Thursday, April 26, 2012

{Recent Reads: Part II}

If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the hunt for a good book. I’m constantly asking friends, family + coworkers for reading recommendations. As I mentioned in mylast “Recent Reads” post, with two hours of commuting a day I’ve been reading a ton more than I did when we lived in Portland. I thought I’d share some of the books I’ve read since my last post and also tell you about my new favorite site (nerd alert!) Goodreads. It’s an amazing site where you can rate books you’ve read, keep a list of what you want to read (and even put them in order!) and keep friends up-to-date on what book you’ve currently got your nose in :) I highly recommend the site!

So, here are a few books I’ve devoured recently:
The Guernsey Literary & PotatoPeel Pie Society: Longest, weirdest name for a book, right? While the title doesn’t scream “Read me!”, I couldn’t recommend this one enough. It’s unlike most novels in that the entirety of it is written as a series of letters. I didn’t think I would be into it, but I was pleasantly surprised that I actually loved the style of the book – it worked perfectly for the plot. It’s set in post World War II London & Guernsey (one of the Channel Islands, now of course on my travel list!). The story is a little complicated to explain, so hop on over to Amazon if you want a detailed plot description. I’ll just say that I highly recommend this read!

Lunch in Paris: This book really surprised me. It started out as an enchanting non-fiction story of romance and food set in Paris. It had my mouth watering, ready to pack my bags for a trip to Paris (luckily we already had one planned). As the book goes on it becomes much less a love story and much more about life as an American expat in France. I related so much to this book and found myself constantly nodding at all of the author’s observations, frustrations and experiences living abroad. A huge added bonus is the book is filled with recipes inspired by the author’s years in Paris – I have about 15 I’m planning on making! Definitely another great book to add to your list.

Heaven is Here: Do you all read the blog Nie Nie Dialogues? It’s a hugely popular blog I’m sure many of you know. I am not a die-hard reader, but like to keep up on posts every few weeks. Stephanie Nielsen (the blog’s author) and her husband survived a horrific plane crash in 2008 and this book is all about her life before the accident and how her family, friends and faith got her through the toughest times in her life as she struggled to recover after it (80% of her body was severely burned). It’s a heart-wrenching story, much of which I read with my mouth wide open in awe. I felt so inspired and grateful for life as I read each page. It was a great read and one that reminds you to cherish each day – each mundane task – a lesson always worth revisiting.

The Bungalow: I read this book a couple of months ago while winter was raging in Amsterdam and all the canals were frozen over. I had heard about the book because I follow the author, Sarah Jio, on Twitter and decided to read the synopsis. The second I saw it was set on the island of Bora Bora I decided to give it a try – I was dreaming of a book to help me escape the bitter chill outside! It’s a story set in 1942 about Anne Calloway and what happens when she leaves behind her brand new fiancé to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the island of Bora-Bora. It’s a love story and a mystery. A super enjoyable read that will whisk you away to the South Pacific.

So, that’s it for now. I have four more to tell you about soon. If you want to keep up on what I’m reading – feel free to check out my Goodreads page!