I've been so focused on the Read Great Books literature challenge, that I've merely been stuffing other novels in-between the classics that I'm reading each month. But I do love a good weekend read, something to get lost in for a few days. Here are a few titles I've read recently that I think should be on your list this season:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. (Only $6 on kindle.) I read this after several people recommended it to me because they knew I loved The Passage. (And I LOVED The Passage. It kept me up at night, in the best way.) I enjoyed Station Eleven fine, but after I finished it I didn't feel like it held a candle to The Passage. But I've thought of it so often since, I can recall specific scenes with clarity months and months later. So, as this sometimes happens, I actually like this book even more today than I did when I read it. I never thought I would like apocalypse books, but I guess I do. (See also: The Stand. I swoon for Stephen King.)
Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler. I asked for book recommendations in my last Secret Post, and got tons of good suggestions. The description that Gail came back with for Shotgun Lovesongs made me buy it right away. This book brought me right back to my hometown, with guys I've known my whole life. It made me realize that I don't usually gravitate to these types of male-driven plots, but there was something really compelling about a group of hometown guy friends and their adult lives after one of them becomes world famous. It's the total opposite of Entourage. There was so much to relate to here, from the nostalgic love for place that may not be real, to the draw of celebrity.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. (Only $7 on kindle) I bought this on kindle after everyone kept talking about it, and read it on the airplane to New York last month. It is highly irritating to me when people call books the "new" Gone Girl (because there is only one Gone Girl), but chances are if you like Gillian Flynn books, you will like The Girl on the Train. As a plot point, the main character has addiction issues, and the unreliability of this drove me crazy. Some people think it's a fair representation of alcoholism, and I'm not sure about that. Still, the writing is fast paced and I card about the characters. As far as murder mysteries go, it's pretty satisfying.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed. (Only $7 on kindle) We talked about this book a little on the HH facebook page, I do understand why there are mixed reviews here. But I liked it. I even related to it, highly unlikely since drug addiction and hiking aren't so much a part of my story. I'm a sucker for memoir, especially the vulnerable kind. I was years behind on this one, but I'm glad I finally read it. It's a quickie, too.
Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty. (Only $5 on kindle.) I've made no secret that Liane Moriarty is my absolute favorite beach read indulgence right now. I think by now I've binged on everything she's written. My favorites are still What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies, but I enjoyed Three Wishes, even though the plot is silly and the writing in this early one is not as strong as the more recent. Moriarty writes from inside a woman's head in the most comfortable way, not at all contrived. Her books are smarter than the chick lit covers suggest. Three Wishes is a fun weekend read if there ever was one.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I listed in this in the Best Books of the Year last year, but I'm naming it here again because Anthony Doerr recently won the Pulitzer Prize for this gorgeous story. Of all I'm writing about today, All the Light We Cannot See is the least weekend-type read, but it's the one everyone is STILL buzzing about (similar to 2013's The Goldfinch), and I keep spying it in airplanes and hotel lobbies. If you're looking for something smart and beautiful and part of the cultural conversation, this is the one to pick up.
My To Read stack is so tall right now. I have dozens of books waiting to be read, but I still like to hear what everyone else is reading. Tell me in the comments!
And if you enjoy talking about books, think about jumping into the Read Great Books literature challenge. I have had the best time with these discussions! We'd love to have you.