Currently Reading Vol. VI

Book Recommendations

This post is so far overdue–I’m trying to do a Currently Reading roundup for every six books I read, but we’re up to nine this time around! The topics and genres vary significantly…some are light, a couple are heavy; in general, I’d say this was a pretty solid batch. I’ve been trying to get a little more outside of my comfort zone when it comes to topics, writing styles, and genres, and this bunch captures that well. If you’re heading out of town this weekend (or are looking to stay in and dive into a good book), hopefully a couple of these catch your eye!

Current Reading List:

The Light We Lost: I really liked this book…it was beautifully written and invoked so many emotions, mainly a healthy mix of happiness and sadness. The two main characters meet at Columbia University on 9/11 and the story chronicles their life that follows, both together and apart. It’s a story about true and first loves and it had me sucked in from the very beginning to the very end.
Recommend? Yes!

The Nest: This book seemed to be all the rage last year and so many people seemed to love it…but I don’t know, it wasn’t my favorite! I thought the plot was kind of slow and unnecessarily all over the place…but maybe that’s just me, since many seemed to recommend it as a fun, light read. The plot is about four adult siblings and their shared inheritance; they all live very different lives, and family drama is prevalent. They’re actually turning this into a movie and despite my average feelings on the book, I think it’d make a pretty entertaining film.
Recommend? Maybe.

All the Beautiful Girls*: Random House sent me this book and I was admittedly a little skeptical at first, since historical (ok, 1960s) fiction isn’t what I typically reach for. A young girl has a rough upbringing and eventually, as a teen, changes her name to Ruby Wilde, gets herself to Vegas, and turns her love for dancing into a career as a showgirl. I basically learned that I need to get over mental blocks because I definitely spent the first 50 or so pages doubting that I’d get into it, and then part way through, once the plot turned, I ended up enjoying it.
Recommend: Maybe, but not my favorite.

The Futures: I loved this book! The protagonists are a couple who graduate from college and move to New York City, where they attempt to navigate post-grad life together. Things start to unravel and both of them are faced with very real problems (that to be honest, most millennials will be able to relate to in some way). You definitely feel for the characters and what they’re going through; the challenges seem mostly realistic and it’s a good reminder that people–especially right out of college–rarely ever have it totally “figured out.”
Recommend: Yes!

Eight Hundred Grapes: A wonderful beach read, if you’re looking for one this weekend! Bride-to-be Georgia skips town and shows up at her family’s winery only to uncover a whole lot of personal and family drama–a week before her wedding. The entire plot is set on a vineyard, so this is a a good reason to pour yourself a glass (or two)!
Recommend: Yes!

White Houses*: If you’re a fan of presidential history, you’ll probably enjoy this fictional take on Eleanor Roosevelt’s personal life. I didn’t actually know much about her background and was surprised to learn about her passionate relationship with journalist ‘Hick,’ and what happened behind the scenes in her own life while her husband was president. I could have done with it being a bit shorter–it kind of dragged on at some points–but I love coming out of a book feeling like I learned something new, and definitely feel like that happened with White Houses.
Recommend? Yes, if you like presidential history.

Educated: This book is fascinating, devastating, happy…it’ll put you on a roller coaster of emotions. Tara Westover tells the tale of her childhood–during which she grew up in a survivalist household and received no education. Her dad owned a junkyard and she grew up facing harrowing challenges in nearly all parts of her life: family, relationships with others not like her, getting an education, and even just trying to hold a conventional job. You’ve probably seen a lot of buzz surrounding this book and it’s with good reason. While it’s definitely dense and hard to read at times, it’s eye opening and I’d absolutely recommend it.
Recommend? Yes! And I need to read Hillbilly Elegy next.

Upstairs at the White House: Another one in the presidential history genre–J.B. West, the chief White House usher for over 30 years, shares tales from his experience working with (and often becoming close confidants of) six first ladies. The writing is a bit slow but the stories are fascinating…I feel like I learned so much about the inner workings of 1600 Pennsylvania, as well as got a glimpse into the lives of these truly fascinating women.
Recommend? Yes (definitely if you like presidential non-fiction).

Big Little LiesSo I actually read Big Little Lies last summer, but completely forgot to include it on a roundup. I devoured it quickly after watching the HBO series (J and I finished it in less than a day) and the book certainly lives up to the hype. It’s a good one whether or not you’ve watched the show (if you haven’t, I really didn’t regret reading the book second) and will keep you on the edge of your seat. There’s a reason it was a popular beach/pool read last summer!
Recommend? Yes!


And I’d love to know: What is on your Currently Reading list?

PS: More books!

* Thank you to Random House for sending me these books!

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