Brooke’s Reading List

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I love to read. So much so that I memorized my library card number. (Hey, this is a judgment-free zone!) I’ve decided to share my reading list since I know some of my readers must be bookworms too. I’ll keep an updated list of what I’m currently reading, books I plan to read in the next year, and recommendations for books that blew me away. Happy reading!

Currently Reading

In this section, I’ll track the books I’m reading right now. I often have two going simultaneously, one for funsies and one for online book club.

Anxious People* – Fredrik Backman

I’ve read a few of Backman’s stories previously (Beartown* and Us Against You*) and I really like his style. He tends to flow back and forth between previous events and the present-day and has a knack for crafting storylines that flawlessly intertwine at the end.

Medicine From the Kitchen* – Jessie Emerson

This is my current onlinebookclub.org read. I chose it because I am always looking for new, natural remedies for colds and minor illnesses. I am hoping to pull some effective home recipes from western herbal medicine (and maybe even share some of my favorites with y’all!).

Going to Read

Below are the books I’m planning to read over the next year. This list comprises recommendations from well-known book worms, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, podcasts, friends, and family (source in parentheses). If you’ve read a book you think should be on my list, please let me know!

My Favorites List

The following are books I’ve LOVED that are worthy of recommendations.

Superlife* – Darin Olien

The Netflix series Down to Earth with Darin and Zac Efron encouraged us to read Darin’s book, Superlife. While watching, we were instantly hooked on Darin’s sunny outlook and excitement about superfoods, nutrition, and sustainable living. Darin focuses on what he calls the five life forces: nutrition, hydration, alkalinization, oxygenation, and detoxification. This book not only serves as an incredibly informative guide to anyone wanting to learn more about nutrition but also offers tangible small steps you can take today to feel better tomorrow. The recipes are also easy and delicious!!

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone* – Lori Gottlieb

This book follows the real-life (yet slightly altered for privacy, of course) events of a therapist. She shares her own patients’ struggles and her experience seeking a therapist’s services following a sudden, heart-wrenching breakup. It’s funny and raw and not what one might expect from a book about therapy. This story made me reflect on some underlying experiences in my own childhood and has me ready to call up a therapist to book a session ASAP.

The Silent Patient* – Alex Michaelides – I read this book cover to cover in less than 24 hours. I was absolutely hooked. It explores mental health as it relates to attempts to solve a murder. I can’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to give anything away, but this book will not disappoint you if you like an intricately woven whodunnit.

Becoming Bulletproof *- Evy Poumpouras – This was an extraordinarily insightful and empowering book. It’s not every day we get to hear from a female Secret Service agent who served under four presidents. Her insights about personal protection, how to read people, and what’s important in life were thought-provoking. They made me want to reconsider home security and my ability to protect myself.

Harry Potter books 1-7*– J.K. Rowling – I listened to these on audiobook over two months. It’s incredible how many things you pick up on as an adult that weren’t evident as a child. I found myself repeatedly pausing on book seven because I was desperate to continue my relationship with these characters and this world.

The Goldfinch* – Donna Tartt – Dare I say it, The Goldfinch is my favorite book in an extremely long time. We follow a boy from a broken home to his journey as a troubled adult, all the while with concern over the painting he’s harboring illegally. I was captivated by this tale, likely because the writing is superb. The imagery and ability to create a level of detail you can feel is something I aspire to be able to do. There are so many lessons wrapped up in the final pages of the book that I found myself going back over them multiple times. It’s a long one, crude, very heavy, but worth it.

“And as much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic.”

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Dear Girls – Ali Wong – This book is hysterical, albeit extremely crude at times. Ali’s anecdotes about dating and life as an up-and-coming comedian had me laughing out loud throughout the book. If you like Ali’s style of comedy, you’ll love this book.

The Year of Less* – Cait Flanders – Cait Flanders shares her story of how she transitioned to living a simpler lifestyle after realizing the unhappiness that comes with too many things. I felt at times that I could have written sections of this book. It was very approachable and thought-provoking and will undoubtedly leave you wanting to simplify your own life.

Year of Yes* – Shonda Rhimes – I am a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes. I think she’s an absolute boss, and her shows are some of the best on television (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder). This book chronicles her mindset shift to saying yes to everything for an entire year and the life-changing impacts. It’s an inspirational read that makes you want to step out of your shell and face your fears head-on.

The Last Lecture* – Randy Pausch – This book, which chronicles a college professor’s last lecture after a diagnosis with terminal cancer, is a powerful look at what it means to live. If you’ve ever thought about what it means to “live like you were dying” this emotional look at Randy’s last lecture and the events leading up to will certainly make you think about the kind of legacy you’d like to leave. And perhaps even grant you the opportunity to do it before your time is up.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes* – Suzanne Collins – I have been a huge fan of the Hunger Games books since I read the first one back in college. This book serves as a prequel to the series and follows the younger years of one Coriolanus Snow (you’ll remember him as the President of Panem during Katniss’ time). I thought this story was brilliantly written and gave great insight into why Snow became the man he did.

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