Recently Read Vol. 2



In April, I shared the books I’d read so far this year. From that post, I got several great book recommendations and I really enjoyed the conversation in the comments section. So, five books later, here we are again.

Recently Read Vol 2

1. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

This book at times almost feels like a blog. There are moments that the writing style is very casual. The characters are likable and the story moves along quickly enough that you’re never bored. Somehow I thought that I’d find out the husband’s secret a lot sooner than I did (about half way through the book) but that didn’t sour it for me.

I will say that when I went to write this summary/review, I could not for the life of me remember characters names or certain details of the book. So, while amusing, it’s definitely one of those beachy reads that you plow through in a couple of days and promptly forget. If that’s your thing (it is for me, about every 6 books), this is a good one.

2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

This is my favorite book I’ve read in a good long while (Well, since I read The Fault in Our Stars – if you haven’t read this, read it immediately. It will rip your heart out IN A GOOD WAY). Actually, I’ll go so far as to say this – Attachments is in my top 10 favorite books ever. Whoa.

This was suggested to me after my last Recently Read post (thank you Emily!) as a “happy” book. It was absolute perfection complete with the sweet ending I was craving. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes feeling warm fuzzies (i.e. anyone who is not a cyborg).

3. Night by Elie Wiesel

I bought this book at Goodwill over a year ago and hadn’t read it. I’m not sure why. It’s a quick read – 115 pages. I read it in 2 hours. With everything happening in the Ukraine, I decided it was time for a little history and a little perspective.

Night is the author’s account of the horrors of the Holocaust and his survival in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. It’s so shocking that I felt like I was reading fiction (Because, how? How did this actually happen?) and kept having to remind myself that not only did this happen, it happened in my Grandmother’s lifetime. In the grand scheme of history, it happened recently. We need a reminder of the horrors that humans are capable of inflicting upon each other to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.

"Required reading for all of humanity." —Oprah
4. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

This was a re-read for me. After reading Night, I needed something light-hearted and funny that I knew I’d love. Mindy nailed it. This book is written as essays about individual [hilarious and relatable] topics. The essay format makes it easy to read super fast (I hate the word essay because it sounds like a chore but trust me, you want to read her essays about things like “non-traumatic things that have made me cry” and “types of women in romantic comedies who are not real”.

I can summarize my feelings about it by saying that I want to be Mindy Kaling’s best friend and you will too after you read this.

I have also woken N up multiple times from laughing out loud while reading this book. It’s that funny.

5. My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands by Chelsea Handler

I wouldn’t say that this is hilarious but it definitely has amusing moments. Not for the easily offended (spoiler alert: it’s all sex stories), Chelsea definitely has lived a colorful life. Chelsea seems like the friend who I’d go out with once a month and it would take me the entire month to recover from whatever debauchery she got us in to. Debauchery has to be the best word ever, no? It could also be an alternative title for this book. I haven’t decided if I want to read another Chelsea Handler book after reading this one, so there’s that.

 

I feel like it’s worth noting that being an avid reader makes me a better writer blogger writer (Am I a writer?). Many of my blog post ideas come from books and there’s something to be said for the sense of confidence and accomplishment you feel after finishing a book – any book. I’ve also found at any difficult point in life that books are a much better escape for me than TV, drinking, or even therapy.

Now help me out, what next? I would kill to find something that made me feel exactly as Attachments did. I WANT WARM FUZZIES AND I WANT THEM NOW.

YOU MIGHT LIKE:
  • Adding Attachments to my list! Also, I can’t believe you had never read Night – I’ve read it probably about 5 times on my own in addition to it being required reading in both high school and college. I was lucky enough to be able to meet him when he spoke at my college.

    I recently read This is Where I Leave you and really liked it. I’ll be peeking to see what other people suggest!

    • Night wasn’t required reading at my high school and I have no idea why. It’s interesting because right after I read it, I told me sister and she asked to borrow it because she had to read it for school! She’s in 7th grade.

      Thanks for leaving a suggestion. I’ll check it out!

  • Laura

    The last book to give me warm fuzzies was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I read it super quickly, and I was sad that it had to end! The writing isn’t always the very best, but I didn’t even care because it’s just so. damn. charming.

    • That one was so super cute!

      • I absolutely loved the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society! It sat on my bedside table for ages, because I had in my head it was some boring story that my Mum had leant me… but I ended up recommending it to all my friends. A definite fuzzy read!

    • Honestly, I usually can’t tell when something isn’t “well written”. The only time I ever really noticed a drastic difference was when I was reading 50 Shades of Gray. I’ll definitely check this book out.

  • That Chelsea one is an oldie but a goodie- I couldn’t stop laughing!

  • I love Night. Such a good book and it’s amazing how he made it through. I actually have a few friends who had him as a professor at Boston University and they said he’s incredible.

  • I know you’d probably need some recovery after “Night” but it’s actually a trilogy,the other books are “Dawn” and “Day”. Maybe rotate in some fun/warm fuzzie books in between.

    • I can’t believe I didn’t know that! Thank you. I would definitely like to read more by the author.

  • Thank you for this post, I need more on my summer reading list! I actually picked up Gone Girl and Winter’s Tale while I was at Barnes & Noble recently, and I can’t offer an opinion on Gone Girl since I just started reading it, I’ve heard that it is really good once you get into it.

    Also, I’m definitely adding Night (I can’t believe I haven’t read it either, I love Holocaust books), Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Attachments based on your review! I too loved The Fault in Our Stars (I just talked about it in my most recent blog post). I can’t wait for the movie! I also liked Divergent, but that’s just my take since I’ve also heard that it wasn’t all that good.

  • I just started reading Mindy Kaling’s book and love it so far. I haven’t read the rest of these, but will definitly add them to my list!

  • LOVE Mindy Kaling’s book. Me, Mindy, and Amy Poehler are best friends in my super-unrealistic friendship dreams. Adding Attachments to my reading list this month!

    • I’m with you on that. Add in Anna Kendrick and Kristen Bell and it’s my fantasy dinner party.

  • I just finished listening to The Husbands Secret. Amazingly well written and I love how the stories ebbed and flowed with one another. Looking forward to adding the others to my reading list. Thanks for sharing!

    -Laura
    The Suzie Lou Blog

  • Lex

    i had the same feeling about The Husband’s Secret! I remember enjoying it a lot, but cannot pinpoint any details in hindsight. I want to read the Attachments now –adding that to my (very long) list!

  • Kimmie

    I LOVE books, so here are some good ones that I’ve read recently:
    Kindred, by Octavia Butler
    MWF Seeking BFF, by Rachel Bertsche
    Funny in Farsi, by Firzooeh Dumas

    • I can’t believe no one has ever suggested Funny in Farsi to me. I read the description on Amazon and it’s now definitely on my reading list. My boyfriend is Persian and the main character’s experience coming to America sounds a lot like his Mom’s experience. Thank you so much for sharing this with me!

  • I just read the Husband’s Secret as well and while it was good, it wasn’t memorable. I’m currently reading Mindy’s book right now and you’re right I want to be her best friend too! You should do this summer reading challenge: http://boundsblog16.blogspot.com/2014/05/summer-book-challenge-its-on.html

    • OOh interesting. A reading challenge! I’ve never done one before. I like the categories and point system. Definitely something I’ll consider.

      • I’m doing the reading challenge (mainly because I’ve got SO MANY Goodwill books laying around waiting to be read) and I’m just hoping I haven’t set myself up for failure. We shall see!

  • I think I’ll pick up Attachments the next time I go on a book binge.

  • I need to reread night, it was so good. and I really want to ready Mindy Kahlig’s book! I’m reading the divergent series now. a lot of people loved it but I say PASS

    • I can’t believe you haven’t read Mindy Kaling’s book. Read it next. It’s so funny, especially for our age group.

      I read Divergent and half of Insurgent and quit. I didn’t love the series either!

  • I’m going to have to put Mindy Kaling’s book on my list. I just finished The Cider House Rules (a post on that coming soon), so now I’m looking for something new to read. I just downloaded East of Eden because I want to re-read all the books I read in high school but never appreciated.

    • I like the idea of re-reading books you didn’t appreciate in high school. I definitely did spark notes way too often and missed out on some great books.

  • Lauren Harrelson

    Between Shades of Gray – oh man. Also so horrifying you think fiction … but based on truth, about the slavery/capture/torture of Latvians/Lithuanians during the Soviet take over around WW2. Fascinating, horrifying and SO good…

    • Thank you so much for the suggestion! I’m such a historical fiction fan so that sounds like something I’d be in to.

  • Thanks for the reviews – I was searching for a new book to read!

  • I’d skip other Chelsea Handler books…I found the first one (the one that you read) amusing enough and bought her second, which was not nearly as funny. I think she used up her best material in the first one.

    • Thanks for the warning. I think I’ll pass on her others.

  • As a dog lover, I’d highly suggest A Dog’s Purpose. While there are some sad moments the book as a whole is wonderful! It’s told from one dog’s perspective as his soul is reborn and lives four different lifetimes. The book made me smile at the dog-eye view of the world! I’ve added Attachments to my Goodreads bookshelf. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • It’s funny that you suggested this because I JUST bought this book at Goodwill last week. I took one look at it and thought, I’m sure I’ll read this at some point, and bought it. Looks like I’ll get to reading it!

  • I will be picking up “Attachments” as soon as possible. Have you read “Bossypants” by Tina Fey? I read it before reading Mindy Kaling’s book and it made me a little disappointed in Mindy. That’s how funny it was. 🙂 Thanks for the recs!

    • I have read Bossypants and I loved it. Actually, I should probably read it again because that’s how much I loved it. I did like that Mindy talked about/poked fun at things that were more for my age group but Tina Fey really did write a dang hilarious book.

  • I’m definitely adding all of these in my to read list. I already had Mindy’s book because I know she is hilarious.

    I would recommend Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It was so good when I read it a few years ago and I wouldn’t mind reading it again.

    I also think books do help with ideas and lately I’m going through a blogging rut and I think getting back to reading is just what I need. Thanks for sharing!!

    • I’ll check out Redeeming Love. Thanks for the suggestion! Reading is always my way out of a writing rut. It’s funny that way.

  • I am SO GLAD you loved Attachments! Rainbow Rowell is such a fantastic writer. Fangirl is another really cute one by her. I’m looking through my goodreads list for other warm fuzzie books I’ve read recently..someone above mentioned The Guernsey LIterary and Potato Peel Pie Society and that was really cute too. (All written in letters.) I’ve mentioned the author Stephanie Perkins before, um… (I’m typing as I look…) wow. I’ve read a lot of happy books, but a lot of intense ones too, and not many warm fuzzies other than Attachments. Maybe I need recommendations too! lol

    • Honestly I feel like I owe you a debt, that’s how much I loved Attachements. I’m so glad I bought the actual book version instead of just buying it on my kindle too. The books I’m really in love with, I want sitting on a bookshelf staring back at me all day long. I’d heard Fangirl is also really good so I think that’s my next read after I finish a couple books I ordered on Amazon last night.

  • thanks for some recommendations! adding attachments to my list. also i just bought “lean in” and that’s what i’m going to read next.

    • I keep thinking that I should read Lean In but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I hardly ever read non-fiction and I don’t want to ruin this reading streak I’m on.

  • Nice selection of reads! Now I really want to go out and buy a few new books! Check out Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. Its worth a read!

    • I’ve heard that Nick Hornby is great. I’ll check it out. Thank you!

  • I’ve been meaning to read Mindy Kaling’s book forever, but I just keep reading other things first.

    Have you read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson? Talk about funny! It’s honestly the funniest book I’ve ever read in my life.

    • It’s funny that you mentioned Jenny Lawson’s book because I just ordered it (used) on Amazon last night. It was suggested based on Mindy Kaling’s book. Can’t wait to read it!

  • Jessa

    I love the book Night! I’m in the process of getting the other 2 books to read. They are a super quick and easy book to read.

    • I didn’t even know that there were follow up books to Night until today. I’m definitely going to check them out.

  • I have loved every one of Chelsea Handlers books and just recently got her new one… I’ll let you know if I think it’s worth reading.

  • Jen

    A.) I love your blog:)
    B.) Rainbow Rowell has two other books that are FANTASTIC! Eleanor & Park, and Fangirl (which I think you will especially love, because there is a “Harry Potter-esque” theme to the story. Def recommend them, and hope you like!

  • Christina

    A few of my favorite novels are:

    “Waking the Dead” by Scott Spencer
    “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro
    “The English Patient” by Michael Ondaatje

    These are not new novels by any means and *yes* – they were all made into movies. While that makes me a little concerned for myself that I watch too much tv, I think these books are fantastic and are written beautifully. Let me know if you had read or will read them! 🙂

  • I enjoyed The Husband’s Secret in the same way, and I really, really need to read Fault in Our Stars. I read the Chelsea Handler book when I was in college, and found it hilarious at the time, I’m not so sure I would any more. However, I have read all of her other books, and they were amusing as well.

  • I’ve been meaning to read Night too — definitely need to get on that. And I’m so impressed that you cranked through all of these in a month, I definitely need to take my reading habits up a notch!

  • Rebecca

    If you like YA, try Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. It’s an older series, so the characters were in high school when we were. If you like mysteries try In the Woods by Tana French.

  • I love both Mindy and Chelsea, and their books – really laugh out loud material! I’m currently reading Chelsea’s new book 🙂

  • I was actually just looking for a few new summer reads, and this was so helpful! I’m definitely adding Attachments to my list. Thanks for sharing!

  • I loved Eleanor & Park, so I really need to read Attachments.

  • Excellent books!! I want to read Mindy’s book; it looks so funny. Also a couple I haven’t heard of and will have to check out once I finish the mega book I’m entrenched in & loving now (g r r martin).

  • Completely agree with Husband’s Secret! I had to read Night in middle school, required reading. But I will be adding Attachments to my “to read” list. I recommend Gone Girl or Sharp Objects from Gillian Flynn both are really good! Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was also a good read, pulled at the heartstrings a little bit 🙂

  • Kristin

    My favorite book I read this year was Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.

  • Loved this recap — thank you! I just download Attachments and I’m about to start reading it! I’m actually really excited right now 😀 haha

  • I just finished another book by Liane Moriarty, The Hypnotist’s Love Story. A fascinating read…I felt some emotions I didn’t know a book could elicit. If you liked her other title you might give this one a shot as well. The Fault in our Stars is next on my list, and you’ve piqued my interest in Night, which I hadn’t heard of before (and I appreciate a good short read every now and again)!

    Here’s my list of conquests:
    http://themochileradiaries.com/2014/05/16/summer-reading-list-part-i/

  • And there are different types of experiences on board and was suddenly aware dog training
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