Books are the plane and the train and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home.Anna Quindlen
If nothing else, quarantine has led me to read roughly double the amount I usually read…and I already read a LOT. In an average year, I read about 70 books, over 50 magazines (mostly TIME), and listen to roughly 25 audiobooks. What’s the first thing I pack when I travel? Books.
Deciding what I’m going to be in the mood to read when I travel can be tough. Will my flights leave me exhausted and wanting something light? Will I feel energized and want to read something thrilling or more historical to reflect where I am? That’s why I LOVE reading recommendations for books to travel with. Not only does my TBR pile get larger (yay!) I get some great insight.
I recently read 4 books that were so ridiculously different that you’ll see my range of reading preferences, but they also made a huge impact on me. Did they change my outlook on life? 1 out of 4 did. Others made me want to sleep with the lights on and others made me laugh out loud. I’m sharing all of those with you today!
Let’s start with the creepiest! Saying I adore thrillers is a gross understatement. I devour them. Don’t worry I’m not a closet psychopath. I’m actually a very bubbly, happy person, but MAN do I love creepy reads that leave you feeling like you need to triple check the locks on your house.
My boyfriend can tell you that I’ve been frustrated about the lack of creepy and the not-so-thrilling thrillers I’ve read. They were good, but they didn’t have that wow factor. Then I listened to The Whisper Man.
After the death of Tom’s wife, he moves with his son, Jake to a nearby town which happened to be the location of child abductions and murders nearly a decade before where. The murderer dubbed “the Whisper Man” would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows. As Tom and Jake settle in to their new surroundings, another young boy goes missing. Days later, Jake hears whispering at his window and a terrifying set of events unfolds with twists and turns that will leave you sweaty.
Let’s take a complete 180 shift from creepy to the most inspiring and touching book I think I’ve ever read. This book solidified just how much I look up to Melinda Gates and how to set an example for what wealth and heart can do for the world when you decide to make selfless decisions to bring health and happiness to the world.
Through her foundation with her husband Bill Gates, Melinda explains how access to contraceptives can revolutionize the world. She gives voices to those who too often are swept under the rug and ignored. This book (I’m not exaggerating) is a shining beacon for how one small change can literally impact the entire planet positively.
Access to contraceptives and birth control can give women power, voices, input, the right to say no, a seat at the table, can decrease domestic abuse, and can help lift entire families out of poverty. She tells stories of her experiences, highlights organizations, and introduces suggestions for changing mindsets in such a way that is culturally relevant, research-based, and simple to implement.
I’ve never read a book and felt like I could take over the world (not in a tyrannical way but an oh my goodness I can actually do something kind of way). The Moment of Lift is a powerful statement on how empowering women helps everyone regardless of your culture, sex, race, age, or social status. The world needs this type of book right now to help battle divisiveness and racism. This is a book that will make a difference and inspire others to do the same.
This isn’t a creepy thriller. It’s an unassuming novel that makes you think one thing is happening and then completely blindsides you with reality. Paris is nothing short of masterful in her use of plot twists. There’s just no one like her. You might think you know what is happening, but it’s always unexpected and way more amazing than anything your brain comes up with. I love her rollercoaster rides of emotion and thinking that her novels deliver.
The Breakdown begins with a car breaking down and follows the life of Cass who learns the woman she passed had been murdered and had not actually broken down. Her life turns upside-down and she begins to exhibit signs of early-onset dementia, an affliction her mother suffered from. She begins to forget more and more things and to top it off she thinks she’s receiving silent calls from the murderer himself. What happens next? You’ll have to read it to find out because I will never reveal a plot twist.
As someone who has worked in a variety of professions and most of them unusual, I LOVE reading about people who do the same. Caitlin Doughty is a funeral director and mortician who writes about her job. Her latest book, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? she answers the burning questions a lot of people ask her. They all range from the absurd to the hilarious to the wow that really is a great question.
While the topic is death, Doughty uses humor and what I can only imagine is her uniquely endearing personality to present answers to these questions. I laughed out loud and shared so many of the answers with my boyfriend who did not seem at all amused that I suddenly wanted to talk about weird aspects of death and burial. Clearly he needs to step up his reading game (sorry babe).
If you love light-hearted learning, a dash of history, interesting facts, and lots of potential for laughs, give this one a try. After reading this, I can’t wait to read her other book and I’m already searching for her blog.