College Prepster Book Club

I normally post these on the 15th, but with the absolute craziness (read: SUPER excitingness) going on at work, I completely lost track of time.
[Wait. Can we discuss how we’re already halfway through the first month of 2013! I’m blown away by how amazing this year is already shaping up to be… and how fast it’s zipping on by.]

One of my goals for the year is to read Atlas Shrugged. Normally, I set a specific number of books I want to hit. Over the past few years, I’ve been above and beyond my goal of 52 books a year. Now that I’m working full-time, I still read frequently, but not nearly at the same ferocious speed as before. I used to be able to read for at least thirty minutes every morning and about an hour every night when I was at school. Now it’s a good day if I pass the thirty minute mark for reading.
Because I’m super numbers oriented and a little aggressive when it comes to goal setting (and very aggressive when it comes to goal meeting), I was really mad at myself for falling back on my pace. Every week, I was dripping more and more behind my goal.
Reading Atlas Shrugged is an amazing way to a) read a book that has been on my to-read shelf forever and b) break myself of the “must-read-one-book-per-week” mentality. So far, so good. And I truly am enjoying the book. (Plus, it’s probably the best– and creepiest– conversation starters on the subway.)
So I’ve read a few books since the last book club post, but…. I ended up pulling this one from a book I read over the summer. It’s My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares. I can’t believe that I haven’t done this book in a post yet. I loved it.
I had forgotten about it (irony?) and for some reason was thinking about it the other day. All these old feelings from when I read it came flooding back to me and I knew that I had to share it here!!
It’s just such a wonderful story. Powerful even. Maybe a little different, but great.
Let me know what you think as you read it, or what you thought if you’ve already read!!!
Now, while I continue to chug along through Atlas Shrugged, I want to get tons of recommendations for what to read next….. Ready, set… go!

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That is one of my favorite books! It's just so different and there's something beautifully haunting about it. I was hoping there'd be a sequel, but I haven't heard anything!


I first discovered this book way back in 2011, and I love it so much. I really like Ann Brashare's adult writing. I also really like her book The Last Summer (of You and Me), and the final "adult" installment of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series, Sisterhood Everlasting. She's such a great writer! If you're looking for new books to read, I highly, highly recommend anything by Kate Morton.


I also love Ann Brashares, I worshiped the Sisterhood series as a teen. The Last Summer is also excellent, you should definitely read it.


The 9th Wife by Amy Stolls is by far the best book I have read in a long time. Currently I am powering through In Sunlight and in Shadow by Mark Helprin. The B&N Recommends section is where I find ALL of my books.


I read Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" over Christmas and I LOVED it! Even better, it's a trilogy and Lord knows I love a good series. Give it a try if you haven't already!

xx, Eleanor


I'm currently reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern…it's fantastic. I literally hate pulling myself away from it to do something productive, it's that entrancing. And I totally wish the circus from the title was real–it sounds amazing!

C. M.

Completely know what you mean re: feeling weirdly guilty about spending weeks on one long book! I'm in the middle of "Far From the Tree" [], a nonfiction book about raising children that are "exceptional" in various ways (e.g., prodigies, deaf, schizophrenic). It's really engaging but taking many, many subway rides!

– C


So I read this last summer and LOVED it – I read that it was originally supposed to be a trilogy but it didn't sell enough so they didn't publish the rest. I want the rest of them!

xx Emily @


My Name is Memory is the worst book I have ever read. When I picked it up, it sounded wonderful – a love story across time and culture and memory – but it read so ludicrously that I can barely believe that I finished it. The Mexico bit with the brother was completely absurd, and the characters were, sadly, quite flat.

Atlas Shrugged, on the other hand, is a compelling, readable story that I greatly enjoyed. However, I found the philosophy a little dry.

The Night Circus is a book that I recently read. It is similar, in a way, to My Name is Memory, but it is actually good.


I just finished It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. I really loved it! It's about a 15-year-old boy who is overwhelmed by the pressures of a tough high school, friends, etc. and ends up with severe depression. The narrator is sincere and likeable and funny, and his story was both heartbreaking and optimistic. There is also a love story tied in that is just peripheral enough to not distract from the larger and more serious picture. I definitely recommend it!

I tried reading My Name is Memory this past summer but just couldn't get through it. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

Lisa Mitchell

I'd recommend Mary McCarthy as an author for you. The Group is about a set of Vassar Alumni making their way in New York City after graduation. Proper American classic!


Just downloaded it – thank you for the recommendation! Just finished The Expats this morning and really enjoyed it.

Julia D.

I loved the Sisterhood books and stopped keeping track of what Ann Brashares was writing after that, but I'll have to check this one out.