Tell Me What to Read.

One of my goals each year is to read more books.
I try and read one a month.
I usually end up only reading 10 books a year.
I LOVE to read, but with kids, teaching, blogging & an Etsy shop, reading sometimes gets put on the back burner (among other things)

When I was a kid (and before I had kids!) I would stay up SO late and read. 
I just couldn't put books down.
I want to get back into reading and I would LOVE to hear what your favorite books are!
These are types of books I love!
I have read the entire Harry Potter Series. Loved them
I have read the entire Twilight Series. Loved those also.
Hunger Games? Obsessed. Read all 3 books in 5 days.
I love reading things by Mary Higgins Clark & Jodi Picoult.
So, as you can see, I have a random assortment of books I like!
 The last book (besides a Bible Study book)  in August right before Luke was born (yikes!)
So, it has been 5 months since I read for fun. 
The last book was Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult:
It was SO good!

So, what are some must reads? 
(And, don't tell me 50 Shades of Grey, not my style)

I would love to hear your favorite books that you have read in the past year or two!


  1. Anything by Nicholas Sparks, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn are all great!

    1. Is Gone Girl anything along the lines of 50 Shades? I can never figure out from the description. I want to read it if its not but didn't want to dive in if it was

  2. Oh gosh! Please pass on your recommendations after you receive them! I need some!! Happy Friday Mel!

  3. reading danielle steeele right now friends forever

  4. I'm in the throws of reading Haruki Murakmi's "1Q84." He's one of my favorite authors and I hate that this one is taking me so long (it's a big one!) buuuut life with a toddler means not so much time for reading like in the past! So far, it's pretty awesome!

  5. A discovery of witches and shadow of night by Deborah Harkness, loved them!

  6. A discovery of witches and shadow of night by Deborah Harkness, loved them!

  7. I liked The Discovery of Witches series as well. But my favorite books I read this year were Tell the Wolves I'm home and The Fault in Our Stars. Also if you loved Hunger Games, Divergent and Insurgent were great!

  8. I am a total bookworm. I go through phases though where I canNOT get enough reading!

    The best book I read in 2012 was called The Night Circus. Magical. Descriptive. And the best part? Unpredictable. I hate predicting books. This was GOOD.

    Another book I loved was Under the Tuscan Sun. It was slow and delicious. I want to go to Italy.

    Another book I just finished is called Homestead and it's about a couple who buy a wild piece of land in Oregon in the 80's and want to build a home there and live off the land. It's a true story and I absolutely loved it. She (written by a woman) has such great insight into life and relationships.

    I also read Jane Eyre for the first time and LOVED it. LOVED it. I was totally hooked. And Wuthering Heights as well.

    A book I got for free off Kindle that was really good is The Wizard of Time by GL Breedon - but the second book hasn't come out and I was bummed after I finished book one and realized this. But still, good book.

    Okay, those are my recommendations. (Currently reading Wild Things: The art of nurturing boys - so far so good! Not a novel. But good stuff.)

  9. I am crazy crazy book person. Crazy book person. I read 88 books last year. My blog says 84 but I read 4 more after I posted that. And I picked up another 60 and tried to read but didn't like them enough to continue.

    I believe recommendations should be specific to the person soooooo...

    * You should definitely read Gone Girl. It is an "ignore your children and family to read" book. So so so good.

    * If you loved Hunger Games, then you should give Divergent a try. YA, fast paced, fun read.

    * It sounds like you like suspense, so I would recommend "Before I Go to Sleep." It is about a woman who loses her memory every time she goes to sleep so she starts keeping a journal. So many twists and turns.

    * And the best book I read all year was Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It is a collection of her advice columns as Dear Sugar from The Rumpus and they are incredible. I cried, laughed, cried more, and I still take lessons from that book. It is the first book I would ever say is a like a bible to me, in that you never know what you will get when you read it. I got exactly what I needed to hear when I read it and I'm sure I will hear what I need as I re-read it over the years.

  10. If I could, I'd "reply" to Laura C with a comment about Gone Girl. I actually just finished it and while I was totally hooked, I found it disturbing and graphic - both with violence and sexual stuff. Just being really crude and whatnot. It's well written and kept me guessing for sure, but just as a warning that it's not exactly "tame".

  11. Gone Girl (I didn't find it that graphic) BEST twist. And I just finished Water For Elephants. REALLY good.

  12. 2 books I always recommend to people are The Passage by Justin Cronin (if you like Twilight or the Hunger Games, you will be sucked in by this one!) and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (man on Australia's most wanted list escapes high security prison, lives in India and becomes a makeshift doctor in a Mumbai slum. True story, great read!).

    Happy reading!

  13. Have you read The Fault in our Stars by John Green? Excellent book! I also recently read Slammed and Point of Retreat (2 book series) by Colleen Hoover. Read them both on a Saturday because I couldn't put them down. And Colleen Hoover just released a new book called Hopeless. I read it last Saturday. Wonderful book!

  14. Look under my last weeks post, I did an entire post on books to read. If you love the books you mentioned then you must. Must. Must. Read two specific series. The divergent series and the uglies. Both are fantastic!!! And Stephanie Meyer wrote another book, the host. It comes to theaters in March, so you may want to read that one first! Different, but really good. And Garden Spells and the Sugar Queen are both fun and whimsical. Email me if you want me to send you any, I have hundreds. Just waiting to go to a new home!

  15. I just finished and loved Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. Soon to be a movie! And I also loved The Glass Castle, also soon to be a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence from Hunger Games. And no 50, haha. I loved those. I actually really fell in love with the characters and their love story. It's not just sex.

  16. I read 110 books last year (no kids, very part-time job) and these were my favorites: http://pinterest.com/fierybella/books-i-ve-read/

    I wouldn't recommend Gone Girl. It was violent and graphic and disturbing. When I finished it I didn't understand what everyone else had seen in it. But, YMMV.

  17. I average a book a day on an easy week and 3 a week on a busy week... hahaha one of my all time favorites is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers...

  18. There's a trilogy, one ofof the threei is City of Glass. Very harry potterish, hunger gamish, etc. Written for middle schoolers i think...but really good! I read the three in the trilogy and then my 7thphone grader told me there were three more books! So not sure why it's called a trilogy! :)

  19. Please ignore all my typos on my darn phone! Grrr. I hate when it auto adds words!

  20. There's a trilogy, one ofof the threei is City of Glass. Very harry potterish, hunger gamish, etc. Written for middle schoolers i think...but really good! I read the three in the trilogy and then my 7thphone grader told me there were three more books! So not sure why it's called a trilogy! :)

  21. I agree with those that recommended Divergent and Insurgent. Very good and hard to put down. Also, anything by Kristin Hannah. She is really good, but her books tend to kind of get to be the same after a while.

  22. Divergent and Insurgent definitely! The are starting a movie for Divergent. The are fun!

  23. Anything by Jane Austen...Seven by Jen Hatmaker...just finished The Red Tent by Anita Diamonte. Interesting (fictional) read about the wives and daughter of Jacob.

    Also, Emily at Jones Design Company just did a post on this.

  24. Have you read Gone Girl? So good!!

  25. If you are looking for something fun and sassy then PLEASE look up Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires books. The first one is called Some Girls Bite! I have loved all her books!!!!

  26. Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
    Still Alice by Lisa Genova

  27. Jen mentioned above Redeeming Love. That is next on my list. I've only heard good things about it, and the reviews on amazon are overwhelmingly positive.

  28. I just finished The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. It was great and kept me up late at night flipping pages...I love it when that happens!

  29. I am a total book girl!

    Divergent was good, but not my favorite, it didn't hook me like Hunger Games

    No one has said the Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones on HBO), and while I loved them, I wouldn't recommend with three kids, they are way too hefty.

    Next on my list is The Fault in our Stars.

    But try Wonder... great book for a middle school teacher...

    Another YA series I LOVED was the Percy Jackson series.

    For slightly trasher YA, I like the Lying Game (same author as Pretty Little Liars).

    I also loved Elsewhere (YA, by Zevin) and Life as We Knew It (YA, Pfiffer)

  30. Anything by Elin Hilderbrand! Her stories are all set on Nantucket, and will make you want to move there for the summer. If I had to suggest one to get you started, either The Blue Bistro or The Beach Club. Happy reading!!

  31. I'm almost finished with Pioneer Woman's "High Heels to Tractor Wheels". A cute, fun, read if you like PW.

  32. It's an older series, but have you read The Mark of the LIon series by Francine Rivers? So good. Also, A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel is a great read. I hope you get some good recommendations.

  33. Definitely give Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth a try! They're great reads and really suck you in just like The Hunger Games did!

  34. The dressmaker- currently reading and I am into it. Its a fiction about the aftermath of Titanic.

    Water for elephants.

    Jodi Picoult- House Rules, super good!

    Read Nie Nies book, amazing. I think its call Heaven is here.

    The language of flowers.

    I read a lot, its my favorite :)

  35. p.s. be careful....everyone recommends Gone Girl, and I thought it was AWFUL. Nikkin can vouch for this too haha

  36. The outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is simply phenomenal. :)

  37. I read Gone Girl too and didn't know what to think of it. It kept me hooked and interested and definitely surprised me! However, it can be disturbing.

  38. All great choices from everyone! An author that I highly recommend is Jen Lancaster. She writes from her own experience but has recently ventured out into the fiction world. She is absolutely HILARIOUS! All of her books had me laughing out loud! A very quick read.

  39. The 9/11 Series by Karen Kingsbury was recommended to me by my students--One Tuesday Morning is the first of the series that I sat and read all last Friday night--couldn't put it down!

  40. The Reluctant Prophet Series by Nancy Rue

    Kisses for Katie by Katie Davis

    Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinburg

    Undaunted by Christine Caine


  41. I just read Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult and LOVED it! Also, I LOVED Gone Girl and I am starting Sharp Objects.

  42. It's so refreshing to see someone say 50 Shades of Gray isn't their style. I thought I was alone in that. Enjoyed reading through the recommendations in your comments and will be checking some of those out on Amazon today.

  43. Some of my all-time favorites: Gone Girl, The Middle Place, Bloom, Bossy Pants (Tina Fey), and Firefly Lane. Also, if you liked Hunger Games, have you read Insurgent and Divergent? They're very similar, wildly popular, and the third book should be out within the next year. You'll have to keep us posted on what you read next!

  44. Hi! Not sure how I came across your blog-started at Pinterest and ended up here- but I'm glad I did. Love your party ideas. I'm a new follower.
    As far as books go I'm a mystery lover. One of my favorite authors is Charles Todd. Actually a mother and son writing team which I think is interesting. I really like their Ian Rutledge series set in England after WW I. I've read them all and each book is excellent. I like a book that makes you care about the characters and one that is historically accurate. I also just finished Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (I think they made it into a movie.) The book was really good. Good luck with your reading!

  45. I agree with Gone Girl and Hunger Games, but I also liked Wife 22 and The Gift of an Ordinary Day. Right now I am reading Cold Tangerines and am enjoying it so far!

  46. two kisses for maddy by matt logelin. heartbreaking and inspirational!!

  47. I loved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. It is similar to The Help. They are both feel good books with great messages!

  48. If you enjoyed Hunger Games then you'll like Divergent by Veronica Roth. The second one is called Insurgent and the 3rd in the trilogy is set to come out in the fall. I just finished them and couldn't put them down.

    In the spiritual realm, I would recommend Love Does by Bob Goff and The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. Both excellent!

  49. Divergent is okay, but not as good as Hunger Games. Not impressed with it. BUT- if you liked Harry Potter, you will LOVE the King Killer Chronicles. The first in the trilogy is The Name of the Wind. I saw Kisses for Katie mentioned above, and it is most definitely a must read for everyone.

  50. This past year I read a few books I absolutely loved...

    Firefly Lane-great read about life long friendship

    Mark of the Lion Series-Francine Rivers is just amazing!

    Thanks for posting this, I cant wait to read some of these suggestions!

  51. anything that is on the Oprah book list.. I don't know if you have read the Wally Lamb book,"I Know this much is True".. won der ful!!! I just finished, "Gone Girl".., so good I couldn't put it down... "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie".. really good.. " A Man In Full" by Tom Wolfe... all great books!!!

  52. also...
    "Backroads" not sure of the author
    "The house of Sand and Fog".. great movie.. better book..
    "Misery".. even if you've seen it.. the book is WAAAAAYYYY better!!! This book got me back to fiction...

  53. I'm always looking for reading suggestions so i love this! I saw several people suggested it but Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah was a great book and i love anything by Karen Kingsbury!!

    I still haven't read Hunger Games so i think i'm going borrow the first book from my oldest and dive in =)!

  54. Thank you for this post!! I got three of the books recommended!!!


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