Winter Reading List


I’ve recently joined a book club here in SF, and after two meetings, have been inspired to get back on the bookworm train! This past summer, I made my way through several books, and then at some point, life just took over and I have admittedly not finished a single book since mid-August (whoops). In the Kindle app, you can create Collections to group particular books together, so I’ve nevertheless been adding a bunch to my “To Read” list over the last couple of months. With the holiday break coming up, I’ve been planning on finally tackling the “stack!” I probably won’t make it through ’em all, but the above are the titles I’m most into and excited about.

I’ve heard GREAT things about Big Magic (have you read it? did you like it?), and I’m about a quarter of the way through Rising Strong (as a Brené Brown fan, I started it earlier in the fall but never finished). The Light Between Oceans is our book club’s pick for January — it sounded incredibly compelling, and there was a near unanimous vote for this to be our next read (they’re making a movie out of it too!). The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was another contender for our book club, and I thought it sounded like a good end-of-year read. I liked that the description mentioned the title character having “the chance to make his life over, and see everything anew.” Totally New Year appropriate!

Anyway, I’ve been finding myself drawn to non-fiction titles more than fiction over the last year, so I was happy to find some stories to get lost in over the holidays. What about you? What’s on your reading list currently? What have you loved, and what should I avoid?

(PS – As a follow up to my summer book review list, I really enjoyed Maybe in Another Life — it was quick, fun and sweet. I finished In the Unlikely Event and also recommend that one too (I found myself reading articles about the bizarre series of plane crashes the book talks about to get more context — it’s mind blowing that it actually happened the way the story describes). I couldn’t make it all the way through My Paris Dream.  It was well-written, but I dunno…I guess I lost interest in the author’s story. Just me?)




  1. 12.15.15
    Heather said:

    I actually just posted my recently read books yesterday and Big Magic was on there! It’s wonderful- Elizabeth Gilbert is entertaining, relatable , and thought provoking all at once. I definitely recommend it.

    xo Heather
    Pineapples and Pearls

  2. 12.15.15

    I’m about to load up my Kindle for Christmas break, so I will definitely check these out! I’m currently reading “A Year of Yes” by Shondra Rhimes and it is good. Love your graphic!

  3. 12.15.15
    India H. said:

    I really want to check out The Light Between Oceans. I’d love to hear your thoughts after you read that one! I love recommending books to people, so if you’re in the mood for a particular type of book, I’d love to help!

    • 12.15.15

      I’ve been increasingly into non-fiction over the last year! Any good non-fiction reads? I realize the spectrum is rather large with that category, but whatever springs to mind :)

      • 12.18.15
        Mimi said:

        Hi Victoria! I have a non-fiction suggestion for you! Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune — I work at a public library, and our library book club read this last year. It’s been on my own to-read list too, as it looks intriguing.

        • 12.18.15

          I read that last year and really enjoyed it! :) Huguette was fascinating and quite a character.

      • 12.22.15
        Kaitlin Z McCafferty said:

        I have a semi political non fiction one for you… Just Mercy by Brian Stephenson. It totally blew me away this year. It’s about the justice system and how broken it is and what justice means in America and who deserves mercy. I wept in awkward places (the subway… the coffee shop… the beach…). It was awesome.

        Also, my book club read Boys in the Boat last year (also potentially becoming a movie I think) and it was SO great and compelling!! About a crew team in Washington that competed in the Munich Olympics right before WWII.

        H is for Hawk is next on my non-fiction list.

        And, I loved Light Between the Oceans. The plot seemed like not my jam, but WHOA, was it well written and beautiful. It’s perfect for a book club because at the end you keep changing your mind about what was right and what was wrong. Lots of debate!

        AJ Fickry is a good one, though a bit forget-able compared to the others I’ve read on your list. Love this feature!

        • 12.23.15

          Wow, thank you for all these recommendations, Kaitlin! This is fantastic. I’m definitely going to check out your non-fiction recs!

  4. 12.16.15
    Iris said:

    The Light Between Oceans and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry are both on my to read this. I picked the former up after seeing it on shelf at my work. I read the description and noted it down for later (I have a huge reading and TV queue).

  5. 12.16.15
    Betsy said:

    I just finished Leah Remini’s Troublemaker which I recommend ( my friends have done it on audio and highly recommend.) Going Clear is also excellent. Also read this year: Collapse, by Jared Diamond, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a Small Town (tough read, but so necessary. Krakauer is really amazing). Death and Life of the American School System by Diane Ravitch is interesting if public ed is your thing (it’s mine.)

    Also loved Mindy Kaling’s book and How to Rob a Bank by the Freakonomics men. I love everything they write. I also enjoyed The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester.

    I didn’t love Big Magic and actually abandoned it but I caveat that with I don’t love Gilbert’s work in general. If you like her other books, you’ll like Big Magic. And if you like Brene Brown, all of her books are equally fantastic.

    I read a lot of non-fic but not all of it is current. I’ve been enjoying discovering books published long before now (like Collapse) that I was too busy to read at the time.

    Happy Reading!

  6. 12.16.15

    First, I must say- WOW. Love the graphic. I always love checking out what you do your blog and website. You are so talented!

    Anway, that said, I love book recommedations. I love getting them and I love getting them. They’re sort of traded in my family like currency.

    Here’s my current nonfiction fave: Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice. (

    It was a lovely story, but it also gave an interesting perspective on race relations.

    Happy reading!
    xx- Lynn-Holly | The Fisher Files

  7. 12.16.15
    Jackie said:

    I agree on My Paris Dream…I finished and it but that’s a good way of putting it – kind of lost interest in the author’s story, even though it was well-written and ostensibly should have been interesting! I bought Big Magic recently and am excited to delve in. For good non-fiction try Erik Larson. His writing makes non-fiction as interesting, fast-paced, and engrossing as a novel. I loved In the Garden of Beasts and his latest, Dead Wake. I also liked Betty Halbreicht’s memoir, I’ll Drink to That.

    • 12.22.15
      Kaitlin Z McCafferty said:

      Agreed! I love love love Larson’s Devil in the White City! And My Paris Dream was totally eh.

  8. 12.16.15
    Lou said:

    Big Magic is on my to read list and I can’t wait to start it.


  9. 12.16.15

    Thanks for sharing! I need to start picking up some more books – I’m such a slow reader haha!

  10. 12.31.15
    Rose said:

    I read The Light Between Oceans a few years ago—the cover and title are deceptively similar to All The Light We Cannot See, which I read around the same time :)

    I’m bookmarking some of the ones you’ve listed here, and my recent reads/recommendations include:
    Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson—over halfway through this right now and completely fascinated, they pioneered a lot more than I had realized at Apple.
    Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari—way more data-driven that I thought it would be, and a really cool study on how we meet and fall in love.
    One Summer: America in 1927 by Bill Bryson. Really, any Bill Bryson books! He’s a favorite.
    Never where by Neil Gaiman. Also, any Neil Gaiman—his writing is downright magical.

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