On my bookshelf…

good book recommendations

I’ve slowly been making my way through a whole “stack” of books I downloaded, and thought I’d share them here. Per usual, it’s a bizarre mix of novels, business/thought books, and outright embarrassments. Here’s the scoop:

1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette: Holy schnikies, I didn’t want this book to end. I loved the structure of the book (the story is told through a mix of emails, letters, and more), the cultural commentary, the characters, everything. It was laugh-out-loud funny, sad, poignant, redeeming — just great. I highly, highly recommend you read this! I liked it so much it may make it onto my short list of “books I read once per year” — which, so far, there’s only one other title on that list.

2. Kate: The Future Queen: This is the embarrassing one, in case you hadn’t figured that out. I’m endlessly fascinated by the Duchess (aka, my imaginary best friend and hair muse), so I thought I’d breeze through this light book about her life. It’s somewhat poorly written, with fake sounding, badly attributed quotes and only a few tidbits of biographical info not yet released via the extensive media coverage on her, but it was fun nonetheless (without sounding like a total creepster, the parts about her childhood were new-to-me and interesting). Think of this one as Cheetos — you know it’s bad, but at the same time, it’s kind of good and you can’t stop eating it.

3. The 5 Love Languages: I first learned about this book from Sabra (on her old blog) and have been intrigued ever since. Even after being in a relationship for nearly 11 years, there are still plenty of times when we’re not speaking the same (love) language. Communication being key and all — on every level — I decided to finally read this book. So far, so informative!

4. The Lowland: Have you read Jhumpa Lahiri’s other books? If not, you should probably get on that. I can’t wait to read her latest offering, The Lowland. Lahiri is a wonderful storyteller, who crafts beautifully lyrical prose. This should be good.

5. Daring Greatly: This book caught my eye because the subtitle mentions how vulnerability can open up so many good things in life. This past year, I’ve been working a lot on making myself more vulnerable, but in a very positive way (without getting too therapy session on you, I’ve found that vulnerability actually allows me to let go of being such a control freak). I thought it’d be interesting to read about this topic as it relates to business and other parts of life.

6. The Power of Habit: The subtitle of this book is “why we do what we do in life and business.” This, I gotta know. I do so many things out of habit — of which 75% I’m probably not even aware of. Interesting to examine what’s helpful and what’s holding me back.

What’s on your bookshelf right now? Anything that’s a must read? Or a don’t read, for that matter?

Leave a Comment


  1. 10.17.13

    I’m halfway through Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and love it! Especially as an architect, it’s a really fun read!

  2. 10.17.13

    So glad you did this roundup! I’ve been looking for some new books and these reviews are certainly helping things. Glad I’m not the only one tempted to read the Kate book!

  3. 10.17.13

    I literally just finished my book and didn’t know where to start for my next so this post couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Taking diligent notes here, thanks my dear!

  4. 10.17.13

    I’ve been in the market for a new book lately, so maybe I’ll pick up one of these the next time I’m at the bookstore!

  5. 10.17.13

    Thanks for the recommendations! Love Kate too by the way!

  6. 10.17.13
    Alyssa said:

    I loved “Where’d You Go Bernadette”, and The Lowland is on my list! Right now I’m reading “I am Malala”…it’s pretty incredible!

  7. 10.17.13
    viv said:

    I’m always looking for new books so this is wonderful!

  8. 10.17.13
    Shelby said:

    I just started reading The Fault in Our Stars – I’ve heard so many good things about it! Also…don’t read Iris Has Free Time. It’s so weird and boring and I could never follow the plot line. It was all over the place!

  9. 10.17.13

    Hadn’t heard of your “books you read once per year”. I’ll have to check it out!

  10. 10.17.13
    Susannah said:

    I just read ‘Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish’ by David Rakoff. I always loved his contributions on This American Life, and this was no exception. It’s short, but written entirely in verse. I read it quickly, once I got into it I couldn’t put it down, and it made me cry at the end. ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’ sounds fantastic so I think that might be up next!

  11. 10.17.13
    Madeline said:

    Ah I’ve been wanting to read Where’d You Go Bernadette for ages and then kind of forgot about it. Thank you for the reminder, adding to my kindle list :)!

  12. 10.17.13

    Yes and yes on Bernadette and The Lowland! I couldn’t put the first one down for days. And, being the huge Lahiri fan that I am, I pre-ordered The Lowland as soon as it was available, then devoured it once it arrived. Jhumpa Lahiri has this way of taking small everyday gestures and making them into poetry. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the novel.

  13. 10.17.13
    whitney said:

    Lol! I downloaded and am struggling through Kate. I’m equally as obsessed with her, but yikes, this book! The parts about her childhood are definitely interesting. They make it sound like everyone was super embarrassed about her not having a job and just waiting around for Prince William but I have a feeling it wasn’t like that …

  14. 10.17.13
    Maddy said:

    Holy moly I must need to read Where’d You Go Bernadette – every blogger I read is in love with it! :) And my mother, who never makes time to read books I show her, actually finished it before I have even picked it up and she says it’s amazing too. Good to know I should move this to the top of my list!

  15. 10.17.13
    Megan said:

    Is there anyone who doesn’t love Kate? I honestly don’t think I know one person who doesn’t wish (believe) to be here best friend!

    As for the 5 love languages, it is amazing how that book can open your eyes to parts of your relationship that you never saw before! It really helped us to realize why an miscommunication is the way it is. The other ones (languages for friends, etc.) are great as well

  16. 10.17.13

    the bernadette one is on my kindle waiting to be read…i just love the cover art!

  17. 10.17.13
    Tricia said:

    Brene Brown is a genious. Being vulnerable and accepting the fact that we aren’t perfect nor do we need to be is so liberating.

    • 10.17.13
      Victoria McGinley said:

      This times 10!

  18. 10.18.13
    Chelsea said:

    I was so intrigued by the Love Language book – I don’t think it was anything earth shattering, but I thought it gave some great insight and practices for how to better speak your significant other’s language.

  19. 10.18.13

    It seems like everyone is talking about Where’d You Go Bernadette! I might have to see what all the hype is about when I finish Girls in White Dresses – which is so easy to relate to but moves a bit slow. The Lowland looks good too!

  20. 10.18.13

    I’ve just started reading Daring Greatly and I’m about 80 pages in – loving it so far and realizing that it affects my life way more than I originally wanted to admit! I think it’s really important reading even if it isn’t the most fun subject. Can’t wait to find out what you think!

  21. 10.18.13

    My mom has read Daring Greatly and absolutely loved it. It’s been on my list for awhile so I’m interested to see what you think if you get to it before I do. The Power of Habit is on my dad’s Audible account (which I have access to – score!). I’ve thought about starting it a few times, and he had good things to say, but other books have taken priority. I request a recap once you’re finished with these! :)

  22. 10.18.13
    Jessica said:

    Agreed on Where’d You Go Bernadette! I haven’t been that captivated by new fiction in a long time. Going to add The Lowland to my list now :)

  23. 10.20.13

    Just finished “Where’d You Go Bernadette on audio book and I was so sad when it ended! Best book I’ve read (or listened to) in a long, long time!

  24. 10.20.13

    I chose Where’d You Go, Bernadette for this month’s book club after your previous mention of it and LOVED it. The style of writing was so different and engaging. Can’t wait to discuss with the girls in a few weeks!

    Katy http://www.designsbykaty.com

  25. 10.21.13
    Rose said:

    Thanks for sharing these!! I just picked up four new reads last week and eyed “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” but didn’t get it…since then, I have heard about it three different times! I of course forgot to even bring a book with me today to read on the train tonight…maybe I need to swing by the bookstore again ;)

  26. 10.21.13

    Fabulous list of must-reads! I’m always looking for new books to delve into and can’t wait to pick up Kate: The Future Queen and Where’d You Go, Bernadette!