best in books: allison’s recommendations

Did you love Megan’s recommendations? Have you read any? Gifting any? Adding any to your library holds list? 

(ps: I only have 6 books on my holds list which, I think, is a 5 month low)

I originally aimed for 52 books in 52 weeks. It wasn’t really happening so I revised my goal to 26, which I passed a few months ago. I revised it again to a comfortable 40 books in 52 weeks and am currently at 44 with one book and three e-books checked out (Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter trilogy; re-reading the first 2 before starting Winter Storms. Aka: my plans this weekend as it snows…again…). So 48 books in 52 weeks is pretty great, I’d say. 

Without further ado, my favourites from this year to inspire your last minute purchases or holiday reads.


The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer: I read this back in March and it has stayed with all year. Coincidentally, looking back, I read 4 of these 5 books in succession in March and April this year. The Invisible Bridge is a hunker down and get invested kind of book; it’s long with a serious story line. It is worth it. It is an absolutely beautiful story of love and friendship, raw and honest. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: Keeping with my love of historical fiction, I followed up The Invisible Bridge with The Nightingale. Again, a story of perseverance and courage with a strong female lead. 

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman: Unless you’re my sister (the book hater) or living under a rock you’ve likely read this or seen the movie (how was it? I have it on hold at the libs). Quite simply, a great book. Who did you side with: Tom or Isabel? 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: I know, I know, you’ve probably already read this or seen the movie, as well. In comparison to all other Jojo Moyes books I’ve read, this is by far the best. Great story, interesting/controversial perspective, dreamy English countryside. I watched the movie earlier this week, also great (managed to hold off balling my eyes out till the very end, go me!). 

Big Girl by Kelsey Miller: everyone needs a biography on their list. If you’ve ever struggled with self-esteem issues, negative thoughts associated with weight, anxiety, family problems, this is the one for you. I started reading Kelsey’s articles on Refinery 29 and was excited when her book came out. Very well written. Loved it. 

Honourable mentions:
– The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman
– The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
– When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
– All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
– The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown
– When We Meet Again by Kristin Harmel
– It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
– Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Reid Jenkins

And some Canadian content:
Because this list is really just a love letter to historical fiction, try Jennifer Robson.


Obviously, I’m a kid book connoisseur. Or not. But I do have favourites and I think it would be sweet to gift an original and a Christmas version as a gift set for the littlest readers in your life. 

You can stay up-to-date with everything I’m reading on goodreads

Are you gifting books this year? Which ones? And what are you looking forward to reading while snuggled up on Christmas holiday? 


winter books

I am a seasonal reader. There is pretty much nothing I love more than fine tuning a list of books to take on a summer vacation, but I absolutely don’t want to read any of them in January. No imagery of soft sand and the sun warming ones back as I can barely feel my toes. And vice-versa, of course. I refuse to be reminded of snowflakes, potential romance be damned, while I search for the shady spot on a patio sipping iced coffee. 


The First Husband by Laura Dave: I adore this book; maybe it’s the whimsy of saying yes and moving across the country. Read it every winter. 

Love Walked In by Maria De Los Santos: the imagery is fantastic. The kind of book that makes you want to be in the city during the winter sipping coffee in a dark corner of a cafe. 

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer: haven’t actually read it yet, but comes very highly recommended, and I love historical WW2 fiction. 

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio: one of my favourite authors. Sarah’s books are romantic (in a non-cheesy way) and leave me yearning to live in the 20s and 30s ready to attend a soiree in a majestic hotel. 

The Department of Lost & Found by Allison Winn Scotch: heavy theme but not sad. Natalie’s walks in the park make me believe I enjoy walks in the park a lot more than I actually do. 

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: much better than the movie. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: absolutely gutting but fantastic. 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: a classic. 


What should I add to my list? 

winter reading list

aka: there ain’t no man and no fireplace so I’m cuddling up with my new plaid blanket and my favourite winter books.


And coffee. There’s always coffee.

Back in August I shared my summer reading list (going on a tropical winter vacation? maybe you should have a peek and take one of those with you), so now, just in time for some winter holidays, this is what I’ll be reading over the next few months.

None of these are “Christmas” books but are set in winter months; there is snow and cold and bourbon and cafes and the occasional christmas tree. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always keen about reading books that beautifully describe sand and sun and summer flings in the depressingness that is a Canadian winter. Actually, maybe I should. It took me all of 4 seconds to realize I’m not that kind of girl, I’m a seasonal book kind of girl.

These aren’t new, you’ll likely easily find them at your local library (another plug for my love of libraries….they’re the best). Enjoy!


What are you currently reading? On your list? Hoping Santa delivers? I tried to pack light so have Looking for Alaska on my iPad and borrowing Girl Boss from sister for my vacation reads for the next few weeks…and the last 3 months of Glamour and Marie Clare.