A list of good books to read right now.
If you’re interested in reading more, but don’t know where to start, this is for you. If you read plenty, and you’re out of ideas, this is for you, as well. Let’s talk about some fun, good books I’m loving right now.
- Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
I’ve been a fan of Mindy Kaling since her early days on the TV show The Office, and love her equally (actually, probably more) on her new show The Mindy Project. If you don’t know Mindy, she’s a super smart Ivy League grad who’s also an actress, writer, director, and producer. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) is Mindy’s first book, (she has since written a second equally funny second book, Why Not Me? which further endears her to me) and is part memoir, part girlfriend, part fly-on-the-wall observation of Kaling’s childhood and entrance into Hollywood. It’s funny, it’s light, and each individual chapter/essay is bite-sized so you can read small chunks at once without losing momentum.
- What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Have you read any of Liane Moriarty’s books? What Alice Forgot was my first foray into her work, and remains my favorite book of hers to date. Moriarty is an Australian writer whose country plays at least a small background character role in all of her work. What Alice Forgot is delightfully smart but unpretentious and the plot twists all the way through keep the reading speeding along at a nice clip. The story follows the lead character’s unraveling of 10 years of her life (from age 29-39), which she has completely forgotten, by starting at the beginning, which is also the end. If that makes sense. As someone who’s just turned 39, I loved looking in on someone else’s (albeit fictional) life in which a decade makes all the difference. Moriarty is a masterful storyteller and I really loved this book.
- Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull + Amy Wallace
I LOVED this book. It’s hands down, one of the best books I’ve read on creativity, and the nitty gritty details it takes to get to really good ideas from concept to fruition. Ed Catmull is a co-founder of Pixar Animation studios, so if you’ve ever seen, and loved, a Pixar movie (is there a person alive who hasn’t?) Catmull is responsible. This book goes into exquisite detail about the creative process, and how Pixar develops ideas for its award winning movies, as well as fostering a company culture that encourages failure in order to mine out the really good stuff from the bad. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Even if you don’t work in a “creative” field, this is such a wonderful peek behind the curtain at the success of being clever.
- Every Last One Anna Quindlen
I’m probably one of the very last ones to the Anna Quindlen fan club party, (I didn’t even mean to do that) but better late than never, right? In this book list I wrote about how I started reading Anna Quindlen by reading her memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake in which Quindlen looks back at her life as she turns 50. If you haven’t read it, add it to your list. It’s a great read for women of any age. I was glad I’d read her memoir though, before I read this book. The former grounded my feelings about her writing (which is brilliant) before I headed into the latter which is a thriller in its own right, even if you don’t know it immediately, which is its own kind of smart. A writer’s ability to story-tell through the curves in a plot twist is a hallmark of greatness, and Quindlen does just that here.
What about you? What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments. I’m always looking to add to my list of good books.