National Reading Month is almost here and what better way to kick it off than a reading list. Whether you are looking for something to get you through a snowy weekend or to take with you on your Spring Break trip, we have you covered. And you know we wouldn’t leave you hanging on what to wear when you are headed on all your spring travels. We have looks that can take you from a cozy weekend in the mountains to a beautiful trip to the beach.
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
The story begins when our two main characters, Gabriel and Lucy, share a chance encounter on one of the most devastating days of our nation’s history, 9/11. After a year apart, they find themselves coming together unexpectedly as they are graduating college. What ensues is an epic, but
Why We Loved It: This book was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick and we can see why. The method of storytelling is so compelling and the way the story is told by Lucy, the main character looking back on their relationship creates a unique tension. You can sense immediately that there is a hidden event that is causing the retrospection, but you can’t figure out what it is. It is truly a beautiful story about the enduring nature of first loves and how the choices we make can affect the trajectory of our lives.
Becoming by Michelle Obama:
A reflection on more than just her time in the White House, this memoir chronicles Michelle Obama from youth through her time in the White House. This book encompasses everything from her childhood growing up on the South Side of Chicago to life as a busy executive trying to balance career and motherhood and then a reflection on her time in the White House. You get an intimate look at one of the most compelling women in modern history. She pulls you in with her storytelling and you are captivated by the life she has lived.
Why We Loved It: We always love a good story about life in the White House and the glamour of being first lady, but what we loved even more about this book was the story of Michelle’s honest and personal journey of becoming herself while partnering with her husband fiercely. It is a great testament to how you can remain true to yourself while helping those you love chase their dreams.
I Owe You On by Sophie Kinsella
Fixie, the main character in this story, lives up to her name and spends her entire life suppressing her own thoughts and needs for others. She lives by the motto instilled by her father of “family first”, but struggles with what to do when it feels like her family is constantly taking advantage of her. She doesn’t have the ability to say no to anyone, including the stranger who asks her to watch his laptop one day in a coffee shop. After she saves his laptop, he leaves her with an IOU that begins a series of encounters that entangles them.
Why We Loved It: This is a great story about the damage that you can incur when you don’t trust yourself enough to speak up for what you know if the right thing to do. While some of the characters, particularly in Fixie’s family, are difficult to stomach initially the story is able to move past it and is worth it in the second half of the book. It shines a light on how a sense of familial obligation and a fear of ruffling feathers can take a toll on someone.
Educated by Tara Westover
Raised by a fundamentalist Mormon family in the wilds of Idaho, Tara Westover didn’t even step foot into a classroom until she was 17. Eventually she made her way to college and then went on to get her PhD. Her memoir is the story of how she learned to reconcile her upbringing and her families very rigid ideology with her desire for education and independence. It bring to light the abuse she endured at the hands of an older brother and the painful break she had to make with her family to get away from her situation.
Why We Loved It: This thought-provoking memoir by Tara Westover is impossible to put down and will leave you thinking about it for days after finishing it. Educated is beautifully written story of courage, self-discovery and the power of educating yourself.
How to Walk Away by Catherine Center
Margaret is on the cusp of what she thinks is her perfect life. A fantastic new job, a brand new fiancé, and the picture-perfect life she has always imagined. That is until fate strikes the one time she decides to take a risk and her life changes in an instant. She is left hospitalized and struggling with the idea that her life might never be the same, all while facing a fiancé who can’t comfort her, a sister who pulled a disappearing act suddenly three years ago, and a therapist that doesn’t know the definition of bedside manner. As Margaret learns to live with her new normal, she discovers that she is stronger than she thought and that you can find happiness in the most unexpected circumstances.
Why We Loved It:
What would you do if your entire life, all your plans for your future were turned upside down in an instant? How would cope, what would your family do, would your life ever be normal again? These are the kinds of questions we are forced to ask ourselves when reading this book. Can
The Nightingale: A Novel by Kristen Hannah
Voted as the Wall Street Journal’s number one book of the year, this story follows two sisters living in German-occupied France during WWII. These two sisters, Isabelle and Vianne, are left behind at home when the men of France are called to defend their country. They each react to the war differently; Isabelle reacts with anger and joins the French resistance to the Nazi occupation while
Why We Loved It:
A true story of resilience, this book will be impossible to put down. Be prepared to want to lock yourself away for the weekend and read it cover to cover. The story is so compelling and you will be swept up in the way that Kristin Hannah describes even the mundane detail in the most engaging way. If you love this one, you have to also read Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
If you are a fan of mysteries then the first book in JK Rowling’s, writing under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith, Cormoran Strike series is for you. This story follows Private Investigator Comoran Strike as he investigates the death of a model that has been deemed a suicide. Cormoran is hired by the model’s brother to try to get to the bottom of what he is sure is a murder rather than a suicide. You are sucked into the world of the rich and famous as you learn about the secret lives that the wealthy keep.
Why We Loved It:
If you feel like you can always figure out who-done-it before the mystery is fully solved, then you have to read this book. It has so many twists and turns that you are left guessing until the very end about who the killer is in this book that is impossible to put down. The working relationship between Comoran and his assistant is very well developed and the characters are very likable. You find yourself rooting for them. Rowling is an incredible writer, as always, and the story moves fast and is a fun, easy read.
We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
A memoir that covers everything from being a victim of sexual assault to the realities of living as an African American in today’s society. While some of the topics are heavy, Gabrielle infuses them with humor and the wisdom gained from her experience. Gabrielle has a gift for making you feel like you are sitting down talking with a close girlfriend rather than reading a celebrity memoir.
Why We Loved It:
We love this book because of the candor that Gabrielle uses to touch on difficult subjects. The story of her sexual assault is told in such a relatable way you feel a greater understanding of what trauma is incurred from these kinds of situations. She also has a way of tackling race and relationships give you a greater appreciation of what growing up and living as a person in color is like in America today. One thing to note, and she gives you warning up front, but she uses strong language so if you find that offensive this might be the book for you.