One item on my blog that I’ve really missed is the ‘What I Read’ series. I’m an introvert and a reader, so when things get overwhelming, I turn to literature. Most of what I read is fiction, and the ‘fluffy-ness’ of what I’m reading is inversely related to how crazy things are in my life. Even so, I’ve managed to read what I think are some really great books lately! I hope you enjoy my first installment of ‘What I Read: 2015’.

LEavingLeaving Time, by Jodi Picoult

Leaving You is the story of Jenna Metcalf, a young girl whose mother abandoned her as a baby. Together with a psychic and a private investigator, Jenna is determined to find her mother and learn what happened the night her mother left. One the way, we learn a whole lot about elephants, which was actually a surprisingly intriguing aspect of the plot. Overall, I found this story very engaging, and was pleasantly surprised by the conclusion. I would happily recommend it to anyone who wants to dive into a pleasant piece of literature- perfect for vacation.

Undress MeUndress Me in the Temple of Heaven, by Susan Jane Gilman

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven is the true story of Susan Jane Gilman and a classmate, chronicling their post-graduate round the world adventure. Armed with very little knowledge of the world, and entirely unprepared for what they would encounter, the girls begin their journey in China—and very nearly don’t make it out. I think I was drawn to this book because of my own foolhardly travels when I was in my undergrad, and I was somewhat horrified at each twist a turn. I don’t know what to make of this book- the events within are real, so it’s not like there’s a conflict, climax, and conclusion…well, there is, sort of. But, as in reality, life continued without a very satisfying conclusion. Overall, I was very interested in this book, and I don’t regret spending the time to read it. On the other hand, I’ll recommend it to my sister who is moving overseas in the autumn, but probably not too many other people. So, choose your own adventure with this one!

AllAll the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See tells the story of Warner, a young German orphan, and Marie-Laure, a blond girl who has to flee Paris following the Nazi occupation. I generally don’t prefer to read anything set in the time of the Holocaust, actually, but Anthony Doerr does a really amazing job highlighting the very common ways that people are inherently good, even in the worst possible circumstances. The stories of the two protagonists are kept separate, for the most part, but the narrative is woven in such a way that it’s not confusing or frustrating at all- it’s just beautiful. All the Light We Cannot See is one of two amazing books that I’ve read this year (even if some of my book club thought it started a little slow) and I would recommend to every single person, regardless of age or gender. It’s just a really good book.

YouYou, by Caroline Kepnes

You is the story of Joe Goldberg, a bookstore clerk who encounters a very desirable customer, and commences with the most creep tastic stalking ever. I must say, this book was very well written, even if I don’t love the story—I had to put it down several times, but I always wandered back to find out what was going to happen next. The thing is, the protagonist is so effective in his stalking and so absolutely nonchalant, that the entire thing is very believable; as in, this could be taking place regularly in my city relatively easily without people realizing. Overall, it’s not one that I texted my sister recommending, because I was really disturbed, but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it- it was oddly addicting.

Okay, that’s part one! So tell me- what have you read lately that was really remarkable, either positively or negatively?