I am so glad we are back here to talk about what’s on my nightstand and my spring book recommendations! Since we last spoke, I’ve read four new books—all by different authors!*—and I am excited to share.
*Y’all know I was on a huge Elin Hilderbrand kick there for a while, and also worked my way through all of Liane Moriarty’s titles. I know that can get monotonous in round ups like these, but they’re seriously the best authors, so it was hard to want to mix it up. (For those of you new around here, you can see my past book recommendations here). And, if you’re ever curious about what I am currently reading, feel free to check in on my Goodreads page, which I update like the obsessive person I am ;].
Before we dive in, I wanted to make a housekeeping note. I am still figuring out the most helpful way to do this series. In general, it seems like I read two books a month—maybe more if I am on vacation—and like to share at least four books in each round up, so you can probably expect this to be a bi-monthly series moving forward. And, to make my recommendations more clear, I’ve called out on each of the books below whether I think they’re worth your time or you should skip it—I plan to do this moving forward, too. Lastly, I’m still trying to figure out the best image to go with these kinds of posts—since I read all my books on my Kindle, I can’t exactly stage up a nice image of the book spines. So, let me know if you have any thoughts on that!
EVERYBODY RISE // STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
This story follows 26-year-old Evelyn Beegan as she lands a job at a social network aimed at the 1%-ers of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Her job to recruit new members, and as such, starts mixing and mingling with the wealthy both in New York City and at their summer homes in the Adirondacks. While Evelyn went to a private high school and her father was a successful lawyer, she definitely is not living on a trust fund. Yet, after hanging out with this old money crew, she looses touch with reality as she fabricates a life story that she, too, is one of the elite. Her debt and lies spiral out of control as her parents fall on financial hard times. The rest of the story seeks to answer the question, can Evelyn keep up old money appearances while everything is crumbling around her?
I really wanted to like this book. However, after a while, the main character’s lack of rational decision making was extremely frustrating and I couldn’t relate or empathize with her. I think I would have liked this book a lot more when I was younger and had never had a real job, but at 26, it was just hard to get into the Evelyn’s train wrecks and social climbing ways.
Would I recommend it? If you’re still in college, you might find it interesting—otherwise, pass.
CANCEL THE WEDDING // CAROLYN T. DINGMAN
This is my favorite book on this round up—and there were so many nights where I ended up accidentally staying up until 3 am to read “one more chapter.”
The story follows two sisters, Olivia and Georgia, after the death of their mother. Her final wish is to be buried in her southern Georgia hometown, but neither sister knows why since their mother never spoke of her childhood nor took the girls to visit. Both living in the DC area—which was fun for a local like me!—Olivia decides to take a sabbatical from her high-stress law firm and heads down to Georgia to try to uncover the mystery with her 14-year-old niece, Logan. Part mystery, part love story, the rest of the novel explores what exactly their mother was hiding in her hometown and how those unanswered questions can either bring the family together or tear them apart.
Would I recommend it? YES! Run out and buy this today.
THE KNOCKOFF // LUCY SYKES & JO PIAZZA
After taking six months off work to undergo breast cancer treatment, world-renown editor of Glossy magazine returns to work only to discover her former assistant Eve Morton has turned her print publication into an all-digital, shoppable app. Though Imogen is still technically editor-in-chief, Eve is running the show working the staff into exhaustion with all-nighters, mandatory snow day team bonding, and even forcing them to memorize a Beyonce dance for her wedding—to Imogen’s ex-boyfriend.
This book definitely provides some great commentary on the changes digital media are bringing to the print magazine world, but I also thought it made a lot of exaggerated stereotypes about millennials—that they constantly use acronyms to communicate, have no decorum in the workplace, and feel like everyone needs to win a prize. As the course of the book ran on, I was increasingly frustrated with Imogen for not asserting her power over Eve and her antics, yet couldn’t stop reading because I wanted to see how it ended. Will Imogen get her magazine back? You’ll have to read to find out ;].
Would I recommend it? Maybe—if you are really interested in the magazine or fashion world.
ELIGIBLE // CURTIS SITTENFELD
Alright—all you Pride and Prejudice fans out there are going to like this one as Eligible is a modern retelling of the Jane Austen classic. I somehow never had to read Pride and Prejudice in high school, so while I’ve seen a couple of movie adaptations, the story is somewhat new to me—and I’m loving it! Sittenfeld kept many of the details from the original story—including all of the characters names and basic plot lines—he just put a contemporary lens and references on the story.
For those of you, like me, who aren’t as familiar with the original story, here’s a basic rundown. Sisters Liz, a successful magazine writer, and Jane, a yoga instructor, return home to Cincinnati once their father has a heart attack to help their mother and three other sisters care for him. At the same time, Chip Bingley, winner of Eligible, the book’s version of The Bachelor, comes to town with his sister and colleague at the hospital, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Chip, of course, takes a liking to Jane, while surgeon Darcy—he goes by his last name—pretty much pisses Liz off from the moment they meet and she overhears him telling Chip there’s no wonder that she’s single. Yet, you know what they say about first impressions—they can be deceiving!
Would I recommend it? Yes! Though Jane Austen purists might not like it as much as I did.