June 9, 2015

Books on Books on Books {Linkup}

Morning, friends! How are you doing today? How about that USA win yesterday, woohoo! The first half was a bit eh, but the team finally got their act together and just took it to Australia. Getting that first win after a Sweden/Nigera tie was HUGE because now we just need to win one more game and we're through to the quarterfinals #awesomesauce! Babyspice and I met some friends at a bar and minus the ten minutes of satellite TV downtime due to the monsoon it was a fun atmosphere for soccer. I'm jazzed  World Cup action is here and can't wait to watch the USA bring it home :)!

Okay, moving on now. Today I'm FINALLY getting my act together and linking up with Steph for her fabulous "Show us your books" link up party. I'm a huge reader and enjoy posting reviews, but never could quite get it together for the second week of the month post. Woohoo for finally succeeding, and I'm more than excited to read everyone else's reviews.


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"From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyle's kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time." [picture & summary via Goodreaddotcom]

Oh my goodness, I loved this book. I actually started it about a year ago, didn't get it finished before I had to return it to the library and then was on the wait list forever! Ugh, it stunk waiting so long to finish the book, but I'm so glad I FINALLY did last month. This book was incredible and gave a poignant look into one of America's heroes. Sadly I didn't know about Chris' murder when I first picked up this book but once the movie hype started I realized he was no longer alive. Chris breaks down his life of a sniper very simply and doesn't get too technical, which I really enjoyed [there are a few chapters that are technical but he warns you ahead of time]. I also liked that his wife's point of view was sprinkled throughout the different chapters. I'm thankful every day for warriors like Chris that keep our country safe and recommend this book to everyone.


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"Reena Hale at 12 is almost raped, her family restaurant burned to the ground. In university, her boyfriend burns in his apartment. She becomes an arson investigator, haunted by obscene phone calls and horrific crimes. On the good side is Bo Goodnight, who sought Reena for years, and will not let her go." [picture & summary via Goodreadsdotcom]

I don't know why I like books with heroines and fire, but I really do. Roberts does a good job of drawing you into the story and makes it kind of easy to figure out who the arsonist is if you pay attention early on in the book, but she also distracts you with other story lines which I enjoyed. I loved how driven Reena is throughout the whole book and yet you learn some of her flaws. She and Bo have incredible chemistry in the book and there were a few conversations that had me laughing out loud. I would have given the book five stars, but the ending really annoyed me. Roberts is a master at building up to the climax of a book but in this book she the had EVERYTHING happen so quickly and then poof the book was done. I was pretty frustrated because the ending felt all helter skelter and I thought she could have done a better job tying everything together. And it randomly got kind of violent which was weird. However, I did enjoy the book and think it would be a fun pool or beach read.


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"Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades...beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden--one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, one million children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed.
" [picture & summary via Goodreadsdotcom]

This was a random rent from the library but I very impressed with the story and enjoyed Meissner's writing. I'm personally a huge WW2 buff, so it was interesting reading about the war from a Londoner's point of view. I connected with Emmy immediately and found myself getting frustrated with her lil sister, Julia, because she seemed to just get in the way. There was heartache, perseverance, love, and remorse in this book and I really enjoyed the way Meissner crafted her story. I did find the ending a bit trite and kind of a 'really?', but otherwise I was thoroughly entertained. This was a great read and one I think anyone would enjoy.


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"Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life" [picture & summary via Goodreadsdotcom]

Ugh, this book, what a waste. I had heard great things about 'Girls in White Dresses' and was really excited when I found it at my library. But then it started and blah. I mean, the story line is a great idea, what girl hasn't felt blah about all the wedding showers for her friends because she hasn't found the one? I think we all can relate to the concept, but I just felt Close failed miserably to capture the essence of the true life element of that frustration. I really didn't care to finish the book and was pretty checked out when I finally finished. Has anyone else read this book? Did you like it? I definitely do not recommend it to anyone.


"Reading his own newspaper’s obituaries, veteran reporter Carter Ross comes across that of a woman named Nancy Marino, who was the victim of a hit-and-run while she was on the job delivering copies of that very paper, the Eagle-Examiner. Struck by the opportunity to write a heroic piece about an everyday woman killed too young, he heads to her wake to gather tributes and anecdotes. It’s the last place Ross expects to find controversy—which is exactly what happens when one of Nancy’s sisters convinces him that the accident might not have been accidental at all.

It turns out that the kind and generous Nancy may have made a few enemies, starting with her boss at the diner where she was a part-time waitress, and even including the publisher of the Eagle-Examiner. Carter’s investigation of this seemingly simple story soon has him in big trouble with his full-time editor and sometime girlfriend, Tina Thompson, not to mention the rest of his bosses at the paper, but he can’t let it go—the story is just too good, and it keeps getting better. But will his nose for trouble finally take him too far?"
[picture & summary via Goodreadsdotcom]

Carter Ross has become one of my favorite characters and really enjoyed him and the story in The Girl Next Door. Parks does a great job crafting the story and he really keeps you guessing throughout the chapters. Unlike Roberts, I think Park does a great job building up the story, while bringing in fun characters and hits you in left field with the climax but allows it to play out to the end without cutting it short or making it crazy. I was really pulling for Ross throughout the craziness of this book and enjoyed watching him try to outwit the bad guy and his boss :)! If you like mysteries, you'll definitely enjoy this book.


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"In the lazy days of summer, a merciless heat wave is the biggest story in Washington, D.C. But the weather is knocked off the front pages when a young woman is found strangled to death. A note left behind reads Her sins are forgiven her. Two more victims soon follow, and suddenly every headline is devoted to the killer the press has dubbed “the Priest.” When the police ask top-notch psychiatrist Dr. Tess Court to help with their investigation, she comes up with a disturbing portrait of a twisted soul.

Detective Ben Paris doesn’t give a damn about the killer’s psyche. What he can’t easily dismiss is Tess. Tall, dark, and good-looking, Ben has a legendary reputation with women, but the coolly elegant Tess doesn’t react to him like other women he’s known — and he finds the challenge enticing.

Now, as the two are thrown together in a perilous quest to stop a serial killer, the flame of white-hot passion flares. But someone also has his eyes on the beautiful blond doctor ... and Ben can only pray that if the madman strikes, he'll be able to stop him before it’s too late."
[picture and sumamry via Goodreadsdotcom]

Yes, another Nora Robert's book I just can't help myself y'all. She's a great airplane or vacation read so I try and grab one whenever I have to travel I picked this one up after I finished "The Search" and was extremely intrigued with the DC element. This book was classic Roberts; boy meets girl and at first they don't get a long but then end up falling in love. I did enjoy the cop and psychiatrist dynamic and the religious twist was extremely interesting. I was able to guess who the bad guy was right before it happened, but she did a really good job keeping her cards close to the vest. Again, this isn't anything thought provoking just a great beach/pool read.

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"Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled  by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together—a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism."
[picture and summary via Goodreadsdotcom]

THIS.BOOK.WAS.AMAZING! If you liked Unbroken or Seabiscuit you will love this book. I picked it up on a random whim after I lost my kindle on my Texas trip. I was in the airport and needed a book for the flight and this one kind of just jumped off the shelves. Normally I'd grab a mystery or a chick book, but I after I read the back and realized I had no idea the USA beat the Germans for the gold medal IN GERMANY I knew I had to grab it. This book did not disappoint in any way shape or form. Even the information about rowing boats, with all the technicalities, was interesting. I found myself wishing I had chosen to row in high school and college because it sounded to incredible. Personally I found the pomp and circumstance Hitler put on for 1936 Olympics fascinating and can totally understand how the USA and other Allied countries were completely unaware of his horrible plan after attending the games. The show of power put on by the Germans was incredible but a bunch of poor college kids from Washington beat their powerhouse team for the gold. Go get this book, NOW!


Phew, that's a lot of books huh? I have a few I didn't review because they are part of a series, but I'm pretty happy with my reading the last two months. Right now I have about four books on my kindle I need to get through, but would love more suggestions since it's pool time. What are some of your favorite books of late? Any duds? Anyone reading anything nonfiction?



Pamela {Sequins and Sea Breezes} said...

Ahh so many goo books to read this summer! I really need to read American Sniper. And I want to read Secrets of a Charmed Life. Sad to hear Girls in White Dresses wasn't good!

<3, Pamela
Sequins & Sea Breezes

BLovedBoston said...

So many books here that I want to add to my kindle ASAP!!! Blue Smoke sounds amazing as does charmed life - I've had Girls in White dresses on my list for like two years...probably a reason I haven't read it yet! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Cory (playdates and prescriptions) said...

Ahh.. all of these sound so good. And honestly I miss reading. other than when the hubs and I take trips alone, I rarely read for pleasure anymore.. it's sad. Maybe I'll start back soon! ;)

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i haven't read girls in white dresses, not going to now! thanks for the heads up.
secrets of a charmed life sounds good though :) adding it to my list!

Courtney B said...

You've read sooooo many books in the last couple of months (even though one took you forever to read ;)) I'm jealous!! But love it because I will definitely be adding some of these to my list! LOVE the reviews!!

Alana Livingston said...

I seriously need to make time to read--I used to love reading but my Netflix addiction has taken over my spare time. Thanks for the reviews!

Jen said...

I am slacking when it comes to reading, I really need to get better. Maybe when I am done with school I can find a good book. :)

Jana @ Jana Says said...

I have been waiting FOREVER for American Sniper. I think I'm finally in single digits on the waiting list.

Thanks for linking up!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

Man alive you are killin' it girl in the reading department! I've been a total slacker, and can only get a few chapters done at a time which takes me forever to get through a good book. And YAY for Team USA :-D

Katie Elizabeth said...

Aww bummed you didn't like Girls in White Dresses - I've been wanting to read that one for forever, too! But at least now I know not to waste my time on it :) And LOVED American Sniper the movie so I think the book is a definite must read for me this summer. I'm just finishing reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, another one you can pass on!

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh, glad you gave the heads up on Girls in White Dresses

Julia said...

Oooo I bet American Sniper is amazing! Secrets of a charmed life sounds like one I would like too!

Julie said...

Yikes, I'm so glad you warned me about Girls in White Dresses because that has been on my to read list for a long time

Christina said...

I've had The Boys in The Boat on my list forever (I went to UW!) and your review makes me want to hurry up and read it already!

Erin LFF said...

Definitely adding a few of these to my list! I definitely need to read American Sniper- I'm on the waitlist for it at the library!

Shelby | Recent Somethings said...

The next time I have a few solid days of beach/lake time, I need to finish the second half of Boys in the Boat already! I love historical nonfiction and American Sniper is also one I want to give a try. Thanks for the recs because I'd totally have picked up the book with the cute girl holding flowers if not for you ;)

Sarah said...

Woah, when do you find time to read that many books in 2 months?! Awesome for you! Although I guess I could find time to read just one if I stopped watching tv :)

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Well I can scratch Girls in White Dresses off of my list.

I might try The Girl Next Door.

Thanks for linking up!

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

Hooray for linking up! I always find new books in this link-up, and I enjoy hearing the perspectives of books from different readers. I've added two of your recommendations to my "to read" list.

Pink and Fabulous said...

I love your honest reviews! I think American Sniper needs to be on my list! I was thinking of Girls in White Dresses, but I will skip it now!

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I really want to read American Sniper, such an amazing yet tragic end to his life. The Girl Next Door sounds really good, checking it out.

Laura Marie Keenan said...

Glad to know that Girls in White Dresses is no good; I was considering that read. And The Boys in the Boat is on my "to-read" list as well!

Nikki said...

American Sniper was a great book! I also liked the movie, I actually just picked up Taya Kyles book and I am about to start that one next!

lisacng @ expandng.com said...

I definitely want to read American Sniper and The Girl Next Door sounds good!

Ashley said...

I saw American Sniper movie and had NO idea of the story or anything ( I guess I had been living under a rock) I would love to read the book soon!

Kay R. said...

I really want to read American Sniper so Im glad you liked it! The girl next door has also been on my list for a bit!