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. Lin is a good bad boy, and it was good to find out the end game for him.
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
A sad but inspirational story that chronicles the life of a Lithuanian teenage girl and her family in the aftermath of Stalin’s seizure and deportation of anyone identified as an anti-Soviet element.
- American Panda by Gloria Chao
A short read, but not really light-hearted. This book highlights the struggle of second generation immigrants to follow the traditions of their home countries and assimilate into their lives in America.
- Austenland by Shannon Hale
Not a deep story, but a fun, fast escape if you are a Jane Austen fan.
- Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
I’m a little embarrassed by this sequel, but I needed some lightness after another few chapters of A People’s History of the United States.
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
I enjoyed this more serious version of Groundhog’s Day.
- Sociable by Rebecca Harrington
This book makes you cringe over and over as the millennial main character makes her way in the world, personally and professionally.
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
A cute, romantic adventure about two young adults who meet on basically the worst possible day.
- The Whole World Over by Julia Glass
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
A really beautiful memoir on losing your spouse and adjusting to life after. I love her writing style. I think this will be a good one for anyone who has experienced grief.
- There There by Tommy Orange
One of the things I love about reading is that I can get a glimpse into worlds that I don’t know a lot about. This book is about the lives of several Native Americans in Oakland and beyond. Although I have been sympathetic to the Native American plight, I now have deeper insights into what life can be like in the generations beyond the United States’ heartless genocide.
- The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I don’t think I realized that Coates was a fiction writer since Between the World and Me was my first experience with his writing. Thanks to him for always giving me a perspective beyond myself. His insight that there is a difference between motive for those who were slaves and those who were helping end slavery – personal vs. a cause.
- The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
It’s amazing how much impact a house can have on a family. You would probably enjoy this one if you liked The Goldfinch.
- The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
I am drawn to all of the beautiful and haunting books about the horrible things we did to African Americans, and this one is a must-read, along with The Underground Railroad.
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
The sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale – definitely worth a read if you enjoyed the first one. A different perspective on Aunt Lydia (without giving too much away).
- Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
How can you not read a book about children that spontaneously combust?
- Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
I can’t remember what veered me to this oldie, but it was an interesting read. I totally pictured Natasha Lyonne as Neely as I was reading.
- The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
Loved this one for the story and the historical context. I realize now how bad my WWII knowledge actually is.
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.
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
Follows the life of sorta high school sweethearts…
- The Genius Habit by Laura Garnett
If you are searching for even more meaning in your career, this book is for you. She is helping me find my genius and purpose and channel them into my worklife.
- If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
Started this one, but didn’t finish by the time it was due…