Show Us Your Books: December 2016

Thanks to a free month of Scribd and lots of searching for free audiobooks online, I kind of beasted Nonfiction November. But I did not read what I had originally planned to read (see the TBR here).

Along with nonfiction and audiobooks, this month I soaked up a bunch of women writers.

It was both incredibly inspirational in the face of the election...and that much more disappointing. I love so many of these scrappy, bold women and I'm so fucking tired in my soul that the rest of my country apparently does not see the greatness that I do...and instead glorifies someone who basically goes against almost everything I believe in.

But I digress. I'd recommend all these books- I didn't agree with all of them but I was interested and very much wanted to cheer during a good portion of most of them.

Nonfiction November Picks:

I was very excited about this book, because Anna Kendrick is hilarious and the millennial queen of snark. It didn't disappoint. An interesting look at Hollywood and acting and being a young woman.

I needed this book. I don't know that I can put it into action, but it was so nice to hear that you don't have to care about everything, since I have a stereotypical small town Southern family that kind of tells me the opposite.

This was hailed as feminist iconography. It was good, but not great in my opinion. There were some pieces I highly agreed with, and some I did not. For some reason, I expected her to be American and a little younger (not that she's old, but older than me and older than I thought she was). Not being British, I can't attest to everything she said but I enjoyed it. Especially the Lady Gaga part ("We do this for us") and the idea that yellow shoes are neutral- think about it. Totally true.

This was good- I kind of wish I had the physical copy because there are several lists given that are super helpful. Of course I didn't agree with everything, but there is a ton of good advice here and it's perfect for a young adult who is moving out on their on for the first time.

Fiction Picks:

I briefly mentioned this in my Monthly Recommendations post. It was heart-wrenching and really examined what makes a family and how we are bound to what we love, as well as having very well-done examinations of the trouble that "patriotism" and identity can cause when it causes people to see someone else as "other" and therefor lesser. But...I did not love the ending. It was rushed, it was unfair, it just killed a wonderful book. I will give it a 3-3.5 but it could easily have been a 5 star book if the resolution had been handled with more care.

This was a completely random read, that I got from a "neighborhood library" while visiting family and centers on a teenage girl visiting Italy due to some family upheaval. It was cute, and interesting- in some ways a pretty fluffy YA but it also had some deep moments about family and identity. Plus the main character is kind of re-tracing her mother's young adulthood with a diary and that was a cool plot device that I really enjoyed.  

This one happened to be one of the monthly credits on Scribd, so I could read it without using a "credit" so to speak. It has been praised by Kirstie from Melbourne on My Mind so I figured "Why not?" It involves a group of beauty pagent contestants who get stranded on an island...that turns out not to be as remote as they thought. It was very campy, and satirical, but hit SO MANY IMPORTANT POINTS. It gets major diversity points (an African American & Indian contestants, bisexual and lesbian contestants, a deaf contestant, a transgender contestant). Also examines marketing and politics and points out the fucked-up-ness of it all. Highly recommend- 4/4.5 stars (just because it took me a while to get on board with the half realistic/half hyperbole style). But definitely hits some important points.

I almost don't even feel like I can review this properly. It's technically the third in a series (Dirty Girls Club) but has a very different feel. While the other two are kinda chic lit-y and follow a group, this one focuses on three friends in particular and has a very different vibe since it's more of a thriller. The author's note explained a lot of this (she felt constrained previously, like she had to fit into a specific box kind of, and wanted to branch out and acknowledge that today's world is very different than when the original book came out). I completely understand, but as someone who was in the mood for the previous vibe it was a little disconcerting. Also, I kind of really liked the idea of chick lit that was diverse. I've linked to the Goodreads description, and if it sounds interesting don't worry that you have to read the first two in the series. It's really not necessary IMO.

What have you been reading this month?

Life According to Steph

And don't forget that the yearly wrap-up- Show Us Your Books of 2016- will be December 27th!


  1. I've got Anna Kendrick on my Audible wish list. She just seems so charming & FUN . a weird combo

  2. i don't know about yellow shoes lol. Anna Kendrick's book is on my list. i liked The Light Between Oceans - i read it a year or so ago so i don't remember it all, but i remember the ending. so sad. added love & gelato and beauty queens to my list!

  3. I really like Anna Kendrick and need to check out her book. The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck is on my TBR and I can't wait to read it. It is a message I really need to embrace! LOL! At first blush (i.e. the cover) I would have said "no" to Beauty Queens but reading your review has changed my mind. On the TBR it goes!

  4. Oh! For some reason I thought I already commented on your post but I love that you chose to focus on reading about women this month. The election definitely influenced my reading as well, by first pushing me into fluff books while my brain recovered and then trying to reach and read about more diverse cultures.

    I have been curious about Anna Kendrick's book and so far hadn't reached for it simply because I've done sooo many celebrity memoirs lately, but maybe I'll give it a shot. And How to Be a Woman sounds intriguing.

  5. I am also tired in my soul that people do not see women as fiercely as I do. Just all around tired. I've also tried to expand my reading in response to that - I'm reading about inclusive feminism and trying to read more books by/about women, POC, LGBT, muslims, etc. Knowledge and inclusion and an unwillingness to back down is the way out of this, I have to believe that.

  6. I didn't like the ending of Light Between Oceans either! That adulting book sounds fun!

  7. I love Anna Kendrick and can't wait to read that book sometime soon. I haven't been able to get myself to read The Light Between Oceans yet - I feel like it's going to be a sad one.

  8. Sarah Knight has a new book releasing on the 28th. It's called Get Your Shit Together. I can't wait to read it!

  9. Lots of good books this month! There are so many that I've been considering. I'm going to commit to Scrappy Little Nobody and Adulting. I recently came across Beauty Queens and my interest is peeked. Did you find it amusing? It looks like it's meant to be silly.

  10. I absolutely loved The Light Between Oceans, although I do agree with you that the ending felt rushed. I really want to read Love & Gelato. It sounds like such a cute YA, which I typically love!

  11. I enjoyed the Sarah Knight inspired me to create my own IDGAF list. I have to question her qualifications self-help is the category, but I feel like most of us could come up with all of that on our own. (This could just be me though)

  12. I really want to read Adulting! Mainly because I love lists -- but I'm a 28 year old married woman, who owns a home, and has a professional career -- so I don't know how useful it would be :-/

    -- Dara ||