Taylor Jenkins Reid

Our last author being spotlighted not only wrote the book I am currently reading, but wrote one of my favorite books of all time, Daisy Jones and The Six. Our last amazing female author is Taylor Jenkins read. Well known for Daisy Jones and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo; Reid also has written four other novels plus her newest that came out this summer, Malibu Rising.

I read Daisy Jones and fell absolutely in love. It is the book I recommend to anyone who asks for a book recommendation. You actually feel like you are watching a documentary on a 1970s rock band instead of reading a book. I want to jam to Daisy Jones and the Six songs so bad. Thankfully, I might get to soon. The book is becoming a series on Amazon Prime in the future with Sam Claflin from the Hunger Games in it.

I am currently reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and am loving it, as well. Written in a different writing technique it still follows an idea of famous people being interviewed like Daisy Jones and The Six. I love how realistic Reid makes her writing. Even with Evelyn Hugo I still feel like I am almost watching something as opposed to reading something.

Finally, next on my to read list is Malibu Rising, Reid’s latest novel. I enjoy that it uses a character from Evelyn Hugo. I also like the idea that Reid is creating her own world of celebrities within her books. I am subscriber to book of the month (which I also highly suggest), and my June book was Malibu Rising. Goodreads summarizes the story as the following.

Malibu: August, 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva. The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth. Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there. And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.”

Go get a Taylor Jenkins Reid book, and let yourself be enamored with her world of celebrities and stars taking you on wild rides.


Female Author Spotlight Day 4

Sally Rooney.

““Life offers up these moments of joy despite everything,”

-Normal People

Another book that has taken TV watchers by storm is Normal People by Sally Rooney. I will admit that is how I was introduced to her last year in our global quarantine. I loved the show on Hulu which I believe is a great adaptation of the book. So, if you want more Marianne and Connell in your life; I’m starting my Sally Rooney post with a recommendation of Normal People right away.

Sally Rooney is an Irish author, poet, and screenwriter. Her first two novels Conversations with Friends and Normal People have been a commercial success. One already a television series, and the other on its way to becoming one. With only two novels, and one coming; she is considered one of the best millennial writers. Did I mention she has accomplished all of this by the age of thirty? If that’s not an inspirational female author kicking butt then I do not know what is. She also has quite a few works in short fiction, poetry, and essays if you are craving more Rooney in your life.

I am a Sally Rooney fan for how she creates normal people (was that a pun?) who are yet still very unique seen struggling with what can be intense problems that appear normal by her writing. (did that make sense?) Her writing really implies the idea of we all want to feel normal even though we appear normal to others, but are still rather our own amazing individuals. I also enjoy how she explores seemingly uneventful moments in life, and then makes them extraordinary in her writing. Events such as a dinner on a Saturday, email responses, drinking a cup of tea, or enjoying literature. Who wants to read a book about that as opposed to wizard and aliens battling it out right? I do. Especially if Sally Rooney is writing it. Sure, her characters can be flawed, but who isn’t? I read her books, and my boring life seems like it could be something fantastical. The fact that I write a blog on my oak desk surrounded by my collections of books and trinkets from adventures sipping on a chai tea latte just became a sensational beginning to a story instead of an act of daily life. I mean isn’t that what everyone wants to feel about their life? I think Rooney gives one the ability to start romanticizing their lives to then allow them to become even more happy with themselves. You want to feel you are unique and normal while reading a riveting story; go get a Sally Rooney novel.

Conversations With Friends

“Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student and aspiring writer, she devotes herself to a life of the mind–and to the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi, her best friend and comrade-in-arms. Lovers at school, the two young women now perform spoken-word poetry together in Dublin, where a journalist named Melissa spots their potential. Drawn into Melissa’s orbit, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband. Private property, Frances believes, is a cultural evil–and Nick, a bored actor who never quite lived up to his potential, looks like patriarchy made flesh. But however amusing their flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy neither of them expect. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally even with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile herself to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.”


Last, but not least, Sally Rooney has a new book coming out in September of this year. The new novel is called Beautiful World, Where Are You. Here is blurb from Goodreads to get you excited as me.

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?”

Female Author Spotlight Day 3

Shirley Jackson

‘I can’t help it when people are frightened,’ says Merricat. ‘I always want to frighten them more.’ “

Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Best Known for her work in the genres of horror and mystery, Shirley Jackson wrote six novels, two memoirs, and over 200 short stories. Her best short story, most of you may know from your time in school, was “The Lottery.” The story is about a small town participating in the lottery every year. Only at the end does one find out what winning the lottery really means. Similar to yesterday’s highlighted female author, Madeleine L’Engle, I enjoy Shirley Jackson because of her quirky and different characters. I have read two of Jackson’s novels along with “The Lottery,” and I immensely enjoyed both of them. The characters she creates, and the way Jackson writes has such a unique word choice and pattern. I enjoy that many conversations characters have in the books appear to be fantastical, and often regarded by many of the more “normal” people as odd. I think it is absolute genius to have one of your characters be enamored with living on the moon with golden spoons. The storytelling often follows a similar pattern.

The Haunting of Hill House

I recently finished reading The Haunting of Hill House. As I am sure with many of you, my first dip into this story was the very successful Netflix television series. I loved the series, but let me tell you the book is quite different. Did that mean I disliked the book? Quite the contrary; I enjoyed it even more. Now, I had two stories about the infamous Hill House! It was also really interesting to see where Netflix got their ideas from while reading the original story. As long as you are not biased towards to TV show; I think you should really read The Haunting of Hill House. It lives up to its title of horror defining and best literary ghost story. The book has also inspired other movies and theatricals.

We Have Always Lived In The Castle

The other Jackson novel I have read is We Have Always Lived In The Castle. It is less of a horror and more of a thriller than The Haunting of Hill House. It definitely dives more into a psychological realm rather than a supernatural one. Plus, lots of family and small town drama. Who doesn’t want to read about that, right? Fantastic characters that really make you think placed in a very unusual, yet interesting setting. Also, adapted into a film with one of my favorite actors, Sebastian Stan.

Shirley Jackson has claimed her spot in the horror and mystery genre of literature. The Shirley Jackson Awards are now given in her honor to new authors and pieces of works in those areas. Many famous authors, such as Steven King and Neil Gaiman, cite her as an inspiration for their own work. However, the thing I love most about Shirley Jackson is the wit, life, and humor she would put into her books about death and horror. She named one her memoirs Living with Savages to discuss life with her children. Hilarious! Also, on my to be read list. I leave you now with a few quotes attributed to her before you run to the library and check out her books.

‘The persona that Jackson presented to the world was powerful, witty, even imposing,’ wrote Zoë Heller in the New Yorker.‘She could be sharp and aggressive with fey Bennington girls and salesclerks and people who interrupted her writing. Her letters are filled with tartly funny observations. Describing the bewildered response of New Yorker readers to ‘The Lottery,’ she notes, ‘The number of people who expected Mrs. Hutchinson to win a Bendix washing machine at the end would amaze you.’ “

Zoe Heller, New Yorker

‘She did work hard,’ her son Laurence said. ‘She was always writing, or thinking about writing, and she did all the shopping and cooking, too. The meals were always on time. But she also loved to laugh and tell jokes. She was very buoyant that way.’ “

Laurence Jackson

Madeleine L’Engle

Our next female author in this week’s showcase is Madeleine L’Engle. She is most well known for being the author of A Wrinkle In Time. I read A Wrinkle In Time when I was 11 years old, and it has been my favorite book since. When I was entering college I discovered A Wrinkle In Time was actually part of a series. One summer I read the entire set, and I personally think they are all phenomenal. The series continues following the Murry family from A Wrinkle In Time. The Time Quintet, as it is called, even has one book that is considered part of two L’Engle’s series, An Acceptable Time. The other series is centered on the O’Keefe family which is connected to A Wrinkle In Time. She focuses heavily on her christian faith mixed with her interest in science in her writings.

Why I love A Wrinkle In Time so much though is L’Engles ability to make such quirky, strong, and dynamic characters. I always love a character in a book that has such a quirky and cultured persona. I love that L’Engle highlights that with the entire Murry family from A Wrinkle In Time. To picture this family in their home drinking hot chocolate in the middle of the night discussing moving through time, old religion stories, or just what crazy invention one of them is making next is such an impactful image to me. I want that life. I feel I live that life. The unique stories of what people do with ones they care about just simply in their homes rather than for some big show are the best kind of stories to explore. That is why I love not only A Wrinkle In Time, but Madeleine L’Engle.

L’Engle is not only a novelist, but a poet and playwright, as well. I read a book of her poems including “Lines Scribbled on an Envelope.” She also dives into non-fiction writing. She has four movie adaptations of her books. I highly suggest looking into Madeleine L’Engle’s writings if you are interested in a very unique perspective with fascinating characters. If you are interested in learning more about the author herself check out her granddaughters’ biography, Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters. I know it is going on my reading list.

Female Authors

This week on the blog I want to highlight some of my favorite female authors. I will showcase some of my favorites that I have enjoyed for a great period of time, and some who are recent finds! I hope you enjoy learning, as well as supporting these great women by reading the blog this week and reading their books for yourself!

Now! Time to start us off…

Agatha Christie

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”

-Agatha Christie

No female author list of mine would not include my queen, Agatha Christie. If asked who my favorite author is of all time… it is this woman. The queen of mystery is the best selling fiction novelist of all time according to the Guinness World Records. She not only is a novelist, but a playwright. Her play, The Mousetrap, is the longest running play in the world. She also has world renowned characters that are up there with Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, and Romeo and Juliet. Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are her most well known.

Not only are her books intriguing, but her life, as well. After her divorce to her first husband she mysteriously disappeared. Her car was found alone, and no one knew where Miss Christie was. About ten days later she was found with apparently no memory of what happened. Her own autobiography does not even acknowledge the disappearance. She also served in hospital dispensaries in both World Wars. She went on archeological digs in the Middle East with her second husband. She became a Dame in 1971 for her contribution to literature.

And Then There Were None is the best selling mystery book in the world. It has been made into a play and TV series adaptation. The amount of her books that have been adapted into plays, movies, and TV series is immense. Her characters have also been adapted upon. Even she has become a character in film and television. I love the Doctor Who episode with Agatha Christie in it. Later this year a new version of Death on the Nile will hit theaters. Those who have Amazon Prime Video have many adaptation options including the three part Ordeal by Innocence. Though different from the book I still enjoyed it.

4:50 From Paddington

My personal favorite Agatha Christie book is a part of the Miss Marple Collection. This book is what got me interested in Agatha Christie. However, it was not the book itself, but a hidden object game that I played visiting my grandma one summer. It was the second Christie’ novel I read, and one I always recommend if you are interested in a less famous book of hers.

Other recommendations by Agatha Christie that I give to you are

  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Death on the Nile
  • Peril at End House
  • Dead Man’s Folly
  • Ordeal by Innocence
  • Sad Cypress

Check out more Agatha Christie books, plays, adaptations, and her autobiography. You will never be disappointed with the Queen of Mystery.