what i’m reading now

by jenna on January 28, 2012

A few of you have been asking about my book reviews lately and I don’t blame you—I feel like it’s been forever since I last posted one! The truth is, I just haven’t really been reading much lately (hides face in shame). I know, I know! I’ve been a bad reader. I’ve just been so busy finishing my own book (out on September 4th!), starting yoga teacher training and cooking up five creative meals a week for you guys. Oh yeah, and I discovered the hilarity of Modern Family on itunes. So there. That’s what I’ve been up to lately!

This book by Elizabeth Berg was the last book I read, and I finished it about two weeks ago. I absolutely love Elizabeth Berg’s writing style and her prose is so powerful with human emotion that it almost reads like poetry to me. This book, about three siblings coming to terms with the fact that one of them had been being secretly abused by their mother for years, was powerful to say the least. I read it when I had that awful two week sinus infection/cold/flu/ear infection mess, and it’s stayed with me. Some may call Berg nothing more than a “chick lit author” but this is the fourth book I’ve read by her and I beg to differ. She’s a wonderfully talented writer with deep plots and character development. When I think “chick lit”, I think more of a trashy romance novel to take to the beach.

This is not that.

I also just started The Baker’s Daughter two days ago and plan to get some serious reading time in on my long flight to Florida on Monday. I’ve only read about 10% (thanks, kindle), but so far I LOVE IT. I’ll keep you guys posted though and write my thoughts when I finish it.

Happy Saturday!

 

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 28, 2012 at 5:50 am

Not that I need another book to add on to my mile long “must read” list but this one sounds interesting and I enjoy Elizabeth Berg too. Definitely not “chick lit” in my opinion either.

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erin@smallthings January 28, 2012 at 6:09 am

Glad to hear you mention YOUR book again. would love to hear more about that process when/if you’d like to share!

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jenna January 28, 2012 at 8:06 am

That’s a great idea for a post, thanks!

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Rachel January 28, 2012 at 6:24 am

I think Elizabeth Berg walks a perfect line between “chick lit” and “high-class fiction.” I have read many of her books and you’re right–her voice and wonderful talent for creating deep characters make her books real joys to read.

I just received Drowning Ruth in the mail based on your raves; I can’t wait to dive into it this weekend!

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Julie January 28, 2012 at 6:41 am

I completely agree – Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite writers. The stories are deep and meaningful, but you don’t have to over-think them. I love how she gets you right in to the characters’ lives from the get-go and you just care so quickly about what’s happening with them. Easy to get into and not difficult to read, but not chick lit either! I recommend her to everyone!

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Frida January 28, 2012 at 6:45 am

I’d like to read that one.

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Michelle January 28, 2012 at 6:51 am

I loved that book! I’ll have to check out The Bakers Daughter I am in need of new titles to read!

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Liz January 28, 2012 at 6:54 am

Jenna, I am wondering if you ever switch to a dramatically different genre. All of the books you mention tend to be high-quality, well-received novels, but all are in a similar genre… even the titles bear a certain similarity in a somewhat indescribable way. Do you ever switch to, say, crime novels? Non-fiction? Foreign works? Or have you just found (after being an English major who probably had to read widely) what works for you, and you stick with it?

(Asked from the perspective of a Library Director.)

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Jen January 28, 2012 at 7:11 am

I was wondering the same! I usually read fiction myself but enjoy different genres – young adult, non-fiction, academic. It opens you up to whole new literary worlds.

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jenna January 28, 2012 at 8:03 am

I do love reading memoirs, but for the most part I do stick with literary fiction. I just love it. I think because in college, I read so much “required reading” that after I graduated it was fun to just read for pleasure. I’ve always loved historical fiction, so that’s my favorite genre. For my teacher training program, I have to read about ten different books on the history of yoga, anatomy and physiology and I’m looking forward to switching my usual literary fiction genre books with that. The books I post on the blog though are books one might read in their book club and I do that not only because I enjoy them so much, but because the majority of my readers love the same type of books I do!

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Karen January 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

Jenna – If you feel like switching it up with a memoir, I highly recommend “An Invisible Thread.” It’s really powerful (and uplifting.)

http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Thread-11-Year-Old-Panhandler-Executive/dp/1451642512/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327774248&sr=1-1

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Urban Wife January 28, 2012 at 7:56 am

I always enjoy your ‘what i’m reading now’ posts! I’ve been on the longest Diane Chamberlain kick now {almost have finished devouring all her books!} thanks to your suggestions. Enjoy your time in Florida! :)

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Margarita January 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

Never heard of Elizabeth Berg… Might be a good time to start. Sometimes, the books that my book club picks are too serious and intense, like 500 pages nonfiction intense. Reading those almost feels like homework. Have fun in Florida.

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Jenn January 28, 2012 at 9:41 am

Am I crazy or did you recently recommend The Lost Wife? At any rate, I read it and absolutely loved it. Thanks for all the great recs!

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Emily @ The Swallow Flies January 28, 2012 at 9:41 am

I love Elizabeth Berg, too, and was reminded of this article (with Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner) when you mentioned “chick lit”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-pinter/jodi-picoult-jennifer-weiner-franzen_b_693143.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=583551,b=facebook.

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

Since one of my goals for 2012 was to read a book each month and I have yet to crack one open, this might have to be the first!

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Erin January 28, 2012 at 9:50 am

LOVE Elizabeth Berg! One of my favorite books is “Joy School.” It’s such a wonderful description of first/unrequited love.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 28, 2012 at 11:15 am

Congrats on finishing your own book, Jenna! That’s awesome. You must feel so proud, relieved, and happy!

And of course your yoga teacher training…life-changing and such a gift that you’re giving to yourself. I hope you are loving it!

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Diane January 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I just finished Lost Wife as well. I can’t stop thinking abt it!

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Jen January 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Gosh, I’ve been reading Elizabeth Berg for years – over a decade – and I have would have never guessed anyone would characterize her writing style as chick lit. She has won two American Library Association’s Best Books of the Year awards, and another of her books was shortlisted for for the Abby (American Bookseller’s Book of the Year). I think she’s just amazing and I read every single one of her books as soon as they come out. I think my absolute favorite is Durable Goods, which came out in 1993 when I was 13, like the main character. I read it then and loved it, then read it as an adult and loved it even more.

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megan January 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I absolutely love reading books and you should defiantly read the book called The Lovely Bones. Yes there is a movie but I would recommend the book instead.

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Jaime January 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Love Elizabeth Berg! One of her quotes from her book Home Safe always helps remind me to pick up a new book: “Books don’t take time away from us … They give it back. In this age of abstraction, of multitasking, of speed for speed’s sake, they reintroduce us to the elegance – and the relief! – of real tick-tock time.” Your book reviews have been added to my “must read” lists!

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Allison January 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Thanks for this! I have been in need of some good books.

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Christena January 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

We must have the same taste in books. I absolutely LOVED this book – read it about 2 years ago and it is one that stuck with me.

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pluvk January 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I just finished this book! It wasn’t one of my favorites, to be honest, but I do love Berg’s writing style.

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Cait's Plate January 29, 2012 at 5:14 am

I’m JUUUUST finishing up The Alchemist and need a new book – will definitely look into this :)

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rishad January 29, 2012 at 5:47 am

I will wait for you new book, nice writing , good language.

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Kayley January 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

You must add Kate Morton to your list of authors – “The House at Riverton” and “Forgotten Garden.” Both are stories of modern women mixed with historical fiction, and with great mysteries mixed in. I devoured both of them and am just starting her third book now. Sounds like they would be right up your alley!

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Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles January 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Oooh, I am half-way through The Marriage Plot and loving it. I’m reading with great haste, as the library has given me a one-week time limit. Boo.

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Heather January 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Did you know you can watch full episodes of some shows, including Modern Family, on Hulu.com for free? iTunes can get expensive.

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Jamie@everydaydolce.com January 29, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I will have to check this out! I love your book recommendations! :)

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Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables January 30, 2012 at 6:14 am

I love Elizabeth Berg, I will definitely have to pick this book up next! I’m reading The Night Circus right now. Just started it but I think it’s going to be good!

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erin@smallthings February 1, 2012 at 11:02 am

So I just finished reading “The Art of Mending” and was distracted by this odd exchange between Laura and her friend Maggie where Laura recommends this very specific book (as in title +author) and says that its her favorite book. I kept thinking that the reference would come up again in the story, because it seemed so staged or purposeful, but it never did. At the library this morning I did a search for the book out of curiousity and it’s a real book! so i checked it out to see if it related or if it was just a plug for a friends book. kooky. The book: Lost Lake, by Mark Slouka

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Jenn February 7, 2012 at 5:50 am

Not sure if you’ve finished The Baker’s Daughter but I just finished it last night and I cannot say enough good things about it. I absolutely loved the book. It’s one of those that stays with it even after it’s over.

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elysejulianne February 19, 2012 at 12:46 am

Some quotable lines in this book definitely. Not my most favorite book-but it has some of my most favorite quotes.

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Shelley February 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I borrowed The Art of Mending from the library after seeing this post. I loved it. I read the entire book yesterday because I couldn’t put it down. There are so many themes/ideas in the book that struck me. I think I may actually buy the book so I can read it again (not something I normally do). I can’t wait to read more of her books. I also grabbed We Are All Welcome Here so I’m anxious to dive into it. I agree on her style. I started a different book by another author this weekend but just couldn’t get into it because I disliked the writing style.

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