Hmmm. I don’t really know how to do this, so I’m just going to tell you what books I’ve read lately and if I liked them. I’m not a great critic, so beware if you have very critical and excellent taste in literary greatness. I am not the gal to come to for recommendations if that is the case. I love good women’s fiction, chick lit if you will – and I only feel comfortable saying that because I want to write chick lit. Scratch that – I am GOING to write chick lit. I have no qualms admitting that I prefer happier endings and maybe even unrealistic stories over real life stuff… because, um I get enough of that in real life. I like to escape! That being said, I have been reading some more “real life” stuff. But just some. Here’s the list.

I know I mentioned these two books in my March favorites, but I had just read them near the end of the month so they are worth mentioning again. I loved, loved, loved Heft. I actually love it more the further I get away from it and reflect on it. Am I the only one that does that? I lose myself so much in books that I constantly think about the story like it’s real life. The other book was Jane Green’s Family Pictures, which I also liked.

Last week I read The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer which I ended up loving. It was another one of those stories that I’ve loved even more as the days have gone on. I was a bit surprised at first because it truly is just the story of a group of friends – their lives spanning a few decades. But if you’ve ever been jealous of a friend, envious of someone close in your life or thought that the grass was always greener, this is an awesome read. I went back and forth between loving and hating the main character, feeling sorry for her and wanting to punch her in the face. It was great.

I read Anna Quindlen’s memoir, Lot’s of Candles, Plenty of Cake. While I’m sure I would appreciate this even more in another twenty years, it was an awesome read. But I mean, I’m a thirty year old who would rather go to a Barry Manilow concert than go out to a bar and get wasted, so take that as you will.

My favorite authors are a toss up between Elin Hilderbrand and Kristin Hannah. I thought that I had read every book that each of them had wrote, but realized that I’d missed The Beach Club which was Elin Hilderbrand’s first novel. I wanted to read it even more then, being an aspiring fiction author and seeing where she was then vereses how far she has come. Super cute read. I love beachy stuff. Also, because of her I am obsessed with going to Nantucket. Someone tell me about this lovely place please.

Two weeks ago I read Arranged, which was another book that Kristen recommended to me. She mentioned it in December when she told me about Heft and thought I would like it since she knows I am interested in writing in that genre. It was also really cute and a very quick read. Fun fun.

Last year I talked about being sucked in to the Gone Girl vortex. While I rarely read mysteries or suspense novels (I’m afraid of the dark. This does not bode well for me.), a few weeks ago I went through both of Gillian Flynn’s other books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places after recommendations from Bev. I enjoyed both, but the latter was definitely my favorite of the three. It had a solid ending (which if you’ve read Gone Girl, you will appreciate) and while not being my cup of tea at all, sucked me in.

The only book I read that I did not enjoy much was The Mystery of Mercy Close. I know that most people love this popular author but for some reason, I just can’t get into her stuff. She is a great writer… just not for me.

At the moment, I am reading The Best of Us and totally loving it. I’m halfway through. After this, I plan on moving on to another novel by the same author, These Girls.

Finally, I can’t even contain my excitement about Kristin Hannah’s new book that comes out on Tuesday, Fly Away. It is a sequel to Firefly Lane, and if you’ve been reading for some time, you know that is one of my most favorite books EVER. If not my all-time favorite. I can hardly wait. My guess is I do nothing all day Tuesday and finish reading it by early evening because I don’t know the beauty in savoring things.

Let’s talk about cookbooks for a second. Three of my good blog friends recently came out with some killer books. This weekend I made some blueberry tequila punch from Lori’s new cookbook, RecipeGirl. As a tequila lover, it was incredible. Her book has TONS of recipes. My friend Heather is putting out one of the most gorgeous (seriously!) cookbooks I have EVER seen. A few weeks ago I made her greek chicken & potatoes for dinner. That girl knows her stuff. Her book won’t officially come out until May 1, but it is definitely worth pre-ordering. And my friend Lisa just came out with an awesome gluten-free ebook, which means it can be yours in seconds. I have no patience, so I like that.

Annnnd that’s a wrap. Everything I’ve read since the end of March. What have you been reading? Oh and the photo up above is just of my desk with some books I like sitting there looking cute.

[note: all of these books were purchased by me because I wanted to read them. some of the above links are amazon affiliate links.]

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69 Responses to “What I’ve Been Reading.”

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    51
    Abby — April 29, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

    Just finished Heft…LOVED it! Thanks for all these fab suggestions, obviously reading all of these instead of studying for finals!

    Reply

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    Laurie E — May 3, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    I’m an avid book reader, but strictly stick with the mystery/thriller genre. If you want to read a series of books that will make you laugh-out-loud at the female protagonist (or more likely her sister Rae) please read “The Spellman” series by Lisa Lutz. MOST EXCELLENT! I just pre-ordered the 5th in the series and CAN’T wait.
    Another that I just finished was Elizabeth Haynes “Around the Darkest Corner.” I can not express how engrossing this book was. I finished it a week ago and am still thinking about it.
    PS I just started reading your blog- I can’t get enough of it. We have so much in common, it’s almost scary- down to the food, TV SHOWS, and everything else. I’m a huge FRIENDS fan and will admit (embarassingly so) that I own all 10 seasons on DVD and watch at least an episode a night. Last night’s was “The One Where Paul’s The Man.” Bruce Willis…. is a love machine.
    .

    Reply

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    Paige — May 8, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    I saw this iphone case in Sprinkles and thought you might loooove it. :)
    http://www.modcloth.com/shop/wallets/rating-royalty-iphone-case-in-sprinkles

    Reply

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    Lauren — May 31, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    I love that you are sharing book recommendations! I’m an avid reader and it sounds like we enjoy the same types of books. I just read Fly Away last weekend – it was great, but I thought Firefly Lane was better. I also read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and it was okay – the dialogue was a little too complex to be true conversation.

    Keep the recommendations coming!

    Reply

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    Julie — June 2, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

    This is the perfect kind of book recommendation/review blog post! Thank you! Jessica, are you on GoodReads? If not, you should get on that…once you “review” 20 books, they give you reccomendations, and they are usually VERY spot on! It is also a great place to keep track of what you have read and what you want to read. I added most of the books that you mentioned to my “to read” list. Thanks again!

    Reply

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    Elizabeth — June 9, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

    So I just finished Heft and SPOILER I was disappointed.. I felt like it was incomplete and obviously most ppl would disagree as I read a bunch of reviews from people who loved it! The book itself kept my attention the entire way but I just felt unsatisfied at the end! What did you love about it? Don’t get me wrong it was a good read, id just hoped for a little more closure haha :) just wanted to hear your insight :)

    Reply

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