Below are some of our favorite books that we have read in recent years (many book descriptions were shortened from GoodReads, an excellent resource, so check it out!). We will continue to add more and we would love to hear some of yours!
The House Girl, by Tara Conklin
Virginia, 1852. Seventeen-year-old Josephine Bell decides to run from the failing tobacco farm where she is a slave and nurse to her ailing mistress, the aspiring artist Lu Anne Bell. New York City, 2004. Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in an elite law firm, is given a difficult, highly sensitive assignment that could make her career: she must find the “perfect plaintiff” to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.
The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust, by Edith Hahn Beer
An amazing story of survival. Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman studying law in Vienna when the Gestapo forced Edith and her mother into a ghetto, issuing them papers branded with a “J.” Soon, Edith was taken away to a labor camp, and though she convinced Nazi officials to spare her mother, when she returned home, her mother had been deported. Knowing she would become a hunted woman, Edith tore the yellow star from her clothing and went underground, scavenging for food and searching each night for a safe place to sleep. Her boyfriend, Pepi, proved too terrified to help her, but a Christian friend was not: With the woman’s identity papers in hand, Edith fled to Munich. There she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi party member who fell in love with her. And despite her protests and even her eventual confession that she was Jewish, he married her and kept her identity secret.
Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
A captivating story of two very different women: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
This is a great young adult book. It is going to come out as a movie soon, so get to reading! Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand
Also, soon to be a movie. This is a story of survival during WWII. It takes place in the south pacific. You can’t put it down…I promise.
The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
Kidd’s most recent novel is a story of two sisters and one slave girl. Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented. This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Lee Harper
A classic. Probably my favorite book of all time.
Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
A lovely story about two unlikely friends who fall in love. It will bring you back to your first love.
An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny, by Laura Schroff, Alex Tresniowski, Valerie Salembier
The title is truly the description. It is a true story about how one act of kindness can change your life forever.
The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe
This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. The story is very bitter sweet.
Orange Is the New Black, by Piper Kerman
If you have been enjoying the Netflix series, you will love this book! It is a hilarious look into what happens when your past catches up with you.
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, by Matthew Dicks
Budo is Max’s imaginary friend. But though only Max can see him, he is real. A story of childhood told from the perspective of the imaginary friend.
When I Found You, by Catherine Ryan Hyde
While duck hunting one morning, childless, middle-aged Nathan McCann finds a newborn abandoned in the woods. To his shock, the child—wrapped in a sweater and wearing a tiny knitted hat—is still alive. Although the child’s grandmother adopts him, Nathan makes her promise that one day she’ll bring the boy to meet him.
Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, by Leymah Gbowee and Carol Mithers
In a time of death and terror, Leymah Gbowee brought Liberia’s women together–and together they led a nation to peace. This is her story, as told by Leymah. Very moving.
What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love, Carol Radziwill (as seen on Real Housewives of New York City)
The Story of Beautiful Girl, by Rachel Simon
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
Left Neglected, by Lisa Genova
In Her Shoes, by Jennifer Weiner
Room, Emma Donaghue
Half Broke Horses, Jeanette Walls
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini