Chick Chat: Whatcha Reading?

We’ve mentioned before that we chicks love reading. In fact, most of our friendships were formed while chatting about our favorite writers, words, phrases and fictional characters. (And in a plot twist, we started a fitness blog. Crazy, huh?)

We share books with each other all the time, and today, we’re sharing some of our favorites with you.

What was the last book you read?

I haven’t had much time to read lately, but I did manage to finish Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. It was good, although I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is that it takes place in my local area so I knew a lot of the locations in the book.

Name one book that you wish all of your friends would read.

Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster. Really, anything by Jen Lancaster, but this one is my favorite. The author is frank, and funny, and basically my spirit animal.

Top books on your summer reading list?

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham and From Notting Hill with Love… Actually by Ali McNamara. Both of these fall into my chick lit wheelhouse, and I think they’ll be fab while lounging by the pool. After an energetic swim, bien sur.

The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training by Dawn Dais. This was recommended to me for the laughs, and considering that I’m supposed to be training for my first half, I’m hoping it will have good tips. I may follow this up with Triathalon for the Every Woman: You Can Be a Triathlete. Yes. You. by Meredith Atwood, Bree Wee and Chrissie Wellington because I really want to do a triathalon within the next few years. Stop laughing.

The Last Summer of You and Me by Ann Brashares. I’ve been reading this for over a year. It pick it up, read some, put it down, forget all about it, find it under a pile of laundry, read some more. I really like it, so I’m not exactly sure why I’m not motivated to keep reading, but I am bound and determined to finish it this summer. Which I said last summer. So there’s that.


What was the last book you read?

I’m currently reading Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert, the 2nd book in the Dune series. It’s the kind of book you need to sit down for a week and read all the way through, ignoring every other obligation. Which is why I’m still reading it. I just haven’t had one of those weeks yet!

Name one book that you wish all of your friends would read.

The Four Agreements. This book changed my life. I listen to parts of it every day, especially the part about not taking things personally. (I’m a huge fan of audio books.)

Top books on your summer reading list?

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Watchmen Graphic Novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Siege and Storm by Leigh Barduga

And so many more!!! You can check out my whole freaking list on Goodreads!

Cam's nightstand, covered in books.

Cam’s nightstand, covered in books.


What was the last book you read?

Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara. It’s a young adult novel and, as the title indicates, quite lovely. Mister Jess always says, “do you think it’s weird that you read the same books as 12-year-old girls?”

No. No, I don’t.

Name one book that you wish all of your friends would read.

In theory I would say The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. However, I don’t think I have a friend who hasn’t read it and loved it and cried over it. It is one of my favorite books of all time and worthy of everyone’s time.

Top books on your summer reading list?

I just started NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, which so far is a pretty fascinating read about child development and how modern strategies for nurturing kids might not be so nurturing after all.

I also have The Book Thief and Me Talk Pretty One Day on my list, but I’ll probably end up reading a number of fluffy YA books!

Jess loves to read in this big, cozy chair.

Jess loves to read in this big, cozy chair.


What was the last book you read?

The last book I read in its entirety was Let The Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger. I started reading Deathless (Catherynne M. Valente) at the recommendation of a friend and the writing was incredibly rich and vivid. But at the time I began reading, I couldn’t totally immerse myself so I plan to pick it up again when I have a few days to throw myself into it. When I read a good book, I become totally engaged, where things like laundry and dishes sort of fall to the wayside. So I need a situation where that’s ideal. (Basically, I need a mom. Or at least for my kids to be at camp.)

Name one book that you wish all of your friends would read.

Just one? Within the past couple of months I read Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, which I thought was pretty brilliant. The characters weren’t characters, they were people; as a reader, I really appreciate when authors are able to give their characters so much dimension that I’m worried about their well being after the book is over and I’m out of their world.

I tend to lean toward reading Young Adult books. Not necessarily because that was the best time in my life; it was not. But I suppose it’s when the feelings run rampant and characters are more likely to do things that they wouldn’t as adults. There’s such a fine line between believability and taking it a step too far so when an author is able to find that very delicate balance on the line, I notice and respect it.

Top books on your summer reading list?

Currently I’m reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (thanks to Kyle for that rec!). I’m hoping to return to Deathless. And just today, we had to stop at Barnes and Noble for a potty break for Littleberry. Since we were there, I bought Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan.

No e-reader for Mer! (Just kidding, she has one of those too.)

No e-reader for Mer! (Just kidding, she has one of those too.)


What was the last book you read?

Dead Ever After, the final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, by Charlaine Harris
(I just mailed a pic of this – why? Because I borrowed it from the library a few weeks back and was the FIRST person to borrow/read that copy) that’s never happened to me before… was really excited about it. Book was meh.

Name one book that you wish all of your friends would read.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green (Brooke loaned this to me! Thanks B!)

Top books on your summer reading list?

Inferno by Dan Brown
Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

I just started reading J.K. Rowling’s latest, The Casual Vacancy. So far so good. I borrowed this one from the library too because I love not having to buy new books to enjoy them!

Vic was the first reader to borrow this book from her local library.

Vic was the first reader to borrow this book from her local library.


What was the last book you read?

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan, which made me laugh so hard. I kept taking screen shots of passages to text to my husband until I finally told him he just had to read the entire thing.

Name one book that you wish all of your friends would read.

This is a tough question because I always want my friends to read everything I read. It’s one of the reasons I still buy actual books; so I can loan them. Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a beautiful book that made me want to hug all of the characters by the end. And I’m always bugging people to read the Divergent series because FOUR. The final book will be out this year and the movie is coming and FOUR.

Top books on your summer reading list?

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and David Sedaris’s new one; Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls. I also picked up the first Harry Potter on audio book so maybe I’ll finally get around to those. (I know. I knowwwwww. We can still be friends, right?)

Some of Brooke's summer reading.

Some of Brooke’s summer reading.

What’s your favorite book? Tell us what’s on your summer reading list! Or you know, flail over Four with Brooke. (or lecture her about reading Harry Potter)

45 thoughts on “Chick Chat: Whatcha Reading?

  1. First of all: yay for History of Love! You’re welcome, Mer!

    My summer reading list is long. I usually read a lot of fiction, but recently, I’ve been a bit obsessed with memoirs. I just finished Sum it Up by Pat Summitt, the long-time coach of the Tennessee Women’s Basketball team who was recently diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. It was fascinating and really beautifully explored what living with Alzheimer’s has been like, for her, and how it impacted her coaching. Also, it just really made me miss playing basketball.

    I’m just finishing up Ali Wentworth’s Ali in Wonderland (also a memoir). She’s pretty hilarious and her writing is witty and snarky and full of smart observations on life. It’s a light, quick read, but entertaining. (Though it doesn’t hold a candle to Tina Fey’s Bossypants, which will forever and always be my favorite. Until Amy Poehler writes a book. Then it will be a tie.)

    Next? Madeleine Albright’s Prague Winter. I might just make this the summer of memoir. Why not? Anyways, this one looks at the former Secretary of State’s childhood in eastern Europe during the Nazi occupation and her subsequent immigration to the United States. I love political memoirs perhaps more than comedic ones (If you haven’t read Living History by Hillary Clinton, go do it. It’s absolutely fascinating and very revealing on many levels), but mostly, I just love learning about people and history. Also, I want to write a memoir, so I guess reading a bunch is good practice. Ha!

    And Brooke! What!? No Harry Potter? For shame. (Though, the audiobooks are expertly narrated by Jim Dale and I give them a ringing endorsement.)

    • Ali Wentworth is hilarious; I’ll have to check that out. Have you read Mindy Kaling’s book? I thought it was as funny as Tina Fey’s, in a different way. I’ve heard that Rachel Dratch’s is the best of the bunch. Love funny women!

      I’m adding Hillary’s book to my list too. And I’ve heard the audio books for HP were marvelous! We’ve been listening to a lot of children’s audio books this summer (we’re in the middle of Pippi right now) but I think my girls are still a bit young for Potter. (Oldest is 6 this fall.) Thanks, Kyle!

    • YES. Agree with the Mindy Kaling rec. And I have that book, although it’s not mine… I think it might be Jess’? I have many books that don’t belong to me. 😉

      I think I need to be like Hermione Granger (shhhh, Brooke) and have a time turner so that I can read constantly.

  2. My favorite book is Gone With the Wind. I read it every year.

    I just finished A Dance With Dragons by George R R Martin (the 5th book in the Game of Thrones series). I have World War Z and The Kingmaker (Phillippa Gregory) on my nightstand, but I haven’t been able to get into either one of them yet. I don’t have a summer reading list, per se. I just grab things at the book store or order from Amazon when I see something that catches my fancy.

    • Our friend, Jenn, (I’m waiting for her to pop her head into this post because I’m guessing she’ll be here at some point) LOVES Gone With the Wind. I haven’t ever read it, which is stunning since I have an English degree. I really need to get on that!

  3. Just finished The Book Thief and wow…I cried. I have a love/hate thing with crying over books. Best book I read this year was The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman and I tell everyone on a journey to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Hello Bec!) But the book I go back to year after year is The Evening Class by Maeve Binchy, no tears just lovely warm friends 🙂

  4. Thanks for all these books! Now I have to go add them all to my Goodreads.
    The Book Thief is fantastic. One of my all time favorite books EVER!

    • I was having a difficult time getting into The Book Thief but my mom (she might be reading this comment saying, “Look Mer, these women know what they are talking about!”) bought me the book so I suppose I should try picking it up again. Especially since everyone who talks about it has nothing but rave reviews for it. 😉

  5. My favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I fell in love with Francie Nolan on a road trip to Florida, and was furious that no one had introduced us before then.

    And you guys, yes! The Book Thief. It is so, so good. It is the only book I have ever begged another person to read, just so I could have someone to discuss it with.

    I don’t have a summer reading list yet! Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham is definitely on my radar, and I keep meaning to pick up the Divergent series. (I hate waiting for sequels to come out–I almost never start a series until it is complete, because I am not a patient woman.) And now is the time of year when I am most likely to go back through my collection of romance novels. If I don’t revisit the cheesy historical romances that kept me company through high school and college every so often, I start to miss them.

    • Ooh, I will take your romance recs, Anne! And you would like Four, I mean, Divergent, but the waiting is awful.

      I will chat about the Book Thief once I finish. And Hi, Anne. (((hug)))

      • Hi! I promise to read Divergent, truly. I think I have both on my Kindle, so I really don’t have any excuse. (Except I haaaaate waiting. Hate it.

        (((hug))) right back to you. I will make all the romance recs you want, lady. I feel a long, rambling email may be in order, in which I will undoubtedly embarrass myself and wonder why it is that I am allowed to function in polite society without a grownup present at all times.

    • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my ALL time favorite books. I even did a passage of it for my oral interpretation (shut up) class in college.

  6. Looks like we have some good reads in common!
    I LOVE “The Last Summer of You and Me”
    A running recommendation for you ladies : “Mile Markers” by Kristin Armstrong…my favorite running book 🙂

  7. I definitely, definitely recommend Where’d You Go Bernadette it was so so so good. Right now I’m reading a Discovery of Witches and it’s weird but I like it.

    • You’ve just reminded me that I bought Where’d You Go Bernadette…I wonder where I put it? (I know there’s a pun there. Too easy!) My bestie loved both of those books! Thanks.

  8. I am so glad I am not the only one who reads YA a lot. They are quick and many are very good! I think one of the reasons I got my reading instruction degree was so I could take a YA lit class ;-). I am about to finish the Maze runner series and then I am going to start on Unravel me. I am very into dystopian novels right now

  9. Yay for John Green! After reading The Fault in our Stars a few months ago, I bought all the rest of his books. They’re first on my list for this summer. I also have A Casual Vacancy on my list, and I’ve considered re-reading the HP series because it’s my childhood. Consider that my endorsement for the series!

  10. Maine was amazing! I grew up in Maine, so I agree, it made it more appealing.

    I secretly want to either a doctor or work in law enforcement so many of my TV show loves book choices indicate that. Gillian Flynn’s novels are very dark but so well written, I love them. Also Cutting for Stone. One of the single best books I’ve ever read.

    I’m certain, if given the opportunity, Mindy Kaling and I would be best friends. Her book had me laughing till I cried. Same with Tina Fey.

    I’m currently reading Mile Markers at the recommendation of my running buddy, Karen. I can already see myself in it, so fairly certain I’ll cry. I’m such a weenie.

  11. I like to think Mer formed her love for reading in some part because of my influence. I have always been an avid reader and vividly remember when she was a small child giving her diversions to try and keep her busy so I could read. Nap time was my favorite, no treadmill for me I had my books.

    Due to a long commute to work I now listen to audio books rather then read. I was leery about it at first but after seven years, I’m hooked. Oh, I still read real books but don’t have time for many. I also have the main branch of our county library 2 miles away and I pass it on my way home from work, I could spend days browsing around in there.

    One of the last books I read/listened to was The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout, most of the story took place in Maine. I have never been to Maine, nor do I plan to ever go there especially after this book.
    I book I am currently listing to also takes place in Maine. Someone to Love by Kristan Higgins. This paints a much more charming picture of Maine. It’s a summer romance and a nice diversion.

    One of my favorite books in recent years was Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts. It was long, different and very satisfying.
    Favorite Series: The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. This series is Futuristic Fantasy and Romance.
    Darkfever is the first of five books. The series is complete now, so if you get hooked like I did you don’t have to wait for the end.
    The Snow Child: A Novel: Eowyn Ivey, was magical, haunting, beautiful and nothing is what you think.
    The Night Circus: Erin Morgenstern was also a magical book, very different and dreamy.

    I have read many of the books Mer recommends to you and me. My problem is always “so many books, so little time.” My to be read list will outlive me. 😉

    I have been a member of face to face and online books groups forever. I always have a lot to say especially about books, but I’ll stop now.

    • It’s true, you are a large part of why I’m such a bookworm. You were always willing to take me to the library to pick out new books and even pick ones out that you thought I’d like when I wasn’t with you.

      I have The Night Circus on my nightstand – haven’t read it yet. So many books, so little time. Sigh.

    • Hi, Mer’s mom!

      I’ve heard the Fever series is fun! And I read The Snow Child last year; it was beautiful. Like Meri, I also have The Night Circus and The Book Thief on my shelf, unread. Sorry, Mom.

      We’re into audio books lately! My oldest girl loves to listen to them in the car.

  12. Brooke – I’m just reading the Harry Potter books for the first time this summer – I’m on #4 already 🙂 I finally get what my friends have been going on about for oooh a decade or so.

    & The Fault in Our Stars is in my summer stack.

    • Yay! Okay, so quick reading for you? Have you seen the movies? (my friend said the books lose a bit of their luster if you’ve already seen the films. I have not, so I’m only asking out of curiosity, haha.)

  13. Ok so you are asking a librarian to talk about books right? Right now I am reading Is Everyone Hanging out without me (and other concerns) by Mindy Kahling which is crazy funny! Also next up on my list is the Birth House by Ami McKay. I noticed that several of ya’ll have The Book Thief on your lists; talk about am amazing book! The Night Circus is also very very good, but I was not in love with it like everyone else.

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