July 18, 2016

Highly Recommended

Sometime back in 2015 Kristen and Erin started this. Now I'm picking up the torch. We all have favorite books and, as all of blog-land knows, we all love talking about and sharing the books we've read. Here are the 10 books I feel you MUST read (in no particular order)!

1// The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
I read this book back in 2009 upon the recommendation of a friend of mine. She actually sent me her copy to borrow. I read it and immediately felt in love with this sad, raw, memoir. I've been recommending this book ever since and even got my own copy just to own it. 

2// Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodie Blanco
This is right up there with The Glass Castle. I was never picked on in school so I can't even begin to imagine what Jodie went through but she does an amazing job painting the picture in this book. As kids, we don't think about how our actions affect others. Sometimes those actions affect that person for the rest of their life. 

3// Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
I thought this book was beautifully written. I was pulled into this story from the very beginning. I felt for the characters, I cried for the elephants. I could vividly see the story as I read it. Then I saw the movie and it meshed with everything I had envisioned on my own. 

4// The Giver by Lois Lowry
I only just read this book for the first time in early 2015. As soon as I finished it I had two thoughts: WTF took me so long?! and what happens next?! Banned or not, this book should be read by everyone. Feel the feelings people. 

This book was just such a sweet feel-good story that made me cry. I owned it for a while but parted with it because I'm not a re-reader. 

6// The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman
I talked about this book in November's Booked post and I truly feel the things I said. This is an amazing book about family, love, loss, guilt, and compassion. It was very well written. I immediately loved the relationship between Rose and her sister-in-law Helen. Mort, Rose's husband, was immediately disliked. Such a miserable man. But as the story is told over the years as the families grow and age, you feel for the characters. You come to understand that sometimes love is the only thing needed because it will supersede everything.

7// The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx
I think Erin mentioned this one in her list and for good reason. This book was insane. To get an up close and personal look at the life of a heroin junkie is something that doesn't happen unless you're dealing with it personally. Reading the journal passages from when Motley was on tour are almost jaw-dropping. I was able to empathize but at the same time often found myself mentally screaming at him to just keep it together. I think it's well written and I found myself unable to put it down.

8// Find the Good by Heather Lende
I absolutely loved this book. Really, any book that can make my eyes do that watery thing is an instant favorite. The author is an obituary writer in Alaska and the book talks about the things she's learned about how to live life. You guys, this book is so sweet. It was just one of those make you smile to yourself, feel good books. I definitely recommend it.

9// Leaving Time by Jodi Piccoult
My God. What an incredible book. Elephants, psychics, a little mystery... This books had everything for me. Read it. Just read it. 

10// The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
I read this after, as usual, putting it off for a while. I listened to the audio version while driving home from NY one night and I fell in love with the story. This book is magical. Pure, soul-inspiring magic. Aside from recommending a book to absolutely everyone who will listen there is only one other honor I could bestow to a book I love. An honor I've never actually given to any book. A re-read. But I adored this story so much I feel it needs to be read and read again. 


  1. #1 and 10 are ones I always recommend too! Blue actually has my copy of The Glass Castle right now. I've never read The Giver or Water for Elephants because I saw the movie first and just don't want to read the story now that I know what happens. Leaving Time and Dewey have been on my TBR forever. May have to add The Heroin Diaries since I really like journal-style books and autobiographies.

  2. I've read The Giver but I don't recall any of the others. Looks I need to get on it!

  3. i have read the giver, water for elephants (loved) and the alchemist. oh and dewey, of course, i can't forget dewey. i'll have to check the others out :)

  4. Obviously I agree on the Jodi!
    The Glass Castle has been on my list forever, and I own Water for Elephants but have yet to read it. I hope to this year! I loved, loved the Giver as a kid and again when I reread it as an adult, maybe 1.5 years ago or so.
    The Alchemist, I actually had to put down. I do want to try it again though—I just totally needed something different at the time.

    1. Oh and re: Heroin Diaries. Highly recommend Go Ask Alice and Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man if you haven't already!

  5. Thanks for the shout out!
    I've had The Glass Castle on my tbr for ages.
    Your second book listed sounds like it could have been written by a girl I know. She and I went to high school together and reconnected a few years ago. We have established a nice friendship. I remember *a little* of what she went through, but did not understand the extent of it.
    Water for Elephants is a beautiful book.
    I've read The Giver and The Alchemist.
    The ones you mentioned that I haven't read, I made sure they are on my tbr. Thanks for the reminder that I need to read them!

  6. the alchemist is the only book that i couldn't get into but a total yes to all the rest. i especially loved the heroin diaries; i grew up listening to the crue and i knew they were sort of messed but i didn't realize how screwed up he was!!

  7. Did you know The Giver is a series??? I read it in school and liked it, but I always interpreted the snowy scene at the end as a poetic way to say they died in the wilderness, but oh there's more! I discovered it's actually a quartet a couple years ago. I do think the first book is the best, but I liked all of them.

    The Alchemist is on my list!!! I'd be reading it right now if it wasn't 3 pages too short for Erin's book challenge. :P I might go get it from the library anyway; I've been reading tons of non-challenge books.