Books I’ve Read- February 2016 Edition

Life According to Steph

Today I am joining Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup.   I get to showcase the books that I’ve read this month as well as visit tons of other blogs and get recommendations to add to my to goodreads To Be Read list.  Fun times everyone!  While February is a short month, I managed to get a bunch of books read, several of which were non-fiction.  They are listed below in order from least to most favorite.

*All cover pictures and titles are linked to Goodreads.

3 Stars:


He Will Be My Ruin by K. A. Tucker – Maggie Sparks is in NYC packing up the belongings of her best friend Celine.  The police ruled Celine’s death as a suicide but Maggie knows it wasn’t and hires a private investigator to help her find out what really happened to her friend.  This was an okay suspenseful read.


Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher – (Young Adult) This is a very short, first in the series story of Charlie and Silas.  The two are boyfriend and girlfriend but remember nothing about each other or what’s going on in their lives.  This book follows them as they try to piece together and remember what’s going on.  While I am huge Colleen Hoover fan, this book collaboration wasn’t a favorite.


The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan – Lila Soto’s husband Sam is a restaurant critic for a Philadelphia newspaper.  To keep his identity hidden he has put ridiculous restrictions on her social life.  She’s home with their two children and is contemplating going back to work.  The story follows her as she navigates her marriage, her social life and her role as a mother.  This book made me so mad at the husband, but also gave me more insight to what life married to a restaurant critic would be like.


The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan – I know that many bloggers read and loved this book, as seen from previous Show Us Your Books linkups.  This book is Kate and William fan fiction telling the story of American, Rebecca Porter, who ends up falling in love with Prince Nicholas while studying abroad in England.  I found the book to be an okay, light, fluffy read.  However, I found it to be a bit long.


Simple Matters by Erin Boyle – (non-fiction) Boyle is a blogger at Reading My Tea Leaves.  In this book, she offers tips and personal anecdotes on how to declutter, downsize and live a more simplified life.

4 Stars:


The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – In this book, Mia Dennett is abducted and spends months with her captor, Colin.  This book is told through the alternating perspectives of Colin, Eve (Mia’s mother) and Gave (the detective on the case) both prior to the abduction and after.  I’m glad that finally got around to reading this book!  I had read Kubica’s Pretty Baby and liked it, but heard this book was better.  I found this to be an enjoyable, suspenseful read.


The Good Goodbye by Carla Buckley – This was my first book that I read by Buckley but won’t be the last.  Cousins Arden and Rory have their share of secrets.  They are both lying unconscious after a fire in their college dorm room.  We learn more about their history and family issues through the alternating chapters told from the girls’ and Natalie’s  (Arden’s mom) perspectives and also discover what really happened the night of the fire.  I found this to be a suspenseful page turner and look forward to reading more of Buckley’s books.


Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai – (middle grade fiction) My daughter read this for a school project and to be able to help her I read it myself.  The book is told in verse form and tells the story of Ha and her family.  They leave South Vietnam in 1975 during the Vietnam War and eventually make their way to the United States to start a new life.  This book is based on the author’s own experiences.   We used this book to help our daughter learn what a refugee is.  The book does a great job of capturing the difficulty that immigrants have adapting to American culture.


Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen – (non-fiction) This is a non-fiction book in which world renown yoga instructor Brathen offers inspiration, tips, yoga poses and recipes.  You get to learn more about Brathen and also see beautiful pictures of Aruba.

5 Stars


The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – (non-fiction) This was a reread for me but I love this book.  You can read my full review here.




  1. The Happiness Project is definitely on my TBR! I’m waiting for it to become available at the library and I feel like the fact that there’s a huge wait for it is a good sign. 😛 (After reading your review) I had no idea it would talk about organizing or decluttering, but now I’m even more excited, since I’ve been all about that lately (super inspired by the Marie Kondo books).

    • The organizing and decluttering tips in The Happiness Project were more anecdotal than “tips” per se, but you can definitely get ideas from Rubin’s experiences. I’ve also been all about the decluttering lately myself!

  2. The Goid Goodbye and the Kubica book are both on my list already do I’m glad you enjoyed them!

    I’m torn over the restaurant book…if it’s fiction Philly I want to read it but if the husband sucks that might annoy me. I might give it a try!

    • The Restaurant Critic’s Wife was a pretty quick, light read if you want to give it a try. I’m guessing the restaurants that were written about were fictional, but it would be fun if they weren’t!

  3. I agree with the Royal We. It was fun but a bit long. I didn’t love it as much as other people did.
    I do love all Gretchen Rubin’s books and just started listening to her podcast! Another interesting book about the food critic life is Ruth Reichl’s memoir “Garlic and Sapphires.”

  4. So many books I want to read from your list! I picked up The Good Girl on my Kindle on a day it was $1.99 and need to get to it ASAP. The Good Goodbye sounds super interesting. I was super annoyed by Sam in The Restaurant Critic’s Wife too.

  5. The Happiness Project really had an impact on my life when I read it, it will always be on my favorites shelf!

  6. oh that sucks you didn’t love the royal we.. i loved it so much, but i am unnaturally obsessed with all things royal, lol.
    the good girl is on my list!

    • I liked The Royal We…but yeah, didn’t love it. I’m not that into the royal family though which I could definitely see helping add to the enjoyment of the book.

  7. I’ve heard such great things about The Good Girl, that I’m hoping I’ll be able to read it soon! The Good Good-Bye sounds like a great read and very suspenseful! I’ll have to check that one out too!

  8. The Royal We is on my reading list, like you, I’ve seen so many good reviews about it. I’m definitely adding The Good Girl and The Good Good-Bye to my list – they both sound right up my alley. The Happiness Project also sounds fantastic and living a more happy life is a big goal of mine, so it’s on the list. And I’m actually a big re-reader of my favorite books. They become comfort food to me, without all the extra calories! LOL!

  9. I can’t wait to read The Happiness Project hopefully this month from the library!! I love her podcast.

  10. I still need to read The Happiness Project, but I did read her second book, Better than Before and loved it. The Good Girl is still on my TBR… one of these days!

    • I read Better Than Before and liked The Happiness Project much more, so hopefully you’ll like it too! The Good Girl had been on on my TBR pile for awhile and I was finally like, just read it already!

  11. The first one sounds like my kind of book. I think I’m going to add it.

    I read The Happiness Project years ago. I think it’s due for a reread since I’ve been following Gretchen Rubin since the publication and I think I might have a different perspective on the book and what she did (not to mention my own experiences since).

    A couple of the other ones are already on my TBR!

  12. Coincidentally, Inside Out & Back Again just arrived in an amazon order of mine last week!

    I’ve read one Colleen Hoover book. I remember really liking it and giving it a high rating…but for some reason, I haven’t picked up another. Maybe I should.

  13. I’m watching masterchef at the moment so The Restaurant Critic’s Wife is quite tempting! I love Erin Boyle’s blog, did you find the book useful or just nice to look at? Eg would it work as an ebook? I’ve been meaning to read The Happiness Project but have to seriously gear up to it as I want to do it justice…

    • I liked Boyle’s book but didn’t really learn anything new. If you are new to downsizing and simplifying, then you may find it more useful. It is nice to look at and I would recommend the print book over an e-book. I borrowed mine from the library, if that helps. I highly recommend The Happiness Project!

  14. I haven’t read any books by Jennifer Wiener. This sounds interesting (food critic) but I can’t really relate. Maybe I’ll pick up another of her books though LOL. I’m adding The Good Girl, Inside Out & Back Again to my list! PS What’s your Goodreads account? Can we be friends :).

  15. I added The Good Girl to my list! I also keep meaning to read The Happiness Project. I need to get on it!

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