September 2015 Reads

Life According to Steph

Yeah, it’s time once again to blow up my goodreads to-be-read list!  Today I’m linking up with Jana and Steph for their monthly Show Us Your Books link-up to share what I read in September. While I read a bunch of books this month, unfortunately, not many of them were really recommend worthy.  I’ve listed them by rating below:

5 Stars
No books this month  (Insert sad face here.)

4 Stars


Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin – I am a big fan Gretchen Rubin.  I loved The Happiness Project and enjoyed Happier at Home.  In this book, Rubin, using research and personal experiences, tackles the subject of habits.  She came up with “The Four Tendencies” framework, and provides a short quiz to help readers identify which Tendency they fall under.  I am an Obliger – while I hate letting others down (outer expectations), I have difficulty following through on things for myself (inner expectations).  Your tendency affects how you operate and how you can change your habits.  While I didn’t love this book as much as her first two,  I still enjoyed it and learned more about myself.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – This book is a recently published young adult novel.  It tells the story of Maddy, an eighteen-year-old who has a rare disease, and as a result has never left her house.  But then Olly moves in next door.  The two form an unlikely friendship and then eventually a relationship.  Maddy suddenly gets to really experience life and is willing to suffer the consequences. The book is told in e-mails, illustrations and diagrams which make for a quick read.

The Martian by Andy Weir – Thank you Lisa for recommending this book.  First she told me I had to read Ready Player One, which I was a bit hesitant to, but then really enjoyed.  This is another book that I would normally not read on my own.  Space, science, Mars….not really my usual reading interests.  But, knowing this was going to be out soon as a movie (which wasn’t out yet when I read it) I decided to give it a try.  This book was suspenseful and emotional.  Despite all the technical science and math talk which I kind of skimmed over,  it kept my interest and made me want to continue reading.  Now….to see the movie in the theater or wait for DVD?!!!


The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward – This book tells the very different stories of thirteen-year-old Carla and forty year-old Alice in alternating chapters.  It deals with issues of illegal immigrants in the United States, infertility and adoption.  It’s a sad but realistic story that made me appreciate what I have.

3.5 Stars

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica – I wish goodreads let us give half star ratings because this book I rated 3.5 stars.  This psychological suspense book is told from multiple points of view.  In a very condensed summary of this book, Heidi sees Willow on the train platform, holding a baby and eventually ends up helping the girl.   It was suspenseful and had me reading to see how it would end, but it didn’t wow me.  I’ve heard Kubica’s previous book The Good Girl was better, so I plan on eventually checking that one out.

3 Stars


Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead – This book was a recommended read from The Skimm.  It is about ballet dancers and, while not aimed towards ballet lovers, I think it might appeal to readers who have an understanding of the dance world.  It was slow in parts for me and I wasn’t a big fan.


Mosquitoland by David Arnold – When I think of one word to describe this young adult novel, “quirky” comes to mind.  This book follows Mim Malone as she embarks on a journey to find her mother.  It’s a coming-of-age novel in which Mim discovers things about herself and her family.


Paper Towns by John Green – I read this young adult novel in anticipation of eventually watching the movie…on DVD.  While I loved The Fault In Our Stars, this one was just okay for me.
Summer Secrets by Jane Green – I’ve read and enjoyed a bunch of Green’s other chick lit type books.  This one was just eh for me though.  This book revolves around Cat and her struggle with alcohol.  Not sure if it was the subject matter or that I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, but this wasn’t a favorite read of mine.

2 Stars


Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont – This is a recently published debut novel from Pierpont.  Jack cheats on his wife but his children end up find the box of letters proving his infidelity, which results in his family coming apart.  Very “eh” read for me.  There are much better books out there worth reading.


The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George –  This book was on the New York Times bestseller list for what seems like forever.  While I don’t read everything on the NYT list, I often use it as a guide when I’m looking for something new to read.  I decided to give this book a try and wanted to like it.  A book about a bookseller sounds like my type of read.  But I’m not even sure I made it to the 50 page mark with this one.  It was wordy and just didn’t capture my interest.  That’s not to say that I won’t give this one another try.  Just not in the near future.



  1. The Martian! It took me a while to give in and read it, but I’m so glad I did. Loved the book, loved the movie. I think the movie went a bit lighter on the science (probably to condense for time and also to keep the audience engaged).

    • Yes, it took awhile for me to get hooked! Good to know that the movie isn’t science heavy. Still not sure if I’ll be able to see it in the theater though.

  2. I read The Martian at the beginning of this year and absolutely loved it. It’s definitely not my usual type of book but it surprised me. I just saw the movie over the weekend and they they did a great job. I read Paper Towns too, and ended up not being overly thrilled with it. I HATED Margo. She made me nuts. I have The Little Paris Bookshop but haven’t started it yet. I’ve gotten mixed reviews on it so we will see, I guess.

    • I’m not ready to give up totally on The Little Paris Bookshop….I’ve been in a lighter type reading mood so, it just seemed a little more wordy for me at the time. Yes, Margo was annoying in Paper Towns! Poor Q, for what she put him through! So glad to hear that The Martian the movie is as good as the book! Can’t wait to see it!

  3. I love the title Among the Ten Thousand Things. It’s a shame it didn’t live up to that!

    I have the Mary Kubica on my to read list.

    I loved The Martian, can’t wait to see the movie.

    • Yeah, I’d definitely recommend skipping Among the Ten Thousand Things! I can’t wait to see The Martian movie as well!

  4. Everyone and their brother has recommended The Martian… I should probably get on that train 🙂

    • Yes! And it may take awhile in the beginning to get into it, but try to stick with it. I’m not a science type person and thought I’d dislike this, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it!

  5. I totally agree about Paper Towns…it was just okay for me. I still have yet to read The Martian and I know everyone raves about it. Pretty Baby is on my list to read too. I actually really liked The Little Paris Bookshop but that could also be because I’m a hardcore francophile! : )

    • Yes, to reading The Martian! I think I’d like The Little Paris Bookshop if I read it at another time. I’m not giving up on it just yet….just waiting to read it at another time!

  6. The first two are already on my list, I LOVED The Martian, and I really liked Paper Towns (I admit I’m in the minority on this one). I feel like The Good Girl is on my list, too, but not Pretty Baby.

    The Same Sky sounds like a book I’d like.

    • I liked Green’s The Fault In Our Stars much more than Paper Towns. The Good Girl is Kubica’s first book, so that may be why you have that one on your tbr list…..and I hear it’s better too!

  7. I absolutely loved The Martian and I am dying to see the movie! I will be adding Better Than Before to my reading list I had no idea that book was even out!

    • I can’t wait to see The Martian movie too. I love Gretchen Rubin’s books. It took me awhile as well to realize she had a new book out.

  8. Yay for loving The Martian, but not 5 stars??? Why??? LOL, I won’t hold it against you. I want to see it in theatres! I’m trying to get a babysitter for this weekend. You should see it in theatres! I’m not a fan of John Green but I liked Paper Towns just slightly more than Fault, which isn’t saying a whole lot since I didn’t like Fault. Everything Everything sounds cool.

    • I didn’t give it 5 stars because I had to skim over the science parts. Some parts were just too technical, I don’t really care about all these details, for me! Yes, don’t hold it against me….I appreciate you recommending it! Although I really liked The Fault I’m not a huge fan of Green’s other books that I’ve read.

  9. I really liked Paper Towns, but it’s not been near as well received as TFIOS. Which is ironic because initially I wasn’t too impressed with TFIOS 🙂

    • Yeah, there seems to be mixed consensus about liking Paper Towns.

  10. Sorry it was a less than stellar month of reading. The Martian has been getting great review. I want to read it before watching the movie.

    • I always try to read the book before seeing the movie too!

    • I loved The Happiness Project! That book made me a Rubin fan! I so prefer watching movies at home on my sofa, comfy in my pjs….plus, my husband and I rarely get a date night out, that when we do, I’d rather not go to a movie!

  11. We have some similar tastes in books:
    I loved Mosquitoland and enjoyed Paper Towns. Little Paris Bookshop is on m TBR list and I just saw The Martian in the theatre yesterday. Summer Secrets is on my list too. I have a post coming tomorrow where I list some of the fun reads I’ve completed lately.
    I hope you’ll check it out and follow me. I’m following you on Bloglovin. I found you on the Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop, by the way.

    • I have to check out your recent reads post! I wasn’t a big fan of Paper Towns. Mosquitoland was definitely a little different. Min was a very interesting character! Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Just added Everything Everything to my TBR list! I loved The Martian!!! I really cant wait to see the movie. Jane Green makes for great fluff reads, though I think based on your description I am going to skip out on that one. After hearing a lot of different reviews, I am skipping out on Paper Towns too.

    • There seems to be a mixed consensus about Paper Towns. It seems like people either love it or hate it. I’ve read other Jane Green books that I’ve enjoyed a lot more than Summer Secrets.

  13. I read Everything, Everything this time around as well. I thought it was a cute story and really unique with the emails, texts, illustrations, etc., but it didn’t blow me away the way I initially thought it would.

    The Martian and Pretty Baby are already on my “To Read” list (though I’ve been waiting forever to get both of them from the library!).

    I read The Good Girl a few months ago, and I really didn’t like it very much. I think I only gave it 2 stars on Goodreads. I thought it was going to be amazing (based on all the rave reviews), but it just didn’t do it for me. As I said, I’ll still be giving Pretty Baby a try … I’m just not going in with high expectations.

    • Oh no! I’ve heard The Good Girl is better than Pretty Baby…..so, yeah, agree on you reading it with not high expectations!

  14. I have Pretty Baby, Everything Everything, and Paper Towns on my tbr list. I felt the same way about The Martian. The first 50 pages, I was like “what?! I don’t want to read this science-y stuff”…then the good stuff kicked in!

    • Yes, if you’re not into science, The Martian is one of those books that you have to give the 50 page test to and then some, but then it’s worth it!

  15. I’ve had all of John Green’s books on my TBR list since I read TFIOS (which I felt was ok but not life altering, sappy in a sick-teenagers pulling at your heartstrings type way) and I really should read them.
    I also thought The Martian was ok. My world wasn’t changed and it took comms to finally get hooked. I was so over potatoes and calculations that I almost put this one down, but I received the same advice and was able to finish.

    • I’ve read a couple of Green’s other books but TFIOS was my favorite. I’m not a big fan of his and probably won’t read any others.

  16. I loved The Martian and really didn’t think I would get that into it. I definitely skimmed over some of the science stuff though. Haha! I just read Everything Everything and thought it was cute! I feel the same way about Paper Towns as you did. Not Green’s best work, in my opinion.

    • Yeah for The Martian! Have you seen the movie? Everything was cute. I really enjoy YA books. They are so much better today than when I was a YA!

  17. You have a lot of books that I have on my tbr list. Everything and Mosquitoland are at the top. I don’t normally read books like Better Than Before but I like the quizzes that give you insight into your personality.

    • Yes, I love learning more about myself with personality quizzes! Everything was good but Mosquitoland was just okay, IMO.

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