Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

Jennifer Curry's favorite books »
Showing posts with label Booklists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Booklists. Show all posts

Thursday, July 1, 2021

My Favorite Reads of 2021 So Far

It's July 1, 2021, which means we are halfway through the year! 

I have read 49 books so far... it is really killing me that I didn't make it to an even 50.

While I haven't been blogging about books or posting my reading material to social media, rest assured I am still reading.

In 2021, I have gone back to thrillers (I can handle them again now that 2020 is over) but I am still shying away from WWI and WWII historical fiction.

I have also enjoyed reading a ton of rom-coms. They may not make my "Best of" lists, but trust me when I say I have plenty of make-your-heart happy fun reads to recommend. Just ask! 

6 months down, 6 months to go!

My favorite 6 reads for the first 6 months of 2021

The House of the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

I cannot find the words to explain how much I loved this sweet, strange fantasy. I went into it without knowing anything about it and it delighted me chapter after chapter. 

I love it so much I spent a ridiculous amount of money on these corresponding pencils (profits benefit The Trevor Project).

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees, is a wonderful storyteller. This is a historical fiction set in biblical times. It tells the fictional story of a woman who married Jesus Christ and what that would have looked like during the time.

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth is quickly becoming one of my favorite domestic thriller writers. They aren't too scary, and they have multi-faceted characters. Her latest is another winner that focuses on a pair of sisters who are a little too co-dependent.

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

I read a lot of memoirs (actually, I love to listen to memoirs). This one stands out because it is one that left quite an impression. When you read as much as I do, sometimes books start to blur together. This one will never blur and won't be forgotten. It is about a survivor of the polygamist Mormon LeBaron cult. It is a very rough read, but it shows how much strength and resilience Ruth has.

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

There is a reason this one ended up in Reese's Book Club, but it is NOT for the faint of heart. The first few sentences will make some ladies clutch their pearls in shock and horror. With that being said, it is a romance, unlike any romance I have read (aka not a rom-com). It is a tough read, and it gets dark fast. Even so, I could not stop reading it. I also really appreciated how it featured a character with chronic illness (migraines) in a realistic light. 

The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth by Beth Allison Barr

My last pick is nonfiction. If you grew up in church and were taught why women shouldn't preach or wear spaghetti strap tank tops, this book explains where those ideas came from. Hint: not the Bible. I learned a lot as I read it, and I am glad I read it while my kids are still young enough to use my new knowledge to teach them.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

It's Halfway Through 2020. Here are 10 Books That Have Helped Me Survive.

2020 has been one wild, crappy ride. Between having major surgery, tornadoes, a pandemic, and a moment of racial reckoning, I have managed to read 44 books in the first half of the most tumultuous year my generation has ever born witness to.

That's why I chose books that wind up all over the place. I leaned heavy into fluff fiction and rom-coms, trashy memoirs, and ridiculous thrillers.


And I am not ashamed! Actually, given what I've learned this year, I am proud to recommend all of these books because there is a time when we just need to read for fun or read to escape.


Here are 10 books that have helped me survive the first half of 2020

(And because I don't think you need to read a full review to be enticed to read it yourself, these reviews are super short.)

Hollywood Park

by Mikel Jollett

If you want to feel very literary and hip, read this memoir by the lead of Airborne Toxic Event about his cult upbringing.

The Guest List

by Lucy Foley 

If you want an Agatha Christie whodunit that keeps you guessing until the very end, this is a fun one.

Such a Fun Age

by Kiley Reid

If you want to learn about racism through fiction, this is a quick read with a fab story that will leave you thinking.

A Witch in Time

by Constance Sayers

If you need a fantasy escape, this one you'll read like you did Twilight (in other words, super fast).

Station Eleven

by Emily St. John Mandel

If you want a literary escape from this current pandemic by reading about a worse pandemic, this one is for you. Plus, read it before you watch the HBO miniseries.

Beach Read

by Emily Henry

If you want a true rom-com beach read, then look no further than the aptly titled Beach Read.

The Wives

by Tarryn Fisher

If you want a can't-put-down over-the-top thriller (with polygamy), then The Wives will have you gasping and laughing at its absurdity.

Open Book

by Jessica Simpson

If you want the complete opposite of a literary memoir like Hollywood Park, then dive into Jessica Simpson's fun and scandalous memoir.


The Wedding Party

by Jasmine Guillory

If you haven't started the terrific rom-com series by Jasmine Guillory, what is wrong with you?

Be the Bridge

by Latasha Morrison

If you want to learn more about why racial reconciliation is so important, then this Christian perspective is a great starting point.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

My Favorite Reads/Listens of 2019

2019 kicked me in the rear. Life got hard, so my reading got easy. This may explain why I stopped reviewing books or writing on this blog. But, many of you have requested a list of my favorite books from the year, and I am happy to deliver.

With the year I had, I pretty much avoided all wartime historical fiction and psychological thrillers. I pretty much read fluff from March through the end of the year. Somehow, I still managed to read (or listen to) 110 books.

Here are the 10 books I read in 2019 that stood out (in no particular order):

Evvie Drave Starts Over - Linda Holmes

*NPR Pop Culture Writer's Debut Novel. Excellent.

A Spark of Light - Jodi Picoult

*Very timely. Another win for Picoult.

I'll Be There for You: The One about Friends - Kelsey Miller (Audio)

*If you love Friends and you love literary analysis, this audio is super fun.

Us Against You - Fredrik Backman (all the stars)

*I could not love Beartown more. All the tears.

Daisy Jones and the Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid

*Like reading a transcript of Behind the Music.

Pachinko - Min Jin Lee 

*Very long. Very depressing. Very well written.

The Mother-in-Law - Sally Hepworth

*A thriller that accurately presents two sides of the story.

The Dreamers - Karen Thompson Walker 

*Unusual and lyrical.

Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever - Gavin Edwards 

*One of the best, short biographies about Mister Rogers I have read.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know - Malcolm Gladwell (Audio)

*Podcast style audiobook that I could not stop listening to and discussing.

I have also fallen hard for the Rom-Com novels by Jasmine Guillory and Helen Hoang.

I I 

Monday, December 31, 2018

I read 127 Books in 2018. Here are the 18 I recommend.

This was an absolutely fantastic reading year! I read all the time all year long. I read genres I usually don't and I stepped outside of my comfort zone.

Part of the reason for my big number is largely in part of my Book of the Month subscription and my discovery of the joys of listening to audiobooks when in public rather than dealing with the public.

I know you don't have all day, so I am sharing my 18 favorite reads this year using ten words or less for each. Let's get on with it.

My Favorite Books of 2018

Beartown - Friday Night Lights for hockey. Favorite read of the year.

The Chilbury Ladies Choir - Historical fiction novel told through letters with sassy strong women.

An American Marriage - False accusation, jail, marriage whoas. The book and audio = incredible.

The Woman in the Window - Hitchcock throwback thriller set in modern times. Creepy page turner!

The Music Shop - My heart swelled with this music shop love story.

How to Walk Away - An accident + hospital stay + hot Scottish physical therapist

Inspired - Inspired me to read the Bible in hopeful new ways

All We Ever Wanted - "Me too" rich kid and rich parent drama

Whiskey & Ribbons - About a fatally wounded cop, his wife, and his bff

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win - Female in politics drama with a very abrupt ending

Rush - The Help meets Greek Like

The Wedding Date - Romcom about a couple pretending to date for a wedding

Calypso - The latest work of satire by humorist David Sedaris

The Library Book - Part nonfiction, part true crime about libraries and a fire

The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Outstanding fantasy for middle grades - full of magic

Last Christmas in Paris - Bawled my eyes through this love story told through letters

Almost Everything - Latest by Anne Lamott - almost everything she knows for sure

The Summer Wives - Soapy historical fiction with dynamics of the rich and poor

What books did you read and love in 2018? Tell me!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

My Favorite 9 Reads of 2018...So Far

Can you believe we are halfway through 2018? I can't. Even though the year has been busy and filled with fun, I have found time to read my way through 60 books! Since I am often asked for recommendations, I have gone through my Goodreads 2018 shelf and selected the books that have left the biggest impressions on me so far.

My Favorite 9 Reads of 2018

I narrowed the list from 60 to 9 in a very scientific manner - Instagram layout only allows for 9 photos, so there you go. With that being said, these are the books that I either read as quickly as possible because they were so entertaining or books that have stayed on my mind weeks/months after I closed the last page.

To make it easy on you, I am telling you why you should read it in one to two sentences only!

Biggest Surprise

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

I did not expect much from this book, but I ended up loving the way the story unfolded through letters and stories. It is the kind of book that makes you want to sit in a comfy chair with a cup of coffee/tea/glass of wine and savor each word.

Best Thrill

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

If you are looking for a thriller, check this one out! Full of Alfred Hitchcock and old movie talk, this book reads like a modern Hitchcock film with an ending I did not see coming.

Most Emotionally Satisfying 

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Full of quirky characters and music lyrics, this book filled me up. It is the kind of book I will not soon forget and one that I will likely go back to when I am going through a hard time.

Best Audiobook

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

The book, itself, has received tons of praise - and it is well deserved! I listened to the audiobook version, and I found myself unable to stop listening even for a second because I had to know what decisions the characters would make.

Best Cry for Women

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

If you want a good book cry, you read Kristin Hannah. On top of the usual tearfest, this one set in the wilderness of Alaska made me think it should be advertised as Hatchet for women.

Faith for the Rest of Us Pick

The Very Worst Missionary by Jamie Wright

A former missionary, Jamie Wright tells her story from salvation to the mission field and back again. She is crass and crude (this is not your run-of-the-mill Christian memoir), but she will make you think about missions in a new way.

Best Romantic Comedy

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

This was a book I picked up and didn't put down until I finished. It reads just like a movie, and the male lead is the female lead's grumpy Scottish physical therapist.

Best Historical Fiction

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

Murder, family drama, scandals, secrets, and a love across the wrong side of the tracks plot line is always a good choice. Set it in an interesting time in history and you have a winner! *Releasing July 10, 2018

Best Fun Frothy Read

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I am super late to the party on this one, but the movie preview made me finally check this one out. And, I totally get the hype, and so will you!

Which books have been your favorite reads so far this year? Let me know!