To be completely honest, I don't think I've read a full book in over a year. My 5-22 year old self would be ashamed to hear that! In fact, my now 24 year old self is ashamed to say that! I've just been so incredibly busy that reading hasn't been a priority but I definitely want to make it one again because reading relaxes me and excites me like nothing else can. It's practically a form of meditation to me. It allows me to be more present and to forget about my worries. It's the perfect break that I need in the middle or at the end of a chaotic and stress-filled day.
Fortunately, I've recently gotten back into reading full force and it's all thanks to hearing about Book of the Month. I think part of the reason I haven't put reading as a priority the past year is because I don't know which books to read. There are a million articles out there about which books are the best, but I don't know which ones to trust. Yes, I know I could just go to the library and check out different books to test them out, but I'm all about buying books so that I can highlight them and scribble notes on the sides. I like to make each book my own.
So, when I heard about an extra extra affordable book club that gives you a choice between 5 amazing books each month I was stoked! I got those two hardback books pictured above for only $9.99 AND I got free shipping on them. You can get a book and super cute book tote for $9.99 here. Oh, and did I mention you ALWAYS get free shipping? Who would pass up on that!? Plus, you can start reffering friends to get more free books. I don't know how everyone and their mom isn't taking full advantage of Book of the Month!
To celebrate my reunion with my true self- my book loving self, I'm going to share a list of my all-time favorite fiction books! These are the books I couldn't put down. These are the books I still can't stop thinking about, years after I finished them (or reread them the last time.) These are the books I want everyone to know about because they're so darn good!
My All-Time Favorite Fiction Books
1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This book will forever be one of my favorites. Rainbow Rowell has a way of writing that feels like magic. Her writing is witty and relatable and impossible to put down.
"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under."
2. Austenland by Shannon Hale
Okay, first of all. Do not compare this book to the movie. The movie was not well done at all. This book is hilarious, well-written, and one you'll skip meals for and want to miss work to keep reading until the end. I absolutely love Shannon Hale's writing and think this book is extremely clever and captivating!
"When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined."
3. Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
If you can't already tell, I'm a bit obsessed with a good romance book, especially if it's a victorian era one. This and Edenbrooke (down below) are my two favorite victorian era romance books of all time because they're so incredibly well-written and impossible to put down.
"Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured and rejected three marriage proposals."
4. Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
This is another one with a captivating plot that's extremely well-written. I was enthralled with this one from the very first page.
"Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry."
5. Wonder by R.J Palacio
This book should be a "must-read" for all school age age children AND for all adults. It teaches the most important lesson in the world- to be kind to those who are different from you. I'm a huge fan of this book, not only for its message but also because it's another one of those books I couldn't put down because of the storyline and how captivatingly well-written it is.
"August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. "
6. The Selection by Kiera Cass
I really loved the first book of this series! I'm not as much of a fan of the rest of the books in the series but the first one is a MUST-READ! It's SO great. You'll absolutely get hooked from page one!
"For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want. Then America meets Prince Maxon—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."
7. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
"In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistake.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?"
8. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This one didn't sound particularly interesting to me, but I decided to give it a try since I loved Eleanor and Park so much. I actually ended up loving Fangirl just as much as Eleanor and Park. It was a little more lighthearted, but just as witty and hard to put down. I just can't get over how great of a writer Rainbow Rowell is. You'll absolutely love this funny, relatable, deep book!
"Fangirl is a coming-of-age novel that is smart, funny, and genuine. Fangirl takes place during Cather Avery's first year of college, learning who she is when stripped down to just Cath--not the twins Cath & Wren and not Magicath, her fan fiction pen name."
9. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
"When Lady Saren refuses to marry a man she fears, she and her maid, Dashti, are locked in a tower with just a tiny flap open to the outside world.
Not long after their confinement begins, Saren's suitors arrive-one welcome, the other less so-and she orders Dashti to speak to them. Impersonating Lady Saren is a crime punishable by death, but Dashti will have to play the role many times if she is to save them both from the tower and the dangers outside. As she takes control of their desperate situation, Dashti begins to understand her own astonishing talents and believe that even a low-born maid can find true love."
My Reading Bucket List:
- Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (reading now)
- The City of Brass by S. Chakraborty (reading next)
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
- These Is My Words by Nancy Turner
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
& of course, whichever books I get to choose from Book of the Month!
I would love to hear about which books you're obsessed with and which books you're planning on reading in the future! I've made a little "Book Bucket List" for you to fill out and keep on your fridge or in a notebook so that you can keep track of which books you've read and which books you plan to read. I hope you enjoy it and enjoy all of the books I've recommended! Happy reading, friends!