The Signature of All Things
by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book was incredible. Simply incredible! It’s such a sweeping saga, filled with so much knowledge and thought, and I absolutely loved it. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Eat, Pray, Love (which is in my top books of all time; I adore it), and I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Signature of All Things. It delivered… and then some! It’s a fiction book that primarily follows the life of Alma Whittaker, a woman who grows up throughout the novel, becoming a botanist. This book follows Alma and her incredibly affluent family throughout her entire life (beginning around 1800) and throughout the whole world – through her coming of age, romantic interests, love of nature and botany; from Philadelphia to England to Tahiti. The Signature of All Things is a long novel, but I simply could not put it down. The author pulls you in, and I also felt like I learned so much, too. I would highly, highly recommend this book!!
East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
This, too, has long been one of my favorite books of ALL-time. Re-reading favorite books is something I love doing, and it was definitely time for another reading of East of Eden. Goodness, this book is so moving, spellbinding, and powerful. It should be a must-read for everyone, in my opinion. East of Eden chronicles the interwoven Hamilton and Trask families in Salinas Valley, California at the turn of the 20th century. The story parallels the biblical stories of Adam & Eve and then Cain & Abel; there’s good and evil in the world, and it is ultimately your choice which path you wish to follow. The characters and plot are so engrossing, and John Steinbeck writes so incredibly well. You absolutely must read East of Eden!!
The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd
The Invention of Wings (the author wrote Secret Life of Bees!) is a recent book club pick, and, once again, we selected a great book to read and discuss! Sue Monk Kidd is such an excellent writer, and I also enjoyed this novel immensely. I recently returned from a weekend in Charleston, so it was eye-opening to read a book that takes place in Charleston (though in the 1800s). It’s an intertwined tale of Sarah, a wealthy Charlestonian girl who demands more of the world than the limits set on women of her era, and Handful, Sarah’s maid/slave. The novel details the lives of both Sarah and Handful as they grow up in such segregated, tumultuous times, especially in regards to slavery. I really loved this book, and I’m positive you will, too!
by Graeme Simsion
I loved this book! It was such a quick and easy read (I believe I finished it in about a day), but it was so well-written, hilarious, and deep. It’s about a man (Don, who unknowingly has Asperger’s) who decides to undergo a rigorous online “Wife Project” to find his perfect mate by weeding out all other women. He has incredibly specific parameters to fit his future wife into the mold he has in his mind, and then Rosie comes along. She certainly doesn’t qualify as his wife, but Don and Rosie dive into a “Father Project” to figure out who Rosie’s true father is. You should definitely check The Rosie Project out; it’s a great summertime read!
Do tell: what are your favorite books of the year? Did you set a goal to read a specific number of books this year, and how is that going? I’d love to hear what books you’d suggest for me!