It’s time for another bookish post here on With Two Spoons. As you might know, we love books just about as much as we love cooking and so every now and then, we share what we’ve been reading and what’s on our TBR (To Be Read) list for fellow bookish foodies. Fall is often a big time for publishers. New titles from established authors tend to be released ahead of the upcoming holiday season so there is generally a lot to choose from. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately and would LOVE to get some book suggestions from you all! This week, I’m rounding up what I’ve read lately and what’s next on my TBR list.
As mentioned above, I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut lately. The end of summer and start of the school year was a little crazy around here and my book habit definitely got pushed to the side. I’m really excited for some cooler weather and a slightly slower pace of things so that I can get back in the reading saddle. So what have I read lately? Here’s the run down…
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THE HEARTBREAKING MEMOIR
THE UNWINDING OF THE MIRACLE: A MEMOIR OF LIFE, DEATH, AND EVERYTHING THAT COMES AFTER by Julie Yip-Williams
This memoir follows the life of Julie Yip-Williams, a woman with an extraordinary story of perseverance in the face of so many obstacles, starting at birth. The book is based on her blog, which she started in 2013 after she was diagnosed with advanced stage colon cancer. Ultimately, the book is a love letter to her family. It is heartbreaking and inspiring all at once. This book is not for the faint of heart but it is well written and moving.
THE ONE ABOUT LIBRARIES
THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orleans
I will confess, this one wasn’t for me. On the surface, it sounds fascinating. The book is a deep dive into 1986 fire that heavily damaged the Los Angeles Public Library. An early pick by Reese Witherspoon for her Hello Sunshine book club, it was billed as a love letter to books and the people who read them. There is some fascinating information about libraries and the role they play in modern communities, but ultimately, it wasn’t the page turner I was hoping for.
THE BIG, SUMMER BEST SELLER
MRS. EVERYTHING by Jennifer Weiner
I had really high hopes for this book. Though I haven’t read a lot of Weiner’s work, I really enjoyed Good In Bed when I read it eons ago and was ready for a fun, well written, summer book. Picked as the Barnes and Noble book club selection earlier this year, it has gotten a lot of buzz. And I think for good reason. The book follows the lives of two sisters from early childhood in the 1950s through adulthood as they grapple with finding and becoming their true selves in a world that is also rapidly changing. Weiner uses the sisters lives to tackle really big, hot button issues and while I enjoyed the book and ultimately would recommend it for fans of hers, it did feel a little heavy handed at times.
A BEACH READ WITH A TWIST
THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang
This book found it’s way to my kindle after it was put on a number of best of summer lists and I randomly added it to my library holds. I haven’t read Hoang’s first book, The Kiss Quotient, but I was looking for some books to lighten up an otherwise heavy reading queue. The Bride Test is the story of Esme, a young, single mom working as a cleaner in Vietnam, who is brought to the states by an ambitious mother, looking for a match for her son, Khai. He wants nothing to do with his mother’s plans. The story is sweet, funny, clever (and, warning: a touch racier than I was expecting!), and ultimately a fun, lighthearted read.
THE CONTEMPORARY MYSTERY
THE WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker
If you’re a fan of books that write fiction around hot button contemporary issues, then this book is definitely for you. It’s a fast paced book about three women attorneys at a large company who find out about a list of bad behavior by men. Written in the time of #metoo, this book is an interesting take on the roles of women, sexual harassment and assault, and what it means to stand up for one another.
THE ELEGANT THRILLER
THE RIVER by Peter Heller
Finally, the book that broke me out of my “meh” slump. This book is fantastic. Peter Heller has long been an excellent writer, commanding the word in a near musical way. This book is absolutely no exception. The River is the story of two friends on a late summer canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness. The river itself is as much a character in the story as the two men, Jack and Wynn. The way that Heller builds tension in this novel is extraordinary. I had to set the book down a few times because I just couldn’t handle it! I loved the pacing and slow, accelerating burn of the plot and the hard but satisfying ending. A highlight of the reading year for me.
So, now that we’ve talked about what I’ve read recently, what’s up next on my TBR? Here’s what I’m planning to tackle in the next few months:
Sword and Pen (The Great Library Series #5) by Rachel Caine
The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur
Want more bookish posts? Check out these from the archive:
That’s it for this week’s post. What have YOU been reading lately? Anything you couldn’t put down? Let us know in the comments! And thanks for sharing.