The Un-Book Club

If you don’t belong to a book club but wish you did, welcome to my ever-growing list of suggestions.

 

Peace is Every Step
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Everyone should own this book. It was a gift from a friend from church and I love that she knows me well enough to pick a Buddhist meditation book for me. Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most world renown Buddhist monks of all time and this book presents such beautifully simple concepts that are very spiritually deep. I will probably be reading this over and over.

 

The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins

Oh my! Now I know what everyone was raving about. This book packs a punch. I read it in two days. “I can’t talk right now or cook dinner or help you with your homework because I’m binge-watching this book.” I read it almost non-stop. I just had to know who done it, you know? This is the perfect book for travel because it’s such an escape. I really wanted to see the movie but insisted on reading the book first. But I don’t think I’ll watch the movie at all since I’ve heard it’s not at all good which is sad because I really like Emily Blunt.

 

The Chaperone
by Laura Moriarty

This has been on my to-read list for so long I forgot who recommended it. I sort of thought I wouldn’t like it, but then I DID. It starts in 1922 and goes almost until present day. It is filled with secrets. Funny, I really liked The Secret Keeper and this has a lot in common, and soon I’m going to start The Husband’s Secret. The Chaperone proves that we can all change, be less judgmental and get second chances. I recommend it!

 

The Circle
by Dave Eggers

Think George Orwell’s 1984 only Big Brother is not the Government but Corporate America. If you live/lived in Silicon Valley like I have you’ll recognize and be quicky seduced by the fun, cutting edge, rule breaking Circle (Google? Facebook? A combination?) I read this on vacation and even though I wouldn’t call it a summer read, it was a page-turner.

 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain

I only recently became aware that I am in introvert. I never wanted to believe that because I think I’m pretty outgoing and social. I have fought against the stigma of being shy and thought I was winning. This book has changed the way I look at everything. I am quiet. I like quiet. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Breakfast with Buddha
by Roland Merullo

This was the first book I’ve gotten through Audible. It took me longer to get through it because I had to listen to it instead of read it. It’s strange, but I think I would have rather read it. It had some real spiritual gems in it, though.

 

The Secret Keeper
by Kate Morton

This was really good. Gripping. It started off slow, although beautifully written, then an unexpected event slaps you across the face. It’s written with such artistry and the author does such good job transporting you to the time and place. Present day England and World War II England. Back and forth. So vivid. The plot pulls you in that you have no choice but to speed read it at the end.

 

The Vacationers
by Emma Straub

I read this over the summer. I felt I had to. I mean, look at that cover. Perfect lounge-lit. I recommend it. If you like to delve into the dysfunctional lives of wealthy New Yorkers and their family vaca plans gone awry. Which I guess I do.

 

Passion Blues
by Sister Ramona Cecille Daily

A collection of poignant, passionate poetry, told from an African-American Christian woman’s view, beautiful and challenging, painful and powerful.

 

Displacement
by Lucy Knisley

I hear about books, you know, in magazines. I put them on my Amazon wish list, so I don’t forget about them. Then, sometimes, people buy them for me for my birthday. This is one of those books. I didn’t know it was a graphic novel until I opened it. I don’t really read graphic novels. But this little guy kind of won me over. I love the illustrations!

 

The Affairs of Others
by Amy Grace Loyd

This is a literary get-a-way. The writing is well-crafted and it transports you to the time and place of the events with such vividness. You need to give it your full attention, preferably lying by the pool while everyone you live with is mysteriously absent. It’s a little dirty, but who doesn’t prefer their novels a little dirty?

 

My Sister’s Keeper
by Jodi Picoult

 

Remember this book, which came out about 10 years ago, about a girl who’s parents force her to be a donor for her sister who has leukemia? It didn’t appeal to me then. If I had read it then (before I had kids) I might have had a completely different opinion. Anyway, it looks at a terrible situation that has no good solution, from everyone’s point of view. It was so much more engaging than I thought it would be. I liked it a lot.

 

Love and Chaos
by Gemma Burgess

Ahhhh, summer. Time to read silly books about silly girls. This book starts out with the main character lamenting that she’s almost 23 years old and still hasn’t figured out life! It’s amazing I continued and finished it. I keep reading Young Adult and not realizing that I am. Actually, this is technically “New Adult.” I think I want to like this genre but I struggle to relate to the protagonists. Is it because I’m out of touch with my younger self? Or is it because these girls seem so girly and sweet compared to how I was?

Coincidentally, right after I finished this book, I read this blog post, on A Cup of Jo about the author. Afterwards I decided she was a very funny and witty writer. I guess I relate to her as an adult. 🙂

 

When You Are Engulfed in Flames
by David Sedaris

If you’ve never read anything by David Sedaris, you should! His short memoir stories are always absurd and relatable at the same time. You’ll laugh and then feel a little bad about it. To redeem yourself, read the book below:

 

Start Where You Are A Guide to Compassionate Living
by Pema Chodron

I love this book and I’ve read it twice! It’s a simple, approachable, easy-to-read book about the sometimes complex, painful practice of meditating, loving yourself and getting along with others.

 

Divergent
by Veronica Roth

Okay, yes, I read this young-adult best-seller. In my defense, it was a gift. I saw the Hunger Games and liked it and this didn’t have any vampires, so I gave it a shot. Both books I read this summer, Divergent and The God of Animals have a common theme—young girl braves the harsh realities of life and loses her innocence. Sort of the theme of every book, right?

 

The God of Animals
by Aryn Kyle

Did you grow up riding horses? I did. This a coming of age tale told from the perspective of a young girl who’s family owns a horse farm. Beautifully sad.

 

Carry On, Warrior
by Glennon Doyle Melton

Amazing. So good. So, so good. I just recently found her blog Momastery.com and really love it. I pre-ordered the book. Just finished it this past Friday. I want to recommend it to all my girl friends, mom or not. So powerful and full of Good. Get it. Read it.

 

The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

I had seen this book recommended so many times. I asked my husband, “Didn’t you get that for Christmas?” “I think so.” “Do you mind if I read it first?” “Go ahead.”

770 friggin’ pages! I loved reading it, though. The writing was so good. Really the best book I’ve read in years. So engaging. I was looking through my Amazon history. My husband did get for Christmas. From me.

 

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

It’s tough to get into a book about nazi Germany. I’m not sure if I liked it. Painful. Thought provoking.

 

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