Ever since I was a kid, I’ve unabashedly been a huge bookworm and voracious reader. I used to start and end every day from elementary school all the way through college with a book in one hand and a pen in the other so that I could write down quotes I liked or character’s names that I found unique. In fact, I actually somehow managed to read the first three books in A Song of Fire and Ice series (love me some Game of Thrones!) over one summer a few years ago because I couldn’t bring myself to put my Kindle down.
Despite my love for books, I have to admit that ever since I started my full-time job two years ago that I’ve become more likely to turn on a reality tv show than pick up a book once I get home after a long day. There’s just something about reading financial statements all day that makes me want to turn off my brain and indulge in the trashier side of life… To counteract this in the hopes that my brain won’t turn to total mush one day, I made a new year’s resolution this year to read at least 15 books in 2017 and I’m happy to report that I’m already over halfway to my goal!
Here’s a list of books that I’ve read so far this year and I’d love to hear any suggestions that y’all might have! I tend to gravitate towards mystery and true crime, but I’ve been good about switching up the genres lately to keep from getting to paranoid that my neighbor might be out to get me.
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
This book had me bawling by the end but in that feel-good kind of way where you’re smiling and silently thanking the author for coming up with such a wonderful story. I loved every aspect of the book, with the romance and heartbreak set against the French countryside during WWI and almost couldn’t put it down (which I unfortunately had to do so because of work).
Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar
I first heard about the mystery surrounding the Dyatlov Pass Incident on the podcast Astonishing Legends and immediately bought this book on the hosts’ recommendation. The story is absolutely fascinating, mostly because no one knows exactly what happened to these 9 experienced hikers to leave their tent in the middle of the night in below-freezing temperatures, but it even got a little hard for me to read at some points because I kept getting so sad about how most of the hikers were only 20- 23 years old when they died and had so much life that they had yet to experience. Definitely a must-read for those of y’all who like a true-life mystery.
The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan
I listened to Macmillan’s book What She Knew on Audible a few months ago and thought it was absolutely brilliant, so I had high hopes for her newest book. While the book made for a quick and entertaining crime read, I personally felt that it lacked the same oomph that kept me on my toes throughout What She Knew. I was able to guess who the killer was after the first chapter which killed the “surprise” ending but I’d recommend this as a beach read.
Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire) by Jen Glantz
I loved everything about Jen Glantz’s autobiography and how she somehow managed to become a professional bridesmaid for hire. What started as a joke has now become a full-time job, that allows her travel around the country to help brides on their big days. Glantz’s wiring style is hilarious and I also love that we grew up in the same town in South Florida!
A Dangerous Age by Kelly Killoren
This book reminded me so much of Sex and the City that I couldn’t not help but fall in love with the story from page one. I started binge-reading it while Matt and I were in Paris and he was probably very tired of me talking about how I wanted to eat/visit all of the spots in Manhattan that the four protagonists visited throughout the book. Very chic and the author was actually on the early seasons of The Real Housewives of New York, which is my favorite franchise.
I’ve never had a real longing to ever go to the Antarctic but I had never been so happy to be sitting on my couch under a blanket as when I finished reading the story Douglas Mawson, a pole explorer who survived an expedition out to an unexplored area that killed his two cohorts. I literally have to sit under a blanket at work because I get too cold, so I could not imagine having the fortitude to march (sometime crawl) through the snow and ice to make it back to base camp. Some aspects are a little gory (i.e. the soles of his feet become completely detached because of the cold) but totally worth the read.
Own It: The Power of Women at Work by Sallie Krawcheck
My dad actually sent me this book a few months ago and by the time I put it down, I felt so empowered. I have to admit that working in a primarily male-driven industry can seem daunting at times but reminding myself that I, and other women throughout the world, have so much to offer is incredibly important. This is one of my favorite passages from the book:
“The future is ours to seize. But we aren’t going to seize it by contorting ourselves into the male version of what power and success look like or continuing to do exactly what we’ve done to date. Instead we’re going to do it by embracing and investing in our true female selves–and bringing those badass selves proudly and unapologetically to work.”
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale
My boyfriend looked at me like I was a crazy person when I bought this at the book store because he couldn’t figure out who in their right mind who want to read about the true story of a child who brutally murdered his mother in the late 19th century. But for me, personally, it’s about more than just the crime – it’s about the logic (or madness) behind why such an extreme step was taken. As you can probably already guess, physical abuse was pretty much an acceptable for of punishment by parents on their children 100+ years ago, which I personally believe was a strong motivator.
These books are SO MUCH FUN to read! I know that Confessions of a Shopaholic came out 16 years ago and that I’m late to the game but I’m so glad that I’m finally reading the series. One of my coworkers insisted that I give the books a chance and I finally gave in one night and downloaded the book on my Kindle. Next thing I know, I’m hooked and finished the book over the next two days. I just bought the third book, which I’m waiting to read while on a weekend away.
I’m currently reading King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hoschchild, which has been absolutely eye-opening since I knew very little about the genocide that occurred along the Congo River in the 19th-20th centuries. Definitely a must-read for those of you who enjoy historical non-fiction. Once I finish that, I’m planning on reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan which I’ve heard is hilarious!