What’s on my bookshelf right now

What are you reading?

An oft-asked question between my Dad and I is “So what are you reading right now?”  Probably the most influential in my life when it comes to encouraging me as a reader, Dad can be frequently found in his cozy leather chair in the living room with a stack of books next to him. And I have fond memories of curling up under the covers with a stack of books next to my bed in the summertime as a kid, when I had all the time in the world (or, all the wee hours of the morning on a non-school night) to pore over 2 or 3 books at a time.


A few weeks ago Simon and I had dinner with friends and somehow we got onto the topic of books. Our friend asked if I were particularly snobbish about what kind of book I read, which gave me pause. Am I a picky reader? Well, yes and no. I refuse to read any kind of trashy romance (a la 50 Shades of Grey – sorry, but I can’t do it) but I don’t have a problem picking up the occasional young adult read (Hunger Games and Twilight fall into that category).  But I somehow manage to remain firmly entrenched in the fiction category.  Can you relate? Hollywood Housewife did a fascinating post on fiction vs. non-fiction which I keep thinking about and it reminds me that sometimes I need to step out of my box.

Regardless, I thought I’d toss a few suggestions your way for books that have caught my eye, and others that are in my queue.

Currently Reading
Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith by Jen Hatmaker
A Few Good Eggs (indispensable if you’re experiencing infertility – I HIGHLY recommend this book thanks to Danielle)

In the queue
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

Couldn’t Put Down
The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian
The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman (cue the ugly sobbing; it’s a powerful story)

A Good Escape
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran (a great author if you like historical fiction.)
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (an all-time favorite author)

I’m reading more & more books on my iPad Mini. Have you made the switch yet to an eReader or do you prefer actual pages to turn?

Let me know what you’re currently reading in the comments; I love to hear what other people’s finds are!

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  • Susan S.

    I’m currently reading a few different books, thanks to my e-reader (a first generation nook). I did make the switch to an e-reader, though there’s still nothing like walking through a bookstore and running my hand along the spines. I like that I can carry multiple books with me wherever I go, in a lightweight, portable format. I still have volumes of books at home, of course, but I generally purchase e-books now. I’m currently reading ‘Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore’ by Robin Sloan, ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’ by Barbara Kingsolver, and ‘Dirt’ by Mindy Lewis. Thanks for sharing your current reads!

    • RachelShingleton

      I think that’s what the appeal is about ereaders, especially when traveling — getting to take lots and lots of books with you but without all the bulk.

  • kristin

    I also ugly sobbed while reading the light between oceans! Recent faves are girl gone and girl in translation.

    • RachelShingleton

      YES. UGly ugly ugly sobbing. Simon was all, “WHAT HAPPENED?!” as I was boohooing on the couch one night while he was watching TV.

  • I tend to read and enjoy emotionally heavy character dramas – great, but hard to move on from when they are done because the story sticks with me (Fall on Your Knees, The Poisonwood Bible, Unbearable Lightness of Being, the Namesake, White Teeth, etc). Right now I am reading Brain on Fire, A Farewell to Arms, and Valley of the Dolls. Kind of a strange combination, but it works because I can jump to another story when everything gets too heavy. As far the medium, I still really enjoy the actual paper books and have a problem reading for long periods of time on an electronic device because I get super distracted by who knows what. While we’re on the topic of books, do you use goodreads? I keep wondering if it’s something I should use to catalogue all the books I have read/am reading/want to read, but I’m not sure it’s worth it because that will just add to the social media/blogs that I read every day!

    • RachelShingleton

      I haven’t used Goodreads yet, and I don’t entirely understand what it is as it’s been awhile since I checked it out. Anybody else use it?

      I hear you on emotionally heavy dramas. Sometimes I almost avoid them because they do stick with you. The ML Stedman book I listed above is that way. It took me a few days to get over it. And Sarah’s Key was another one that left me slackjawed and unable to think of anything else.

  • Kira

    I am reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn, certainly a paradigm-shifter for me. Also Baby Led Weaning, cuz I’m thinkin’ about switchin’ it up with my third child. Lastly, Reinvent Yourself with Color Me Beautiful, because God knows I could use a little help with color, makeup, and style! Evelynn and I are about to start Little House on the Prairie…so excited!