Recommended Reading: My 5-Star List

One of the questions my friends and family ask me the most often, is what is on my recommended reading list. I love sharing my love of books with others and my book ratings system reflects this passion. I keep track of every single book I read on Goodreads (A habit I highly recommend) and have created a system for how I give out stars.

A five-star book is a book I just want to talk about with everyone. If I read this book first on my Kindle I have absolutely bought a copy for my home library and I want to share this book with others. A four-star book is a book I really enjoyed and will talk about with anyone who likes this genre of book. I think it’s a really good book but I don’t recommend it to everyone. A three-star book is an average book that I may or may not remember in six months. A two-star book is a book that I didn’t like but I kind of keep my thoughts to myself. A one-star book is a book I don’t like and I actively tell others not to read this book.

So, here’s a look at some of my five-star books. Historical fiction usually rates higher for me and almost anything set in the UK gets an extra star because I love being transported there while I’m reading. You can head to my Goodreads page to see more of what I’ve been reading.

As with most of my posts, some links may be affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission on anything you buy.

Recommended Reading: Fiction

After I Do – Many books wrap up with some version of living happily ever after. But what happens after that? Taylor Jenkins Reid (one of my favorite authors) writes about what happens after you say I do.

Beartown – Set in Sweden Fredik Bachman (who I’d also highly recommend as an author) explores what a town is willing to do to reach their big dreams. The sequel, Us Against You, is also excellent.

Daisy Jones & The Six The attention to detail in this book is almost unrivaled. While a complete work of fiction about a band in the 70’s, it feels so real that I stopped reading no less than five times to google the band. Only to be reminded that they were in fact imagined by Taylor Jenkins Reid (her books consistently land with 4 or 5 stars for me).

One True Loves – The book opens with, “I was sitting at dinner with my fiancee and my family when my husband called.” From that moment I was hooked. Another homerun from Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – As a lover of books, I love books about books. Books set in bookshops or about the love of books usually rank a bit higher than other books for me. And this was no exception.

British Fiction

If you want to transport yourself over to the United Kingdom, here is my recommended reading for a jaunt over to Great Britain. Brew a cup of tea and curl up while you read.

The Bookshop on the Corner Nina is a literary matchmaker and that sounds like an absolutely lovely job. Sometimes I dream of starting a new life that involves being a book seller. And getting to do it in Scotland wouldn’t be too bad. Jenny Colgan is one of my go-to authors when it comes to needing to be virtually transported to the UK.

The Bookshop on the Shore – Another Jenny Colgan delight. By the time I finished I was ready to pack all of my bags and move to Scotland. This book is loosely tied to The Bookshop on the Corner but doesn’t need to be read for this one to make sense. A third book will be coming out in June 2020.

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop Give me a book set in London and I’m pretty happy. Make that book about a bookshop and I’m even happier. Add in a main character I relate to deeply and I’ll probably give the book five-stars.

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe Another favorite from Jenny Colgan (confession: I own at least 10 of her books). A fun book that inspired me to think about trying new things in my life. And it’s set in London which I always enjoy.

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Recommended Reading: Historical Fiction

Lost Roses – Set during World War I and based on a real-life heroine this was an excellent book. Martha Hall Kelly is quickly becoming a favorite author and I recommend reading this and her first book, Lilac Girls.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – My favorite genre of historical fiction is World War II. Every time I start a book I can’t imagine learning about even more of the horrors during this this time period. And then I do. This is a powerful story, especially when you realize it’s based on someone’s life, and not just a fictional account.

No Woman’s Land: A Holocaust Novel – While I read many WWII books I don’t read many books set on the Eastern front of Germany or the Pacific Theater. So this was an excellent opportunity to learn about a different part of the war. I enjoyed this book so much I emailed the author afterwards. This is also another story based on someone’s life, and not just a fictional account.

The Nightingale Two sisters who each fought in their own way against the Nazis during WWII. While this book is a bit different from Kristin Hannah’s other books, it is definitely worth a read.

When We Left Cuba – One of my favorite quotes from this Cold War era book, “Do necessity and desperation change our moral fabric so much that we no longer recognize ourselves?” As I mentioned earlier, most of my historical fiction is WWII so it was a good change of pace for m.

Recommended Reading: Thrillers

The Kind Worth Killing Are any people the kind worth killing? I love thrillers with unexpected twist, and this one definitely provided twists!

The Last Mrs. Parrish – Oh. My. Word. I stayed up late. I woke up early. I could not put this book down and there were several jaw dropping moments. A thriller with some creepy twists!

Do you have any suggestions of books I should read? Please leave them in the comments below so we can all add to our TBR lists!

If you’re looking for more book suggestions, check out this book list I shared in a recent guest post about books that will transport you another time and place.

If you want to see how reading has inspired my travels, check out this post on a trip to Germany.

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