Not only is Simba gonna roar again in a few weeks, I finally felt some real book love last month. And not grading on a curve love, because I’m desperate to love a book, but real love–Jody Watley style. Points if you know who Jody Watley is. And boo to you if you’re too dang young to know and think I’m an old coot now. Oh, spoiler alert: I am an old coot. I saw the original, animated Lion King when I was in high school and own the movie on VHS.
The All Love Month
Yup, this was an ALL LOVE month! Sure, sure, I only read two books but loved both of them. More importantly, though, I’ve decided to stop fussing over how many books I read or don’t read a month. This made-up pressure to read X amount is partially why reading lost some luster. It’s cool to read one book a month or 20, Tanya. It’s all good, either way.
The Books I Loved this Month
Oh yeah, baby. That’s the spot. With your excellent characters and tight plotting. I love you soooooooo much. TMI? #SorryNotSorry
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Book Description: False Memory Syndrome—which leaves its victims with memories of a life they never lived–could unmake the world if the power to wield it falls into the wrong hands.
Book Review: Wow. I was a big fan of The Wayward Pines trilogy and Dark Matter and with Recursion, Crouch does it again. It’s weird, engrossing and thought-provoking. You need to pay attention to the dates, which I didn’t initially do, otherwise it can get pretty head-twisty. Book Five was a little repetitive, although I understand why he structured it that way, I’m just impatient. Also, those who read this will understand why I’m slightly freaked out–I swear it’s Bearstein. I read and reread those books as a child. It’s Bearstein. Period. Or not. I don’t know. OMG, I might have FMS.
“That’s what it is to be human–the beauty and the pain, each meaningless without each other.” Wow. That’s a truth that hit me in the gut.
To Read or Not To Read: Yup. Absolutely. You should. Or maybe you already have … dum, dum, duuuuuuuum.
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Book Description: Emoni Santiago wants to do right by her baby girl and college seems like the smart choice but exploring her talents in the kitchen is where she’s the happiest.
Book Review: So here’s the thing: this is a quiet book. It’s not a murdery book or a book about a chosen one (no shade given, you know I’m HP fan for life) or a book full of WTF moments. It’s quiet. It’s a teenage Mom navigating the end of high school, trying to figure out what’s next for her and best for her baby girl. She’s not here to save the world or battle evil but just trying to find her path and live authentically. Something, I hope, we all aim for ourselves.
“And sometimes focusing on what you can control is the only way to lessen the pang in your chest when you think about the things you can’t.”
To Read or Not To Read: Yes. Not much happens and so much happens. This is YA but there is no love triangle (thank God) or overabundance of teen angst.
TL;DR: What I Recommend
Recursion is a definite recommend, although it’s not for everyone. It’s a little sci-fi (although not headache inducing for those who aren’t into all things sciency), yet still accessible for everyone. I recommend With the Fire on High to those who want a more character-driven (who is also a PoC) read, without necessarily a ton of fireworks. Also it made me super hungry for Puerto Rican food.
To More Great BooksJuly is my birthday month so my plan is to read books that I’ve been putting off reading but really, really want to read and feel very strongly that I’ll love them. In other words, ideally (and hopefully) all love books. Fingers crossed my assumptions are correct! ? As usual, I’m joining Jana and Steph for their awesome Show Us Your Books link-up. Be sure to visit and see what everyone is reading.
Any recommendations as to what book I might love as a birthday book? What was your favorite book you read last month?
Confuzzled Bev says
These both sound really good!
No shame in not reading much. Quality over quantity!
Exactly – that’s gonna be my new mindset. I always wanted quality but chased a little too hard after quantity.
Blake Crouch definitely did it again. Loved Recursion.
He just really impresses me. His imagination is truly off the charts.
kathy @ more coffee, less talky says
i also really liked recursion. i’ve been a crouch fan since wayward pines, even though he rejected my netgally request!
Man, I get so outrageously irritated when I get denied on NetGalley, especially when it’s a book I really want to read. I take it soooooo personally! 😀 I adored Wayward Pines too. Not a huge fan of his earlier work – it’s not horrible but more torture porn than what he writes currently.
Rebecca JO says
Isnt it funny how we put off books we really want to read for the PERFECT time to read them? That’s a true book lover!!!!
Girl – I am totally singing me some Jody Watley right now – & I’ll have you know, I had quit a few pairs of those HUGE HOOP earrings she wore too – I had the gold / silver & even a white pair. Couldnt even turn your head without them being a kick stand on your shoulder 🙂
Yup, I do that all the time but the problem is something else distracts me and those books get put back on the backburner. Argh. Not this time! Nope, I am committed, although besides Nevermoor, I haven’t picked my birthday books yet.
YAY! An 80s/90s baby like me. I most definitely remember those huge hoop earrings (a la Girls Just Wanna Have Fun/Material Girl era) and girl – I still wear them. Do you remember the earrings that were phrases? Like B in one ear and Cool or Bop in other? I adored them so much. Good times.
Brittany Always says
Fire sounds really interesting- those are often my favorite books, when it’s not super in-your-face but a quiet reality.
I think you’d really enjoy Fire. It’s not necessarily my typical read, since I mainly read mysteries/thriller which tend to be super in-you-face, but I thoroughly enjoyed Fire. Was it a little idealistic? Sure, but sometimes showing idealistic as a norm is what helps make it become a norm too.
I read Recursion this month too and really enjoyed it. I am also completely baffled by the whole Berenstein/Berenstain thing – it’s such a super strange cultural phenomenon that has become popular this year!! CRAZY!! I definitely remember Berenstain and I definitely take pride in my spelling so it is unbelievable to me. LOL.
Hmmm I’m not sure how you feel about fairytale retellings but A Curse So Dark and Lonely was one of the best books I read this year so far… and if you haven’t read all of TJR’s books I highly recommend those!! I feel like I don’t know enough about your tastes to completely recommend. Did you read Nevermoor yet – I forget??
Man, this Berenstein/Berenstain thing really freaks me out because A) I was weirdly thinking about those books just a few weeks ago, which in itself is odd because I read them … cough, cough … almost 40 years ago and have no kids or nieces/nephews in that age group. And B) I so clearly see the name with “ein” and I have a really, really good memory … of something wrong? Yikes! And man, it jumped out at me in the book and I sat there for a few minutes, just puzzled and slightly weirded out. 😀 A Curse so Dark and Lonely was already on my TBR before this month’s link-up but with all the love it received again this month, it’s become a strong possibility for a birthday read. I just have to see its availability at the library. And no, I haven’t read Nevermoor yet. I’ve checked it out twice but never read it. It is the one book that I am 100% committed to reading this month!
With the Fire has been on my list since I first saw the cover, excited to see it is a worthy read.
Isn’t that cover gorgeous? It caught my eye immediately and it definitely lived up to it. 😀 Hope you enjoy it!
Megan @ The Hungry Bookworm says
Loved Recursion too! Crouch is amazing at accessible sci-fi, I think. I haven’t heard of the other one you read, but I’ll have to check it out — it sounds intriguing.
Glad you had such an awesome month!
He really does write accessibly sci-fi, which I appreciate. Otherwise it goes over my head and I don’t enjoy all the technical mumbo jumbo. 😀
Yay for two love books, and you’re right…any type of reading in a month is good!! 🙂
I still need to read The Poet X, but I’m glad you liked the author’s latest.
This was my introduction to Acevedo but I now want to read The Poet X too. And yes – any amount of good (or great) books read is fantastic!
I saw The Lion King in high school and had it on VHS too. Can’t wait for the new one!
I’m excited to see it too. And I also had the soundtrack on CD, which I played on my Sony boombox. 😀
Yay for two excellent books! I think they both sound so good!! I’m going to have to check them both out for sure!
It definitely made me so happy to have a couple of honest to God love books this past month! Hope you enjoy them!
Jana @ Jana Says says
Recursion is on my July to-read list. Maybe August. We’ll see how it goes.
Happy birthday month!
Thanks, Jana! I think you’ll enjoy Recursion. If I recall correctly, you liked The Dark Matter and the quality is the same (imo).
Both books sound interesting!
I do understand about book slumps and also, just bad books. I have DNF two so far this summer, ugh 🙁
It’s hard when I’m in a book slump because I know it affects how a book reads. Sometimes I’m unsure if it’s the book (i.e. it’s bad) or if it’s me and the book is fine. Oh well. Sorry to hear that you’ve had a couple of DNFs this summer. Boo! But good for you for stopping when they didn’t get better. I’m terrible at doing that!
i neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever pay attention to dates when reading. NEVER. haha. i mean to, but i just can’t absorb it. 10000000000% adding with the fire to my list right meow.
hope july is a fabulously awesome birthday + reading month!
LOL – me neither, until I have to, then I’m all cranky. Why you gotta make it so hard, dear author? I hope you enjoy With the Fire on High. Thanks for the birthday wishes! 😀
Jill Koly says
These both sound really good!
I definitely enjoyed them!
I haven’t read any Crouch books, but he’s on my list. This one sounds good! Happy birthday month!!
Thanks, Nadine! I’m not a huge fan of his earlier works but The Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter and Recursion are where he really hit his stride.
Nancy @ NY Foodie Family says
I’ve been wanting to read Crouch’s Dark Matter for awhile. With the Fire sounds like a good YA read. I enjoy reading a good YA book.
I really liked Dark Matter a lot. He does sci-fi so well and makes it accessible for those of us who aren’t high-core sci-fi fans. Fire really was a great YA read, especially for not being dystopian or fantasy, which is typically my preferred genres in YA.
It’s awesome when you have nothing bad to say in one of these posts!
And you came up as a no-reply commenter and I couldn’t find your email on your site (I looked around?), so I’ll just reply here…Little Monsters might not be for you if the teen-angst thing isn’t for you lol. It was just very dramatic and, since it takes place in the winter, very dark.
Yeah, I think Little Monsters is a pass for me, although it’s got a great cover!
Recursion keeps popping up. I need to check it out!
I definitely recommend it! Hope you give it a shot and enjoy it!
I need to read both of these. One of my favorites last month was Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen
I saw it your post but I am unfamiliar with it and need to check it out. Thanks for the recommend!
Kay R.D. says
Everyone is making me want to read recursion. I just got it as my book of the month and cant wait to get to it.
I hope you enjoy it! I found really good but I’m a Crouch fan. 😀
I can’t wait to read Recursion! Thanks for the recommendations. Tanya – The Other Side of the Road
I hope you enjoy it!