Book Recommendations for November 2015

Hello Friends! I feel like every month I’m startled by how quickly time is flying by. I almost wrote, “Can you believe it’s already after Thanksgiving?!” but then I thought to myself, “Yes, I can believe it’s after Thanksgiving because it feels like every year is flying by faster and faster so of course it feels like yesterday was Halloween.” I’m actually super proud of myself for the books I read this month. There are a lot of great reads in here. Ready?

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Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed reading Reconstructing Amelia. I’m not usually a fan of contemporary fiction and I’m even less of a fan of books that involve the use of social media but this book was very well written. After Amelia is found dead in a supposed suicide, her mother pieces together her final days from her texts, e-mails, and social media accounts. It’s not (I repeat, NOT) Gone Girl so stop it with the comparisons although it is a good book. It’s a bit cliche and predictable at times but it’s good and a nice break from my normal business or historical reads.

Reconstructing Amelia is a bit predictable but a good read nonetheless. If you're looking for a new book, this would be worth checking out.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

This book was recommended to my by a co-worker about two months ago and it just sat on my to-read list until this month. Daring Greatly is one of those books I just know I’m going to be recommending to friends (blogging and non-blogging alike) for a long time. One of my favorite lines from the book was about finding “the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.” That’s what I’m all about. I’m all about engaging with my whole heart so this book was right up my alley. It’s encouraging and inspirational. It’s a great book to read before starting off 2016.

Need an encouraging or inspirational book to kick off the new year? Daring Greatly by Brene Brown should be a must-read on your list.

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

Queen Sugar is a bit cliche but it was not nearly as predictable as other books in the same genre. It didn’t really surprise me but it also didn’t go exactly as I expected. I enjoyed reading it but I’m not feeling like I have to rush out and tell everyone it’s a MUST. READ. In short, a city woman inherits a sugar cane farm in Louisiana and moves home with her daughter to try to make it work. There are so many books with similar story arcs that I am just left feeling “ehhhhh” about it. It’s not bad. It’s not great.

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile is a good book but it's nothing I'm finding myself raving about.

Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King

Every so often I decide to give suspense novels another chance and every time I am reminded of why I do not read suspense novels. I won’t criticize Laurie King (this is my first attempt at her novels) and I won’t criticize the series (this is book #13) as I haven’t read the others and didn’t feel the need to as I was told this could be read as a standalone. I just wasn’t impressed and I didn’t feel the suspense. It felt so heavily pulled down by minute details that I just couldn’t get invested in the story. Dreaming Spies is definitely not for me but if you like suspense novels you may love it. It’s highly reviewed by other readers.

Dreaming Spies by Laurie King is a popular suspense novel but definitely not for me.

From Good to Grace: Letting Go of the Goodness Gospel by Christine Hoover

This book was so good for my soul this month. It is exactly what I needed to read and I know that there are a lot of you out there right now that need to read this too. From Good to Grace reminds us that we aren’t supposed to be stressing over being “good enough.” It’s not about earning favor but being “good” and that we need to recognize that truth and focus instead on the Grace that comes from God. It’s powerful message of freedom and hope, one that I know a lot of women need to read. We are too hard on ourselves and this book reminds us of that. For me, it was a timely message and I’m sure you’ll love it too.

From Good to Grace was such a timely read for me. This was exactly what I needed to read and I am certain it will be good for your soul too.

Every Day I Fight by Stuart Scott, Larry Platt

CUE. THE. TEARS. I requested this book from NetGalley when I saw it listed a few months ago because I knew I was going to love any book about Stuart Scott. He was one of my favorite reporters on ESPN and I miss him terribly.  The man had such a quiet strength about him.  “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” – Stuart Scott His memoir, Every Day I Fight, was completed shortly before he passed away in January, 2015. Of all the memoirs I’ve read, this is one of my favorites.

Every Day I Fight by Stuart Scott is one of my favorite memoirs. An absolutely wonderful read!

Let’s Talk…

  • What’d you read this month? Any great books to recommend to me?
  • Have you read any of the books on my November list? Did you agree/disagree?
Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl

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