It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through the year. It’s even harder to believe that I’m still right on track to complete my annual reading challenge. #WINNING
Things sometimes slow down in the summer, and as we head into the fall (and back to school), but I’m feeling good and determined to accomplish my goal of reading 25 books this year.
Here are the latest additions to my reading list:
(7) Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I know. I’m only six years and a Reese Witherspoon movie behind. But I finally got around to reading this book that was the first pick for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 back in 2012.
The memoir follows Strayed – a surname she gave herself – as she makes a 1,100 mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.
I’m not much of an outdoorsman, but it made even me consider making the trek.
At its core, it’s the story of a woman finally discovering and eventually accepting her true self after a divorce and a bout with addiction.
Inspiring for sure.
(8) How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
I was sent an early copy of this book through my SheSpeaks account to read and review (and promote on social media).
The easiest way to describe it is as your new favorite romantic comedy that hasn’t been made yet.
Sure, the book kicks off with a pretty significant tragedy, but the uphill battle of the rest of the story really lends itself to that genre.
This isn’t typically the kind of book that I choose to read, but I have to be honest and say that I really enjoyed it.
If you’re looking for a beach (or poolside) read…
(9) Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Now we’re talking! This is exactly the kind of book that I usually choose to read.
This memoir from the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder had me seriously reevaluating my life choices – in the best way.
I had listened to Rhimes’s TED Talk not too long ago, which is what inspired me to pick this up, and I’m so glad I did!
Let Rhimes inspire you to get out of your own way and work toward all the things you claim you want out of life.
(10) City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
But going back to books I wouldn’t normally read…
While I have read things like Game of Thrones and several YA series like Twilight and The Hunger Games, this was, uh, not that.
This was a book club selection that I read with some colleagues at the office. It’s set in Prague and follows a girl brought there to work under somewhat suspicious circumstances.
Apart from a few, shall we say, graphic scenes and an ending that felt a bit rushed, it was a fun read. There was magic and suspense and maybe a little time travel to boot.
Two quick notes: Flyte is a pseudonym for two female authors. And this is one of two books (so far?) in a series.
(11) Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
I had heard about this book a while back, but it wasn’t until I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie that I knew I had to read it.
While the movie preview is decidedly for a comedy, I actually didn’t find the book very funny at all.
Don’t get me wrong; I really enjoyed the book. It was super compelling and fascinating to get a glimpse into a completely foreign culture – both in economics and in nationality.
This is a trilogy, and the ending of this first installment definitely leaves things open for more.
I’m curious to see how they adapt it for the screen. I’ve heard good things from early screenings, so fingers crossed!
(12) Shrill by Lindy West
Every time I come across a book I’m interested in reading, I make a note of it. That way I can keep an eye out for sales and snag them at the best price (assuming they’re not available at the library).
I’m not sure how Shrill ended up on my list, but here we are.
This collection of essays was mostly a split between laugh-out-loud hilarious and steam-out-my-ears infuriating.
If you need a good laugh, or you’re looking for the motivation you need to take up activism as it relates to racism, sexism, and/or fat-shaming, this may be just the book you’ve been looking for.
(13) Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
As most women my age would say, I love Gilmore Girls. I also love Parenthood. I mean, right?!
I’m a fan of the successful woman memoir genre to begin with, so I picked this right up as soon as I saw it.
My favorite thing about this was the way it felt to read. As far as I’m concerned, Lauren Graham is my best friend… or at least I think so based on the way she was speaking to me.
There isn’t a ton of depth to this one, but it was still a lot of fun to get a look behind the curtain, so to speak, especially in regards to the filming of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Kelly Bishop is a queen) and the sneak peek we get into Graham’s relationship with Peter Krause.
(14) Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley
If you are a mom (especially a working mom), I’m going to have to ask that you stop reading this blog and go read this book right now.
While I suppose it’s not revolutionary, the same way that people want to see themselves in TV and movies, it’s so refreshing to read words that I could have just as easily written about the stress of being a working mom and constantly being worried about appearances.
This book reminded me why I had a family, and how valuable every moment I have with them is. Dishes can wait!
I’m really happy with my reading progress so far this year. I’ve already started #15, and I hope to make it through #20 before the next update.
What about YOU? What are you reading these days? Anything you recommend? Let me know!