I don't know about you guys, but I await Gail's book recommendations in the same way I await a coveted just-primed Amazon box. Her excitement for books is so completely contagious that I always find myself with at least three of her picks on my nightstand. Speaking of books on my nightstand, last week I attended my first book club and the book of the month was Sweetbitter. (I talked about my book club dreams earlier in the summer and was thrilled when they manifest themselves into an IRL invitation.) Have you guys read that one? It was actually one of Gail's summer book recommendations and, while I really enjoyed the read-- especially since I'm prone to choosing non-fiction-- not everyone was as big of a fan. It is a little dark and some people felt the character development was lacking, but I really related to the storyline of moving to a new city, not knowing anyone, and figuring out what you want to do with your life. Read anything interesting lately? Do share in the comments! Xo, Jen
For months, my friends in publishing have been singing the praises of Bennett’s much-heralded debut. I’m intrigued by its premise: a coming-of-age narrative about a trio of young people whose actions are judged by a cluster of “motherly” church ladies in their black SoCal community. A novel about loss, with a theme centering on its characters’ youthful decisions haunting them into adulthood, The Mothers would make for an excellent book club pick. And with a cover this stunning, it’s a read I want on my coffee table ASAP.
One of my all-time favorite authors is John Irving. When I heard Hill being compared to him—and Irving comparing Hill to Dickens—my literary radar went off. Then I read up on The Nix’s plot and promptly pre-ordered the book. I’m a sucker for family sagas that meld history with drama. Make them comedic and set them in the Midwest (as The Nix is), and I’m all the more apt to fall hard. If you need another reason to read Hill’s debut this fall, a TV adaptation is in the works with Meryl Streep attached. Talk about dream casting!
Hidden Figures by Margo Lee Shetterly
I listen to a handful of podcasts featuring authors and agents. Earlier this summer, one talked up this phenomenal true story about NASA’s black female mathematicians who helped launch astronaut John Glenn into space. Fascinated, I added it to my GoodReads list. A few weeks later, the trailer for the film beat the book’s release! Now we have four months to get familiar with these ladies before we hit theaters in January to watch an all-star cast (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae) portray them on the big screen.
Patchett is someone whose work I’ve yet to discover despite hearing nothing but good things. All I know is she writes literary fiction and owns a successful bookstore (Parnassus Books) in Tennessee. I intend to remedy that soon by picking up Commonwealth, her latest novel. The story centers on a kiss gone awry that has ramifications that propel the book’s entire storyline. A good pick if you enjoyed another of 2016’s buzziest books, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest.
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
You know that feeling when you discover something (a book, film, or album) and love it so much, you’re convinced nothing else the artist creates could ever be as good? That’s how I feel about Semple’s newest novel. When her debut, Where’d You Go Bernadette, came out in 2012, I read it while rocking my newborn son to sleep, shoulders shaking with silent laughter so as not to wake him. Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Today Will Be Different, a story about a middle-aged artist losing her creative mojo, will give us Semple fans a chance to laugh again.
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
My love of young adult literature means I had to bring at least one YA read to my fall picks and I’m going with Yoon’s The Sun Is Also A Star, which was just longlisted for a National Book Award. In 2015, I read her debut, Everything Everything, in one sitting … that’s how entranced I was by its clever plot. I’ve heard from more than a few friends that her second novel, another lyrical love story, is equally satisfying. And—as an added bonus—its cover is so stunning you’ll want to read it in public just to show it off.
I always look forward to Gail's recommendations as well!
The Mothers is definitely up there on my list and The Sun is Also a Star sounds awesome.
I'm just finishing up my summer reading list and I'll sharing my fall list next week!
Favourite reads so far this year:
Food and the City by Ina Yalof. Just finished this one a few weeks ago and I highly recommend it!
It's a behind-the-scenes look at New York's food world from the perspective of professional chefs, restaurateurs, line cooks, and purveyors. Yalof interviewed each person and I loved hearing about how they got into the industry, the trials they faced, and how they overcame them. It blew me away!
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. I raced through this thriller in two days. Mackintosh's twelve years experience on the British police force makes this one incredibly realistic. I am currently re-reading it!
Currently reading Before the Fall by Noah Hawley and I see why its being hailed as the thriller of the year! Hawley's screenwriting experience really shines in this one.
Also read and loved his psychological thriller, The Good Father back in July.
Also reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi which I am really enjoying and The Making of a Chef which I've been meaning to read for a while now. It's so so good!
Happy reading and thanks for the recommendations. My already lengthy to-be-read list just got even longer and Idon't mind a bit!
Jen Pinkston says
Oh my gosh, thank you for the recs! Just primed Food and the City! Sounds right up my alley 🙂
You're most welcome, Jen! I'm trying to read 100 books this year. I shared the list of 100 books on the blog earlier this year and I'm crossing them off as I go along to keep myself accountable!:)
Here's the list if you're interested:
I figured you'd be interested in Food and the City.:)
I'll be posting my fall reading list on the blog sometime next week. Feel free to check it out!
Emma Grdina says
Great recommendations! I just added everything to my Goodreads 🙂 The amount of reading you get done is crazy-impressive!
I finished A Little Life a few days ago and it just about ripped my heart out. So well written, but an emotional read to say the least. I'm currently reading Astonish Me which I'm enjoying thus far.
Jen Pinkston says
I am just getting back into reading, honestly ,after a months long drought. Sometimes it's hard to find time, but I'm always glad when I do! I don't know if my heart can currently handle A Little Life, but I'm super interested in Astonish Me!
Great recommendations. I haven't read any of them but am always looking for a new book to try.
Jen Pinkston says
Me too! Trying to decide where to start!