Reading has always been a beloved activity of mine, and I hope to instill that same love in the boys. As they grow older (and need constant supervision less, fingers crossed) I hope to have time together when we can read independently. These days I really only have time when I’m traveling for work, or sporadically I’ll read for a few minutes before I go to sleep. In general I’m a fan of fiction, not so much into murder/mystery, but I like dramas with some sci-fi thrown in. I have fond memories of going through my dad’s books and finding new things to read, but K and D may be stuck browsing my kindle!

Hellobee is definitely my greatest source of book recommendations for children – I love all of the roundups that bloggers have posted over the years and often refer to them when we need some new ideas or when I’m looking for gifts. I loved Mrs. Skateboard’s round up of adult books last week, and it got me thinking that the bloggers and readers probably have good recommendations for books for me to read as well! In that spirit, I thought I would share some books that I’ve enjoyed recently, in case you’re looking for ideas for yourself.

book recommendations

1. The Martian – This book has been everywhere recently, and the trailer for the upcoming movie with Matt Damon was just released. This XKCD comic sums up the book pretty well – if you’re into engineering or science at all (MacGyver anyone?) or even tales that threaten impending doom, I would highly recommend it. The book started off a little slow for me, but (spoiler alert) once NASA realized the astronaut was still alive on Mars, I couldn’t put it down! The main character keeps a good sense of humor despite harrowing odds, which is so refreshing to me.


Courtesy of XKCD

2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – This book is the oldest on my roundup (published in 1968!) and was the inspiration behind the movie Blade Runner. It’s set in a dystopian future where androids/cyborgs/robots are remarkably like humans, but are illegal to be on earth and are hunted by bounty hunters. It brings up a lot of interesting concepts like what is humanity, can machines feel emotions, should we feel emotional about machines, etc. I think we’re still struggling with this as humans – just look at Ex Machina! In the circles I run in at work (I’m an emerging technology analyst) it was pretty sacrilegious that I had never read this book, so I’m glad to have finally crossed it off my list.

3. Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think – The lone non-fiction book on my list, although it’s still pretty speculative! Written by Peter Diamandis (founder of the X prize competition) and Steven Kotler, they describe possible technical solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, (categorized by water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom). I found it interesting and inspiring – like a tech-focused TED talk in novel form – it’s very optimistic!

4. The Rosie Project: Now for something totally unrelated… if you’re a fan of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, I’m pretty sure you’d like this book! It’s essentially about a genetics professor named Don (again, who’s basically Sheldon) searching for a wife but winds up in an unexpected place with an unusual girl (sort of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl) and having to question all of the rigidity he previously relied on in his life. Not suspenseful, but fun!

5. Me Before You: I actually discovered this book through the on and off Hellobee Boards book club. I have mixed feelings about it overall – it follows a young woman who becomes a caregiver for a once rich and successful man who was injured and paralyzed. She works to make his life as positive as she can, then learn from each other, etc. I think my experience with D colors my objectivity about this book – obviously D is not a quadriplegic, but he easily could have been if his birth injury was worse. I had a tough time with the ending for this reason… but ultimately it was a compelling story and I’m glad I read it.

6. The English American: A mostly-lighthearted story about an adoptee born in America and raised in London, who goes back to America searching for her mom. Nothing ground breaking, but certainly an entertaining read! Great for the beach (if you’re not too busy chasing kids around).

What are you reading these days? Please share!