Amber Can Read : March 2018

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Amber Can Read

Books read this month : 2 

You can generally tell how my life is going by the number of books I’ve read in a month and how often I post on here. Since I only read 2 books last month and this is just my second post in March, I’ll let you be the judge of how everything is right now!

Book 1 : Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Ugh. I should’ve just read the first one in this trilogy and called it a day. Books two (reviewed in February) and this one were both terrible! I feel like Kwan tried to pack too much into both of the books and got away from the snarky humor that I loved so much in the first one. Plus, this one felt like it ended on a little bit of a cliffhanger. Cliffhanger may not be the right word, but something was revealed that just seemed thrown in and could’ve been more fully explored. I don’t recommend this one at all.

Book 2 : The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

On a recent quiet afternoon at work, my friend showed me the movie trailer for this and then insisted that I needed to read it. I checked it out with the intention to get to it after my huge stack of things that I’ve had checked out since December (for the Erin 8.0 challenge). Instead, I read this one in two days, staying up ridiculously late one night to finish it! Oops! It took me a little bit to get into because it’s written as letters, and I got a little confused about who the characters were (#toddlermombrain), but once things clicked for me, I didn’t want to put it down! I really enjoyed this one and recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction (World War II era…which is my favorite historical fiction era!) or anyone who likes a twist on a love story. She and I are planning to see the movie and hope it lives up to the book.

Here’s hoping to things calming a down a bit so I can read and write more often! Have you read anything good lately? Be sure to share your recent favorites with me so I can read them…eventually! 🙂

Linking up with Steph and Jana!

Amber Can Read : February 2018

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Let’s talk about books, babyyyyyy.

Books read this month : 7

Book 1 : In This Moment by Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury is my guilty pleasure author, and even though her books are usually preachy and predictable, I enjoy them. That was not the case for this one. It was so heavy-handed, full of lectures, and derogatory towards anyone who doesn’t agree with her viewpoint that it was difficult for me to finish it. There were also a couple of subplots thrown in that seemed to have almost nothing to do with the main story. I don’t recommend this one at all, and sadly, I’m going to be really hesitant to read any of her books from now on. End of an era…

Book 2 : Jump by Steve Harvey

I needed something decent to read after the Kingsbury fiasco, so I’m glad this one was next! This book was based off a speech that Steve Harvey gave to the audience after a taping of Family Feud. It was encouraging and mixed in some personal stories from his life, which as I’ve said more than once, is right up my alley! If you’re feeling a little stuck in any area of your life, then check this one out.

Book 3 : Every Breath You Take by Mary Higgins Clark

This one was pretty mediocre. It’s part of a series, and I haven’t read the other ones, but I think I’m okay not reading them if they are as boring as this one was! Only recommended if you need something to put you to sleep!

Book 4 : Live, Spend, Save, Repeat by Kim Anderson

I listened to this one, which was a change for me because I very rarely listen to books! This book had some really practical tips about budgeting and living a more frugal life. I thought the narrator (the author) was easy to relate to also. I recommend this one to anyone looking to read more about personal finance presented in a straightforward and easy-to-understand way. 

Book 5 : The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

This was another audiobook for me. I don’t know who I’m becoming. This one was also narrated by the author, but in this case, it made me dislike her more than I probably would have if I had just read it. The concept of the book is interesting – she embarked on a shopping ban for a year – but I found her a little whiny and entitled. I imagine it’s a lot easier for a single, young professional to save a boatload of money during a shopping ban than it would be for me in the stage of life I’m in. Recommended only if you’re a single, young professional who wonders where all of your money goes. Also, if that describes you, send me a message because I have a few things I’d like you to buy for me…

Book 6 : Crazy, Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

This was an Erin 8.0 challenge book (the first one I had read since the Kingsbury book). It started out a little confusing because of the family names and the footnotes, but once I got into it, I was hooked. It was the equivalent of watching a soap opera or trashy reality show! It’s going to be a movie soon, and I want to see it to know how some of the characters are portrayed. Recommended if you like gossipy, semi-trashy fluff novels.

Book 7 : China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

I track all of the books I read on Goodreads, and every time I input a new book, I read the reviews of it. When I read the reviews of Crazy, Rich Asians, I discovered that it was the first in a trilogy! I went to the public library’s website and immediately put books 2 and 3 on hold! I’m still waiting on number 3, but I will say that this one was not as good as the first one. Then again, the second title in a trilogy usually isn’t the best one. I still recommend it though, especially if you enjoyed the first one.

Have you ever been let down by an author? Share your heartache with me!

Linking up with Steph and Jana

Amber Can Read : January 2018

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Time to talk about books again!

Books read this month : 9

Book 1 : Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker

I really enjoyed this one! There were a lot of parts that resonated with me, but of course since I didn’t take notes or write anything down, I can’t remember any of them right now! Recommended for fans of funny, Christian based nonfiction.

Book 2 : Before We Were Yours  by Lisa Wingate

I started reading this one the night that Will met some friends to see The Last Jedi. When he got home, I told him I would just read another couple of chapters, but then I stayed up until past 2 AM to finish it! Oops! Recommended for those who like mysteries and don’t mind a story going between past and present.

Book 3 : The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

This one was not my favorite. Early in the book, the main female character described how the main male character could be ugly, and the author chose to use cleft lip as a descriptor of an ugly person. As a mother of a child who was born with a cleft lip, I may be oversensitive to things like this, but it immediately shut me down. I slogged through this one because one of my friends loves it, but I wouldn’t recommend this one at all.

Book 4 : Slider by Pete Hautman

A pretty quick read about a teenager who wants to be a competitive eating champion. Those who know me in real life know that I have a strange fascination with competitive eating. This story even mentioned some of the real eaters (Joey Chestnut!). It was fun, but I probably wouldn’t read it unless you have a bit of the same fascination and don’t mind some very…realistic…descriptions of what could happen during a contest.

Book 5 : The Wonder  by Emma Donoghue

I think this one is considered historical fiction, and it takes place in Ireland, so it may not be interesting to everyone, but I liked it! The premise of this involves what some may consider child abuse, so if that makes you uncomfortable, skip this one. Otherwise, I recommend it because it has a twist that I didn’t expect and enjoyed!

Book 6 : Cheap Girls Club  by Crystal Lacey Winslow

Will got this one for me for Christmas since we’re focusing on finances this year. I thought it was sweet of him to get it! There were a few times that I got a little lost – like when she detailed a business she used to have or still has…I’m not sure – but otherwise, it was full of practical and straightforward information. I recommend it if you like to read about personal finance without it being too detailed or boring.

Book 7 : A Life in Parts  by Bryan Cranston

The first of three Erin 8.0 challenge books I read! I am a sucker for celebrity biographies and autobiographies. I feel like I always learn something new about people, even when the books aren’t very well-written. Thankfully, this one was well-written and captured my attention, even as I started fighting sickness! Random Bryan Cranston fact – he had initially planned to be a police officer. Can you imagine Breaking Bad without him?? I recommend this for anyone who is a fan of his work or of celebrity books in general.

Book 8 : A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Okay, I know it’s only January 11, but I’m going to just go ahead and declare this my favorite book of the year!! I loved this one so, so much. If you read Beartown first, like I did, you are going to be in for a surprise when you read this one because it hardly seems like the same author! I can’t recommend this one enough! Stop reading this blog (okay, not really) and click that link and go buy it…or go borrow it from your local library! And if for some reason, you don’t like it, just don’t tell me, or I will judge you… 😉

Book 9 : Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Poor Bernadette. This book was perfectly fine – a little weird and draggy at parts – but perfectly fine. However, since I read it right after the best book of 2018, I knew that it probably would be a letdown. This one is okay. I don’t really recommend it or not recommend it.

Read anything good lately? Have you read A Man Called Ove? Don’t answer that unless you absolutely loved it too!

Linking up with Steph and Jana

Amber Can Read : December 2017

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Amber Can Read

Hey, remember that time I read 10 books in a month? Well this month, I didn’t read that many. I read a grand total of 3 books.

Books read this month : 3

It was such a busy time with the end of the semester at work and the start of the holiday season that I just didn’t read nearly as much. The good news is that I read a couple of things that have been on my “to-read” list for a little bit, so at least it was productive reading!

Book 1 : Beartown by Frederik Backman

This one was a surprise for me. I read a lot of reviews where people unexpectedly loved it. It started off a little slow, and I had a bit of a hard time keeping up with the characters (#mombrain), but once I got hooked, I was hooked! There is some heavy subject matter in this one, but if you don’t mind reading about those types of things, then I would recommend this one!

Book 2 : Love Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze

Since our debt free journey is a huge part of our 2018 goals, I was interested to see what she has to say on the topic of comparison and jealousy. I think this is the first book of hers (or at least the first one I’ve read) that is not co-authored with her father, financial expert, Dave Ramsey. I didn’t know what to expect with just her voice, but I really enjoyed it! There was a lot of practical information in here (“don’t live beyond your means…”), but she also addressed the trade offs for being diligent and responsible now to make your future better. I also liked hearing about her financial struggles because I related more to those (I also would dine out nightly if given the opportunity) than I relate to her father’s struggles. If you’re looking for something practical and fun, I recommend this one.

Book 3 : The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I really wanted to like this one. I had read enough reviews about it to kind of know one of the twists, but I wanted to see how Reid revealed everything. I liked a lot of this book, and then I didn’t. I know that seems abrupt, but there was an element that she threw in related to the lady interviewing Evelyn Hugo that just seemed, well, thrown in. I don’t recommend this one unless you’re prepared to be a little let down.

I’m also participating in the Book Challenge by Erin 8.0, which starts on January 1! I’m going to write about that on Friday, so come back and visit if you want a reading challenge to kick off 2018!

Linking up with Steph and Jana (I almost missed this one! Ack!!)

Amber Can Read : November 2017

Amber Can Read

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Hello! I broke my writing streak on Monday because I felt awful. I don’t know what the problem was, but I think I’m (mostly) on the mend now!

Time to talk about books!

Books read this month : 10!!

This is like the pre-marriage, pre-motherhood Amber level of reading! And none of these were children’s books or picture books. I don’t know how I managed this total!

Book 1 : Beauty and the Beast : Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

This was one of my two Beauty and the Beast themed books for the Erin 7.0 Reading Challenge. I really liked this one! It is a retelling of the classic tale, but there are some familiar elements in it.

Book 2 : Dogs and Their People by BarkPost

This was a book from the people who created BarkBox. It was another Erin 7.0 challenge book. I thought it was really cute!

Book 3 : How I Got My Wiggle Back by Anthony Field

I’ve mentioned a few times here and in real life that Charlotte really loves The Wiggles right now. So, when I saw this in the public library’s eBook collection, I was pretty intrigued. The first half of the book is really interesting. It talks about how the group was formed and some of their earlier days, including Anthony’s struggles with chronic pain and depression. The second half of the book is pretty much all about his treatment regiment and was kind of boring honestly. I think it should by my life’s mission to write a good biography of the past and current Wiggles…

Book 4 : Heavier Than Heaven by Charles Cross

I’ve seen this one pop up in a couple of these linkups, and it has usually had good reviews. This was a really extensive biography of Kurt Cobain (lead singer of Nirvana). Nirvana was one of junior high/high school bands of choice, and this book really gave a lot of background about his life, how the band was formed, and the struggles they faced even after they were famous. I’m glad I saw this one mentioned!

Book 5 : Wonder by RJ Palacio

Oh man. I picked this one up because I was going to participate in another book-related linkup, but I missed the deadline on it. However, I absolutely LOVED this book! I can’t wait to see the movie and see how some of the scenes were interpreted!

Book 6 : Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman

I liked the cover and description of this one, so I checked it out. There were a few things about embracing the season of motherhood that you’re in that made me cry, especially since it’s been a bit of a roller coaster lately around here! (#toddlerlife). 

Book 7 : The Underneath by Kate Appelt

This was my final Erin 7.0 challenge book, and it was just weird. It was not at all what I expected. I read it in a night because it had short chapters and because I didn’t want to waste more precious reading time than I needed to on it!

Book 8 : The Recovering Spender by Lauren Greutman

I used to read Lauren’s blog pretty regularly but stopped for some reason. I enjoyed this book, especially because it kind of goes along with the budgeting class I’m in right now. Some of her insights really hit me in the face because I could see myself and my behaviors in them!

Book 9 : Dot Journaling by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

I’m obsessed with planners and ways to make myself look a lot more organized than I actually am. Of course, now I’m obsessed with a new way of tracking. Thanks a lot, book.

Book 10 : Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan

I was really excited to read this one, and it (mostly) did not disappoint! I thought the ending was a little disappointing, but otherwise, it had me laughing out loud! She left it open for a potential sequel, so I’ll be curious to see if she does anything with it.

Linking up with Steph and Jana (their new logo for this linkup is fantastic too!). They’re going to have two linkups in December! This one will be on the 12th, and then they’re also planning to talk about their favorite books of the year on the 26th. I’ve got to start my list right now!

Read any good books lately? Let me know in the comments!