I can’t be sure, but I’m fairly certain I was bitten by a reading bug this spring. This CFB Book Club update will be a little longer than normal. In the past three months, I have read ELEVEN books.
I started the year at a pretty standard pace, and then BAM!
I flew through these. So, you may want to consider checking some of them out. Enjoy!
8. The New You by Nelson Searcy & Jennifer Dykes Henson
I’m all about new beginnings. And I don’t think those have to wait for January 1… or your birthday… or even Monday. You can decide to make real, tangible changes to your life RIGHT NOW!
And this book is a great reminder that not all changes have to be monumental in order to make an impact.
You want to lose weight? Commit to taking the stairs. Want to read more? Buy a magazine. It’s those small changes, added up over time, that lead to bigger shifts in your lifestyle
9. Refugee by Alan Gratz
I believe that it’s important not to bury your head in the sand when it comes to difficult issues. Conversely, that doesn’t make it any easier to read about some of the dark times in world history — especially stories like this, focusing on children.
What always surprises me the most about stories of refugees like these is how recent they actually took place. People are fleeing Syria *right now.* The latest Cuban refugee crisis peaked when I was in middle school. Even Nazi Germany occurred in our grandparents’ lifetimes. That’s crazy!
This book was actually written for children, but truthfully it was intense for me. Brace yourself!
10. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
The title is really a misnomer. The book isn’t about not caring about anything. It’s really about choosing the right things to care about.
HINT: One of those thing should NOT be what other people think of you.
That’s an issue that I find myself having to revisit time and time again, and The Subtle Art… was just what I needed to hear to get me back on track.
If you find yourself struggling — in a rut or paralyzed by fear — and need a swift kick in the pants, Manson’s book might be just the place to start.
11. Educated by Tara Westover
While I missed it for a reason I can’t remember, this was my PTO book club’s first choice. Fast forward and NYU (where I work) is now in talks to have everyone here read it.
I figured I should get to it already.
To be honest, it took me a long time to get into this one. By the end, I did enjoy it. And the fact that it’s a true story still surprises me when I think about it.
To its credit, it really does show the value of getting outside your own little world, explore, and most importantly, learn.
12. Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler
While she maintains her sense of humor, this book as a whole has a much different tone than those that came before it. While Trump’s election had a deep effect on much of the country, it seems to especially have pushed Handler.
After a period of mourning (I feel that!), she grew up a little… in her own way, but still!
As a successful woman in the entertainment industry, it’s super interesting to take a closer look at her life — from childhood through today.
13. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
No, I didn’t see it.
BUT it did pique my interest when I saw this book on sale.
It was so beautifully written! I feel lucky enough to have spent a little time in Italy before moving to New York, and it definitely made me want to go back.
Beyond that, it captures youth and young love perfectly (whatever your feelings on sexuality may be).
14. Balancing in Heels by Kristin Cavallari
I’m not a jet-setter, and my husband is definitely not an NFL quarterback (I still love him!). But at the very least, this book got me to take a closer look at what I’m putting in my body.
There are some great tips on reading labels and eating as naturally as possible.
Beyond that, there are other tidbits on personal style, parenting, marriage, and more. Nothing groundbreaking, but a few good nuggets if you’re looking for that kind of thing.
15. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
And one was picked – phew!
I sold it on the premise of going to see the upcoming Cate Blanchett movie based on it. Whatever it takes, people!
This book was fun! Again, it took a minute to get into it. Yep, more privilege. And also, this sort of thing really happens?!
I’m looking forward to the movie and seeing how well Blanchett is able to make Bernadette the likeable character she is meant to be despite some very bad behavior.
16. Celebrate by Lauren Conrad
This one focused on throwing a good party. It’s funny because despite her youth and a style that I really like, many of the notions in there were really traditional.
Still, the photography is beautiful and most of the etiquette is timeless.
If you’re in a party-planning rut or just looking to step up your hosting skills, this book could be a great resource for you to check out.
17. Challenge Accepted by Celeste Barber
If you don’t follow Celeste on Instagram, you should check it out. You will very quickly get an idea of her humor. Smart, in your face, and self-aware, all of that translates to her book.
Chronicling her life from childhood to now, I found myself laughing out loud to this one.
In her quest for infamy, she’s seen some stuff. And she somehow managed to make even some of the crappier stuff funny and relatable.
Hello, delightful beach read!
18. The Wanderers by Sarah Barkoff
It’s a YA novel that addresses some pretty heavy topics: death and mourning, mental health, and substance abuse. I thought it was really interesting how, despite all her flaws, I found myself rooting for the main character. You want her to find what she’s looking for!
I don’t want to give you any spoilers, but I will say there is a twist that I didn’t see coming.
Plus, I’m so proud!
I’m still in shock at how many books I got through over the past few months. I’m excited to keep the momentum going, but… Since I am so far ahead, I decided to dive into the tome that is Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. It’s 818 pages. So, I imagine it’ll keep me busy for a while. Wish me luck!
Oh, I’m guessing once I’m done with that I’ll be ready for some lighter summer reads. Send recs, and find me on Goodreads!