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***ONE TIME USE ONLY. NOT FOR RESALE.*** HANDOUT PHOTO:  "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr.  (Courtesy of Scribner)

After a brief Book Club hiatus, during which I momentarily lost my mind and only consumed bridal magazines, bridal blogs (and copious amounts of alcohol and comfort food), I am back to reading real, actual books that don’t come with pictures of skinny girls in white dresses. On our honeymoon, I devoured Luckiest Girl Alive, which I highly recommend if you loved Gone Girl. And after that, I read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which I just finished last week. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. All of the blogs and magazines I follow have been touting it for months, but leading up to the wedding, I just didn’t think I had the brain capacity to read it. And the idea of reading a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about World War II sounded like homework that would make me depressed.

Still, I kept hearing about it and ended up putting it on my iPad the night before we left for our honeymoon. I started it on the plane ride back, and took my time finishing it. It was so beautifully written, I would sometimes go back and read a page a few times just to make sure I didn’t miss any of the words; other times, I would get so caught up in the story, I would tear through it as fast as I could to find out what happened next. Without giving too much away, it’s about a blind French girl whose father works at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, and a brilliant German orphan who “wins” a coveted spot at a terrifying, exclusive school for Hitler Youth, and how their lives ultimately collide. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that’s haunted me like this one; the words are so alive, just reading it catapults you into the world. And, despite the subject matter, it has an incredibly uplifting and hopeful take on humanity. Even when it made me cry. So, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and telling you, if you haven’t read this book yet, you must. It is even better than everyone has been saying it is.

  • malloriemecham

    Oh I just knew I liked you! This is, hands down, one of my favorite books (that I’ve read in the last year). It’s one of those things that you want to race through because it’s AMAZING but you have to stop and read slowly because it’s AMAZING.

    • Annie

      Ahhh this makes me so happy!!!!! Could not agree more. What other books do you love?? I’m always looking for a good read. Have you read “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson yet? This one reminded me of that one a bit, in the sense that it’s set during a wartime and is completely unforgettable.

      • malloriemecham

        Oh! I hadn’t heard of Life after Life. It’s on my to-read-when-I-have-a-break-from-law-school list now! If you want something cute that will make you feel a million times better about not having life figured out yet, I recommend Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway. Also, Yes Please by Amy Poehler is required reading for anyone under the age of 40 and breathing (at least it will be when I run the world). I’m also ALL about Sarah Addision Allen. Her books are light and sweet with a touch of magic. If they were a cake, they’d be vanilla bean with sprinkles. Also, The Night Circus, but only if you have treats close. If you want to keep with the WWII theme, The Book Thief (which you might have already read, but it’s too good not to recommend) or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I don’t like to read at all. :)

        • Annie

          Ohhhhh, Life After Life is INCREDIBLE. I just loved it. And Yes Please is my bible! I hope I have a daughter one day, just so I can make her read it. And I LOVE vanilla bean and sprinkles, so I can’t wait to check out Sarah Addision Allen :) SO EXCITED for all of these recs, thank you!!!!!! Break legs with the law school business, lady!!

  • jen lee

    A book rec for Gone Girl lovers?! You are an angel, Annie! I read it like, a year ago, and I still haven’t managed to find anything that quite filled the gaping hole left in my life after I finished it :( I read through so many of those “What to Read Now That You’ve Finished Gone Girl” lists, no shame (okay, some shame), but I didn’t find anything that even came close.

    • Annie

      Girl, I HEAR you…. That book is so hard to beat, it was so so so so so good. That gaping hole is a hard one to fill, not gonna lie. Luckiest Girl Alive is great and a super fun read, I wasn’t able to put it down! And have you read any of Gillian Flynn’s other books, Sharp Objects or Dark Places? Full disclosure, I didn’t love them as much as GG, but they were great, too. What others have you loved??

      • jen lee

        I’m going to check it out as soon as I can! I’ve got this huge list of books I need to grab from the library, but it’s a half hour walk and I’m sooo lazy! I’ll put Gillian Flynn’s other books on my list, too :) A couple of the Buzzfeed/Refinery29/Bustle listicle books (I am so ashamed…) that I really liked were Into The Darkest Corner (honestly really effed up and kind of heartbreaking) and Before I Go To Sleep (the author’s first novel, I couldn’t believe it. So unputdownable; again, so effed up. Also I was Googling it right now and just found out there was a Nicole Kidman movie?!? Gonna go watch that RIGHT NOW)

        • Annie

          Oohhhhh I don’t know about any of these!! Adding them to my list. Thank you!!!!!!!

  • Sorry to be the world’s biggest creep and go comment on one of your super old posts, but I’d been wanting to read this book for AGES and I finally got around to it and finished it this weekend. I remembered you’d mentioned it before and I just wanted to say I totally agree with your take on it! Such a beautifully written story and I loved how many storylines there were in one and how perfectly it was all tied together. For such a long book I didn’t feel like there was one part of it that shouldn’t have been there like I sometimes feel about super long novels (cough, The Goldfinch, sorry Donna Tartt). Anyway, sorry about the rant! I just loved this book :)

    • Annie

      Ahhhhh, this makes me so happy!!!!! If by “creep” you mean the world’s sweetest reader!!!! It means so much to me that you remembered I’d written about it, I’m so grateful you reached out because these types of notes are the best thing about blogging. And haha, I haven’t read The Goldfinch because too many people have told me that :) Thank you again!!!!! X A


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