Nope: Books I Didn’t Like

I’ve been having a streak of bad luck with my book choices lately. Usually, if I don’t love a book that’s fine… but I’ve read a few real stinkers lately!

Yuck #1: Room to Breathe by Liz Talley

It’s this one:

This book was one of my Amazon’s First Reads choices for October. It was described as a mother-daughter relationship book. The mother is divorced and starting over and the daughter is in her early 20’s and engaged. “As love lives tangle, secrets spill, and indiscretions are betrayed, mother and daughter will have a lot to learn—not only about the mistakes they’ve made but also about the men in their lives and the women they are each hoping to become.”

Sounds good, right? NOPE.

What drove me crazy: The mother was 39. THIRTY NINE. And throughout the entire course of the book they treat 39 as if it is so freaking old that it’s CRAZY that she would want to pursue any of her own interests. I mean, come on. THIRTY NINE!? On top of that, the daughter is the most selfish little brat and I wanted to smack her upside the head. Multiple times.

Yuck #2: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

It’s this one:

The one was a random book I thought sounded interesting on my Kindle Unlimited subscription. The premise is that a girl wakes up in an Irish hospital with complete amnesia. She remembers absolutely nothing about her life before she woke up and when she hears that her father has come to Ireland to get her and bring her home, she decides to run away.

What drove me crazy: This girl. Yet another one I wanted to smack and/or shake. She is so freaking selfish throughout the entire book. Then, at the end when everything is messy and you are waiting for the happy ending to come along, all the pieces tie up in a bow too neatly if you know what I mean. For example, someone has lied to her since the beginning of the book and suddenly she’s totally cool with it and they get a happily ever after. NO. NO HAPPILY EVER AFTER FOR YOU, SELFISH WITCH!

Yuck #3: Trophy Life by Lea Geller

It’s this one:

This was another free Kindle Unlimited read. After 10 years of being a trophy wife, suddenly Agnes’ husband disappears leaving her and their infant daughter with no home, no money and no staff. But it’s not as easy as that, the husband is still around… he’s not dead or anything, he just got into some money trouble so he went into hiding. He told her to drive across the country to go teach at this private middle school and gather information for him. Yeah, it’s confusing.

What drove me crazy: So they try to set up the relationship of the husband and wife as if it’s some sort of love story, but every time he’s on the page I hate him. Like, really HATE him. He will randomly call or text her and if she doesn’t respond immediately he has a little hissy fit. And THEN, when they try to show *romance* if that is what they are going for, it is just really controlling and rapey. I hated him. I hated her for loving(?) him and I HATED this damn book.

There you go, three books to avoid.

How about you, have you read anything lately that you’ve disliked?

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Jack’s Book Recommendation: The Bad Guys

I’ve been hoping since Jack was born that he’d turn into a bookworm just like his mommy. While he’s not quite in the burying-himself-in-books stage, we have been reading a book every night before bedtime for the past 7+ years. Back in April, I shared that his favorites included Pete the Cat and Dogman (read the post here) but now he has a new favorite series: The Bad Guys!

I had stopped by the library on my own to pick up a book on hold when I decided to do a quick loop of the kid’s section to grab a few new books. I saw a bunch of Bad Guys books, so I grabbed book 1, 2 and 3 and brought them home. Holy Guacamole, Jack LOVED them!

Here’s a list of all of them with links to the paperbacks which are typically about $3 each. You can also stick them on hold at the library like we did!


The Bad Guys (#1)

The Bad Guys in Mission Unpluckable (#2)

The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back (#3)

The Bad Guys in Attack of the Zittens (#4)

The Bad Guys in Intergalactic Gas (#5)

The Bad Guys in Alien vs Bad Guys (#6)

The Bad Guys in Do-You-Think-He-Saurus?! (#7)

The Bad Guys in Superbad (#8)

The Bad Guys in The Big Bad Wolf (#9)

These books are for kids in 2nd – 4th grade and center around “bad guys” trying to act like good guys. The graphic novels center around Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark and Legs the tarantula. There’s a bunch of kid appropriate ‘potty’ humor that had Jack and I cackling out loud!

We read a few chapters every night (they are a little more challenging for him, so I read to him and he follows along) and we burned through all three of the books. We went back to the library to grab more and at this point we’ve finished the entire 9 book series and we are impatiently waiting for more.

Jack has already asked me to add the whole series onto his Christmas list and it looks like #10 will be coming out in December!

Have you read The Bad Guys books yet?

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What I’ve Been Reading

One of the perks of my new job is that I ride the Metro for about 25 minutes each way in the morning and afternoon. While many of you wouldn’t consider the Metro a PERK – as there are lots of terrible smells and generally odd people interactions – I’m pretty happy to bury my head in a book and enjoy 25 minutes of (mostly) uninterrupted reading!

I linked to each book on Amazon so you can click through and read the full description if you’d like. However, I always recommend trying your library first, because FREE BOOKS!

99 Percent Mine: A Novel by Sally Thorne

Find it here:

The book centers around Darcy Barrett, who has had a life-long crush on childhood friend Tom Valeska. To complicate things (of course), she has a boy twin, Jamie who “saw him first” and is his best friend. Now as an adult, she is thrown into a situation where they are both single at the same time and stuck in close quarters with each other. You now, as it goes.

I thought this book was fun and I liked the lighthearted banter. However, I didn’t really love Darcy. She describes herself as a dirtbag and honestly she’s pretty selfish and unlikeable for much of the book. I get that she loves Tom, but really… it seems like he can do so much better. Of course, everything is a happily after at the end which is my thing. So all in all I’m going to stick with this book was fun, but I won’t bother searching out the other book by the author.

Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper

Find it here:

This one is another childhood best friends fall in love book. I’m not sure why I ended up with two books in the same specific genre… but I did. And I don’t even HAVE any childhood male best friends in my life! I basically picked up this book because it had a yummy cake on the front of it. Anyways, this story is about Lucy Brewer, a young widow that returns to her childhood town. She reignites a friendship with her childhood BFF, which soon turns to loooooove. There are complications, of course, but this one is as sweet as can be. Everyone in the book is pretty darn likeable and this was the perfect ‘beach read’ or ‘metro read’ if you’re me.

Outside the Jukebox: How I Turned My Vintage Music Obsession Into My Dream Gig by Scott Bradlee

Find it here:

Like most people, I’ve come across Postmodern Jukebox performances on Facebook and YouTube and never really gave it much thought. I randomly picked up this book at the library and it was incredibly interesting to see how Scott built up this little idea of giving modern songs a vintage spin and turned it into a traveling “rotating supergroup” of performers. I found this book super interesting and highly recommend it if you are interested in how he made a little YouTube sensation into a full time gig.

Runnin’ With the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen by Noel E. Monk

Find it here:

I’m not a super Van Halen fan or anything, but I do enjoy my Classic Rock. So when I saw this book as I walked by I basically was like ‘hmmm… cool’ and threw it in my cart. This book was written by Van Halen’s manager who worked with the group their first 7 years. It was pretty darn interesting! To hear about the behind the scenes drama during the rise (and fall) of the David Lee Roth years. The band did Monk pretty darn dirty at the end of it and there is certainly some palatable bitterness, but WOW was it entertaining. If you like behind the music type stuff or have even enjoyed Van Halen a little bit, this book is a good one!

When you find out the world is against you: and other funny memories about awful moments by Kelly Oxford

Find it here: (this book is currently a free read on Kindle Unlimited)

I don’t know Kelly Oxford at all. I’m not sure if she’s a comedian or an author or writes for television. It’s pretty unclear. She certainly has a way with words and tells very cringy/embarrassing/funny stories throughout her book. It kind of threw me though when it went from being a silly little book about cringy stuff from her childhood and being a mom, to talking about sexual abuse. I get the importance of the chapters at the end, but it just felt like whiplash to get from point a to point b. All in all, it was a fine Metro reading book because about 20 minutes at a time was plenty to read it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. It was okay.

Do you have a book recommendation for me?

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