I’ve always been a big reader and could finish a couple books per week. It’s funny, my boyfriend is the complete opposite and can’t even remember the last time he cracked open a non-school book. I love getting caught up in a good book and paying no mind to time and the goings-on around me. With reading, I’ve been able to meet so many different characters, live around the world and experience adventures that take me away from my routines and life. I’ll choose a book over a movie any day and in true introvert fashion, I have actually stayed home rather than attend parties or social gatherings in lieu of reading. True story.
Unfortunately this past year I was seriously lagging in the reading department. This year, I made it one of my top 2018 goals to read at least 1 book per month. Keep reading to see my current reading list of best books and top picks to start 2018 (along with a few you can totally skip!)>>
Fitness Junkie: A Novel– Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
The book I’m currently reading comes from authors of The Knockoff, which if you haven’t read, is a MUST and is definitely on my best books ever list, especially if you do or have ever wanted to work in the fashion world (bloggers included!). Fitness Junkie is about Janey who is the CEO of a wedding dress designer company and is basically forced by the designer (and her BFF) to either lose weight or lose her job. Janey opts for the former and takes readers on her fitness journey complete with intense boot camps run by former Sri Lankan militia, a topless yoga class, intensely aggressive spinning classes (think opposite of Soul Cycle- more like soul crushing) and she befriends a shaman and even tries out Whole Foods dumpster diving on a first date. It’s a hilarious book that pokes fun at the often times wacky wellness industry and new fitness fad classes. Definitely an enjoyable read that will have you thinking, “do people actually do this??”
According to a Source– Abby Stern
This book popped up on Amazon as a suggested book I might enjoy– Amazon was spot on. The story revolves around a Hollywood gossip reporter who is pressured by her boss to betray her celebrity friends for a juicy story. Having a journalism background myself, it sounds like a light-hearted and entertaining read that is perfect for a lazy weekend and I’m looking forward to digging in.
On my must-read list:
Amanda Wakes Up– Alisyn Camerota
I started reading this and my library digital loan period ended (boo!) and I’m on the hold list now so I haven’t had a chance to finish it yet. So far I’m loving it! The story follows Amanda, a local news reporter who gets her break covering a hostage situation… while in her bikini bottoms no less. She lands a new morning anchor slot for a major media company. Even though it means a bigger salary, it also means bigger struggles and more stress. I definitely can’t wait to see how my namesake manages in these bigger britches.
Still Me– Jojo Moyes
I’ve been a huge fan of this series, first with ‘Me Before You’ and then ‘After You.’ This novel follows main character Louisa Clark across the pond as she starts her new nanny job in NYC. Louisa is always getting herself into adventures and it will be interesting to see where she ends up, who comes into her life this time and how her past will come in to play. Jojo Moyes has become one of my personal favorite authors so I’m looking forward to her newest read.
A Stranger in the House – Shari Lapena
I’ve shared a few lighthearted reads, let’s move into the darker, more thrilling stuff :cue creepy laugh: I think it may be a bit of an understatement to say I was hooked on ‘The Couple Next Door’… I finished it in a single afternoon– I could NOT put it down. I’m hoping Shari Lapena’s latest is just as good… if not better. This one is about a man who returns home to find his wife missing yet he soon finds out she was in a car accident and was admitted to the hospital. Once Karen (the wife) returns home after her accident, she realizes something is not quite right and that someone else– someone that shouldn’t have been– has been in the house. OoooOooo…
The Lying Game– Ruth Ware
After finishing ‘The Woman in Cabin 10,’ there was a snippet from this book and I was instantly hooked. The story is about four friends who met at boarding school and would play the Lying Game, telling disturbing lies to their peers and school faculty, but one strict rule- no telling lies to each other, ever. Unfortunately the game comes to a tragic end and the girls are expelled from the school. Flash forward to present day and one of the women, Kate, sends a cryptic “I need you” text to the others who come back to their hometown and must face the past. I love a good who-done-it read with twisty turns and suspense; hoping the rest of the novel is as good as the preview!
Dallas Shaw is one of my favorite fashion illustrators and I was elated when I won her book recently! Using her own experience and insight behind-the-fashion-scenes, Dallas shares her tips to help readers develop & maintain their own personal style and serves up some serious fash-spiration.
One of my big goals for 2018 is to get my personal budget under control and be more mindful of my finances. In this book, the author, financial expert Nicole Lapin, shares her best advice to help women take charge of their money and finances. She provides tips on budgeting, how to create short and long-term financial plans, the 411 on 401(k)s, credit cards, mortgages and more. To me, this seems like a self-help book that will actually provide important tips and advice on how to navigate the adulting world of financial matters… in a way that will totally make sense!
Books to Skip:
All Grown Up– Jami Attenberg
This is a book that I had read so many good reviews but for the life of me, I could not get into the story. I ended up quitting about a quarter of the way in. The premise follows Andrea, a single woman living outside Manhattan who drinks too much, has a lot of random sexual encounters (not so much as the ‘I’m a single gal and enjoying it’ but more as the ‘I don’t care what happens to my body” type), does drugs and doesn’t have much going for her. I felt like the story jumped around a lot (it’s written in vignettes through past and present) and I found the character unrelatable and overall just unlikeable– I can’t stand people who are constantly whiny, cynical and negative about everything in life (a very woe-is-me type) so I couldn’t get into this book. Definitely not what I was expecting. If you did read it and enjoyed it, to each their own but it’s passable for me.
Marlena– Julie Bunton
This was another book I got halfway into and didn’t finish. The story isn’t bad per say, it was just written in a way that was unbelievably boring to me. Like, it was literally putting me to sleep. The story is narrated by Cat and flashes back to her teenage year she moved to a rural town in Michigan and befriends her streetwise neighbor, Marlena and is lured into her sordid life and is introduced to cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Marlena unexpectedly dies that year (we know this from the very first pages of the book, no spoilers here) and Cat attempts to forgive and move on with her life as an adult struggling with alcoholism.
Into the Water– Paula Hawkins
This novel comes from the author of ‘The Girl on a Train’ so I couldn’t wait to get my hands and sink (pun intended) into this one. It’s a classic who-done-it that keeps you guessing until the end. Not a bad story but the way it was written– it jumps around from narrator to narrator… like 10 of them… and can be super confusing. There is no in-depth focus on any of the characters so it was hard to find one that you wanted to root for. Honestly, the only likable one for me was the dead woman. While I didn’t hate this book, I just don’t think it’s ‘The Girl on a Train’ worthy and by the end of it, I didn’t care who did it, I just wanted the book to be over.
What’s topping your best books list? Share in the comments below!