August Reads

Had to bring an old favorite with me to Paris!
Had to bring an old favorite with me to Paris!

I’m was a little behind on reading last month…I actually didn’t crack open a single book when I was in Paris (!) but did get through a few on the plane and toward the end of the month. A few were work/life-related and not necessarily interesting for the blog, but there are a couple that I’ll still share here because I think they’re generalizable for everyone.

10% Happier, by Dan Harris: For work, we had to read two books this summer, and this was one. A few of my coworkers started it earlier on and were raving about it (one even passed it along to her boyfriend!), plus, Dan Harris is a Colby alum, so I knew I’d like his work. 😉 In short, this book chronicles Dan’s experience discovering meditation (which he first couldn’t wrap his around but grew to love). I considered taking a meditation class last fall and think I’d enjoy trying it at some point, so it was interesting reading about someone else’s experience and also examining how other people manage stress as a whole.

Careergasm: Find Your Way to Feel-Good Work, by Sarah Vermunt: Shelby gave me this book for my birthday after having bought her own copy, and from the cover (and hilarious title) I knew it would be a good one, and I was right—I felt super pumped up and ready to #GSD when I was finished. The book is truly for people of all ages—whether you’re halfway through your career or just starting out. It encourages you to step back and take a look at what makes you happy—in the workplace and life in general—and also evaluate what makes you stressed and irritated (and to consider your physical reaction, too, as you do this evaluation). The overall takeaways are: Don’t hold back from pursuing that passion/dream, don’t waste time doing something that you don’t love, don’t be afraid of what others think (easier said than done!), and don’t not try something just because you’re afraid you’ll fail. Sarah shares her own ups and downs while giving professional advice (she works as a career coach), and the book overall kind of reminds me of The Big Life, which I reviewed in last month’s roundup.

Stories I’d Tell in Bars, by Jen Lancaster: I didn’t know much about Jen Lancaster but picked up this book because of its amazing reviews on Amazon (I always read the reviews, and when one commenter noted Jen’s clever take on the Lilly Pulitzer for Target sale, I was sold!). This comedic memoir is full of stories and anecdotes that will leave you nodding your head in agreement (she makes some great observations on millennial culture but makes it very clear that she feels bad for us, hah). I’m now excited to read her other work (I think I actually have a copy of one of her other books, Bitter is the New Black, which I’ve been meaning to start forever!).

How to Pack, by Hitha Palepu: I was silly and actually didn’t pick this up until after I’d come back from Paris, but hey, I suppose the tips are always going to be useful! This book has been mentioned many times throughout the blogsphere and while I feel like I’ve gotten to be a much better packer, who couldn’t use some helpful hints? I liked how Hitha began her book classifying the different types of packers–although I’m pretty sure I kind of fall into all of the categories–I’m either over-prepared, under-prepared, or sometimes, a little impractical, so her tips were very useful!

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July Reads

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Another month, another list of book recs as I work my way through a huge pile of must-reads! I’m adding a new “read it if…” piece for the books that I loved and would personally recommend. So without further ado…

The Light We Lost, by Jill Santopolo: Remember how I said I wanted to save this one for when I had time to fully enjoy it? Well, I’m so glad I did, because once I started the book, I couldn’t stop–I read it all in one sitting! Read it if: You appreciate a good love story but don’t want anything cheesy (and don’t mind a tearing up a bit!). 

The Big Life, by Ann Shoket: I read this book on vacation and it was a quick, inspiring read that also did the job of making me feel super motivated and ready to return to work (if you like to unplug completely when you’re away, I don’t recommend bringing this with you!). As the former editor of Seventeen, Ann knows all about the struggles that millennial women face in the workplace and beyond and uses a lot of real life anecdotes from her conversations with women in their 20s and 30s to supplement her advice. Read it if: You’re craving an extra dose of inspiration! 

The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan: If you’re looking for a rom com-esque read, this one is for you. Nina is in her late twenties when she loses her job at the town library and decides to go out on her own and open a traveling book truck (I mean…how adorable?!). She moves from England to Scotland to start her business, and, of course, ultimately falls in love. Having spent a semester abroad in Scotland, I loved reading about the different towns she visited and the characters she met along the way. Read it if: You need something fun and relaxing for once, especially given that everyone is all about dark, creepy thrillers these days.

Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell: I started this book and just couldn’t get into it, but I’m putting it on July’s list anyway. I read about half of this story, which is about two close female coworkers whose emails to one another are actually being monitored by the company tech guy, who starts falling for one of the girls. It’s a super cute plot (kinda wish I’d thought of it myself!) but the book was just too slow-moving for me and there were other things that I was more eager to read instead. Maybe I’ll try it again in the future–and as a whole, I’ve heard wonderful things about the author, Rainbow Rowell, and I know other people who enjoyed this particular book, and it got amazing reviews on Amazon, so clearly I’m in the minority!

I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist, by Betty Halbreich: This book had been sitting on my shelf forever and I’d been meaning to start it for, oh, a year and a half! Betty Halbreich chronicles her life growing up in Chicago in the 1930s before moving to NYC with her husband. She later forms a personal shopper role at Bergdorf Goodman, where she remains working for decades. Read it if: You love a good memoir, appreciate fashion and New York City, and want to read the musings of an incredible 86-year-old author!

I Remember Nothing, by Nora Ephron: This quick read was funny, insightful, and a nice glimpse into the late Nora Ephron’s life. Having read one of her other books, I Feel Bad About My Neck, I was curious to see what else she had in store and actually found this book at a used bookstore in Cape Cod! Read it if: Again, you like memoirs and are in the mood for a short but engaging read. 

All Grown Up, by Jami Attenberg: This book wasn’t outstanding in my opinion, but it showed up on my Amazon recommendations so I thought I’d give it a try. This short story follows a 39-year-old woman who is single in NYC and is facing various family issues…in short, not the glamorous, Sex and the City type read I was expecting. I wasn’t a huge fan.

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Books on My Radar

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Ok, I need to just, like, stop going on Amazon.com (ha, that’ll never, ever happen…) because every time I’m on there, I discover a dozen new books I want to read! Below are a few that have piqued my interest lately and are on my list to either buy (when prices go down) or check out from the library (if the waitlist isn’t too long!).

1) This seems to be marketed more toward college students, but I love self help type books, especially those geared directly toward young women.

2) Many people seem to have loved this one, and I’ve been stalking it on Amazon for awhile now! I’m not hugely in to politics, but who can say no to a funny book about working for Obama? If Mindy Kaling and Ashley recommend it, I’ll listen.

3) Laura Dave’s new novel about a culinary superstar who gets hacked sounds right up my alley (and seems like a totally different type of book than Eight Hundred Grapes, which I read a few years ago and enjoyed). Plus, who can resist the cheerful cover?

4) To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Sykes’ and Piazza’s other book, The Knockoff, despite it being quite popular. I stopped reading partway through a few summers ago and may have to give it another chance. In the meantime, I’ve heard good things about their new release, which seems like the perfect light read for summertime travel!

5) A fun fictional book about the life of a celebrity journalist in Hollywood is just what the doctor ordered for summer. I’d love to scoop this one up to bring on the plane to Paris–it sounds like something that’ll keep me entertained for hours!

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June Reads

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I’m excited to share my June reads with you all! I was able to finish a lot of books while on vacation in Florida, in particular (I even read two in one day!). While I’ve shown a few of my recent reads on Instagram, here’s the complete roundup of everything I enjoyed last month. Pack your pool tote or carry on with one of these options–you can thank me later!

Talking As Fast As I Can, by Lauren Graham: (Not pictured, because my sister is borrowing it at the moment!). As a longtime Gilmore Girls fan, it was wonderful to finally read Lorelai’s (oh, sorry, Lauren Graham’s) book! My favorite section was definitely when Lauren talked about the making of the Gilmore Girls Netflix reboot (did you know that the episodes are called “Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall” and are in that specific order because of the Carole King song?! I didn’t! Also, for some reason, I barely thought about all of the work that went into rebuilding the town of Stars Hollow prior to filming. It was interesting to hear some of the “behind the scenes” scoop with regard to the actual set, too). The fact that Lauren grew up in Northern Virginia right near where I live and work made her memoir even more appealing!

In A Dark, Dark Wood, by Ruth Ware: I had heard about this book forever before I finally sat down and started it (and I ended up reading it in one sitting–on the same day I read Lauren Graham’s book! #Vacation). It follows a group of 20-somethings who are gathered at a friend’s bachelorette party (or “hen weekend”) only for terror to unfold. The storyline moves quickly and you’ll keep asking yourself “what on earth really happened?” until Nora, the protagonist, is able to put together the pieces of that awful night.

After I Do, by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Ok, I’m officially in love with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work! I gushed over One True Loves in a previous book review and know that others have enjoyed it as well. I definitely teared up at times while reading about Lauren and Ryan, who choose to mend their marriage by taking time apart, all while dealing with challenging family dynamics and the new world of dating. How will Lauren, who hasn’t dated anyone since she met Ryan at age 19, process the events happening in her world without her husband by her side? DOES she actually miss him, or would she rather move on with her life and start anew? Reid has the ability to tell stories that are engaging but convey true insight and emotion. Pick it up!

Sugar, by Kimberly Stuart: This was a lighthearted read that looked at a pastry chef starting over in the industry while juggling a new relationship, town, and work situation. Honestly, when the back of the book noted that the main character would be working for her ex boyfriend, I expected much more drama on that front, but really their relationship seemed like it had been pretty minor. The book was still enjoyable but for sure was on the fluffier side, so if you like a good chick lit read, this one is for you!

Behind Closed Doors, by B.A. Paris: It honestly feels like forever ago that I read this book, but trust me, the plot still creeps me out every time I think about it. The story follows a couple who lead a seemingly perfect life and have what appears to be a flawless relationship with one another, but it’s soon revealed that this couldn’t be farther than the truth. How can the protagonist escape her terrifying husband when he makes it impossible for her to maintain a life of her own? Others will agree that it’s a very disturbing storyline, but I was enthralled and couldn’t stop thinking about it! I definitely had to call/text a few people when I was done just to tell them how creeped out I felt. It was one of the crazier thrillers I’ve read but I just couldn’t put it down.

It Happens in the Hamptons, by Holly Peterson: This is the perfect summer beach read, and if we’re being honest, it reminded me a lot of We Could be Beautiful, which I talk about here. When a single mother and her son arrive in the Hamptons for the summer, they don’t know what to expect (or ultimately, who to trust). Is the man that single mother Katie is dating truly as good as he seems? The story has several twists and turns (some of which I predicted!) and will leave you guessing as you go.

The Startup, by Doree Shafrir: I had been wanting to read this since I first heard about it a month or so ago. Filled with scandal, romance, and more, it was an interesting story about a group of individuals whose lives intersect due to their work in the tech world in NYC. It reminded me a bit of The Underwriting!

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MAY READS

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I admitted awhile back that I wasn’t the best reader this month. Don’t get me wrong, I still finished a good amount of books, but I also had a lot of free time, which I definitely mainly used to watch TV/socialize/nap…ya know, normal person things. But seriously, with Kimmy Schmidt back on Netflix (and a new season of Master of None that I can’t wait to start), I haven’t been as motivated to read lately. That said, I have a stack of awesome books piled up and I know I’ll enjoy them when I finally do dig in!

The books that I did read in May were actually SO good. Get ready to add these to your list!

Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire), by Jen Glantz: I read an interview with the author of this book earlier in the spring and knew I had to pick it up when it came out! The book is about one woman’s journey as a “professional bridesmaid” — that is, she literally began a business after being asked to be a bridesmaid for friends so many times. It was hilarious to read about all of Jen’s real life and professional ventures and her tone reminds me of so many other awesome female writers (if you liked the books by Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey, you’ll definitely like this!). I 100 percent recommend (and learned a lot about all that can go wrong at weddings in the process, haha).

We Could be Beautiful, by Swan Huntley: Ok, guys, I loved this one and texted a bunch of people when I finished it, because it was THAT good. I definitely realize that many people would find the main character (a 40-something, extremely wealthy and entitled New York woman) extremely annoying, but I actually found her and her expectations/standards hilarious. The book follows this one woman’s journey as she finally finds love while taking care of her ailing mother…only to uncover some deep family secrets in the process of getting to know this man. The author writes with such an engaging tone and each character really is full of personality and humor. I’m proud of myself for actually predicting a couple of the plot twists that are revealed at the end of the book (but I still was shocked!) and really, really liked this one.

Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight: This is another popular thriller that examines exactly what happened to teenage Amelia who gets in trouble at school one day and then dies suddenly. Single mom Kate is left putting together the pieces and wondering what was happening to her daughter both emotionally and physically at the time of her death. If you like mystery reads this one is for you–it examines teenage girl friendships and pressures but has a surprising ending.

Cancel the Wedding, by Carolyn Dingman: This book was an easier, beachy read but still fully captured my attention! When a 30-something woman retraces her mother’s past in rural Georgia, she learns a bunch of family secrets that alter her view of her mother and their family dynamic. This is perfect if you want a lighthearted read that incorporates a bit of history, some family drama, and of course, a good love story or two. I honestly had a hard time putting this down each night (and it got amazing reviews on Amazon, so clearly others felt the same way!).

Post Grad, by Caroline Kitchener: I mentioned this one in a post awhile back and am so glad I picked it up. This sociological piece examines the lives of five women as they navigate their first year in the real world after graduating from Princeton. These women come from different racial, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds, yet all face significant struggles and experiences as they start their new lives. The author (who is younger than I am!) writes an engaging, thought-provoking piece that I honestly wish I had thought to do first 😉 I read this book in a day and immediately recommended it to a friend. Pick it up!

The Opposite of Loneliness, by Marina Keegan: I can’t believe I waited to long to read this. From the moment I read Marina’s first fiction piece, I was hooked. She manages to capture emotions that are complex and powerful while succinctly telling a story and making it believable and real. Each of her characters–whether fictional or not–are unique yet have a compelling story to share, be it about loss, lost love, raising a child, or even working as an exterminator. These stories reach beyond what Marina had experienced herself but are still believable and insightful. Her nonfiction work, which is printed in the second half of the book, is haunting and perceptive. Truly a must read by a talented writer.

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April Books

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The Singles Game, by Lauren Weisberger: I started this one over the summer, couldn’t get into it, and cracked it open again on my plane ride home from Seattle. It was honestly the perfect lighthearted travel book and was engaging enough this time around that I finished it AND Big Law and still had some time to kill! It chronicles the ups and downs of a tennis star in her early 20s as she navigates tournaments and relationships. It was funny because when I started reading the book this summer, I had been interviewing a former tennis player named Charlotte (who also went by Charlie) as part of a work project, just like the main character.

The Admissions, by Meg Mitchell Moore: Honestly this book threw me for a loop, but in a good way. It follows a family whose oldest daughter is in the process of applying to Harvard, her dream school. But other issues arise throughout as her parents’ pasts are brought to light. While I predicted one outcome, the other left me surprised (and not in the way I’d expected based on a few clues carefully distributed throughout the book). I won’t spoil the ending, but this is a must read–definitely my favorite of the bunch!
So Close, by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus: I feel so-so about this one, which tells the story of a young woman from rural Florida who is thrust into the political scene. I got into it at the beginning and then wasn’t loving all of the twists and turns and didn’t feel super connected to Amanda, the main character. However, I liked that Amanda was a bit different from the usual 20-something protagonist and really has to fend for herself throughout the book.
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P, by Adelle Waldman: I love reading about love and relationships from a man’s perspective, and this book certainly did just that (although the author is female). This book came highly recommended from friends and was a quick, enjoyable read (I started AND finished it on a lazy Sunday!). A good alternative to the usual female-dominated books about dating.
You’ll Grow Out of It, by Jessie Klein: If you like the funny girl autobiographies that have become popular in recent years (think: Tina Fey, Lena Dunham, etc) you’ll enjoy this book. I had never heard of Jessie Klein before but was throughly entertained by her writing. It makes me want to write my own little piece like this one day, haha.
The Twilight Wife, by A.J. Banner: This was another great thriller and I tore through it in one evening! It examines the life of a 34-year-old who has lost a chunk of her memory in an accident and is trying to piece together the past. But can she trust her husband as he tries to help her remember her previous life? A quick, intriguing read!
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On My Reading Wishlist

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I was browsing Amazon the other day and decided writing down must-reads on a piece of paper because there were just so many books that caught my eye! Sure, my bookshelf is practically overflowing with books I’ve already read and ones I’ve been meaning to pick up for months, but there’s honestly just not enough time to ever feel “caught up!” While I certainly don’t need to order any more books (and am probably better off waiting for some of these to go on sale), here are a few that have sparked my interest lately…let me know if you’ve read any of ’em.

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea

The Perfect Stranger

All The Lives I Want

Swing Time

Commonwealth

A Man Called Ove 

Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire)

Sugar

The Bookshop on the Corner 

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March Books

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You guys, I read up a storm this month. Blame it on snow days and vacation days, but I soared through book after book and couldn’t be happier! Here’s what I read:

How to Murder Your Life, by Cat Marnell: I was enamored by this one. It was seriously After Perfect round two in the sense that I couldn’t stop Googling everyone when the book was over! This was partly because Cat is from my hometown — I, too, grew up gawking at Mike Tyson’s house and attended the same large, public middle school that she did, and several of my friends lived in Cat’s immediate neighborhood. I was also interested in reading about her own experience working in magazines (my beauty editor at American Baby often let me attend beauty events on her behalf, but they weren’t in foreign countries like Cat’s!). But obviously the book is about so much more than magazines and glamour. Cat chronicles her struggle with drug addiction, which began when she started taking ADHD meds while at boarding school. I was both fascinated and horrified while reading this book, and I definitely feel like various people in Cat’s life enabled her (lending her money, letting her keep her job despite serious screwups, etc). But, I think at the same time, this good fortunate made the book all the more interesting. Cat continued to deteriorate yet still was responsible for producing quality work, making rent, etc. And, for some reason beyond me, I was rooting for her all the way through. There were a lot of serendipitous encounters that really ended up shaping Cat’s life, and it was also interesting reading about her friendships with up-and-coming stars (just like how the author of After Perfect talked about living with a young Emma Stone). I tore through this book in two days (I opened it as soon as I got out of work and again while waiting 10 minutes for a doctor’s appointment to begin — I was that addicted! Ha…no pun intended!), and I’d highly recommend it. There’s a reason everyone’s been talking about it and why it’s gotten such great reviews on Amazon.

The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica: I’d been meaning to read this one forever, and it was a super quick but interesting read for me. My friend had read it awhile back and loved it, and she kept warning me that a twist was coming. I was a little confused when I had 40 pages left in the book and hadn’t encountered any major surprises, but there it was…on the last page! Definitely keep reading all the way through. The book (which is about a young professional woman in Chicago who goes missing) will leave you shocked for sure.

The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena: I picked this up from the library and also sped through it. Again, someone goes missing (in this case, a baby, who is left home alone while her parents are at a party next door) but you’re left with a surprising revelation at the end about why. This book has been getting a lot of hype, and for good reason!

All The Missing Girls, by Meghan Miranda: Lots of mystery books for me this month! I had really high hopes for this one, but just didn’t love it. The story is told in backwards order, which is an interesting technique, but it still didn’t keep me hooked. I was a little surprised when I learned what had actually happened to the first missing girl, but the book just seemed to go on and on and didn’t thrill me.

The Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes: Let me start by saying that I love all of Shonda’s shows (I’ve watched several seasons of all three and have been borderline obsessed at times) but I just wasn’t drawn into her memoir. It’s a pretty short, easy read, but it didn’t hook me in the way her shows do. But I did learn a lot more about Shonda’s life and personality (she’s a huge introvert), which was interesting background. I’ve been hooked on re-watching Grey’s lately, too, so it only seemed fitting to pick up her book!

The Mothers, by Brit Bennett: This popular new book focuses on a teenage girl growing up in California and follows her into adulthood. Her mother has recently died, and she is living at home with her distant father before starting college halfway across the country. Without giving too much away, it’s an interesting coming of age read that examines the significance of early romantic relationships and the power of friendships. I really enjoyed it!

A Window Opens, by Elisabeth Egan: I LOVED this book, but I have to warn you, I was sobbing at the end. Like, woah. I kept putting off finishing the book (well, for short periods of time — I loved it so much that I tore through it in a couple of days!) because I knew what was going to happen and that it would be upsetting. For me, the main character was super relatable (she’d also been an editor for her college newspaper and, at the beginning of the book, was serving as the books editor at a major women’s mag in NYC!). Maybe that’s why I was so invested! The novel was centered on her changing financial situation and the challenges that ensued, a new job that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, an ill, aging father, and the difficulities of managing family life and a stressed out husband. I promise the book isn’t as depressing as it sounds — but for a piece of fiction, it was very honest and introspective (while still being a fun, chick lit-like read). Upon Googling the author, I learned that the main character mirrored her pretty closely, which helped make the story very realistic.

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Good as Gone, by Amy Gentry: This is yet another thriller (if ya couldn’t guess from the title!) and tells the story of a girl who was taken from her bedroom as a child only to return to her family home at the age of 21. I didn’t love how the story was told from multiple perspectives (and different characters frequently went by different names, too, which made things confusing!), but it was still a good mystery read that definitely threw me for a loop!

The Futures, by Anna Pitoniak: I also loved, loved, loved this book. It tells the story of a young couple, Evan and Julia, who recently graduated from Yale and start a new life in New York City (Evan has been offered a prestigious job in finance, hence the punny title). The book examines the struggles associated with postgrad life, and, being set in 2008, also takes a look at the financial crisis and its impact on so many workers, young and old. Evan and Julia’s relationship is tested throughout the course of the year, and each are faced with stress and difficult choices both in and out of the workplace. Parts of the book were a bit stressful for sure, but I sped through it because I couldn’t get enough of the characters! I liked how some chapters are told from Evan’s perspective and some are in Julia’s voice, and I think the author did a great job capturing both main characters’ thoughts.

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Reading and Reviewing: February

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After Perfect, by Christina McDowell: I was infatuated with this book and could not shut up about it while I was reading (it took me maybe 2 nights?!). I’m pretty sure I’ve googled the author’s family dozens of times since–I was just so intrigued with her story! This nonfiction memoir chronicles a young woman’s privileged childhood which is suddenly ripped to shreds when her father is prosecuted due to illegal financial activity. The family becomes bankrupt, the author is forced to drop out of college, and her entire family structure unravels. She also grew up right near where I did (and in the same town where I work), which made the story extra interesting.

Small Admissions, by Amy Poeppel: I had such high hopes for this book and did not like it AT all. Since I also work at a private school, I thought I’d absolutely love the storyline, which is about a young woman working in admissions. However, the main character was a mess, parts of the book were oddly hard to follow, and it was somewhat funny but definitely not my favorite. I was surprised I didn’t like it since it has such good reviews on Amazon, but oh well….

My Not So Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella: I LOVE Sophie Kinsella, but this book wasn’t my favorite (I’m a big fan of her Shopaholic series and loved Twenties Girl!). However, I’m always going to read Kinsella’s new releases, and this one had a cute, rom com-like storyline filled with twists and turns. It also makes me want to stay at a bed and breakfast in England like the one where the main character works.

Scrappy Little Nobody, by Anna Kendrick: I absolutely loved Anna Kendrick from the moment I saw her in “Pitch Perfect” (although my mom had been a fan of hers even before!), and I really enjoyed her autobiography. I didn’t realize that Anna was from Maine, where I went to school, and her self-depricating tone and hilarious stories made for an overall enjoyable, quick read.

The Magnolia Story, by Chip and Joanna Gaines: This one was another quick read but I loved how both Chip and Joanna’s voices were tied together as they took turns narrating and commenting on each other’s remarks. I learned a ton about this famous couple and had no idea that they both got into design in their twenties…I had assumed that they were building and decorating since they were little kids, haha. If you’re a “Fixer Upper” fan, you have to grab a copy of this book!

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Reading and Reviewing: January

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I got off to a good starting reading at the start of January, but it kind of fell to the wayside by the end of the month as my work piled up! Here’s to a less busy second half of February! In the meantime, these are a few of my faves:

Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld: This book is a “modern telling” of Pride and Prejudice that follows a family of four adult sisters and their respective love lives. Each sister ends up making drastically different choices and aspects of the book definitely surprised me a bit! The story was pretty long, but I thought the ending, which focused on the middle sister Mary, was hilarious. Anyone else think so?

Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance: I’ve mentioned this book on here a few times already, but it’s because it was THAT good. I tore through it in about a day and found it so fascinating. As a former sociology major, I was enthralled by the author’s tale of his childhood in Appalachia and how his upbringing shaped his family and the person he became. This is truly a must-read and a book that makes you feel smarter and more informed just by reading it. I was recently in the process of verbally recommending it to someone only to be stopped and told that they’d read it already! Don’t miss out– go add it to your cart on Amazon stat!

The One That Got Away, by Leigh Himes: I LOVED this book! I picked it up at my favorite used bookstore in NYC because the title sounded somewhat familiar (I mean, it’s a common title, but I was pretty sure I had heard of this specific book!). I loved the way the author explored the “what ifs” of a woman’s life and illustrated how completely different things would have turned out had she married a rich, famous man from her past. I also loved that it took place in Philly and talked a lot about Center City, Penn, and the Philly suburbs. #throwback Plus, the ending definitely threw me for a loop!

The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware: As I mentioned earlier, this one definitely reminded me of The Girl on the Train. After seeing it on Instagram this summer and fall, I couldn’t wait to read it. I finished it in like a day and was creeped out–but fascinated–by the storyline.

The Hypnotist’s Love Story, by Liane Moriarty: I love Liane Morarity, and her stories never seem to disappoint (although I like some of her books better than others). I thought this story about a woman dealing with her new love’s stalker (yeah, a bit confusing sounding but I promise it’s super easy to follow, haha) was hilarious and a fun “chick flick” type of read.

Now to tackle the many books on my to-read list…I don’t know where to start! I can’t wait to dive into Small Admissions first, though!

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