What I Read In June

Woohoo! It's time for my favorite linkup! Since Jacob was busy training for his MMA fight for most of the month, I had a lot of alone time, which I filled with books. (BTW, he won! TKO in the first round! I'm hoping to blog about it as soon as the video is released.) Take a peek at the twelve books I read in June.

P.S. I Still Love You  This sequel to All The Boys I've Loved Before was almost as adorable as the first. I'd probably give it 4 1/2 stars, just because I felt like the resolution was rushed. It's an easy, breezy YA book that I finished in a day. I love Lara Jean just as much as she irritates me. There better be a third book! #TeamPeter 

Binary Star I don't think I was the right audience for this book. The content is important (she's anorexic, he's an alcoholic), but I wasn't into the lyrical prose or the astronomy analogy. I also didn't really care for the characters. I felt like the author did a good job portraying a person suffering from an eating disorder, but I would have rather read it as a regular short story. 

Good In Bed People really, really, REALLY love this book. I thought it was well-written, but it wasn't my favorite. I don't know. I understand that it's classic chick lit, which isn't really my thing (says the girl who just gave a YA romance sequel five stars), but it felt extra soapy and unrealistic to me. I appreciate the attempt, but Cannie annoyed me halfway through, her friends were flat, stereotypical rom-com characters, and it seemed too long. 

Realityland: True-Life Adventures at Walt Disney World I love (and own and recommend) Koenig's books about Disneyland. This book, about the conception, creation, expansion, and operation of Disney World is very detailed and sometimes surprising (Epcot was supposed to be a city, not a theme park), but not nearly as fun as his previous books. The chapter about Disney injuries and deaths had me Googling all kinds of theme park related injuries and freaked me out! Overall good book, if you're into this sort of thing, but long. 

The Art of Racing in the Rain This is another book that everybody loves and even though I'm not a huge dog person (gasp!) I've always wanted to read it. I love the unconventional narrator and thought the story moved along nicely, which made me read it really fast. I laughed, I cried, I got mad. It made me want a dog again. 

The Martian It took a hot minute (at least fifty pages) for me to get into this book because it was just so technical and bland in the beginning, but the shift in POV kept me going. After a while, I really loved it (and ended up skimming most of the math and science stuff). Mark was a great character with a cheesy sense of humor (like most super smart people) and so much positivity (almost too much at times). I felt like I was there, on the edge of my seat with the rest of the world, waiting to see what would happen to him. 

Room I've had this book on my list forever and when I heard it was going to be made into a movie (with my favorite, Brie Larson, as Ma), I had to move it up. It's a very disturbing topic, but since it's narrated by a child, it didn't seem as dark and I felt a little detached. I thought the perspective was interesting, but maybe too gimmicky at times. I loved Ma though. She was a strong, smart woman and I felt her sadness through Jack's observations, so that says something about the writing. 

In the Unlikely Event I've never read one of Judy's adult novels, so I wasn't sure to expect. I don't do well with multiple POVs (I'm dumb) and this one had at least twenty! It took me a long time to get them straight, but by the middle I had it down and liked how their stories started coming together. It's a little depressing, a little too long, a little mundane at times, and the characters aren't all that developed (except for Miri, whom I loved), but I still really enjoyed it. I felt transported back to the '50s and I'm still so curious about those plane crashes! 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry A.J. is a struggling book store owner/widower who has an unexpected event happen in his life, which leads him to a new, positive outlook. It's heartwarming and cute and started off strong for me, but ended up being too fluffy for my taste. I also couldn't care less about all the literary references. 

Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield I'm ashamed to admit I had no idea this groundbreaking all-female Army Cultural Support Team existed! The book follows Ashley White and her fellow soldiers as they were tested, trained, and selected to be the first women in this special ops program who served alongside Rangers and Green Berets in Afghanistan. It's intense and inspiring and surprisingly well-written and easy to read. 

Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers I wasn't in love with Offerman's first book, but the concept of this one sounded promising. He wrote about 21 people from America's history from George Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Benjamin Franklin to Carol Burnett and Conan O'Brien. I loved some chapters and skipped right over others (about furniture making and folk/country music). It was original, and I think he's great, but it wasn't totally for me. 

You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery I think YouTube star Mamrie Hart is funny, though I'm not an avid follower. I loved this right off the bat, but just like with most comedy books, her over-the-top was too much after a while. I should have read a chapter at a time between other books. She's funny, has had awesome and hilarious adventures and experiences, and I definitely want to hang out with her, but I don't know, I'm probably too old for this sh*t. 

 I can't wait to see what you read!

Life According to Steph


Brittany Pines said...

Hmm...I loved Offerman on Parks & Rec, but his stand-up special kind of put me off him for a bit (mainly because there was what felt like a huge bent against religion, or at least Christianity- I expect a few cracks but it felt like it drug on). The premise of the book sounds interesting though.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Yay Jacob!

I love Judy Blume. I'm waiting for that to come in for me at the library.

I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain, Fikry, and The Martian.

Totally not a Jennifer Weiner fan.

And finally this reminds me I still haven't read All the Boys I've Loved Before.

Karen Peterson said...

Wow! I don't think I've read 12 books this YEAR let alone this month!

I really didn't like Room. The whole thing felt gimmicky and ridiculous and the only reason I'm even remotely interested in seeing the movie is because of Brie Larson.

Rose @ Ramblin' Rose said...

I loved Room, The Martin and Racing in the Rain.

I had Binary Star on my list. I kind of hate prose books so maybe this isn't the right match for me either.

lisacng @ expandng.com said...

Glad you eventually liked The Martian! I want to read that Rain book.

Jana @ Jana Says said...

The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of my all-time favorite books!!! Room, The Martian, AJ Fikry are also excellent (and maybe some are on my list of 2015 favorites). Good in Bed was okay; I like her more recent books more.

In the Unlikely Event is on my to-read list. I've never read To All the Boys I've Loved Before but I'm definitely adding it. And the follow-up.

Nadine Lynn said...

I saw Room on Kristen's blog today and added it to my list, sounds interesting. I need to add All The Boys I've Loved Before to my list and then maybe the sequel if I likey! I am such a dog person and I have not heard of The Art of Racing in the Rain but I am totally going to have to read that one!!! I have never heard of Mamrie Hart, I live under a rock obviously, so I am going to have to scope this out because I love funny!

Nicole Marica said...

I'm currently reading another one of Jennifer Weiner's books "All Fall Down" it's my first one from her but I do have Good in Bed to read on my bookshelf. All Fall Down starts off so slow, I almost stopped reading it but now, with 100 pages left, it's starting to become enjoyable.

Room and The Martian are on my to read list on Goodreads.

Kathy@RealTalk said...

blog more about your hubby's MMA! i love reading about that stuff.

i loved fikry and the martian; those are 2 of my fav books this year.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

Contracts on his win!! The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of my favorites. I liked the literary reference in AJ Fikry because it made me want to read them. I can see how that can be glossed over though.

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

I'm completely unfamiliar with Mamrie the youtuber, but the title of that book tells me that I want to read it. You know, work it in between my too serious books that I also enjoy reading. The Art of Racing in the Rain has been on my TBR list for a while. Need to get to that.

Jo said...

I recently picked up some second hand English books so I have reading material again YAY! but they are all quite old and not at all on the 'must read' lists going round.

Jessie Jones said...

I have never heard of Realityland or any of his books. Going to have to check it out for this Disney fanatic family!

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

I started Room and gave up. I guess I should give it another chance. It's still on my iPad. I like Jennifer Weiner's books, but she's probably my least favorite of my favorite chick lit authors. Ha! Little Earthquakes is my favorite from her. I prefer Jane Green.

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I forgot Judy Blume's new book was coming out- I need to read it!

Gwen said...

I saw an interview with Judy Blume and was interested in why she ended up writing this new book.

I like Jennifer Weiner but Good in Bed isn't one of my favorites from her.

I could not get into The Art of Racing in the Rain, which bummed me out because so many people love it.

Cole said...

I love The Art of Racing in the Rain! I just finished reading one of Garth Stein's other books - A Sudden Light, and it had a totally different feel to it.

I need to read the Disney book!

Food, Booze, & Baggage said...

I felt exactly as if you are watching from home, following The Martian. Oh the ups and downs. Loved it! The Koenig books does sound interesting. I will have to look up Mamrie Hart, I've never seen her stuff before.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

good to hear jenny han's other books are better!
i loved the martian but i listened to it, which i think helped because i could not have kept going if i had to read all the technical jargon.
i read good in bed YEARS ago, like as soon as it came out. i loved it at the time lol.
um i don't know if i want to check out that disney book, i don't need to read about deaths when i am going to DW in a couple months lol

Kimberlee VDW said...

12 books?! Girl putting me to shame lol

I got Nick Offerman's book for my bro and he enjoyed it. I like him so I might have to check this out but skip over chapters like you.

And I too love Marnie but I don't drink lol so not sure how much I'll enjoy it.

I'm really liking Aziz's book!