Ahoy! And welcome to one of the four best email days of the year: book recommendation day!
I’m excited to share this quarter’s list with you. It is, as usual, varied. But OK, with a slight bent toward romcom, because the world is tough enough to always be reading tough books too. Upon compiling the list, I was surprised to see it’s a little slight from my usual – just 16 books in Q3, as opposed to the usual 18-22, but still, in very good quality. Great and fitting choices, given how chaotic my life has been over the past three months.
And so, I hope the books you choose from this list may bring you some peace among chaos too.
Without further ado, 16 (and a half) books to flavor up your Fall!
The Heart Principle Helen Hoang (This is the best in the series so far, in my opinion. I gobbled it up in two days. Lovely. And if you haven’t ready Helen Hoang yet, what are you waiting for?)
Time’s Convert: A Novel Deborah Harkness (This is kind of an adjacent, fourth novel in the Discovery of Witches series, and while it was good, no doubt, it wasn’t nearly as exciting and compelling and consuming as the previous three books. That said, I still devoured it. I love this world.)
Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country Sierra Crane Murdoch (This has been on my list since it came out, and I’m so, so glad I finally read it. I love this style of immersive journalism, and while Goodreads reviewers skewered Murdoch’s style, I personally enjoyed it. It’s real life, non-fiction, but the involvement of the story of such an incredible real human made it almost read like fiction, in the best way. Also, in general, this is a telling of indigenous life you need to know about. Read it.)
Beautiful Secret (The Beautiful Series Book 8) Christina Lauren (Adorable and sexy, as always.)
Troubled Blood (A Cormoran Strike Novel Book 5) Robert Galbraith (OK, this series keeps getting better and better. I’ll be honest and say 1000 pages is a bit freaking much, but that’s typical JK Rowling style, so not surprising. The wild thing is, that long of a book stays exciting the entire time! Cannot wait for the next one.)
It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake: A Novel Claire Christian (Ooooh, I liked this one. A lot. It, too, got skewered on Goodreads, but I disagree. It was surprising and fun and gave me happy tears in the end. Also fun: it inspired a lesson in the Foundations of Self-Discovery course.)
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Cal Newport (Game changer. Seriously. You already know I loved Digital Minimalism, but that pales in comparison to this. Truly, I should’ve read them in order, because Deep Work essentially sets the stage and fleshes out what I felt was missing in Digital Minimalism. It’s smart, and all research-backed, of course, but more than that – it’s approachable. This book does a great job of giving someone like me, who’s into the concept but resistant to the execution, a whole bunch of ways to actually implement deep work. Amazing. If you haven’t read it yet, do it. Also, I read two non-fiction books this quarter! Aren’t you proud of me?!?)
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel Taylor Jenkins Reid (Wow. Loved it. So good. I really enjoyed how the story kind of slowly and slinkily unfolded, and of course, the strong female leads were wonderful. I’ll say I didn’t like it as much as Malibu Rising, but still, TJR is definitely now one of my top authors for really good fiction.)
Isn’t It Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club 4) Lyssa Kay Adams (God, I love this series. Funny and sweet. I made so many highlights of the self-aware feminist men in this book! The whole concept of this series – a group of men reading romance novels to get better at their relationships – is honestly something real-life men need to think about. Even better, let’s start a couples book club for this series – who’s in?)
The House in the Cerulean Sea TJ Klune (OK, I do feel like this book deserves all the accolades it got. It’s gorgeous and colorful and so, so very sweet. I cried a lot in the end. God, it was really, really good. And. There is a bit of controversy surrounding its origins and the author’s use and treatment of the root subject matter, which is understandably problematic. It’s your prerogative to know that going in, or don’t, and enjoy the book on its own.)
Razorblade Tears: A Novel S. A. Cosby (This is another one that absolutely deserves every bit of commendation it’s getting. Hands-down, one of my favorite books I read this quarter. It made me laugh, it made my fingers burn to turn those pages. And just as a heads up if you read the summary, it wasn’t nearly as mushy as they make it sound. Honestly, it was a bit of a violent crime mystery, and it was perfect.)
The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, Book 6) Kim Harrison (I mean, underworld Cincinnati, for the win!)
The Last Emperox (The Interdependency Book 3) John Scalzi (Wow, what a conclusion to this series! Equally as exciting and hilarious as the first two books, and an extremely satisfying end to the story. Highly recommended.)
Accidentally Engaged Farah Heron (This was a wonderful rom-com, just delightful. Loved the characters, their stories and struggles, and of course, how they come together. Plus, recipes!)
The End of Men Christina Sweeney-Baird (Ooooooh, mama. Yes. You need to read this. Particularly striking and thought-provoking considering we’re in a pandemic as we speak. This book was incredible, and very worth the read. Loved it.)
The Soulmate Equation Christina Lauren (I don’t know if they’re getting too popular and publishers are pushing them or what, but this is the first CL book I’ve been pretty meh on. It just didn’t have the gusto of so many of their former works. I mean, I liked it, obviously, but it didn’t live up to the hype for me. I’d still recommend.)
**World Travel: An Irreverent Guide Anthony Bourdain, Laurie Woolever (This is starred because I started it, but quickly realized this is a book I want in hardcover as a coffee table book, or something very pretty on my shelf. It’s a true travel guide, rather than a story or a bio or anything like that. And now you have a housewarming gift idea for me :))
With just the final quarter of the year to go, and no end in sight to my chaos, I’m still hoping to make time for some peaceful reading. I’ve got an ambitious reading goal, and I’m hoping to finish out the year exceeding it. I’m already off to a pretty good start, but I’d love to make it even more fun, if you’re up for it!
If you’ve been wanting to read more, let’s do it together.
Email me here and share with me your reading goal from now through December 31, 2021. Tell me one fiction book you’re going to read, and one non-fiction. I’ll share with you the same. If enough people reply, I’ll create a private #book-nerd Slack channel for us to talk all things books and reading. At the end of the year, I’ll send goodies to everyone who reaches or exceeds their goal, and I’ll include a bonus book post with your top recommendations and short reviews.
No pressure, and if you care not about reading, no worries – regular self-discovery emails will be back next week 🙂