My Book Jar and Review of Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life by Shannon Kopp

I am terrible about reading ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) in a timely manner. I usually get them at library conferences and have accumulated way too many over the last few years. This year I decided to make a book jar. I wrote down all of the ARC titles plus all of my unread Kindle books on small pieces of paper and put them all in a jar. I made the jar because I wanted to just pull titles randomly. I normally read more than one book at a time and this year I’m making sure to make a dent in the unread books I actually own.

First title I chose was Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life, by Shannon Kopp. I remember originally picking up this book at a library conference in either 2014 or 2015 because of the animal connection. I am a huge dog person but usually avoid books about animals since I usually start crying when an animal character dies. Sounds silly but that’s just me.

Anyway, once I started the book I was hooked. Shannon talked about how her struggle with Bulimia started and how it affected her life both personally and professionally. What really touched me were the stories she told about specific dogs who helped her see what she was doing to herself. I’ve never battled an eating disorder but I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her to recover. Even though I did have some crying moments, I really enjoyed this book.  


Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I don’t know what it is about Rainbow Rowell’s books but the three I have read so far, I absolutely loved them. I don’t know if it’s the love (or potential love) aspect or all the snarkiness but I just love the stories.

I remember when I first came across Fangirl, it didn’t seem like a title I would be interested in. Honestly I can’t even remember what changed my mind but I am very glad I added it to my TBR list. 

Anyway, the story is about Cath, a Simon Snow fanfiction writer, and her experiences during her first year of college. She has a twin sister Wren who attends the same school but decided against sharing a room with her sister. Her reasoning was that they’d shared a room for 18 years and it was time to have new experiences. 

Cath isn’t as outgoing as her sister so she isn’t sure she is going to like college. All she wants to do is work on her latest fanfiction project, Carry On, which will coincide with the release of the last Simon Snow novel. She isn’t sure about her roommate, who is kind of intimidating. She’s also worried about her father since now that she and Wren are gone, he is alone. 

There were characters I loved and some I didn’t. I really enjoy books that leave me wondering at the end. Wondering what happened to the characters after story ended. Did things change for them? Did they live happily ever after? 

I think my only problem with this story is it left a few things unresolved. At least they felt unresolved to me. Rainbow has already said she isn’t going to write a sequel for Fangirl so I’ll just have to be left wondering about certain things 🙂

Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Another book club selection. While I’ve had this book sitting on my Kindle for quite some time, I wasn’t pushed to read it until I found out it was the book choice for February.

This book was so good! I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read it! I did the audiobook/ebook combo again and I just loooved the narrator’s Australian accent. She did an excellent job.

Anyway, the story is told from the points of view of Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, three moms who live in Pirriwee Peninsula in Australia and whose kids attend Pirriwee Public School. There is commentary from other characters mixed in but the bulk of the story is told by those three. The whole story leads up to finding out who committed a murder on School Trivia Night.

There’s all types of drama in the book: cliquish parents, infidelity, bullying, domestic violence, family drama, and more. Unless you’re a mind reader, you’ll be surprised at the ending. I sure as hell was. I think that’s why I liked this story so much, I wasn’t able to guess what would happen and there were enough twists to keep me entertained. 

This is the second title I’ve read by Liane Moriarty and I will definitely read more of her work. 


Review: Under the Dome by Stephen King


Ahhhh this book was so good! I was very impressed by the narrator of the audiobook, Raul Esparza (also known as ADA Rafael Barba on Law & Order: SVU). He did so well with the characters’ voices that I actually hated some of them. Like, really hated them. Anyway, Under the Dome is also a TV show but since I haven’t heard too many positive things about the show, I’ll probably never watch it.

One day in October, the people of Chester’s Mill are suddenly trapped under a huge dome and they have no idea where it came from or how to escape it. While trying to survive life under the dome, the residents of Chester’s Mill also have to deal with murder, suicide, lies, corruption, and deceit. I know this book is almost 1,000 pages but it really is a good story. I wasn’t too thrilled with the ending but I can’t have everything go my way. Without giving anything away, I love how each chapter was written from the point of view of different characters, even the ones I hated. There’s even a couple chapters from Horace the Corgi’s point of view.

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Due to a freak dust storm accident, Mark Watney is left on Mars with no way to get home. The way he survived the accident is pretty much miracle and once NASA discovers he did in fact survive, the story is about Mark trying to find a way back home. With space travel, things take much longer than your average plane trip so even if Mark does find a way to save himself, it will take a very, very long time to get back to Earth.

The story switches off between Mark and his journal entries and those at NASA. I liked the fact that it wasn’t all just Mark and his journal entries because a full book with not much dialogue would have been extremely boring. Annie, the director of media relations for NASA was one of my favorite characters. She had the mouth of a sailor and I loved it.

I’m not one for space-type novels but I did enjoy this book. There was a good amount of humor mixed in which helped balance out some the boring space talk. That being said, I was very impressed with Andy Weir’s knowledge of Mars and all things space-related. But, I shouldn’t be surprised since he has made it known he is a lifelong space nerd.

Now that I’ve finished this book I can go see the movie!