book review, books

Books Lately

I read some really great books this month! Joining the book challenge and the book club has me really focused. If you click the title of the book, it will take you to Goodreads where you can add the book to your list and see what it is about.

Now as I do my happy dance because I love discussing books…


The Martian by Andy Weir

Words cannot describe my love for this book. And trust me, I was super skeptical when I read about what this book was about. I even saw others write about how the math and science talk was a little  hard to get through but they still loved it and I thought…no….there is no way this is for me. But Kristen recommended the audio book to me and I trust her tastes dearly. I became obsessed with the story. So much so that I made Laura start listening to it, and I even told two of my co-workers that they had to listen to it too. This is hands down the best book I have read this  year.

The first line will hook you right in.

Bottom Line – Listen to this immediately!

Rescue Road by Peter Zheutlin

Sometimes I wonder if there is any humanity left in this world, and then I read a book like Rescue Road.  I love dogs and want to save them all. Talk about pulling at my heart strings. This book follows a man who drives a rescue trailer from Ohio, down south to gather dogs from shelters and rescues and brings them back up north to be adopted. You get to hear about his story, along with three rescue groups who are doing amazing things. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who touch the life of a dog before they find their forever home. All the nameless angels. It really is amazing.

My favorite quote from this book is “As the miles melt away so do a lifetime of bad memories” – Greg Mahle

Bottom Line – I cried, I smiled, and then I cried some more. If you are an animal lover in the least bit, this book is for you.

I  received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

This is the book club book. It was an easy, but enjoyable YA read. I loved the story line and most of the characters. I also loved that the characters in this book grow as time goes on.  I felt like Sydney’s guilt and loneliness were well executed throughout this book.

Some of the things that I didn’t like? I felt like there were several plot lines that didn’t really go anywhere or were abandoned.  The Mariposa girl that was flirting with Mac. The whole creepy thing with Ames could have been worked out more. I wanted more from the carrousel that is on the front cover of the book. And Sydney’s obsession with David Ibarra. I was left wanting a little more, especially with the David plot line.

One of my favorite quotes in this book was “The future is one thing that could never be broken.”

Bottom Line – This was a great read. Nothing mind blowing, but I am glad I got the chance to read it and would recommend it.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I did this one via audiobook.  Tina is hilarious and I really liked this book. The combination of sarcasm, humor, stories, and real life lessons was enjoyable.

Some of my favorite life lessons from the book include how improv is a lot like real life, how parents should want to instill the gift of fear and anxiety in their children for discipline purposes, to wear what the fashion designers are wearing…not what they tell you to wear. And for woman in the work place, if someone is giving you a hard time, ask yourself “Is this person in between me and what I want to do? If not, ignore them.”

Bottom Line – If you like Tina Fey, SNL, or memoirs in general, then this book is for you! I recommend audiobook for books like this, but to each their own.

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

To be honest, I had no clue what this book was going to be about. I remember seeing a few bloggers reviewing it and they always rated it really high, so I figured why not?! Basically, this book is just as the title says, it is snippets of AJ Fikry’s life. Fikry owns a bookstore and he is a bit of an eccentric guy who is living a depressing life after loosing his wife. One day his life changes when something is left behind for him. Now he has the will to want to be happy.

Favorite quotes and take aways from this book would be:

You learn everything about a person with the question – what is your favorite book?

Most people’s problems would be solved if they would only give more things a chance.

Things we respond to at twenty are not necessarily the things we respond to at forty and vice versa.

Bottom Line – Absolutely read this book! I loved it!

Other books I read which I reviewed separately:

Rooted in Design


I am currently reading The Closer You Come by Gina Showalter and will have a review for it up soon. Have you read any good books lately? What are you reading now?

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  • Reply Kay R. July 14, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I feel so bad for not loving the Martian. I actually feel like a Martian for not loving it – Its not that I didnt like it. I just didnt think it was as good as everyone said. And I genuinely feel bad haha

  • Reply B @ The Sequin Notebook July 14, 2015 at 8:35 am

    I’m always on the lookout for new books to add to my reading list, especially with vacation coming up in just a few weeks…thanks for the recs!

  • Reply Kelli July 14, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Bossypants is on my list and has been for a while, I need to get on that book.

    Yayyy for another AJ lover, such a great unexpected read.

  • Reply Teh Megan July 14, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I started Saint Anything last night and I’m definitely enjoying it.
    AJ Filkry and Bossypants are on my TBR list but AJ is a book for a challenge, so I’ll probably get through that one first and I can’t wait based on the reviews of everyone else!

  • Reply Julie @ Artwork by JM July 14, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I LOVED The Martian too! I can’t wait to see the movie later this year. I need to read AJ Fickery because everyone seems to love it!

  • Reply Rebecca Jo July 14, 2015 at 9:52 am

    YES! Bossypants needs to be done audiobook with Tina Fey & her little quirks reading it 🙂

  • Reply SMD @ Life According to Steph July 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I loved The Martian and Fikry and enjoyed Bittersweet too. I want to be real life BFFs with Tina Fey so badly.

    I’m glad bloggers introduced me to Sarah Dessen. I’m on the second book of hers and I enjoy her.

  • Reply Kate @ Green Fashionista July 14, 2015 at 10:27 am

    The Carlton dance will always be my fav! And I keep hearing amazing things about Tina Fey’s book. I know I’d love her book, because I love her 🙂

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says July 14, 2015 at 10:43 am

    The whole storyline with Ames gave me the creeps and I’m glad she worked it out the way she did. There was no other way for it to go. She definitely could have done more with the carousel and honestly, I just wanted to eat a whole lot of pizza when I was done reading it. I reviewed it this month, too 🙂

    AJ Fikry and The Martian, two of my favorites of the year. Enjoyed Bossypants as well.

  • Reply Michael July 14, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I loved Saint Anything. Sarah Dessen has become a new favorite author.

  • Reply kathy at real talk July 14, 2015 at 11:09 am

    fikry and martian are 2 of my fav books this year! saint anything …another book with a ridiculous wait time so i’ll probably be reading it next year!

  • Reply Brittany Pines July 14, 2015 at 11:47 am

    The Martian seems to be getting mixed reviews on this link-up! I’m going to have to check it out just to decide for myself 🙂

  • Reply Andrea Nine July 14, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I am half way through The Martian, don’t tell me, don’t tell me. There are parts where I wish I was listening on audio like you did and not reading but I’m plugging away and it’s worth it. I love TF, so why have a not read Bossypants? Ha! Amazon here I come again!! Ok, too funny as I am commenting on your post today, an email from you popped up with a comment on mine! Aww, we were thinking if each other. Blogger Love! 🙂

  • Reply Mattie July 14, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I already bought the Martian on Kindle so I’m hoping I like reading it. I heard the same things about the math so I wasn’t going to read it, but when I saw the preview for the movie (which looks amazing!) I bought it right away. I added Rescue Road to me to-read list!

  • Reply lisacng @ July 14, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    So glad you read and liked The Martian because it is probably one of my favorite books of all time and I cannot wait for the movie this fall! Rescue Road sounds like a good book to read during that time of month because I need a good cry when that time comes around.

  • Reply Erin LFF July 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    AH! I’m on the waitlist for The Martian and I cannot wait for it to be my turn at the library haha! 🙂

  • Reply Biana Perez July 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Did Tina actually read the book in the audio version because I’d totally listen to her all day!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Reply Heather @ I do what I want. July 14, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I’m waiting on the library to send me an email letting me know I can pick up “Bossypants.” It’s been on my list of to reads for so long!

  • Reply kristen July 14, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    so so so glad you liked AJ Fikry and the Martian. I agree with Fikry, I had no idea what it was about when I opened it and I love when that happens! I agree with Saint Anything, I enjoyed it but I also felt it fell flat in some areas.

  • Reply Christina July 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I read The Martian (loved it!) and Fikry (liked it) last month too. I really wish I’d listened to Bossypants instead of read it. I still really loved it, but I think my new rule is to hear bios in the author’s voice.

  • Reply Kristin July 14, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I was kind of waiting for the movie The Martian. Maybe I’ll suck it up and just read the book!

  • Reply Sarah July 14, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    This is the second time I’ve seen “Saint Anything” today. I read a lot of Dessen’s books when I was younger and always enjoyed them. I’ll have to give this one a try!

    Midwest Darling

  • Reply Nicole July 14, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I wish I had listened to Bossypants versus reading it. It was good but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had heard Tina reading it.

    I’ve been hesitant about The Martian, even with all the rave reviews but you’re the second person who recommended listening to it, so I’ll have to grab it now and read it!

  • Reply Kerry July 14, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    AJ Fikry was so good, I want to own his bookstore. I am requesting Rescue Road right now, I loved volunteering at a shelter and would love to own a sanctuary one day.

  • Reply alyssa July 14, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I looooved Bossypants a few years ago, and believe it or not The Martian, The Storied Life…, and Saint Anything are all on my list. I have such anxiety about picking which book to read next because I want them all!

  • Reply Lauren July 14, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    I want to read The Martian but I really think I’ll be the outlier who hates it! I read Bossypants over time like two years ago… I need to give it another read now as I think I would appreciate it more!

  • Reply July 15, 2015 at 7:57 am

    martian is next to listen to. i’m slowly making my way through How to Make Friends & Influence Ppl…taking for-ev-er.

  • Reply Kate July 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Everyone is raving about Sarah Dessen lately. I’d forgotten about her- definitely need to grab one of her latest books!

  • Reply Mariah-Food, Booze, & Baggage July 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Oh, I LOVED The Martian too!! Such a good book! I just finished The Storied Life, and liked it. It was funny to read a book, centered around books. I adore Tina Fey.

  • Reply Alanna @ Alanna & Company July 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I like the sound of rescue road. I’m going to have to add it to my goodreads!

  • Reply Pamela @ A Little Glitter August 4, 2015 at 10:12 am

    OMG! I totally forgot to link up for the Book Club! I have been reading though. Thank you for posting about the Martian. It has been on my list forever and I will probably read it next. Thank you so much for linking up! I just headed over to Steph’s blog and her post was fabulous! You have introduced me to a new blog! xo

  • Reply Kay R. August 4, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I loved the characters in the book club book too. I could kick myself for not living the Martian more. I actually think Im going to re-read it hehe…

  • Reply Alexandra C. August 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    The storied life one sounds super good. I read Saint Anything for book club as well. It has been a while since I have read a book of that style. I found it to be really quick and pretty good though. 🙂 I agree, more about the carousel would have been good. 🙂 XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  • Reply Kari August 4, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    So glad that you enjoyed the book club book. Hope you join us next month!

    Also, glad to here that BossyPants was a good read. After listening to Yes Please by Amy Poehler, I’ve been wondering if I’ll also like this book as well as a few other memoir type books from other comedians. I think I’ll check this one out next.
    Ever since Kristen raved about The Storied Life of AJ Fickery, I’ve had it on my list. Now, with your rave review, I think I’ll bump it up a little higher!

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