Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Reading List

I've come up for air! 

Back in May, I got the Husband a Kindle for his birthday present.  He's an avid reader and I thought it'd be a nice toy that we both could use (gotta love presents that go both ways!).  He fought the idea of an e-reader for a while because he likes to collect books, but since receiving it, he's obsessed.

Based on all the different features and pro's/con's between e-readers, the Kindle just fit our lifestyle and preferences best.  Lucky for me, the Husband was still mid-paperback when I gave him his gift, so I asked if he minded if I broke it in... After a year or so of not picking up much than a magazine, Lauren Conrad's L.A. Candy while on vaca in Jan, and some old classics (The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye) this past spring, it's pretty safe to say the reading bug has hit me full force again.

I first purchased Something Borrowed.

The movie was just released at the time and I've heard great things about the Emily Giffin books from friends for years.  I'm a little wishy washy when it comes to "chick lit".  I love some books, others drive me up the wall with the same cookie cutter story lines and obsessive label dropping.  I thought the book was cute, it definitely was a page turner and kept me hooked through the end.  However, I hated the ending!  So much so, I'm not really itching to read the follow up of Something Blue.  Maybe eventually, but it's been knocked down my list of Must Reads.

After Something Borrowed, I moved on to a "teen lit" series I heard was awesome and rivaled Harry Potter and Twilight in terms of being just not for teens. 

I was OBSESSED with the Hunger Games series.  I read Hunger Games in one day and finished the rest of the series in another week.  I can't wait for the movie to be released next March and I definitely think the story is closer to Harry Potter than Twilight in terms of actual story quality.  Not so focused on a love story, though there is one, and not quite as predictable.  Great imagery and just a fun action filled adventure.

Then I decided to pick up another best seller than is being made into a movie. 

I was recommended The Help by my aunt probably a year ago now.  It was such a great story.  Another page turner that was funny, smart, heartbreaking, and a period piece (being set during the civil rights movement of the 1960s in the south).  The movie stars Emma Stone (love her) and will be released in August, try to read the book before you see it!

After that, it was time for me to hand back the Kindle to its rightful owner.  I decided I would finally finish re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (5th book). 

You see, I read the 1st 4 books while on spring break my freshman year of college (2002) and when the 5th was release the next year, I read that one immediately.  In 2005, when Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was released, I decided I would re-read book 5 to refresh my memory and then dive into book 6 that my brother so kindly gave me for Christmas.  So I started book 5 over winter break, and then classes resumed and I put it down.  A few years later I picked it back up, and again, put it down.   Finally, I picked up at the beginning of June and while it took me a little longer than usual to get through the first 400 pages (that I've probably read 4x now) I flew through the end and ended two Sundays ago.  I decided later that night to dig into the Half Blood Prince and I finished that Thursday.  After driving to 4 different stores to find book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in hardback form (to complete my collection).... 

I finally finished the series, 9+ years after starting. I'm ready to watch a marathon of Harry Potter movies (netflix is all queued up) and get to the IMAX to see the final installment.

Now, I'm ready to pick out what's next.  I have a cross country trip coming up at the end of the month so I'll definitely need too get a few physical books to keep me occupied on the flights (since the Husband is now taking his turn reading the Hunger Games series on the Kindle).... Here are some of the books I've flagged to read... (mainly all books that have been hovering on the bestseller list for longer than I can remember!)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson - (figured this would be good to read first so the series could hold me over while traveling)
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larsson
The Girl who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson
Bossypants, Tina Fey
Room, Emma Donoghue
Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
Then Came You, Jennifer Weiner (one of the few 'chick lit' authors I love)

I love biographies and would love to read about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (but with so many books out there, I'm not sure which to pick up), any of the Chelsea Handler's books, or any other unexpectedly good celebrity bios.  I've also been meaning to pick up another Jodi Picoult book.  I read My Sister's Keeper (on my honeymoon, sheesh!), but have also heard that I have to read The Pact among others.

Any that I've missed?  Any that I should definitely start with first?  What was your favorite book this year?  Can I ask more questions??


  1. I need to read the help, my friend just recommended it to me over brunch.

  2. Oooh, I liked The Help too, and I'm super excited to see the movie. It looks like a really fun/interesting cast--even Husband wants to see it (I think he might have a teensy crush on Emma Stone--but who doesn't?).

    I've barely had time to read (shame on me!) but I just finished Jennifer Weiner's Fly Away Home. It was a good, easy read and gripping in the beginning, but kind of faded out 2/3 through. Which was actually fine with me--I usually read before I go to bed, and sometimes it helps to have something boring to put me to sleep quicker, eh? Hehehehe.

    I have "The Happiness Project" up next!

  3. Heather - YES, YES, YES! I'm obsessed again. I seriously didnt blog at all last week bc I was reading. Wonderful way to wrap up the story, I was googling HP facts all day long haha

    Rosa - Def pick it up, I finished it pretty quick. You really get attached to the characters :)

    Chloe - My Husband has a crush on Emma Stone too :) (but so do I)... I haven't read Fly Away Home, I actually forgot about that one. I'll add it to the list, but not too high up based on the review :) ::runs to look up 'the happiness project'::

  4. Those are some good picks! I just finished the help last week and liked it too. I don't usually read chick-lit either, but a few years ago I was stuck at the airport and tried Emily Griffin's Love the one You're with. It's not too bad (I don't think I could stomach her other novels' plots). So if you get in the mood for more chick lit, you could give that a whirl.

  5. Oh I've read "The Help" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", which is good, but pretty dark. Husband and I watched the original movie too...I think the American version is coming out soon. I've had "Something Borrowed" and "Water for Elephants" on my list for a while...and I just ordered "A Place of Yes" by Bethenny and "Groundswell" which was recommended by a fellow blogger. I started reading "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake" a couple weeks ago, but kind of lost interest. It got great reviews from we'll see if I go back to it. OH and one last one...I would totally recommend "Firefly Lane"...such a good read. Happy Reading!!! :)

  6. The Pact is really good, but after reading it I couldn't pick up another book for quite a while (and I'm generally one of those people who goes straight from one book to the next). The story just haunted me and I couldn't get it out of my head! Definitely worth reading though.

  7. Leslie - thanks for the rec, I did like Emily Giffins writing style, just not the ending of the book.

    Natasha - Ahh I forgot about Bethenny, heard it was a great book.

    Lindsay - Jodi Picoult must have a knack for that, I felt that way after My Sister's Keeper...

  8. I downloaded The Help and got to the third page and stopped because of the way the language was. it was hard for me to follow it smoothly.. I have heard lots of good things about it so maybe i need to try it again and maybe I will get used to it!

  9. Lynnette - The first page I was so confused with "lawd" (Lord), but once I got the 'southern' accent, I found it made it understand the characters better... like I picture exactly how they are/were based on how they communicated you know.... sorta like reading a txt msg from a from in their voice... if you try again, I hope you like it!

  10. as someone who JUST read both something borrowed and something blue, i'm telling you - you have to read something blue! i understand how you felt about the ending, but i think you'll find something blue very interesting, as it's in a completely different perspective and just as much a page turner!!

    a peek of chic

  11. Bossypants is hilarious!! I really needed something that was just going to make me laugh & laugh & laugh some more :) It's a great/quick read!

  12. I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in one day, I couldn't put it down. It was so intense! I highly recommend it, although the beginning is a bit slow. If you're in the mood for non-fiction I recommend Life on the Line by Grant Achatz, it's great bio and in-detail look into the cooking world. Some other chick lit authors I like are Marian Keyes and Jane Green. And don't give up on Emily Giffin- love the one you're with and heart of the matter are both really good!


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