Perfect gray sweater from ASOS ($66). 

Perfect gray sweater from ASOS ($66). 

If you’re a size 6, 7, 9 and 10, the Nike Blazer sneakers on the left are $80 and you can take 40% off with SOSWEET. The Air Pegasus sneakers on the right are still available in size 10 and are $60. Take 40% off with code SOSWEET

I love this cowl neck poncho from Shoptiques ($95). It’s also available in white. 

I love this cowl neck poncho from Shoptiques ($95). It’s also available in white. 

This wrap dress from Piperlime’s eponymous collection is $89 and would make a fun, ridiculous party dress for holidays that are coming up WAY too fast. 

This wrap dress from Piperlime’s eponymous collection is $89 and would make a fun, ridiculous party dress for holidays that are coming up WAY too fast. 

If you’re looking for a CYA-compliant tunic tee for layering this fall/winter, this one from Lucky Brand is just $29.50. Shipping is free. 

How to find your next book:

I got a question about this on Instagram and I said I’d post about it but then I forgot…and then I remembered. So here we are.

Finding books is a sacred process to me. It is almost as exciting as actually reading them. I don’t have any *omg* hidden sources, but it does take a while and I tend to move through my usual spots methodically, adding to my Amazon Wish List or my library holds list as I go.  

With that being said, it helps that I am also an equal opportunity reader. I will read almost anything, from any genre. I have genre preferences (of course) but I enjoy both fiction and nonfiction. I will read YA. I will read history. I will read mystery. This makes choosing a book easier for me (I’m not very picky) and more difficult (because my eyes are bigger than my reading speed). If you have an incredibly hard time finding books that you enjoy because you feel like you’ve read up everything in the genre that interests you, it might be time to try something new. Which is SCARY. It’s hard to leave the proverbial section that you know you like, but if that well has dried up, you might be surprised how many other books are out there that you will DEVOUR and ENJOY. If you’re a fiction person, try nonfiction. And vise versa. That’s the easiest way to get things rolling again. 

On to the list:

  • Shelf Awareness - Shelf Awareness’ newsletter for readers is one of the best ways to find new (as in newly-published) books. They have a good mix of fiction and non-fiction releases, but also throw in cookbooks, kids books, etc. If I had to choose only one place to find out about new books, this would be it. 
  • New York Times Books - Duh. Don’t be deterred by a completely unfortunate review. If it’s a big enough release to get a New York Times review, the book might still be worth reading. Check for reviews from other publications and book bloggers before discarding a title. 
  • NPR Books - A caveat: If you use NPR Books to find new books, it helps to listen to the accompanying author interview or discussion. There have been some books I wouldn’t have touched but I happened to listen to the author interview or on-air review and was completely sold minutes in. 
  • Amazon Best Books of the Month - Amazon has an enormous amount of recommendation power: best seller lists, recommendations JUST FOR YOU, things you might like, blah blah. It can be overwhelming. Instead of getting stuck on the best seller pages (which currently have Disney’s Frozen: A Little Golden Book sitting at #13), go to their best books of the month selection. Amazon editors choose books that are entertaining and interesting and I’m always happy with the books I read off their monthly best-of lists. You can get as specific as you want (Best of Romance, Best of Sci-Fi) or you can go back months and months to find books you may have missed. 
  • Bookateria - If you love lists, Bookateria is a more manageable interface than Amazon. You can see the 2014 Booker Shortlist, buzz books, just published books—it’s good stuff. 
  • Bookslut - This site is great. There are author interviews, links to interesting book-related articles, and a million amazing book recommendations. If you want to get completely immobilized by excitement, check out the book review archives for fiction and nonfiction
  • Bookish - This is like the Buzzfeed website for book reviews: It is very approachable. Every literary reference in Friends, for example. But they also provide good previews of upcoming books and have fun article topics like “Favorite Plane Reads.” 
  • Go Book Yourself - If you like finding books visually—by their title, their cover art, what shelf they are on—this is about the closest you’ll get without actually being in a library or a bookstore. Very fun. 
  • Longform and Longreads - A lot of the longform articles you can find from these two sources are excerpts from books, or written by writers who do have published books, or were written to help drum up publicity for books. See this one, for example. 

And last, but not least, I get so many good book recommendations from friends. A friend with similar taste in books is a friend for life. 

Here is a little graphic you can use the next time you’re looking for a new book to read: 

image

Good luck and happy reading! 

Do you have any favorite spots for finding new books?

Command and Control by Eric Schlosser - If you want a scary bedtime story, here you go. This book is phenomenal. It’s quite long—be forewarned if you aren’t looking to be reading the same book for a while—but it’s entirely worth your time. Schlosser digs deep into the development, maintenance, use, and misuse of nuclear weaponry in the US, with the 1980 explosion of a Titan II missile in Searcy, AR as the center point for the book. The near misses Schlosser digs up are truly frightening and it seems a miracle that we haven’t had an accidental nuclear explosion somewhere in this country yet. It’s an exhaustive look at a topic that most people know only fragments of and I found it fascinating and frightening. It’s hard to imagine the scale of devastation that modern nuclear and especially thermonuclear warheads could level—which is why Schlosser gave care to accurately describe what those events could look like and puts that in the context of the modern-day, worldwide nuclear arsenal. This was great nonfiction—one of my favorite so far this year.  
Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican - If you like your fiction on the dark side and set inside a private school environment, here you go. The book opens with the freshmen at Saint Michael’s Catholic High School preparing for the onslaught of the traditional senior vs. freshmen initiation rites (which are disturbing and are actually bullying, but the nuns turn a blind eye). We follow Peter Davidek through this dog eat dog social environment and we see his fellow students make bargains with the seniors for perceived special treatment or they simply try to disappear and go unnoticed. There’s a corrupt priest, a kid who flings jars of dissection specimens at other students when he snaps, and a nun trying her best to think of slang synonyms for “penis” as she goes to mimic high school graffiti on the wall (she settles on cock, FYI). So yes, I recommend it. 
Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston - Dirty Work is an interesting book. It’s short but there is a lot going on. Weston, a doctor, writes about a fictional London-based OB-GYN (Nancy) who is undergoing several crises at once. Nancy has nearly just killed a patient in surgery and is sitting before a group of medical professionals to determine if she’s fit to practice. Nancy, as it turns out, botched an abortion she was performing. There is very little political to be found here. It’s not so much a debate about abortion or abortion providers. This is more about Nancy’s psychology. She questions her mistakes and begins to lose her sense of self—entirely based on her ability to provide compassionate, meaningful care. What is she if she cannot do that? In the end, I thought this book tackled a very important (and controversial) topic in a nuanced, self-aware way. 
Working Stiff by Judy Melinek, M.D. and T.J. Mitchell - I loved this book. Well, first—a warning. If you’re squeamish, do not read this. I really mean it. Move along. If you’re not (or too curious to remember you are actually squeamish), then you should read it. Melinek and her husband co-wrote it (“hey honey, let’s write about the time I sawed the guy…”)—and the book is about her rookie year as an NYC medical examiner. Melinek has a blunt, objective story-telling style and it grabbed me right from the first page. She maintains her professional demeanor throughout, but still wrote a colorful, interesting book about exactly what a medical examiner does, how they do it, and why it is important. She is not without a sense of humor and occasionally I can see her rubbing her hands together like, yes! Let’s explain how we crack open the skulls! At one point she mentions that everyone at dinner parties always insists she tell them her “worst case” and she always demurs. “Guys, you don’t want to know. Trust me.” But she writes about it in this book. It is really, really horrible. Later, about a quarter from the end of the book, Melinek switches gears and gives the reader a look from inside the NYC Medical Examiner’s office during and post-9/11. It is a memoir worth reading for a lot of reasons, but especially for the bravery, hard work and compassion that Melinek and her colleagues exhibited during that time. 
Read any of these?
  • Command and Control by Eric Schlosser - If you want a scary bedtime story, here you go. This book is phenomenal. It’s quite long—be forewarned if you aren’t looking to be reading the same book for a while—but it’s entirely worth your time. Schlosser digs deep into the development, maintenance, use, and misuse of nuclear weaponry in the US, with the 1980 explosion of a Titan II missile in Searcy, AR as the center point for the book. The near misses Schlosser digs up are truly frightening and it seems a miracle that we haven’t had an accidental nuclear explosion somewhere in this country yet. It’s an exhaustive look at a topic that most people know only fragments of and I found it fascinating and frightening. It’s hard to imagine the scale of devastation that modern nuclear and especially thermonuclear warheads could level—which is why Schlosser gave care to accurately describe what those events could look like and puts that in the context of the modern-day, worldwide nuclear arsenal. This was great nonfiction—one of my favorite so far this year.  
  • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican - If you like your fiction on the dark side and set inside a private school environment, here you go. The book opens with the freshmen at Saint Michael’s Catholic High School preparing for the onslaught of the traditional senior vs. freshmen initiation rites (which are disturbing and are actually bullying, but the nuns turn a blind eye). We follow Peter Davidek through this dog eat dog social environment and we see his fellow students make bargains with the seniors for perceived special treatment or they simply try to disappear and go unnoticed. There’s a corrupt priest, a kid who flings jars of dissection specimens at other students when he snaps, and a nun trying her best to think of slang synonyms for “penis” as she goes to mimic high school graffiti on the wall (she settles on cock, FYI). So yes, I recommend it. 
  • Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston - Dirty Work is an interesting book. It’s short but there is a lot going on. Weston, a doctor, writes about a fictional London-based OB-GYN (Nancy) who is undergoing several crises at once. Nancy has nearly just killed a patient in surgery and is sitting before a group of medical professionals to determine if she’s fit to practice. Nancy, as it turns out, botched an abortion she was performing. There is very little political to be found here. It’s not so much a debate about abortion or abortion providers. This is more about Nancy’s psychology. She questions her mistakes and begins to lose her sense of self—entirely based on her ability to provide compassionate, meaningful care. What is she if she cannot do that? In the end, I thought this book tackled a very important (and controversial) topic in a nuanced, self-aware way. 
  • Working Stiff by Judy Melinek, M.D. and T.J. Mitchell - I loved this book. Well, first—a warning. If you’re squeamish, do not read this. I really mean it. Move along. If you’re not (or too curious to remember you are actually squeamish), then you should read it. Melinek and her husband co-wrote it (“hey honey, let’s write about the time I sawed the guy…”)—and the book is about her rookie year as an NYC medical examiner. Melinek has a blunt, objective story-telling style and it grabbed me right from the first page. She maintains her professional demeanor throughout, but still wrote a colorful, interesting book about exactly what a medical examiner does, how they do it, and why it is important. She is not without a sense of humor and occasionally I can see her rubbing her hands together like, yes! Let’s explain how we crack open the skulls! At one point she mentions that everyone at dinner parties always insists she tell them her “worst case” and she always demurs. “Guys, you don’t want to know. Trust me.” But she writes about it in this book. It is really, really horrible. Later, about a quarter from the end of the book, Melinek switches gears and gives the reader a look from inside the NYC Medical Examiner’s office during and post-9/11. It is a memoir worth reading for a lot of reasons, but especially for the bravery, hard work and compassion that Melinek and her colleagues exhibited during that time. 

Read any of these?

adventureswithcarbs asked: Hey wonderful Jaclyn, I feel like you posted about cute agendas / to do books / planners recently (they were on sale and maybe from Etsy, but were not Erin Condren...) and I've done a big search through your blog and can't find them. Do you remember what I'm referring to? Hope I'm not going insane. xx

You are not going insane! It is The Day Designer planner and it is outstanding. She currently has January 2015 editions for sale and is releasing more of the b&w stripe version on October 15. I am loving mine and highly recommend it. 

A CYA-compliant sweater from Target. It’s just $23. Buy two and save 15%, buy 3 and save 25%. 

I like Gap’s 10 Pieces, 7 Days feature—especially this outfit. Take 35% off full-price items today with code STYLE or, if you’re a cardmember, get 40% off with code LAYERUP. 

I like Gap’s 10 Pieces, 7 Days feature—especially this outfit. Take 35% off full-price items today with code STYLE or, if you’re a cardmember, get 40% off with code LAYERUP