February 9, 2016

On the Bookshelf: Vol. 5

I finished the year off with some great books... and then I never shared them. I'm catching up now.

The ones that were OK:

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

I didn't really like anything about this book. I read the whole thing because I was waiting for something to happen, but I didn't really like anyone in the book. Sometimes I'm OK with that, but in this situation, I really wanted to like someone but I just didn't. Lots of people love her books, so I'm not sure if I just started with the wrong one...

The Royal We by Heather Cooks & Jessica Morgan

This was read in two days. It read just like watching a special on the royal wedding mixed with a rom-com. It's perfect for the beach. I liked it, but I also love cheesy rom-coms. If that's not your thing, this definitely won't be.

Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison

I couldn't put this one down either, but if you have no interest in Playboy or the Girls Next Door, I don't know if this will be as interesting. This show was so interesting to me and so this book was a more real life extension. It was definitely a different portrayal of life in the mansion than the show. I could always tell things weren't as they seemed, but this gave you a whole different side.

The ones I would recommend:

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes

I love JoJo Moyes all the time. This book was an easy read about a road trip and an unlikely friendship. I loved it. Her characters always just seem real. I've got a couple more of hers to read, but I'm trying to spread them out a little bit.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I couldn't put this one down either. Her books are super easy to just pick up and not put down. This are never too heavy and there's always some crazy situation. This book was no different. You have a woman that loses her memory and spends the entire book trying to piece back together the pieces of her life and family. I loved it.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This book has a permanent spot in our apartment. It really is as good as people say. These aren't rules as much as guidelines. We were able to purge and declutter more from the help of this book than any other advice we've received. Some of the ideas were a little extreme for me, but so much of it was helpful. The second I put it down - things started to be eliminated. I just got her next book and I'm excited to dive a little deeper. I'm curious - has anyone else read this?

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

I got this book from my sister in law who teaches middle school. We have some great conversations about breaking down barriers and I love getting her book recommendations - especially ones that she finds helpful in her life or ones that they are teaching in schools now. I read this book in about an hour. It's written about the childhood experience of the author fleeing Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and moving to Alabama. I liked the child's perspective and I'm so happy I read it.

So that rounds out my 2015. Next month, I'll share the books I've read this year so far and how they fit into my reading challenge. I'm excited to check out other posts on Steph's linkup

Tell me - what have you been reading? Has your life changed thanks to Marie Kondo?


  1. One Plus One is one of my favorites by Jojo Moyes-- and just one of my favorites in general. I haven't read the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up even though it has so many good reviews. I'm still just on the fence of whether or not it would really benefit me, but it might still be worth checking out. I just added Inside Out & Back Again to my TBR list!

  2. Oh this is such a perfect post! I need some book ideas for our long flights to/from the west coast in a few weeks! I'll be sure to add the Jojo Moyes one to the list...and probably the Holly Madison one too. I love some good, juicy behind the scenes stories!

    What Alice Forgot is SO.FREAKING.GOOD. I love the way Liane writes. All her books are easy reads and uncomplicated stories, but she writes them in a way that keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat. I find that I have to force myself to put her books down, so I don't read them too quickly! One of my friends read like 5 of her books in a week recently and said they were all really, really good. She especially recommended The Husband's Secret.

  3. I want to read Holly Madison's book I loved Girls Next Door and I want the insider info!

    What Alice Forgot was a great book, I gave it to my mom for her birthday in January.

  4. I loved One Plus One! I thought about trying Fly Away Home since it's always available as an audiobook on one of the apps I use, but I've never read a book by that author, either. I'll probably take your advice and do something else first.

  5. i loved one plus one, the royal we and what alice forgot. i have heard of inside out and back again but haven't read it. i also really liked the magic tidying up book, though i didn't immediately start decluttering, and some of her ideas were definitely too extreme for me. but i hold on to weird things - like a super expensive dress i bought 10 years ago that i will never wear again because it doesn't fit and it is too short, but i can't sell it on ebay because it's an australian brand and sizing so i won't get enough money to justify selling it, but it's been sitting in my closet for 10 years... you know? i wore it once. i liked that she was like 'it did its job, now move on'. i felt wasteful or like i'd made a bad decision buying it, but she was right. it wasn't doing anything in my closet, i just had to let it go (okay, it is still in my closet but only because i haven't been back into that room in a couple months, next time i do a big purge, it's going).

  6. I agree on The Royal We. It was OK. I wanted it to be better. I've been thinking about What Alice Forgot. The only book I've read by her was The Husband's Secret which I didn't like at all, even though so many people I know did, so I've been hesitating to try another one.

  7. One Plus One has been my favorite of hers that I've read.

    I didn't love The Life Changing Magic. Maybe because I don't have a problem with decluttering, maybe because it was just too damn weird, maybe because I didn't really care for the author (although I'm willing to chalk that up to things getting lost in translation). It just was not for me although I did like some of the main points she made like only surrounding yourself with things that give you joy.

  8. I think One Plus One is still hanging out there on my list.

    Like Jana, I didn't love Kondo's book and also thought it was because I don't really have a problem letting go of things? I have no desire to be a minimalist, and I already operate by is it useful/beautiful/do I love it...I do wish my husband the hoarder would read it and immediately start getting rid of stuff. LOL

  9. I think that it'd be so interesting to read the Holly Madison book, especially since I thought The Girls Next Door was interesting. I always love reading any of Liane Moriarty's books! What Alice Forgot is my favorite!

  10. I added Inside Out & Back Again sometime last year. My library doesn't have it, so I kinda forgot about it. You've convinced me that I need to chase it down!

  11. I keep seeing reviews for the Royal We and I really want to read it, I just can't seem to find it anywhere :( Everyone seems to love Jojo Moyes books so I may just have to pick one up!

  12. JoJo Moyes is fantastic. I love all her books. I also wanted to read Down The Rabbit Hole. I used to watch The Girls Next Door.

  13. So glad to see Inside Out & Back Again on your recommend list. My almost 10 year old is reading this book for a school book project. I may have to grab it when she's done and read it. I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and just couldn't get on board with it. One Plus One and what Alice Forgot were already on my to read list. I recently finished The Royal We and it will be on my February reading recap.

  14. Loved What Alice Forgot! I do have The Royal We and One Plus One already on my list. Jennifer Weiner books are hit or miss with me and after I looked up a synopsis on Fly Away Home I remembered that I started that book and didn't finish it.

  15. I so want to read "Down The Rabbit Hole"!!! I was OBSESSED with The Girls Next Door!

    Meghan Sara / meghansara.com

  16. I haven't actually read any of these yet, but I added a few to my to be read!


Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.