The book club is now in session…


Hello there loves, may we pretty please chat about books for a quick second?  Below are some of my all-time favorites (I know, I know—I’m such a cliché girly girl…), but I’m in search of something new and figured you could help!  What are your favorites that make you laugh or cry?  What books do you read time and time again?

Emma, The Sun Also Rises, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Tales of a Female Nomad, Pride and Prejudice, I Feel Bad About My Neck, What Is This Thing Called Love, The Great Gatsby, The Year of Magical Thinking, Eat, Pray, Love, Franny and Zooey, A House in Fez, Anna Karenina, Little Women, Love in the Time of Cholera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting…and I will add more as they come to me!

(p.s. I am obsessed with the image above, aren’t you???)

58 comments on “The book club is now in session…

  1. Paige

    You must read The Plague (Camus), The House of the Spirits (Isabel Allende), Possible Side Effects (Augusten Burroughs), and Speak, Memory (Nabokov)

  2. Katie Armour Post author

    Paige — I loooooved The House of the Spirits! Read it in a Latin American lit class when I was in Switzerland. Thanks for the suggestions—can’t wait to check out the others!

    Say La Vie — P&P, you simply can’t tire of it, can you? Sigh.

    XX katie

  3. Katie Armour Post author

    Joanna — You know I haven’t read it, but I think I have it on a shelf here somewhere (we tend to collect more books than we know what to do with!). I’ll have to dust it off and crack it open! XX katie

  4. Jillian

    I read Anne Lamott when I’m in the mood for something deep and insightful, specifically Rosie or Crooked Little Heart. But when I need a good laugh, I’m all about David Sedaris. My hands-down favorite is Me Talk Pretty One Day. There’s a lot about what it’s like to be an American living abroad, so hysterical!

  5. Lena

    You must (if you haven’t already) give Colette’s short stories and Emilie Zola’s novels a read. They’re divine.

  6. jordan

    1. you have great taste.
    2. have you ever read anything by edna o’brien? she’s pretty dark, but very much into love and embracing feminity. “august is a wicked month” was my first experience with her and it left me feeling pretty sad, but still, i found it so intriguing. anyway…worth checking out, i’d say.
    3. thank you for this post. i’m seriously trying to come up with a book list for the summer.

  7. Katie Armour Post author

    Jillian — I love Sedaris, boy does he make me laugh! Will have to try Anne Lamott when I’m feeling deep—it will be good for me ; )

    Lena — You know I have some Colette on my shelf and have yet to start it (we have a very big library, only an eighth of which I’ve read)! Zola…writing this down! XX

    Jordan — Looking up “August…”! Sounds like something that would draw me in. Keep checking back, I’m sure many fabulous book suggestions will come pouring in for your reading list!

    Jessie — Would you believe I have The Help on my shelf too, still unread. This is getting embarrassing. I am no longer allowed to buy new books because clearly I have some winners right in front of me! XX

  8. Natalie

    I love this! I have so many favorites, but three I always find myself turning back to are About Alice, by Calvin Trillin; Rules for Saying Goodbye, Katherine Taylor; and Playing with the Grown-Ups, Sophie Dahl.

  9. chelsea

    Katie, thanks for your comment! It’s always a pleasure to hear from a fellow blogging friend, who not only has fabulous taste, but is also in a similar situation:) Congrats on your engagement, and good luck with the law school route… I’m excited to follow your blog. It’s just beautiful.

  10. Abbie

    I second The Help. I am about 3/4 of the way through and would be completely done if I didn’t have to sleep or work. I’m loving it.

  11. Mariel

    Oh, I love your list! I would add to it:
    Lady Chatterly’s Lover, A Passage to India, & Jane Eyre (though you’ve probably read that last one already!)

  12. Jeanie

    Great book list Katie! And Anna Karenina is one of my top favorites. Don’t know if you’ve read The People’s Act of Love by James Meek, but I highly recommend.

  13. Quindome

    I would recommend Identity by Milan Kundera. It’s really a thought provoking book about who we love and why we stay in relationships.

  14. Katie Armour Post author

    Allison — The Help sure is a popular favorite! I can’t wait to start!

    Natalie — How is it that I’ve never heard of any of your three?? This is tragic. Must remedy pronto!

    Chelsea — You are too sweet! Thanks for stopping by!! xo

    Abbie — That makes three for The Help, my goodness!

    Mariel — I’ve read the 2nd and 3rd (both excellent), but have yet to read Lady Chatterly’s Lover. I do know it caused quite a stir upon being published though ; )

    Jeanie — I read Anna Karenina in the sunflower fields of Provence. I was studying abroad and it was my only interaction with the english language—I loved every second of it! Googling the James Meek book now!

    Quindome — Ahhh I am obsessed with Kundera. I went through a phase in boarding school and read each of his books at least twice. The Unbearable Lightness a good five times. I treasure it. Great minds think alike : ) xoxo

    Merritt — Yay for cute girls reading good books! xoxoxo

  15. Stevi

    Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Nineteen Minutes, The Screwtape Letters, Left To Tell,The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, anything by Janet Evanovich is just plain fun, I think you would like THe House of Mirth if you haven’t read it, The Handmaids Tale, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Interpreter of Maladies (new favorite).

    And that is a pretty decent list for now ya? haha.

    Can’t wait to read some of the ones you’ve listed that I haven’t read yet!

  16. Katie Armour Post author

    Stevi — LOVED Interpreter of Maladies, have you read her now book, Unaccustomed Earth? I’ve been meaning to… Can’t wait to read the others on your list. Some of them are favorites of mine as well! XXX

  17. Meagan

    I LOVE Barbara Kingsolver. Poisonwood Bible, Animal, Vegetable Miracle, Prodigal Summer, etc. are all so so so gripping. She is such a great writer. I also love David Sedaris for laughs and I get really involved in John Irving. The World According to Garp and Cider House Rules are so good as well as A Widow For One Year. Also, the God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is great and after I finish reading Hot Water Music by Bukowski I’m going to try and track down a copy of Gone With The Wind. My best friend just read it and can’t stop talking about it, so I’m dying to start it now!

  18. Elizabeth @ Dapper Paper

    OH! books are my JAM (i was an english major)! the huz can attest to it because there are stacks everywhere (hey, they are cool decor too!)

    okay, i love ALL jane austen of course- i’m assuming you’ve read it all, but if not Mansfield Park is awesome too! and i LOVE C.S. Lewis, everything he has written.

    Love The Picture of Dorian Grey and Oscar Wilde in general
    The Catcher in the Rye, This Side of Paradise (i like it even more than the Great Gatsby), Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs (it’s by Chuck Klosterman) and about pop culture!, Love is a Mix Tape; I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti (it’s like a cookbook AND a memoir) and ANYthing by Nick Hornby especially High Fidelity…and MORE. i’m going to check out a few you have posted that i haven’t read!

    and i want to LIVE in that image you posted! :)

  19. Katie Armour Post author

    Design Darling — You’ll love it! Read it in high school in one of our religion classes I believe. Crazy good book.

    Meagan — I’ve never read any Kingsolver!! Ridiculous, I know. Will have to tackle some this summer for sure. I think I read half of God of Small Things (I’m such a space cadet, that happens more often than I’d like to admit)…I remember liking it though : ) Ohh and Gone with the Wind, never read the book, but I grew up down the street from the house they filmed it at in Los Angeles. It’s much smaller than you’d think — random fact for the day… xoxo

    Elizabeth — Your comments always make me so happy! Love Lewis too. Have you seen An Education?? Cracked up at the C.S.Lewis parts…except at the end when she gets caught, total tear jerker…sigh. Can’t wait to check out the others you’ve suggested. You have good taste—English majors are my type of people, my fiance is one! xoxo

  20. BB Wooten

    Have you ever tried the site What Should I Read Next? I think you’d love it. It’s basically Pandora for readers.

    My personal all time favorites are 1. Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky for it’s truth regarding human nature, 2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte for the strong and irresistible characters, and 3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac for its adventure.

    If you’re interested in food or travel, you might like MFK Fisher. She has quite a cult following.

  21. Katie Armour Post author

    BB — Pandora for readers?!?! You’re killing me here. I’m ashamed to say I never read Crime & Punishment (the other two yes, I’m not a complete mess…). Adding to the summer reading list! Oh and googling MFK Fisher, loooove travel and to eat.

  22. Shannon

    I love, love good book recommendations and could not possibly be more excited about this post! Now if you’ll just do a post on favorite biographies, my reading list for the next year will be set.

    If you like Garcia Marquez, read One Hundred Years of Solitude. Eva Luna and Daughter of Fortune are also good by Isabel Allende. In addition Memoirs of Geisha, The Portrait of a Lady, The Help, Gone With the Wind, Little Women…I could go on and on.

  23. Chloe

    You MUST read The Poisonwood Bible, Middlesex, and The Help.

    Oh how I love books, I’m currently lugging around Lord of the Rings after finishing The Hobbit. Perfect for my ferry commute every day!

  24. Diana

    The image looks so stunning!
    I love reading books.They put me in this magical world…!
    Kisses and have a lovely evening:)

  25. Elizabeth @ Dapper Paper

    aw Katie, you are a sweetheart!

    I thought An Education was pretty fantastic (and i believe i did shed a tear or two..) and i was like DANG, she didn’t really meet him or get his autograph!

    and hollllllleeeeer out to your fiance! English majors! (Can you use the degree? not really by itself, but it was fun getting it…)

    And this post has not helped my book addiction… i copy and pasted like everyone anyone said that i hadn’t read…
    i need to get a library card i think..
    or that netflix for books thing.

  26. amy

    I second the recommendation for The Poisonwood Bible. It’s really, really wonderful. You won’t forget it.

    Also, the best book I’ve read in the last TEN years is The Book Thief. It’s miraculous. I thought i knew what the author was up to, but he really surprised me. I love this book SO much that I told everyone I knew about it (only a tad obsessed?) and then for my birthday, my hubs surprised me with an autographed, British first edition. I cried with happiness.

  27. D. @ Outside Oslo

    “Les Miserables” is my all-time favorite. It was the first book my classic literature-based book club read together over a year ago. An ambitious first pick, yes, but well worth it.

    By the time I got to the last words I wanted to read it again!

  28. Brandi

    Your books are going on my reading list. I’d really recommend The Alchemist (Coelho) and Siddhartha (Hesse) — those are two off the top of my head. All of my “for fun” books are still stuck back in NJ so I can’t peruse my shelves for more suggestions.

  29. Deanna

    For us older “girls” or for those young women who might want some insight into mothers who grew up in the sixties and seventies, try The Boys of My Youth, by Jo Ann Beard. It is a loosely but beautifully woven short autobiography skipping backwards and forwards in time from some of the author’s earliest memories to events in her late thirties.

    “Seventeenth summer, a farmhouse full of boys on the edge of town, a car full of girls heading toward it. It’s Elizabeth’s red convertible, prone to running out of gas and getting stuck in places that cars don’t belong. As soon as we leave the city streets and hit the back roads, everyone except Elizabeth gets up and sits on the edge of the car instead of on the seats. When we go around curves there is a long moment where it feels like we might fall out and be run over by the back tires. We like this feeling. Because we’re too young to die, we assume we won’t. Also, alcohol is involved.”

  30. Katie Armour Post author

    Thank you for the FANTASTIC suggestions everyone! I wrote them all down in my trusty moleskin journal—you just created my entire summer reading list! xoxoxo

    Deanna — Made my night. I know where John got his writing skills from. Have to order the book tonight! Absolutely ECSTATIC you’re coming to the wedding! xo

  31. The Zhush

    I love that you read I feel bad about my neck! You are too young for that one! Reading The Fundamentals of Play by Caitlin Macy…its amazing! Have read almost every single one of your picks..those I haven’t I will add to my list! :)

  32. Katie Armour Post author

    Perfection is Boring — I just adore Kundera. In fact, I’ve read Unbearable Lightness a good four or five times!

    “And that woman, that personification of absolute fortuity, now again lay beside him, breathing deeply.”

  33. Elizabeth Rose

    Well my all time favorite will always be Jane Eyre but since that is a popular choice I’ll also mention The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach, and Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. It’s clichic but Reading Lolita really changed the way I looked at the world and my life. Love reading! Great topic Kate!

  34. Modeana

    West With The Night by Beryl Markham
    An autobiographical account of her life growing up as a trainer first of her father’s and then of other thoroughbred horses in South Africa before the first world war. But more importantly of her early work as the first woman pilot in Africa.

    Out of Africa Isak Dinasen
    Her life on the farm in Africa and her accounting of her people and the amazing relationships she built with native population of her farm… interwoven with great personal hardship and tragedy. I would have loved to spent an afternoon on the terrace or in front of her fire and have listened to her stories.

    And for another time, when you want to laugh so hard you’ll want to pee

    First Light by Carol Obiso
    An American art curator from New York goes to New Zealand to bring an exhibit of Maoris art back for an exhibition. A true story… one could have made these up!

  35. Jess

    I’d have to say ‘The Outsiders’ by S.E. Hinton and ‘Divorcing Jack’ by Colin Bateman. Absoloutley love them, read them cover to cover too many times to count. I’d love to read Eat Pray Love, I’m a sucker for pop culture haha x

  36. Piper

    oh boy – i could go on and on listing books!! looks like everyone has made some fantastic suggestions to go along with yours!! i absolutely love anything by David Sedaris or Nick Hornby. And then I’m totally into thrillers – love a good suspense with a twist. David Ellis wrote one of my faves…Line of Vision. total page turner and such a good twist at the end!!

  37. claire

    just read the most amazing book my husband recommended…Shadow of the Wind by carlos ruis zafon. i cannot stop thinking about it. loved it all the way through and wanted to read it all over again when i finished. also, enjoyed dreaming in french recently and away by amy bloom.

  38. Melissa

    Love your list! So many of those are favorites and I’ll have to check out the few I haven’t read. Here’s a few of my favs…

    Ender’s Game, Empire Falls, The Book Thief, Jane Eyre, The Phantom Tollbooth, Pride and Prejudice, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, A Moveable Feast, Little Women, Lord of the Rings, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Nine Stories, The Hours, On Writing, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn The History of Love, The Shadow of the Wind

  39. Ashley

    I would add The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and A Year in Provence, both beautiful, funny, inspiring nonfiction.

  40. Katie H.

    Truman Capote is truly a literary genius. While most remember him for his novella ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, his short stories are beautiful, as well as his moving travel sketches.
    Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series is really delightful. I have them all in paperback and they are completely tattered and creased- they always seem to be the best company on long flights!

    Last but not least, ‘Mrs. Bridge’ by Evan S. Connel is a wonderful novel about a suburban housewife in midwestern America. It is anything but drab and extremely poignant.

    And I love your list! Oh gosh I am such a bookworm hahah

  41. KateMcG

    I just read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye- it’s so beautifully written- I can’t believe I had never picked it up before!

  42. Kirby

    I know i’m a bit late for commenting. forgive me. My BFF was in town and we were galavanting through the streets of New York.

    I am a sucker for all books by Jane Green. I’ve reader her book, Jemima J a couple times. I had to close my eyes while reading my sisters keeper a couple of times. The Time Travelers Wife is a Great one! I read it a couple of years ago and I’m thinking I need to read it again. I guess i’m more into the new books than the classics. maybe someday.

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