What I’m Reading: June 2017 Book Recommendations & Reading Challenge Update

Before I get into what I’m reading right now, I thought I’d share a little update on the 2017 Reading Challenge. You can check out all my selections for the challenge here and you can read about the challenge itself at Modern Mrs. Darcy. Prepare to be amazed by my diligence.

Need a good book for the summer? Here are some great options to check out.

Books I’ve Read for the 2017 Reading Challenge

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Category: A book of any genre that addresses current events. You can read my thoughts on Hillbilly Elegy here.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Category: A book with a reputation for being un-put-downable. It was definitely a page-turner! Read my recommendation here.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Category: A juicy memoir. If you love Grey’s Anatomy or Scandal, you’ll enjoy all the witty monologues from the creator. Take a look at my review here.

I know. Three whole books checked off my 18-book list. I’ve been working my way through A Year in Provence, which I’m enjoying, but not rushing through. It reads more like a book of interconnected essays than a continuous story so I don’t feel I’ve lost anything by reading it a snippet at a time. I started The Handmaid’s Tale, but despite all the buzz surrounding the Hulu series, I’m struggling to get into it. I’m curious, but not desperate to find out the story. Maybe that will change as I get further into it. I also just cracked open All the Light We Cannot See, which I found at a used bookstore for five bucks. So far, the writing is beautiful and I expect it to be worthy of the positive reviews.

What I’m Reading Now

Tender at the Bone By Ruth Reichl

I loved this food memoir, written by the former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and New York Times restaurant critic. Reichl shares hilarious and fascinating anecdotes that shaped her love of cooking from childhood into her adult life. Sprinkled amidst stories detailing her appreciation for all manner of foods are recipes from the various sources of her culinary education. I found the writing to be honest and inspiring, and I look forward to reading more from Reichl in the future.

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

After taking a break from Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series for a few months, diving back into the Three Pines mysteries felt like visiting old friends. After reading so many of the books in rapid succession, it was good to have a break, but reconnecting with the familiar character of Inspector Gamache and the quirky inhabitants of Three Pines was so much fun. This was one of my favorite novels in the series so far. I’ve read reviews saying that you don’t need to read this series in order, but personally I think you would miss so much by not starting at the beginning. You can read my thoughts on the series here.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I’m not sure why it took me so long to warm up to Rainbow Rowell because as it turns out, I love her writing. Eleanor and Park is the story of an unlikely teenage romance intertwined with a girl’s struggle to break free of a dysfunctional family situation. Rowell captures the naive, yet powerful feelings that encapsulate a serious teenage relationship without drifting into fairytale territory. I followed this novel with another of Rowell’s called Landline. Although a far less realistic storyline, Landline still manages to hit on basic human emotional struggles.

What’s on my nightstand

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This one has been on my list for a long time and now that I’m starting into it, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. The writing is beautiful, and I’m so curious to see how the story of a blind French girl and German boy during WWII is woven together.

The Dry by Jane Harper

I’ve heard this title come up in numerous podcasts and lists of must-read summer fiction. Based on its popularity, I wasn’t expecting to get my hands on The Dry anytime soon, but I happened to find a copy at the thrift store next to my kids’ karate studio. The best part: it was $2. For a hardcover. In perfect condition. Yes, please! I’m very much looking forward to getting into this suspense story about small-town secrets.

What are you reading this month??


*Please note that this post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure here

{Linking to Modern Mrs. Darcy}

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What I’m Reading: March 2017 Book Recommendations

One of my favorite podcasts is What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel, the blogger behind Modern Mrs. Darcy. I’ve gotten so many wonderful book recommendations from Anne’s blog and her podcast does not disappoint. The only problem now is the length of my to-be-read list, but in my opinion, that’s a good problem to have 🙂

Four great book recommendations.

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawlon

In 1930, New York Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater disappeared, never to be seen again. Each year on the anniversary of his disappearance, his widow, Stella, would raise a toast to him at a bar he frequented. Lawlon drew from the facts surrounding true events to create a fictionalized account of Crater’s mysterious disappearance. The story centers around the involvement of three women in Judge Crater’s life: his wife, Stella; their maid, Maria; and Crater’s showgirl mistress, Ritzy. Lawlon’s version of the events seem completely plausible and keep the reader guessing until the end about which of these women was actually involved in Crater’s disappearance. It moves at just the right speed, and I recommend it if you’re looking for a good who-dun-it.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

On the same night that famed actor Arthur Leander dies on stage, a flu pandemic begins to sweep through the world with terrifying speed. Twenty years later, a small group known as the Traveling Symphony moves from one small town to the next, performing Shakespeare and classical music for those who remain after the collapse of civilization. The story jumps around through time, weaving together the stories of several characters and providing glimpses of life before, during and after the pandemic. It’s a bit like the movie Crash meets The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Incidentally, I didn’t really enjoy either of those, but I liked this book. While the premise is unnerving, the narrative is hopeful rather than bleak and far more realistic than many other novels in the post-apocalypse genre.

On my nightstand

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I grabbed this book at a used bookstore, and I’m slowly wading through it. It’s been some time since a work of fiction challenged me as much as this one. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, and has just one job to perform: to provide children for the Commander to whom she has been assigned. Women are no longer allowed to read, to dress as they choose or to veer from the specific role which they have been given. Offred remembers her old life, her marriage, her child and the way it used to be. Atwood’s writing style is unique, and while I’m not far enough along to be completely gripped by the narrative, I’m so curious to learn more about how this extreme cultural shift took place.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

If you’ve read Where’d You Go, Bernadette, then you’re familiar with Semple’s wry sense of humor. I’ve laughed out loud multiple times since starting this book. The story follows Eleanor Flood, who vows that today will be the day she ceases to be such a hot mess. Her plan of action includes simple steps like showering, dressing nicely, and not swearing. But real life intervenes, as it always does amidst our best-laid plans. Hilariously honest and self-deprecating, Eleanor is a character that is simultaneously relatable and horrifying. I definitely recommend this one so far.

What are you reading this month?

*This post contains affiliate links. You can find my full disclosure statement here.

{Linking to Modern Mrs. Darcy}

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