Good morning, lovelies! How are you today? I hope you're basking in the sunshine and drinking coffee.
When I started this blog, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to write about (or maybe it's more accurate to say I worried that I wanted to write about ALL of the things, and that the blog would just become a scattered mess. That might have happened, but it no longer concerns me.) But one thing I didn't think about was how often I'd want to write about books I was reading, because I want to enjoy the great writing that's enriching my days. So, thanks to my dear friend Jenny (who can be considered a co-creator of this blog for all the good tips she's given along the way) I went back through my older posts and added a "reading" category, so you can easily locate book suggestions if you find yourself in search of your next great read. And, today I'm going to talk about some of my favorite books of all time, plus a few that I've read lately. Because summertime and reading go together like...mornings and coffee. (If you can't tell, I just finished my coffee and I'm a little sad about it. Sorry you had to come along on that ride.)
Books for Summertime (Or really....anytime.)
I. Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert
I'm not going to include Eat, Pray, Love on this list because I assume everyone on the planet has already gotten the memo on that one, but if you enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's voice in that book you'll also love Committed. What I loved about this book was its thoughtful examination of the institution of marriage--both historically in Western culture and looking at other cultures around the world--woven in with Gilbert's lovable story-telling about her own preparation for marriage. I've read this book a handful of times, and I think it's an important one. If you don't love Liz Gilbert and you don't love thinking critically about social institutions...move along.
II. Bread and Butter, by Michelle Wildgen
I read this book over a year ago and will admit that I don't remember the plot terribly clearly, but what I do remember is the rich, beautiful language the author uses to describe the food and the characters. I read this novel on the bus going to and from work at the law firm, and I always had a hard time putting it down. It will also inspire you to seek out more interesting and delicious meals, which is a plus for me.
III. Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty.
I've written before about how much I love Liane Moriarty's work, but this list wouldn't be complete without including her again. I realized recently why I love her books so much: she's got so much talent in creating characters who you feel close to, that her books make me understand humans better. You know when you have a friend that goes through something, and by observing that situation in someone you're close to, you understand it better? That's how I feel about her stories. They make me think about complex emotional experiences in ways I couldn't imagine on my own, and I'm always left thinking about her characters for weeks after I finish the novel.
IV. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
Do you need to laugh until you cry? This is your book. It's a quick one (I read it on a plane ride) but it is belly-aching hilarious. It's a collection of quote and stories curated by a twenty-something guy, about things his father has said and done. If you need a lighthearted mood-lifter, buy this one.
V. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
After finishing My Grandmothe Asked Me To Tell you She's Sorry (another excellent novel by Backman) I turned to A Man Called Ove. Backman is a captivating writer who has the "it" factor that makes you want to keep reading and reading, and this book did not disappoint. It's about an elderly man named Ove, who's a little bit of a curmudgeon. I don't want to give away much more than that, but trust me on this one--it's worth your time.
VI. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I'll be honest: this is objectively a fantastic book. The writing is excellent, the plot is well-constructed, and the World War II setting is both beautiful and terrifying in equal measure. Did you sense the "but" coming? Here it is: this book is a little dense. I tend to gravitate towards writing that's easy for me to consume--I love to sit down and read 100 pages of a book at a time, and I dislike books where I have to re-read paragraphs two or three times in the first ten pages, until I acclimate to the language. As you can tell from my style of writing on this blog, I prefer to read (and write) like I speak. So this book is going on the list because it's excellent--it really is. Once I got used to the writing style I truly loved it, and I'm sure you won't be disappointed (plus, if my other suggestions are not your style, this one might be more your speed). But if you're looking for something light and quick and easy, this isn't your jam.
That's all for today--I'd love to hear your recommendations for books I should read! I'm adding to my collection every week or two these days and making a point of reading every night before bed, so suggestions are gladly accepted!