This blog and the products I design for my shop used to be my hobby, but after they both turned into my full time work, I began reading a lot more so that I’d have a hobby outside of the internet. Spending all of my time during the day behind a screen made me feel a deep need to increase my actual tactile book time. Having something in my hands that I can read outside or while traveling (even poolside or while the plane is taking off) is such a comforting departure from screen time.
Last summer, I began sharing my seasonal reading lists and giving insight on the previous seasons lists after I’d read the books. For this spring, there are a few new books out that I’m excited to dig into and a few big reads from last year that I hadn’t yet gotten to! Plus, I have my own personal feedback on just a few of the picks I’d made for last fall!
Spring 2016 Reading List
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
A novel about the complexity of marriage, specifically how the creativity, secrets, and art all shape and change love over the course of time. It’s described as thrilling, profound, and emotionally riveting. Fates and Furies was hailed as one of the best books of 2015, but coming out in the fall, I seem to have missed the boat on it last year and am excited to dig into it this spring.
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
A story of a “spectacularly dysfunctional” family of adult siblings dealing with their inheritance and how it has molded their choices and their lives. I’ve heard great things about this book and everyone loves a good train wreck. I overheard a girl in the airport yesterday saying she devoured it in 48 hours.
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simpson
A scandal, star-crossed love, and the impending great war all impact a small English town and the new witty Latin teacher who has moved there. I am a big fan of WWII novels, but wanted to give this WWI fiction a chance. It seems to be a mix of humor and history all wrapped into an intriguing and satisfying story.
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
Speaking of WWII, Everyone Brave is Forgiven is a story loosely based on the authors own grandparents during WWII and their real life love letters. I’ve read a ton of books set in Paris during the war, but this one is based in London which I find interesting. It’s not being released until May and Amazon says it’s, “entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams”. Sounds good!
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
New just this month, this eagerly awaited novel travels through three centuries and three countries following the mysteries and stories intertwined with a rare piece of art. I was drawn in by the idea of reading about Amsterdam in the 1600’s and was really cemented by the mysteries that seem to surround the first female master painter and those who came in contact with her work hundreds of years later.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
This novel has been highly anticipated and I’ve heard of it from several different people. It’s the modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice which I never read in the first place and am now thinking I should probably do so promptly.
Tell me – have you heard anything about these titles? I’d love to know!
Shop the Books
Last Fall’s Books:
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith– I tried this because it’s by J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym and I’m a huge Harry Potter fan…. It was meh. It took me about a week to read (which is long by my standards). While the story and plot were ok, when I wasn’t reading it, I wasn’t thinking about it, which is typically how I judge a good book – how mind consuming is it? This was a light, shallow mystery which would be a good read if you just wanted something simple.
What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wisemen – This has a similar structure to Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (which I love love love). The author intertwines two stories from two different decades then brings them together in a not-so-surprising, but really fulfilling climax. This book offers a look into early 20th century asylums and why we shouldn’t feel defined by our parents. A very good and quick read.
The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wisemen – I really loved this book. It is a really interesting and unique view of WWII from the perspective of a typical German family. While the rest of the world viewed all Germans as Nazi’s, so many of the families were in the same situation – or worse – than the rest of enemies of the Reich. They were thrown in camps, living on meager rations, and scared for their families and their futures. The book was a bit slow at times and it took me a while to figure out what the plot was. I realized days after finishing the book that it wasn’t meant to be one big plot, but instead several small subplots that all tell a story and weave a rich vision of the horror and terror that non-nazi Germany dealt with. Although it is a fictional story, I loved the way it opened my eyes to another perspective of such a horrific war.
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens – I listened to this book in one day while I was painting my third floor. I would run downstairs just for food or water so that I could quickly get back to the story. It’s about a working class college student with a shaky past who interviews a Vietnam veteran who was convicted of a heinous murder/rape. As the student digs more and more into the past of this convict, he unravels the truth that had been hidden for twenty years… risking his life in the process. I highly highly recommend it for anyone who loves a good murder mystery.