Do you like to read? I’m a voracious reader. There are few activities I love more than burying my nose in a good book, and I’ve always spent a good deal of my free time reading. One year, I even managed to read a book a week (and, embarrassingly, if I keep up my current pace I may do the same this year!).
We’ve talked about reading several times here on the blog (you can see my favorite books of 2016, favorite books of 2012, and how I keep my books organized), and I always love chatting books with you guys – you have the best recommendations!
I recently discovered that if you have Amazon Prime, you have access to Prime Reading – it’s a free library of books on Amazon and you can download up to 10 at a time. There’s no waiting for people before you to finish, no two-week time limit, and no cost. I’m a little obsessed (and no, they’re not paying me to say this) and I swear I’m reading way more books now that I’ve found it.
Oh, and the books they have? They’re SO GOOD! I’ve been kind of randomly choosing books based on which ones are highly rated, and holy cow I’ve had good luck.
I’ve read so many good books lately, I figured it was high time I give a little update on some of my favorites of 2017 so far. There’s a good mix of both fiction and non-fiction books, some are light, some are heavy, but they’re all amazing.
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- Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews – This is (mostly) a historical fiction set during World War II in Korea. It alternates between present day and the past and tells the story of a young adopted girl’s ancestors. It’s a fascinating look at what was going on during that time, and it was a really gripping story. Couldn’t get enough!
- Finding Rebecca by Eoin Dempsey – This book is also set during World War II but tells a completely different story. It’s about a young German man who falls in love with a Jewish woman, and how he ends up becoming an SS Soldier at Auschwitz to try and save her. Between this one and Daughters of the Dragon, I’m finding myself really drawn to historical fiction…which is not usually a genre I’m huge on!
- The Game You Played by Anni Taylor – If I had to pick a favorite book of the year so far, this would be it. Holy cow, y’all. The minute I finished it I texted my sister and my best friend to tell them they had to add it to their reading lists. It’s about a woman whose toddler son goes missing while they’re at the park, and throughout the search for them a mysterious, dark, and sometimes disturbing story begins to unfold. This was one of the most captivating books I’ve ever read, and I couldn’t put it down.
- Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale – This is another one that’s really high on my list of favorites so far. It’s about a woman who suddenly loses her fiance in a tragic accident. She begins to try to move on with her life, but there are all sorts of signs around her indicating he might not actually be dead. There are some crazy unexpected twists in this book, and I was hooked until the very last page.
- Troublemaker by Leah Remini – I’ve always had a little bit of an obsession with Scientology and all of the
insanefascinating belief systems and traditions they have. This is a really interesting inside look at what it’s like to be a celebrity in Scientology, and Leah Remini doesn’t really hold back with anything! I always love learning about these types of cultures that are so vastly different from anything I can imagine, and this one was no different.
- Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin – I’m a sucker for a good self-improvement book, and Gretchen Rubin’s books are always wonderful. This one is all about the power of habits, how to create them, and why they can change your life. I felt like I learned a lot about myself and the way I see the world through reading this book, and it also helped me understand some of the other people in my life a bit better too. It was a really interesting read, and one I found myself chatting with people about frequently as I was reading it.
- The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen – This novel unfolds in a kind of slow and sleepy way at first – it’s interesting, but not quite as compelling as some of the other’s I’ve read. But slowly as you get a little further and further into the book a more complex story begins to unravel and before you know it you can’t stop reading. It’s about this quiet little town where a near-tragedy occurs one summer day, and how the ensuing events end up triggering a series of crazy (and dark) revelations about the people in the town.
- A Quiet Life in the Country by T.E. Kinsey – There were times when I was reading this book that I felt like I was missing something and had started reading in the middle of a series of books – I looked it up halfway through and realized this book is part of a series, but it’s actually the first book. It does a great job of making the characters seem established and giving them an extremely rich history almost immediately – that’s why I was a little confused at first! This is a really light read set in the early 1900’s about an eccentric, witty widow and her lady’s maid (who have a hilarious rapport that made me laugh out loud a few times) and how they get involved in solving a few mysteries that pop up in the small village they’ve just moved to. It’s a quick and easy read, but it’s a lot of fun!
- The Night Bird by Brian Freeman – I love reading psychological-type books about the brain, how it works, and the crazy things you can do to manipulate it. This book is about a psychiatrist who deals in traumatic memories – she has a unique (and controversial) treatment where she manipulates her patient’s memories to help them forget things that they have phobias of due to a past trauma. However, things get weird when her patients begin to have psychotic breaks and slowly begin dying off. This one kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time!
- Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick – This book almost lost me when I realized it’s about a teenager who intends to kill his former best friend and then himself. But I kept reading, and the story that this book tells is actually a really beautiful and fascinating look into the mind of a broken young man and I’m so glad I gave it a shot. It’s not necessarily a feel-good story, but it really is worth reading!
What have you been reading lately?