After having my name on a waiting list at the library for months for a copy of Handmaid’s Tale, I’ve decided to just bite the bullet and buy myself a copy before the series starts on Hulu (actually, I don’t even have to buy it — just found out it’s free on Amazon with Prime Reading!). There are a couple other books I’m also waiting for: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life and Textbook by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (the woman who wrote this lovely and heartbreaking Modern Love essay a couple months ago). The other day I asked my followers on Facebook what books they were currently reading and would recommend. Their replies ran the gamut from young adult to sci-fi, graphic novels to thrillers, self-help to historical fiction. Here are some of their wide-ranging picks:
“I usually don’t find many male authors who do a great job writing in the voice perspective of a woman, but this author did it amazingly well for two – a young, traumatized black Nigerian teen and a middle-aged, traumatized white English woman, and how their paths cross.” — Elizabeth
How Bad Do You Want It?
“It’s about beating the mind in endurance sports. Definitely recommend for athletes!” — Keilah
“This book was high action, twists and turns, science and ethics meets family, I could not put it down.”
Also: Behind Her Eyes
“It’s about a woman who goes home with a guy who turns out to be her new boss AND bumps into his wife (!!) and becomes friends with her… this book had my jaw dropping in the last few chapters, a seriously good read!” — Nicole
It’s dark, erotic, and disturbing all at the same time. She’s 18, just arrived to college, meets the perfect man but is he? It sucks you in and you’ll not want to put it down. — Ashley
13 Reasons Why
It was an adolescent read, easy but very forthcoming to the situation of suicide. It really makes you think! I read this book years ago and now there is a TV show revolving around it. It has some pretty different reviews from just about everyone I know, but I definitely suggest reading the book before watching the Netflix series. — Magen
The Neapolitan Series
“I just finished the fourth book in this series by Elena Ferrante. It follows the lives of two friends who lives in Naples, Italy, from the early 50s through until pretty much present day at the very end. I’ve loved every book in the series and I’m still getting over the fact that I don’t get to read about the two protagonists anymore! The first book is My Brilliant Friend – pick it up!” — Mark
March, the graphic novel
“A powerful look at the front lines of the civil rights movement and what those heroic activists truly faced. Disturbing echos of the current times abound, and the bravery and integrity of John Lewis shines through every word.” — Thekla
“Short stories, which I don’t usually love, but this book was amazing. Each story had rich, well-developed characters and some really emotionally powerful scenes. Touches of good humor really balance these stories. Highly recommend.” — Alicia
The Girl with All the Gifts
“Super good. After having the baby it’s been tough to find a book to pull me in enough to want to read when I’m tired at the end of the day – this did it!” — Lianne
“It tells the story of three women (one from the US, one from Poland, and one from Germany) during World War II and how they’re connected. It’s fiction but based on real people and events.” — Meaghan
A Man Named Ove
“An older widower learns to live again. Very sweet.” — Liz
“I read this years ago before the movie. It has forever changed my soul and made me think about about animals in a whole new light.” — Renee
The Road to Little Dribbling
“It is his return to England and he travels around the country telling interesting facts and droll anecdotes. It sounds dull, but it is good reading. I’m not finding it as can’t-read-in-public-because-I-look-like-a-lunatic-laugh.” — Barbara
Three Body Problem (and the subsequent two books)
“Hard sci-fi. You’ll feel so smart once you get your bearings.” — Leigh
ktfran April 24, 2017, 12:56 pm
I started watching 13 Reasons Why last night. Pretty sure I’ll read the book after. I can tell you, the series had me hooked within 5 minutes.
This is different for me because I usually read the book fist. We’ll see how it goes.
ktfran April 24, 2017, 12:57 pm
Lianne April 24, 2017, 12:56 pm
Thanks for the tip on The Handmaid’s Tale! I just got it for free on my kindle with Prime Reading!
I also read Behind Her Eyes. The story was everything the person that recommended it says…but I wasn’t a fan of the writing. In particular, one of the main characters had the same internal dialogue with herself over and over and she reminded me of many a letter writer on here. We all would have been telling her to MOA and seek therapy. With that said, I couldn’t put it down haha.
Kate April 24, 2017, 1:15 pm
I was just looking at my Kindle library, and I haven’t read anything that great in a while, other than The Handmaid’s Tale. I read The Girl With All the Gifts last summer and it’s great.
If you like horror, I read this book last fall that scared the crap out of me.
“Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.”
Like, she’ll just pop up in your bedroom at night, wtf!!! Every time I went to the bathroom at night I was really creeped out.
I mean, it wasn’t perfect, but it was scary AF.
Samba April 24, 2017, 1:57 pm
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HER EYES ARE OPENED?!?! I’m dying to know but too scared to read it myself lol.
Kate April 24, 2017, 2:03 pm
Ale April 24, 2017, 1:19 pm
I am reading “Man’s search for meaning” about a man that lives many years in concentration camps and how this experience, even being so awful, can be a positive one.
K April 24, 2017, 2:48 pm
I’m reading Big Little Lies for book club. Loved the HBO series, and the book is good so far. Tried to read All the Missing Girls, also for book club, but just couldn’t get into it. I also recently read A Man Called Ove and it took a while for me to warm up to it, but by the end I was moved by it.
Vathena April 24, 2017, 3:27 pm
I also enjoyed “The Girl with All the Gifts” (post-apocalyptic/sci-fi is one of my favorite genres!) Handmaid’s Tale is haunting. I recently finished “The Nest”, which I think would make a great beach read. Just started “Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett. Pretty much anything by Ann Patchett is a good read – Commonwealth, State of Wonder, Run are all great. I read “Big Little Lies” after someone recommended it on a DW thread – so good! Was expecting “chick lit” but it was much more than that. I’m halfway through the HBO series now.
Portia April 24, 2017, 4:12 pm
Yes to March! I went to see John Lewis (and the other two who put the book together) speak last fall and ended up buying the trilogy for myself over the holidays. Very powerful.
Morecoffeeplease April 25, 2017, 5:48 am
I just finished The Three Body Problem. It was really good…what a creative writer! I recently read The Underground Railroad and it was excellent. Right now I’m reading Lab Girl and it’s really good. Since I’m a biologist I can relate!
kmtthat April 25, 2017, 10:00 am
I literally just got Hulu so I could watch The Handmaid’s Tale series they are doing, because it looks flawless. I know a lot of people who really hated that book, but as a dystopian novel loving, atheist, baby feminist, I absolutely LOVED it. (My dad has still never forgiven me for making him read it — he’s an ok feminist though).
Going to make my book club read Swing Time by Zadie Smith because I adore her and have the book anyway.
Kate April 25, 2017, 10:38 am
We just got Hulu last night for the same reason. My husband started watching a series on JFK that he says is really interesting, and he will give THT a shot, although he’s suspicious because we watched the first episode of Outlander on Starz and were like wtf, this is awful. I thought since the first book at least was entertaining, the show would be too.
Why do people hate the HT book?
Lianne April 26, 2017, 9:10 am
The Outlander series gets WEIRD. I watched almost the whole first season and had to stop. Too much almost rape to actual rape. I just couldn’t.
MacGuffin April 25, 2017, 4:09 pm
I also just read The Handmaid’s Tale knowing about the Hulu series. I thought it was so good, and also eerily relevant to today’s society and politics.
I also really liked Big Little Lies. I haven’t seen the HBO series so not sure how it compares.
Today I finished The Orphan’s Tale, which was a good read. It’s a WWII era novel about a traveling circus that provides shelter from the Nazis.
Last month my book club read The Thousandth Floor – it was a fun read. Think Gossip Girl of the future.
Kate April 26, 2017, 6:16 am
ZOMGGG!!! I just watched the first 20 mins of the Handmaid’s Tale. I usually don’t like adaptations, but I love it so far. Except the Commander and his wife are a lot younger and better looking than in the book…
Lianne April 26, 2017, 9:08 am
Of course they are…I am on part III of the book.
Kate April 26, 2017, 9:18 am
Well, hurry up. This is LIT, fam.