October & November Reads

Photo by Heather Bien
Photo by Heather Bien

I’ve admittedly been a very slow reader (well, for me!) these past couple of months, so I didn’t end up posting an October book roundup. I do love writing about all of the books I pick up, though, because I know people are always looking for more titles to add to their lists…so I’m finally publishing an October and November post with you guys all at once (it’s better to recap the October books late rather than never, right?)! It’s been awhile since I finished some of these, so bear with me as I do my best to recount them!

The Good Luck Charm, by Helena Hunting: I brought this book with me to Charleston and tore through it (I actually did have a good amount of reading time since I was traveling alone, and I wish I’d packed more than one book but was anxious to save valuable bag space since I only brought a backpack!). This is a light, rom-com type read about a couple who dates in high school, parts ways, and then reconnects as 20-somethings dealing with their own challenges (one person is a professional hockey player making major career moves, and the other just got out of a divorce). Of course, they fall in love and remember how great things were the first time around, but they have to work around these adults challenges and determine whether getting back together really is the right choice. Definitely bring this one on vacation if you want to dive into a lighthearted, romantic page turner!

All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin: I’m proud of myself for staying on the library waitlist for months to get to this book…I love Emily Giffin, so I was tempted to snatch it up on Amazon right away! I found the story to be very timely given current events and discussions surrounding male privilege and power (the plot centers around the family of a high school boy from an elite Nashville family who sends a racist, sexist Snapchat that goes viral). Obviously, Emily Giffin couldn’t predict just how relevant her storyline would be when she was writing the novel, but it truly made me think deeply about my own values and male privilege in our society. I couldn’t recommend this one enough!

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, by Jo Piazza: Again, I waited to get this one from the library for quite awhile, but it ended up being available right around Midterm elections, which made it extra fun to read. Charlotte is running for office in her home state of Pennsylvania, having left to work and raise a family in Silicon Valley for many years. In California, Charlotte achieved great financial and professional success, but once she begins her campaign, she moves back to her childhood home and becomes reacquainted with her humble beginnings and former community. She begins to examine her own values and priorities while working to support her family and marriage during a difficult professional period. Again, this book was very timely since Charlotte is running as a Democrat following the 2016 election, so there are many real-world references and challenges highlighted throughout.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, by Christina Lauren: This book kind of reminded me of The Good Luck Charm and was such a fun one to read on the train to New York City. Josh and Hazel meet in college but lose touch for several years until they realize that Hazel’s good friend Emily happens to be Josh’s sister (why this wouldn’t have been obvious to them right away, I don’t know!). They then become close friends and even roommates but vow that their relationship is purely platonic. After a series of failed double dates, they realize that they may be attracted to each other after all…and this discovery presents a series of its own challenges. This book is adorable and will keep you entertained–it’s light without being boring or cliche!

The Intermission, by Elissa Friedland: I loved Elissa Friedland’s first book, Love and Miscommunication, but this one is totally different. It follows Cass and Jonathan Coyne, a married couple living in New York City and preparing to start a family. As time passes, they realize that five years of marriage has taken its toll and what they really need is a little break from one another. Cass moves to LA to pursue a career in showbiz and Jonathan stays in New York and navigates his difficult family dynamics. I read this book over Thanksgiving and it kept me hooked the entire time–it felt very real and I loved how–like several of the other books in this roundup, actually–it was narrated from both the man’s and the woman’s perspective. The only flaw? The characters seemed much older than 32/33–I would have easily pegged them as being in their early 40s, and I don’t think the author was fully in touch with that age group as she was writing (most 30-somethings I know don’t find Instagram to be as mind-boggling as the characters did, for one!).

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