My Favorites
The Paradox of Choice

The Paradox of Choice

$8.99$1.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)

This one is on my "favorites" shelf.

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Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Dystopian novels abound, but they’re not usually this fun. It’s 2044 and the world is in shambles, so who can blame Wade Watts if he’d rather live in a virtual reality than the real one? Like many of his peers, Wade spends his waking hours by himself, logged into a virtual reality game, racing through a computerized scavenger hunt in which his success depends on his knowledge of obscure ‘80s pop culture references. Sounds like geek heaven, right? But here’s the thing: I couldn’t care less about video games or John Hughes movies, but this exceptional book hooked me from page one. The audio version (read by Wil Wheaton) is fantastic. Suspenseful, funny, and insightful.

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Crossing to Safety

Crossing to Safety

$12.99$5.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Audible)

This novel asks, "How do you make a book that anyone will read out of lives as quiet as these?" The answer: just like this. Stegner weaves a compelling story out of four ordinary lives and their extraordinary, life-changing friendship as it spans across forty years, tackling themes of love and marriage, calling and duty. One of the best explorations of friendship in literature. This gorgeous, graceful novel will appeal to fans of Wendell Berry and Marilynne Robinson. Finish the book and go right back to the beginning—so much becomes clear on a re-read. With a deliberately paced, steady feel. in good hands.

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Emily of New Moon

Emily of New Moon

$23.073.95 (AUDIBLE DEAL)

If you come to Montgomery's later, darker series expecting to find a second Anne, you're bound to be disappointed. Luckily, my grade school self had no such preconceived notions. These were the first books that I finished under the covers with a flashlight at 2:00 a.m. because I had to know where Emily's hopes, dreams, and disappointments led her.

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All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

$13.99

Doerr's characters in this World War II novel are fascinating and altogether unexpected. The book’s setting couldn’t be lovelier: much of the action takes place in Saint-Malo, France, a unique walled port city on the English Channel. Haunting story, beautiful prose, and entirely deserving of its place on 2014's best-of-the-year lists.

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Peace Like a River

Peace Like a River

$9.99$1.33

An MMD 2017 Winter Book Club selection. This was one of my favorite books of 2014, although it was published back in 2001. A gorgeous novel that takes you on a journey across the frozen Badlands of the Dakotas in the heart of the frozen winter. Read it for yourself and see why so many readers call this their favorite book ever written. A tragedy, a romance, a coming of age story.

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Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly

$12.99$3.99

This is the Brené Brown book best suited to the beach, and since you need to read at least one Brené Brown book in your lifetime, go ahead and throw it in your swim bag. Brown is a researcher and a storyteller: while she’s educating you about vulnerability and courage, you’ll find yourself thinking she’d make a great girlfriend. Funny, insightful, and wise.

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Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Cain hooks you with a great story on page 1 and doesn’t let up till the elegant ending. By sharing personal stories and fascinating research, Cain showcases introverts’ unique strengths--and how those strengths are often squelched in a culture that’s embraced the Extrovert Ideal. Quiet is smart, eye-opening, and utterly enjoyable, for introverts and extroverts alike.

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Emma

Emma

$3.95$0.99Audiobook: 0.99 (Whispersync)

Of all Jane Austen’s novels, Emma is the most suited for the beach. Emma is different from the others. It's engaging and witty, as all Jane Austen is. But it's bright and fresh and thoroughly modern, and Emma–despite her flaws–is so winning and relatable I find myself cheering her on more than any other Austen heroine. (Yes, even more than Lizzie.) If you’ve never read Austen, Emma is a great place to start.

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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

I’ll bet you weren’t assigned this breezy Cinderella-ish story set in 1930s Britain back in English class. When a placement agency sends unemployed Miss Pettigrew to the wrong address, she spends the day of her life with a glamorous nightclub singer, extricating her hour by hour from one scrape after another. Miss Pettigrew is light, charming and utterly delightful.

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Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

I came to this classic expecting a dry read, but was swept up in this epic coming-of-age story set in Britain between the world wars. I’ve read it ten times since then, entranced by the story of the Flyte family’s unraveling–along with the rest of Britain’s aristocracy–and by its themes of love, loss, and grace. Recommended reading for Downton Abbey fans.

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The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper

$26.955.95 (Audible Deal)

Any Morton novel would make a great summer read, but The Secret Keeper is her finest. When she was 16, Laurel witnessed a violent crime involving her mother, Dorothy. The family hushed it up, and Laurel hasn't spoken of it since. Now, fifty years later, Dorothy is dying, and Laurel is determined to unravel the secret while there's still time. As Laurel pursues her clues, the story flips back and forth in time between today and the years before and during World War II, including the London Blitz, which Morton recreates so vividly you can almost hear the bombs dropping. Filled with twists and turns that will keep you guessing to the end.

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Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time

This is the book I can't stop talking about. Speck is a bit of a contrarian: at its heart, the book isn't about walking at all. Instead, Speck aims to show how we can deliberately plan urban spaces to be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. At a deeper level, Speck reveals how our spaces shape our behavior, whether or not we're aware of it. Pragmatic, relevant, and completely fascinating.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

If you want to tidy up once and for all, this is the best kick in the pants you can get for ten bucks. This book is more than a little woo-woo, but her extreme approach to decluttering WORKS. Kondo is a Japanese personal tidying expert (she doesn’t like to call herself an “organizer”). She originally wrote her decluttering manifesto to help the Japanese clients languishing on her waiting list. Not all translations are good translations, but this one has been praised for preserving the quirkiness of her voice. (It's quirky, all right.) I love this book (more thoughts on that here).

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Voyager

Voyager

$7.99$4.99

I devoured all the Outlander books this fall. I hate picking favorites, but this might just be my most-loved of the eight so far, if only because at page 1 I couldn’t understand how Gabaldon could possibly resume her story where book 2 ended and take it in any direction at all that made me not hate her. It works. I’m impressed.

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Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

Every woman needs this information–but nobody talks about it. We don’t discuss these intimate issues with our friends, and most of us don’t get this in-depth information from our doctors. TCOYF stands in this void.

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Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

The title says it all: this little book is about playing to your creative strengths and natural rhythms by building daily routines. Twenty-plus luminaries from a host of people who work in creative professions—Gretchen Rubin, Steven Pressfield, Teresa Amabile, Seth Godin—weigh in on the importance of their personal habits for email, solitude, social media, multitasking, and more. This inspiring and practical guide will spur you to evaluate your schedule, create better habits, and rethink your priorities.

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