WSIRN Ep 23: Honeymoon reading with Mallory Rees

WSIRN Ep 23: Honeymoon reading with Mallory Rees

It’s Tuesday, which means a new episode of What Should I Read Next!

Today I’m talking with Mallory Rees, who’s getting married next month and is looking for good books to take on her honeymoon. Regardless of your marital status, this episode is for you if you love a good page-turner—with substance.

What Should I Read Next #23: Honeymoon reading with Mallory Rees

Books discussed in this episode: 

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Thousand Dollar Tan Line: A Veronica Mars Mystery by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Mr. Kiss and Tell: A Veronica Mars Mystery by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams
No One Knows by J. T. Ellison
The Nest by Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney

Also mentioned in this episode:

WSIRN Ep 4: Reading as escape, hating lots of novels, and finding new fiction with Seth Haines
• The film Sliding Doors
The 8 uncomfortable lines I want to cut from the books I’m reading these days

more posts you might enjoy

37 comments | Comment


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  1. Tracy says:

    Don’t give up on a Prayer for Owen Meany. It’s one of my favorites. Try it on audio. I know it’s long. It kept me company on a trip to China with lots of long rides between destinations. The reader is really good.

    I was excited to listen to this podcast because I’m packing for a 30th anniversary trip to the Caribbean and selecting my reading material is more important to me than what I’m going to wear. I feel exactly the same about my beach books as you and loved What Alice Forgot. Just downloaded the audio of Veronica Mars because I love to have a great listen so I can look out at a beautiful sea.

    Thanks for the recommendations, Anne.

    • Mallory says:

      I will download the audio book to finish it! That’s a good suggestion. I looked online and John Irving is the reader.

  2. Mindy says:

    On my honeymoon 28 years ago I read The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. While I probably wouldn’t recommend a book about letters written by demons to anyone for their honeymoon, I would recommend reading a classic. Why read a classic? Because a classic has stood the test of time and will be around for years to come. It may seem weird, but every time I see The Screwtape Letters I smile and remember my honeymoon!

  3. I get married this Sunday so this was perfect timing! I was planning on bringing Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend (100 pages in and I love it so far!) and JoJo Moye’s Me Before You with me to our coastal Oregon vacation. Now I might try to snag Tiny Little Thing and The Nest, as well! Also, I’ve read Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret (I agree with you, I prefer her over Giffin, though I have read ALL of Giffin’s books 🙂 ), but haven’t read What Alice Forgot yet! Thanks for the great episode and great recommendations! And congratulations on your wedding, Mallory!

  4. Mallory says:

    This was so much fun! I am already half way through the Nest because I just couldn’t help myself. My excuse is that the cover is so beautiful that I couldn’t risk exposing it to the elements in Costa Rica. I will exercise self control with the other titles. Thank you for the great suggestions, Anne!

    • Alisa says:

      Loved this episode!!! Glad you are enjoying The Nest. I was so excited when Anne suggested it to you, as I just finished it last week and have been begging people to read it (just so I can discuss it with someone!!)
      Wishing you lots of happiness for your wedding and all the years to come!

    • Alex says:

      Read The Nest in two sittings this past weekend – both on Saturday. I couldn’t stop! Glad you’re enjoying it so much.

  5. Stephanie Webb says:

    This episode was perfect timing as I’m heading to Aruba for my 10-year anniversary on Friday and I’ve spent quite a bit of time choosing my books! It’s so fun and reassuring to know I’m not the only one who takes my book choices so seriously on vacation…that’s half the reason I go on vacation, to get so much uninterrupted reading time! I think Beautiful Ruins would be a good choice–I’m reading that now because it happened to come a bit earlier than I expected on Overdrive, and I’m loving it. I’m going to snag a Liane Moriarty book before I go, I’ve never read her! Thanks for the always-great suggestions, Anne…you have impeccable taste and I just love your podcast!

    • Anne says:

      Yes, but why wouldn’t you watch the series? 😉

      Okay, I know there are plenty of good reasons to not watch 30 hours of tv. But seriously: so good.

  6. I love this! I know I read a ton of books in the hammock on my honeymoon, but the only one I remember specifically (it’s been 12 years!) is Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama which is by no means a beach read. Ha! Last year at the beach I read Everything I Never Told You, and I didn’t LOVE it but I was glad to be able to read it straight through in a day or two.

    I think I must be one of those people whose only qualification for a beach read is that I am on the beach. 😉

  7. Marci says:

    Anne, what was the link to do the survey of podcast listeners? I meant to do it but cannot rememeber the link!


  8. Carol says:

    I am really appreciating your “8 line edit” warnings! It really bothers me when I am reading along and suddenly in the middle of TMI. So, thanks for the heads’ up for language and explicit content. It is helping me out a lot!

  9. Stacy says:

    I really enjoyed this episode! Mallory is my book soul sister with those picks; I love both of those books. I have a vacation coming up (kid free) and have been trying to narrow down my book choices. I think I may try the Veronica Mars audio in case I get tired of reading on the plane.

  10. Alisa says:

    Finished No One Knows and just left my one star review on Goodreads. I understand that we all will have different tastes in books, but found this one so poorly written with an absolutely ludicrous plot line, terrible character development and laughable dialogue. How could this possibly exist on the same list as The Nest????

  11. Courtney Caccia says:

    Mallory, I found myself agreeing with so many of your assessments — particularly about Everything I Never Told You. I *really* wanted to like that book; I think it was a great concept, but something about its execution left me cold.
    I honestly can’t remember what I read during my honeymoon (it was 16 years ago), but some books that I think would be engrossing, but not necessarily too “heavy” for a honeymoon are
    A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
    Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
    The Winter Sea by Susannah Kearsley
    Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
    One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
    A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (this is part of a trilogy, so be warned that you may want to move on to boosk #2 and #3)
    Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

    Have a wonderful trip! And Anne, thanks for a great podcast! I look forward to each installment.

  12. Shelby says:

    Hi Anne!

    I am looking for the link to suggest interviewees for future podcasts but can’t find it. Can you lead me to it? 🙂 Thanks!

  13. Ellen Martin says:

    Kind of an unusual recommendation but I read Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann one summer – and have always since thought of it as my favorite beach book. Friendships, relationships, rich and famous lifestyles… but not your normal “chick-lit” more of a Cult Classic – if you haven’t read it – I really recommend it.

  14. Kelly says:

    Really enjoyed this week’s podcast, but had to comment to let you know: Lionel Shriver is a woman! (I think it’s a well kept secret. I don’t even think she usually has her picture on her book jackets). Keep up the great podcast.

  15. Donna D'Angelo Struck says:

    Hi, I am totally obsessed with this podcast and I particularly enjoyed this one. Combining books and beaches – my two loves – it doesn’t get much better than that! All during the show I kept thinking of M.L. Stedman’s “The Light Between Oceans”. I read this on a beach and looovvveeed it. I think it will work for Mallory because it was an easy read but it wasn’t “light” despite the light in its title. Great character development, a strong sense of place, moral dilemma, etc. Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “The Gift from the Sea” as a perfect beach read. Enjoy your honeymoon, Mallory! When you come back, check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Committed”. I read it just after my honeymoon and found it very interesting (too dry to take on the trip, though, I think). Thanks for the fabulous podcast Anne !!

  16. Hillery says:

    Just catching up on the podcast (love to listen and feel like I am chatting with friends about books). I want to add my suggestion to finish Owen Meany, despite the difficulty. I will not say it is one of my favorite titles – but I read it about 15 years ago and still carry with me the awe of how Irving weaves the story together to the end. You definitely would be missing out on your efforts thus far if you don’t push through to the end. Thanks for the fun podcast.

  17. Anna says:

    I just listened to this today (catching up on podcasts.) Now I’ve added more books to my VERY long TBR list. “A Prayer for Owen Meany” has been on my Kindle for awhile, and I keep meaning to read it. I’ve enjoyed several of his other books, but they are always a time & emotional investment, and I guess I haven’t quite been there- maybe this summer.

    I loved “What Alice Forgot” and I’m intrigued by “The Post Birthday World.” Our online Kindle library doesn’t have that, and I’m trying not to buy too many books right now. The same with “No One Knows.” I have read the series that JT Ellison did with Janet Ivanovich and enjoyed those.

    I have read Veronica Mars, and have the 2nd one checked out from the library via Kindle. I am one who has not seen the shows, but I would love to. I live in Africa with incredibly slow internet, so that’s not going to happen any time soon.

    I had read a description of “Everything I Never Told You” and didn’t think it was that interesting. After hearing you talk about it, I want to check it out now. Funny, because you didn’t like it, but your description still made it interesting. I also have “Tiny Little Things” on hold at the library now. I had never heard of that one before.

    • Sheryl Esau says:

      I am a member of 2 e-libraries and they both have a button that says “Add titles you can recommend” – I get SO many more books since I found that. I’ve been so pleased that so many of the books I recommend they get on Kindle. So keep trying with No One Knows and The Post Birthday World at your library. I was able to get them both!

  18. Jocelyn says:

    I recommend just about everything by Marian Keyes. There is a ‘series’ (but you do not have to read them in any order) about 5 Irish sisters, Dublin born-bread-and-buttered (yep that is a saying in Dublin ^_^) but not all of them take place in Ireland. The first one, Watermelon is about the eldest Walsh sister Claire who is abandoned by her husband on the day she gives birth to their child. It is hilarious! And 2 stand-alones that are superb are ‘That Charming Man’ and ‘The Brightest Star in the Sky’. The stories are funny, sad, moving, thought-provoking and the characters are wonderful. They are put in the chic-lit genre but I think they are unforgettable.

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