So if you know anything about me, you probably know that I read a lot. I come by it honestly - my parents are probably both reading books right now as I type this (if they're not asleep with a book in their lap) and most of my memories of family vacations in the summer were of everyone sitting in a different chair, reading books - my grandparents, my aunt, my uncle, me... My aunt even worked in a book store when I was growing up, and now works in a library! We are a book family, through and through!
So I read a lot of books, but still never as much as I’d like to. Back when I had more free time and less responsibilities, I swear I’d get through a book a week. Now I tend to get really excited about a book, read it for a day and get partially through it, and then feel guilty about everything I’m neglecting and put it down to finish later. And then I repeat that process. If I was smart, I would have used our honeymoon to finish all the books I’m in the middle of, but instead I started 5 NEW books! (At least I finished 4 of those…)
Seriously, you don’t even want to know how many books I’m reading right now. You’d probably yell at me and never buy me another book for my birthday or Christmas and then I would be sad. So instead, let's focus on books I have read recently! Here are three of my recent surprise favorites:
Book: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
How I heard about this book: Oddly enough, from a running blog! I've been following this blog to get some inspiration as I try to become a runner, and I found her because she's finished the Boston Marathon multiple times! (She even had a post on our church's Marathon Scarf Project last year!)
My Thoughts: This is not a book for you if you need to love the characters. Everyone in this book is deeply flawed, and I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes at the main character, but I still loved the story. It's about a woman who commutes into London every day on the train, and passes by the same houses and people every day, and starts to make up stories about them. I love that, because I totally do the same thing on my commute every day. The question becomes, what do you do if one of those people you've become connected to in your own imagination suddenly goes missing? It was a fairly quick read and kept me interested. Not the best book I've ever read, but I'll give it extra points for the uniqueness of the story. That alone kept me interested! (Bonus: It looks like this may be a movie soon, possibly with Chris Evans!)
Book: Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming
How I heard about this book: I can't even really remember. I think it popped up on Amazon as a book recommended for me, or I saw it mentioned somewhere and randomly downloaded it. I forgot about it for a while, and then opened it one day and did not put it down until it was done.
My Thoughts: I LOVED THIS BOOK. Especially hilarious because when I downloaded it, I didn't even realize who Alan Cumming was, or have any idea what this book was about. But it quickly combined three things I love: Autobiographies of people with cool stories, family trees/researching ancestry (He was featured on the show "Who Do You Think You Are?"), and The Good Wife! (Seriously I was halfway through binge watching season 2 when I downloaded this book). This book is well written, full of fun surprises and fun stories, and Alan Cumming has lead such and interesting life that I didn't want to put this book down. If you are into biographies at all, or stories about families, READ THIS BOOK. Seriously so good. I might add it to my list of books to re-read.
Book: Trafficked by Kim Purcell
How I heard about this book: On Twitter. Kim's husband, Gavin, is a writer/producer on The Tonight Show, although I first started following him when he was working on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He tweeted about his wife's new book while I was on my commute home one day, and I decided to download it on my Kindle.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
My Thoughts: Yes this is a young adult book, but it deals with some really adult themes. Hannah is a poor teen living in Moldova (bonus points for any Late Night fans who knows why this is funny) who thinks her dreams are coming true when she gets a nanny job in the US. However, this book quickly takes a darker turn as it explores the reality of human trafficking. I was hooked because I was invested in the main character, but also because I felt like I was getting a peek inside something I know nothing about. A super quick read that's not overly depressing, I was happy with this random purchase.
So there's a really random sample of some books I've liked lately. Hopefully this was helpful if you're looking for your next book to pick up, unless you're like Tom and have a COMPLETELY different taste in books than I do. (Not completely true, we both read and liked the divergent and maze runner books this year...)
Okay fine, you really want to know every book I’m currently in the middle of? This is strangely embarrassing and feels a little like showing guests that one closet you really don’t want them to open because it’s where you’ve stashed everything that doesn’t have a place in a mad dash before they arrived.
- Life is Short by Jennifer Arnold, MD & Bill Klein
- Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
- Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling
- The Shining by Stephen King
- Growing up Duggar by Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Jana Duggar (don’t judge me)
- The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (Pretty sure I’ll never finish this one… I usually love his books but I’m halfway through and EH)
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (This is another I think I’ve given up on.. people were raving about it, but it’s super long and I’m 300 pages in and still hate it)
- The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
- Son by Lois Lowry
- Working Stiff by Judy Melinek, MD & TJ Mitchell
- Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
Okay, yeah that's kind of bad. Seeing them all written out like that makes me feel a bit guilty. Maybe my goal for this week will be to finish a couple of them... Tom's threatening me with a new house rule that I can only be reading 5 books at a time haha. He was especially picking on me for having two books open on the couch at the same time today.
I especially need to finish up with these, since I have a bunch waiting for me to get to them! Here are some books in my current “To Read” pile (as in I own them, and they're sitting in a pile in my living room...) Maybes someday they’ll move onto my “Now Reading” list and eventually I'll talk about them here!
To Read Next:
- You Look Like That Girl by Lisa Jakub
- The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
- The Poet by Michael Connelly
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- The Jester by James Patterson (Pretty sure I’ve read this once, but would like to re-read it after a conversation with someone recently)
- Breakwater Bay by Shelley Noble (I have no memory of buying this – I may have to read it just to find out what it is)
- The Pact by Jodi Picoult (another one I’ve already read, but am excited for a re-read)
- House Blood by Mike Lawson
- I've Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark
- The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
- Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
- Gray Mountain by John Grisham
- And a few other James Patterson books (2 or 3 of the latest Alex Cross I think? I actually might be in the middle of one of them...)
Have you read any books lately that you loved or hated?
What’s on your current “To Read” list??