Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What I Read: March

It's that time of the month where I show up to this spot and share some books. As I was starting this post, I noticed that I have blogged a total of seven times this year, counting this post. woof. I had big plans to get back to some semblance of a schedule. There's always next week. Anyways, March was a pretty solid reading month and I'm excited to share some good books.

Loved It:

Totally engrossing read suitable for fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. I don't even care that the plot was obvious because I was hooked. I'm sure most people would agree that the setting of this novel was more creepy than the story itself. I was reading it at night and kept getting that feeling that someone was watching through the windows. I love books that creep you out and a secluded house in the English countryside with a heavily psychotic woman does it.


I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. I fell in love with Ove from the beginning. He was the perfect curmudgeon-y old man who burrows his way into your heart. I enjoyed the way the book was written from a third person perspective.  Ove is this so well developed character who is trusting and good while being oblivious to all of the postive things about himself. I was sobbing by the end of the book and will now be reading all of Backman's books.

I didn't expect to like Big Little Lies as much as I did. I read The Hypnotist's Love Story a couple years ago and really disliked it but wanted to give Moriarty another try since the consensus seems to be that she writes good books. I was surprised by the ending and liked all three women. I read this shortly before the show came out but knew who was playing each person so I found myself envisioning them as I was reading. I felt Witherspoon and Kidman were cast perfectly, without even seeing the show. I'm not sure about Woodley, I'll have to watch the show to see how she plays Jane.

Liked It:

I'm slowly working my way through Moyes' novels. I didn't love love this one but liked it well enough. It reminded me a lot of The Nightingale, with the two sisters in a town and one makes a choice that the other doesn't agree with. It also kind of reminded me of the movie Woman in Gold because of the artwork restitution aspect. I liked the mix of WWII and art history. In a weird twist, I actually enjoyed the modern day half of the story better. 

Hearts of Men started off really slow but I did end up liking it. I doubt anything will be as good as Shotgun Lovesongs. I like books/movies set at summer camps and this was no different. I did find the ending with the tent scene odd, almost like Butler threw it in there to mix things up. I think the book would have been solid on its own without that scene. It just really didn't make sense with the context of the rest of the book. As always, Butler's writing is well done and I wish there was more of Nelson's story in there.

Leave It:

I seemed to be a bit of the minority on this one but I could not get into Twelve Tribes of Hattie. It dragged on forever and it wasn't even that long of a book. I tend to like Oprah's book picks but this one just didn't do it for me. The concept of 12 stories interwoven around Hattie with each one progressing through time was different but the story itself wasn't for me. I need more meat or something more solid to string me along to each story and it wasn't there.

Love It: A Man Called Ove & In a Dark, Dark Wood
Leave It: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Life According to Steph


  1. I will be interested to hear how you feel about BLL (the series) once you watch it. I thought it was done SO well.
    I've heard so many mixed reviews for In a Dark, Dark Wood. I can't decide if I'm interested or just feel like giving it a pass.

  2. I like the sound of In a Dark, Dark, Wood!

  3. I feel like everyone is reading Big Little Lies! I saw about 10 people reading it at the airport the other day and I always see people reading it on the metro. I've got to pick it up.

    Midwest Darling

  4. Seems like a great reading month overall. Good to know about BLL. I read most of Hypnotist's and I was really bored! So it's good to know because I picked up BLL thinking the same thing! :) I want to read Dark, Dark, Wood as well, and the Nikolas Butler sounds good, though I keep meaning to crack open Shotgun Love Songs and haven't yet! XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  5. I didn't particularly love The Woman In Cabin 10, the other Ruth Wares book, but I really want to pick up In A Dark, Dark Wood. Everybody seems to rave about how good it is. And I'm so glad that you gave Liane Moriarty another chance! The Hypnotist's Love Story and Truly Madly Guilty are my least favorite from her but Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot are my two favorites. I thought that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman were perfect in the show, so I hope that you get to watch it soon!

  6. I felt the exact same about Hearts of Men. The tent scene was so out of place as to be jarring. I ended up liking it when I don't think about it next to Shotgun Lovesongs.

    The setting of IADDW was like an extra character. Smart writing.

  7. In a Dark, Dark Wood has been on my TBR forever. I really just need to read it! LOL! Big Little Lies is on my list too. Like you, I did not enjoy The Hypnotist's Love Story but BLL is getting so much praise, both for the book and show that I gotta give it a shot.

  8. Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot are my two favourites by Moriarty but I also enjoyed The Husband's Secret. I haven't read Hypnotist's Love Story, Three Wishes, or The Last Anniversary yet and Truly Madly Guilty was a bit of a disappointment for me personally. In a Dark Dark Wood sounds super creepy!!!

  9. The audio version of A Man Called Ove has been on my list forever. I need to get on that.

  10. I really need to read In a Dark, Dark Wood soon. I know I would love it. I have also had Big Little Lies on my bookshelf forever, so I need to get to it!

  11. I really liked Big Little Lies and The Girl You Left Behind. I've heard such good things about In a Dark, Dark Wood and A Man Called Ove and they've both been on my to read list for awhile now!

  12. i loved the girl you left behind but i read it like a year or more before the nightingale i think, and i think if i'd read them closer together, or the nightingale first, i wouldn't have liked it as much. i loved big little lies but haven't watched the show yet. haven't read either of ruth ware's books yet but i want to so i can see what all the fuss is about lol

  13. I've read most of these!
    I thought The Girl You Left Behind was okay but I didn't love it. I didn't "LOVE" The Nightingale either but it stuck with me more.

  14. I'm curious about Big Little Lies! I really want to read In a Dark, Dark Wood. I loved The Woman in Cabin 10 by the author.