What I’ve Read Lately

by jenna on February 25, 2015

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I have been the worst slacker ever in the book review department for the past year lately. The thing is, I have been reading…I just haven’t been the best about sharing! But it does seem like you guys enjoy when I write about books because I probably get more emails requesting book reviews than anything else on this site, if you can believe it. Obviously, I don’t read as much as I used to these days but I do like to read a little bit every night before bed or — the best — on the weekends during naptime!

Here are the the books I’ve read and loved lately! Starting with Luisa’s book, My Berlin Kitchen. I ADORED this book! It was an easy fun read that I happily devoured in two days time. I even made a recipe from it — the beef ragu! — and it was fabulous. Her book is a little bit like my book (shameless plug) in that it’s a memoir written by a food blogger with recipes. I loved getting to know Luisa throughout the pages and read about her life both in Germany and the United States. Since I’ve finished it, I’ve recommended it to several people, all whom also couldn’t put it down! It’s a great “weekend” book and I love that there’s a bit of a love story in it. 😉

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I finally finished this book last week, after not getting to read much due to all the sickness and health stuff that we’ve been dealing with the past few weeks. I liked it a lot! It wasn’t one of my absolute favorites though. I felt like there were too many different plots and characters. Sometimes it was hard to keep everything straight while reading….and it’s a pretty long book. However, it was good and I don’t want to discourage you from picking it up because you might love it.

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I’m a big Anita Diamant fan and was so excited to get my hands on her newest, The Boston Girl. To me, this seemed like the simplest of all her books, but very enjoyable. It proved to be an easy read and I loved the historical context of the main character growing up as a Russian immigrant in Boston. I love reading books set in the early 1900’s and this was a great one. I think The Red Tent will stand as my favorite Diamant book but this comes in a close second. Read it!

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I saved the best for last….you guys, this book was FABULOUS. You know those books you finish and then want to start reading all over again because they are just that good? Well, this is one of those. It’s about a woman who dresses up like a man so she can fight alongside of her husband during the civil war. Yeah, yeah, you guys know my style! I love historical fiction and I’m a sucker for a good love story. This book was right up my ally and it was just really a pleasure to read. I couldn’t put it down!

I always love getting new book ideas! What are you reading now?

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon February 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Thanks for these suggestions! I just read Life in Translation by Jean Kwok and we all really enjoyed it.

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Laura @ Raise Your Garden March 2, 2015 at 4:59 am

Heard that was good too but never ended up getting the book. Maybe my local library will have it. Struggling in the book dept. these days, just haven’t found anything to sink my teeth in. Always looking for suggestions.

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Belinda G February 25, 2015 at 3:02 pm

I’m so excited about your book recommendations! I just finished Girl on a Train. I think you would enjoy it!

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Laurel February 25, 2015 at 3:39 pm

That last one does look good! I’m a sucker for historical fiction too. I recently finished “The Light Between Oceans” and “The Rosie Project”. I liked the first and thought the latter was meh. I’m anxiously awaiting “All the Light We Cannot See” to come in at the library!

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Leanne T February 25, 2015 at 3:58 pm

We just chose “All the Light We Cannot See” for our next book club read. I am so excited, it sounds wonderful. I am also just finishing “The American Way of Eating” a very informative and enlightening book, almost a documentary in book form.

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Robyn @realfoodhwolelife February 25, 2015 at 4:22 pm

All the Light We Cannot See was a favorite read of mine last year. The year was Beautiful Ruins. Oh, and A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon. All three were gorgeous. And then Cooked by Michael Pollen in the non-fiction department.

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Jillian February 25, 2015 at 4:37 pm

I just reviewed “It Was Me All Along” on my blog today! Do you read Andie Mitchell’s blog, or have you read the book? I adore her writing and definitely recommend it!

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Jojo @ Run Fast Eat Lots February 25, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Great list! I wish I read more books. I am currently reading Born to Run

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Jessica February 25, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Thanks for a new what you’ve been reading! I only get to read at night as well ( I have a 3 yr old who stopped napping) I just finished What Alice Forgot, which I thought was pretty good and now I’ve started reading Big Little Lies and it’s very good so far.

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Sara March 4, 2015 at 5:25 pm

I loved both of those books! So good!

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Chicago Jogger February 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm

I just downloaded My Berlin Kitchen! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂 I have an early flight to Seattle tomorrow morning so I’m excited to check it out.

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Steph February 25, 2015 at 8:20 pm

Just finished The Woman Upstairs. Crazy good, could not put it down. Mary Coin is historical fiction you might enjoy, I certainly did. The Light Between Oceans was also gripping.

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Sarah F February 26, 2015 at 1:45 am

This review is perfect timing! I am currently in a book lull. I recently finished Amy Poehler “Yes Please” (which to be honest I didn’t love) and “Unbroken” (which I loved and highly recommend). I later watched the “Unbroken” movie and drove my boyfriend crazy as I continued to give him updates on how it really happened.

Thanks for these suggestions. And I agree- Red Tent is an amazing book!

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Emily @ Life on Food February 26, 2015 at 3:06 am

I do enjoy these posts! Thanks for the update; I am always looking for some new books.

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Anna February 26, 2015 at 3:10 am

Thanks for this!! I’m always looking for new books to read <3

https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

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Kelly February 26, 2015 at 5:06 am

Just finished Clara’s War by Klara Cramer. I think you would really like it. It’s not fiction, but it tells of her survival when her family was forced to go into hiding while living in Poland during WWII. I couldn’t put it down. Her story is amazing.

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Katie sB February 26, 2015 at 6:26 am

Just finished Girl on a Train. It was really good. Historical fiction is my absolute favorite genre too!

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Colleen February 26, 2015 at 7:06 am

Have you picked up your copy of LIW’s Pioneer Girl yet? I’ve been reading it since it came out, not a quick read with all its footnotes, but it is so worth it. Also, I Shall Be Near to You sounds very much like Rita Mae Brown’s High Hearts, I read it years ago when it came out (1987!, can’t believe it) great book. I always enjoy your book recommendations. And your crockpot maple Dijon pork chops

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Joanne February 26, 2015 at 7:17 am

Thanks Jenna for your recommendations! I just finished “A House in the Sky”. An amazing book! I could not put it down!

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Jessica Mennie February 26, 2015 at 7:23 am

I am unbelievably addicted to reading. My favourite place on the internet is Good Reads too. I really like the sound of I Shall be Near to You. That’s being added to my read list!

Jess X

chasinglifeandme.blogspot.co.uk

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Colleen February 26, 2015 at 7:41 am

Someone recommended “The Red Tent” to me. What did you enjoy about it? Right, now, I’m reading Jennifer Lopez’s book, “True Love”, with “Wild” and “Still Alice” on deck. JL is not what you think – it follows her on her first world tour but also she examines personality traits since birth that trip her up – a self reflection.

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Becky S February 26, 2015 at 8:21 am

Another vote for All the Light We Cannot See, which I just finished! A great historical fiction read.

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Casey February 26, 2015 at 9:45 am

Love your book recommendations! I always search your site when I’m at a loss for something new to read. Thank you! 🙂

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Brianna T. February 26, 2015 at 10:28 am

If you haven’t read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I definitely recommend it. It’s Scottish historical fiction with a great romance and a little time travel.

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Julie February 26, 2015 at 10:48 am

“Still Alice” is the best book I’ve read in a long time. I really enjoyed “Big Little Lies” too. And I always recommend “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosnay & “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult. Both are long-time faves.

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paj February 26, 2015 at 11:15 am

I Shall Be Near To You was a serious page turner! I love historical fiction too, so always glad when you share reviews 🙂

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Caroline February 26, 2015 at 1:38 pm

From the non-fiction camp, I’ve been reading ‘Prayer, Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God’ by Tim Keller, and wow has it been convicting/challenging/inspiring!

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Nicki February 26, 2015 at 7:22 pm

I just finished “All the Light We Cannot See” which I loved and I started “The Boys in the Boat” right after and have not been able to put that down, either! Highly recommend both!!

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Jessica February 27, 2015 at 7:06 am

Historical fiction is the best! I especially love the Civil War/Victorian era and WWII. I’m currently reading Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott. It is about real life female spies during the Civil War from both sides! Fascinating! And it’s not a lot of details…more like a story.

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Luv What You Do February 28, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Boston girl is on my list too!!!

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Amanda February 28, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Where/who do you get your book recommendations?

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PamL February 28, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Here is a Christian historical fiction series that I really enjoyed by Lynn Austin. I don’t know if you have read it, but I just stumbled across them and loved them all.
Candle in the Darkness (Refiner’s Fire, Book 1), which you can get for free right now on Amazon Kindle.
Fire by Night (Refiner’s Fire, Book 2) is also really, really good.
A Light to My Path (Refiner’s Fire, Book 3), probably my least favorite of the three, but still good. Hope you can enjoy them!

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Brigid February 28, 2015 at 6:31 pm

I strongly recommend Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano. It’s a true story written in novel form about an Italian Immigrant. I think you will love it.

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Heide February 28, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Wow, you’ve read so many interesting books. I wish I can do the same because lately I haven’t been reading books much. I’ve been so busy with work, business, my blog and everything. You’re so inspirational. I want to take some time off and read now.

Stay Wonderful Always,
Heide
Kintsugi of Life

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Ruth Crumplar March 2, 2015 at 6:59 am

Thanks for the suggestions! Have you read “All The Light We Cannot See” yet? It’s not only one of the best books I’ve read in the past year, but probably one of the books I’ve ever read. And it’s historical fiction – so you should definitely check it out!

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jen@jpabstfitness March 3, 2015 at 10:56 am

love reading at night, perfect wind down :). I’m currently reading Deeper than the Dead.

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Lauren March 3, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Thank you for the recommendations! I’m actually going to be spending a month in Berlin (leaving next week), so ‘My Berlin Kitchen’ really appeals to me right now.

I’m currently re-reading ‘Cat’s Cradle,’ by Vonnegut. It’s one of my all-time favorite books. Prior to that, I read (and loved) a book of poems called ‘Incarnadine,’ by Mary Szybist.

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India March 3, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Thank you for your recommendations. I also LOVE historical fiction and recently read “Orphan Train”. It may’ve been due to a post of yours, but I really loved it. Thanks for sharing with us. I just placed a hold on “I Shall Be Near to You”.

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Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner March 4, 2015 at 6:51 am

I’m reading ‘Delicious!’ now and love it so far.

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Judith Scott March 4, 2015 at 1:14 pm

I totally agree about All the Light..Awesome, and a choice of my book club too. Just finished The Storied Life of AJ Fickry, very cute. We also have The Boys on the Boat, which I haven’t started yet, but sounds great. And if you’re a fan of reading about cooking/chefs, read The Apprentice by Jacques Pepin. I had the pleasure of meeting him recently and got him to sign my copy. Charming man, great story.

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A. March 4, 2015 at 8:38 pm

Have you read Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking? It’s a unique memoir/history/cookbook.

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Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel March 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Great books! <3

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Katherine March 9, 2015 at 9:08 pm

I just finished The Boston Girl yesterday!!!! Not only is the early 20th century one of my favorite periods to read historical fiction and novels about (as well as literature and poetry from), but also, I fell in love with Diamont’s characters. I agree that the plot was somewhat formulaic and/or predictable, but the emotional aspect of the story apealled to me, and got me hooked, reading all day on Sunday.

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Taylor DuVall March 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

I’m finishing up my BA in English, so I really don’t have time to read for pleasure right now. But I’m adding books to my wish list to prepare for graduation! Can’t wait to try a couple of these! Thanks!

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Emellie Rustemian March 17, 2015 at 6:23 am

I am pretty new to your side but I was wondering if you have read Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan. So funny and so good! I highly recommend if you haven’y!

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Parham March 26, 2015 at 10:15 am

I think we have the same taste in books! Every time I read one of the books you suggest, I love it! I nominated “The Boston Girl” for the book club I’m in, and just finished it the other day. Now, I’m going to get “I shall be near to you” from the library! Also, loved the “Orphan Train” and “Necessary Lies.” More suggestions please!!!

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