Chill reads for chill days

So I’m changing things up a bit by not writing my usual (maybe boring) political posts and giving my (maybe loyal?) readers something different. But have no fear! I will be returning in full force with all your election info once we come up on the Iowa caucuses February 1st and the New Hampshire primary February 9th.

Today, I want to share some of my recent reads. Now that we’re officially in the dead of winter, I find myself wanting to find new books to read. If you’re feeling this too, I have a few recommendations…

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

It took me two library rental periods to read this book, but I’m so glad I did. This thriller is set against the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and is actually a true story. It combines the storylines of Daniel H. Burnham, architect of the World’s Fair, and Dr. H.H. Holmes, a con artist and serial killer who lured single women from the fair to their ultimate deaths in his hotel/lair. It’s a twisted story combined with some really cool Chicago history, which I love since I’m native to the Chicago ‘burbs. Hint: Read this before it is adapted into a movie, where Dr. Holmes will be played by the ever-awesome Leonardo DiCaprio.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

From the author of the insane hit book/movie Gone Girl, this book is equally as twisted and even more dark. This story is about Camille Preaker, a journalist who is assigned to return to her Missouri hometown to report on a series of murders that have struck the area. The most recent victim was a young girl, and Camille must work to put the pieces of this murder-mystery together. Meanwhile, she is attempting to reconnect with her estranged mother, stepfather, and younger half-sister. Her estrangement came after the family was devastated by the loss of Camille’s other sister – from which Camille became psychologically unstable and began to self-harm. Home again, Camille is beginning to get suspicious of the secrets of the town and her own family. The ending is a shocker, and keeps you turning page after page.

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower 

This book is definitely for history geeks like me and is unlike any White House “behind the scenes” I’ve seen or read. Brower took the time to interview numerous White House staff members who worked there from the time of the Kennedys through the Obamas. This book reveals stories and secrets of the private lives of the first families over the last few decades – some heartbreaking, some heartwarming. It really brings to the forefront that while the first families are in America’s spotlight, they have their own lives that can sometimes be very similar to our own.

The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin

This book is, in my opinion, neither fiction or nonfiction. It’s kind of a memoir of Rubin’s experiment in year-long happiness – and beyond! Rubin uses age-old wisdom, scientific research, and life lessons to create a formula on how to be happier in life. I liked this book mainly because the changes she made in her own life are so small and so easy to make that it’s easy to apply to our own lives too. At the very least, it will give you inspiration and advice to make 2016 your happiest year as well! I also recommend one of her other books – Better Than Before, which is a great book on forming good habits and breaking bad ones.

Wild, By Cheryl Strayed

If you haven’t read this book or seen the movie by now, JUST DO IT. This is by far one of my favorite books now. It’s a great coming-of-age story based on real events from Strayed’s own life. After getting a divorce and the death of her mother, Cheryl leaves Minnesota and sells all her possessions to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, which starts at the Southern California border of Mexico and extends north through Canada. The book chronicles Strayed’s journey up the trail, and how she came to terms with her mother’s death and her own life along the way. It’s really great to follow her as she makes this journey, and has definitely inspired me to travel to the west coast VERY soon!

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I’d definitely say this one is for fans of Gone Girl. It’s got the type of insane mystery that keeps you turning page after page. The story is told by the perspective of three women. Rachel is an alcoholic torn apart after her husband, Tom left her for another woman, Anna. Rachel has also lost her job, but keeps up the charade of going to work everyday on the train as her usual routine. From the train, she sees Tom and Anna’s house along the tracks. One day, she notices a happy couple living a few houses down from her ex. She begins to study their seemingly perfect life until she sees something shocking from her perch on the train. Before long, Rachel is involved in the lives of both couples in a way she never would imagine, and can never take back. This thriller is definitely crazy, and makes you want to keep reading to find out what exactly is going on here?!

Up next for me: 

It’s What I Do: A Phographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Happy reading! Please feel free to leave what you’re currently reading or any recommendations in the comments!

1 Comment

  • Tory Hoffman Tory Hoffman says:

    It’s not really the “dead of winter” here in Los Angeles, but regardless I’m starting “Station 11” by Emily St. John Mandel and “Scary Close” by Donald Miller soon! Will share reviews when finished (:

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