What I read in… the last five months

Yes, books I’ve read in the last five months. Ooops. LOL. At first, I thought this post wouldn’t be too long because I didn’t read much in the last few months of 2017, but turns out I made up for that in 2018.


In September I read seven books (which I recapped here) and then in October, I read… one book. November I read three books, and December was a big fat zero. Womp. I did pick it back up in January and February.

Ok, so it turns out that this will be a little long, but I’ll try to be brief!

In the last five months I’ve read:

What I Read in the last Five Months | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. The book is about two friends raised in post-war Italy, and how they start out on the same playing field but decisions by their families and the paths their lives forge change them ultimately for the better or for the worse. I have had friends RAVE about this novel, and read it on repeat. I thought it would be the same for me… but I really didn’t care for it! I didn’t care for any of the characters and I honestly felt like I couldn’t get to know any of them… it was all surface level and nothing in depth. I know there are two other follow up books, but I won’t be reading those. Overall Rating 2 out of 5.

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6′ 4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian by W. Kamau Bell. W. Kamau Bell is fantastic and Dave and I are big fans of his show United Shades of America. He is so honest and refreshing and I loved hearing how he got his start and also him going into detail about his relationship with his wife. It’s an interracial relationship and hearing his point of view was eye-opening for me at times. I also love him talking about his daughters and their love of Doc McStuffins. ūüôā Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck. This is the third book in the Wedding series by Rachel Hauck and I have loved all three. Each has a little bit of a Christian overtone to it, but it’s not so in-your-face that I can’t overlook it. (Being the heathen reformed Jew that I am.) In this novel, the main character returns to Hearts Bend, TN (where most of the stories take place) and Hauck as usual blends together different character’s¬†stories so seamlessly that the neat little bow at the end is not only expected but eagerly anticipated. If you haven’t read any of the books yet, trust me – you need to. They are quick reads and suck you in! Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis. This memoir details Aspen Matis’¬†2,650-mile trek on the Pacific Crest Trail which leads from Mexico to Canada. Aspen’s motivation for hiking the trail sadly come from an unfortunate place – she was raped during her first few days of college and neither her parents nor the school was supportive. She hikes to find herself, and her memoir details her journey both physically and mentally. There were times when I wanted to slap Aspen as she tends to be a little annoying/immature, but some of that stems from how much her mother babied her throughout her life. Beyond that, it was a fantastic read. Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

Taking Flight by¬†Adrian R Magnuson. Sometimes I find books on my Kindle (I have over 100 to be read right now) that I take a pause at like… huh… when did I download/purchase that one? Taking Flight was one of them! Two characters join forces to escape their circumstances by a chance meeting on an airplane. Jeremy is 13 and trying to escape his bi-polar mother as his father spends time as a doctor in Africa, and Harry is an elderly man with Alzheimer’s, merely trying to escape his fate. Both families think the other is responsible for the unlikely pair running away when really they’re responsible for each other. Overall Rating 3 out of 5.

All the Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale. I was very excited to read this book after reading Lonsdale’s Everything We Keep earlier in 2017. I love her style of writing and its another of those books that just sucks you right in. Molly does everything in her power to protect herself and her daughter, including leaving the love of her life when she was younger. Now she finds herself back to where it all began and has to dive into what went wrong in order to save her daughter, and even herself. Loved the¬†psychic and spiritual elements of the book and the plot twist that was set up so, so well. Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

Toad in the Hole by Paisley Ray. This was the fourth book in the Rachael O’Brien series, and so far it was my least favorite. I don’t know if it was the lack of like, parenting by Rachael’s grandmother or all of the things that were left unexplained (both to Rachael and to the reader) or maybe the plot is just getting stale. Now they’re in Europe, crazy stuff is still happening, etc. Overall Rating 2 out of 5.

Life and Other Near-Death Experiences by¬†Camille Pag√°n. Our protagonist Libby Miller finds out she has cancer and then comes home to her husband dropping a bomb of his own on her. Rather than face facts, she decides to run away to a Caribbean island where her parents were once happy. But is running away really the right answer? This book was great – I enjoyed Libby’s character and how she reacted once she was hit with both sets of news. It was a teeny bit predictable at the end but overall very well done. Overall Rating 4 out of 5.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This was a BOTM book and let me just say this. It was quite possibly the best book I’ve read in 2017 and current 2018. And I SWEAR TO GOD if they ruin it with the movie I WILL CUT SOMEONE. I LOVED this book. When it ended I was bereft. I wanted the story to continue on forever! It amazed me how much detail Cline went into in describing both the dystopian wasteland that is now America and the virtual reality of OASIS that almost everyone chooses to live in. I felt my heart racing as the story progressed, praying that the heroes of the story would win over evil. AHHH SO GOOD! Overall Rating 5 out of 5. 7 out of 5. ALL THE RATINGS!

The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore. A perfect family seemingly unravels as their eldest daughter becomes a senior in high school and applies to Harvard and the stress seems to be killing her. The rest of the family is struggling with major issues of their own and you really don’t know who has it worse and what is going to happen. The whole time I thought the story was leaning in one direction and then BAM, it flipped. Loved that twist! Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by¬†Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. I loved the first Freakonomics book and when I saw that Dave had a copy of the second one I bumped it to the top of my reading pile. I continue to love the Freakonomics podcast and I just love how Levitt and Dubner tie topics together that would seem random, but they connect them so seamlessly. Love them! Whoever thought I’d read economics books for fun! Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

Xamnesia: Everything I Forgot in my Search for an Unreal Life by Lizzie Harwood. This book stunk. LOL. It was supposed to be a tell-all about being a property manager for the supremely rich in a Middle Eastern country, but due to an NDA she can barely talk about anything above surface level. It was boring and didn’t even scratch the surface of anything. Why bother writing the book if you can’t actually talk about your experiences? Overall Rating 2 out of 5.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I am a sucker for novels about World War II and the Holocaust and The Nightingale ranks up there as a great one. Two sisters are experiencing the war in different ways – one wants to be on the front lines and the other wants to ride it out in whatever way she can. Following each sister on their journey throughout the war was riveting and I tried to put myself in their shoes and honestly do not know which path I would take if I was in that situation. Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

Something Like Happy by Eva Woods. This was such a feel-good book! A woman named Polly bursts into Annie’s life. Annie is just going through the motions of life while Polly is a living, breathing embodiment of happiness. At least for now, she is. A great reminder to treat every day as if it’s your last and take happiness in all of the little things. Overall rating 5 out of 5.

Honorable Mentions (aka books I couldn’t finish):

My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up¬†by Russell Brand. I enjoy Russell Brand but I just couldn’t get into his book. I also couldn’t help but read it in his voice (in my head) which I am sure wasn’t the best thing haha. It was one that I wished captured my interested better, but it just petered out.

Phew!! Sorry, that was a long one! Hopefully back to our regularly scheduled monthly recaps!

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  1. I’m dying to read Kamau Bell’s book & have been on the waitlist FOREVER. I’m glad it lives up to the hype, though!
    Kate recently posted…The 3 Episodes of TV that Made Me Cry the HardestMy Profile

  2. I loved the Nightingale. I want to read All The Breaking Waves. I kept seeing commercials for Ready Player One during the Olympics, I didn’t know it was a book first!
    Dara recently posted…Delta Flight MuseumMy Profile

    • Definitely read Ready Player One – I cannot really express how obsessed I am with it. And All the Breaking Waves was great – I have the sequel in my Kindle waiting to be read!

  3. Fun books! I just picked up Something Like Happy from the (digital) library after adding myself to 15 (!) waiting lists… ugh. I guess, now I will have to add a few more.

    I loved the Nightingale and Ready Player One!
    San recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #16My Profile

  4. I loved Ready Player One even though it wasn’t a genre I would usually read or enjoy but it came so highly recommended I couldn’t resist. I agree with all the ratings for that one!
    Danielle recently posted…Foods I Miss From My ChildhoodMy Profile

  5. Wow you made quite the dent in reading! Thank you for sharing, I’m sure I’ll find my next read here!
    Lizzie @ This Happy Life recently posted…Friday Favorites {3.9.18}My Profile

  6. Girl in the Woods is one of those books I’ve had on my Kindle that I haven’t read yet. It’s been on there FOREVER, along with a handful of other literary gems I just haven’t made time for.

    Also, I LOVED The Nightingale and just read Kristen Hannah’s latest book, The Great Alone, which was totally different, but also very, very good.
    terra @ terragoes.com recently posted…A Beginner’s Guide to Saguaro National ParkMy Profile


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