Virtual Book Shelf

31 down, 19 to go!

I got back into my reading groove last month and managed to get through 5 books in August. I decided to link up this go around with Steph of Life According to Steph and Jana with Jana Says, even though technically their link-up was two days ago. I’ve never been one for punctuality anyway.

This month I started going right into my Overdrive app to place holds or borrow books as soon as I read about them and get even semi-interested. It definitely helped me to know which book to read and had me jumping from sample to sample less. Here’s to more organization, even across my reading lists!


The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

The Hopefuls

I’ve read (and re-read) Jennifer Close’s other books, Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One, and while I’ve really liked them all, I realized while reading The Hopefuls that each book makes me a bit despondent. They’re not depressing or anything; maybe it’s more that they’re very real in a struggling kind of way that makes you feel a tad empty. I know that sounds like you shouldn’t read it, but I guess all I’m saying is that it’s not a happy-go-lucky kind of book. I thought this one gave an interesting look into the lower end of politics and the Washington DC social scene (which was confirmed a bit when talking to a friend who used to live in DC). I would definitely recommend this one, as well as her other books.


The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza


The Knockoff follows Imogen Tate, editor-in-chief of a glossy magazine in line with Glamour and Vanity Fair and her fall from the peak of status following a medical leave from work. During her 6 months away from work, the magazine she loves went digital when her ex-assistant spearheaded its conversion to an app. The story follows Imogen’s attempts at cultivating some tech literacy without losing her place at her beloved company. It was a great read, and an interesting look at tech companies from a different perspective. Read it – you’ll love Imogen! I already have the duo’s next book, Fitness Junkie, on hold from my library app, Overdrive.


The Fever by Megan Abbott

the fever

Ron got me Megan Abbott’s You Will Know Me for Christmas (reviewed here), and when I saw this one come up on my library app, I add to borrow it. It follows a group of friends as the girls in their school are struck by a strange epidemic. The small town they live in implodes and the main character, Deenie, and her family seem to be at the center of it. Told by each family member’s perspective, the book is really interesting and definitely a page turner, keeping the suspense going with subtle hints as to what happened and who’s behind it. Give it a try (and Megan Abbott’s other works as well!).


Miss You by Kate Eberlen

Miss You

I saw this book a few recent book reviews by bloggers and figured I had to read it. The premise seems vaguely like that of One Day although in this one the main characters aren’t friends, but strangers who barely meet and then keep missing each other for SIXTEEN YEARS. It sounds like that might feel depressing, but it really doesn’t. You end up following their lives, loves, and seeing how each missed chance really shapes who they become. Ultimately it’s up-lifting and a great read. I definitely recommend (and read One Day while you’re at it, too! I’ve never seen the movie, but the book was very good!). Side note – I kind of love books based in England. Their slang is so much funnier than ours!


Stories I’d Tell in Bars by Jen Lancaster


So I’ve been a Jen Lancaster follower for many many years. I picked up Bitter is the New Black in college, and have bought or borrowed every one of her books since. I’ve also fallen in love with other authors she’s recommended, and her blog was one of the first I read that associated with writing books as well. She will always be one of my favorite writers for these reasons, but her most recent memoirs seem off. This one is self-published and definitely hails more to her roots, but it’s missing a sense of completion and flow. I felt like the stories jumped around and didn’t have much to do with each other. Maybe that wasn’t such a big deal if I looked at it for what it was (a collection of stories) as opposed to her traditional chronological memoir, but it definitely felt lacking somehow. At the end, she also included a sample of a pilot she wrote that didn’t get picked up, and while I think it had good bones and could have gone in a great direction, it was overly dramatic, and overall had too much going on. Maybe that was the point, but it seemed a bit overkill. She is still funny and crass in the most lady-like way (in which I mean she wear pearls while cursing and talking about bodily functions) so read if you want!





6 thoughts on “31 down, 19 to go!

  1. I used to be a HUGE Jen Lancaster fan but her fiction books kind of suck and her memoirs started being more braggy than self-deprecating and honest and that got on my nerves. I quit on her and I’m not in a rush to pick up her newest books, either.

    1. I agree! I felt like the book success went to her head before I remembered she always labels herself as a label-obsessed a-hole to begin with so maybe she is just pre-Bitter Jen Lancaster? Haha I know her YA novel is coming out soon and she is hyping it up, too.

  2. miss you! oh, thank you for recommending this. i LOVED the premise of one day, and this one intrigues me even more. i love a good love story, and if this one’s uplifting (because one day’s kind of NOT that), i’m even more interested in checking it out. gracias!

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