Book recommendations from the Celebitchy writers


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You may remember that we used to have a Celebitchy Book Club. It was a lot of work without much payoff. We would announce the book ahead of time of course and unless it was about a celebrity not many people would read it or comment. Honestly I gave up reading a couple of the books toward the end as I lost interest as well. This is an Amazon affiliate post with books we like and recommend. Hecate is the voracious reader among us and it was her idea!

Celebitchy: I’m not a big reader but I try. Once in a while a book will completely capture my interest. I tried to read that book everyone was lauding last year, My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. While it pulled me in, I found the premise really dangerous and I thought the entire second half was boring. I ended up so disliking the lead character too. It started strong and ended with me regretting finishing it.

My favorite book I’ve read in the past year is The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner. It’s about a woman in prison, a former stripper, and you gradually learn about the crime that got her there. It has such a colorful cast of characters and some moving first person accounts. Kushner visited women in prison and it shows in her rich writing.

marsroom

I also really liked The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit by Graham Joyce. I read that a few months ago but it came out in 2014. It’s about a college student searching for answers about his past while working at a summer resort. It’s a very British book and the narration has that feel and tone. Plus it’s fun with a lot of action and sketchy characters. I was reading reviews and just found out that Joyce passed away at 59 the year this came out! I’m going to read more of his other work now.

ghostbluesuit

Kaiser: My recommendations are such bummers, I know. These are not really beach reads, they are contemplative meditations on loss, grief and pain. I would struggle to name a book that affected more than Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. The book was published in 2005, and it chronicles the two years following the death of John Gregory Dunne, Joan Didion’s husband. Didion lost her husband and her daughter Quintana within a year. The grief crushes her and she somehow managed to write so clearly and evocatively about all of it. I would also recommend Didion’s follow-up, Blue Nights, published in 2011, which is something of a companion piece to The Year of Magical Thinking. Didion is colder in her analysis of grief, and Blue Nights is less raw but still extremely devastating.

Didion1

Hecate: I’ve read so many wonderful books in just the last few months, it was hard to limit them:

The Power by Naomi Alderman is an alternate to The Handmaid’s Tale, in which women gain the upper hand in society. It’s an exciting narrative that explores many of the ways the women handle their new position.

ThePower

Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an engaging collection of short stories that focuses on middle class African Americans, addressing topics from race identity to body image and how community shapes and individual’s view of each. It’s both funny and somber and with certain characters popping up in other’s stories, cleverly laced together.

HeadsOfTheColoredPeople

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess). All Jenny’s writing focuses on mental health, specifically her own. This is her account of her unusual childhood and within the first chapter I had to put the book down because I laughed so hard, I started to cry.

lawson

Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a wild, layered ride about an Iranian immigrant struggling to let go of her past. She’s a difficult heroine and I often found myself angry at her. However, the writing is amazing. Azareen’s use of history and locations kept me engaged. Plus, the whole story is a giant love letter to books and reading.

CallMeZebra

Since it’s National Women’s History Month, I’ll include one classic: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte because – Jane Eyre. But if you’ve already read it repeatedly, there are some other reimagining of it worth checking out. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys which is Bertha (attic wife’s) backstory. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye recasts Jane as a serial killer and Re Jane by Patricia Park in which Jane is a Korean- American with a very present Bertha and, quite honestly, a better storyline for how their relationship should’ve evolved.

WideSargassoSea

JaneSteel

Header image credit: Skitterphoto via Pexels. Homepage image is from The Mars Room book cover

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98 Responses to “Book recommendations from the Celebitchy writers”

  1. Becks1 says:

    Oh these are some good suggestions! I have never heard of the Power, but it looks great. I’ll add it to my Goodreads now.

    I have never been a Jane Eyre fan. I wonder if reading an alternate story of it would make me view it differently.

    • T.Fanty says:

      The Power is fantastic. I want HBO to buy it and make it into a series. It has so much potential.

      • Esmom says:

        I have to say I was the dissenter in my book club who didn’t love it. I thought the concept was great but the execution is what had me struggling at times. Just thinking about the “skein” gives me the willies.

        I’m pretty sure Obama put this book on his list of recommendations from last year so I’m definitely an outlier.

        And I can definitely see it as a series. What would your dream cast be? Just curious, I think coming up with casting scenarios for books is fun, lol.

      • Abby says:

        I loved The power, but I feel like it was SO brutal in a couple parts that I almost couldn’t read it. But it’s up there with Handmaid’s Tale for me as far as dystopian.

      • Junebug says:

        Another dissenter re The Power here. I loved the concept but found the execution sorely lacking. I remember wishing a better author had written this book, it felt like a missed opportunity. I feel so mean saying that!

      • T.Fanty says:

        I agree, which is why I want to see it as an HBO series. I loved it and read it in one sitting, but was also incredibly frustrated by how it didn’t allow itself to go deep. I agree entirely with you, @Junebug about wishing it on a more ambitious writer, but I also think that the idea is excellent and just plain too big for a 300 page book. I think that a great showrunner would center it around unpacking the backstories, and giving us MORE ROXY!!

  2. Junebug says:

    Thank you for this post! I will save it and look of these books up in the library. I love discovering new books/authors after personal recommendations!

    • Chickadee says:

      I just finished Educated, the memoir by Tara Westover, and I cannot recommend it enough! Westover recounts her life growing up on a mountain in Idaho with her survivalist/doomsday prepper family who lived “off the grid,” and how she ultimately made it to college (and beyond) even though she had never spent a day in school (and was not homeschooled either). It’s absolutely fascinating and was also on Barack Obama’s list of favorite books from 2018!

      • Abby says:

        Agree Chickadee!

      • Esmom says:

        Yes, everyone is raving about it. I’m excited to read it but am saving it for summer when my book club is discussing it. If I read it too soon sadly my brain won’t retain enough detail. (Thanks, Trump.)

      • Lolamd says:

        Just bought that book. Will start that after I finish Killers of the Flower Moon.

      • Abby says:

        LolaMD that’s an incredible book. Heartbreaking but super necessary.

      • Anne Call says:

        I listened to Educated, Bad Blood and The Library Book in the last few months. All really excellent. Bad Blood is a riveting story about a Silicon Valley company ruled over and destroyed by an insane female founder and Library Book is a wonderful love letter to libraries and a history of the downtown LA library complete with a mystery of who set it on fire in the 1980’s. Also loved Transcription and looking forward to reading Daisy Jones and the Six by the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

      • Esmom says:

        Anne Call, yes to Bad Blood. Such a bonkers story. I’m intrigued by Library Book, thanks!

      • hnmmom says:

        Ok, I did not enjoy Educated. It’s billed as being about her getting an education in spite of her upbringing but the part of the book about that is minuscule, she writes very little about what it was like, and I was disappointed not to hear more from her on that topic. Most of the book chronicles the abuse she suffered from her family but it seems to me that she is not very far along in her process of working through all that, as she was a bit of an apologist at times for her family. I think she jumped on this project too soon in her recovery and she needed more distance and more time in therapy. If you want a book in a similar vein that is really well written, pick up The Glass Castle.

      • Shelly says:

        I am halfway through Educated. It’s brutal in places and it’s hard to imagine children being raised by less qualified caretakers, it’s fascinating that it’s a true story. I just keep focusing on the fact that she obviously overcomes these obstacles in the end. Definitely a page turner!

    • sunnydaze says:

      “Lets Pretend This Never Happened” is the BEST!!!!!!!! When you’re happy, when you’re sad, when you’re angry….this book is just amazing and fun, but also deals with mental health….the BEST!!

  3. Abby says:

    This is great! I’ve read the Power (fascinating), currently reading Heads of the Colored People, and I read Jane Steele, which I thought was an interesting twist on a classic. I’ve been wanting to read Wide Sargasso Sea for a while, so this is a great reminder!

    Mars Room looks interesting, I think I will add that to my TBR list next.

    Currently I am also reading Sounds of Gravel – a memoir of a polygamist’s daughter. It’s very interesting so far. I feel like everyone’s read it already, but I can’t recommend Michelle Obama’s book Becoming enough!! I recently read Then She Was Gone, which was an interesting psychological thriller. And LOVED This is How it Always Is.

    Thank you for sharing these! I am a book lover. I remember your book club! The only book I remember was A Visit from the Goon Squad, which was not one of my favorites unfortunately. I didn’t get it from the library till after y’all had discussed. But I’m sorry book club wasn’t a more popular thing!

  4. Shrute’s beet farm says:

    Ooh, I just love these types of posts. I’m always on the lookout for my next book or audiobook.

    • Missy says:

      I agree, this is so helpful as I’m always looking to add to my reading list, but Google is too much of a bottomless pit of suggestions. Thanks for sharing this, CB Writers!!

    • hnmmom says:

      Yes, yes, more book recommendations, please!

  5. Ifeoma says:

    I love Jenny Lawson! I’ll definitely read Nafissa’s book. I tend to prefer books written about people who look like me.

  6. LadyMTL says:

    For all the CB’s out there who read fantasy, and aren’t afraid to try something different (dark, kind of twisted, a bit gross in parts) I recommend Marlon James’ “Black Leopard, Red Wolf.” I would rate it a good 4.5 out of 5 stars…I found it a bit tough to adapt to his writing style, and there are aspects of the plot that could have been tightened up a bit IMHO, but I read the entire 620 book in one weekend. I am very eager for the next installment.

  7. Mrs. Smith says:

    I’ll give The Mars Room a shot since CB recommends it. I admit that I struggled to like Kushner’s previous novel, The Flamethrowers. I made it about 3/4 of the way through and just could not make myself finish it.

    • Celebitchy says:

      I tried to read The Flamethrowers and another novel she wrote, Telex from Cuba, and couldn’t get through either one. This was good though and unique.

  8. cannibell says:

    Oh, yay! I’m a public librarian and it’s so great to hear recommendations from people and be able to pass them on when patrons come in looking for things to read. A couple of my recent favorites are “Children of Blood & Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi (https://www.npr.org/2018/03/10/590073021/children-of-blood-and-bone-is-a-feast-for-hungry-readers) – easier to do this than explain
    I’m also reading “Inheritance” by Dani Shapiro, which is about what happens when you’re in your 50s and do an Ancestry spit and discover that the man you always thought was your father isn’t.

    I’m always reading a ton of stuff but one that’s fabulous and has stuck with me and is a short and terrific read is Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s “Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun.” I’d never met a protagonist like Dr. Morayo da Silva, a single Nigerian-American woman in her mid-70s. Here’s a link to the Publishers Weekly review: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-911115-04-5

    I vote for more Celebitchy Readers’ Advisory!!!

    • Abby says:

      I keep hearing about Inheritance. Need to check it out!

    • Esmom says:

      I vote for more of these posts, too. And yay for you — I love libraries and my local librarians are among my favorite people!

    • Ifeoma says:

      I love Children of Blood and Bone although Tomi starting a totally pointless quarrel with Nora Roberts probably won’t help her writing career.

      • Becks1 says:

        Wait, what happened???

        I love Nora Roberts. Her books used to be a lot better and now they are just the exact same thing every time (I guess that’s how you write so many), but I enjoy the predictability. I know I can read one in two days, and its a total mindless pleasure, so I like it.

      • Sparkly says:

        I haven’t read her, but that kerfuffle is what I now associate her name and book with. I don’t even read Nora Roberts, I’m just in a lot of writers’ groups that were talking about it, and it sounds like she was totally in the wrong.

    • Kelly says:

      I honestly didn’t think that Children of Blood and Bone lived up to the pre publication hype. I didn’t care for the alternating 1st person POV chapters, especially once the characters came together and thought that it was too long. It also needed more editing, especially condensing the last third of the book.

      I hope that the second book is an improvement because the premise had such promise with Game of Thrones meets Afro-Futurism and West African traditions and some intriguing characters. Sadly, with too many YA series, the first book is usually the best book in the series because it’s the one used to get the publishing deal and reader interest. The first books in the Twilight and Divergent series are great examples – great first books and mediocre subsequent books. I hope that Tomi doesn’t disappoint and that her followup makes the people who loved the first one happy.

      YA publishing is in an interesting place right now. There’s a couple trends going on. YA publishing tends to be very cyclical with once a subject (i.e. supernatural romance aka Twilight) is successful, then there’s a good number of similar titles. Same happened with female fronted dystopian novels (Hunger Games and Divergent), but that theme seems to have passed. Now it seems to be speculative fiction is big. There’s also a concerted effort to have more diverse writers and more diversity in storytelling, but that’s hitting some roadblocks with two high profile first half 2019 releases pulled from release by their authors. Both were hit with YA Twitter backlashes for perceived racial insensitivies. The irony is that the author of the second one pulled was participating in the Twitter attacks on the first book.

  9. Venus says:

    Your book recs sound great and I haven’t heard of most of them, so thanks! I follow a lot of fantasy writers on Twitter but have skipped past other kinds of fiction.

  10. Tash says:

    Ah, I love these types of posts!! Here are a few of my favorites:
    - A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiles Cash
    - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
    - Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
    - Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
    - The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
    All of them are more or less bummers I’m afraid, but great books in my opinion. And I just started reading The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow.

  11. Memurs says:

    I fell in love with Madeline Miller’s books “Circe” and “The Song of Achilles” at the end of last year. They are based in Greek mythology and they were so good. The audiobook narration of both was perfection.

  12. anniefannie says:

    I’m so excited! I’m always polling people to get my next book rec. please keep this up!

  13. adastraperaspera says:

    Nice post, thanks!

  14. Millenial says:

    Ooh, this is a good affiliate post.

  15. Doodle says:

    Thank you for these!! I have some credits saved and need to download some new books. I’ll check some out!

  16. Esmom says:

    I’m old enough to remember the Celebitchy book club, lol, which I really enjoyed. Reading was my number one pastime until Trump’s election has rendered me incapable of concentrating nearly as well as I used to so I’m not reading nearly as much as I used to. I’m trying very hard to get back into it, so thank you for this post.

    Recent books I’ve enjoyed are There There by Tommy Orange (thought-provoking and heartbreaking story of Native Americans living primarily in Oakland). A couple friends and I read it together as a companion piece to Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, another less than happy but very good read.

    I also really liked A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, Transcription by Kate Atkinson and Calypso by David Sedaris.

    And if you ever want a book that’s so sweet and whimsical and lets you escape from our current hellscape I’d recommend A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. It’s been more than a year since I read it but it has really stuck with me.

    • Becks1 says:

      I LOVED A Gentleman in Moscow. what a fascinating way to tell the story of Moscow in the early part of the century.

    • Abby says:

      I listened to There There on audio. Great companion to flowers of the paper moon like you said. The intro is by far one of the most gut wrenching passages. I found myself lost on who was who with the male characters by the end but overall, really good.

    • hnmmom says:

      Esmom, same here. I used to read upwards of 60 books a year. And then 2016 happened. I barely finished 4 books in 2017. I am working hard to get back into reading, it was one of my resolutions for this year. So far I am doing ok. Here’s what I’ve read this year so far:

      - “Circe” by Madeline Miller (fantastic!)
      - “Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley (described as The Art of Racing in the Rain meets Life of Pi. Have Kleenex handy)
      - “The Last Romantics” by Tara Conklin (also fantastic)
      - “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn (thriller, very good)
      - Right now I am reading “An Orchestra of Minorities” by Chigozie Obioma

      If you want an older book that reflects the times we live in now, I read “The Remains of the Day” by Ishiguro. Reading about the mental gymnastics a man goes through to justify the terrible actions of his boss is eerily similar to modern day.

  17. Erin says:

    What a terrific list. Thank you, Hecate, for the idea. I’ll add two of my favorite contemporary novels in the last couple years: Rachel Kadish’s The Weight of Ink—takes place in both the 21st and 17th century in which two contemporary and delightfully flawed scholars think they may have discovered a mysterious unknown young woman philosopher writing secretly in London at the time when Jews were just allowed back into England again after having been expelled by the anti Semitic government. Kadish practically breathes a living sense of history onto the page. Such a moving account of a soul risking everything to be heard, especially when you consider the enforced silence of women throughout history. And the other is Dan Chaon’s Ill Will, based loosely on the spate of “satanic” killings in America in the 80s, and one family dealing with the aftermath of having a brother convicted of such terrible crimes. But, because its Chaon, it’s often darkly funny and vaguely absurd, if you can imagine this. Both have that world building authority of vision that a reader can happily disappear into.

  18. Skwinkee says:

    I’ll admit I haven’t clicked into any affiliated posts yet but -BOOKS!!

    Thanks for this!!

  19. Nikki says:

    First time I’ve ever commented without even reading other posts; I’m just so excited and want to thank all the writers at Celebitchy for your suggestions!! You are all such colorful, witty writers, and the books sound wonderful! THANKS!!!! <3 (Reading nerd here…)

  20. Jessbobess says:

    Yay! I haven’t read any of these! I love this post!

  21. Becks1 says:

    Oh, and I’ll give my most recent recommendations:

    I really liked Prisoner, by Jason Rezaian, about his time in an Iranian prison. I liked that he both acknowledged that he was ‘lucky’ in that he had very strong forces working to get him out (WaPo, NYT, US government, other governments) and also expressed his frustration at how long it was taking (I think at one point he said, “if Obama had wanted me out, I would have been out.”) It was a good look at Iranian society, both the good parts of it and the bad parts.

    I also LOVED the Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Jouhadar, about a modern day refugee family compared with the creation of the map of the Mediterranean region a thousand years ago. Just really well written and fascinating to read.

  22. Moxie says:

    Thank you for this great list! I am reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming and it is an excellent read. Highly recommend.

  23. Incredulous says:

    The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley. Actually all books by James Crumley. Just read the opening sentence and try not to be hooked.

    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Amazon made a show out of it, coming soon. Basically though, anything by Terry Pratchett.

    The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson. Three slabs set from roughly 1640 to 1710, full of characters, adventure, drama, history and “Half-Cocked” Jack Shaftoe, good at tactics, bad at, well, everything else.

    They All Love Jack by Bruce Robinson. (Yes that Bruce Robinson) Wherein he dismantles everything surrounding the Jack the Ripper crimes and gives Victorian England a systematic shoeing. Like everyone else, he posits a suspect – which I don’t entirely agree with, fyi – but the sheer hatred of Victorian England he holds boils off every page.

  24. Lindy says:

    Why did you have to come with the book post on a day when I’ll have negative 3 hrs of time to look through it?!?! Haha. I’ll have something to look forward to this weekend. Excited to see all the books my CBers are into.

  25. staceyP. says:

    If you like the Handmaid’s Tale, I recommend Vox by Christina Dalcher.
    It is both enraging and scarily close to what is happening today. A ultra conservative government is in power and women can no longer work and are allotted 100 words to speak a day. It’s primarily about a woman combating this to protect herself and her daughter.

  26. Cobra says:

    Yay, Book recommendations! love this post. Planning to read some of the suggestions, Thx.
    Recently finished ‘Bliss by O.Z. Livaneli’. Its a great read. Watched the movie in Netflix few years ago and wanted to read the book. It didn’t disappoint.

    Currently reading ‘The Ten-year Nap’. i am loving it.

  27. Harryg says:

    I recommend Sally Field’s memoir!

  28. Renee says:

    I can definitely recommend All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. The subject matter is dark and the description alone sounds inappropriate. But after reading it, the author gives you another perspective that you would not have had upon first hearing the synopsis. The characters were so interesting and richly written. I really loved this book.

  29. LouLou says:

    I appreciate the book suggestions!

  30. samipup says:

    I’m going to save this post to savor it. But, I would like to mention two things. With a Kindle Cloud Reader App (or Kindle), you can get a free sample of the book(s) you want to read. If anyone hasn’t mentioned it yet, I would like to recommend The Bees by Laline Paul. A novel about a hive narrated by one of the bees. The novel is much more in depth than I described. I’ll simply say it’s wonderful.

  31. Anothersarah says:

    Thanks for doing this!!!
    I second a lot of other commenters recommendations, There There, Killers of the Flower Moon, Becoming, Educated, anything by Jenny Lawson!
    I’ll just add A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza. It was so so good, she really captured long arcs of family dynamics and feelings of being an insider and an outsider. Highly recommend!

  32. BeanieBean says:

    I just finished, ‘Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman. That book is going to stay with me for quite a while.

    • Hecate says:

      I loved everything about that book

    • Becks1 says:

      I loved that book too. One of the things I liked about it was that it wasn’t at all predictable or what I had expected. I went into it figuring I knew what was going to happen, and I was very wrong.

    • Harryg says:

      I did not like it. This strange awkward quirky character is supposed to be so cutely clueless. It was irritating.

      • starryfish29 says:

        I don’t think her awkwardness is meant to be cute, it’s meant to feel weird because it’s a symptom of her emotional and psychological damage.

    • My3cents says:

      Enjoyed it as well!

    • Junebug says:

      I finished this yesterday and am still processing it. It’ll stay with me for a long time. I thought it would be a funny book, and at times it was but I really wasn’t prepared for how harrowing it would also be.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s ‘Eleanor Oliphant’ for anyone wondering. Darn that autocorrect.

    • starryfish29 says:

      That is such a good book, I can’t believe I forgot to put that one in my recommendations.

      • Anne Call says:

        I started it on audible and found it not compelling. Will have to go back and give it a second go round.

    • Shelly says:

      I just finished it too. Some parts were depressing but others were laugh out loud funny. I have a nephew with Asperger’s so I am both fascinated and bemused by the notion of people with no social filters. I really enjoyed this book.

  33. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Love this post! Hope this becomes a regular item.

  34. karri says:

    Yassss to this post! First time ever commenting but am grateful for suggestions and want to return favor. Agree with another commenter that A tale for Time Being was such a great read. In another genre, am reading Sapiens: A brief history of humankind right now and loving the wide lense taken of humanity, puts some of our present Trump struggles in context. Also, finally read both of Celeste Ng’s novels which were both excellent. Drinking: A love story is a memoir that did not make me stop drinking but it did make me stop smoking so it gets a thumbs up. Exit West was excellent. Also, I don’t think anyone yet mentioned the trilogy of books by Rachel Cusk beginning with Outline . . these are perhaps not for everyone, there is little to no plot and they are so dense with ideas that you almost want to read very slowly to fully absorb. Yay for reading and readers!

  35. Sparkly says:

    Thanks for the recs! I thought the book club sounded familiar. Checked out the first bc post, and apparently I *have* been around that long. Wish I could remember when I found you guys. Thanks also for many great years and all the hard work you do!

  36. Elisa says:

    Yay, books. :)
    I’m right now at part 4 of the Brittany mystery series with Commissaire Dupin by Jean-Luc Bannalec and I love these books. They are perfect for the beach or to relax in the evenings.

  37. Yrsa says:

    I love this post! Hope you”ll do more of these❤️

  38. Sadezilla says:

    Love this as an idea for a periodic post. I can’t believe I haven’t read Wide Sargasso Sea yet, I’ve read about it before and have never actually bought it. Just checked and it’s not available as an e-book at my library, but may trek to the physical library to borrow it.

    Has anyone read the Oryk and Crake trilogy? It’s also written by Margaret Atwood, and it’s also dystopian fiction, but because it’s postapocalyptic, it’s slightly less political than Handmaid’s tale. I found it to be really absorbing, and I loved the protagonist of the third novel (Toby).

  39. KidV says:

    Months ago someone here had recommended books by Beatriz Williams. I don’t remember the context for the recommendation, if it was beach reading, or about the Roaring 20′s, or New York, no idea, but I’m totally hooked on these books. They’re not masterpieces by any means, the writing is just OK, but I’m so invested in these women’s lives that I just keep reading one book after another.

    These books are the perfect relaxation after a long day. And I’ve had some pretty weird dreams from them too. So, thank you, whoever it was!

  40. Becks1 says:

    The only one of hers I read was Summer Wives, but I liked it a lot. Like you said, not masterpieces, but engrossing.

  41. starryfish29 says:

    Two books that I’ve really enjoyed recently are The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle and One day In December by Josie Silver. The first has a really interesting conceit, where a woman has a birthday dinner with 5 people that are important to her life in some way, dead or alive. The second is a really delightful “not quite rom-com” in book form, although not really heavy on the comedy part.

  42. BlueSky says:

    I used to read a lot but some reason lost interest a few years back. I purposely asked for Kindle for Christmas because I wanted to get back into reading so appreciate the suggestions.

    One female writer I really like is Marcia Muller. She has a series of detective mystery novels and the detective is a female named Sharon Mccone. Her books managed to keep me engaged and care about what happens.

  43. Faye G says:

    If anyone is into speculative/Sci fi, The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal is amazing. A mid century alternate history about women astronauts in the wake of an asteroid strike on Earth. It reminded me of Hidden Figures.

    • SilentStar says:

      Sci Fi lovers simply must read “The Three Body Problem” by Liu Cixin, and the rest of the series. Mindbendingly complex, mindblowingly original!

  44. HBH says:

    I love this post so much (PS- I’ve been a faithful reader for over 10 years and the only gossip site I read bc you guys are the best). I own and run my own, woodworking business from home and am also a stay at home mom to triplets and their big sister. While the trips are at preschool, I build. And listen to audio books obsessively. I’ve been on a huge WWII historical fiction kick. I love them but, I’ve done about a dozen and I need to change it up. So many of these are right up my alley! Also- if you’re into historical fiction, “The Alice Network”, “We Were The Lucky Ones”, The Century Trilogy by Ken Follet are all amazing. Also, “Where The Crawdads Sing” is so good. I could go on and on… Anyways, love this. Thanks for all the amazing recommendations!

    • Anne Call says:

      Check out B A Shapiro. Great novels that flip between time periods. Also Transcription set right after the war. Also Kate Morton writes sprawling time switching novels set in England.

  45. Diana says:

    I LOVE Wide Sargasso Sea. Highly, highly recommend: in fact I think I might reread it. Thanks for the reminder!

  46. Lucia says:

    I am a huge Jane Eyre fan, will definitely check out these recommendations!

  47. sunnydaze says:

    Jenny Lawson is absolutely incredible!!!!!!!
    But The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series Changed. My. Life. (I did walk out on the American film though, it was such a horrible rendition of a truly exceptional story.
    *****Here’s the thing though***** if you gave up on the novel or are reluctant to read it PLEASE just skip the first few chapters where the “Wennerstrom Affair” is discussed. Just know a thing happened and it messed up the male main character’s professional life because journalists aren’t always liked, so sometimes you gotta moonlight for money. But don’t give up!!!!!! Lisbeth Salander is my favorite literary character, such a badass! The names are also Scandinavian and if you’re not familiar with Scandinavian culture there will be some points of “Huh?” but that’s it. Two things I wish my husband would have told me before diving into it.

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