Book recommendations

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, but wanted to make sure I had the time to dedicate to sit down and write it. These are some books I've read recently and LOVED, so I wanted to give some quick reviews of them for you guys in case you were looking for some great summer reading!

I'll preface this by saying that I love long books. I read super fast, so I love for a book to be 300 pages or longer. Any shorter, and there is a strong possibility I'll read it in two days or less, especially if it's really good. I get most of the books that I read from the Pulitzer Prize Winners' List, and the New York Times Best Sellers' List. So far that has worked really well for me, except when I read the longest-running New York Times best seller, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. I was not a fan of that book. But then, I don't love excessive scene-setting nor character-building, which is what the first 120 pages of the book is.

Here are some of my recent favorites (there are no spoilers here, nothing that you won't find by reading the blurbs on the backs of these books):

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

If I had to choose a favorite book, it would be this one. This is the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic track-and-field competitor that was drafted into the military during World War II to become a bombardier. On one ill-fated run, Zamperini's plane crashes into the ocean and he and two other servicemen survive for over a month on a life raft. He is captured by the Japanese and taken as a prisoner-of-war, and the rest of the book chronicles his heartbreaking experiences as a POW and abuses as the hands of the Japanese military, as well as his life after the war. The book is just incredible, and really makes you appreciate your life and what you have. It's over 300 pages, but I read it in just two days, because I couldn't put it down. It is the first book I recommend to anyone when they ask for a recommendation.

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Seriously, this book is awesome. Like I said, I love a super-long book. And at 771 pages, this book definitely fits that bill. The story is about a little boy that is caught in a terrorist attack on a museum, and how that experience leads him down the path into the world of black market art trafficking. It is super detailed, but so good and such an interesting read. I read it in a week, but I've been debating picking it back up recently because I just loved it that much.

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

This book is the memoir of Jeannette Walls, a columnist for numerous notable publications such as The New York Times and MSNBC. It essentially chronicles her entire life through early adulthood, which was spent with her nomadic, primarily homeless family. Her parents are extremely eccentric, and her memoir is a really interesting account of how she overcame the struggles of being from such an unstable home and coped with the behavior of both of her parents to become a successful writer. It only took me a couple of days to read, just because I couldn't put it down!

Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls

Walls wrote this book after the success of The Glass Castle. If you read The Glass Castle and enjoy it, I suggest you read this one as well. It is an account of the life of her grandmother, who was a sort of renaissance woman. Between accounts of her helping her father break horses at a young age, to riding horses to and from a local school and her struggles as a teacher, to her experiences running a ranch, the book is really down-to-earth and a quick, interesting read. Walls has recently come out with a new book, The Silver Star, which is on my to-read list, because I just loved her first two books so much.

Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places, all by Gillian Flynn

So, obviously everyone has heard of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Obviously. They made a movie out of it. But did you know that she wrote two other books? Her two other books are just as good as Gone Girl. I'd recommend reading Gone Girl first, however, since it is by far the most popular, and to make sure you like her writing style. Her other two books are shorter than Gone Girl, and considerably darker, but REALLY excellent.

Gone Girl is the story of the disappearance and presumed murder of a woman by her narcissistic, egotistical husband. I won't go into any more detail at the risk of accidentally giving anything away, but it is a great book and a super-fast read - it's over 300 pages long and it took me just a couple of days.

Sharp Objects chronicles the life of a woman who has dealt with her troubled upbringing and conflicted adulthood by cutting herself. As an adult, she is required to return to the hometown she hoped never to see again to cover the murders of two girls. She uncovers a lot of lies and secrets, not only about the town, but about her own family.

Dark Places is the story of a woman whose family was murdered when she was a child, her testimony on the stand against her fifteen-year-old brother, and her unwitting re-entanglement in the crime as an adult. These are all obviously thrillers, but they're really gripping and quick reads. I hope she writes more, because all three of these are pretty fantastic.


  1. We like the same authors! In the Gillian Flynn spirit, have you read Girl on The Train or Dear Daughter? I have A God in Ruins up next and loved All The Light We Cannot See, too.

    1. Oh my gosh I haven't! I have been stuck in I-can't-finish-this-book purgatory with a book I think I'm going to give up on and write a not-so-nice review of. Haha! Girl On The Train is on my to-read list though, everyone tells me I'll love it!

    2. Same with All the Light, it's on my list!


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