It’s been a little while since my last book post, because I went through some kind of reading slump in the Fall. I don’t know if I just felt busier or more tired, but I couldn’t concentrate on any book I started and just ended up just playing games on my phone before I would fall asleep. (That never makes me feel good. . . )
I’m back on track now, and I credit that to putting away the books that I felt like I should read, not listening so much to other people’s suggestions and just picking something out that sounded good to me based solely on the description. They may not be the latest and greatest, but these are some of the good things I’ve read lately.
Defending Jacob by William Landay From my Instagram story about this book, it seems like a lot of you have read and loved it. After a teenage boy in a small community is found murdered, the story unfolds from the perspective of the assistant district attorney who is the father of 14-year-old boy himself. So, what happens when your own child becomes the main suspect? It becomes a dilemma of devotion and doing your job. I read through this one quickly.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan I missed the craze when this book originally came out but decided to read it before I saw the movie. It was cute, light and easy but honestly, I enjoyed the movie more. It’s hard to beat the costumes and scenery on the screen for this one.
Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle You know I’m a fan of the Big Boo (pod)Cast and Melanie is one of the hosts. I would’ve loved this book anyway, but being able to hear her voice in my head as I was reading made it even better. I can so relate to her 1980s, big-hair-wearing, youth-group-attending childhood. It’s like listening to a good friend tell you funny stories, with a deep appreciation of the small things that really matter.
Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro I heard someone raving about this one on a podcast so I tried it and honestly, I felt meh about it. I even had to look back on Amazon to remember what it was about. Here’s the thing: I don’t mind books about marriages but frankly, I can’t really relate to characters who have all the time in the world to obsess over their feelings and what might be like if their life went in a different direction with someone else. I mean, when do they have the time or inclination to think so much? Why aren’t they driving their kids to practices, making dinner, folding laundry, going to work? I don’t know. . .
The Forgotten Hours by Katrin Schumann This is the story of two childhood friends and the fallout after one accuses the other’s father of sexual assault. The daughter of the accused tells the story, looking back several years after the trial, prepping for her father to be released from prison soon and trying to figure out where her loyalties lie. I thought it was an interesting perspective from someone who is caught in the middle, without knowing the whole truth. I grabbed this one off of the Amazon Prime reading list and would recommend.
The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir This might be my favorite on the list. I wanted to read it ever since I heard the premise was about a 17-year-old girl who is the daughter of a well-known evangelical family with their own reality TV show. The first paragraph reveals she’s pregnant and the family is in full-on crisis management mode. As I was reading, I kept thinking this might have been loosely based on the Duggars. . . If you liked The Mothers (and I did!), I think you’ll love this one.
What are you reading now? And how do you get through a slump?
See more of my book recommendations here.
I’m reading Becoming Mrs. Lewis right now about how Joy Davidson becomes CS Lewis’ wife.
I’m loving it.
I get over my reading funks by not forcing myself to finish a book, I’m not enjoying.
Also tv and movies, podcasts always give me good breaks in between my reading funks.
I get in reading funks sometimes by not wanting to buy new books, library wait lists or having to return the library book before I’m done reading it – or had time to get to it, getting too distracted with audio books, and still not loving digital, kindle books as much. I tried buying used books (to avoid the library problem), only to find I didn’t like the books, and then feel like they clutter my already cluttered home with 5 kids.
How do you get access to all your books?
Emily Clark says
I do end up reading a lot on my Kindle and borrow a lot of those from my library. I also look at the book shelves any time I go into Goodwill or a thrift store. I pay almost nothing so I don’t feel bad about re-donating them if they’re no good.
Jennifer Painter says
Mostly, I listen to books as audiobooks and I still go through slumps. When I do, I just listen to podcasts for a while until I feel like going back to a book. Podcasts are so quick and easy to jump in and out of that it feels freeing at times. Right now I’m in podcast mode. But I overachieved and listened to a lot of books in January. 😂 Two new favorite books that I just finished are “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones and “As Bright as Heaven” by Susan Meissner. Both of these made me feel all the things.
Emily Clark says
Loved An American Marriage, too! I’ve tried so many times and just cannot do audio books. My mind drifts no matter what! I think podcasts are just right for my fleeting attention span :)
I just finished As Bright as Heaven and LOVED it! It was my first by this author but I hope her others are this good! I had to come back and leave a comment because I was sure I got it from your blog. (I read all your book posts, but also the comments have great recommendations too) Emily- I think this would be worth putting on your list!
I just finished Defending Jacob. I really did not like it…perhaps because I have a 14 year old son myself and felt the topic too dark. Because of the reviews, I continued reading and, of course, couldn’t put it down at the end, which was SHOCKING! Thanks for your book review/recommendations. I always start my “to read” lists from yours. Another good source is Reece Witherspoon’s monthly book pick.
Emily Clark says
Same thoughts about the 14-year-old son….Does make it a little harder to read :(
Caroline Hoppe says
I loved The Book of Essie too! I just finished Thirst by Scott Harrison and Verity by Colleen Hoover…both were great! Now I’m reading The List Man by Jane Harper. I love seeing your book reviews! I post my book reviews on Instagram at carolinehoppe14 which has been fun to keep track of them all!
Emily Clark says
Just went through your IG. Thanks for the recommendations :)
I’m a David Baldacci fan and have read all 38 books. Just finished Long Road to Mercy, which introduces a new character, who happens to be a female FBI agent. It was a good book, as all Baldacci’s are, and had my interest right away. Although most of his characters are part of a political thriller, Baldacci has also written some short novels that have nothing to do with politics, agents, etc.
Machele Somerville says
I have been in a funk for about a year now. Probably had something to do with a cross country move and then another move shortly after that. Yikes!
I usually try something light to break out of it. However, I am just starting The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton because I love all of her books and have been waiting for this to come out. My favorite Kate Morton book is The Forgotten Garden. So good!
Emily Clark says
I think two cross country moves would do the same to me!
I’ve read Kate Morton a couple of times but not those two. Thanks for the recommendations.
Try The Simple Wild bt K.A. Tucker.
I’ve read Church of the Small Things and really loved it – I love her too. I don’t generally weigh in on most of the books because I’m a non fiction reader. However I read Before We Were Yours after seeing it on your list and LOVED it. One other thing – Where did you get your rug? ;)
Emily Clark says
I think someone else recommended Before We Were Yours on one of my posts because I haven’t read it yet. BUT, it’s next up sitting on my nightstand now :)
This is the link for my rug, btw.
I finished Crazy Rich Asians, and honestly my thought was, I was 42 on the library list for this? I can’t believe how short of the hype it fell.
And I totally agree with the person who said allow yourselves to not finish a book. That’s a great way to help through a slump. Also, if I am not captivated fairly soon in a book, I’m just not going to make it through. I don’t care how great it is at page 300. Life is too short and there are too many good books for me to have to make it that far to be interested.
I love your book recommendations! I enjoy books similar to what you read. So I always love to read your reviews.
Have a little faith by Mitch Albom
I just finished Beneath the Scarlet Sky, and it was amazing! It’s technically historical fiction, but the subject is still alive so the author interviewed him many times. This is a truly incredible story of an Italian man in Milan during World War II. You can’t believe all he did and that you’ve never heard of him. The Clockmaker’s Daughter. I’m thinking I’m going to have to reread it. I LOVE Kate Morton and have read all her books. They always have an unusual twist, but this one lost me. I was sick when I read it so maybe I missed some details. 🤷🏻♀️ Anyway, I always appreciate your book recommendations! Thanks!
Thanks for the recommendations! I added a few to my never ending list… I recently finished Orange is the New Black, and thought it was fascinating. Currently halfway through Notorious RBG. I mix it up between fiction and books that teach me something.
Sarah Gundel says
I read The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa. It is about a man who travels with his “stray” cat around Japan visiting old friends and trying to find a home for his cat. It is told from the cat’s point of view. Funny, thoughtful, sad and so beautifully written. I have also enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Another author who writes so well, it is about a Count who is sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life in the hotel where he lives. Excellent character development and also has a good dose of humour.
I love memoirs, and three that I’ve really enjoyed lately are:
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Emily Clark says
I’m on the waiting list for Becoming. And really liked Hillbilly Elegy. Thanks!!