Tonight I had my monthly meeting with my book club group here in Grand Forks and it got me thinking about how I’ve never shared some of my favorite recently read books on the blog….so here goes nothing!!
I am fortunate that I have always enjoyed reading and had parents who encouraged me to read often and to read many different types of books. In college I didn’t read as much for leisure as I should have, so after graduating and having more free time now I enjoyed joining a book club and always having a book to read for fun or relaxation.
Here are 5 of my favorite books that I have read in the last year or so that I think many of you would enjoy! All of them are quite different and I would encourage you to try reading something that isn’t your typical “style”….more likely than not you will be pleasantly surprised 🙂
All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
This book is a Pulitzer Prize winner….and for good reason. Without giving too much away, this book follows the lives of two younger/teenage children: one girl growing up in France, one boy growing up in Germany. The story is set in the era of World War II and it tells the story of these two characters in such separate ways (one chapter from the perspective of the girl in France, followed by a chapter from the perspective of the boy in Germany) but as the story goes on the author slowly intertwines their lives; bringing their stories and the two of them together in the end. It is beautifully written and brought such a raw perspective and thoughts about what growing up in Europe during that time may have felt like.
2. The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
The Nest is another fictional story that centers around the story of the Plumb family, which is made up of four siblings who are all adults. They are as different as any siblings could be: 2 girls and 2 boys. The story focuses around “The Nest” which is their family trust fund. Each sibling has been planning their use of their portion of the money for many years but when situations change and a majority of the money is used in an emergency situation before it becomes available to them they all realize they may have been too heavily counting on money that they didn’t yet have. It tells strong stories of the difficulties of family ties and friendships, but has equal moments that show the strength and love that can be found in the hardest of times.
3. Flood Girls – Richard Fifield
Flood Girls is a funny and raw novel that depicts a small town in Montana and what it’s like to grow up somewhere where everyone knows your business. The book tells the story of Rachel Flood who suffered from alcohol addiction in her young life and how her road to recovery brings her back to her small hometown to make amends with those she hurt many years before. The story has moments of comedic genius where I was laughing out loud; contrasted with moments where I was crying from sadness. Rachel works to make amends with all of the familiar faces of her small town and makes some unlikely friends along the way who help her to make things right with her past. The “Flood Girls” are the local women’s softball team who Rachel’s mother coaches and who provide much of the comedic entertainment throughout the book. It’s an endearing story about finding forgiveness and accepting differences.
4. You Are A Badass – Jen Sincero
I truly can’t say enough good things about this book. I was asked to read it for a health challenge group that I am currently a part of and when I started reading it I wasn’t able to put it down. Jen Sincero writes about taking back your life….or rather starting it to begin with. She talks about how much all of us hold back our own greatness, without even really thinking about it. She poses challenges to all who read it to focus in and decide what makes them passionate. All of her chapters are short, witty, and downright hysterical. I laughed aloud through a lot of the book and found all of her thoughts to be painfully honest and helpful to anyone who is feeling “stuck” or just looking to get more out of life. I am looking forward to continuing to implement a lot of the things she recommends and seeing where the changes can take me!
5. The Good Girl – Mary Kubica
This is the suspenseful and eerie book of the group! If you enjoy crime and mystery style reads then this is something for you. This tells the story of a girl who has been estranged from her family for a few years due to acceptance struggles and the inability to see eye-to-eye with her parents. Everything changes when she goes missing and the hunt for her and her captor is all over the news. The book is written cleverly from a handful of perspectives: the main character, her captor, her mom, and the main detective assigned to the case. It truly keeps you guessing and is the true definition of a page-turner….especially because each chapter the narrator changes to a different character and you can’t wait to find out what happens next.
I hope these books give all of you something new to pick up and check out for yourself! If you have book recommendations I would LOVE to hear them. I’m always looking for something new 🙂 Also, if any of you would be interested in joining the book club I’m apart of we would love to have new members!! We meet once a month and read one book a month. It’s a great type of community to be a part of and the discussion we have on the books each month always prove to be interesting.
Thanks so much for reading!