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.]