For the next four Saturdays, I’m going to be talking a LOT about books – from reviews to Booktube channels I love and adore. A few months ago, a friend asked me for a list of book recommendations. For anyone else, not a big deal, but for me, I took this to heart. Me?! You want book recs from ME?! I see few things more important than pairing the perfect person with the perfect book; the Jane Eyre’s with their book Mr. Rodchester’s, and the Nancy Drew’s with their Ned Nickerson’s.
In hindsight, I probably took it a little too serious, especially since she actually only wanted this list to help her figure out a Christmas gift for me, but getting to write about books is always a positive in my book. Hence this book recommendation list was born. Below, each book has changed my life and view of writing in some way, big or small. They’re a mix of graphic novels, fiction, nonfiction, comedies, tragedies, memoirs, and everything in between. My hope is they’ll color your library just as they have mine. And if you need any more literary recs, you just head my way with an ice tea and scone in hand.
Carly’s Favorite Books:
- Tales of the City – Set in San Francisco, it follows the residents of one row house as they attempt to navigate life. A brilliantly crafted series.
- The Book Thief – So beautiful, so emotional.
- Bel Canto – A poignant portrait of humanity, love, and identity between a group of hostages and their captors.
- Fun Home – Amazing memoir about how our identities are influenced and shaped by our family’s secrets.
- Widow for a Year or Cider House Rules by John Irving – Irving is one of my favorite authors since I read Prayer for Owen Meany in high school. As an writer, his strength is creating an entire world that brings the reader into the lives of his complicated protagonists from their birth to death.
- Dear Sugar – I talk to my body, my friends, and my stress with more respect and kindness after reading this book. I truly mean it when I say EVERYONE should read this.
- March and Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
- Anything by Marian Keyes – She’s the only author next to Toni Morrision whose entire library book collection I’ve read. I’m always drawn to her vibrant, hot mess characters and how they conquer single motherhood, cancer, dating abuse, careers, crazy families, falling in and out of love, and gender identities.
- Persepolis – My review is attached.
- A Visit From the Goon Squad – My review is attached.
- The Kitchen Boy – I was really into Russian history growing up thanks to my obsession with the “Anastasia” soundtrack. This novel follows the last days of the Romanovs from the perspective of an unsuspecting narrator who delivers an ending punch that still makes me giddy.
- Her Fearful Symmetry – The ending! Oh my gosh! My mum didn’t love this book but it was one of the few books that left me speechless after the last chapter.
- Anything by Jon Krakauer. He’s an artist for making nonfiction stories read like fiction. Missoula is currently on my TBR list — along with 113 other books.
- A Year of Magical Thinking – I leaned on this heavily after my uncle’s death.
- Everything I Never Told You – Review attached.
- Lucky by Alice Sebold – A warning, it starts with her rape and later documents her attempts to heal in the years to come. It was one of the most influential texts in my violence prevention career. I read it in 8th grade and I can still so vividly remember the story.
- The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
- Anything by Toni Morrison – I feel lucky to live in a world where I get to read Morrison’s stories.
- Tender is the Night
- Love in the Time of Cholera
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – This was my favorite book growing up, long before New York was even a blip on my dream radar.
- Jane Eyre – Mostly because it was such a source of pride to read and finish at 15.
- Fangirl and Carry On – My crazy raving reviews attached.
This quiz has also been a guiding light in which classic books I want/feel the need to read. Happy reading fellow bibliophiles!