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10 Books You Need to Read

Wow, that title sounds all sorts of bossy, doesn’t it?

But here’s the thing: I am what you would call an avid reader. I have always loved reading, and I pretty much cannot go to sleep at night without reading at least a few pages of whatever book I’m in the middle of.

If you are looking for some new books to read, check out this great list of 10 amazing page-turners. Pinning this to keep for my Amazon wishlist!

I go through at least one or two books a week, so I’m always looking for new books to read. I thought some of you might feel the same way, so I’m sharing some of my favorite books here. 

I am not saying that we can’t be friends if you don’t read these books, but seriously, go read them. You’ll like them. 

If you have any favorites that I don’t mention, please leave a comment letting me know what they are, because I would love to check them out! 

 

The Martian by Andy Weir

Summary: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.  Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

My thoughts: This is one of my favorite books ever, and it has one of the best opening lines ever. I literally could not put it down, and I have become that super annoying person who’s all “Have you read The Martian?? You need to read The Martian!!!” to anyone who will listen. It’s coming out as a movie with Matt Damon later this year, and I am beside myself about it. Cannot wait.

 

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Summary: Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t, and they become companions.

Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret—one that nobody else in town would ever suspect—and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With her own identity suddenly challenged, and the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy?

My thoughts: I have read every one of Jodi Picoult’s books and have loved {almost} all of them, but this one is my favorite. {I just started her latest, Leaving Time.} The stories that Sage’s grandmother tells of being in a Nazi concentration camp are vivid and disturbing, but completely fascinating. Another one I couldn’t put down.

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Summary: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

My thoughts: This book has been turned into a movie, but I haven’t seen it yet. Honestly, I’m a little nervous to see it, because I loved the book so much that I’m not sure they could do it justice in a movie. {I realize that I said a little while ago that The Martian was my favorite book ever and I couldn’t wait for the movie to come out, but that’s different. I can’t exactly explain how, it just is.} I cried my eyes out reading this book, and I just loved how beautifully it was written.

 


Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Summary: Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

My thoughts: First of all, let me just say that I had a really hard time deciding whether to put this book or Sharp Objects on my list because I loved them both so much. I know everyone associates Gillian Flynn with Gone Girl, but I have to say, while I did enjoy it, Gone Girl is my least favorite of her novels. Dark Places is so dark and disturbing, and Gillian Flynn does an amazing job of making you like a character who really isn’t that stellar of a human being.

 

 We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Summary: A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.

My thoughts: I realize that summary isn’t remarkably insightful, but let me just tell you, this book is so, so good. It’s a pretty quick and easy read, and the twist at the end is so crazy that my jaw literally dropped. Totally did not see it coming AT ALL. 

  

The Escape by David Baldacci

Summary: It’s a prison unlike any other. Military discipline rules. Its security systems are unmatched. None of its prisoners dream of escaping. They know it’s impossible … until now. John Puller’s older brother, Robert, was convicted of treason and national security crimes. His inexplicable escape from prison makes him the most wanted criminal in the country. Some in the government believe that John Puller represents their best chance at capturing Robert alive, and so Puller must bring in his brother to face justice. But Puller quickly discovers that his brother is pursued by others who don’t want him to survive. Puller is in turn pushed into an uneasy, fraught partnership with another agent, who may have an agenda of her own. They dig more deeply into the case together, and Puller finds that not only are her allegiances unclear, but there are troubling details about his brother’s conviction … and someone out there doesn’t want the truth to ever come to light. As the nationwide manhunt for Robert grows more urgent, Puller’s masterful skills as an investigator and strengths as a fighter may not be enough to save his brother — or himself.

My thoughts: I read this book on our trip to Key West in December, and it was a perfect book for just that: plane rides and sitting by the pool. David Baldacci’s books are always entertaining and action-packed, and this one was one of my favorites.

 

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Summary: Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

My thoughts: What I loved most about this book is the way Liane Moriarty writes from the point of view of numerous people whose lives all connect in some way. It’s fascinating to see how everyone views everyone else, and how one person’s secret can affect so many different people.

 

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Summary: On an ordinary Saturday, Julia awakes to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth. The days and nights are growing longer and longer, gravity is affected, the birds, the tides, human behavior and cosmic rhythms are thrown into disarray. In a world of danger and loss, Julia faces surprising developments in herself, and her personal world—divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by Hannah and other friends, the vulnerability of first love, a sense of isolation, and a rebellious new strength.

My thoughts: This was just such a cool premise of a story. It was crazy to see how much could be affected by something as seemingly small as the slight slowing of the rotation of the Earth, and it was fascinating to think about the what-ifs and whether or not this could actually happen.

 

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

Summary: What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down? That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened—not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children. 

My thoughts: Here is another “whoa, what if this really happened?” book with a very cool premise. What would you do if all of a sudden half of your family just vanished right before your eyes? I loved how the different characters in the book dealt with this scenario in so many completely different ways. 

 

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

Summary: In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing—not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply “B,” from a man for whom she seemed willing to risk everything. In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon the letter and becomes obsessed with learning the unknown lovers’ fate—hoping it will inspire her own happy ending.

My thoughts: Like with the Gillian Flynn books, I had a hard time picking my favorite Jojo Moyes book. I absolutely loved Me Before You {bawled my eyes out with that one} and One Plus One, but I decided to include this one because it was a good, mindless love story {and I mean that in the best possible way}. I could not stop turning pages to find out if Jennifer ever found her happily ever after.

 

Did you read any of these books? What did you think? What favorites of yours did I leave out?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Monica
    February 19, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I absolutely loved The Escape, and am looking forward to The Martian movie! So I figure – why not? She seems like a cool chic who likes what I do! ;o) Can’t decide which to start next!! 😀

    I’m currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and I HIGHLY recommend it! So detailed and intricate…. loving it! Really different from novels I usually enjoy, but I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately and this audiobook is really helping pass the time.

    Thanks for the list! 😀

    • Reply
      Jenn
      February 20, 2015 at 8:30 am

      I had The Goldfinch out from the library a couple of months ago, but I didn’t get to it before it was due, and it was requested, so I couldn’t renew it. I will need to get it out again!!
      Jenn recently posted…10 Books You Need to ReadMy Profile

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