Monday, November 9, 2015

On my nightstand, November 2015

After the October reading spree, I'm back with another installment for November. I've been devouring and buying books right and left - only last week I visited a book fair in Bratislava, and left with an empty wallet and too many new reads to count. If there's one thing that makes me incredibly happy, it's cracking open a brand new book and getting myself lost in a gripping story, an inspiring memoir or a delicious cookbook. So without further ado, here's my November reading list, and per usual, be sure to leave your own book recommendations in the comments: I love discovering what my friends and readers are reading, and I'm forever adding to my never ending to-read list.

1) Robert Galbraith: Career of Evil. I preordered this one the moment it became available - and I almost never do that! But it's J.K. Rowling, after all, and anything she publishes is always a winner in my book (pun intended). Sure, Cormoran Strike is a great character, but it's his former assistant and now his partner Robin, that I really love in this series. When she receives a package with a severed woman's leg, apparently coming straight from Strikes' complicated past, things are bound to get interesting.

I only have a few chapters left and I won't give any spoilers away, but let's just say it's a great and gripping story that's been getting me through my recent bouts of insomnia. A must read!

2) J.K. Rowling: Very good lives. What can I say? I'm such a huge Rowling fan! In 2008 she delivered an amazing and inspiring commencement speech at Harvard, and now that it was published in book form, I can always have it on hand and reach for it whenever I need a little kick in the butt, If there's someone who can distill advice on how to use imagination to better our lives and the lives of the others, it's the author of Harry Potter

3) Liane Moriarty: Big little lies. I devoured The Husband's secret a few months ago, and I was thrilled when Moriarty's latest offering finally arrived at my doorstep. I'm looking forward to another set of intertwined lives, stories and destinies, affected by death, schoolyard scandals and dangerous little lies that we tell ourselves. And have you heard that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are turning this book into a TV series for HBO? I can't wait to see the results!

4) Andy Andrews: The Traveler's Gift. I read Andy's The Noticer in just three days, but found myself thinking about the powerful life lessons distilled in this powerful and uplifting book over and over again. That's why I couldn't wait to put my hands on his other works, starting with the seven secrets of personal success, shared by historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, King Solomon or Anne Frank.

5) Laura Hillenbrand: Unbroken. I'm wayyy behind on this one (I haven't seen the movie either), but when I spotted it in my local library, I snatched it immediately. I love immersing myself in powerful stories, and if they're based on true events, all the better. I can't wait to finally read about the journey of Louis Zamperini, a successful athlete who suffered unspeakable horrors during world war II, but managed to survive by sheer force of his will.

6) Richard Branson: The Virgin Way. If it's not fun, it's not worth doing. Marketed as a "book on leadership from someone who has never read a book on leadership in his life", this is bound to be one hell of an inspiring read. If there's a prototype of a fearless and inspired leader, it's bound to be Richard Branson. His leadership style is unlike any other's, and this book promises to reveal how fun, family, passion and the art of listening helped shape the famous "Virgin way".

7) Paula Rizzo: Listful thinking. I'm a big list maker - if this post series isn't proof enough, I don't know what is. Books, groceries, dreams, tasks, travel name it, I can turn it into a list! Since my head usually feels like a browser with too many tabs open, I use lists to keep track of my ideas, thoughts and tasks, and incidentally, keep my sanity in the process. Yet I'm sure that I could use a few tips from Paula Rizzo, an accomplished list-making guru, I'm actually pretty excited to read this book to see how I could manage my time & life even better and reduce stress that comes with busy lifestyle.

8) Jennifer Niven: All the bright places. Hailed as the talented new voice of YA literature, Niven has penned an intense novel about two lost teenage souls, trying to figure out their lives. Theodore is fascinated by death, while Violet lives for the future, forgetting the enjoy the present, When their words collide, their lives are about to be profoundly changed. Perfect for fans of John Green, which I certainly am.

9) Agnes Martin-Lugand: Happy people read and drink coffee (published in French, I have the Slovak translation, the English one is bound to be published next year). I was immediately drawn to this book, since its title sums up my outlook on life so perfectly: without books and coffee, my life would be so sad an empty!

This is a story of Diane, a young Parisienne living her happy life of café owner with her husband and daughter. When tragedy strikes, her life is turned upside down and her life will never be the same. My mom, who beat me to reading it, qualified this little book as extremely charming, and I'm saving it for a rainy November afternoon when I'll be able to curl up under a blanket and devour it in one sitting.

10) Pittacus Lore: I am number four. My search for another great YA series still continues, and while visiting the book fair last week, I was reminded of this novel. I read it a few years back when it first came out. Now there are five more books to the series and I'm eager to give them a whirl. This could be a great way to unwind and get out of my head right before bedtime.

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