Tuesday, January 13, 2015

5 Reads for January

Happy January, happy Tuesday, happy 2015! Yeah! I thought it would be fun to share few things on my to-read or have-read bookshelf (virtual or otherwise) this month, and continue to do so throughout this next year. I hope you'll enjoy this monthly feature. Happy reading!

1. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

My father-in-law is a mortician/owner of multiple funeral homes, and Hank grew up in and around a funeral home, so I've always been fascinated with this kind of stuff- very My Girl, right? haha. Anyway, I just started this book and I'm loving it. I can't give any sort of review because I'm at the beginning, but so far, so good. Read this little bit from Amazon and tell me you aren't intrigued, too! Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased. Get it and read it along with me!

2. Wild

I almost feel silly recommending this book because hello, who hasn't?! In fact, I recommended it years ago when I first read it. This past week I'd been re-reading as a refresher and goodness, I was reminded of just how much I love it. Then Sunday I went and watched it in the theater and now I really can't recommend both the book and movie enough! I thought the film did the story justice is almost every way, and I walked out of the theater feeling sad and happy and inspired and alive. To me, that's pretty perfect. And as I've gotten older one of my main interests has become the outdoors- hiking, trail running, exploring- and this book totally makes me want to lace up my hiking shoes and hit the trail. It also makes me want to crawl up in bed with my laptop and write, write, write. It's just a really inspiring book, and even though it's completely all over due to the movie, it's one of those picks that absolutely does live up to the hype!

3. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

This book has the same author as Wild, Cheryl Strayed, and I can't say enough great things about it. It's part-memoir, part self-help, part something totally different, and I love that because it's a collection of different letters you're able to put the book now and come back to it whenever you'd like. It's the perfect bedside choice to read a bit of every evening before bed. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll relate to bits and pieces of stories that you didn't think you'd relate to. You'll find yourself feeling for the people asking for advice, and wanting to recommend this book to all of your friends, too. A must-read.

4. A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal

So I really love Anthony Bourdain. And I really love traveling. And who doesn't love food? Put it all together and you've got this book, which I'm extremely excited to dive into this weekend. It was recommended by no less than four friends over the course of a couple months, so I took it as a sign I should probably just commit. It looks great, and like it would be a great read for anyone who's interested in any of those things I mentioned above...which basically means that pretty much anyone should love it. It has 200 almost perfect reviews on Amazon so I don't think my prediction is too far off...but I'll keep you posted.

5. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel

Okay this is weird but I don't know anything about this book. At all. A girlfriend suggested I read it but told me not to read any of the synopses or reviews, so I didn't and now it's waiting for me on my nightstand to begin as soon as I can. This friend is generally right on when it comes to book recommendations so I'm taking her word for it. And you should too- in that whole "a friend of a friend told me it was good!" kinda way.

What else is on your to-read or have-read list this month?


  1. I love this as a new monthly feature - perfect! And thank you for the recommendations. Checking them out on Goodreads now.

    I just read "The Light Between Oceans" by M. L. Stedman, and it was lovely and sad all at once. Thinking of diving into Amy Poehler's "Yes Please" next!

    1. I second "The Light Between Oceans". I read that this summer and couldn't put it down. It was so beautifully written.

  2. I don't know where my first comment went. let me try again!
    I can't wait to read these books, especially Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; I have the same fascination and have wanted to take mortician classes but I can't bring myself to actually do it. I'm totally chicken! haha!

    I just finished reading 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and it was SO good and a fast read. My 15 year old that hates to read recommended it to me. I finally started reading The Goldfinch and like it so far. Thanks for the recommendations; they are always the best!

  3. I think I must have missed the hype over WILD (the book and the film). That's one book that I am getting this month…MOSTLY because you praised it so!

  4. I really want to read A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal.

  5. I love posts like these :) I'll definitely check some of these books out!


  6. I'm in the middle of Smoke Gets in your Eyes right now! It's so good - I've been telling everyone who'll listen about it!

  7. Apparently I really need to read Wild haha

  8. I just finished reading Eleanor and park which I loved. Great punk rock teenage love story. Next on my list is wild, but you've just given me a few
    More to add to my list 😃

  9. I'm currently reading "Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage" by Molly Wizenberg. I've been reading her blog, Orangette, for years, and her writing is fabulous.

  10. I loved Tiny Beautiful Things - I didn't always 100% agree with her advice but it did get me thinking about what I do believe and why.

    And, yes, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is fantastic - but, no, don't read any spoilers! Get it read now before somebody slips up and spoils it for you!

  11. This post came at the perfect time. I just finished my current book last night. Great selection, I will definitely be checking these out. Thanks for the book inspiration.

  12. Oh, definitely do NOT read anything about We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves before reading it. It's much better that way :)

    I'm looking forward to seeing more from this series! I just did a roundup of my favorite reads from 2014 if you're curious:


  13. I've actually never read wild, but i saw the poster for it in the train station the other day and it looked interesting. A lot of these books sound intruiging and its my goal to read more this year.

  14. I'm currently reading "A Brief History Of Time" from Stephen Hawking, it's such a great read and I've never thought a book about physics could be so well written and easy to understand.


  15. These all look great! Wild is on my list. I just finished Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, and I definitely recommend it.

  16. I would love to read Tiny Beautiful Things! Great choice and thank you for sharing.


  17. OMG! I was so excited to see "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" on here because I read this book about a year and a half ago and absolutely loved it! I read it during a time in which I felt very alone going to school in San Francisco and I couldn't have read it at a better time. It's a beautiful short read :)
    Thanks for the recommendations!

    PS. I'm a new reader of your blog - great job :-)

  18. Thanks for the recommendations, I really need to read Wild now.

    I just finished reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and your friend is right on both counts. Do not read anything about it beforehand and yes, it is a great novel!

  19. The author of Smoke gets in your Eyes also has an awesome youtube channel! http://youtu.be/009dkARgNHg