Books

Three (More) Books

One of my favorite posts to write on here are my book recommendations. Whenever I meet with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, I always end up writing out some books for their “homework.” I’m the go-to girl in my friend group for book recommendations– and I love it. I also love these posts because you guys leave great recommendations in the comments. Seriously, it’s 10x better than digging through articles featuring trending reads.

I’m trying to figure out what’s going to the “the” read of the summer. Last year, I did not enjoy The Girlsbut I felt like everyone and their mother read it. Any idea of what this year’s will be?

Book Recommendations

Okay, here are the books I’d recommend right now:

ONE // The Hypnotist’s Love Story

So I really enjoy Liane Moriarty’s novels. (Big Little Lies anyone?!) However, this was not one of my favorites of hers. I debated on including it in the roundup or not as I just didn’t completely enjoy the book. That said, I still read it and got through it pretty quickly. The story is predictable, but if you just need something to read that doesn’t take too much out of you, this is for you. The plot is essentially about a woman falling in love with a man whose ex-girlfriend is stalking him.

TWO // Hidden Figures

After seeing the movie, I wanted to read the book. (It’s the story of the African American women who were computers for NASA during the 1960s.) I ended up borrowing the audiobook from my library. I’m not sure that reading actual text would keep me entertained, but the audiobook was great. This might be the only case where watching the movie first can help you with the book. The movie really brings life to the characters while the book delves deep into the science and social issues of the time. I found listening to the audiobook just to be fascinating and incredible. It’s an unbelievable slice of history, and it’s kind of crazy that it’s not more well-known.

THREE // The Circle

I saved the best for last! One disclaimer: the plot itself isn’t remarkable. But it is a thought-provoking read.  It’s like a modern day 1984 with a huge technology company essentially taking over. Let me tell you; it’s freakishly realistic. Like it seems futuristic, but also not… it feels like it could happen tomorrow. I couldn’t put it down, but it did make me want to put my phone down more throughout the day.

(I also saw the movie and thought it was not the best. I was so disappointed because I loved the book so much. The acting just felt really flat and the plot was overly condensed and rushed. BUT, I did appreciate how they brought the social network and campus to life.)

Now, what are your favorite books right now? Any ideas on what the “book of the summer” will be?!

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59 Comments

Amanda

Are you familiar with Modern Mrs. Darcy? She has a podcast call What Should I Read Next? And she interviews people on three books they love, one book they hate and then recommends what they should read next. My TBR list grows weekly between the blog and podcast. She has a summer reading guide every year and all the books end up being hits. ☺️

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Jess

Yes to this! Plus every month around the 15th readers leave links to what they’re reading so you get tons of ideas.

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Leentje Klingensmith

Hi Carly! I just finished ‘The Paris Wife’ and absolutely loved it! It kind of has a gatsby like feel because of the time period it is set in, but comes from the point of view of Ernest Hemmingway’s wife! I would absolutely recommend it!

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Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

I’m guilty of watching the film Hidden Figures before reading the book! In fact, I still haven’t yet read the book, but it’s on my TBR and has been there even before I watched the film. I heard that the book is quite different from the film, so I’m hoping that removing that expectation will allow me to enjoy the book with a fresh mind 🙂 // I’ve never heard of The Girls haha whoops. // A book I read lately that I’ve REALLY enjoyed is The Reminders by Val Emmich, which I finished last month! It will be published May 30 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

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Hannah

The Little Book of Hygge sort of changed my life. Loved it so much. I’ve been living that hygge life for years but didn’t even know it!

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Lucy

Me too! I called my mom and was like, “I’ve been so hygge my whole life”!

The book is super informative and the visuals are so cute.

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Elise

I don’t know how often you read young adult fiction, but The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was the best book I’ve read so far this year. It’s inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and is funny and heartbreaking and overall a really important book.

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Shannon

I am reading this now and it is such an empowering way to tell the story behind the movement. Another young adult book that gives a great perspective is If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo about a boy that finally gets to be a girl and is trying to survive high school without her secret getting out.

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Jill

I love this! I’m only about a third of the way in, and I brought it to work yesterday – there’s now a waiting list of coworkers wanting to borrow it. It’s so good, and so relevant, and so worthwhile for everyone. Like a lot of YA material, it’s not *just* for young adults. I bought it for myself this week for my 39th birthday!

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Hannah

The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine Bonaparte (trilogy). What a great series! I couldn’t put them down!

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Brittany

Currently reading “How to Raise an Adult” (because I teach) and am looooving it. I also recently read Capital Dames by Cokie Roberts. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend, especially since you went to Georgetown. There are many mentions of that neighborhood in the book 🙂

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Taylor

I am definitely going to add The Circle to my list! I am currently reading The Zookeeper’s Wife. I’ve really enjoyed it so far but given the content (WWII) its a little hard to read at times. Thanks for the recommendations!

Taylor | http://www.livingtaylored.com

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Rach H

I wonder how popular “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins (author of The Girl on the Train) will be? Will it live up to the hype of her bestseller? I think it was actually released this week.

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Hannah

There was an excerpt published in Vogue and I’m excited to pick this one up.

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Taylor

Currently reading the Alexander Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow – definitely interesting, but a slow read.
I just started watching The Handmaid’s Tale and I just ordered the book! It’s definitely eerie and honestly a little scary, but I’m hooked (the show is so good!)

I typically like to read only non-fiction books, so if you’re ever in the mood for that pick up one of Chuck Klosterman’s books – he has a new one out this month, but his most recent “But What if We’re Wrong” is one of my favorites.

xo,
Taylor

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Rox-Anne

Going to check out The Circle, sounds interesting! I’m taking a summer break from my part time university studies and plan on reading 5 books each month. Right now I am reading a few history novels but I picked up Prep to read at the beach because I heard a tv show is forthcoming. Not sure what the book of the summer will be but I know 13 Reasons Why is popular again, given the Netflix release. My boys, teenagers, and I watched the series and they actually went out and bought the book! The last time they were really interested in reading was Capt. Underpants books! 😀 xx Rox-Anne Celebrating This Life

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Briana

I loved The Circle too, but the movie doesn’t look great! Oh well, at least the book was interesting 🙂

Briana | youngsophisticate.com

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Evelina

Currently reading Bill Bryson’s “The Road to Little Dribbling – Adventures if an American in Britain.” It is a very funny read and I have found myself laughing out loud. It’s one of those books you can read while reading something else – especially if you need a little humor in your day!

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Jessica

I read The Circle a few months ago, and everything that bothered me already about FB bothered me even more after reading. It’s too bad the movie wasn’t done well, the actors in it made me think it would be promising.
Next up on my reading list is The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict. In the tradition of The Paris Wife, it follows Einstein’s wife.

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Angela

That’s a bummer about The Hypnotist’s Love Story. I really like Liane Moriarty’s books, but I guess I’ll take a second look before I read that one. I’m currently reading Victoria by Daisy Goodwin and I think it’s her best novel yet! I highly recommend it if you like historical fiction

Angela

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Caitlin

Hi Carly,
Have you read any books by Beatriz Williams?? I just started Along the Infinite Sea (which is amazing so far), but The Secret Life of Violet Grant is one of my new favorite books – I’ve recommended it to all my friends!! Both books are sort of a series, with all the characters related to each other. Each novel is totally it’s own story so you don’t have to go in any order 🙂 Hope you enjoy!! Thanks for the other recommendations!!

C

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Kelly

I literally just started reading Hidden Figures yesterday! So far the book has been pretty engaging, but I agree that seeing the movie first is helping. I just finished a great one called “A Wife of Noble Character” – it’s a modern retelling of The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, and I highly recommend it!!!

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Lilly

Long time reader first time commenter… the read of the summer will definitely be “The Futures” by Anna Pitoniak (although it came out in January)! A young couple moves to New York City right after graduating Yale and right before the financial crisis. You will probably identify with it even more than I did!

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Jordyn

I was SO excited to see The Circle after reading the book, but I also thought it fell flat. I was disappointed because I love Emma Watson. I guess it was hard to really portray the book in movie format…idk!

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Hannah

I’m also the go-to friend in my group with book recommendations. I’m obsessed right now with “The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine,” “Dead Letters,” “June” and “My Not-So-Perfect Life.” Highly recommend any of those!!

As for book of the summer, Paula Hawkins of “Girl on the Train” fame has a new one coming out. I bet that blows up!!

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Kay

Not a new book, but if you liked Hidden Figures you might like the Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks. I did !

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Leah

I’ll definitely add The Circle to my list. I have about 5 books going right now, which is obnoxious and overwhelming, but there aren’t enough hours in the day. I recently cracked open The Bullfighter Checks Her Make-up by Susan Orlean. It’s a collection of her non-fiction essays. So far, so good. I highly recommend Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (I’ve never read more interesting opening scene before) and Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown (about a chef trapped on a pirate ship, very intriguing and slightly educational).

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Lucy

Not books that are new on the scene, but all of Jhumpa Lahiri’s books are beautiful reads.

I tried reading 52 Books last year and didn’t quite make it, but I kept a list of books and comments here: http://wp.me/P2tt4S-Rk.

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Jennifer

My book club loved “A Fall of Marigolds”. “Everything, Everything” you will finish in a day and it is coming out as a movie soon. I couldn’t put “All the Missing Girls” down. It reads present-to-past so a fun and different style to read. Enjoy!

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Shannon

I think Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance is a really interesting read. It is funny, but takes an analytical look at modern romance through numerous studies he conducted during writing. I borrowed it as an audiobook from my library and loved that Aziz does the voice over and adds character to all the stats.

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Caitlin

Hidden Figures reminds me of The Imitation Game in the sense that the movie and book compliment each other. I loved TIG and read the book after which was very technical. I think too often we look at books and movies to see which was better but there are so many times when they go really well together.

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Christiana

I recently read ‘Wait for Me’ by Caroline Leech, and I loved it! It is a love story that takes place during WWII- 10/10 would recommend.

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Brittany

I would definitely suggest any of the Tana French novels. They take place in Ireland and I guess are technically classified as detective/crime novels but they are so psychologically thrilling that they’re a step above anything else I’ve read. I loved each one! I would also recommend Cat Marnell’s memoir, How to Murder Your Life! I could not relate to hardly any of the things she wrote about (her drug use/eating disorder while working as a beauty editor for Conde Nast) but it was so compelling and I couldn’t put it down. The River at Night by Erica Ferencik is another book getting buzz and the cover is beautiful. I love all your book posts because I’m always reading and trying to find new ones to add to my list!

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Allison Winstel

I’m reading Natalie Angier’s Woman: An Intimate Geography right now and cannot believe I haven’t read it yet in life. This is a book every woman should read. Highly recommend checking it out. It’s longer, but easy to put up and down as time allows.

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Sarah

Not sure it’ll be the book of the summer but totally binged on “Swear on this Life” by Renee Carlino. Also, her other book, “Before We Were Strangers” was great, too. Also loved “The Marriage Lie” by Kimberly Belle.

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Laney D.

A life-changing book I’ve read recently is the magic strings of Frankie Presto. It’s so different from what I would normally read, but different in such a good way. Pro tip: having a basic knowledge of music would make it better but is also not required to enjoy the book.

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Sofia

If you like Liane Moriarty, then you should def read “The Husband’s Secret”! Also, “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins is just about the best mystery novel I’ve read all year if you’re into those!

xo, Sofia
http://www.thecozie.co

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Katharine

I feel the same way about both The Hyponitists Love Story and the Circke- I can’t help but wonder if I would have enjoyed the movie more if I hadn’t read the book. Critics certainly agree that the acting was subpar!

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Steph

All great choices! The best book I’ve read so far this year is This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel. It was recommended by Modern Mrs. Darcy that someone else mentioned and it did not disappoint.

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Tory

The best book I read this year was Everything You Want Me to Be. SO JUICY! I also read The Couple Next Door in one day. If you’re looking for a good memoir The Rules Do Not Apply was great. And if you haven’t read it already, The Handmaid’s Tale is fantastic and the Hulu series is equally as good and follows the book very closely.

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Kate

I’m reading “Lincoln in the Bardo” right now and absolutely tearing through it – it takes place the night after Abraham Lincoln’s son is buried, and has Pres. Lincoln in the graveyard, with all of the other spirits/souls in the cemetery – it’s written in a different kind of form, in the voices of all the different spirits, with excerpts from memoirs/writings/letters of the time that are pertinent…highly recommend it!

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Brittany

I think you will like Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. It’s about an older woman who excelled as a woman in marketing back when women were only homemakers. She talks a walk on her birthday and reflects on how different marketing strategy is today.

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Southern & Style

There’s just something about summertime that makes me want to read cheesy romance novels. Nicholas Sparks has been a longstanding go-to, but I just started reading Summertime by Elin Hilderbrand and I’m really enjoying it!

xoxo, SS

Southern And Style

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Meg Burke

I think Into the Water by Paula Hawkins will be pretty big for the summer!

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