Reading Lately

Happy Tuesday, everybody! I was looking back at archives (a scary place), and realized it had been way too long since I’d done a “what I’m reading…” update. So I figured today- the first day back after a long weekend- was as good a time as any to share with you five books that I’ve enjoyed over the past couple months. Below, you’ll find the titles/links plus my own little synopsis/review. Even if you’re not a huge “reader,” I hope one of these inspires you to head to the bookstore (or, um, sometime this week! Who knows? One of these might just surprise you… 🙂

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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Chances are you’ve heard of The Scarlet Letter (or at least watched Easy A), so I’m going to skip the plot summary here. I read this novel with my English class earlier in the semester, and loved it. It’s definitely not easy to read in terms of language and subject matter, but the struggle is worth it in the end. Hawthorne’s writing is positively haunting, plus the story toys with a number of topics, such as women’s rights, that are still big-ticket issues today.

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
I mentioned the fact that I’d purchased Sloane Crosley’s debut essay collection in a “On My Radar” post couple months ago. I’ve since read it, and let me tell you, it was fun. Crosley’s pieces offer a “real-talk” look at what it means to be a young adult in the 21st century. From the agony of being a bridesmaid to surviving boss-cum-torturers (hint: do not bake a cookie in their likeness), Crosley shares it all with a unique sense of humor that makes you laugh yourself to sleep. (P.S. If you want to get to know Sloane a bit more before/after reading the book, listen to this podcast interview here.)

The Martian by Andy Weir & The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I didn’t read these books consecutively, but I wanted to include them together because of why I picked them up in the first place. Both of these titles were selected by my school book club and, as a member, I was obliged to read them. For the sake of honesty, I’ll just admit that these were not books I would have read if left to me own devices. All things considered, however, I was pleasantly surprised by both of them. The Martian is (obviously) sci-fi, which is not my favorite genre, but I found the story super-engaging and even learned a little bit about space in the process.
The same goes for The Night Circus, which falls into the category of young adult paranormal/fantasy romance. It took me couple chapters to get into the plot, but once I did, I was pretty hooked. The author’s command of descriptive language is really stand-out, and I really hope she’ll release more in the future.

Tales from the Back Row by Amy Odell
I know, I know: I’m probably the last person on the Tales from the Back Row bandwagon. But a combination of forgetfulness and my unwillingness to pay the hardcover price delayed my picking up a copy of this much-lauded tome. The fact that I finally did get my hands on it thanks to a thoughtful family member, who knew that combining my love of reading and fashion into one gift was a sure way to hit a home run. Nor surprisingly, I blazed through this book in a matter of days, and have been singing its praises ever since. Not only is Odell a gifted writer with a strong (read: hilarious) voice, but she offers genuine, heartfelt advice about navigating the topsy-turvy fashion world. As someone who hopes to pursue a career within the industry, I have no doubt I will be returning for consolation consultation in the future.

And there you have it: the titles that have occupied my bedside table the past few months. Currently, I’m making my happy way through Old New York, a collection of four novellas by Edith Wharton, as well as Perfect Health: The Complete Mind-Body Guide by Deepak Chopra. The latter is a particularly enlightening read, and rest assured you’ll be seeing a post on it sometime in the future.

What are you reading lately?


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