One of my favourite podcasts is What Should I Read Next by Anne Bogel and I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about what I think you should read next for awhile. So here we go! (All links below are to the books on Amazon)
If you haven’t read a book in years but you really want to get back into reading try…
These two books are my go-to reccomendations for anyone who hasn’t picked up a book in awhile. The Art of Racing in the Rain is told from the perspective of a dog and is one of my very favourite books. You will love it even if you’re not an animal lover! And Me Before You has been another go-to recommendation for me, however I do think there has been A LOT of hype about it lately with the movie. I read it back in 2013 before there was so much hype and I absolutely loved it. But I’m not sure how I would feel now with the hype. That said, it’s an easy, page turner of a read!
Both of these books are also tear jerkers! Which I personally love. If a book can make me cry I almost always give it 5 stars!
If you loved the twist in Gone Girl try…
Despite all the different books that are marketed as the next Gone Girl, this book actually may be the most Gone Girl-like book I’ve read yet. It has a huge twist that you don’t see coming that completely flips the trajectory of the story. I like when a twist comes earlier in the story because then you can spend the rest of the book unpacking it.
If you want something to read by the beach or pool try…
I really like Liane Moriarty books. They are not quite chick lit, but they still make fantastic beach reads and are page turners, often with big twists! I have read all of the below books of hers and like them all. I think The Husband’s Secret is my favourite though.
Big Little Lies
The Husband’s Secret
The Hypnotists Love Story
What Alice Forgot
(I definitely need to read the last two books in this list as well!)
If you enjoy historical fiction try…
First, the Century Trilogy is one of the most epic trilogies I’ve read yet. It spans the entire 20th century and covers WWI, WWII, the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall. I swear these books should be read for 20th century history classes. When I was reading them I kept stopping to google “did ____ happen” and it always did. I also loved getting to know the characters so well as each subsequent book was about the children of the characters in the book before. The families were in different countries too so you really got a wide range of perspectives, there was an English family, a German family an American family and a Russian family and they all became intertwined in each other’s lives over the century long story.
The Storyteller was an incredible story about an SS soldier from Nazi Germany in WWII. It really went back to the beginning and showed how he became involved in the war and how he felt about some of the horrific things he did. I’ve enjoyed Jodi Picoult books in the past but this one was so different from her typical stories and also so, so good. A real page turner.
If you want to read a page turner non-fiction book try..
Another WWII book! This book was soooo good. It started off a bit slowly but then I literally could not put it down. It’s actually hard to believe the incredible TRUE story in this book is in fact true. Not only did this man spend many many days stranded out at sea he then was taken by the Japanese as a POW (Prisoner of War). It is just an insane story of survival. They did a pretty good job on the movie but it of course doesn’t even come close to being as great as the book!
If you want a self improvement book try…
I admit, self-improvement books are not my jam and I usually don’t finish them when I start them. Actually the best way for me to consume self improvement books is via audio.
Big Magic was so much better than I thought it would be. And I think you would really enjoy it if you were a writer or a creative. I don’t really consider myself ‘a creative’ but I still found her book fascinating and I especially loved the part where she talked about ideas floating around in the air and having kind of a life of their own – very cool.
I recently finished listening to Notes from a Blue Bike and loved it! Tsh Oxenreider has such a lovely voice and her and her husband have had such an interesting life as they spent a lot of time living in Turkey with a young family and then experienced a bit of reverse culture shock when they came back to the U.S. She had some really wonderful ideas about ways to live life more simply and intentionally like taking time to cook whole foods, getting around by bike and just in general keeping their days more open and less busy. I highly recommend this book and it makes a great audiobook listen!
If you like Sci-Fi (or don’t like it and want to give it a try)
Both of these books are ones I never would have picked up if it hadn’t been for the Book Riot podcast. But I of course ended up loving them both! They are funny, page turners and just really interesting stories.
If you are looking for some magical components, perhaps to fulfill the void of Harry Potter…
I loved both of these books. The Night Circus is such a magical story, which also has a love story at the root of it. I read it when we went on vacation to Mexico a few years ago and it was the perfect vacation book as you could really dig your teeth into it.
The House at the End of Hope Street holds a special place in my heart. I randomly picked it up off the $6 shelf at Chapters last year because I was intrigued by the description and it ended up being such a delightful book for me! I loved it so much. I loved the characters, the premise, the literary characters who come alive through photos on the wall. It’s such a lovely book and if you’re feeling down I highly recommend you pick it up.
If you want a book you can binge read like a good Netflix series…
I read this book on my Christmas vacation last year and I think I read for 4 hours straight one day, which is almost unheard of for me. It seriously felt like I was binging on my favourite new Netflix show. It’s fan fiction based on William and Kate and is a really really fun read. I definitely became enamoured with the characters in this book.
If you want to ugly cry…
A Little Life is everything they say it is and more. So traumatic. So heartbreaking. So unbelievable but also so, so, so good. I also decided that I love epically long books like this one because it really gives me an opportunity to get to know the characters and become invested in them. Considering this book is 700+ pages long I tore through it in 5 days and it definitely made me cry more than once. The author did such a good job on this story.
Come Away With Me was also an amazingly well written book and the author handled writing about complex emotions like grief, despair, anger, sadness, confusion so so well. I really related to the main character in this book in a lot of ways and I think that’s also part of the reason I loved it so much – and ugly cried over it.
So, based on all of my reccomendations above, what should I read next?!
Also what is your go-to book recommendation?
One. The above photo is from mine and Chloe’s walking route. It is full on fall up here in the north and it’s quite pretty! We usually walk through this little trail behind our house twice a day as we walk in the morning and evening.
Two. On the walking note, Eric got me a Fit Bit for my birthday (which is what I asked for) and it really has been helpful in encouraging me to move around more during the day, which was the main reason I wanted it. I spend a lot more time at my desk at my new job but I work in a really big office building so it’s nice when it vibrates on my wrist and reminds me to get up and go for a walk, even if it’s just a lap around the building. My goal has been 12,000 steps a day and yesterday was the first day in about a week I didn’t get them all in. I did manage to get in 11,000 steps though!
Three. This week I started listening to a new podcast – Colour Code by the Globe and Mail – it’s about race in Canada and is super interesting. I highly recommend checking it out. The other podcast I’m obsessed with right now is In the Dark, which is investigating the 1989 abduction and murder of Jacob Wetterling in Minnesota. It’s really eerie and creepy, but also so interesting and well done.
Four. Who is watching This is Us?? It’s deemed as the ‘new Parenthood’ and while I think it’s going to be a very very different show than Parenthood, I also think it’s going to be pretty great. I really enjoyed the first episode and I did not see the twist at the end coming at all!
Five. This weekend will be a low-key one, we don’t really have any plans at all which will be nice. I will go to yoga and the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning and I want to spend a lot of time reading, I joined a new book club and the first meeting is next Thursday and I want to try and finish the book by then even though I just started it.
Have you watched This is Us or listened to In the Dark? What are you doing this weekend?
I got my second Frockbox in the mail last week and wanted to review my items on the blog again. Click here to check out my first Frockbox review in June (I decided I’m going to get a Frockbox every 2 – 3 months only). I sent the following email to Frockbox at the end of August:
I’m really hoping to get some more casual work clothes in my September frock box. I work at a construction site so need some fun / casual pants (jeans would be great) and same thing for tops.
Let’s see what they sent and what I kept! Oh, and I forgot to take a picture of the actual names of each piece this time around so the below is my own description of them
I really liked this tunic overall, the one thing I couldn’t get behind was the neckline. I just don’t like scoop neck style of neckline on myself and much prefer more of a v-neck. I tried this tunic on a few times and added a scarf, as I knew that would help with the neckline issues I had.
I was really really torn on this one!
Verdict: Send it back! In the end I couldn’t justify paying $45 for something I didn’t love and decided I’d be better off keeping my eyes out for a similar tunic that had a better neckline.
Burgundy drawstring sweater & light wash skinny jeans
It’s hard to tell in the photos but this burgundy top has a different material on the back than on the front. It’s a really pretty colour too!
I pulled the jeans out of the bag, held them up and thought ‘heck no!’ — they looked soo small! But they were crazy stretchy and actually fit pretty well other than being a bit tight in the waist. The label touted them as “thigh slimming” jeans and I did feel like they had a pretty flattering cut / wash.
Verdict: KEEP! I ended up keeping both the burgundy top and the jeans as this is exactly the kind of outfit I would wear to work at my new job.
White top with lace detail
This top was kind of blegh to me. I didn’t love the cut or the colour when I pulled it out of the box and still felt meh about it when I tried it on.
Verdict: Send it back! Not worth $45.
Haaa, so my face probably says it all in this photo. I just was not a fan of this top at all. I did like that it was flowy, but it was honestly TOO flowy for me and I just could not get behind the holes in the arms!!
Verdict: Send it back!
And here is a real life OOTD photo showing me wearing the jeans from this Frockbox and the Aztec Utility Jacket from my last frockbox to work the other day!
Again I kept 2 out of 5 items, which I’m happy with! I will continue to get Frockbox a few times a year as I like that so far they have sent me items I might not necessarily pick off the rack when shopping on my own.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated or offered any discount by Frock Box for this review!