Instagram!

Hey guys!
I’ve wanted to make a second instagram account for book posts for a while now, but I didn’t want to have to go back and forth from one account to the other. Luckily, today I won a contest (coincidentally, an Instagram contest haha) and got a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 4! Isn’t that awesome?! So now I can use 2 instagram accounts at the same time!
So I just created an instagram account to go along with this blog a little, so my username is the same (@beccasbookshelves)
If you want to see pictures of books, give me a follow! And if you let me know you found my profile from this post, I’ll follow you back 🙂
It doesn’t have that many pictures yet because I just got started, but I’m planning on posting pretty regularly! And if you have a book instagram, definitely let me know your usernames so I can follow you!
Also, if anyone is interested in following my personal instagram, my username is @beccaxthebeach 🙂

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13. Ransom Riggs – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Hey guys, just finished my newest read, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I saw one of my friends reading this book a while ago and thought it looked interesting without even knowing what it was about, and my new roommate had a copy of it so I got to read it.

This book was weird. I guess I could have guessed that just by looking at the cover, but you’re not supposed to judge those, right? 😉

Anyway, the book is about a teenager named Jacob whose grandfather has always told him these crazy, unbelievable stories about his childhood. Jacob believed these stories as a kid, but as he got older, he figured that they were just tales his grandpa had told him because he was a little kid.

Ransom Riggs - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (photo taken by me)
Ransom Riggs – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (photo taken by me)

Then one day, Jacob’s grandfather calls him frantically yelling about monsters coming to get him. Jacob and his father consider this to be one of many signs that his grandpa is losing his mind and needs to be put in a home, but first Jacob is sent to check on him. When he gets there, Jacob can’t find his grandpa anywhere in the house and eventually finds him in the woods with a horrible slash in his stomach.

Right before he dies, Jacob’s grandfather tells him what seems to be an important message, but one that also makes no sense. Jacob also sees what appears to be a horrible monster in the woods behind his grandpa. What he saw in the woods and the message he heard trouble Jacob for a while and he ends up going to see a psychiatrist about it because his parents think he’s gone a little crazy.

Eventually, he begins to crack the code and understand what his grandpa was trying to tell him, and that leads him on a journey to a remote island off the coast of Wales with his father, where he encounters Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

He becomes friends with all the people in that home and ends up on a mission to help them save everything they know.

I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this book. To be fair, I just finished it about 30 minutes ago, so I haven’t had much time to mull it over.

It was certainly interesting and intriguing. While I was reading it, it really had me wanting to know what was going to happen next. However, this is not the type of book I normally like, which I think affected the way I feel about it. It also ended in a way that completes the story but also makes you want to read the next book, but I’m not so sure if I will or not.

It is a pretty easy read and it’s interesting, so if you think that it looks good, you’ll probably like it.

12. Judy Melinek – Working Stiff

I finished a new book yesterday – Working Stiff by Judy Melinek, M.D. and T.J. Mitchell. I actually had to read this book for my Biology class, but since it’s a novel and not a textbook, I’m still going to review it.

Judy Melinek, M.D. & T.J. Mitchell - Working Stiff (photo taken by me)
Judy Melinek, M.D. & T.J. Mitchell – Working Stiff (photo taken by me)

The book is titled Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner. Judy Melinek is a medical examiner and this book tells the story of her training at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

Throughout the book, she talks about different cases she encountered and how she dealt with them. She addresses her role in dealing with the families of the deceased that she works with and even her experience after 9/11. She also intertwines stories about her homelife into the book, sharing how her work has affected her outside life.

This book does have some gruesome details, and I wouldn’t recommend it to someone with a very queasy stomach. I actually have taken a Forensics class at my school, so the topics covered in this book weren’t entirely new for me. Obviously, learning about dead people and autopsies is bound to have some gross aspects to it, but this book also offers so much more.

I thought this book was humbling. It makes you realize how easy it actually is to die, but you also see that a lot of the deaths Melinek dealt with were avoidable in one way or another. It also shows you how a medical examiner’s job is much more than dissecting bodies, they also have to put together the whole story of the death as well as interact with the people’s relatives.

This book was very interesting. It was informative and a very easy read – I flew through it in my spare time in two days. I was actually kind of sad when I finished it because I had really grown to like Melinek’s voice in the book and her presentation of the stories. If this kind of stuff interests you, this book is definitely worth a read.

11. Alexandra Horowitz – Inside of a Dog

I just finished my latest book, Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. I saw this book at Barnes & Noble and, being the dog lover that I am, picked it up. I chose to read it these past few weeks to shake up my genres a bit because I still feel like I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs lately.

Before I started this book, I looked up reviews on it, which is not something I usually do. I think I was curious because this book is different from anything I’d normally read, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it.

Alexandra Horowitz - Inside of a Dog (photo taken by me)
Alexandra Horowitz – Inside of a Dog (photo taken by me)

The book explains “what dogs see, smell, and know,” as told by Horowitz, a cognitive scientist. Basically, Horowitz was interested in the behavior of dogs and spent years studying and analyzing their behaviors in order to write this book. The book gives you a better understanding of why dogs act the way they do and what they can actually understand.

The reviews I read of this book were not all that positive – a lot of people said they felt that the book didn’t really have a point and left them wanting a better understanding still.

I completely disagree with those reviews. I really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot of interesting facts about dogs through this book, was able to relate to it since I have a dog at home, and even though it may not answer all questions I have about dogs, it still gave me a much better understanding of them. Horowitz also points out in the book that not all dog behaviors have an explanation, so it makes sense that she can’t answer everyone’s questions.

I thought the book was really interesting and it taught me a lot. Horowitz uses examples of her dog, Pumpernickel, to introduce her findings, which I thought was a really nice touch. The book also has a really nice ending that helps the reader to admire their own dog in a new way.

I think this book would be great for any dog lovers, especially people who have their own dogs, because then while you’re reading it you can connect it to your dog and learn a lot more about them.

I really love dogs in general, which I think made me biased in terms of liking this book, but I’d love to hear about your dogs in the comments! 🙂

10. Michelle Huneven – Blame

Last night, I finished the book Blame by Michelle Huneven. It took me a while to get through so it wasn’t really a fast read, but I liked it.

When it takes me a while to get through books, I generally start having negative feelings toward them, because it seems to me like they’re dragging on. However, this book had an interesting story that kept me satisfied even though it took me a while to get through it.

Michelle Huneven - Blame (photo taken by me)
Michelle Huneven – Blame (photo taken by me)

The book is about a woman in her mid 20s named Patsy who is an alcoholic. She wakes up in jail after one of her many blackouts to find out that a mother and daughter were killed in her driveway. The book follows Patsy into prison, out of prison and to AA meetings, and through her life for the next few decades.

The first blurb I read about this book only really talked about Patsy’s drunken accident, so I was expecting this book to be all about her experiences going through the trial and whatnot, but that actually only takes up a very small portion of the beginning of the book. The rest of the book deals with her life after the accident – a little bit of her time in prison, her life after prison, and eventually her married life.

I really liked this book. I thought it was very well written and interesting. There was a good amount of characters introduced throughout the book which kept it moving along with different side stories, but not so many characters that you couldn’t keep track of them. I also think it’s a really nice story about a life turned around, albeit because of a tragedy.

The one thing I wasn’t too crazy about in this book was the ending. After all the events that occur throughout the book, the ending just seemed kind of boring to me. It’s a happy ending, and I was glad to see Patsy happy (because I had become emotionally attached to her), but it just wasn’t as exciting as the rest of the book.

Overall, I think this is a really good book. It starts out with a touchy subject, which gives the book a sort of gloomy look, but it turns around and is an overall positive book.