Howdy from Texas!
While the rest of the internet is bringing you Thanksgiving recipe after Thanksgiving recipe this week, I decided to take a break from the kitchen and share with you some of my favorite reads lately instead. I’ve shared so many Thanksgiving recipes over the years on this site and you all know where you can find them. Today, let’s talk about books instead because a long weekend probably means you have some extra time to read, right?
Listen. I have been really trying to not be on my phone in the evenings any more. The struggle is real, you guys! And it totally sucks you in. You think “I’ll just scroll Facebook one time – just to check (check WHAT?!)” and then it’s an hour later, you’re exhausted and ready for bed. Let the cycle stop. I’m bringing back good old fashioned conversation and books for a change. It feels good to get in the habit of reading again. Reading really is one of my greatest joys. I can’t imagine life without novels. I truly feel bad for people who don’t like to read.
So here’s a list of the books I’ve been reading! You all always ask me for book recommendations so hopefully I can get back in the habit of sharing more (maybe monthly?) if it’s something you want to see. I know I always love getting good recommendations from people. So here you go 🙂
Lilac Girls. This was the best book I have read all year. Seriously, it was SO GOOD. I sort of picked it up on a whim and devoured it in two days. When a busy mom of toddlers manages to read a book in two days…heck, two weeks, it’s worth talking about. It’s historical fiction (which, you guys know how much I love!) and follows the lives of three women during World War Two – a New York socialite, a prisoner in a concentration camp and a Nazi doctor. I found it absolutely fascinating and so well written. I loved the ending! I basically put my life on hold for two days (sorry kids) while I read this book. It’s a must read!
Crazy in the Kitchen. I picked this up at my parent’s house a few weeks ago and was so glad I did! It’s a foodie memoir…but, really, more about the Italian American immigrant experience in the 40’s and 50’s. I really loved it. It wasn’t exactly what I thought (I thought it would be more focused on food and include recipes) but I found it extremely interesting and it was a rather quick read.
The Storyteller. I grabbed this in an airport and absolutely devoured it. I have read everything by Jodi Picoult and although this isn’t her newest book out, somehow I missed it when it originally got published? I must have been busy having a kid or something. 😉 Anyway, it’s also about the Holocaust (sheesh jenna…read something light for a change!) but it involves a baker and there’s lots of great food writing involving bread and pastries. I could not BELIEVE the ending and seriously thought about this for days and days after.
L’Appart. This is David Lebovitz’s newest book and I was so excited to get my hands on it! I absolutely love him. I love his writing. I love his recipes. I love his blog. And I was so incredibly sad that I missed him when he actually came twenty minutes from my house last week on his book tour. I just couldn’t drag my toddlers to a book signing though at 4pm. It’s not how I want David to remember me. 😉 Anyway – I loved the book. I knew I would. He’s an absolutely hysterical writer and he makes me want to move to France. Oh! And the recipes! I can’t wait to try those buckwheat chocolate chip cookies…mmmmmmm.
Euphoria.This was one of those books that seriously sat on my book shelf collecting dust for THREE YEARS before I opened it. I have no idea why. Again, I was probably busy having kids. I finally picked it up one evening and so glad I did. I loved this!!! It’s historical fiction about Margaret Mead, someone I basically knew nothing about. It’s another quick-ish read and I highly recommend it. A page turner, for sure.
Of Mess and Moxie. Well, of course I had to read and review Jen Hatmaker’s latest and greatest. I’ve read basically everything she has written and am a huge fan of hers in general. She is SO FUNNY. Like all her books, I found myself laughing out loud. She has this way of writing where you feel like it’s written just for you. Like, exactly what you need to hear. She makes me feel better about my life and my mothering abilities. I think we all have those days where we just feel like rather a crappy mom and Jen is here to tell us that it is okay and you’re not alone and sometimes as long as your kids are fed and alive you are doing a great job. 😉
ChrissyNovember 21, 2017 at 6:00 am
Thank You!!! I always enjoy books you recommend. Have you read A Man Called Ove or Beartown by Frederik Backman? They are both fantastic reads.
LauraNovember 21, 2017 at 6:35 am
The ending of The Storyteller is WILD! I remember talking to a friend when I was in the middle of it and saying I liked it okay, then I finished later that day and called her back saying, you *have* to read this.
Ashley LNovember 21, 2017 at 7:14 am
Have you read Jodi Picoult’s newest book it’s amazing. Definitely a must read. I read it in three days as a mom of two toddlers.
HeatherNovember 21, 2017 at 7:28 am
Thank you for this round up! I would love to see a monthly recommendation for books. I’ve been trying to ditch the phone at night too and reading creates such a nice mental reprieve after mom’ing all day 😉
ColleenNovember 21, 2017 at 8:40 am
LOVE all of these, and great timing with the long weekend! Thanks for sharing!
Eat, Live, Run Fall Reading List – Gym BuddiesNovember 21, 2017 at 8:49 am
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miloNovember 21, 2017 at 10:19 am
Thanks for the recommendations!
KristinNovember 21, 2017 at 12:15 pm
SOLD on Lilac Girls! I’m a historical fiction junkie too and this one sounds right up my ally. I also have to agree that it’s nice discussing *anything* but food two days before Thanksgiving! 😉
AshleyNovember 21, 2017 at 12:28 pm
Thanks for sharing! These are some of my favorite posts. I’m also a mom of toddlers and cherish my alone time – I feel so much more fulfilled and inspired and refreshed when I’ve read a book rather than spent time online. Please keep these posts coming. Happy holidays to you and your beautiful family.
CarrieNovember 21, 2017 at 12:47 pm
Thanks for the recommendations. If you haven’t yet read “The Language of Flowers” by Vaness Diffenbaugh, you should – I HIGHLY recommend it. Other good ones I’ve read this year were “Americanah” by Chimmanda Ngozi Adichie, “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel Brown, and I’m reading “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson now. Seriously, though – The Language of Flowers!
PaulaNovember 21, 2017 at 2:55 pm
Love book recommendations!!
I can second Language of Flowers – I just read the Rent Collector. That was great.
Are you on Goodreads?
BeckyNovember 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm
Perfect timing for posting this article! I have a few days of no grad school classes and was looking to head to the library to pick up some Thanksgiving break reads later today. I too am trying to break the habit of mindlessly surfing the internet in the evenings.
SarahNovember 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm
Similar situation with Euphoria, had it on the shelf for over a year but didn’t read it. I think I didn’t like the cover. Finally opened it up and LOVED it
ShannonNovember 22, 2017 at 12:19 pm
Thank you! May I highly suggest A Gentleman in Moscow.
GwenNovember 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm
I’d be curious for others’ opinions of Lilac Girls! While I was moved by the Ravensbrück “Rabbits,” I didn’t think the book did the story justice; I found the author doing more “tell” than “show” without much insight into the characters’ motivations. Like Jenna, I still read the book in two days… Has anyone else read this one?
KarenNovember 25, 2017 at 8:41 am
Any recommendations for a light hearted and funny read? I’m home with a newborn and could use something fun for the night feedings! Thanks all!
LisaNovember 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm
Where’d You Go Bernadette is a funny one.
KathNovember 26, 2017 at 6:24 am
Every time you write about your favorite books I put at least 3 on my Kindle wish list immediately!
AmyNovember 26, 2017 at 7:18 pm
If you liked “Lilac Girls,” I’d recommend “The Alice Network.” It alternates chapters between a woman in a female spy network during WWII and a college-aged woman looking for her cousin Rose during WWII. It’s really strong writing and has a compelling storyline. It has some characters who were real people during this time. It made me want to read more about this time in history.
If you like WWII stories, you might like the YA books “Code Name Verity” and “Rose under Fire.” They are both really moving, well-written books.
KristinNovember 27, 2017 at 5:21 pm
I usually don’t comment but I have to share that I’ve been reading the little house series again and researching Laura Ingalls Wilder after reading little house on the prairie with my 4th graders this year (first time reading with the class as a coteacher). As a fellow lover of little house, do you reccomend any of the related books or biographies about Wilder? I’m thinking Pioneer Girl next as I never read it. Wow I love these bookS!
TinaDecember 2, 2017 at 3:04 pm
You’ve absolutely sold me on the first two books. Especially the second. I’m part Italian and Sicilian so it sounds like its right up my street. My pile of books to read is already quite long, but I think it just got two more books on it!