I have accepted the fact that I really do not have any desire to do anything but work (which, I love my job so I enjoy getting up every day!), learn (I listen to a ton of audio books), and read. Some may call it anti-social, I call it hormones. I’ve always been an introvert and on in to my 30’s I’ve enjoyed cooking a good meal or going out for a nice dinner and getting to bed at a good time rather than taking everything to a bar for late night partying. Or maybe my body has just finally decided that it’s done with the last 10 years of weekly bar outings…hmmm…
I’ve read a lot of books lately so here are the best of the best:
If you want a book that will consume your life til the very end:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Fiction) – Wow. If you haven’t read this yet, you’re missing out. Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy, disappears on their 5th wedding anniversary. A search ensues, but all signs seem to be pointing to Nick, the husband, who claims his innocence. A simple sounding plot, yes, but you’ll have to read it to find out why it’s utterly gripping storyline and “oh my gosh, this could actually happen,” events make it one of the best books in a long time.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Fiction)- This book was so good I could not put it down. I read it while walking my dog, while walking to my car, even riding in a car even though it makes me carsick (it was seriously that good!) Rachel takes the same commuter train in London every day, and looks out at the houses she passes, even starting to feel like she knows the inhabitants in the houses. One day, she sees something that she probably isn’t supposed to. She decides to get involved, in ways that become such a tangled web that it gets her in quite a bit of trouble. You just have to read it to understand how crazy good this was. This was the epitome of a ‘page turner’ and should be the book you read this summer if you only read one.
The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessican Knoll (Fiction) – If the Girl on the Train and Gone Girl were so intense that you need to read something that calms it down a bit with some chick lit mixed in all the suspense, this might be the book for you! Ani is an NYC girl who works at one of the top magazines, is engaged to the perfect guy, and has everything she ever wanted. However, your past and the real you is always still there, no matter how much money you are using to cover it up, right? This book unfolds her past like an onion, more intense and twisted with each layer. I would rate this one as PG-13 with some of the events that happen, but absolutely a great book and quick read (because you’re not going to be able to put this one down either).
If you’re still longing for the days of the Twilight Saga and teenage angst:
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (REALLY Fiction)- They made this first book into a movie which was teeeerrrrible (althought Lily Collins is so adorable). The books, however, will absorb you right in! I read the first 4 books in the series. Enter a world of shadowhunters, downworlders, fairies (the scary kind) and even vampires and get completely hooked. Yes it sounds ridiculous, but trust me, this alternate universe will suck you in so much that you’ll wonder if some of it is actually true. Nevermind that all the main characters are sub 20 years of age. Nevermind that you have to buy it in the YA section of the book store. If you’re looking for some good old fashion story addiction that isn’t filled with fake monster porn (hello Trueblood) this is the series. It’s ok for your 12 year old and just as additive for the older folk (ok, me).
Never Never by Colleen Hoover (Fiction) – If you do read this, please do not send me hate mail. This book is very short (about 200 pages) and is part of a series. They haven’t released the 3rd book and it’s kind of agonizing. In fact, there are already complaints online! Charlize and Silas have been best friends since they were babies, and have been in love for most of their life. Then one day, all of a sudden, neither of them can remember who they are, who each other is, who any of their friends or family are…it’s like their memories have been completely erased. You’ll be hooked (I was/am) as you search with them to put together the pieces of why this is happening.
If you want a book to make you think about life:
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Fiction) – I’m normally not a fan of books that are written in the first person of a child, an animal, or the like. It feels like we have to spend a lot of time in their heads trying to figure out simple things like opening a door. However, this one is told by an insightful (we’re talking Gandhi-level) dog, who occasionally shares his wisdom with you while telling the story of his life, which is more about his master’s life and his trials and tribulations. It’s actually a very heart-warming and sometimes funny book about a very good guy.
#Girlboss by Sophia Amorusa (NasyGal founder) (Non-Fiction) – I wish I would have read this book when I was 25 (of course, when I was 25 Sophia Amorusa was still dumpster diving and had not even begun her life she has now). I love reading books about how people got from nothing to get everything, and this one I liked because she is a VERY modern day rags to riches tale. She tells her story, and really emphasizes that there was no “luck” but instead of a lot of mistakes and bad choices and trial and error and perseverance before getting to where she is. I love the advice she gives younger generations. She’s been criticized for writing a book after only being in business 7 years, but she just puts it all out there and I really love her for that.
If you want a book to inspire you to change and/or improve your life:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (Non-Fiction) – By now you’ve certainly seen this book somewhere. It’s been all over the best sellers list! I refused to read this book for a while, thinking, nothing can be more boring than reading about how to organize. Plus, what the heck can this woman tell me that I don’t already know? (aside: I’m a terrible organizer, so I’m not sure why I had this attitude). Wrong. It really did change my life. Discard what you think you know about organizing, stop looking for new ways to store things, and just read this book. If you follow her advice to a T, magical things really do happen. Oh, and it’s not boring and a VERY easy read.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (Non-Fiction) – This is one everyone has heard of, but not everyone has read (because if everyone had read this, the world would truly be a more compassionate, better place!) You can Google the habits and see what they are, nothing terribly remarkable, but if you read/listen to the book it really reminds you and teaches you how you can change your life, your outlook on life, and how you are in control of how you respond to events that happen and you can truly be in control of your life. I like the audible version of this book.
10% Happier by Dan Harris (Good Morning America guy) (Non-Fiction) – I’ve tried reading the Oprah talked about “Power of Now” (Eckhart Tolle) and similar books about living in the moment. They all made sense in terms of, yes, we should quiet our brains, and live in the now instead of worrying about things that haven’t even happened. But none of them actually explained how to do this. 10% Happier made it all make sense. Not only was the book interesting and funny, but instead of some robe wearing guru telling you parables and words of wisdom, Dan actually tells his story of how he, a real person with real problems, made his life a little bit better and learned to calm his crazy mind.
If you’re looking for the next “Devil Wears Prada”
The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes/Jo Piazza (Fiction) – Imogen Tate is the editor-in-chief of Glossy magazine, and very well respected in the industry. When she comes back from a 6 month hiatus to find her former 20-something assistant running the entire show, turning her precious magazine into an app, she has to make some necessary adjustments to keep her place in the fashion world. Very easy read and very entertaining. Great book and a nice break from the dark and suspenseful books I mentioned up at the beginning 🙂
If you’re looking for a book to get you healthy:
Brain Maker and Grain Brain (2 books) by David Perlmutter (Non-Fiction) – If you want to get the very LATEST research on the most likely causes of all the auto-immune diseases out there, why you have a hard time losing weight eating sugary breads and processed foods, why anti-biotics are terrible for you, and why you really are what you eat, read these books! Finally, a guy who actually cites valid research with his claims. I recommend the audible versions of these as well.