Monday, January 23, 2017

Easy Books for Getting Back in the Reading Groove - Chick Lit

If you read this blog regularly then you know that reading is a huge hobby of mine.  I've read 455 books over the last 3 years (a number which sounds INSANE though some of those were repeated) and it's rare to have a day where I read less than an hour.  Minimum.  It's what I do to relax.  It's what I do to learn.  It's what I do to live lives I'll never actually have.

And, obviously, since I enjoy reading so much I want to push share that love with others.  Maybe you just don't like to read.  That's fine.  Although I do hope you have other hobbies.  Maybe you'd like to read but just don't know what to read (a problem that plagued me through my early-mid 20s).  That's where this little series comes in.  This week I'm going to be sharing 5 books in 4 different categories that I think are pretty "easy" reads.  Easy to get hooked in the story, easy to pick up, easy to get through.  Now, of course, these are a lot of my favorite books, many of which I've read more than once.  I also own almost all of them.  But of course I have to recommend books I've actually read and ones I've enjoyed are the most obvious choice.  You may not like them all, click with them all, but if you are looking for book suggestions and drawing a complete blank, these are where I'd start.  If you don't like them, well that tells you something too!

Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin
These are so chick-lit-y that the first was made into a chick flick (maybe 2010).  It's about two best friends, Rachel and Darcy, who grew up together in Indiana (shout out!) but have both moved to New York City.  You wouldn't think they have much in common, besides their shared childhood, from their current lives: Rachel is a single (serious) lawyer.  Darcy, I think, works at a party planning place?  Or does some kind of PR.  She's engaged to marry Dex who Rachel met in law school.  Then...Rachel and Dex start a secret thing (which is not a spoiler, it happens in the first chapter).  The book makes it super easy to root against Darcy because she's shown to be pretty shallow and selfish (not that that makes cheating ok, but I never really cared what happened to her).  Obviously there is a lot of drama when things come to light.  It's not great litature but it is fun and easy to read.  (Previously mentioned)

Something Blue comes immediately after the events of Something Borrowed and is told through Darcy's perspective.  For reasons I don't want to say, she moves to London and ends up crashing with a mutual friend, Ethan, during a difficult time in her life.  After reading Something Blue I never thought I'd have any sympathy for Darcy but this book, and all the life changes she's going through, made me root for her.  And I liked that it took place in London (I know, weak excuse to like a book). 

The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
You could substitute almost any of Elin Hilderbrand's books but this one is my favorite.  (Note: probably not a coincidence that 2 of the first 3 on my list have "blue" in the title.  I like anything in blue.)  It takes place on Nantucket, like all her other books, primarily in the summer, like all her other books.  I think what I like about this one is all the food descriptions and how it feels and reads fast-paced, just like the restaurant life it is describing.  It's centered around the new hostess of a high-end restaurant, The Blue Bistro, and her relationship with the owner and his deep friendship with his co-owner, the chef.  If reading about food doesn't appeal to you, my other favorites of hers are The Island, Beautiful Day, and Summerland.  Also, one of the main characters shares a name with one of my (26) nephews. 

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
I've mentioned this book more than once (here and here).  It's basically well told and well researched fan fiction about William and Kate.  If you don't know the William and Kate I am referring to than this book is already not for you.  I was up at 4:30am on April 29, 2011 (a date I did not have to look up...but I also memorize dates very easily, except in history class) to watch the live wedding of the actual William and Kate.  It was a huge motivator for our trip to London (but's it kinda sells itself).  I was very excited to visit Westminster Abbey on that trip.  I was obviously going to read this book.  And I LOVED it.  Definitely recommend for anyone with any interest in the royal family. 

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This is a very recent read and the only one of these I don't own even though I would definitely read it again.  I mentioned it (here and here) and my feelings haven't changed.  Don't know what you would do if your "love of my life" husband disappeared and then (after falling apart for a few years) you fell in love again, then the husband reappears?  Well, this book makes a good argument for either option but also makes her final choice seem to right.  It was hard to put down and I went back and forth so many times on how I thought it would end.  Nobody ever wants to be in this situation 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I remember reading this next to Luke's little inflatable pool the summer he was one.  I was more interested in the pool time than he was since I wanted to finish this book (He wanted to eat dirt?  One-year olds can be weird.)  It's about three women, all with kids at the same school, who lives are intersecting and overlapping.  There is a death at a big school benefit and the story is told through police statements and everyone reacting to the news, so you slowly find out what happened, who died, and how.  Examines various relationships but easy enough to read that made it great for the pool, inflatable or not.

What else would you recommend?  It's fairly easy to find books to fit this category, Target and the library are filled with them but ones you'll really enjoy, won't turn your brain to mush, are easy to get sucked in, and are worth re-reading?  Those are a little tougher.  Let me know what else you have read and enjoyed!
New Years Resolution to read more?  Don't know where to start?  I'm aiming to help you out this week with 5 (or 6) books in 4 different categories, all of which I deem pretty "easy" to read - easy to get hooked, enjoyable to read, the best kind of book to start a good reading habit!

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