Books

Recent Reads

I can’t remember the last time I posted the books I finished, which means it’s been far too long. I’ve cut my nightly reading time in half because I am very much enjoying rewatching The Office; I look forward to watching a bit every night so I’m okay knowing that I’m not reading as much as I could. (Side note: The Office legitimately gets better and better every time I rewatch it.)

Educated

An American Marriage | This was an audiobook that I listened to and, wow, it was emotional. That’s really the best way to describe how I felt. It’s about a young married couple who is faced with a life-changing situation: the husband is wrongly incarcerated. You just really feel for every character– there’s a depth and “realness” to everything and everyone. There’s no “good guy” or “villain” and that’s what really makes the book so incredible– you understand everyone’s motives even if they don’t feel fully “right.”

In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It | I love Lauren Graham! The publisher of the book sent me a copy to read. It is technically a book, but it’s more like a really short essay in a book form. Would make a great graduation gift as the message is all about just being yourself and being okay with the journey that is life. It’s very uplifting and has a healthy dose of humor that you’d expect from Lauren Graham.

A Gentleman in Moscow | I unsuccessfully attempted to read this book last year and then picked it up again a few months ago. It took me FOREVER to get into and I hated the book for the first 200 pages. That is a lot of pages to not be interested. I love Amor Towles Rules of Civility so I had high expectations for this one; I was disappointed to not like it from the get-go. I posted it on my Instagram story asking if I should keep going or to stop. A lot of people told me that they gave up the book midway but there were also a handful of people who encouraged me to keep going because it gets better. I’m so glad I didn’t give it up because I did end up really enjoying it. The main character is under house arrest that he is serving in a prominent hotel in Moscow. The plot does pick up eventually, but I found the Russian backdrop (especially in our current political climate) to be incredibly fascinating.

Faithful | I loved this book. It’s been on my shelf forever and I finally picked it up one day. So glad I did! It’s basically about a girl who experiences a traumatic event in high school and the subsequent life choices she makes. I was rooting for her the whole time! The character development might be some of my favorites in novels. I have read Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, but loved this one even more.

The Confidence Code | I listened to this as an audiobook and I kept thinking that I wish I had read it sooner in my adulthood. I wanted to tell everyone that I knew, including men, to read this book. It dives into the science behind confidence and what it exactly is and how you can gain more of it. I’d say it’s specifically targeted to women, but honestly, it’d be valuable to anyone to read. Should be required reading in high school!

Educated | Okay, if you read anything off this list, you should read Educated. Wow…. ugh. This is the memoir of Tara Westover who did not receive a formal education until college. It’s touted as a mix between The Glass Castle and Hillbilly Elegy, two books I would highly recommend. It has the same elements of child abuse as The Glass Castle and the cultural implications of Hillbilly Elegy. I was seriously rooting for Tara in a big way throughout every page. I think I felt every form of emotion by the time I finished the book. It can be tough to read at times, but it’s worth it. I have a feeling it’s going to be one of the books of the year!

Please, please let me know what you’ve been reading in a comment!

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37 Comments

Amma

Not a book but Tara’s brothers have left very interesting comments on the Amazon reviews for the book Eduacted. One even started a blog to tell his “side”. I haven’t stopped thinking about that book since I finished it!

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Colleen

Hi Amma–I was wondering if you could comment with the link to the blog? I loved the book and am curious what her brother has to say. I can’t seem to find it on google!

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Alexandra

Love how you wear your tennis bracelet and Hermes bracelet to read:) What is the make of your pjs please!
Thank you for the book recommendations 🙂

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Allie

I have to add all of these to my book list. I’m currently reading The Ministry if Utmost Happiness and am enjoying it – it’s one of those books that really makes you think about how big the world is and how full it is of things you know nothing about. xAllie
http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com

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Kathleen Brand

I totally agree with your comment about The Office. I’ve seen it three times and am considering a fourth! haha!!

Thanks for the recommendations. I am an audiobook person (via Audible), but I do pick up a physical book every few months. I loved Hillbilly Elegy so thank you for the tip on Educated.

On an unrelated note, your content has been awesome lately. I am currently at the beach with my family and was watching one of your videos yesterday and my mom said she wanted to follow you 🙂 Also, loving your Facebook group! Keep up the great work! And have a lovely week!!

– Kathleen

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An Historian

I’m re-reading Mrs Queen Takes the Train (William Kuhn) in preparation for my upcoming book club that I’m hosting! It’s a lovely novel that allows you to escape while questioning the very act of escape itself, and I find something new in it every time I read it!

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Alexandra Paradise

It is an older book, but I would highly recommend A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown. It is VERY difficult to get through parts of the book, but you will be rooting for Cupcake the whole time and it has a great outcome!

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Delaney

The Office really does get better every time you watch it! I still laugh out loud in every.single.episode.

I just started The Alice Network!

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Katie

I’m currently reading “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis and its rocking my world! Her writing style makes you feel like you are having coffee with your best friend! So good!

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Sarah

I recently devoured The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’ve been telling everyone to read it. It’s so hard to tell people why they should read it without giving key elements of the plot away, but I just keep reiterating that there’s a lot more depth than the basic plot description (Hollywood legend, lots of ex-husbands, sharing her story to a young journalist) leads you to believe.

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Angela

I am currently reading Dragonfly in Amber, book 2 in the Outlander series. I’m also watching the show Outlander on DVD, so I’m watching a season and then reading the book the season was based on. But I think I’ll flip it going forward from season 3 and read the book first.

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Sarah

I recently flew through “Before We Were Yours” and it was the best thing I’ve read all year! Hard to read at times but I could not put it down. Educated is next on my list- glad to hear you loved it!

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Ashley

I read Before We Were Yours a couple of months ago, and I would highly highly recommend it as well! I agree that it was hard to get through at times (because of the troubling subject matter) but definitely worth it.

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Amanda @ Anchored to Sunshine

I struggled to get though A Gentleman in Moscow too. Such a long book for so little to happen. I have however just added Faithful to my reading list, I’ve never heard of this one before but it sounds great!

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Emily

Treating People Well by Lea Berman. It’s written by the last two White House social secretaries. So fun, and it hits on the importance of civility. I also finished The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani, it’s a quick thriller!

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Hannah

I just read The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor and I truly enjoyed it. There is a very interesting sub-plot to the main romance (but not a cheesy romance 🙌🏼), plus a dreamy Florida setting. Perfect summer read!

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Meaghan

I’m currently reading ‘The Burning World’ by Isaac Marion. It’s the sequel to ‘Warm Bodies’ which is one of my favorite books. And I’m anxiously waiting for the final book in Victoria Aveyard’s ‘Red Queen’ series to come out in a couple weeks.

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Kimberly

I just finished How Hard Can It Be? which is the sequel to I Don’t Know How She Does It. I loooved it! It’s out in June (I got an ARC) but it’s super relatable to anyone who’s ever felt overworked and overwhelmed. We read An American Marriage for my book club last month too and everyone loved it!

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Mallory

I loved a Gentleman in Moscow, and I currently have The Confidence Code on my shelf waiting to be read!

I didn’t know Lauren Graham had a new book out, so I can’t wait to pick that one up!

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Brittany

I absolutely loved Faithful! It’s so real and the main character is SO relatable. Dogs and Chinese food!!

PS- Are you going to start the CTP book group on Goodreads again?

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Clare

I just finished The Sun is Also A Star (Nicola Yoon), I’ll Give You The Sun (Jandy Nelson), Emergency Contact (Mary HK Choi), Leah on the Offbeat (Becky Albertalli), and When Dimple Met Rishi (Sandhya Menon). They’re all YA but I think adults would like them!

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Kelly

Those all sound like great books!! I just read The Immortalists and WOW it made me FEEL so many things in such a big way. Kind of like An American Marriage, there is no villian or hero really, you just feel everything along with all the characters… it was very good! (And yes, The Office just gets better and better each time!)

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Jackie

Currently reading The Alchemist, but have heard a lot of good things about Crazy Rich Asians (not sure if you’ve read this yet), but it’s being made into a movie! So I’m definitely going to read it before it comes out in August!

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Southern & Style

I just recently finished American Wife and think it’s a book you would totally enjoy (you might’ve already read it!) I’ve been loaning out my copy to anyone who will read it, that’s how you know it’s a book I really enjoyed!

xoxo, SS

Southern and Style

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Meg

I just finished “Maybe in Another Life.” It was a super fast read and I just loved the main character.

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Allison

I’m trying really really hard to get into Educated, but this memoir is so graphic sometimes it makes my stomach turn. Do I keep going??

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carly

I felt the same way and it kind of “turns around” around 200 pages. I thought it was VERY tough to read though

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Elisabeth H.

Hi Carly! I’ve been reading two books lately (is that even allowed???): The Power of Moments is about why we remember what we do, and how to live your life in terms of moments rather than time; the other is the Andromeda Strain, which I haven’t gotten to far into yet, but I’ve read at least 5 other Michael Crichton books, and they were so GOOD! I never really thought I was into science fiction until I read his books, and they are so addictive!

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