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12 Books I Recently Read + Loved

I love reading – I always have.

I grew up in a family of readers; when my brother and I were little, our big treat every once in awhile was when my parents would take us to a bookstore and let us pick out a book to read. I looked forward to those outings so much, and am grateful to have found joy in reading from an early age. 

Nowadays, reading is still my special decompressing time – I always read in bed right before I go to sleep. Depending how good the book I am reading is, and how tired I am, I’ll read for up to an hour – but some nights it’s only 10 minutes and I’m ready to hit the hay. 

Since I tear through books pretty quickly, I always love getting book recommendations from friends and bloggers I follow. 

My friend Julie published a 12 Books I Recently Read + Loved blog post last week that a) gave me a bunch of new books to add to my list, and b) was a good reminder to copy her and write a similar post because I’ve read some really great books recently that I want to share with you guys, too! Thanks for the inspiration, Julie. :)

So – here are a handful of books I’ve read recently and really loved. I’d love to hear any recommendations you have, too – feel free to join in in the comments! 

1) The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

I randomly picked this book up at the pool earlier this summer, from one of those “take a book, leave a book” type shelves.

I’m not going to lie that I totally judge books by their covers – and this one was pretty. ;) But what immediately grabbed me was the writing – every sentence was so beautifully crafted that I could tell by reading the first paragraph that I would love this book. 

This was one of those books that I could NOT put down and stayed up way past my bedtime, huddled in bed, escaping into another world. 

From Amazon: “a coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives.”

The premise is really unique and fascinating – I absolutely loved it. 

2) Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was another book that I couldn’t put down. It reads like a memoir, done entirely through interviews, following the rise and fall of a popular (fictional) band called Daisy Jones & The Six. 

The only bummer about this book was that the band wasn’t real – I would have loved to listen to their music! 

3) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

After finishing Daisy Jones & The Six, I loved the book so much that I wanted to read something else by the same author, so this was my next book! 

This was a fun fictional read that also drew me right in. It follows the journey of a reclusive Hollywood star and her rise to fame – there are a lot of interesting twists and dramas and the book did a great job keeping you interested. It’s a fun, fast read.  

4) Becoming by Michelle Obama

I love Michelle Obama and was really excited to read her memoir; it did not disappoint. 

Beautifully written, insightful, and very real. I especially resonated with some of her thoughts about early motherhood, and her struggle to balance that with her career.

Politics aside, her memoir is worth a read. :)

5) The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This is one of my favorite memoirs – it is heartbreaking and totally engrossing. I first read it when it came out in 2006, but while we were staying with my parents in between our houses this summer I picked it back up off my bookshelf and read it again. 

It’s pretty well known so you may have already read it – but if not, give it a shot.

I loved it just as much the second time! An incredible story of resilience in the face of adversity, and beautifully written too. 

6) The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer

This is another fascinating, heartbreaking, and insightful memoir that came out in 2006 that I absolutely loved, and that I just re-read this summer upon rediscovering it in my bookcase at my parent’s house. 

The author is a journalist, and at the time I originally read his book I was working in PR so I had access to all the journalist email databases. I loved the book so much I emailed him to tell him, and he actually wrote back and said thanks, which meant a lot to me, too. :)

7) Educated by Tara Westover

Apparently I’m obsessed with memoirs – I read this last year but can’t remember if I ever recommended it officially on the blog, so wanted to include it here even though it’s another one that everyone and their mother has probably already read because it was so popular. 

This is another heartbreaking and beautifully written memoir about resilience.

Tara grew up in a family of survivalists in the mountains of Idaho and didn’t set foot in a classroom until she was seventeen. It’s very worth a read. 

8) Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by [Owens, Delia]

This novel took me a minute to get into, but once I did I couldn’t put it down! It’s a fast, easy read. 

From Amazon: “…at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.”

9) The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone: A Novel by [Hannah, Kristin]

This is another can’t put it down novel that you will blow through. 

From Amazon: “a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature.”

10) The Thousandth Floor series by Katharine McGee

I was obsessssssed with these books when I read them early this year – this is the first book in the 3-part series. I think they are probably technically young adult books but whatever, sometimes you just need to read something light and easy. ;) 

The books are set in Manhattan in 2118, and the world they create is fascinating and immersive.

From Amazon: “a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….” 

I know, so dramatic. But so entertaining. ;)

11) The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir by Yrsa Daley-Ward

This was probably the most unique book I’ve read in a really long time – it’s a collection of poems that tell the author’s life story. They are fascinating and heartbreaking and raw and honest.

Absolutely worth a read. 

12) The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Okay, I had to throw this book in here because it was SO entertaining and super fun. But be warned it’s a little racy/definitely rated R. ;) 

It’s a fictional book about an almost 40 year old woman who falls in love with a 20 year old rock star who is in her teen daughter’s favorite band.

It’s such a fun read that you won’t be able to put down – highly recommend if you’re looking for something light and easy. 


And that’s that! 

What are the best books you’ve read recently? I keep a massive list of “to read” books on my phone… always looking for books to add to it! 

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Comments

  1. 1

    Thanks so much for the list! I have read other books you recommended and loved every one of them! I also just finished the 1000th Floor books and really enjoyed them. I am working my through the Outlander series right now. The only other book I read recently and liked enough to recommend is The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

  2. 3

    Always love your book reccomendations! I too judge books by their cover :)

  3. 4

    I’ve read 7 of these books – I’ll have to check out the other 5! I also am a huge reader. I usually read about 4-6 books/month – sometimes more depending on my schedule/attention span! Some books I’ve loved recently are “Ask Again, Yes” and “The Most Fun We Ever Had” – both are character-driven novels, so I wouldn’t recommend them to readers who are more into plot-driven novels. I’ve also read some other Taylor Jenkins Reid books – they are all so good! My favorite was ‘After I Do’ – although I haven’t read Daisy Jones and the Six so that might go into my fave TJR book (on the wait list for it at the library). A good page-turner is “The Mother-In-Law”. It delves into a complicated mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship. The mother-in-law is found dead and at first it appears she committed suicide but then we learn she was murdered. I stayed up past my bedtime to finish it which is always a sign that a book is really good!

  4. 6
    Charise Pettit says

    I’ve read most of these and enjoyed them as well – adding The Scent Keeper to my to-read list now! Some other recent faves from me are We Were the Lucky Ones, The Dreamers, Love and Other Words, Fleishman is in Trouble, and I Miss You When You Blink. Happy reading!

  5. 8

    Another book by Taylor Jenkins Reid – One True Loves. Slightly predictable but the writing was so good that I really felt for the main character!

  6. 10

    we have similar taste. i was on a memoir kick earlier this year.

  7. 12

    Ooh I loved “The Thousandth Floor”! It’s annoying because my library has that one and the third one, but not the second one!! Now that your list reminded me of it I may have to suck it up and buy it so I can finish the series ;)

  8. 14

    I grew up loving to read too! Unfortunately, I have not done a great job of incorporating it into my life now. I grew up LOVING Nancy Drew and then Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series. I’m big on loving series where I get to know the characters, follow them through their lives, and delve into a different world, as you stated. Thank you for this list!

  9. 16

    Love this post! Some recent faves include the Dearly Beloved, the Last Romantics, the Most Fun We Ever Had and Ask Again, Yes.

  10. 18

    The book “White Fragilty” by Robin Diangelo was incredibly eye opening.

  11. 20

    I loved Becoming and Educated, too. I have had Where the Crawdads Sing on my list for ages. Would highly recommend Evvie Drake Starts Over – I believe the author is the host of the NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour!

    In the same vein as Educated, I’d recommend Maid by Stephanie Land – eye opening account of a single mother working to support herself and the hoops those needing public assistance must go through to receive benefits.

    Happy Friday!

  12. 22

    I love to read too, always appreciate new suggestions. I’ve been reading some historical fiction this year – loved “The Nightingale” by Kristen Hannah, “The Lost Girls of Paris” by Pam Jenoff – both World War II novels. I also tried spy novels this year and really enjoyed them – there is an entire series of 6 books by David Downing with spy John Russell – set in Germany in the years leading up to and through WWII,

  13. 24

    How the hell did no one die in Educated????
    Also. Loooooved Where the Crawdads Sing. And the book about our queen, MO. 👸🏽

  14. 26

    I recently read “A Girl’s Guide to Moving On” by Debbie Macomber while sitting with my mom in the hospital for a week. It was a positive story in the midst of an anxious time and helped pass some sleepless nights. Mom’s doing well for having a stroke at 92!

  15. 28
    Roadrunner says

    These are wonderful recommendations, Anne. Thanks so much!

  16. 29

    Ooh I love these kinds of posts! I’ve read a bunch of the books on your list. Great list! In the memoir category, I’d recommend “The Sound of Gravel” which I read shortly after Educated. And my jaw was on the floor just as much!

    I listened to Daisy Jones on Audible and all the narrators were terrific. There were *several* times I had to remind myself this was fiction and they weren’t a real band!

    Some other recent reads I really enjoyed:
    This is How It Always Is
    The Wife
    One Day in December
    The Wedding Date (first in a series of 3 books…all easy but fun reading!)

    • 30

      I legit had to google whether Daisy Jones & The Six were a real band – it was so realistic! Thanks for these other recs – added them to my list!

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