Although I (try to) keep track of what I’m reading under the tab (above), I don’t usually write about each book. However, this type of post is one of my favorites on others’ blogs, so I figured I may as well contribute. I choose what to read based almost solely on recommendations, so I’d love to hear what your recent favorites are.
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin— Someone recommended this to be (via blog post) (maybe Catherine Newman?), and then a friend randomly mentioned it the same day, so I figured it was meant for me to read. I thought the writing was really thoughtful and good (even beautiful much of the time), but I found the story to be quite bleak. Well written but depressing. (Depressing isn’t necessarily bad, for me, but in this case I found it… well, DEPRESSING.)
The Passage by Justin Cronin— Twitter told me to read this, so of course I did. I… LOVED IT! And yet I also hated it! It was dark and kind of gave me unsettling dreams and occupied my mind when I wasn’t reading it, but then I found that I WANTED to keep reading. In the end, I told lots of people to read it (and one friend finally did… and felt pretty much the same way about it), and I plan to read the sequel, so… good book? I think?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephan Chbosky— I loved this. LOVED. I was charmed from the very beginning, and even as the story encountered some heavy topics, the charm kept me captivated. It felt upbeat and happy, even when the story wasn’t. Brilliant storytelling. I have no idea how the author made the writing seem so effortless. I plan to watch the movie.
Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin— I have this thing where I often don’t like the authors of self-help books. Also, I read her first happiness book whilst barfing my guts out during pregnancy a few years ago, so she’s already tainted for me. HOWEVER. I found that I didn’t straight-up dislike her. In fact, she grew on me. And I think her strategies are effect and even a little inspiring, and it can never hurt to focus on making one’s life happier, right? I’ve been doing my monthly wellness lists because of this book. Bonus: the bright cover makes it a cheerful book to have sitting around.
Hearing is Believing by Elisa Medhus— Uggg. This is the book we are collectively reading and discussing for my ECFE class (a “baby and me”-type class I take with Olive). It’s poorly written, with ideas weakly supported and NO. I wouldn’t have made it 20 pages if it wasn’t for the class. Even so, I’m barely skimming these days.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey— For the first time in AGES, nearly everyone in my book club actually read the book last month, and we all ADORED it. It’s beautifully written, both whimsical and stark and just all around very well done. I loved it. It made me love winter while I was reading it, and I read it in FEBRUARY, my worst, worst worst month, so that’s saying something. These characters are my friends now and will be with me always. Recommend!
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks— I don’t even know, you guys. I’ve learned my lesson. No more Mr. Sparks for me (not that I’ve really read many of his books to begin with). I just… ok SPOILER: Among other complaints (of which there are numerous), you do not get to make a MAIN CHARACTER a GHOST in the last three pages of the books. Fuck that. No.
House Rules by Jodi Picoult— Several years ago, I went on a bender and read ALL of Jodi’s books… Like John Grisham, they are quite engaging if not completely formulaic. Then I encountered one I just couldn’t get into, and I fizzled out on her. But sometimes when I want an engaging, can’t-put-down book that I can read quickly, she’s my girl. I really liked this one. It was about a kid with Aspergers (on trial, of course, as all her books deal with a legal issue) and seemed well-researched and fairly realistic (I don’t have much experience with kids with this type of autism, so don’t yell at me if you don’t agree!). Also, I gleaned the phrase “I need a sensory break!” from the main character (usually applied to my toddler and her scritchy-scratchy nails on my skin 24-7. As in: “David! I need a sensory break from this baby!”).
The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin— I was desperate for something to read while at Target recently and their selection sucked, and that’s how I came into ownership of this book. I’m not even finished with it…. and it’s ok. I’m making myself finish it, and now I’m feeling a bit more engaged all the time. It IS very Downton Abbey-ish, if you’re looking for something to fill the void until the next episodes air.