Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Recently Read - Vol. 15 (Jan '17)


Sadly, I was absent from last month's Show Us Your Books linkup.  So, I'm super excited to return today.  

January was a pretty good month for me in terms of reading.  I read four and a half books and I gave them all, with the exception of the one book I abandoned, a rating of at least 3.

Without further ado, here are the books I read last month:


I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh
January 1-13 | Format: Audiobook | My Rating: 4.5/5

I Let You Go is a nicely written, psychological thriller/mystery that kept me guessing.  It was a little slow to start, but once the momentum picked up, it kept me engaged.  I figured out a few little details, but the main "whoa" in the middle of the book, I didn't see coming at all.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes this genre.



Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais
January 13-19 | Format: Audiobook | My Rating: 3.5/5

Robert Crais' Elvis Cole/Joe Pike detective series is one of my favorites series.  I love the intriguing plot lines and I love the characters of Elvis and Joe.  Having read the series in order (this is the 12th book in the series), I've also enjoyed the character development that I've been a firsthand witness to over the years.

I found Chasing Darkness to be very riveting in the beginning and throughout most of the book.  I never did figure out who "did it," which is always a plus, but the culprit seemed a strange choice.  I also didn't like the ending, for it seemed a bit rushed and I found the loose ends unsatisfying.  Not the best Crais book, in my opinion, but not the worst either.



Stiff by Mary Roach
January 19-29 | Format: Audiobook | My rating: 3/5

I now know more about human cadavers than I ever thought possible.  I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. This was a book that I couldn't listen to in great quantities; I had to break it up into smaller, more digestible parts. For instance, it was quite spooky to listen to the part on the history of grave robbers (who then sold the bodies to early anatomists) while walking the secluded, back side of the walking loop at my neighborhood park where bodies have been known to be found on more than one occasion.  It was also a bit unsettling to listen to the chapter dedicated to using human cadavers in automotive crash tests as I was driving my car 75mph down the highway.

Overall, Stiff was a book that elicited strong reactions in me, most easily noted by the disgusted look on my face and/or the curl of my support lip.  Apparently discussions on two headed dogs, using poop to treat a prolapsed uterus, blood baths for the treatment of eczema and leprisy, and the eating of various human body parts for medicinal purposes will do that to me.



This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
January 20 - February 6 (Abandonded) | Format: Audiobook | My rating:  DID NOT FINISH

This was another book that I couldn't listen to in large chunks.  Due to the subject matter, a school shooting, and the fact that I work in a public school, I found that this book hit a little too close to home.  But, here's the thing, when I hadn't even reached the halfway point in two weeks, I decided to just call it quits.  Yes, the subject matter was a little hard for me to deal with, but the the plot simply wasn't compelling enough for me to continue.    



Fat Chance by Nick Spalding
January 29 - February 5 | Format: Audiobook | My rating: 4/5

Fat Chance is the story of Zoe and Greg, an English couple who have let themselves go over the years.  At the suggestion of one of Zoe's friends, she and Greg become contestants in a weight loss competition sponsored by a local radio station.  (Think - The Biggest Loser: Couples, radio version.)  

Told from alternating perspectives, as if you were reading each of their weight loss diaries, Greg and Zoe regale the reader with anecdotes of their experiences during their weight loss journeys.  Some are poignant, many are hilarious, many are incredibly spot on, as anyone who has tried fad diets and/or  workout gadgets that promise unrealistic results can attest.  All in all, I found Fat Chance to be a very enjoyable and entertaining read.


So, do you have any books that you'd recommend?  If so, please share.  As always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading to you!


Linking up with Steph and Jana 



21 comments:

  1. Aaah, I'm fascinated by the fact that the water on the cover of I Let You Go is moving. SO much so that I can't think of anything else to say ;-)

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    1. I know! When I searched for an image of the book covert, it came up as an option so I thought, "Why not?" LOL!

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  2. Great mix of read this month too. That's another way to get your reading mojo back...mix things up plus add an old faithful.

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  3. I loved I let you Go and yes that "whoa" moment - had me going back to check how I'd missed it! lol I hate giving up on books but 2 weeks in and not hooked sounds reasonable to me to pass.

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  4. yay glad you liked i let you go! i felt about the same, totally didn't guess the 'whoa' in the middle. also like Bev said that is fabulous you got a picture/gif with the water moving haha. kinda freaky. fat chance sounds like a good fun read, adding it to my list!

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  5. I read This is Where it Ends last year as a NetGalley book and I had a very lukewarm response to it. I get what she was trying to do but it was poorly done. Too many characters, the writing was weak, and it felt like she was trying to capitalize on a hot topic rather than write a good book.

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  6. I also loved the Claire Mackintosh book. That was my first read of hers, I have another on my list.

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    1. I'll have to check out what else she's written. I've not really looked. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Stiff sounds interesting, but I'm not sure I could stomach it either.

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    1. Some others who have read it (as a selection for Erin's book challenge) have really enjoyed it. There were just parts of it that, um, were too much for me.

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  8. I had the whoa moment in I Let You Go too. It made the book, although I liked the overall atmospheric style of it. I am unfamiliar with the Robert Crais books and adding them to my TBR. I love a good detective series!

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    1. I read LA Requiem by Robert Crais first, not knowing at the time that it was the 9th or 10th book in the series. I liked it so well, that I started from the very beginning and have been working my way through the series. The first 2-3 of the series are okay, but they get better with time.

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  9. Fat Chance sounds like a book I definitely need to check out! I feel like my husband and I are always going back and forth on being on a diet, not being on a diet, working out, and not working out. Plus I love The Biggest Loser! I chose I Let You Go for Erin's Challenge, so I'm very much looking forward to reading it soon!

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    1. I hope you enjoy them. I would definitely recommend both.

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  10. I don't think I've seen a single positive review of This Is Where It Ends. I just finished I Let You Go, and I felt the same way! It was so slow until the big whoa in the middle.

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    1. I think I even said "WHOA!" out loud when the "whoa moment" happened. I was like, "hold up!" This Is Where It Ends had potential, but it just fizzled out somewhere. Maybe too many characters, too many flashbacks, and the tweets added at the end of the chapters... Ugh.

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  11. I read I See You by Clare Mackintosh in January and enjoyed that, so I am looking forward to picking up I Let You Go sometime in the future. I hear it's better so I am interested to compare the two.

    Oh I thoroughly enjoyed Stiff when I listened to it on audiobook back in 2015. It was one of my favourite books for that year. I loved the style and the narration. I listened to it in a couple of days because it was so interesting. I would like to pick up some other books by Mary Roach sometime.

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  12. Fat Chance sounds like a fun read! I read Stiff awhile ago and thought it was okay. I finished I Let You Go last week and had the same feelings you did. It definitely started out slow but half-way through turned into a page-turner. Glad I stuck with it!

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  13. I also enjoyed I let you go this month. It was really good and I definitely didn't anticipate that twist in the middle. I found it actually to be a bit slow up until that point but not so much afterwards!!!

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  14. I think I have I Let You Go on my tbr list and now I want to move it up a bit! I think this is the second (or third) review where someone really didn't like This is Where it Ends!

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  15. I like that I Let You Go has a moving cover on here! Too cool.

    I think Fat Chance sounds really good - need to add to my goodreads.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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