Ten Books I’m Glad I Picked on a Whim


I am good in planning,
except when I’m reading,
sometimes I follow
where my mood is swinging,
and here are the books
I’m glad I picked on a whim.

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Before I Go to Sleep

About: Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word

About: Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Kindred Spirits

About: If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Love Anthony

About: Two women, each cast adrift by unforseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship.
Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony’s short life.
Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband’s long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again. But surprisingly, as she does so, Beth also find herself channeling the voice of an unknown boy, exuberant in his perceptions of the world around him if autistic in his expression—a voice she can share with Olivia—(is it Anthony?)—that brings comfort and meaning to them both.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

About: A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One

About: Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages… maybe ever.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch

The Small Backs of Children

About: In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer’s best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own.

As the writer plunges into a suicidal depression, her filmmaker husband enlists several friends, including a fearless bisexual poet and an ingenuous performance artist, to save her by rescuing the unknown girl and bringing her to the United States. And yet, as their plot unfolds, everything we know about the story comes into question: What does the writer really want? Who is controlling the action? And what will happen when these two worlds—east and west, real and virtual—collide?

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

We Are Called to Rise

About: An immigrant boy whose family is struggling to assimilate. A middle-aged housewife coping with an imploding marriage and a troubled son. A social worker at home in the darker corners of Las Vegas. A wounded soldier recovering from an injury he can’t remember getting. By the time we realize how these voices will connect, the impossible and perhaps the unbearable has already happened. We Are Called to Rise is a boomtown tale, in which the lives of people from different backgrounds and experiences collide in a stunning coincidence. When presented the opportunity to sink into despair, these characters rise. Through acts of remarkable charity and bravery, they rescue themselves. Emotionally powerful yet tender and intimate, We Are Called to Rise is a novel of redemption and unexpected love.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

About: Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

Summary and Photo credit: Goodreads

In response to The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday today:

May 17: Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim (however you decide to interpret that (bought or read or something else) — I know most people read based on recommendation but we want to know those books you picked up without really hearing about or knowing much about!)

P.S. What one book would you add on this list?

Share it to me! 😀


84 thoughts on “Ten Books I’m Glad I Picked on a Whim”

  1. Did you have a change of mind about “After my demons win” that you took it down? If so then, you didn’t help your readers, Rose.
    The bright and the dark depict our humanity and provides encouragement to those in similar situations that they can overcome too when they read about the aftermath.

    Maintain your positive outlook that’s anchored on the Truth. It’s “great gain”.

    Love from a brother.


    1. Hi! Thank you for your comment.
      No, I never and I have no plans of changing my mind about my post. I encountered technical mistake yesterday, hence the post was deleted unfortunately.
      I believe we all have our demons and I openly shared mine. Most of all, I want to share how I somehow felt better and thank those who offered wise and lovely words. That is why I wrote After My Demons Win. It is now published.
      Thank you!


  2. It’s rare for me to pick books on a whim. Normally, I read the blurb, check reviews and then spends time deciding if maybe I’d like it or not… ha… I still end up not enjoying books though, so I don’t recommend doing that. Great list!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have a number of intense selections here. I’m drawn to the story with the OCD character and The Children with Small Backs. I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane and found that a good friend and also my nephew really, thoroughly liked the story. I liked the story, too, though was surprised by their reactions. So much has to be accepted to enjoy the tale, and I thought only my eccentric tastes would savor it.

    You are well-read, my friend, on a whim or as a plan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You mean Love, Anthony, right? 🙂 Please read them. They are both awesome. 🙂

      Yes, I agree, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is really eccentric and a bit weird too. But it is great. 😀

      Thank you, Christopher! 😀


  4. wow what a list. I missed the Ocean and the End of the Lane. The audiobook was just on sale yesterday for a steal but I got so caught up in work that it ended before I got back to it. A lot of these books sound really good. I’m going to check them out since they have your seal of approval 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s the only way I can afford to listen to audio books. Membership has a lot of perks plus I never pay full price for an audio book 🙂 audio books are really, really expensive otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. oooh. i bet more expensive than hardbound right.

        I have some questions for you about publishing. self-publishing. I checked out some packages and the cheapest is at $699 dollars which costs nearly Php 33,000 (that’s equivalent to almost my three-month salary) and I am so sure I cannot afford that. 😦 I hope you can share some tips with me? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I didn’t pay much to publish mine. If you do all the work yourself, it’s pretty much free if you do print on demand; completely free if you do an ebook and sell on amazon. What did the service include? Which one did you look at? Are you making an e-book or a paperback? I learned that the larger the trim size of the book (length and width), the less pages are needed and the lower the cost. People who buy the hardcopy pay per page.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I used http://www.createspace.com for the paperback version. You can set up your book in an MS word doc. There’s instructions about how to set up the initial doc. Doing it yourself is free but the layout is time consuming.

        The ebook is easy to make. There’s almost no formatting. Just a couple little things you need to do so Amazon can render it right but they aren’t hard to do.
        I did it through amazon– https://kdp.amazon.com/
        It cost me nothing. You only pay if you want to take out an ad, which I haven’t done. First though you need to edit your work. Easier to format after you edit the works to be published. I learned that the hard way 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You’re welcome 🙂 I’m here any time you need advice. There’s this place online that you can order a cover for $5 US. Another blogger on here recommended them. He uses the service: https://www.fiverr.com/
        There’s all kinds of services on there even editing. It’s worth taking a look though make sure you vet anyone you decide to work with.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. you can and should buy your own ISBN. I bought mine. That cost me $300 US for 10 but you can buy them individually. You don’t want anyone else buying them for you. You want to hold all the rights to your work.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I understand. You don’t need a ISBN for an ebook published on Amazon but you do for a print one. I rccommend doing the ebook first. It’s easier and there’s less cost associated with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. yeah. that makes sense… but it cost a lot. It costs my one-month salary! HAHAH. So I have to think it through. I don’t want to publish a book without that. So this might take time.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Neil Gaiman ❤ ❤ I have a few books on my list from your list already 😀 But this year, I've been re-reading my books. There are so many books that reading just once is not enough. Although adding new books will prepare me for later 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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