How I read so many books + “You” by Caroline Kepnes

I love books. Duh, right? Even if you don’t know me or haven’t read my blatherings on this blog, you can guess that by the title. I seriously wish I could get paid to read and tell you all about it.

And I rarely find books I don’t like. I feel like most books have a redeeming quality. Part of me realizes that these authors pour their heart and soul into their books, and I work hard to find the good.

But really, I just love to lose myself in the pages of a book — to let the words trigger my imagination and to pull me into a different reality.

And I read A LOT. My favorite way to read is a real book, but I’m almost as happy with my Kindle (and it is so much easier to carry around, and to have a spare book just in case). But I also have to do things that require my hands and my eyes; this means I can’t really work — or do laundry, or make dinner — with a book in my hands. Luckily, though, there are audio books.

I listen to audio books while I work or clean. I often get them from the library, but I also have an Audible subscription. One book a month from Audible, and I use it wisely: picking a book I haven’t read, or one that I want to reread but can’t quite fit into my reading schedule. I try to pick a longer book (a better value), and I attempt to buy books that I would want in my library. I have favorite readers for different genres, and certain writers that I like better in audio form.

And there is just something awesome about being read to by another human.

Audible is winning me over more and more, even away from the free library downloads, because it’s so easy to use with all my devices. On my phone. My tablet. My laptop. And, especially, my Alexa. Or I should say OUR Alexas. We have an original one in the kitchen, and I have a Tap in my office (which just became handsfree-which is why I just gave my husband my Dot, so he can use it in his office). It’s wonderful, because I can tell it to read my book by saying “Alexa, read (whatever book it is)” and it does! But, because Audible is an Amazon company, it’s the only one that can do that.

Now, I can listen to books (FREE!!) from the library through bluetooth, but it drains my phone battery and the quality isn’t as good as Audible (I keep hoping for a Skill or something similar for Overdrive, but I haven’t found it).

Any way, that’s one of my secrets to getting through so many books. While I’m working or cooking or cleaning or folding laundry, I can let someone read to me. And, if it’s a book I own for the Kindle and on Audible , I can switch back and forth easily without skipping a beat.

I would say one out of every four books I read is an audio book. I used to feel guilty about it, thinking that maybe an audio version doesn’t count as real reading. And maybe it isn’t quite the same. But I still find myself falling into the words, letting them transport me to different places, different times, different worlds. Yeah, someone else is reading the words, but I’m listening to them, and they’re having the same effect.

So I’m going to keep listening to my books, and counting those books as read. Purists may disagree, but to them I say GET A LIFE.


And just to prove my point, here’s a review of an AWESOME book I read listened to: You by Caroline Kepnes

“I love Stephen King as much as any red rum drinking American, but I resent the fact that I, the bookseller, am his bitch.”
Caroline Kepnes,  You

The Premise 

from the book blurb

When aspiring writer and recent Brown graduate Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: she’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and sexy beyond his wildest dreams. Joe needs to have her, and he’ll stop at nothing to do so. As he begins to insinuate himself into her life – her friendships, her email, her phone – she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom-made for her. So when her boyfriend, Benji, mysteriously disappears, Beck and Joe fall into a tumultuous affair. But there’s more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade, and their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences.

Dark, masterful, and timely, debut novelist Caroline Kepnes’ You is a perversely romantic thriller that’s more dangerously clever than any you’ve heard before. A chilling account of unrelenting passion, this tale of love, sex, and death will stay with you long after the story ends.

My Thoughts

First off, let me say I’m not really into erotica for erotica’s sake. To each his own, but it’s not my thing.

That said, I’m fine it when it shows up in a book, if it fits in.  And often there is some erotic passages in a psychological thriller.

But, Wow! A creepy, psychological thriller should not have any right to be this erotic!

(It was dicey listening to You — with the girls only at school for about 7 hours).

But holy wow! Holy wow. Holy WOW! This book crossed a lot of lines for me. Erotic, funny, engrossing, and just plain fascinating. Joe Goldberg is a sort of Holden Caulfield with a psycho streak.  A loner who is willing to really get down and dirty for love. Seriously, Joe would kill for love. An outsider who doesn’t care, except when he REALLY cares.

Joe Goldberg is a psycho and a stalker and a killer, but he’s also funny and insightful. He’s a smart serial killer.

A little  confession:  I  read listened to the second installment of the Joe Goldberg saga — Hidden Bodies — so I already knew Joe Goldberg and I knew how the story ends here. And I didn’t think I needed You first, because I enjoyed Hidden Bodies so much. Both were really good (read all about my thoughts on it HERE). But, if I had it to do again, I would have read it listened to it in the right order.

Any way, I’m a little in love with Joe Goldberg, although I do NOT want to meet him, or have anyone I know date him! But I will listen to his ramblings and obsessions all day long.

I fell into You immediately. Kepnes created tension IMMEDIATELY and doesn’t let up for the whole book. It’s incredible, because it’s a long book.

And Joe Goldberg made me tense and nervous. I didn’t want him to do the pyscho stuff he does, and then I didn’t want him to get caught, all at the same time wishing someone would stop him! I wanted to know a little bit more about his upbringing, which seemed to have contributed more than a little to his obsessions and how he acts on them! (Maybe there’s a prequel in the works?).

I would LOVE to have lunch with Caroline Kepnes — but not in a Joe Goldberg kind of way. Her mind has to be dark and bizarre and abnormally funny.

If you’re into dark humor, or just dark, read or listen to this book (and Santino Fontana does a great job reading Joe Goldberg’s deepest, darkest, pyscho-ist thoughts–he’s a finalist for 2017  Thriller/Suspense Audie Award  for Hidden Bodies). It’s so creepy, but also clever and entertaining. I LOVED it.



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