Friday, October 13, 2017


It's been a long while since I did a book post, but I read almost constantly, so I'm due to tell y'all about it.  At the beginning of this week, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and sad(ish).  So, instead of reading the book about a father kidnapping a child 😱 that was up next in my library holds queue, I decided to go a little lighter and selected This Is What Happy Looks Like.  It sounded like a nice antidote to my slight doldrums, and guess what? It turned out to be just that. 👊🏻

It also featured a relationship started by correspondence, which I realized is a common theme in some of the books I've read and liked in the last year, so I thought I'd group those together for anyone else who might be interested.


Did you see the movie "You've Got Mail"?  I know that is sort of a stupid questions, because OF COURSE YOU DID.  I love it for so many reasons and still find it endlessly relatable and quotable to this day.  You can imagine that this is a book list for those of you who also love You've Got Mail.  (bonus points to any of you who actually used AOL mail back in the day, like me, and logged in excited about the possibility of hearing those three words, like I did 😜)

First up is the book that kicked off this blog post in my mind, This Is What Happy Looks Like, by Jennifer E. Smith.


For the record, I mostly listen to audiobooks.  I got these books from the library to be able to take pictures and since I was already going on a "holding" binge for my kids.  I did listen to this one and thoroughly enjoyed the two different narrators that switch between the perspectives.  It's a Young Adult book, so if you are looking for super realistic and/or hard-hitting, you need to keep moving.  But, if you like a fun story featuring a teen heart-throb and a small town girl from Maine, then this might be for you!  They accidentally strike up an email relationship, and things get interesting when he manages to get his next movie shot on location in her small town.

Another YA book that I enjoyed was Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum.


Tell Me Three Things also features teenagers who start emailing each other, but in this one, the identity of the guy is in question until the end.  It explores grief and identity as the girl has just moved to a new city with a new life.  It is a quick, fun read with likable characters.

Taking us out of YA territory and into adult fiction, since I am a card-carrying 36 year old is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  The title threw me for a loop, but it all becomes clear in the story, though it is still a mouth-full.


A friend told me this was one of her all time favorite books, and I found it to be charming and touching and endearing on many levels: I loved it!  It's set just after World War II and explores the stories of people that lived on the island of Guernsey, off the coast of England.  The story is told through letters and telegrams, which are mostly easy to follow, and the characters are precious, even when clearly put in challenging circumstances.

Next up is Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell.


In this book, the guy who is supposed to monitor the emails at work ends up reading far too many conversations between two friends.  He should have sent them a warning, but instead, he becomes invested in their world and begins to really like one of them.  I read this on vacation over a year ago, but if I remember correctly, it has some bad language.  However, I loved rooting for these characters and keeping my fingers crossed for the best!

In a complete departure from everything except letters, I'm adding The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis to this list.


I reread this in January and was freshly amazed at Lewis's brilliance and his accurate grasp on humanity.  The book is a series of letters from one "tempter" demon to his apprentice as they seek to disrupt a Christian's life, and they give such insight into the ways that we humans are easily distracted from the great God that we serve.  I highly recommend anyone giving this a first, second or third read.

My bonus pick for you is The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.


Another YA book, it is a breezy read that I finished on some trip this year.  It does not feature letter writing, but the main guy in the book is a novelist, unexpectedly.  This book stars a girl who finds herself in very unexpected circumstances (working as a dog walker, among other things) while trying to make the best of where she's at.  I enjoy reading YA books, because they are often light-hearted and not bogged down with as many issues as my real life.  Yet, I still remember what it felt like to be sixteen and think that you understand so much while still understanding so little.

In other bookish news, I've been working on reading out loud to my children more, and so I began following along with Read Aloud Revival.  She has curated picture book lists for each month, and I picked up the October haul from our library.  (Click here to see the list for yourself!)  It is so fun to read about pumpkins when we are actually doing pumpkin related things, instead of in February when my kids would inevitably pick one of these books.


Well, I hope this adds some books to your list!  Let me know if you end up reading them OR if you can recommend another charming book featuring correspondence.  Apparently, I just can't get enough. 😜