I can’t even begin to tell you how much I absolutely LOVED everything I read this month. Like, LOVED… obsessed over. And each book was so different. There is a haunting novel that takes place in an entirely different culture, a brilliant love story, the most fun beach read, a fantastic memoir/cultural study on love… so really, something for everyone. I can’t say enough good things about every single book on this month’s list. As always, for more recommendations you can check out my Book Club page, where you can filter all of my favorite books by genre… and also take a peek at last month’s reading list!
As always! please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are always my favorite… I literally shop the comments section of these posts… you guys have such good recommendations!
* The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See, was recommended to me by two of the people I respect most when it comes to taste in books. My mom (who saw it on my counter when she visited and immediately remarked how sad she was that she was done reading it), and Victoria. It’s one of those books that just gives you chills. It follows the story of Li-yan, a young girl living in the remote Chinese mountains. Her family is is tea farmers and we watch her grow up (enduring some of the most incredible difficulties but ultimately persevering – leaving her village to seek an education). Anything I write honestly isn’t going to do it justice (and that description actually sounds kind of boring?), so I will just say that what I loved most about it is how much I learned (about Chinese culture and tea farming) but also the way that everything works out in the end. Without saying too much, the ending had me sobbing.
* Miss You, by Kate Eberlen is one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. I read it while I was in London and spent a few meals by myself absolutely sucked into this. It’s the story of Gus and Tess, who meet when they are 18 and continue to just *miss* each other for years and years and years (the story ends when they’re 34). It’s one of those stories that is just so wonderful as it is romantic and beautiful but also very real. Both characters go through huge losses and incredibly difficult times… but there’s also this wonderful romantic element. I couldn’t put it down and cried at the end. A bit like The Light We Lost in that way, except this month I was crying happy tears.
* Fitness Junkie, by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, is your beach read. It’s such a fun one. Lucy and Jo are kind of just the dream team when it comes to these fun, slightly satirical but mostly light take-downs of New York (and it’s crazy trends). I featured their last book (The Knockoff) in a 2015 reading list, and I loved that because of how accurately (in a funny, slightly satirical way) it captured the digital/fashion/start-up industry and what it’s like to work in one of those environments. Fitness Junkie does exactly that, for the fitness industry. I mean, it’s a little crazy how obsessed we’ve all become with wellness. This takes you on the main character Janey’s journey to lose a little weight. It starts with green juice and turns into cultish workout classes, spiritual healers, naked yoga.. the works. There’s also (of course) a cute little love story. It’s fun, it’s light… I read it in a couple days and could not put it down to save my life!
* How to Fall in Love With Anyone, by Mandy Len Cantron came as a surprise to me. Her publisher sent me a copy and I was overjoyed to receive it/learn that she had published a book as I loved her Modern Love piece (based upon these questions), even answering some of those questions here in this blog post! Her book is part memoir, part cultural study – drawing upon her own relationships, her parents’ + grandparents’ relationship, other books and even fairy tales (her takedown of Cinderella is kind of epic). I really loved it, as I really enjoy reading about love and share a lot her beliefs about love – I hate how every movie/fairy tale idealizes marriage but never talks about what comes next, I’m not sure I really believe in soulmates, and I don’t think there is anything “wrong” with being single. It’s really smartly written, fun to read, and I’d absolutely recommend it no matter what your romantic status might be.
photo by Felicia Lasala
I’ve heard a lot about Lisa See’s books, so The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane sounds like it’d be a reliable, good read!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
I really loved it – such a good book!!!!
I’ve read another of Lisa See’s books and have been wanting to pick up Tea Girl for awhile! I’ll have to put it on my immediate TBR. 🙂
Briana | youngsophisticate.com
How did you like her other books? This was my first one from her and I loved it!!!
I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan back when it came out like 10 years ago and it was wonderful. It takes place in 19th century China and I remember learning so much about the culture and the experiences of women during those times. I highly recommend it! I just ordered Tea Girl based on your review and can’t wait to read it.
so good to know! I ca’t wait to read more of her work!!! xx
I just read “Touch” by Courtney Maum and it was a searing look at how invasive technology is becoming- it was like “The Circle” by Dave Eggers, but more grounded in relationships.
And I recently re-read “The Book That Matters Most” by Ann Hood. I love this book. It covers mother-daughter relationships, grief, new friendships… I can’t recommend it enough.
Oooh I am going to have to check out Touch – that sounds right up my alley as I loved The Circle. Thank you so much for the suggestions!!!
Can’t wait to read Fitness Junkie. I really enjoyed Lucy Sykes’ previous book.
I loved it too! I can never put her books down. 🙂 xx
Love your reading lists! It usually takes me several months to get to but they never disappoint once I do.
Aw, thank you Sara! I am so happy that you enjoy them!!! xoxo
The Marriage Lie, I have seen it on other blogger’s lists recently but I first saw it on Jen Lancaster’s IG a month or so ago. Its a fun beach read mystery.
oooh thanks for the recommendation!!!
Love ALL of Lisa See’s novels! My faves this summer:
Saints for all Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
‘Round Midnight by LR McBride
p.s. I’m a friend of your Aunt Jean’s …love her
Thank you so much for the recommendation!!!
And so happy to hear that you are a friend of hers… she is the best and one of my favorite people ever! Seeing her tomorrow!!! xx
I loved Behind Closed Doors and The Good Girl last month! Right now I’m reading The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand 🙂
I love Elin! I haven’t read The Castaways yet but I’ll put it on my list!
Adding to my list as well!!!
OMG I read both of those and loved them. Must add The Castaways to my list as everyone has been recommending it!
Love these posts! They’re my favorite every month 🙂
This month I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and…. oh my gosh… a must read. It’s different from Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other books, but still incredible. I finished it in a day.
Also A Man Called Ove, which is a little older but also an amazing read! And The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand – a great read for anyone with sisters!
Aw good I am so so glad!! I LOVED A Man Called Ove… and Elin Hilderbrand is amazing! xx
Hi there-Thank you for the book recommendations! I’m also loving your coral-red lippie in your book club pic. Can you please share what brand/shade this is? Thank you!:)
Ack – I actually don’t remember!!! Marc Jacobs Cora Cora is very similar but I’m not 100% sure on what I wore that day!
I’m reading “into the water” right now!; just like everyone else haha but it’s great! I if ciurse also ready”Girl on a train”. I read a little bit of everything so it’s great to have such a mixture until our reading lists!I just recently started carving out time to read more and it feels AMAZING! I
I loved Into the Water!!!
I read it last month and really enjoyed it. Girl On the Train was great too!
Adding all of these to my to-read list on Goodreads. I’m so glad I discovered your blog! I always need more book recommendations (even though I have, like, 20 years worth of books on my to-read list).
Aw good! I’m so glad to hear it!!!
These posts kill me Grace. I love them so much but I always end up buying everything you recommend! Some great books I’ve read recently: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (so happy sad), My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout and the Crazy Rich Asians series by Kevin Kwan. Happy reading! x
Aw I am so happy you enjoy them! And THANK YOU for the recs!!! xx
Miss You sounds fascinating. Will be adding to my reading list. Coincidentally, this just came up in my FB timeline before I read your post: http://heart.tumblr.com/post/158334599889/sometimes-i-wonder-if-in-a-previous-time-youve
I’m currently reading Hubert by Ben Gijsemans. It’s about a loner, it seems by choice, who frequents museums and art galleries.
That tumblr post is the exact premise of Miss You!!!
Hubert sounds interesting – thanks for the suggestion! xx
When I read your description of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, it reminded me a bit of A Fine Balance – which is one of my favorite books I’ve ever read. It’s set in India (so you learn a lot about that culture) and it’s heartbreaking and moving and powerful. Highly recommend !
Thank you so much for the suggestion – I have to check it out! x
All of this sound incredible, though not going to lie, I’m going to start with Fitness Junkie because I can already relate to Janey? Haha, thank you for this beautiful post xx
Haha same! It’s a great book!!!
After reading The Nightingale (thanks for the recommendation), I’ve been searching for historical fiction and nonfiction of Europe during the Second World War. I read The Alice Network- !!!!- couldn’t put it down and just tonight finished Stolen Beauty. It’s about two women- aunt and niece- and jumps back and forth between their stories and the quest to return Klimt’s portrait of said aunt to the family after WWII. Of course I had to do research afterwards and learned it’s based on a true story and there was even a film made a couple of years ago starring Helen Mirren as the niece. Highly recommend both of these books.
Oooooh this sounds like something I need to read! Thank you for the suggestion!
can’t wait to get my hands on How to Fall in Love With Anyone!
Yay! I loved it!!!
These sound like great books! I need to add some of them to my list! | http://ourpassportpages.com/
Let me know if you read any of them!!
How To Fall In Love With Anyone sounds like such an amazing book would definitely enjoy that one! x
It is so so so good!!!
I absolutely love reading your monthly book posts – you’re very passionate about it, and I adore the variety! I’ve finally been able to get back to reading books of my own personal choice after coming back from college this summer; I’m always looking for recommendations to add to my never-ending book list. Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Aw good I am so happy to hear that!!! xx
I love your reading list posts, Grace! I need to read Fitness Junkie as I absolutely loved The Knockoff!
Oh good!!! Yes you will adore Fitness Junkie if you liked The Knockoff! xo
Grace, I finally read Fitness Junkie this week after making a note of it after this post. Was the perfect light read during all the holiday craziness (and while at hair/nail appointments haha!). I just realized when I came back to tell you how much I loved it that I also read Miss You from your recommendation. You have the best book recs! Thanks for sharing so many amazing ones!