What I Read: August 29-Sept. 4

Girl, Forgotten (Andrea Oliver #2) by Karin Slaughter: Now that I’m totally caught up with Karin Slaughter’s backlist, I have to (impatiently) wait for her to release something new. Thankfully, anything and everything Karin writes is worth the wait, and Girl, Forgotten is just fantastic. I’m hoping there will be more books in this new Andrea Oliver series. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for the next Will Trent book…

We Are the Troopers: The Women of the Winningest Team in Pro Football History by Stephan Guinan: This appealed to me on so many levels: badass women in sports, specifically football, more specifically a team from Toledo. We Are the Troopers provides a really insightful look at the Toledo Troopers and their dominance in the 70s. Thank you Hachette for the ARC!

Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas: This book was like a ride at Cedar Point (fellow Ohioans, hello). Unfortunately, it was less like a rollercoaster and more like one of those rides that starts off at the top, with a fantastic view, and then quickly lets you down… Add in a trope that I really hate and a male lead who was a kind of a douchebag, and you have a recipe for a mediocre day at the theme park.

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell: When my copy of this showed up in the mail, I let out a noise that could best be described as a cross between a hungry manatee and a delighted raccoon. Thankfully, the horror of that noise is not indicative of the quality of this book – The Marriage Portrait is just phenomenal, and I liked it even more than Hamnet. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because it’s best to just read the synopsis and dive right in. It gets so tense and terrifying at times that I’m hoping her next book leans in a horror direction simply because her ability to create vivid imagery and emotions through words is *chef’s kiss* Thank you Knopf for the finished copy!

What I Read: June 20-26

All the Duke I Need (Desperately Seeking Duke #3) by Caroline Linden: The cover of this book is…not my favorite, but I really enjoyed the story. Will is a little different from the typical historical romance male love interest – he’s rogueish but not REALLY a rogue. He’s a rough-around-the-edges kind of guy, but with a willingness to help where he can. The overall storyline is really interesting (although you MAY have to suspend a bit of disbelief here). Thank you Avon for the finished copy! | My All the Duke I Need review on Instagram

If It Bleeds by Stephen King: WOOF. I need to take a longer break from Uncle Steve. This collection of four novellas was just so boring. I slowly made it through the first two, and he completely lost me during the Holly Gibney bit.

Roll Red Roll: Rape, Power and Football in the American Heartland by Nancy Schwartzman: I’m actually finishing this up today but I have read enough to offer some thoughts. This is a comprehensive, informative book about the Steubenville rape case that happened in 2012. Schwartzman examines the attitudes and contributing factors in the town that ultimately led to the crime. If you’re familiar with this case (and similar cases) nothing here will surprise you, but it’s a short, worthwhile read. Thank you Hachette for the finished copy!

Teach Me (There’s Something About Marysburg #1) by Olivia Dade: I’ve been interested in reading an Olivia Dade book for awhile, and Teach Me was a pleasant surprise. Rose and Martin are mature and work through their emotions and feelings in healthy ways (it helps that both main characters are in their 40s). It’s always nice to find a contemporary romance with minimal drama and angst. The story was a little lacking in depth but it was still an enjoyable read.

The Rogue of Fifth Avenue (Uptown Girls #1) by Joanna Shupe: I read my first Joanna Shupe book last year and absolutely LOVED it, so I’m surprised it took me so long to give another a try. The Rogue of Fifth Avenue was good, but not great. I did like Frank and (mostly) liked Mamie, but I have a feeling I’ll enjoy the other books in this series even more.

What I Read: April 25-May 1

Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA Champion by Mirin Fader: You do not need to be a basketball fan to enjoy this book! Giannis Antetokounmpo might be the most lovable pro athlete to ever exist. This is a pretty thorough biography, starting with Giannis’ childhood in Greece and taking us through his NBA Championship just last year. It’s heartwarming and funny, while also being deeply sad at times. Perfect for readers who love some good narrative nonfiction. Thank you Hachette for the finished paperback copy!

Big Rock (Big Rock #1) by Lauren Blakely: This was the right read at the right time – I needed something that would be quick and easy to read, while also being fairly lighthearted and fun. Big Rock is one of those books that probably isn’t what you think – it’s surprisingly sweet and Spencer, our male main character, isn’t as much of an asshole as he claims to be. This clocks in at less than 250 pages, so it’s in the read-in-one-afternoon category.

Gwendy’s Button Box (Button Box #1) by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar: This is the first book in a trilogy of novellas that follows Gwendy – in book one we meet her at the age of 12 and follow her through to her college graduation. One summer day, she meets a man in black (Constant Readers, you know him as RF, which varies depending on which book you’re reading…) who gives her a mysterious box that changes the course of her life. This was creepy without being too heavy-handed, and it was perfect as a novella – this would be a bit much as a full novel.

The Man Who Died Twice (Thursday Murder Club #2) by Richard Osman: I had a lovely time with my favorite octogenarian quartet, solving yet another murder. Much like the first book, this is packed with quiet, smart humor, interesting twists and turns, and thoughtful musings on friendship, old age and death. You don’t necessarily need to read the series in order, but i’d recommend it – the first book gets you acquainted with Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim in such a way that they feel like old friends. (And we’re getting a third book later this year!)

CURRENTLY READING: I’m in a mystery/thriller/horror mood at the moment, so I finally picked up When Things Get Dark edited by Ellen Datlow, a collection of short stories inspired by Shirley Jackson. Short stories aren’t usually my thing, so when i’m in the mood to read them I have to take advantage! Looking ahead, I might be picking up one (or two!) more short story collections this month.