Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Recently Read - Vol. 28 (Apr. '18) & Top Ten Tuesday


April was an interesting month of reading for me.  I was an incredibly active reader (active for me, anyway) during the first three weeks, but then I turned into an incredibly inactive one the last week.  What can I say, I had other things competing for my focus that week.  Ah, well...  such is life.  Ebb and flow, ebb and flow.

I read four books in April, one which was a re-read, and was pleased with all of them for the most part.  Here's what I thought of them:

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Read March 28 - April 4 | Format: Audiobook | My rating:  4.5/5

Before reading this book, I was batting 0.666 with Backman's work and, to be honest, I was a little nervous about Britt-Marie. I loved A Man Called Ove and Beartown, but didn’t care much for My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. Well, Backman came through and wooed me with this story about Britt-Marie, a quirky, bicarbonate of soda loving, and list making character who is searching meaning in her life.  

FINAL VERDICT:  HIGHLY RECOMMEND
  

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 
Read April 4-17 | Format: Audiobook | My rating: 5/5

Ready Player One is the one re-read I had in April.  I originally read it in the summer of 2016, but wanted to read it again before seeing the movie adaption (which was completely different from the book).  I still loved it the second time around and wouldn't change anything from my initial review

FINAL VERDICT:  Recommend, but with caution.  This book relies heavy on 80s and gaming references.  These may be turn-offs for some readers.


Marriage Games by C. D. Reiss
Read April 18-19 | Format: Audiobook | My rating: 4/5

I absolutely devoured this book, completing it in two days (which is unusual for me).  The premise thoroughly intrigued me from the start and I could not stop listening.  Let me say that again - I. Could. Not. Stop. Listening.  I listened on my way to work, during lunch, on my way home, during my walk, and after getting in to bed. 

As I've confessed before, I sometimes like to read books that dip into the world of domination and submission.  Well, this book doesn't dip, it dives in head first. I did enjoy it, but some parts were a little too...  intense for my taste as they involved more sadism and masochism than I'm used to. None-the-less, I was very intrigued with the plot and really wanted to know how things were going to end for the main characters.  Little did I know that it was a cliffhanging part one and that I'd have to read/listen to the sequel to get any resolution.

FINAL VERDICT:  If you are into this specific romance genre, then go for it.  Just be aware that it relies heavily on BDSM themes.


Separation Games by C. D. Reiss
Read April 21 - May 6 | Format: Audiobook | My rating: 3/5

Little did I know when I started Marriage Games, that it was only the first part of the story between Adam Steinbeck and his wife Diana.  Anyway, as soon as I realized that there was more, after the cliffhanging end to the first book, I immediately bought and downloaded the sequel because I had to know how things turned out for Adam and Diana.  

Well, Separation Games didn't grab my attention as tightly as it's predecessor did.  Some of this was due to life circumstances (I had a lot of other things going on in my life) and some of it was due to problems with the book.  In my opinion, the book was way too long, way too wordy, and had too many trivial little subplots that didn't benefit the main story.

FINAL VERDICT:  If you read the first book and like it, then you will probably want to continue the story, despite it's flaws, just to see how it all ends.  Keep in mind that the BDSM themes continue in this book as well. 



Books With My Favorite Color on the Cover or in the Title


Books I've Read with Purple Covers 



Books I've Read with Purple on the Cover



Books I've Read with Purple in the Title



Books on My TBR with Purple on the Cover (be it a little or a lot)



A Book with Purple on the Cover that I Did Not Finish



(Yes, I realize that the lettering on It Ends With Us is on the pinkish side of purple and the cover of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is on the blueish side...  But, they're still purple to me.)   


What have you read lately?  Anything you'd recommend?


Linking up with Steph and Jana


41 comments:

  1. Purple...including The Color Purple...perfect!

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  2. I loved Beartown and Ove but haven't read My Grandmother or Britt-Marie yet! The book color prompt was so interesting-- it makes me want to look through my own books.

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    1. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't care much for My Grandmother.. It is my lest favorite of the four Backman Books I've read. I loved Beartown, but Beartown had a distinctly different feel from A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie Was Here. Both Ove and Britt-Marie are quirky, yet lovably characters.

      The book color prompt was interesting. I as looked at the covers on Goodreads, I noticed that I have read a lot of books with predominately red covers. I had never really though about that much before (other than selecting a certain colored book for various book challenges).

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  3. Ooh I'll have to read Britt-Marie. I LOVED Beartown and I'm listening to A Man Called Ove right now and I love it so far. Thinking about book covers and titles related to a color is so fun, but hard! I'm not sure I know of any other books with Purple in the title other than The Color Purple!

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    1. I enjoyed Britt-Marie almost as much as I enjoyed Ove - and that is one of the highest compliments I can pay a fictional character!

      Yes, the colored cover thing was a little harder than I thought. Now, had I chosen red, I would've been all set, for I had a dozen or so books that I've read with red covers.

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  4. I have got to pick up A Man Called Ove. I want to read this author so much. Great choice with purple (my fave too) and I hope you have a wonderful May!

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    1. I have thoroughly enjoyed 3/4 of the books that I've read by this author. I really like him.

      Thank you! Have a wonderful May!

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  5. Love the book color prompt!! marriage games sounds really interesting, hoping my library has it!!

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    1. Thanks! I like fun prompts like that from time to time. Let me know what you think of Marriage Games if you read it.

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  6. Beartown is on my TBR but I get nervous just thinking about reading it. I've built it up too much in my mind so I'm trying to get back to normal, reasonable expectations before I read it. And hopefully love it as much as most people do! My reading also ebbs and flows. This month was a very dry month for me.

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    1. I personally think Beartown was worth the hype. It's completely different from Backman's other books (if you've read any of those). I remember likening it to a rollercoaster in terms of emotions I felt while reading it. I hope you enjoy it if you read it!

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  7. Ooh I am kind of excited to check out Marriage Games! Also, It Ends With Us was a great read so yay for that being on your list!

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    1. If you read Marriage Games, let me know what you think. As I mentioned in my reply to Ashley (below), I'm always hesitant to share when I read romance novels that are way outside of the mainstream. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who likes them. :)

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  8. I love 80s references but gaming not so much so I've avoided that one.

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    1. Yeah, the gaming references (given that the entire plot is basically a video game) are numerous and not everyone's cup of tea.

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  9. I might look into Brit Marie, I feel I need another Backman book in my life.

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  10. I LOVED Ready Player One more for the 80s than the gaming aspect but it was such a fun book. I also adore that Wil Wheaton was the audiobook narrator. So perfect.

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    1. That was me... Loved the 80s references and the gaming references made my eyes glaze over. LOL! Yes! Incredibly fun, even the second time around! And I totally agree with you about Wil Wheaton's narration.

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  11. I did purple as well!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/08/top-ten-tuesday-158/

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    1. Rock on! Purple is awesome! In the words of Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it." :)

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  12. I still haven’t read Ready Player One, but I really want to! And good to know that the movie is so different than the book! Not going to lie Marriage Games is probably a book that I would like I think and I’ll add it to my list!

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    1. Yes, book and movie - hugely different (which I think is a good thing)!

      I'll admit that I'm always hesitant to share when I read books of this nature (Marriage Games). My affinity for romance novels involving men on Harleys or men wearing kilts is more... mainstream. BDSM, even with the popularity of Fifty Shades, isn't. But, I've had to give myself several pep talks where I say, "Ericka, you're a grown ass woman and you can read whatever you want and you shouldn't be ashamed about it!" It's nice to know that I'm definitely not alone. Let me know what you think of it if you read it.

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  13. hmmm i am on the fence about Britt-Marie. i want to read it because i've read my grandmother asked me to tell you.. and i hate/loved her in that book. that being said, i really struggled through that book, but read beartown in one sitting. so who knows. i still liked the grandmother book overall, it was just a slog to get through. i don't think i have read anything by C. D. Reiss.

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    1. These were my first books of C.D. Reiss. I'd be willing to give her a go again sometime down the road. Britt-Marie reminded me a lot of A Man Called Ove.

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  14. Oh I totally want to do that Top Ten Tuesday post - maybe tomorrow! I love looking at book covers :)
    Britt Marie is the only Backman book I haven't read yet. I am excited to read it and glad to hear your positive review!!

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    1. I was a bit hesitant about Britt-Marie, but it was great! She's such a quirky character!

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  15. I loved Britt-Marie was Here. I hate that Backman can reliably make me cry.

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    1. LOL! That's a good way to describe his writing. Backman moves me, he makes me feel all the feels, but he doesn't necessarily make me cry. Nicholas Sparks has the monopoly in that department and by crying, he makes me do some ugly crying. LOL!

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  16. While I enjoyed the Ready Player One movie, I'm good with that and don't feel the need to read the book now.

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    1. I've been like that with several movies (that were based on books). Don't read what you don't want to read, friend. Life's too short.

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  17. I've never read Ready Player One - I always meant to, so someday maybe! Though I don't know if I'd understand all the references. LOL

    I don't mind books with BDSM; some are a bit more extreme than others though, so that's great you really liked the first one! Sorry the second wasn't as awesome.

    Yay for purple - that's my favorite color too. :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. It was an enjoyable book, although I know it's not for everyone. Yeah, the second one would've been find had it been a little shorter and cut out some of the subplots.

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  18. Loved Beartown, but haven't tried anything else from Backman. May look into Britt-Marie!

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    1. I definitely recommend it. I'd also recommend A Man Called Ove, it's my favorite Backman book!

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  19. Loved Ready Player One...also thought the movie was good. I haven't read Britt Marie but it is on my list. Beartown is one of my favorite so far for 2018.

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    1. I agree, the movie was good although very different from the book. Beartown, as you know, dealt with a much serious topic. Britt-Marie is a little more light hearted, although it does deal with some serious topics, too.

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  20. I have Ready Player One, but saw the movie first. Would you still recommend reading it?

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    1. The basic premise is the same, to unlock all the gates and win ownership of the OASIS, but the paths getting there are very, very different. I'd still recommend the book. Just keep in mind, however, that the movie's pace is fast and action packed; the book's pace is slower and the action is more book-paced rather than Hollywood paced.

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  21. Good to know how you feel about Backman's books. I've only read Ove so far, but want to get to his others. :) :) I want to read Ready Player One, but am nervous about all of the 80s stuff for sure. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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