1. “Gone Girl”
By Gillian Flynn
On Amy and Nick Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary, Nick reports that Amy has gone missing. Police investigations target Nick as a suspect despite his pleas of innocence. As more details about Nick and Amy’s marriage are revealed, however, the situation only becomes more twisted and dark. Nick may not win an award for husband of the year, but is he really a killer? If you haven’t read this book yet, it needs to jump to the top of your list before the film adaptation (starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) debuts on Oct. 3. Honestly, you could start this book tomorrow, and I guarantee you’ll finish it by the end of the weekend.
2. “Orphan Train”
By Christina Baker Kline
It was an unlikely friendship. For 17-year-old Molly Ayer, helping the elderly Vivian Daly clean out her attic was simply a way to stay out of juvenile hall. Yet as Molly helps Vivian sort through her old keepsakes, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem. As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian was sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future in the Midwest. Molly, a Penobscot Indian who has spent her childhood in and out of foster homes, knows all too well the feeling of being raised by strangers with unanswered questions about the past. In a gripping back-and-forth of past and present, Kline seamlessly intertwines the lives of these two strong women in their quest for freedom, acceptance and friendship.
3. “This Is Where I Leave You”
By Jonathan Tropper
The death of Judd Foxman’s father is the first time the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. While mourning the loss of his father as well as his failing marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they sit shiva and spend seven days under the same roof in accordance with their father’s wishes. As the week progresses and family secrets, arguments and differing personalities come to a head, Tropper showcases the unique blend of love, annoyance and humor that makes every family tick. Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda star in the film adaptation to be released on Sept. 19.
4. “The Happiness Project”
By Gretchen Rubin
“The days are long but the years are short.” This simple yet impactful phrase is the driving force behind lawyer-turned-author Gretchen Rubin’s happiness project. Her book, which documents her 12-month journey toward living a happier life, will make you stop, think and rethink how you are and could be living your own life. Is that pile of clothes in the corner the main cause of your stress? Clean it up. Have a quick email to send but you keep putting it off? Sit down and write it. Rubin’s impressive legal background is evident in her practical and straightforward approach to taking control, moving forward and generally having more fun. This novel reaches far beyond the generic “self help” categorization and will give you the right frame of mind to tackle 2015 with a new perspective on life.
5. “Yes Please”
By Amy Poehler
How is Amy Poehler just now writing a book? The hilarious “Parks and Recreation” actress is finally penning her first novel that will feature a mix of personal stories, anecdotes on love, friendship and parenthood and real life advice, like when to be funny and when to be serious. The book launches Oct. 28, and I will most certainly be reading my copy in the voice of Leslie Knope.
By Ron Rash
New York Times bestselling novelist Ron Rash skillfully weaves a dark tale of love, greed, corruption and revenge in this tale following newlyweds Serena and George Pemberton and their timber business in North Carolina in the 1930s. It’s no surprise that the powerful and ruthless Serena will be played by Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence in the novel’s film adaptation scheduled for release in theaters in November 2014.
7. “Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food”
By Jessica Merchant
While you may not read a cookbook cover to cover, this book simply had to be added to the list. The delightfully humorous Jessica Merchant, creator of popular food blog “How Sweet Eats, ” recently published her first cookbook and if you don’t already have a copy, you’re going to need to pick one up ASAP. Her candid, lighthearted approach to cooking is as addicting as her Shrimp Parmesan Skillet recipe (For real, this recipe is delicious. You must try it.). If you love bacon and cheese and have a rocky relationship with vegetables, this book is for you.
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