Recently Read Vol. 3

Check out Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 to see all the books I’ve read in 2014 – 15 books so far. I’m on a roll!

Recently Read Vol. 3

1. Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent

This book, written by a fellow blogger, chronicles her life following graduation from college. The title makes it sound like the whole book is going to be super pessimistic (which hey, I can be in the mood for occasionally) but it actually wasn’t.

I enjoyed this book but I didn’t love it. I think I read it at the wrong time in my life. If someone had handed this to me upon graduation from college or about a year after, it would have been perfect timing. I feel like the expiration date on this one is about age 24. But if you’re in that spot in life after college graduation where you have no effing clue what you’re doing with your life, read this.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I read this book because of how much I loved Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (a real feel good, romantic comedy sort of book). Fangirl is about a young woman who is obsessed with a book series called Simon Snow (very obviously a fictional Harry Potter).

Though I had a hard time relating to the character, who struggles socially in her first year of college and kind of keeps to herself (the opposite of what I did), I still really enjoyed her as a character. I got that she was really in to Simon Snow because hey, I have my nerdy passions too (Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and a brief stint as a Twi-hard). While Attachments was an adult novel, this novel is definitely more YA. It was a quick and enjoyable read.

3. Paper Towns by John Green

After finishing The Fault in Our Stars, I knew I had to get my hands on another John Green book. If you’re looking for a John Green book that makes you feel like The Fault In Our Stars did, this isn’t it. The book is narrated by a teenage boy, Quentin, who has spent his entire adolescence pining for his neighbor, Margo Roth Speigelman. And yes, he uses her full name every time he references her.

Despite not being a teenage boy myself (obviously), I found Quentin incredibly likeable and at times I was angry at him for putting up with the way Margo treated him. When Margo disappears, leaving clues of her whereabouts that only Quentin can unscramble, I was genuinely clueless as to how the whole thing would turn out. It’s a coming of age novel wrapped in a mystery.

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I’d heard that this book was good and you all sure weren’t lying about that. About 100 pages in I was still interested but I was starting to doubt you. I wasn’t hooked, just amused. And then BOOM – a bombshell and I was completely hooked. I couldn’t put it down.

If you like a mystery/thriller, read this. Everything everyone says about it being so good is 100% true.

Has anyone read any of Gillian Flynn’s other novels? I’d love to know if they’re just as good.

5. Four Perfect Pebbles by Lila Pearl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan

This book is actually a children’s book about one family’s experience during the Holocaust. I was surprised at how much I learned (blame my public schooling) about Germany post-WWI and the rise of Hitler to power. Though I’ve read lots of Holocaust historical fiction, there was so much that I didn’t know.

One of the authors, Marion Blumenthal Lazan, tells the story of her family’s survival in Westerbork (a Dutch refugee camp), the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp (where Anne Frank died), and the death trains. Because it is directed more at children (Amazon says grades 6-10), the full story of their survival is told but it is written in a less brutal way. The word choice is more mild than Night by Elie Weisel. Just as I highly recommend Night, I recommend this as well. It will never stop being shocking to me that this happened in my Grandmother’s lifetime. It just wasn’t that long ago.

Now, once again, I’m desperate for a good book recommendation. What have you read recently that you couldn’t put down?

YOU MIGHT LIKE:
  • I haven’t read any other novel by G. Flynn but Gone Girl is being made into a movie by the director of Fight Club so I am really looking for that.

    What I’ve read recently and got totally hooked is Snow Crash, it might be a bit too much of scifi for you though!

    • I didn’t know Gone Girl was being made into a movie until I was about halfway done the book. Then I found out that Ben Affleck will be playing Nick and I started picturing Nick as Ben Affleck in my head.

      I love sci-fi movies and tv but have never read a real sci-fi book. It’s about time I try!

  • Kim

    I recently read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie… it was AHmazing. I had planned to read it on vacation but I ended up staying awake the entire flight to finish it! My best friend also loved it. Another all-time favorite is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, which has some WWII references and is downright poetic, but also gripping! Both books are extremely well-written, but still accessible and so captivating! I flew through them both and highly recommend 😉

    • Just popped over to Amazon to read the descriptions of both of your suggestions. They look really good. Adding both to my list! Thank you for the suggestions!

  • I’ve head so much about Gone Girl, definitely need to go ahead and grab a copy! I haven’t heard of Night before, but it sounds like the type of book I’d really enjoy.

    I’m working on a Summer reading list post now for next week, so hopefully you can get some good recs from there 🙂

    • I look forward to reading your suggestions!

  • LOVE Fangirl and Paper Towns.

    After reading Gone, Girl I read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. I usually don’t like really dark reads, but it was sooo good. A little weird, a little creepy, but good!

    • I’ve heard that one of her other novels is more of a horror novel and less thriller. I don’t know if my nerves can handle that. I still am tempted to read them, for sure.

  • Yes, both of Gillian Flynn’s other two novels (Sharp Objects and Dark Places) are both great reads! I read Sharp Objects shortly after reading Gone Girl, and it was good, but couldn’t quite live up to Gone Girl for me. I just read Dark Places a few months ago, and it was SO great. One of the best books I’ve read this year. You should definitely check them out!

    • It sounds like I should read Dark Objects first. I loved how gripping Gone Girl was. It had been a while since I found a book that I just could not put down. Hoping Dark Objects is like that for me.

  • If you liked Four Perfect Pebbles, and are interested in history during that time and place I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND Prague Winter by Madeline Albright. The story is prefaced about her learning the real history of her family, and you learn so much about the Czech people and their amazing history. I’m about halfway through and I’m so hooked.

    • I will definitely check it out. I’ve been to the Czech Republic but I’m not familiar with their history during WWII. Thank you for the suggestion!

  • I read Dark Places and felt the same intensity as Gone Girl. It’s quite dark, but not in a scary way. Sorry, it’s hard to explain, but if you liked Gone Girl, you should definitely read her other books. Dark Places is going to be a movie soon as well. I’m going to read Sharp Objects next.

    • That’s the next book on my list, for sure. I heard Sharp Objects is almost like a horror novel. Sounds like Dark Places is more my speed. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • I LOVED Gone Girl so so much that I had to check out Gillian Flynn’s other novels. I’ve read both Dark Places and Sharp Objects, and while they weren’t quites as good as Gone Girl in my opinion, they were both still good books. Very dark, which is good every now and then.

    • I’m definitely going to read Dark Places next. Thank you for the suggestion!

  • Paper Towns is the last John Green I have to read, and I’m looking forward to it. I liked Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines, but I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy Paper Towns most. (Next to TFioS) As for books I can’t put down… I’m re-reading Harry Potter. lol. It’s so ridiculous because I’ve even bought like 3 new books recently, waiting for the release of two more, and have one coming for me from Amazon. That’s not counting the random $2 deals I download from the Kindle store. I have all of these new books and what do I do? Re-read Harry Potter. Sigh.

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only sucker for the Amazon $2 deals. I have a bunch of those on my kindle, ready to read but I always go out and buy the real book. I also get a lot of books at Goodwill. Enjoy re-reading Harry Potter. There’s no shame in that!

  • Now I want to read Gone Girl. I’m going to need to allocate a budget for all these great books!

    • You have to read Gone Girl. You have to. Want me to mail you my copy?

  • I think I already recommended this book on your last post, but you should definitely read Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. I was addicted. It’s been months and I still think about it sometimes. It’s one of those books that you wish kept going forever.

  • I wondered if Paper Towns was good! I still have yet to read The Fault in our Stars, and I plan on reading that one first. I love John Green because of his youtube videos, and am dying to see what all the book-hype is about (I am sure it won’t disappoint). I read Gone Girl last month, and it sucked me in, too. The bombshell really did make things more interesting, and I loved the ending! I am currently reading The Glass Castle, and only a few pages in, I am hooked. Have you read it?

    • I LOVED The Glass Castle. I actually read it twice–which I don’t do, like, ever.

  • my mind was blown to bits reading Gone Girl. Definitely one of my favorite reads!

  • I’m putting “Don’t Worry, It gets worse” on my to-read list, since I just graduated college. I also am looking forward to reading “Paper Towns” and I LOVED “Gone Girl” – the movie with Ben Affleck is coming out this Fall!

    • I didn’t realize they were making it a movie until I was about halfway thru reading it. Then I kept picturing Nick as Ben Affleck. I’m so excited to see what they do with the movie.

  • Gone girl is completely crazy. When I read it I felt like my soul had been taken over by the book and I couldn’t think about anything else or do anything else but read it

    • Thank goodness I was on a long car trip so there was no shame in just sitting and reading for 6 straight hours. I loved it.

  • I wasn’t a massive fan of Gone Girl but LOVED Sharp Objects and Dark Places – I wrote about them recently – http://www.nikkiandthings.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/what-ive-been-reading-1.html

    I think Paper Towns will by the next on my list, I love The Fault in Our Stars and just finished Looking for Alaska.

    x

    • Just bought Dark Places and I’m about to start reading. I’ll let you know what I think 😉

  • Bah i was so excited to see gone girl on your list! I just put it on my kindle a few days ago and was feeling the same way, glad to know it really iiiiis as good as everyone says! Love these recently read posts!!

    • Push through and right around page 120 (ish) there is a plot twist and from then on, you’re hooked.

  • LOVE Gone Girl, and love Gillian Flynn’s other two books, too. They are definitely psychological thrillers/mystery novels. Parts verge on horror in my opinion. But she is so well able to make multiple stories/time frames flow and keep the reader interested. I highly recommend!

    • I read that Sharp Objects is more horror than Dark Places so I bought Dark Places first. I don’t know if I can do horror novels. I’ll let you know what I think of Dark Places soon!

  • I also just recently read Fangirl and Gone Girl. Both great books, but Gone Girl was the one that really blew me away. If you’ve read Attachments and Fangirl, you must read Eleanor & Park! I unfortunately read it first and, while they’re still enjoyable, so far none of Rainbow Rowell’s other books have been able to live up to it for me. I am currently reading Looking For Alaska by John Green (which has been good so far), so I think I’ll have to check out Paper Towns too.

    • It’s funny because Eleanor & Park is her most popular novel and it’s the one I haven’t read. It’s on my list, for sure.

  • Jae

    Thanks for sharing! I will these to my to-reads shelf. 🙂

  • Carleigh

    I would recommend Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. It’s a weird book but really good! It’s about a guy in San Francisco who starts working at this 24-hour bookstore but notices all sorts of weird things going on. Really good!

    • Interesting. I’ll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • I tried getting into “Gone Girl” TWICE and never could get through it.

    • Really? I was definitely amused but not hooked until around page 120 when there is a huge plot twist. From then on, I was hooked.

  • I have been reading a lot of Kerry Greenwood books I love her Miss Fisher stories

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll check them out!

  • i really liked gone girl too. i’m reading the goldfinch now which everyone has raved about and i’m loving it so far!

    • Just hopped over to Amazon to check it out. 784 pages! Woof. I’ll have to save that one for a day when I’m feeling ambitious.

  • I love when you do these posts! I always love book recommendations. I have so many I’ve put on my Kindle app that I need to read, but I just don’t have the time! And to this day, I still can’t believe just how good Gone Girl was. I mean, brilliantly written.

    • The first one of these posts I did, I thought people would hate it but I really wrote it just for me, so I’d be able to look back on what I’d read at the end of the year. Now I love writing them and I love the recommendations I get from people in the comments.

  • I have read and loved all of Gillian’s books. They’re all just as messed up as this one, if not more.

    If you like her books, you should also check out Elizabeth Haynes.

    • I just bought Dark Places so it’s next on my list. I’ll let you know what I think of it. I just popped over to Amazon and Elizabeth Haynes does look good. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Cassidy

    I just got back from a beach vacation and I read If I Stay and the follow-up book Where She Went. Both were great, beach-y reads. I also read Eleanor and Park. It kept me interested, but I didn’t love the ending. I didn’t hate the ending, it just left me feeling…meh. I ALWAYS recommend the book Unbroken to everyone I know.

    Thanks for your previous recommendation of The Husband’s Secret. Definitely a page turner!

    • I think they are making If I Stay into a movie, right? I was considering listening to that on tape while I drive to Maine tomorrow. I’ll check out Unbroken also.

      I’m so glad you liked The Husband’s Secret!

  • I haven’t read any of the books you reviewed, but Gone girl seems to be a book I would love so I just add it into my amazon shopping basket.
    currently I am reading the maze runner from James dashner, I’ve heard a lot of it so I’m giving it a try.
    What I would highly recommend you is the perks of being a wallflower! This book is so amazing you will love the characters in the book. Memoir of a geisha is a fantastic book, belongs to my all time favorite 🙂

    • I’ve heard Maze Runner was good and I tried to read it once but didn’t get into it so I jumped to another book. I’m a big fan of reading the book before seeing the movie though so I’m bound to read it sometime before the movie comes out.

      I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie and really enjoyed it. Memoirs of a Geisha is also one of my all time favorite books. I read it years ago and really loved it.

  • You have convinced me that I need to read Gone Girl. I get skeptical and uninterested when everyone reads a book for some reason but I think you have convinced me it is worth reading.

  • I loved Paper Towns! And Gone Girl…boom is absolutely right.

  • I was just looking for new books, thank you for the recommendations!

  • Kara

    I have read two other Gillian Flynn books, actually before Gone Girl was so huge. I think they’re called Dark Places and Sharp Objects – one I liked a lot more than the other, but both are definitely worth a read! Thanks for the other recommendations!

  • I’m gonna have to check out the first two. I LOVE Paper Towns, but I read it after I read Looking for Alaska years ago and I’ve noticed that it seems to matter in what order you read John Green’s books to determine which is your fave (usually the first one). I liked TFIOS too but I feel like it’s so overdone and over talked about at this point andddd now I’m babbling so bye! lol

  • I have read two John Green books since finishing The Fault in Our Stars. I hated both of them. I finished because I like to be able to have discussions with my middle school students – but I hated them. From what I’ve heard, TFIOS was out of the box for him & a lot of people feel the same way.

  • Gone Girl was seriously SO amazing.. Can’t wait for the movie, I heard it has an alternate ending though so I’m not sure about that.. Currently reading “Stolen” by Lucy Christopher, it’s a cheap buy and a quick read. I’m almost done with it. Next up on my list is the Divergent series, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, and Looking for Alaska!

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