This is going to be a work-in-progress. I loved reading as a child, but as an adult got into the mindset that I should only read business or self-improvement books. Making time to read fiction and whatever else I want has brought me amazing joy. And who doesn’t want more joy in their lives?

I’m always looking for my next read and will share my favorites with you. The lists below are just titles, authors, and my brief thoughts on why I loved or not. I’ve linked to Amazon simply to make your life easier to click. Most of my reads are through the NYC Public Library system and Libby. and Feel free to ask me for more info if you are interested, and I’d love to hear your favorites and why.

loves + likes

  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
    This book replaced my long-time favorite, Pride and Prejudice. Of course, very different in subject, tone, and almost everything else, The Goldfinch follows a young boy through a lot of ups and downs. It’s a really long book, but completely worth it. Also love that it is set in NYC and can’t wait for the movie to be released.
  • Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
    This is now my second favorite. Extremely long, but similar to The Goldfinch in that it chronicles a good man’s sufferings and triumphs, many of each which Lin brings upon himself.
  • The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts
    The sequel to Shantaram. Not quite as good, but I still enjoyed hearing about Lin’s adventures and getting a wrap-up.
  • Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy by Kevin Kwan
    Sometimes you need something lighthearted, fun, and romantic. You get all of that with gossip, intrigue, and insane scheming in this series. Fast reads that transport you to another culture.
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
    Definitely NOT a light read, but really beautifully written. It breaks your heart to read the horrible things that happened to black slaves and inspires you that people keep going even through horrific experiences.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    A quick read, this book is a story that teaches a lesson about dreams, choices, and attitudes as shown in this excerpt:
    “As he mused about these things, he realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure.”
    Everyone should probably take three hours out of their life to read this tale of adventure and coming home.
  • The Whole World Over by Julia Glass
    Lots going on with this one. It’s always fun for me to read books about NYC, although it makes me a little sad and regretful that I spent so much of my life not here. This wasn’t my favorite book, but it was entertaining. It could get a little cheesy with descriptions like:
    “Only then, on hearing this news, did Alan’s fury at his wife begin to blossom, spreading through him steadily, quietly, outward in all directions, like the red stain from a glass of wine spilled on a white tablecloth.”
    I enjoyed the offshoot stories on the characters as they arrived in the story and how they intermingled in each others lives.

couldn’t finish (although I really wanted to)

  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
    First of all, I love science and Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I have learned that I do not learn (or care very much about learning) astrophysics. If you are fascinated with dark matter and black holes, this is for you.
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
    Really strange. The concept is that Lincoln’s son who died is sorta stuck in the afterlife, maybe because his father is so attached to him.

currently reading

  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
    I’m 20% through this one, and I am so ashamed of how the United States was built on the backs of anyone who was not a wealthy white man. It’s unbelievable how far women, Indians, African-Americans, Mexicans, and poor people have come with policies and law design specifically to keep them down. [had to return to the library, but it was time for a break for a bit]
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
    This one is interesting. A little all over the place. I don’t really know what’s happening, but I think it will all come together soon.