I always have a stack of books by my bedside or downloaded in my iPad. Whether I’m travelling or spending quiet time at home (pandemic necessity), I find great comfort in escaping to another world or era thanks to a good novel. Here are some of my recent favourites in no particular order. I won’t provide book reviews, other sites do a better job of that (Hello Indigo!) so I hope this will give you some general inspiration. How do I pick a book? By the cover, or a recommendation, or my mood … anything goes really.
I read anywhere I get the opportunity – by the pool, in the pool – it’s all the same.
Good holiday reads: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman – a fast zippy thriller that sometimes didn’t make the most sense but it was a perfect book to take to Hawaii. Watching You, and Then She Was Gone, both by Lisa Jewell both are super creepy. I couldn’t put them down though – so many twists and turns in these unsettling thrillers. Can’t wait to start her newest – The Family Upstairs.
I went through a period where I read a lot of war-time novels. They were beautifully written but I needed a break after a while. These are the ones that I devoured quickly:
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is a love story based on the experience of Lale Sokolov who spent two and half years at the concentration camp tattooing identity numbers on thousands of captives. The Huntress and The Alice Network by Kate Quinn are two excellent novels about female spies during WWII. And The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is along the same lines and soon to be made into a feature film.
I look for a variety of novels from different eras. I read a lot of historical fiction for a while and then switched to more contemporary books. I really loved Daisy Jones and the Six, plus The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, both by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Both novels highlight headstrong young women making difficult creatives choices in a man’s world. Daisy Jones and the Six is about a fictional rock band – all I could think about was Fleetwood Mac as an inspiration. Their album Rumours is one of my all-time favourites. And Evelyn Hugo takes cues from old school Hollywood and how many actresses were tied into punishing contracts. Both are terrific stories that I think you’ll love.
I don’t read a lot of help self help books but I’m a huge fan of Glennon Doyle. I grabbed Untamed the minute it launched at Indigo. I was blown away by Love Warrior, her earlier book that chronicled her savage success over bulimia and addiction. Untamed is all about becoming brave – and that’s something I could use a little more of right now. Doyle is finding her true “untamed” self as she talks about leaving her husband, uprooting her family, and marrying US soccer star Abby Wambach.
Another great book is Chery Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of her Dear Sugar advice columns. I bookmarked so many of the pages (love, addiction, betrayal, dysfunctional families) to return to over and over.
Here’s a stack of books that I absolutely loved – each of them is so different but they all have a special place on my book shelf – not under a shoe! And here a few more that I highly recommend:
Educated by Tara Westover; The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani; When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi; Love and Ruin by Paula McLain; The Winters by Lisa Gabriele; A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini; Becoming by Michelle Obama. I could go on and on. I will post the books I liked on my Instagram account and tag #tantrumreads for an easy way to view them all. I don’t post books I didn’t enjoy. I generally abandon them if I’m not hooked by the first few chapters. Life is too short. And I always love to hear your suggestions. Thank you for reading!