Recommended Reading.


You guys.  Maybe I’ve taken this whole living calmy thing a bit too far (or also, there was that matter of vacation…) but since my last book list, I’ve read eight books.  (Actually more than that, as I’m not including everything I’ve read recently here.)  In fairness, I’m still reading Mastering the Art of French Eating, but you get the point.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading.  It’s funny how the list sort of mirrors how I’ve been feeling.  I started out reading some pretty dark books (Sister, Dark Places) and then moved on to some lighter, funnier reads (like You Knew Me When) to my vacation reading when I read a little of everything, culminating in a feel good read (I Couldn’t Love You More) and finally a little culture (Mastering the Art of French Eating.)

I should point out that at least half of these books were recommended to me by you guys.  Thank you… seriously.  If you’ve read anything great lately, I’d love to know about it – don’t be shy!

  1. Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn is very dark.  Just like Gone Girl, Flynn takes you on a roller coaster ride as we follow the main character (whose family was brutally murdered when she was young) on a journey as she discovers what really happened to her family.
  2. Sister, by Rosamund Lipton is bone-chillingly good (thank you to Jackie for the recommendation!)  The protagonist’s sister disappears and is later found murdered.  She knows that her sister did not commit suicide as everyone claims… and a dark, twisty mystery ensues.  I read this one in a few short days because I couldn’t put it down.
  3. The Other Typist is probably my favorite book on this list.  Well maybe… truthfully, I loved every book on this list.  But it’s a bit of a mind f*ck, which I love.  A la Gone Girl, it takes you on twists + turns and completely messes with your head.  On top of that it is set in the twenties in New York.  Flappers, prohibition, speakeasies… so good. If you read it, email me afterward, I want to hear what you thought about the ending!
  4. You Knew Me When, by Emily Leibert is one of those fun, guilty reads that I read in one sitting.  It’s about a lot of things, but mostly… friendship.  Reading can be an emotional thing and I put this one down feeling happy and warm inside… exactly what I needed.
  5. I Couldn’t Love You More, by Jillian Medoff is another warmer-upper.  The characters are so vulnerable and real.  It’s about love and family.  I love that you sympathize and really grow attached to the main character, but at the same times you sometimes want to shake her.
  6. Heads in Beds is a hilarious look inside the hospitality business.  It’s been a while since I’d read a good memoir and I loved this one.  It’s written by Jacob Tomsky, who spent the majority of his career working at hotels in NYC and New Orleans.  It will make you laugh, make you think twice about how you tip at hotels, and give you some insight into how the hotel business really works.  As someone who grew up in a restaurant (literally – our house was attached,) I loved getting to see the inner workings of the hotel business.
  7. Where’d you go, Bernadette was a little bit kooky and jumps around quite a bit but I loved the story.  It’s really told through memos, email exchanges and the daughter’s perspective but it kept me on my toes.  It also managed to be funny, sad, and heart-wrenching… all at once.  I love books that make you feel something… this one will.
  8. Mastering the Art of French Eating will make you incredibly hungry.  It’s the diary of a woman in Paris, and what she eats in each region of France.  I am still reading it but every time I open it I put it down feeling a little bit

Leave a Comment


  1. I’ve heard so much about Where’d you go, Bernadette. I need to read it asap!

  2. Hilary says 10.29.13

    I’ve got Where’d you go Bernadette on my kindle, waiting to be read, and I’m going to add the rest to my wish list! I loved Gone Girl, so I’m sure I’ll like this one!

    Hilary x

  3. I loved Where’d You Go Bernadette. It’s a great story and it really captivates your attention.

  4. Molly says 10.29.13

    So glad you posted these! I’m dyinggggg to read ‘Dark Places’ even though I heard it’s darker than dark and I loved “Where’d you go, Bernadette?” (duh, it’s my namesake). You’re my inspiration to live more calmly and read more!

  5. Rachelle says 10.29.13

    I saw you knew me when while strolling at Barnes and Nobles this weekend, I want to read it now.

  6. fashionfollowsher says 10.29.13

    Recommended reading always inspires me… need a little push sometimes!

  7. Jackie {York Avenue} says 10.29.13

    I read Dark Places after finishing Gone Girl too – thought it was so gruesome and dark, but really good. I also just picked up Where’d You Go, Bernadette at the bookstore yesterday since everyone keeps recommending it, so I’m excited to start. I’m almost done with The Girl You Left Behind, by Jojo Moyes, and I really enjoyed that! It moved between modern day and historical, but weaved the two stories together. Really good one.

  8. Emma Finlayson says 10.29.13

    I loved Dark Places. I liked it better than Gone Girl.
    xo Emma

  9. Alyssa Longobucco says 10.29.13

    I read all of Gillian Flynn’s books after I finished Gone Girl–I just couldn’t get enough! And I’m definitely adding Mastering the Art of French Eating to my list–sounds right up my alley!

  10. HMC says 10.29.13

    Thank you for this! Every time I finish I book I spend forever trying to decide what to read next…now I have a bunch to add to the list (and I loved “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”–I was so sad when it ended).

  11. Alecia says 10.29.13

    ok you just sold me on the other typist. picking it up today.

  12. abuthray says 10.29.13

    Gillian Flynn has most definitely become my favorite author since I read Gone Girl… and now every other book! They are all so good!

    xoxo, Ally

  13. Nnenna says 10.29.13

    Hey, there’s nothing wrong with doing a lot of reading! 🙂 I, like Alyssa, read all of Gillian Flynn’s books after reading Gone Girl- I just wanted more of her writing! I also loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette- I thought it was so quirky and cute. I hadn’t heard of The Other Typist before but it definitely sounds like something I would like, and now I’m intrigued by the mysterious ending you referenced. And I really want to read Mastering the Art of French Eating too. Ahh, so many books, not enough time! 🙂

  14. viv - FT says 10.29.13

    I’ve been looking for good books because I’ve been reading way too much and have finished everything on my list. Thanks for the suggestions!

  15. Alison says 10.29.13

    I am jealous that you are able to have the time to read, what a precious luxury!!

  16. christin says 10.29.13

    i’m JUST now reading Gone Girl, I know, I know – but it is totally creeping me out with all the Missouri references! i can’t wait to read more on this list, i just got a kindle and its changing my life.

  17. I’m always looking for new books to read, but it can be so hard to find a great book. Thanks for the suggestions – I’m going to head to the library soon and check these out!

  18. Abbey says 10.29.13

    I LOVE this post! Please keep sharing your reads, I always love them!!

  19. Stephanie says 10.29.13

    You should read The Execution of Noa P. Singleton. i’m half-way through it now and I can’t put it down!

  20. Chelsea says 10.29.13

    I’ve been meaning to read Where’d You Go Bernadette for the longest… isn’t the cover art too stinkin’ cute?!

    Chelsea & The City

  21. Lia ~ Smart n Snazzy says 10.29.13

    Great roundup, I can’t wait to check out some of these! I’m currently reading the Divergent trilogy, it’s sooooo good so far! I think YA novels are my guilty pleasure, I’m going to read the Matched trilogy next 😀
    xo ~ Lia | Smart n Snazzy

  22. Samantha Peterson says 10.29.13

    I’m almost done with The Other Typist….I was on the fence at first, but can’t get enough of it now! I’ve read a few others on this list, and can’t agree enough (Where’d you go Bernadette & Dark Places) with your synopsis! I’m adding Sisters to my list!

  23. Bettina says 10.29.13

    Whaaa 8 books that’s so great – you go girl! I love when people post book suggestions. Who doesn’t love a good ole’ recommendation!

  24. Andi says 10.29.13

    I will have to check these out!

  25. Kayla D says 10.29.13

    I have been looking for some new books to read. Will definitely be checking these ones out!
    xx Kayla
    Eat Play Dress

  26. Meghan says 10.29.13

    Thank you! I am always looking for book recommendations. I read all the Gillian Flynn books and am always looking for a good thriller.


  27. Ellen Harris Pierpoint says 10.29.13

    Thank you for sharing this list. I am constantly looking for new books to read and love recommendations. I started reading your blog about 2 months ago and it has become one of my favorites. I love the mix of DIY and fashion. You seem like such a genuine, nice person and it comes through in what you share.

  28. Mastering the art of French Eating is next on my list! I just read the Cousins War series by Philippa Gregory and literally could not put it down. Start with the Lady of the River ( and go from there.

    Other books I’ve loved as of late – Finerman’s Rules (one of the best business books I’ve read in a while), Daughter of Empire – My Life As A Mountbatten (FASCINATING memoir, could not put this one down), all the young adult novels by Rick Riordan (start with Percy Jackson and the Olympians, then read The Heroes of Olympus, and finishing up with the Kane Chronicles), and The Gold Coast (think Great Gatsby meets The Godfather, set in the 80s). I’m resuming The Lowlands now – it had a slow start but I’ve been recommended to stick with it!

  29. I love all of the Gillian Flynn books. They’re SO crazy!!! Makes me really wonder what life is like out of my metropolitan sheltered bubble.

    Rebecca {at} Preppy Panache

  30. meredith says 10.30.13

    Hi! FYI, some of the links or going to different books. Specifically, “Sisters” links to Mastering French Cooking.

    Thanks for the list!

    • Grace Atwood says 10.30.13

      Eek! Sorry about that… looks like that’s the only one that was linking incorrectly. Just fixed.

      • meredith says 10.30.13

        Thanks!! My Amazon cart is bursting!

  31. Where’d You Go Bernadette is possibly my favorite book!

  32. Where’d You Go Bernadette is one of my recent favorites. I loved it! Have you read The Night Circus? It came out a little while ago but it’s amazing.

    I need to add Dark Places to my reading list!