Recent Reads (And a Book Giveaway)

by Lara on July 25, 2013

I’m trying to strike a balance with my recent reads and not be totally consumed by parenting books.  Here are a few non-parenting books I’ve read lately that I want to share with you.

**Note: The last two books listed were sent to me by the publishers, specifically for review on my blog.

A Reliable Wife

I stayed up all night reading this because it was pure entertainment.  I gave it four stars on Goodreads and wrote:  “Written with exquisite detail and vivid imagery, this book reminded me a lot of Rebecca and other Gothic romance novels. There are a few holes in the plot that bothered me a bit, but overall it’s an easy and engaging read from the very first page.”

A Reliable Wife

Before I Go To Sleep

Another fluffy page turner.  I kicked myself for not figuring out the ending earlier.  The entire plot is rather unbelievable, but it’s such a fun read that you can get past the improbabilities.  You’ll read it in one night.

Before I Go to Sleep


Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year**

I have to be honest; I hesitated when I was first approached to review this book.  I like to think I’ve worked past most of my former weight and body issues and am now kept pretty well occupied with being a crazy first-time mom.   My mind just isn’t on my own body anymore and I’m actually okay with that.

Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall (Book Review)

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Kjerstin’s story of giving up looking in the mirror (or any reflective surface!) for an entire year is a truly heartfelt and entertaining read.  She tells her story with a humility and reliability that makes reading it feel like a conversation with an old friend.  It is full of interesting tidbits and anecdotes about feminism, body image, and weight.  While it is a personal account, she discusses her experiences and emotions within a broader social context, thus recounting experiences and emotions to which so many of us can relate.

The book is admittedly very dense in self-analysis, so it took me a while to get through.  I also would have liked a little more analysis at the end, after her experiment, and a little less about her feelings while she was going through it.  Those are my only points of criticism.

Coming Clean: A Memoir**

Coming Clean:  A Memoir

I am so very proud of my blog pal, Kim, for authoring this stunningly written memoir.  Coming Clean recounts a childhood of secrets, shame, and a complicated but loving relationship with parents struggling with compulsive hoarding.  With themes of forgiveness, hope, and unwavering loyalty, this book grabs your attention from the first page.  Kim does not ask for pity but instead tells her story with grace, wit, and utter bravery.

The book is truly compelling and I am dying to share it with you.  I have one hardcover copy to give away to a reader of this blog.


To win a copy of Coming Clean, please leave a comment on this post telling me the latest good book you read!  I’ll announce a winner on August 1.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Noelle July 25, 2013 at 8:04 am

Thanks for the recommendations Lara. I think I am gonna read a couple of these.


Ashley July 25, 2013 at 9:54 am

I’m reading You Before Me by Jojo Moyes and I cannot put it down. Add it to your reading list!


Floey July 25, 2013 at 10:03 am

Last book I read was gone girl. I loooove reading but it’s so hard for me to stay committed to a book!


Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire July 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Mirror, Mirror… was the last book I read (that wasn’t for grad school), and I LOVED it. I had apprehensions, like you, but I’m so glad I read it. I can’t wait to read Kim’s book!


barbara n July 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Just finished Gone Girl and am now reading The Light Between Oceans


Heather Eats Almond Butter July 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I’d love a copy of Coming Clean and thanks for the other recommendations as well. In need of fluffy page turners these days. Just finished Garden Of Stones last night.


Ashley July 27, 2013 at 8:00 am

Just finished “Unsaid” … Pretty good, maybe 3/5 stars


Kellie July 28, 2013 at 4:12 am

Eeek not sure if I can remember the last book I read…it’s been a while.


Rachel July 29, 2013 at 9:00 am

I’m finishing up a master’s degree so there’s very little ‘for fun’ reading these days, although I make time for a short story now and then. I’m a long-time Kim follower, too, so I’m excited that her book is now out! I’ll be reading a copy regardless, but it would be great to win one!


abby b July 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Just finished Joyce Carol Oats Foxfire confessions of a girl gang.


Heather S July 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm

The latest best read is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn!


maggie @ say yes to salad July 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I would love a copy of coming clean! It sounds so interesting.

Latest good book – I’m reading “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel.


Shauna July 31, 2013 at 11:59 am

Last book I read? Stand back said the Elephant I am Going to Sneeze, I have a daycare and the kids love it. I did read about Kim’s book on a Yahoo link and it looks real good I would love to win it.


Kelly P July 31, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Thank you for the recommendations! I am re-reading The Stories of Eva Luna by Allende. Love it. 🙂


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