I love to read. After my boys go to bed, I pour a glass of wine, grab my Kindle, and settle on the sofa with a blanket. (I’m 41, but I may as well be 71.) The dog curls up next to me, and I fall into another world. So far this year, I’ve finished 52 books, and I’m here to share a few of my favorites with you.
Of course, my tastes might not be the same as yours. While I enjoy reading the latest literary sensation, if it’s too pretentious, I have no qualms about closing it and starting something else instead. (Thank goodness for the library’s digital collections!) And I’ve been known to read the odd Danielle Steele novel, if only because they’re all the same and the literary equivalent of mashed potatoes.
Not all of the books mentioned here are new. Because I check them out from the library, sometimes I have to wait a while before I can get a new book. In the meantime, there are plenty of older gems out there!
If there’s one thing in life I love, it’s eating. If there’s another thing, it’s laughing. After discovering that the blogger Orangette also hosted a comedy podcast about food called Spilled Milk, I devoured the show’s archives. Not long after, I moved on to her two memoirs about food (the former) and the restaurant she opened with her husband (the latter.)
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Need I say more? Yes, you can picture Colin Firth in the Darcy role as you read it. I know I did.
The Lake House by Kate Morton
A bit of a tidy ending, but a nicely engrossing novel, and set in England, which is always a bonus for me.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Why wasn’t this book around when I was 16? I have to confess that though I read it this year, it was for the third time, not the first. (I decided re-reads do count when I’m keeping track.) Anyway, if it doesn’t have you in tears at the end as well as exceedingly grateful you’re a grown adult, you are a robot.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
More YA (young adult) fiction. I think I was drawn to this because the characters are twins, but it was a fantastic read. The story flips between the perspective of the two siblings, one at 13 (Noah), and the other at 16 (Jude.) Totally engrossing.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I’m not usually one for sci-fi, but I’d heard a lot about this one, so decided to pick it up. You’ll never look at Virtual Reality the same after reading this book.
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
I’m also not usually one for vampire novels (okay fine I read Twilight, just to see what the fuss was about) but my husband urged me to read it. This novel is the third in a trilogy and by far my favorite of the three. I’m sorry to say, you’re going to have to get through the first 1500 pages of the two prior books before you can get to this one, but I promise, it’ll be worth it.
What these books have in common: suspense, female main characters, a blurb on the cover how it’s the next “Gone Girl.” Good reads, but I have to break them up with fluff like…
The Very Picture of You by Isabel Wolff
Takes place in London, check. Portrait artist falls in love with the subject she’s painting, check. Sure, it’s predictable, but it’s fun and a nice foil to the darker psychological thrillers.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
I wasn’t sure I was going to get into this, but I decided to give it a try after a friend mentioned it. This is the memoir of a female scientist, and it’s fantastic. You will never look at trees the same way, and you’ll fall a little in love with Bill. (You’ll see what I mean.)
After You by Jojo Moyes
I actually love all of Jojo Moyes’ books, but this is the only one I’ve read so far this year, so to be fair, I’m not including the others. But it’s a sequel to Me Before You, so definitely read that first. And then read the rest of her books. I love that they’re not all the same (I’m looking at you Danielle.)