March 29, 2013

on books I read that I loved...

I've read more in the past six months than I have in probably the past two years. Our library is right next to a park, so Eisley and I end up there at least a few times a week. I love that I have helped start her love affair with books so early. She will sit with a stack of books for longer than she'll stay in one place with anything else. It's magical.

Recently, I've read quite a few books that I could hardly put down (best feeling ever!) and I thought I'd start sharing some of my favorites. I always love seeing what other people are reading and recommending, so it's my turn, folks!

The Little House Series — There's a certain point in The Happiness Project when Gretchen Rubin writes about how much she loves children's literature. I love her for writing about her own guilty pleasure, and it made me want to go back and re-read some of the books that are so memorable from my own childhood. First on my list were the Little House books, and I can't even express how much I still adore them. I want to live on the banks of Plum Creek. No, really. It's an issue.

Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer — Polygamy is one of those subjects that I can't stop reading about. When I saw this book on Amazon, I immediately reserved it at our library. It's one of the best memoirs I've read in a while, and different than the other books I've read on polygamy. Irene was just a teenager when she married into a group that lived without running water or electricity, out in the middle of the Mexican desert. Completely and utterly fascinating.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty — The cover of this book makes it look like a typical chick lit sort of deal, but I don't think that does the story justice. The main character, Alice, hits her head and "loses" the last decade of her life, thinking she is ten years younger than she actually is. It's a very beautiful and honest story about just how much our lives (and relationships, in particular) can change, and how we truly forget how things used to be.

Dark Places by Jillian FlynnVery intense book, but after reading Gone Girl I really wanted to read another one of Jillian Flynn's novels. It's an incredibly dark story, but (despite being a total wimp and rather squeamish) I have a slight obsession with murder mysteries and psychological thrillers. So, this was a nice change of scenery for me, when it comes to books!

Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr — Oh, my gosh. Loved it. I can't write enough about this book in a few sentences, so I'm just going to tell you to read it and just take all the information you can from it. I love how it's written—very relatable and charming. Kind of like a blog post in a book. Kris Carr is a gem.

A Love That Multiplies by Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar — Rant all you want about this family, but there's something to be said about a family with 19 smart, polite, well-rounded kids and zero debt. I get a bit defensive when I hear people railing on them, mostly because I feel they wouldn't be such a target if they weren't so open about their religious beliefs. I'd recommend reading the book (in secret, if you think people will give you the judgy-face) if only to clear up the many, many untruths and misconceptions that are floating around when it comes to this family.

To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal — My mother-in-law lent me this book and I read it in two days. It's the story of a woman (the author) who drowned and went to heaven, but there's is so much more to the story than just that part of her life. The author is an incredibly intelligent and accomplished woman—an orthopedic surgeon, in fact. Hearing this story from someone who is in no way just trying to benefit from telling an outrageous story makes it so much more believable to anyone who may be a bit of a skeptic. Also, I cried my eyes out for the duration of the book, so you may want to prepare yourself.

Being Kendra and Sliding into Home by Kendra Wilkinson — My older sister recommended one of Kendra's memoirs to me, otherwise I don't think I would have ever picked them up! I am totally that person who has always been quite judgemental of the stripper/Playboy lifestyle, but for that reason I'm grateful I read these books. Kendra is so open and honest about every bit of her life, and at this point I find myself actually relating to someone who couldn't be more different than me. My favorite part of the books is when she talks about how becoming a mom has changed her, and also openly admitting that reality shows are so not real life. I have crazy respect for anyone in Hollywood who is anti-Hollywood-lifestyle, and Kendra is totally that girl. And I want to hang out with her.


  1. Long time reader (since before baby was even around), first time commenter... thanks for sharing your book reads, now I have to go shopping! :)

  2. LOVE love love Little House. I know they're often treated as girl books, but I'm hoping my son enjoys them when he grows up (I envision us reading them together).

    I also loved What Alice Forgot. Very thought-provoking.

  3. I am definitely adding a few of these books to my list for the summer! Thanks for sharing.

    I recently finished the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles series and they were both really good. First is Cinder, then Scarlet. I was tentative at first because they're set in the future, a bit too science-fiction I assumed. But I really got into both of them. There's a hint of Disney story-line thrown in and I had a hard time putting them down once I got started.

  4. I want to read all of these! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I added some of these to my list - Heaven and Back sounds very interesting. Also? I'm so happy you're back to blogging again. I heart you <3

  6. totally recommend Gillian Flynn's third book, Dark Places. It was so good! So similarly intense and crazy but I loved it! And thanks for the recs, I'm going to add some of these to my list! Hurray books!

  7. I just ordered Crazy Sexy Diet. I just also ate 2 more Cadbury mini eggs in preparation for my 21 Day Vegan Jump Start. :)

  8. The ladies in my neighborhood do a book club and one month we picked Shattered Dreams..... one of the best books I've read in a long time. I am also very fascinated with polygamy (Love Sister Wives, still can't wrap my head around them though...) so I was eager to read this book. It was really so much better than I'd anticipated. The crazy life she went thru was unimaginable to me.
    I've also read Kendra's books. I am a huge fan of hers, simply for the fact that she is so real. She is who she is and she's come a long way from how she was growing up and she's not apologetic about who she is. I also think her little boy is just the most gorgeous little guy. I met her at a book signing and she's just as real as can be. She's the kind of girl that even though you may not agree with some of her life choices, you just would have a great time hanging out with.
    Think I'll suggest What Alice Forgot for our next book! Thank you!


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