On My Reading List

Since I started grad school, I haven’t had very much time at all for reading, which is tough for someone like me who used to read a minimum of one book a week!

Since my reading time will be limited for the foreseeable future, I’m collecting a list of books I really want to read so it’s ready whenever I have some free time. Here’s what’s on my list:

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(In no particular order)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – I’ve read a few Le Carré novels before. He is regarded as one of the best spy novelists of all time. Id eventually like to read his whole collection.

The Maze Runner – my dad recommended this one to me. Who doesn’t love a teen dystopia novel?

The Quiet American – another oldie but goodie. I actually read half of this one in college but didn’t ever have the chance to finish it. Can’t wait to dig out my copy and delve into this great spy novel again.

If I Stay – this seems like such an interesting concept, something out of the box.

Luckiest Girl Alive – (comes out in May 2015). As a huge fan of Jessica Knoll’s writing style, seen in her blog Love Sex Pizza, I’m anxiously awaiting the release of her first novel!

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2015? My list is pretty short, so I could use some suggestions 🙂

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App Review: Good Reads

I first learned of this app from my brother. He knows I’m an avid reader, at least when I’m not in school, and thought I would enjoy it. Boy was he right!

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Good Reads has several different functions, all of which any fellow bibliophiles will love.

My Books: On this tab, you can track all books you have read, want to read and are currently reading. It’s a great way to keep track of everything.

Recommendations: I love this feature. I tend to read every book an author has written, but eventually I need a change or run out of books. This is a great way to find similar books that you’ll enjoy. And the more you use it, the better recommendations you get.

Reviews: Sometimes I’m unsure if I’ll like a book or author. Having the reviews by other readers is a great way to tell if a book will appeal to you.

Scan: I haven’t used this feature yet, since I’m on an ebook kick, but I imagine you could use it to see if you’ve read the book before or to see the reviews.

There are lots of other great features, including challenges, searching (by title, author or ISBN), and the ability to interact with friends and fellow readers.

I find the app very easy to use and would recommend it to anyone who loves to read. Check it out!

Recommended Reading: The Fault in Our Stars

Reading the book before seeing the movie has become quite a habit of mine. And while I’ve yet to see the movie version of The Fault in Our Stars (aka TFiOS on the interwebs), I was drawn in by the previews and decided to borrow the novel from my e-library and get to reading.

Now I will admit, I am not one to read books about people with serious illnesses. This probably stems from my over-emotional personality. I can’t read or watch a TV show/movie about an illness I’ve been personally affected by without being moved to tears. Case in point: crying over A Walk to Remember on Lifetime last night.

But I decided to put on my big girl pants, grab a couple tissues and dive into TFiOS, and boy am I glad I did.

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Within the first few pages, I fell in love with John Green’s writing style. Something about it just resonated with me and I immediately felt a connection with the main character Hazel. Her spunky, realistic and yet optimistic point of view was refreshing and drew me in.

Reading this book also gave me insight into different perspectives on life and relationships. Seeing characters overcome the cards they’ve been dealt in order to make the most of whatever time they have really made me think about what my priorities are and reconsider what is really important.

I’ve tried not to reveal too much here, as this book took many unexpected turns, but I will say that I definitely recommend reading it! Yes, it will be an emotional journey, but it is absolutely worth it. I can’t wait to read it again soon!

Have you read The Fault in Our Stars? What did you think?

Recommended Reading: Orange is the New Black

I recently joined a book club hosted by the alumnae chapter of my sorority. The selected book for my first time was Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. While this isn’t a book I would have chosen to read on my own, in the end I’m glad that I did.

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(Source)

Most of you have probably heard of Orange is the New Black, the Netflix original series that began last year. But I’m sure many of you, myself included, didn’t realize that it was based on a memoir by the same name.

I’ll start off by saying, it wasn’t the most well written book I’ve ever read. It was clearly written by Piper Kerman herself. This is good in that you truly get her perspective. But it was difficult at times because the story would seem disjointed. It was essentially a series of anecdotes in a semi-consecutive order.

But despite any issues with the structure of the book, I truly enjoyed reading it. This is a topic I’ve never really explored before – what life in prison is really like, especially for women. Piper’s story is fascinating and it opened my eyes to a lot of new and different things.

I haven’t yet watched the show, but from talking in book club, it seems the show is very different from the book. There are some show characters you can recognize from the book. I would say that the book served more as an inspiration for the show than as an exact basis for it.

Have you read Orange is the New Black? What did you think of it?

Fictional Blogs

Admittedly, I am quite the bookworm. I’m usually reading some book or another, generally a trashy romance novel since they’re nice easy reads with a guaranteed happy ending. I usually read on my Kindle or iPad, so I can take my book wherever I go.

But since I started working full-time, I came across a type of writing/reading I had never heard of: fictional blogs!

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These are blogs where the author share their fictional stories through weekly posts. I enjoy reading these because I can continue with them over time, whereas with a book I’m done with the story within a few days. I usually subscribe to these blogs so I get an email when I new post is ready, which is great so I don’t forget and miss a post!

The blogs below are the four that I’m currently following, and I highly recommend each! The story lines are fun, interesting and keep you guessing!

Minne Apple Girl (http://minneapplegirl.com) – Posts Monday, Wednesday & Friday

Breakups Makeups (http://breakupsmakeups.wordpress.com) – Posts Tuesday and Friday, with occasional extra posts on Thursday

High Heels & Happy Hour (http://highheelshappyhour.blogspot.com) – Generally posts Wednesday & Saturday

Love Sex Pizza (http://lovesexpizza.blogspot.com) – Currently on hiatus (meaning you have time to catch up!) but posts Tuesday & Thursday

I also enjoy reading Cosmo’s Bedroom Blog when it’s running. Love Sex Pizza used to be on the Bedroom Blog, until the author took a new job elsewhere. But according to twitter, they should be having a new Bedroom Blog author posting soon, so I’m excited to add that back to my fictional blog list!

Do you read any fictional blogs? Which is your favorite?

Recommended Reading: Gone Girl

I am a strong believer in the fact that the book is almost always better than the movie. So whenever I hear that a popular book is being made into a movie, I try to read it before it hits the big screen.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is scheduled to hit the big screens in October of this year. Lots of my friends had recommended it to me and since I needed a break from my usual trashy romances, I decided to give it a try.

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(Source: Amazon)

Like many of the other books I’ve recommended on here, this book is a mystery and a thriller – full of unexpected twists and turns. Without giving away too much, the book is about a man, Nick, whose wife Amy goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. Nick is insistent upon his innocence to readers, but it is clear that he isn’t being completely upfront. By the end of the book, you’re left questioning whether you really know the people you love. It delves into the complexities of marriage and relationships in a way that I’ve never experienced in a novel before.

This book hooked me. I have to get up pretty early in the morning for work, so I’m usually in bed by 10pm. But I wanted so badly to see how this book ended that I was up until after 1:30 in the morning! I paid for it the next day at work, but I would say it was worth it.

My one complaint is that the book seemed to drag in some places. It is a psychological thriller more so than an action thriller, which I personally prefer, but it definitely got a little slow on occasion. But the major plot twists and surprising turns made up for this in the end!

I’m interested to see how the movie will turn out though. It’s been said that it won’t be told in the same manner, and I’ve also heard that the author has been asked to write a different ending for the film version. It will certainly be interesting to compare the two!

Have you read Gone Girl? Do you have any other thriller to recommend?

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Recommended Reading: Defending Jacob

Although trashy romances tend to be my first choice when I have a chance to read, I do like to change it up and challenge my brain every once in a while with a good mystery or thriller. One of my most recent must-read finds?

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Defending Jacob by William Landay came recommended by a friend who is a fellow avid reader.

Without revealing too much of the plot, the book revolves around an assistant district attorney whose fourteen-year-old son is accused of the murder of his classmate. It follows the family as they deal with the social isolation, emotional stress, and financial drain involved in building a defense case against a murder charge. The twists and turns throughout left me constantly reeling and the shocking end left me with a “book hangover” for several days. This legal thriller is definitely a great read, as it gives you a different view of the legal system than your usual crime novel and in the end leaves you questioning your own gut instincts.

A bonus for me is that this book takes place outside of Boston, so I enjoyed reading about areas and places that I was familiar with! Also, there must be a trend in the books I’m reading since like another recent favorite, Before I Go to Sleep, there is a movie in the works for this book as well!

Have you read Defending Jacob? Or have any other legal thrillers to recommend?