Two {Really} Good Reads


If you read two books this month, these should be it.  Oddly, as different as they are, both books center around a painting.

My mother gave me The Girl You Left Behind, by JoJo Moyes for Christmas.  I devoured it in a matter of days, and cried my face off at the ending {in a good way.}  I really love historical fiction and loved that this one told two womens’ stories… one set during the war in France, and one set in present day.  I am going to read Me Before You next – have heard such amazing things.  JoJo Moyes is quickly becoming my favorite author.

I will tell you that I have not yet finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, but that as I write this, I’m rushing to get off of the computer because I cannot wait to sit down with it.  It’s exquisitely written {and over 700 pages long}  but you just want to take your time and soak up every word.  This is the sort of book that will turn you into a recluse.

What have you read lately?  I’m always looking for good recommendations!

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. christina:

    The Last Letter from your Lover, also by Jojo Moyes, is insanely addictive as well!

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  2. jillian:

    o thanks for the recs! im putting these on my to-read list! xo

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  3. Barchbo:

    Have you read Donna Tartt’s THE SECRET HISTORY? It’s fantastic, too.
    Currently reading THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton. Just started and I’m not loving it but I’m sticking it out.

    All of the other books I’m reading are statistics and education policy/reform. Nothing I would recommend unless that’s your bag.

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  4. I love Jojo Moyes! Both Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind were favorites of mine. I keep hearing from everyone how amazing The Goldfinch is, so I cannot wait to pick up a copy (might just have to order it on Amazon today!). I’m usually hesitant to read books that long because I’m afraid I might get sick of them, but this one is getting such rave reviews that I’m hoping I’ll love it. Just finished Where’d You Go Bernadette and that was amazing. Definitely my favorite book in a long time. Mastering the Art of French Eating was good too!

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  5. Thank you! I’ve been looking for a good book to lose myself in and The girl you left behind sounds right up my street. Thanks!

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  6. Thanks for the recommendations! I really need a good book to read after the filth I plowed through last weekend. I literally just read Flowers in the Attic and the sequel Petals on the Wind. They were actually truly awful but for some reason I couldn’t put them down (Flowers is marginally better and less appalling than Petals.) I felt like I had to continue the series because I’d started it, but I’m calling it quits now, even though there are a few more books in the series. They have a major cult following of our parents generation and were kind of like equivalent to “Twilight” mixed with “50 Shades of Grey” in the 50s and 60s… But to a modern woman (weird to call myself that, but whatever), I can’t help but be pretty offended by their portrayal of women, the emphasis on being “pretty”, sex, money, etc. As well as some other themes they touch on that are truly disgusting. Anyway, sorry for the long paragraph about lousy books haha. They’re just on my mind right now because I just finished them.

    As far as books I DO recommend: I loved all three of Gillian Flynn’s books – Gone Girl, Dark Places, and Sharp Objects. They’re a little dark, but they’re easy and interesting reads. Also, obviously, The Hunger Games and Divergent (although I’m pretty sure you’ve mentioned having read both of those series on S&S before).

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  7. Mia:

    Reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore and it’s fabulous! Also, highly recommend The Dinner, The Lowland, and Americanah.

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  8. hooray! I have just got The Goldfinch so can’t wait to read it now. And being a recluse is what I need right now. Just discovered your blog this week and now I’m addicted.

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  9. Just finished The Goldfinch…amazing!!

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  10. These are both on my list! Currently reading The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. Very insightful, well written, and compelling thus far!

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    • Ooh, I’m happy to read that Bethany! I have that book on my nightstand and I was hoping it would be good. Can’t wait to start it!

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  11. love the Goldfinch and Donna Tartt’s first book The Secret History is amazing as well!

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  12. “Me Before You” is one of my favorite books, I’m going to have to read “The Girl You Left Behind”! If you love historical fiction {with a touch of romance}, check out The Tea Rose series and anything by Susanna Kearsley!


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  13. Definitely definitely read “Me Before You,” it’s absolutely stunning. I just started “The Girl You Left Behind” so I’m excited to hear you loved it!

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  14. Diana:

    I just read “The Girl You Left Behind” last week! I most enjoyed the historical parts of it and thought the legal stuff drug on a little but still a great read!

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  15. Emily:

    I just started The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (she wrote The Secret Life of Bees)….based off a true story, it’s totally captivating.

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  16. Grace, you should read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and Night Film by Marisha Pessl! I loved both of these book this year. I work in 2 public libraries (hi, I love books!) and The Goldfinch has a waiting list of over 400 people…it’s crazy! I’m 60-something in line, but can’t wait to get my hands on it. Thanks for sharing your book reads, I love seeing what you are reading.

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  17. I am listening to The Burning Air (so addictive and twisted!) & just finished A Cuckoos Calling. The best kind of suspense.

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  18. I finished The Goldfinch a few weeks ago and am just starting The Secret History by Donna Tartt! I’ve done a review on The Goldfinch–spoiler free–if you want to hear my thoughts: I’m really wanting to get back into a steady habit of reading as every time I do I remember how much I love it!
    Lovely Notions

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  19. I literally finished Me Before You today. It is very sad but very good! Definitely want to check out The Girl You Left Behind.

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  20. love that you read so much! reading “the stranger” right now. I’m liking it a lot.

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  21. jbfargo:

    I’ve challenged myself to read at least 50 books in 2014 and here’s what I’ve finished so far:
    1. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
    2. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
    3. Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar
    4. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein
    5. The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman
    6. In Between Days by Andrew Porter

    and I’m currently about 1/3 of the way though Alex by Pierre Lemaitre

    I’ve just been picking titles at random and have been thinking about Goldfinch for a while.

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  22. I agree that The Girl You Left Behind was great. I really love the author’s writing and storytelling ability. I’m dying to start The Goldfinch because everyone says it’s amazing. I usually only read one book at a time, so soon as I finish Allegiant I’m picking up The Goldfinch!

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  23. sara shabtai:

    “Me Before You” is a fantastic book. I read it in my book club and can’t stop recommending it. Let us know what you think of it!

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  24. totally belated but thanks for the link love related to the list… ,including these two! dying to get to jojo’s book; hear it’s amazing!!

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  25. I loved your recommendation for “Completing Amelia” and I’m really excited to start these too!

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  26. The Girl Left Behind sounds riveting! Thanks for sharing, it’s added to my reading list!

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  27. Jill:

    I just finished Dave Eggers’ new book, The Circle. It’s about a Google-like internet company and what happens when social media moves to the next level and no one has privacy anymore. A very cautionary tale but really, really thought provoking.

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  28. I am listening to The Goldfinch on audible right now! I’m glad you also seem to be a bookworm. Check out the reviews section on my blog for what I’m reading now!

    -Ashley Boucher

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  29. I loved The Goldfinch. Best book I read in a long time!

    Hilary x

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