Fashion Beauty Friend Friday: Open a book

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November is National Book Writing Month. If you're a long-time reader of my blog, you're well-aware of my love for books. I spent my childhood in libraries and have a stack of books on my bedside table so towering it threatens to collapse and take me with it. I love to read. I love immersing myself in a big, thick novel. I love the feeling of reading a book so captivating that I can't put it down. Katy of Modly Chic feels the same way, and this week she's dedicated Fashion Beauty Friend Friday to books - what we're reading, our favorite past reads, and books we'd recommend to our own blog followers.

My Top 5 Favorite Books Of All Time:
  1. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls: This is not an easy read. The biographical telling of the author's childhood, through which she struggled with poverty and two parents who were highly unsuitable for parenting, is heartbreaking and captivating.
  2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith: I first read this book in high school and have been in love with it ever since. It's a story of a girl from the slums of Willamsburg, Brooklyn, during the early 1900's. Francie is imaginative, alert, mature beyond her years - everything a heroine should be. I love the details of life in NYC during the pre-Depression years.
  3. The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning: This book is on many Christians' must-read lists, and for good reason - it passionately explains how one's relationship with God is based around love. This book inspired me to become a born again Christian, and I read it at least once a year.
  4. Wasted, Marya Hornbacher: Marya is a recovering anorexic and bulimic, and I can relate to her book on a deeply personal level. This book is an unflinching description of the indescribable hell of living with a chronic eating disorder. There are certain chapters I feel like I could have written myself.
  5. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris: This book is just damm funny Like, laugh out loud funny. Sedaris has a wonderful way of weaving short essays about his oddball, endearing family with wit and snark. There are chapters that are more poignant than funny, and it's that combination that makes this book so successful.
My 5 Most Recent Reads
  1. Anthropology of an American Girl, Hilary Thayer: This is an arresting and provocative story of a young woman growing up in the seventies, and her navigation in the world of womanhood. It's one of those books you just can't put down.
  2. Room, Ema Donague: This is a book that's shocking, riveting and tragic, yet also manages to offer glimmers of hope and beauty. Room is the story of a kidnapped woman who lives with her son, the product of rape by her kidnapper, in a 11x11 foot space for five years. The child is the narrator, which injects an innocent and precocious perspective into a tale that is terrifying and  intense.
  3. Shanghi Girls and its sequel, Dreams of Joy, Lisa See: Two beautiful, privileged sisters in the late 1930's from Shanghi have their lives turned upside down when they are sold to suitors. Their journey through China, escaping the Japanese bombings of WW2, and the sacrifices they overcome, kept me riveted
  4. The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides: I'm in the middle of reading this book about the lives of three college seniors during the early 1980's. There is Madeline, an incurable romantic fascinated by Victorian literature; Leonard, a brilliant manic-depressive; and Mitchell, a tortured religious studies major on an all-consuming quest for spirituality. All three are captivating.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. What books are you reading right now? What are some of your favorite books?

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday was created by Katy Rose of Modly Chic. Become a member at the Fashion Beauty Friend Friday Google Group to join in the discussion!

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  1. Some of my favorite all-time books are The Count of Monte Cristo, Lord of the Rings, Less Than Zero, and Mere Christianity.

    I just finished reading Wait for Me, Deborah Mitford's latest memoir. It was pretty interesting to read about her life growing up and all the people she came to know (JFK! Hitler!) during her 90 years of living.

  2. Currently reading: Zone One by Colson Whitehead

    To read: Room; Swamplandia!; The Marriage Plot

    Fave books of all time:
    Anne of Green Gables
    Everything That Rises Must Converge (by Flannery O'Connor)
    The Secret History (by Donna Tartt)
    Pride and Prejudice

    I'm probably missing something.

  3. The next thing I read on my nook will be The Marriage Plot. So excited!

    I read The Glass Castle recently and liked it, but felt she skipped over too much about her adult life. A lot of it was left very vague.

  4. My reading choices are Dune(all of them) Lord of the Rings(all of them) The Seven Percent Solution, Nicholas and Alexandra, Anything by Poe. I'm not finished with the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, Jefferson Bass' books, Vamps, Weres, and things that go bump in the night.

  5. Loved glass house as well. I think my most favorite recent book is City of Dreams by Swerling. It's a great historical fiction - the settlement of Manhattan - you might like it. I am starting on Caleb's crossing next.

  6. Hi Elissa! I'm on a quest right now to read the entire body of work by Joyce Carol Oates (I know, like whoa! I don't think she does anything BUT write!) I'm struggling to finish The Falls at present... is that ever slow going!

    Did I see that you just finished a novel of your own? Congrats! Can you tell us more about it? I just indie-published for the first time last month and it was an adventure!

    Keep up the great work! Love your blog! (and glad you're feeling better!)

  7. I rea's The Glass Castle for my book club, it is a sad yet great read!

    Love your blog!

  8. @Laurie! - You may also want to read "The Sisters - The Saga of the Mitford Family" by Mary S. Lovell.

    You may also want to check out "Five Sisters the Langhorns of Virginia." by James Fox They are kind of America's own version of the Mitford Family.

    Books I LOVE are as follows

    Rebecca By Daphne Du Maurier - I have read this book once a year since I was 17.

    The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson

    Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

    Tolstoy - Henri Troyat

    Devil In the White City - Eric Larson

    Last Five Reads

    Mary Boleyn - Alison Weir

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy - Stieg Larson ( I count these 3 as 1 cuz you HAVE to read them 1,2,3 so it's like 1 big book IMO)

    In the Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson

    Happily Ever After by John Klima and Bill Willingham ( If you LOVE Fairy Tales, Steampunk, & Sci-Fi Adventure I cannot stress that you should READ IT)

    I am currently reading an advanced copy Catherine the Great By Robert K. Massie It comes out for sale Tuesday.

    I will say if you are an avid reader one of the BEST advantages of working in a book store is sometimes publishers will send advanced copies of books for the store employees to read as research. If not for that "Perk" I would have never finished "In the Garden of Beasts" this early on my reading list.

  9. i keep telling myself to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn...i'll actually have to hold myself to that one day soon.

    come check out my FBFF list.

  10. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn > love it every time I read it which has been at least a dozen times. Lord of the Rings > so great it is taught as a college course. I love all the Anne Rice books, especially those with Lestat. I read Nicholas & Alexandra and loved it.
    I usually enjoy every book. Great choices you have here!

  11. Hmm I haven't heard of any of these! I must check them out :)

  12. "No Great Mischief" Alistair Macleod
    This story stayed in my mind for a long time.


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