Books I read last year that you should read or not read, or do whatever, what do I know, part 2.

January 1st, 2013 | by TJ |

Here’s the rest of the 102 books I read last year, again presented for you Princess Nebraska-style. If you don’t know what that is, you can either go read her blog and see how she does it (recommended), or you can read my long-winded explanation of what is really a very simple thing in the post with the first half of this list here.

Like I said in my year end recap yesterday, I had a goal of reading 130 books in 2012, and I didn’t make it. I read 102. I didn’t count rereads, and I spent a big chunk of the year watching Doctor Who. I probably would have made it if not for those two things, I think.

There is a theme, I think, to the second half of the books. I’m going to have to ask that if you are under 18, you not tell me you’re perusing this list of books. Do what you’re gonna do, though, you’re not my responsibility.

All the links go to Goodreads, which you should join, and if we’re already friends, you’ll see my reviews, if I’ve written one.

58. Easy - THIS BOOK WAS SO STUPID I HATE THIS BOOK AND ITS STUPID ASS FACE. IT SHOULDN’T EVEN BE ALIVE.

59. The Darkest Hour – Ahahahahaaaa HAHAHA. I need you to go read the premise to this book. And then comprehend that it’s a series. About brothers. Who are freelance special agents.

60. Half BakedAlexa wrote this book! About Simone! And you read it, and then her blog, and it’s so strange, because SIMONE IS SUDDENLY SO BIG! It was great.

61. The Mediterranean Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain – Okay. Okay. Set aside the title for a second. Set it aside. I SAID SET IT ASIDE. There’s this certain type of plot that runs through a huge portion of romance novels, where an arrogant male-type, usually rich, makes this huge assumption in his arrogance that causes some misunderstanding that could be explained by the lady type in FIVE SECONDS, if only her pride would allow her to explain it, but HER PRIDE WILL NOT allow her to explain it, and instead, she acts against her actual character for the whole book, allowing the male type to be all, ah HA, I THOUGHT AS MUCH, while actually grievously wounding the lady type, even though he keeps seeing flashes of evidence that she’s actually NOT the terrible whore/bitch/gold digger he assumed, and the both of them keep wounding each other even though they’re actually both falling in love, but both figure the other one actually isn’t, and then they’re driven apart by this misunderstanding that COULD HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED IN FIVE SECONDS and then the male type is hit over the head with some evidence of her TRUE NATURE after she’s long gone from him and then TEARFUL REUNION, ADMISSIONS OF LOVE ALL AROUND. I will ALWAYS read books with this plot. ALWAYS. That said, this one was terrible, and I also liked it.

62. Bought for the Frenchman’s Pleasure – Please see plot explanation above. I MAKE NO APOLOGIES, and it’s not like I’m actually recommending anyone ELSE actually read it. I’m just telling you that I DID.

63. Blackmailed into Bed - It’s like the plot is made of toothpicks and held together with sex scenes and tropes. I liked it.

64. Coming Undone – This was my first book of the Brown siblings series. There was a subplot I could have done without. I mean, this book could have been a perfectly fine shameless dirty hashbrown book without a kind of totally unnecessary subplot, but hey, I’m not an author, I’m not the boss of things. Also, there was a lot of the c-word in this book, but not in the “HEY YOU ARE A C WORD” way. Like, in the bedroom way. You know. Like, the bedroom way. You know.

65. Willing Victim – I liked this. This is one of my favorites from the year, and a several times over reread. You need to read the Goodreads page and carefully decide if this book is for you before you read this. You need to know what this book is about and decide very carefully if you want to read this before you read this.

66. The Siren – This is possibly the thinkiest, deepest dirty book I read this year. There are more in the series, but I haven’t pursued it yet. I intend to, when I’m ready to think more about this book.

67. Club Mephisto – This is another one that you want to familiarize yourself with before you dive in. It’s a very in depth look at 24/7 alternative lifestyles. Also a reread.

68. Never Enough – Another Brown siblings book. I like the Brown books, but what you need to know about them is that nothing happens. Seriously. They are long, and the plot hints make it seem like there’s going to be some crazy drama, but really, nothing happens. What you get is a lot of intense relationship building. It’s interesting and different, if you’re into that kind of thing. Oh, and sex.

69. Molly’s Lips – This is the same book as number 67, basically, but retold from the perspective of the other main player. If you read Club Mephisto and like it, you’ll want to read this one.

70. Burn for You – This is the continuation of Club Mephisto/Molly’s Lips. It’s a realistic and satisfactory ending to the series.

71. Gone Girl – I found this really disturbing. I enjoyed it.

72. Feed – I gave this two stars on Goodreads, and usually when I give something two stars on Goodreads, I generally mean I didn’t like it, but I didn’t flat out RAGE HATE it, which one star means for me, but this time, I meant what Goodreads says when you hover over the two star mark, which was “it was ok,” kind of like, I thought this was ok in kind of an encouraging way, like maybe you should read the summary and make your own decision and decide if it is for you and I won’t sway you either way. OH BUT THERE WAS A LOT OF FUTURE SLANG, FUCK THAT PART.

73. Broken – I don’t want to tell you anything about this book except that it’s by Megan Hart, so that you can just go get it and go into it blind like I did. Going into it with no idea what it would be about at all, I think, was part of what made this book so perfect for me. It was just the best, I was so overwhelmed by how BEST it was, I was so pleased, it was so perfect for me when I read it, IT WAS JUST SO WONDERFUL, I just want you to read it and love it. Just get it, don’t read anything about it. Just get it and read it. Oh, there’s tons of sex in it. Don’t read it if you don’t like sex books. But it’s not JUST a sex book. It was the best thing – and I need you to understand that by best, I make no claims as to quality of writing, or plot, or sex scenes, or character development, or to the NOT quality of those things – that I had read in ages. I’m thinking back now to how I felt two seconds after I had finished reading it, and IT WAS WONDERFUL.

74. Laid Bare – Another Brown siblings book, the one that inspired me to add my “dude dude goose I mean lady” shelf to my Goodreads shelves. So. Do with that what you will.

75. Inside Out – Not my favorite Brown siblings book. This is when I basically figured out the Brown siblings formula for strong lady has past damage, recovers MOST of the way on her own, dude comes along and helps her the rest of the way back with lots of dirty sex and talking through the ins and out of their relationship with each other and everyone else in the whole Brown pack. The whole talking about everything is actually an interesting/unique feature of the Brown sibling books, I’d recommend trying at least one for the novelty factor if nothing else.

76. Out of the Dark – What? No. What? No… WHAT? WHAT the HELL did I just… WHAT? Just… wait, what? It’s just that it started… and the guy was… so, okay, I thought… but then in the cave… okay, seriously, what the fuck did I read? Nope. Nope. Nope.

77. Undercover – I think I meant to read more in this series. It’s a kind of futuristic army special ops… sex… two men one lady… spaceship… high society… Okay, this is kind of like trying to convince someone to watch Firefly with your words. “It’s a SPACE WESTERN, GUYS!”

78. Dirty – I don’t want to discuss this book with you. Maybe you want to read it, maybe you don’t. Maybe you read it, maybe you like it, maybe we don’t talk about it with each other, because I don’t feel like discussing this with anyone. Shut up, you don’t know me. The ending was kind of clunky.

79. Dane – This was a free Kindle download. It felt like a super condensed romance novel rather than a short story.

80. Reflected in You – One, most awkward sex ever. Two, I still love this series even though I partly feel like I shouldn’t. Three, I still think Gideon should look like Zachary Quinto. Four, I think I read this twice or three times. Five, I don’t really feel any responsibility to say things like, “this relationship is dangerous,” or “it’s not healthy for people to be obsessed like that!” because A, it’s a book, and B, damaged people fall in love, too.

81. The Challenge - Short, COMPLETELY NEVER IN REAL LIFE EVER unrealistic, totally filthy, kind of adorable.

82. The Layover - Not particularly compelling in any way. Not even the dirty ways.

83. Reason Enough – A follow on with Dan and Elle from Dirty. I felt like I should like it, but probably could have lived without it.

84. Tempted – This was kind of really bad. There was way too much stuff crammed into one book, and the conflict between the two leads didn’t even really make sense. And then the resolution to the non-problem? Yeah, no.

85. Double Time – A book from my beloved Sinners on Tour series. Um, you’re going to need to join Goodreads and click through for my review and then NEVER EVER READ THIS BOOK.

86. Stranger – THERE WAS A TERRIBLE IN LAW IN THIS BOOK. You know how that makes my ass twitch. There was a point where this book could have ended, but didn’t, that would have made me SUPER impressed. Regardless, I really liked it a lot.

87. This is What I Want - I have no actual feelings. I skimmed the sex parts and read the rest, which was kind of boring.

88. The Girl in the Park – This is one of those young adult books where I imagine the experience reading it as an adult-adult is worlds different than reading it as a young adult. Both strong experiences, I’m sure – I mean to take nothing away from the experience of reading this as a teen. I’m just noting how different my worldview now must color my experience of reading it as an adult. God. This was a good book. And I just want to say, I don’t now or ever give a crap and a half about how quickly you are able to “figure it out.” Honestly, if you need a challenge that badly, go stare at a Magic Eye poster or do a billion piece puzzle. NO ONE CARES. The mystery part of this book, while good, very good, is not the main drive of this book. It’s not. If you read it, and you “figure it out,” don’t let it dictate your feelings on the book, because there’s more coming. You’re not done with this book until you’re done.

89. Beautiful Disaster – I liked this, and I’m not going to apologize for it. This is in the category of “new adult,” not “young adult,” and I think you definitely need to understand that if you’re going to read it. Don’t picture twelve to fifteen year old girls reading this. Don’t. It’ll hurt your heart.

90. Becoming Sister Wives – Heeeeheeeeheeeeeheeeheee. This was so hilariously uncomfortable to read. I felt like they were each taking their turn to “have their say” about disputed situations that had happened in the past. One would tell her side of the story, and another wife would come right behind with her perspective on the same story. You can tell which wives think especially highly of themselves and not so much of the others, and it’s clear who does not like who. They wrote this book as a kind of reveal of what polygamy is really like, and it’s really like catty women not liking each other.

91. Love Unrehearsed - I was so sad to hate this book so much, since I liked the first in the series. This was TERRIBLE. It was long, meandering, it had no plot. It was just weird little vignettes stuck together. Taryn had no real personality anymore, she turned into a perfect little Mary Sue in perfect little fan fiction scenes. This was god awful.

92. The Opportunist – I know that the point of these characters is that they’re all kind of terrible people. But they were really all kind of terrible people. I could not champion anyone, making this a hard slog. Also, it was gratingly poorly edited, much like my blog posts.

93. Seduced by a Pirate – Oh, self. (I gave it three stars.)

94. Captive in the Dark – There are a lot of negative reviews of this book that have to do with its subject matter, and I guess that’s fine, it’s not for everyone, but I kind of picked it to read BECAUSE of its subject matter, and was disappointed. The plot was lacking, the promised subject matter did not come through. The author actually laid out the whole plot at the beginning, told us what was GOING TO HAPPEN, and then did not follow through. Kind of just made weird jabs at the promised plot, but could not actually pull it together and make it happen. And I CANNOT UNDERSTAND THAT. How can that be? YOU LAID OUT THE PLOT. MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR ME.

95. The Unidentified Redhead – This book has so many good reviews, which is boggling to me, since it is kind of terrible, but also not boggling to me, since the redhead is a huge, HUGE Mary Sue that everyone would like to think that they kind of are, with the constant witty one liners, etc, the average 30 something lady that the young Hollywood guy falls head over heels for. She’s so quirky! She leaves little piles of melba toast from Chex mix around! Isn’t that charming!

96. The Redhead Revealed – At this point, I was kind of just embarrassed for the author, like I was spying in on her fantasies, like how we all kind of drift off and imagine ourselves sometimes with the clever friends and bright sparkly conversation, or how sometimes when you’re out in public and there’s a group of people having their conversation just a bit too loud and you know they think they’re being really clever, so they’re having the conversation especially loudly specifically for the benefit of others to hear, so we all know how clever they are? Ugh ugh ugh ugh. I am legit embarrassed for the author.

97. Accidentally the Sheikh’s Wife – “I LOVE YOU!” 35 seconds into the book, for no apparent reason, then they get married, then the book is over. Sorry I ruined that for you.

98. The Magicians – I can’t decide if I liked this because I liked this, or if I liked this because I was really wanting a book like this book (magic, fantasy world, Harry Potter-ish, etc) to come along for a long time now. I haven’t started the sequel yet, I’m not sure if I want to.

99. The Marriage Bargain – Okay, remember that specific romance novel plot I described above, the one I really like? Well that, plus it was particularly well done, like the lady wasn’t really eye-rollingly perfect, PLUS? THERE WAS A DOG. You guys, so much snot. The snot-and-tear factory fired up about halfway to two-thirds of the way in and just did. not. stop. It was fabulous.

100. Naked – If you liked Bared to You, you’ll like this book. Damaged lady, damaged billionaire alpha male, dirty sex. Stayed up late to read it.

101. All In – Sequel to Naked. Obviously you’ll be reading this.

102. On Dublin Street - Finished out the year with more of the same. Rich alpha male type, damaged lady type, snots, etc. LOOK, I AM A LADY WHO KNOWS WHAT SHE LIKES. This one was good, not especially remarkable. Maybe even somewhat irritating, I’m getting kind of sick of the “Look, I’m running away because I am damaged and damaged ladies run away from rich handsome men who want to give them everything because they’re damaged and that’s what damaged ladies do” thing, because, I don’t know, come up with something better.

*****

OH, ALSO, I mentioned this on Twitter last night: obviously I read a lot of lady sex books, I don’t know if you noticed. So, there are a lot of authors writing books that focus a lot on sex. That’s a thing now, it’s been a thing for a while, but it’s obviously becoming a much more mainstream thing. It’s obviously not a very big deal to write books in which adult women make adult choices to have sex. Yet in several – many – at least in the last two or three in a ROW – of the books I have read, when the whole condom/birth control/etc moment comes up, the lady mentions or explains, either out loud or in expository text, that she’s on the pill to regulate her period. This is supposedly to explain why she would be taking the birth control pill when she doesn’t currently have a steady sex partner.

Authors. It was 2012. It is now 2013. You are sexually evolved enough to be writing and publishing sexy books for ladies comfortable enough to be buying and reading them. Your lady hero can just BE on the pill. She can just take it. She can still be on it from her last relationship. She can take it just because. She can take it to regulate her periods and not say so. She doesn’t need to explain it to the dude about to bone her – because he doesn’t care – and she certainly doesn’t need to explain it to the readers. Because we’re ladies and we’re reading a sex book and we’re not judging her.

If, for some reason that is not going to happen but is being used as a hypothetical here, Phil and I were to split up, my thought process would not go like this:

“Ok, well, I’ll take the pots and the pans, he can see Penny on weekends and holidays, just finished moving into my new place, I’m so tired, going to take my medicine and go to bed, oh, guess I just won’t take the birth control since I no longer have a sex partner, that would make me a shameless hussy. I better stop protecting my womb from an unplanned pregnancy now that I’m a single lady, lest someone judge.”

Uh, fuck no. I am on the pill, I would just continue to take it. Why would I continue to take the pill when not in a committed relationship with a regular partner? Because fuck you, shut up, and mind your business, that’s why.

SERIOUSLY. Look. I know that many women do, did, will, might, can, should, and think about taking the pill to regulate their periods. It’s a valid reason to take birth control. You know what else is a valid reason to take birth control? Fuck you, shut up, and mind your business, that’s why.

Stop explaining about the periods! No one cares! NO ONE CARES.

 

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7 Responses to “Books I read last year that you should read or not read, or do whatever, what do I know, part 2.”

  1. By Amy K on Jan 1, 2013

    So the only book I’ve read on your list is The Magicians, but for what it’s worth, I enjoyed The Magician King more because Quentin is slightly less of a self-absorbed asshat in it. Slightly.

  2. By Elizabeth on Jan 1, 2013

    All I know is this:

    “Intelligence: high. Body: hard. Mission: what no one else can do.”

    is the best description of a book ever of all time, the end. AH AHA HA HAHAHA thank you for that laugh.

    And now I have to go take a pill. To regulate my periods, you know.

  3. By Jennie on Jan 2, 2013

    Robert used to give me a hard time for always reading lady sex books! I really really disliked 50 Shades of Grey but a lot of these have made it into my want to read list. I read Love Unscripted (I think that’s the book before Love Unrehearsed) and actually kind of hated it…

    The last time I said I was on the pill to regulate my periods I was 15 and literally on the pill to regulate my periods.

  4. By cindy w on Jan 2, 2013

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who disliked the Unidentified Redhead. So many people I like just raved about how awesome it was, and I couldn’t even finish the first book, because it was just so… ugh. Yes, exactly what you said.

    And the thing with explaining away the pill – because, obviously, if you take it for any other reason, you’re a whore and it ruins the whole “virgin meets experienced man” fantasy? Gaaaaaah. I hate that. Just take your damn pill and don’t explain why because the reader is not your gynecologist.

  5. By Danell on Jan 2, 2013

    Seriously, your rants are like some of my VERY FAVORITE things to read. I LOVE THEM. I snicker on and off for HOURS after reading this stuff.

    Fuck you, shut up, and mind your business. YES. (Do you know how many times a day I want to say this exact thing? Does it make me a bad person if I don’t want to limit it to anyone curious about someone’s birth control? Does it make me less bad if I refrain from actually saying it every time the urge strikes?)

    Anyhow, I don’t understand why I have to read about the pill or any such nonsense in a book. IT’S A BOOK. IT IS FICTION. Can’t we just go with the rest of the fantasy and assume that there won’t be any such thing as an unwanted pregnancy or genital-ruining STDs without the technicalities?

  6. By Laura Diniwilk on Jan 3, 2013

    Haaaaaaaaaaa, the birth control thing drives me nuts too! I thought that was just something high school girls tell their mom when mom finds the pill pack, and mom agrees to go along with it while knowing full well that her daughter is getting some weiner. That is not something that anyone thinks to themselves prior to unprotected sex, ever.

  7. By Corinne on Jan 4, 2013

    But are you Temerity Jane on Goodreads? I searched but did not find.

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