Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Show Us Your Books: What I Read in April

Linking up my latest reads today with the love Steph & Jana...

Life According to Steph

Here are the books I read in April. Not sure how it happened but 2 of the 4 were about wolves...well, the title mentioned wolves, I should say. Also, I couldn't finish one. It was really disturbing for me to read for whatever reason. Read more below...

A Wolf at the Table - Augusten Burroughs
In keeping with my Augusten Burroughs theme from the last few months, I read this one, which was a memoir about his father. This, I think, was the most disturbing book of all. Maybe because of how frightening insane the author's father seemed to be. It also painted his mom and brother in a completely different light than what you get from some of this other books. I'm weirdly enjoying getting to know Augusten's family and life a little better. But the father is straight up wacko. Nevertheless, like his other books, this will probably make you a little more appreciative of your own family. :) Three of 5 salted caramels. 

Lone Wolf - Jodi Picoult
In typical Jodi Picoult fashion, this book is a roller coaster of emotions centered around a family who struggles with making a life-ending decision for a critically injured father on life support. The story is interspersed with excerpts from the father's journey with the wolves he's raised and lived with (hence the title). The end is exciting and emotional all at once. I really liked this one. Four of 5 salted caramels.

Brain on Fire - Susannah Callahan
Okay, first off, this is the one I couldn't continue reading. It was giving me horrible anxiety. This is story of a woman who gets ill and basically "goes crazy". She is hospitalized and what the doctors think are extreme mental illness conditions and even a demonic possession. Turns out, she was suffering from a very rare auto-immune disease that attacks your brain. I stopped reading this because I was becoming so anxious over the fact that no one could figure out what was wrong with her and just were convinced she was going insane. I just couldn't take it...the thought of being helpless and not being able to figure out what was wrong...I couldn't finish the book. So, 1 salted caramel out of this one.

The Night Strangers - Chris Bohjalian
Real life trauma coupled with a strange new small town and "herbalists" SEEMED like a great recipe for a nice mystery novel. Unfortunately, I was left with a bit of a weird taste at the end of a book that turned out to be a lot more like an episode of The Twilight Zone. If you're a fan of the almost sci-fi/mystical plot twists of that sort of show, you will probably like this book. It started out okay then it just got weird. At the end I sort of felt like I'd wasted hours of my life reading it. I gave it 2 salted caramels.

I'm ready for more recommendations, y'all! :)


  1. I usually enjoy Chris Bohjalian books. Have you read Midwives? That's probably his most popular book. I think also why I gravitate towards his is that he is semi local, same with Jodi Picoult. Lone Wolf was actually one of the couple Picoult books I didn't love. I liked the parts where it told the father's story but the lead character, the teenage girl, she drove me insane. I think I mentioned last month how much I love Burroughs so I won't say anymore! lol

  2. I read Lone Wolf a couple of years ago. I liked it but it was not one of my favorite Jodi Picoult books. I mean, except for one or two, none of her books are terrible and this one definitely played into her traditional formula of morally gray family drama but I didn't love it like some others she's written.

    I've read Running with Scissors but none of his other books. I might need to reconsider that.

  3. I'm still intrigued by Brain on Fire...... I've never read an Augusten Burroughs book but Running with Scissors is on my bookshelf at home waiting.

  4. I think I might stop with Brain on Fire too. Sounds like it would give me anxiety as well!

  5. I really love Augusten Burroughs and still have a few more of his books to read. You're right, this one was disturbing though.

  6. Lone Wolf and Brain on Fire sound SO interesting but at the same time disturbing.

  7. Lone Wolf was very interesting. The Wolf angle was different but the family drama was in keeping with her normal writing style.

  8. I bought an Augusten Burroughs book years and years ago and was never able to finish it. It just felt so random. And now that I think about it, it makes me think of how I feel about Extremely Loud & Incredible Close. The voice of the author is very similar and I struggle with it.

  9. I recently finished Where or When by Anita Shreve, which I loved. I've been in a bit of a reading funk. I started three other books a couple months ago, but they couldn't hold my attention. I always feel guilty buying a book and then finishing it.

  10. You are the first person who hasn't raved about Brain on Fire which is refreshing. I love different points of view.

    I didn't love Lone Wolf- it was disappointing as I usually like Jodi Picoult's books a lot.


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