After a busy holiday season, I was really craving some lighter reading… but also a little self-improvement. I read a LOT this month but keep in mind that three of the books are pretty much at a third grade reading level. (I’m ain’t mad.) If you are a YA fan and have not read The Selection trilogy, please stop what you are doing and order it. Just be sure to order all three books at once as once you start you won’t be able to start. I can’t promise you will feel good about the time you waste reading them – they are literal junk food books… but sometimes that’s just the thing, right??? It’s not even anything new, but at New Year’s Eve, one of my besties (who has the exact same taste in books as me) recommended it and I literally ordered it from the party. Best decision ever.
So yeah. 7 books this month. This sounds totally crazy but there are a lot of quick reads in here… it was also the holiday break which always means reading more than usual!
If you’re looking for a book, don’t forget – you can always check out my Book Club Page. I have literally listed every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years…. and you can filter + search (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for And of course, you can also take a peek at last month’s reading list, which was one of my favorites to date.
AND! Please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are my favorite… I literally shop the comments section of these post – you always have such good recommendations for me, which I really appreciate!
* The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is one that I devoured in literally 24 hours. It was so good! It’s the story of Nellie and Vanessa… the young, happy, bride to be vs. the disturbed and bitter ex-wife. I knew from the jacket of the book that I should “assume nothing,” so I read and read and read trying to guess every twist and turn. I ended up guessing the big twist slightly early, but still in a way that hit me over the head the way that only a great thriller can. But then there was another really big twist at the end. I could not put it down and really loved it. If you are looking for a great page turner, I highly highly recommend this one. It just came out two days ago, but I was able to read it early because of my Book of the Month subscription.
* Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman, is one that I was really really excited for as when I posted it to my instagram story, so many of you FREAKED out – telling me how good it was! Well, as usual, you guys did not let me down. I loved it. It was all around hilarious, depressing, and ultimately heartwarming. I realize that’s a strange combination but it’s the truth. In a way, it reminded me quite a bit of A Man Called Ove. The main character (Eleanor Oliphant) has been through a lot. Like, a LOT. I won’t tell you all of her struggles and childhood terribleness as it will give things away, but things take a serendipitous turn and she befriends a kindly IT man at work. At age 30, this is her first friend. They end up saving a man who’s fallen and the friendship goes from there – ultimately transforming her and in a way, saving her life. I laughed and cried and felt uncomfortable a lot but ultimately just really loved every character in the book and felt really warm and fuzzy when I finally set it down.
* The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson, will probably change your life. I’ve been a big fan of his writing for ages and had been meaning to read the book and finally did it this month! I am not going to try and do his words/advice justice, but it honestly made me look at pretty much EVERYTHING in my life very differently. One thing in particular that really resonated with me is the importance of taking responsibility for our own actions/reactions to situations. So sure, someone can do something terrible to you but how you respond to it is entirely your own responsibility. There is a lot of tough love in here but it’s something I really needed to read. There is so much information in it that I had to take breaks… and truthfully, I will probably re-read it again next month as I need to make sure I let everything he says really sink in and take root for 2018. I am NOT a self-help book person but I cannot recommend this enough!
* The Selection, by Kiera Cass, is something I am REALLY embarrassed to recommend because it’s terrible (in the best way) but am also REALLY excited to recommend because if you are looking for a young adult series to tear through, this is it. Guilty pleasure reading at it’s best. After reading Mark Manson’s book, I wanted something lighter and this was just the thing. It’s basically The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor – set way in the future in a dystopian caste system, where 35 women (one from each district – sound familiar?) compete for the attention of the prince and ultimately become queen. It is not great literature, it is not going to make you smarter by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a very fun read. My only recommendation is to order the whole series at once – I finished the first one in less than a day (I could not stop!!!) and was very sad when I had to wait for the next one to come in the mail.
* The Elite is book #2 in The Selection trilogy. I also read this in a day. The selection process is now down to just 6 “elite” girls, and America is still stuck between her two loves… Prince Maxon, and her childhood boyfriend, Aspen. I could not put it down.
* The One is the third book of The Selection trilogy. Similar to the others, I read it in a day… staying up late reading and getting up early the next morning to keep going. This book is so annoying but I had to know what happened. There are so many ups and downs and twists and turns and the ending is predictable but like I said… this book is (fantastic) junk food. Totally satisfying.
* The Identicals, by Elin Hilderbrand. Okay first of all, Elin Hilderbrand’s novels are (for me), like Chicken Soup for the Soul. Most (all?) of them are based in Nantucket, and as someone who grew up by the beach on Cape Cod, they make me extremely nostalgic. This one is no exception… my mom passed it along to me over the holiday break and I devoured it in just a few short days. It’s the story of Harper and Tabitha Frost – two identical sisters, living on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. They endured a feud years ago and no longer speak but the death of their father brings them back together and they manage to in a way, switch lives for the summer. It’s incredibly heartwarming and I could not recommend it enough!
photography by Trent Bailey.