 favorite hobbies even with Little Dude around, and I'm super glad to be back for this linkup!  Going over my books for the last 2 months since I missed one and I haven't read a ton in the past month anyway.

♥♥♥♥♥ - Loved!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Kindle)

So... I actually thought I'd be reading books during labor.  Silly me.  Anyway, I bought this for the hospital and didn't end up reading it until a couple weeks after but it was so good.

The Sword of Summer (Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan (Kindle)

I am on a huge Riordan kick.  Percy Jackson took me a couple books to get into but now that I'm in, I love all of them.  This series is with the Norse gods and they super weird and I love it!  I'm also enjoying a YA series that, while it touches on romance, isn't chock full of love triangles and other cliches.  I felt like the characters in this were much more fleshed out and I liked that we touched on their backstories and not just the main character.

The Hammer of Thor (Gods of Asgard #2) by Rick Riordan (Kindle)

Same as #1.  And, interestingly enough, you can see the effort Riordan is putting into his books to show a wide range of diversity.  Some of the conversation about "gender fluidity" came across a little preachy to me, but I still like that he's not afraid to make characters of every race, religion, and orientation.

♥♥♥♥ - Liked

1001 Nights in Iraq by Shant Kenderian (Audio)

Super interesting story.  Kenderian is an immigrant who visited relatives at home in Iran just in time for Saddam Hussein to invade and enlist all males to fight in his army.  Kenderian spends most of the story figuring out ways to get captured by the Americans so that he can return home, and after capture, figuring out how to convince the Americans that he really is a US resident.  A fascinating look into life in the Iraqi army and the American POW camps.

On the Edge (The Edge #1) by Ilona Andrews (Kindle)

I always purchase my Ilona Andrews books.  This series is set in the Bayou, which is interesting, but ultimately not my favorite setting.  I like Kate Daniels and The Innkeeper series more.  Still a good story!  Just a tad darker and less fun than the others.  And the cover makes me cringe just a bit...

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester (Audio)

Sooo... I was scrounging the library for something to listen to and the title made me curious.  It's actually just based on the 2 authors' Internet handles BUT the book surprised me.  I would never, ever have listened to this if I knew it was just 2 YouTubers talking about themselves, but they ended up being extremely entertaining and I laughed a lot.  My favorite part is definitely the part where they share stories from high school and pieces of their diaries/teenage social media angst.  Always good for a laugh.  Also, YouTube can be a career.  Who knew?!

What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff (Paper)

FINALLY DONE!  I actually didn't like the format when I started this, but when you read something for 8+ months you adjust.  I think my rating is probably skewed by the sheer amount of time I've spent with this book, but there were definitely times throughout my pregnancy when I'd be having some weird symptom, get caught up on the current month in the book, and then all my concerns would be discussed.  It is super thorough, and at some points you have to skim through the huge lists of symptoms that don't necessarily apply, but you'll never be left wondering!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Kindle)

We watched the show first, which made this a challenge, because I'm terrible about comparing and nitpicking.  The book is very different and in the beginning the main character, Quiton, drives me up the wall with his whiny teenager self-centeredness.  BUT the ending goes to a very interesting place and I had to concede that this might be one of the most unique worlds I've read about.  It didn't remind me of any other book series.  Although they did have a book in their world that was kind of Narnia-esque, but it wasn't even the story itself, it was a story within the story.

♥♥♥ - Ambivalent-ed

Before Beauty by Brittany Fichter (Kindle Unlimited)

Meh.  It's a Beauty and the Beast story.  I wasn't inspired by it, but I didn't hate it either.  I didn't bother to rate it on Goodreads because I just didn't have anything to say about it.

Bayou Moon (The Edge #2) by Ilona Andrews

I'm just really not feeling this series.  There's a 3rd and I'm not even going to buy it (gasp!).

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnolly (Kindle)

A cute story, but I actually didn't like the Disney aspects.  I either wanted it to be true to the Disney version or diverge completely, instead of kind of being half Disney with all kinds of weird embellishments.  Part of the problem was that I was picturing the Disney characters and then their dialogue didn't match the way they talked in the movie.  And the story was cute, but it wasn't anything amazing.  I'm giving 3 stars because I think my biggest hangups were my own fault rather than the book's.

♥♥ - Mildly Disliked


In part because I did not waste any time on things I didn't want to read.

 - Did Not Finish or Wanted to Burn in a Fire


I quit all kinds of books.  None for noteworthy reasons, just because I ran out of time at the library or I wasn't feeling it, or because I got distracted by having a baby.

I'm trying really hard to finish Stiff, but it's rough going.  I don't necessarily mind the morbid content, but it's not fun to read and it's hard to make myself choose it over something more fun when my reading time is so limited.  And I like to munch on something while I read, and obviously a book about cadavers is NOT a good choice for that.  I own this so I'll probably finish it eventually but in the meantime I'm going to keep going through the various Rick Riordan series.

Challenge Updates

Officially resigning from all challenges, self challenge included.  It's hard to find time to read right now and I selfishly don't want to use any of my precious reading time on "good for you" books vs what I really want to read.

What have you been reading?  Have you read anything from my list and what did you think?

Linking up with Steph and Jana
Life According to Steph

Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design


  1. I started The Magicians last summer and never finished it. I'm not sure why! It seems like a great series and definitely something up my alley but I think I just got sidetracked and never got back to it. I understand your thoughts on Lost in a Book. The ending didn't hold up for me as well as parts of the beginning. You are one of my go-to-experts on Beauty & The Beast re-tellings and I can definitely see how this one wasn't as good as some of the others (which others would you recommend, by the way??).
    Glad you have found a bit of a balance between one of your favourite hobbies and your favourite new little family member!!!
    Ready Player One is on my list and has been for a long time. I'll get to it at some point!!!

  2. lol @ reading books in labor. i feel like i would bring a book too. you never know. glad you liked ready player one, i did too.
    i haven't read any Ilona Andrews books but they are all on my list :) i will skip that series.
    the beauty and the beast book... i have read another of donnelly's books and hated it, so i have low expectations for that one. i've not heard amazing things either haha. we'll see.

  3. LOL that you thought you would read at the hospital. Funny how we think it's going to go down, right? Player one has actually been on my TBR for awhile now so I am glad you liked it.

  4. Jenn. We both read the same book and we both loved it. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?! And Ready Player One is going to be a movie, too!

    It takes some time adjusting to blogging and reading with an infant but you'll get there.

  5. I haven't read Ready Player One yet. Maybe this summer!

  6. So I was on the waiting list forever for Ready Player One and when it finally arrived on my kindle, I just ignored it. Yup. Didn't even crack that baby open. So now I need to start the process over again because it seems like a book I will really enjoy. :D I imagine it takes some time to find a balance between being a new Mom and everything else! I also really liked The Percy Jackson series, although I felt stupid every time I had to go to the kid's section to get a book. LOL! I was curious how the Gods of Asgard compared and you've sold me on it. I'll have to brave the youth section again!

  7. Haha, I would probably bring a book to the hospital for labor too, knowing me! I did for a major surgery I had in July and didn't read the whole time I was in the hospital. I've heard What to Expect When You're Expecting scares a lot of people with unnecessary stuff. Did you ever feel that way?

  8. 1001 Nights in Iraq sounds really interesting, I'm going to have to pick that one up. I had no idea until this link-up that there were books about Beauty and the Beast!!

  9. I still really want to read Ready Player One. I've been saying this for forever - I need to get on it! I'm glad you loved it though. I've seen random videos by Dan and Phil - they are fun -but I never read any of their books.


  10. I can't watch something and then read the book it's based on because 1) nitpicking and 2) I already know the story and reading takes me much longer (I guess the same could be said for reading and then watching, but I always find it more interesting that way, especially how I view things in my head vs. what the directors and actors put out). A friend of mine lent me Stiff, telling me it was "so good! You must read it!," but as soon as I realized it was non-fiction I gave it back without cracking the cover. I don't like death/morbid stuff OR non-fiction, so that was a no-go for me. I'm also really over any and everything related to Beauty and the Beast. I do not understand all the hype nor do I want to. The Iraq one sounds very interesting... I may try it. And I keep reading so many great reviews of Ready Player One that I may have to check that one out as well.

    Thinking you would read while in labor made me chuckle. I think giving up on challenges was probably a smart idea. I'm trying not to give up yet, but I agree- there's just not enough time to bother with reading books if you're just not feeling them!

  11. You win for best title. All the characters made me smile. And then, that smile turned into laughter with your comment about taking a book to the hospital while you were having a baby! Good intentions ;)

  12. Looks like a great past two months in books! The Magicians sounds interesting and I think it's already on my TBR list, I just need to be in the right mood for it I guess.

  13. 1001 Nights in Iraq sounds super interesting. Kudos to you for finishing so many books with a mini-human depending on you! That's awesome!

  14. Congratulations! :) I've heard good things about Ready Player One! Here from SUYB. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  15. I LOVED Ready Player One as well! I was very surprised by this fact, too, but this genre isn't necessarily my cup of tea.

    PS I love your category of "Did Not Finish or Wanted to Burn in a Fire" - that's great! LOL!

    Visiting from SUYB


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