of interest

Show Us Your Books – June 2018

It’s the second Tuesday of the month, and you know what that means; it’s time for another edition of Show Us Your Books! It feels like forever since I did one of these, though it’s really been just a month. Time seems to be going more quickly than usual. Anyone else have that feeling? Either way, I was able to finish 8 books since May’s SUYB, and I’m already working on my 9th. This has been a great reading month – all 3- and 4-star reads!   

Linkup Guidelines:
This linkup happens the second Tuesday of every month. The next is Tuesday, July 10, 2018.
1. Please visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & Steph
2. Please display the button or link back to me and the linkup hosts on your blog post
3. Please visit a few other blogs who’ve linked up and get some book talk going!

Last Month’s Edition & What My Ratings Mean

4-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐

The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg’s nonfiction book explores the science behind why we do what we do, or how we create and form habits. I found it entirely fascinating and motivating, especially since I am going through a bit of my own personal transformation to learn some healthier eating habits. My full review + recipe here.

Bird Box – I resisted reading this creepy thriller until a friend let me borrow hers, and then I raced right through it (and didn’t look back). It’s definitely more psychological suspense than horror, but be prepared to be a little freaked out while reading. My full review + recipe here.  

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane – This was our most recent book club read, and it was well-liked by everyone who attended. Following a family from the hill tribes of rural China, where growing tea is a way of life, to Guangzhou and Los Angeles, Lisa See spins a story that is full of heart. Coincidence is almost as essential to the plot as tea, and believe me, you will learn a lot about tea.

The Keeper of Lost Things – I’ve had Ruth Hogan’s novel on my library waitlist for far too long, but it finally came in (all by itself, too)! I loved this story of a man who rescues lost things he finds and holds them dear until they can be reunited with their owners. With elements of magical realism, it was thoughtful, well-written and charming.

 

3-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐

Delancey (3.5) – Like Molly Wizenberg’s last memoir, I devoured this one in a few hours. I really love her storytelling, and of course, books about food always have a special place in my heart. I’m looking forward to trying some of the 20 recipes she included, which is why I ordered a copy for myself as soon as I put it down. I’m also excited for the salted caramel ice cream I’ll get to make for my upcoming post.  

Crazy Rich Asians – This book has been on my radar forever it seems like, and with its movie coming out this summer, I finally made it a point to read it. Kevin Kwan’s novel is a perfect summer read, gossipy and ostentatious (and full of mouth-watering food mentions). The movie promises to be as glitzy as Leo’s The Great Gatsby, and I think the over-the-top wealth will be more impressive on-screen, as it was sometimes hard to picture in my head. My full review + recipe here.

Artemis – Andy Weir’s second novel didn’t wow me as much as his first, The Martian. But, let’s be honest, it will always be hard to top that. Life on the moon is an interesting possibility to ponder, and he explores what it could be like through the eyes of Jazz, who finds herself on a mission against impossible odds. It’s a fast-paced, entertaining read, sure to be hitting the big screen in the future. My full review + recipe here.

The Hating Game – I’d recently seen some buzz about this novel online, so I decided to check it out. It’s a rom-com story about a pair of executive assistants working at a publishing company who can’t stand each other, playing a series of spiteful games, including “the hating game.” When a coveted promotion is added to the mix, things between the two of them get interesting. I found it to be a quick, endearing read, even if it was a bit predictable.

 

Did Not Finish

The Bear and the Nightingale – This book has been on my TBR for a long time now, and I’ve only heard good things. However, just a chapter or so in, it really felt like a winter book to me. I had a hard time relating to the descriptions of a cold Russian winter while I was sweating in the summer heat. I’ll definitely pick it up when the weather turns in the fall, but for now, I just couldn’t get into it.

The Bear and the Nightingale Book Cover

 

Currently Reading

*The Afterlife of Walter Augustus – Hannah Lynn’s newest novel offers an interesting perspective on the afterlife, and so far it’s quite enjoyable. Walter Augustus has spent far too long in the Interim, a waiting room of sorts for those deceased still remembered by the living, and he is anxious to move on to the next stage where he’ll finally be able to join his family. I’m only about 25% into this one, but I’m looking forward to the rest!

The Afterlife of Walter Augustus Book Cover

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*I received a free e-copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

 

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32 Comments

  • Reply Confuzzled Bev June 12, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Every time I see The Keeper of Lost Things I’m struck by how incredbly pretty the cover is!

    • Reply Megan June 12, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      I read it on Kindle, so I didn’t get to see the cover much, but it is definitely beautiful 🙂

  • Reply ShootingStarsMag June 12, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Oh, I really loved Bird Box. So creepy, but good, and I’m curious how they are going to do the movie.

    -Lauren

    • Reply Megan June 12, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      I know! The movie will be exciting, I’m interested to see that as well.

  • Reply Michelle K June 12, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I am definitely adding The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and The Keeper of Lost Things to my TBR list!

    • Reply Megan June 12, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Hope you enjoy them both 🙂 I’m doing full-length posts (with recipes) on each later this month, so check back for a more complete review.

  • Reply Tanya June 12, 2018 at 9:59 am

    You read A LOT this month! I was in a reading slump lately…maybe I’ll give Bird Box a try.

    • Reply Megan June 12, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Bird Box will definitely make you want to race to the end!

  • Reply kristen June 12, 2018 at 10:19 am

    i really enjoyed the bear & the nightingale, so i hope you pick it up again in the winter! by then the 3rd one should be out, i think. actually i have no idea lol. i loved the hating game, glad you at least didn’t hate it. The Keeper of Lost Things sounds super interesting and that cover is gorgeous! bird box was SO freaky. i loved it. hated his most recent.

    • Reply Megan June 12, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      I didn’t realize The Bear and The Nightingale was a series. I will definitely be picking it up again in the winter; I’ll try to plan better so my hold comes in before it gets hot again!

  • Reply SMD June 12, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Bird Box was so freaky.

  • Reply Tanya @ A Mindful Migration June 12, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I haven’t read Crazy Rich Asians yet. I’m torn if I should read it before I see the movie, which is what I normally do. But I fear that if I don’t like the book then I won’t go see the movie. And I have to see the movie because the last time there was movie (US movie) with a mostly Asian cast was 25 years ago (The Joy Luck Club) and I don’t want to wait that long again. Bird Box is on my TBR. And it’s funny how certain books appeal at certain times. Like beach books – hard to read when it’s 20 below zero. LOL!

    • Reply Megan June 12, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      I can see that about not wanting to see the movie if you didn’t like the book (why would you?), but in this case – and I probably shouldn’t say so, but the movie might be better. Like Devil Wears Prada, it seems to lend itself to seeing the opulence, fashion, food, etc. But we’ll see!

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says June 12, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Artemis was a space western. I liked it. It was hard not to compare it to the Martian but it was good in its own way.

    I did not like Bird Box at all. It was not for me.

    • Reply Megan June 13, 2018 at 9:27 am

      Bird Box definitely won’t be for everyone, though I didn’t think I would like it and found it quite intriguing.

  • Reply Nancy @ NY Foodie Family June 12, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    I add The Tea Girl to my to read list. I’ve read several of See’s book and have enjoyed them all. I thought Crazy Rich Asians and The Hating Game were just okay. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed The Martian but I don’t have a desire to read Artemis.

    • Reply Megan June 13, 2018 at 9:28 am

      You’re probably good skipping Artemis. It was good, but I wouldn’t say I was “pleasantly surprised” by it, rather it didn’t live up to expectations (compared to The Martian).

  • Reply Heather June 13, 2018 at 8:53 am

    I liked Artemis but like you, it wasn’t quite up to The Martian for me (which I thought was incredible). The Keeper of Lost Things is on my to-read list – the cover is SO gorgeous!! The habit book is on my TBR too and I think I’ll listen to it. I love books like that sometimes. I share your thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians and I am excited to see the movie with some girlfriends!! LOVED The Hating Game! She has a new book coming out sometime this year or early next year I think.

    • Reply Megan June 13, 2018 at 9:30 am

      Oh I didn’t know that Sally Thorne had a new book coming out; I’ll have to look out for it!

  • Reply Rachel @ Never Enough Novels June 13, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I’m a sucker for magical realism, so I’ll definitely be checking out A Keeper of Lost Things now. Have you heard of / read Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen? If you like that genre, you’ll probably love this one!

    • Reply Megan June 13, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      I haven’t heard of that one; I’ll have to look it up! Thanks for the reco 🙂

  • Reply Carly June 13, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I had Crazy Rich Asians from the library but didn’t read it in time, so I had to rerequest it and I’m number 400 something so I’m super bummed. The Keeper of Lost things has the prettiest cover and sounds really interesting and the Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane sounds like something I would like.

    • Reply Megan June 13, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Ugh, I hate when that happens. I recently had a hold come in and then went in to pick it up a day late and they’d already returned it! 🙁

  • Reply Kasey Holloway June 13, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I thought Crazy Rich Asians was just average, but I will say the movie looks cute, might actually be a book where I think the movie is better! lol! I hadn’t heard of Bird Box until one of my friends just started reading it, so I’m thinking I might give it a go, but honestly I’m a bit scared of it! lol

    • Reply Megan June 13, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      I was also pretty scared of Bird Box before I read it, but it’s honestly not that bad. More suspenseful than anything else! And I agree with you on CRA – I think the movie might be better than the book too!

  • Reply Shea June 13, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Oh there are a few here on your 4 star list that are on my TBR, that’s always exciting! The author of Tea Girl came to my city recently and I really wanted to read her book and then go see her but sadly I never got to it–I still need to read it anyway though. I also enjoyed Delancey and I thought Crazy Rich Asians was fun. I’m really curious about the movie.

    • Reply Megan June 13, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Too bad you didn’t get to see Lisa See, but I’m glad you’re still making it a point to read the book. I’ve heard lots of good things from others outside of my book club too recently, so it seems to be pretty universally enjoyed!

  • Reply Alison - Puppies and Pretties June 14, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Now that you say it, Artemis would make a good tv/movie adaptation. Like you said, not as good as The Martian, but still a fun read!

    • Reply Megan June 15, 2018 at 9:10 am

      Oh, yeah TV might be fun too! 🙂

  • Reply Audrey June 15, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    The Power of Habit, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane sound really good! I’m adding those to my growing tbr list now!
    I couldn’t get through Crazy Rich Asians. I think I’ll try again but honestly it might be one of those ‘just watch the movie’ books for me…
    I’m sad you didn’t get through The Bear and the Nightingale but you’re right about the winter thing. I hope when you pick it up again you LOVE it. I did!

    • Reply Megan June 15, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      I am definitely going to try The Bear and the Nightingale when the weather turns! It’s been on my TBR forever and I’ve heard only good things, so I’m certain I’ll like it better when I’m not sweating as I read 😂

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