October isn’t quite over, but I’m bumping up my recap of what I read because I’m posting a Halloween costume tomorrow.
An amazing thing happened this month… I hit my yearly reading goal of 52 books! This has been my favorite year of reading. So many incredible books. I know my life is better for it and just wish there were more hours in the day to read!!
THE BLUE BISTRO by Elin Hilderbrand
I love me a good Elin Hilderbrand book. I was on the waiting list at my library for this one for a while. I was super excited to start it because it’s based on The Galley restaurant on Nantucket (one of my favorite “sceney” spots) and there’s going to be a Hulu mini-series based on the book. This book takes place in a restaurant and follows the trials and tribulations of the staff (and some of the patrons, too). I liked the idea of the book, but it just fell flat for me. Can’t quite put my finger on it. It felt dated in a way and there was just a lot of drama and poor decisions that made it hard for me to connect to the characters. The best part was the food descriptions– yum. I do think the premise will make for a great show though, so I can’t wait for that.
HOW COULD SHE by Lauren Mechling
This is the book I read for my Bad on Paper guest appearance. I go into more detail in discussion with Grace and Becca, so if you want to hear all my thoughts (and I had many), definitely give that a listen. Although, spoiler alert– we talk in-depth about the book.
Ultimately, I liked this book because it made me think about careers, friendships, and NYC. The plot felt pretty irrelevant though, which was strange. It follows three women who have been friends for years as they adjust to their late 30s, not-so-delicately dealing with changing friend dynamics all while they face varying degrees of success– and failure– in their careers. I kind of equated it to the characters from the television show GIRLS if they were in their late 30s.
THE DUTCH HOUSE by Ann Patchett
I love Ann Patchett. She’s such a talented storyteller and I think I’d enjoy anything she wrote. I listened to this audiobook and Tom Hanks narrates it!!! At first, it’s a little jarring because it sounds so much like a book narrated by Woody and I also watched You’ve Got Mail while listening to it so that threw me for a loop too. But he does an amazing job and soon you get sucked into his performance and forget about all of his other characters!
It’s not the most riveting story, though I loved the telling of it. It’s essentially a modern telling of a fairytale, complete with evil stepmother! The story is told over five decades, following the main character from childhood through adulthood with the main focus on his childhood home. “The Dutch House” has almost mythical qualities right down to the third-floor ballroom. I loved the ending especially.
THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho
Don’t hate me. I realize this is a favorite book of many people, including my sister. It just didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t get it into. The book tells kind of the “secret of life,” if you will, through a short story of a shepherd in search of buried treasure. There are nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout the story as the boy moves along his journey and encounters different characters.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE by Lori Gottlieb
This was a book recommended to me by one of my friends who is a therapist herself. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, mostly based on the cover 😂 It’s fantastic though and I have already been recommending it like CRAZY. It’s a memoir of a therapist who seeks out her own therapist. It details both her relationships with a handful of clients and her own experience seeing a therapist to help her get over a particularly devastating breakup. It’s more than a memoir though. She really talks ABOUT therapy and why it’s important. I completely believe in therapy (I don’t think there’s a single person who couldn’t benefit from it) and want to, like, scream from rooftops to tell skeptics to read this!! If you’re not sure if therapy is for you or what you could glean from sessions, but you’re curious? Give this book a try!
EVVIE DRAKE STARTS OVER by Linda Holmes
I originally picked this up because I was invited to a book club where this book was being discussed. It didn’t seem like my kind of book. (Cheesy rom-coms rarely do it for me anymore.) I had low hopes, friends. However, it’s SO GOOD. It ended up being completely different than I expected. There is romance (with a hot baseball player no less), but all the characters and the plot felt so…. real. The text and dialogue are completely normal. Like these people could be your actual friends, not just characters in a book with trite flaws and skills written in to move the plot along. They’re normal.
If you’re in need of a good book to read over the course of a weekend (or in one cozy sitting), do this!!!
SIGNS by Laura Lynne Jackson
Let me just come right out and say, if you’re super skeptical of psychics, don’t read this. If you’re curious or already a believer, you’ll love it. Essentially, Laura Lynn Jackson is a medium and wrote this book to be a guide for anyone to channel the “language of the universe” aka signs. I can’t lie, I do believe in signs so I really enjoyed this book. Some chapters’ stories are more powerful than others. One seemed fishy and I googled the people (that’s how fishy it felt) and sure enough the guy had been arrested for having a Ponzi scheme (seriously). And there’s one chapter that I thought was veering into the anti-vax territory and I was ~this close~ to stopping completely and destroying the book, but then it wasn’t anti-vax at all. So if you read this and start to panic, don’t. It’s not anti-vax. (I think the chapter should have started with a disclaimer that she’s all for vaccinations from the start, ha.)
The craziest thing happened when I finished though. One of the “signs” in the book is having weird, unexplained electrical/technology issues like with your phone/radios/etc. Immediately after I finished the book, I got in my car and I never have my consol set to anything other than the Bluetooth connection… and when I turned my car on, the AM radio was BLARING. I was covered in goosebumps!!! Not exactly sure who or what was communicating with me, but I got the message, ha!