July 31, 2011

My Top 10

Recently I've been asked by multiple people for reading suggestions! Perhaps this means I talk WAY too much about the books I'm reading or maybe I've given out enough good recommendations that people agree with me :-) Either way I thought I would share my Top 10 Books that I've read within the past few years! Maybe later I will work on a Top 10 Overall but for now lets stick with the recent shall we?

Top 10 Books to Read!

1. Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
         - Hands down this is by far one of my favorite non-fiction books. I fell in love with the Julie Powell in both her books (Cleaving is her second) and not with the movie character. She's a real person who isn't afraid to put her mistakes and failures out there, which for me meant that when she excelled at something or accomplished a goal I felt genuine joy for her. I was just as heartbroke for her when she recieved a call that Julia Child didn't respect her and I was over-ecstatic when she was able to "bone a duck" :)

2. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
         - I know I just finished this book but it doesn't matter. It most definitely deserves a spot on this list. This book will inspire you to become a happier person (no matter how happy you are) and it is very thought-provoking. This book will make you stop and think about how you act and how you can change it. It will make you want to get out and try something new. Besides who doesn't want to be as happy as they can be? It's worth the read for everyone, young, old, man and woman! When you have the time or if you are just wanting to start any process of changing things in your life then you should read this book first!

4. The Frugalista Files by Natalie McNeal
       - Another inspiring book. I swear if you read this book and you DON'T want to tighten your budget I'll be shocked and I will insist you re-read. Can't we all "trim the fat" in our lives? While Natalie really need to harness her spending and you may not it's still a very helpful book. Plus she can definitely guide you on how to score free stuff and who doesn't love free stuff? Not only is Natalie now a Frugal guru but she's so damn sweet and fun that you might wish she was your personal friend. I know that if I ever meet this chick we'd click immediatly! She's real, she's sweet, and you get a little insight into the struggling times that newspapers have gone through and are still going through.


5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
      - I'm not one for history, in fact the only times that interest me directly relate to the musical aspect and the criminal history. Other than that I don't really care too much about the previous wars we've been or the Presidents who have shaped this country. I don't particular care about how or why certain things happen. So sue me! I'm sure all my History Buffs out there (Yes Mandy and Alycia I'm calling your names) are having heart attacks but it's just not for me and I am A-Okay with that! But despite my dislike for history this book is amazing. It's an extremely sweet story of a young chinese/american boy who has to deal with losing his closest friend when the Japanese were put into camps. I had absolute no interest but since the book club wanted to read it I was going to comply. I am so happy I did. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone because the story is well written, easy to read, not filled with historical facts where you feel like you're falling asleep in school again. Nope this book was by far was the sweetest stories we've read in our Book Club and I am so happy I've read it. Make sure to read this at some point in your life just for a good read.

6. Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
       - Technically this is a 3 book series but I'm lumping it in one because you cannot read one and not the other two! I promise that you won't be disappointed and that once you've read the first one you won't be able to start the second fast enough. You are definitely left with wanting more and more and more! I honestly don't even want to say what this is about because no matter how you phrase the series sounds horrid! It sounds morbid and dark and while it's pretty intense it's an amazing book. I'm not sure if it's the way it's written or if its the actual story but it's amazing. I'll let you read the summaries for yourself but please do not shy away cause it's something you think you'd hate. I was definitely turned off by the plot summaries I read and my sister insisted I read it. Now I am constantly checking for updates on the movie and I cannot wait for March 23rd 2012 to get here for it's release. I am a Hunger Game Fan for sure!! Please just give them a shot, it's well worth all the "badness" of the story line.

7. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
         - Is there even a word to describe how much I loved this book? I highly doubt it. This book was addicting (read it in 3 days) and one of the best stories I've read in a long time. It's an easy read, no question about that, but it's so well written and the flip flopping of narrative is absolutely fabulous. The story is about Southern Maids and one white woman's goal to expose the mistreatment of them in a book. I gurantee you will fall in love with Skeeter, Minny, and Aibileen and you will HATE little Miss Hilly. This book takes place in Jackson in the early 1960's which I've gotta be honest it's hard to wrap my head around the fact that this crap was still happening then. It's gotta be one of the best books I've ever read!

8. Confessions of a Beauty Addict by Nadine Haobsh
        - This book is probably one of my favorite "fluff" style books. It's just a super cute chick lit novel that involves absolutely everything I loved when I was younger, when I wanted so badly to work in the magazine industry and live the fun life! Naturally those dreams died and I realized I just don't give a crap about fashion or make up enough to enter that cutthroat world but I still love being reminded of my love for the magazine industry. Now Miss Nadine lets you into her world of an editor who gets gobs and gobs of free stuff. The main character is a beauty editor and gets the boot only to get a job at a, lets say less glamorous, magazine and she has to change her entire focus. Her audience has shifted, her selection of products cut to practically nothing. But it's sweet and it's a great summer read! Plus if you really love the book then you will absolutely love her "real life" blog.

9. Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris
       - Just from reading this book I've fallen in love with a new author! Joanne Harris is a fantastic writer and has quite a collection of novels, including Chocolat, yes the novel was turned into a movie starring the hunky Johnny Depp. This book revolves around an old style school and a murder mystery! You meet a lot of characters and you're constantly guessing the "Who Dun It?" I promise you will get wrapped up in all the school politics and the student's lives! I could not put this book down because you have to find out what the heck is going on. Not only does it provide murder mystery but there are a lot of instances of things gone missing that you feel like Sherlock Holmes trying to crack the big case! This is a must read and I know that I'll be reading it again and again despite knowing the "murderer".

10. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
        - This was our very first book club book and I think we really started off with a good one! I had first seen this book listed on our local libraries website for their book club and I was intrigued! And when I found out a couple of our book club members wanted to read it as well I was stoked! This book does not disappoint. It centers around  a very old recluse author who has never given a true story about her life. She reaches out a bookly woman to finally tell the truth before she passes away. It's quite an adventure the author (character in the book) takes you on and I think everyone is suprised by the real story of her life. I highly recommend reading this book while curled up in blankets, a hot cup of hot chocolate (or coffee or tea) and a good storm going on outside. If you have a fireplace get it roaring, if you have a cat get them settled on your lap and enjoy a good book!

There you have it folks! I'm sure how all of regular readers are like okay duh we've read all your reviews on these but I think it's kind of nice to go back in time and revisit them. In fact I'm totally itching to reread a couple of these, meaning I need to get going on the rest of my book list for this year, which I'm starting to worry I may not finish. I'm already contemplating taking two off that I've started and have not been able to get into it. And why should I waste time reading something that I am learning have no interest to me. It will be a sad day to remove any books from my list but I refuse to waste precious reading time by forcing myself to plug through a book. Stay tuned for my final decision on that...

For now really consider reading some of the books listed above, they are all wonderful in their own way!


Staci said...

Thanks for the reviews. I have only read one of these but I have read a few from your list based on your reviews. :-)

Alyssa said...

This is going to get expensive for me if you keep recommending great books... now I am buying Frugalista files. LOL.


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