Looking for a new book? Well, I’m here to help!

I must be frank if I want to earn your favor in any way. I’m a book-reader. A book lover! Yes–but I am no expert. And I am devilishly picky about the books I read. They must have a certain tone to them, a feel that I can sense and enjoy right off the bat. While this may sound strange and a bit too far-out, I guarantee you all have some degree of this pickiness. There’s a reason you gravitate toward a genre or author, and why War and Peace is not as simple to read as Harry Potter.

So the books I’m suggesting today typically garner more female attention, but they are truly incredible reads for anyone! They all fall into the genre of “coming of age” stories, whose plots are usually more winding and eventful without a strong overarching conflict. Instead, along the path of smaller conflicts and events in the book, the hero or heroine will come to know themselves or their purpose in a new and better way. Basically, a journey of self-discovery.

“The first book, probably my favorite book right now, is Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster.

My mum actually gave me this book because it was her favorite when she was a bit younger than me. It’s a short and quick read, but well written with a delightful twist at the end.

Jerusha “Judy” Abbott lives in an orphanage and has her entire life. She loves to write and vent her troubles in the form of poems and creative stories, desperate to think of a life outside of the orphanage walls. Then, one day, a donor to the orphanage reads a piece she’d written, and decides to sponsor a full-ride to college! The only contingency is she must write to the donor about her schooling to keep him updated–and that she never know his identity.

The book is comprised of all the letters Judy writes to her mystery donor, and tells wonderful tales of new and exciting adventures. A must-read!

Next, there is The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. Lily Melissa Owens is a 14 year-old girl who lives with her abusive step father, T. Ray. (Doesn’t sound great, I know. Bear with me here). The stage is set in Sylvan, South Carolina, 1964. T. Ray employs Rosaleen, their maid, but she is more of a surrogate mother to Lily. Rosaleen is arrested for acting-out toward some white men in town, and she and Lily decide to skip town. Their adventures lead them to meet the Boatwright sisters, three black women who keep bees, who invite the women to stay with them. The story only gets better from here–a beautiful narrative of a young woman finding her value.

Finally, the amazing Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden. This one had me fooled for a bit, the first few pages reveal that it’s a true story, but I didn’t notice that page was well after the forward…sadly this is not a true story.

The story unfolds when Chiyo Sakamoto is plucked from the care of her father in their remote fishing village and sold to essentially a trafficker. Her sister was chosen to go to one city, while Chiyo was chosen to travel to Gion, to someday become a Geisha. This was supposed to be a high honor, but Chiyo was devastated to be stripped of her family and life as she knew it. This book beautifully describes the inner turmoil and battles that Chiyo faced, as well as abuse and hardship all around her. However, when she receives a handkerchief from a kind man who found her at wits end, everything changed.

I cannot endorse these books enough! I do hope you will find the time and interest to pursue any one of these. Who knows, you might have found your next favorite right here.

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