5 Good Books: Volume 6

Read Leather DiaryThe Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal: A New York Times’ journalist found Florence Wolfson’s diary in a dumpster. Florence had kept a diary every day from 1929 to 1934. The journalist was able to track down the journal’s owner, a woman in her nineties. The book includes passages from her diary as well as information from interviews between the journalist and the woman. I loved reading about Manhattan in the 20s and early 30s. It was interesting to read about some of the places I walk past every single day. It is amazing that author, Lily Kopel, found the diary and was able to track down the owner who was so touched to be able to relive her youth through the pages of her old journal. I want to read Lily’s recent book, The Astronaut’s Wives Club.

Why Not Be Mindy Kaling

Why Not Me?: I loved Mindy Kaling’s first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, so I was so excited to see that she published another book. Mindy’s essays are funny and candid. I especially liked her piece about confidence. I recommend it!


The Girl You Left Behind: This book tells two different stories: the story of Sophie Lefèvre and Liv Halston. Sophie’s husband painted her portrait before leaving to fight in World War I. Sophie’s town is invaded by the Germans and she has to serve them at her hotel. A Kommandant admires the painting and Sophie gives up the painting with he promise that the Kommandant with reunite her with her husband. She ends up spending much of the year in concentration camps. The second half of the story takes place in modern day. Liv’s late husband gave her the painting as a wedding gift. After his death, she takes comfort in the painting. She begins dating again and dates someone who helps to return art to family’s that had art stolen by the nazis. A court battle over the painting begins and we learn more about it’s history and meaning to Liv. I really enjoyed the way the author weaved the two stories together. It was also interesting to learn more about the process of art restitution.


Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald: This book is a novel about Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book is as detailed as a biography, but it reads like a novel. I read it so quickly! It was like stepping into another era and getting to see the lives of Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and more. Although outsiders may have thought Zelda’s life was perfect, it’s clear that it was far from true. Now I want to read Zelda: A Biography and Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F.Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.


The White Rose: The White Rose is about a forty-eight year old married professor, Marian Kahn, who falls in love with the twenty-six-year-old son of her oldest friend, Oliver. Marian’s older cousin gets engaged to a student in Marian’s department and their relationships all get entangled. The book is about wealth, status, love, and education. It’s also a modern day reimagining of Strauss’ opera, Der Rosenkavalier. I’m a big fan of the author, Jean Hanff Korelitz and this book did not disappoint.

Does anyone have any good book recommendations? I have a long commute and lots of time to read! 

Image via Design Darling

21 Responses to 5 Good Books: Volume 6

  1. These all sound like really interesting reads! I just added Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic to my list.


  2. Jenny says:

    I want to read the Mindy Kaling book and the one about Zelda Fitzgerald whenever I get the chance.

    xoxo, Jenny

  3. lindsey says:

    I’ve heard Mindy’s book is super good! I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve only heard good things about it.
    with southern grace,

  4. Annaliese says:

    I hear so much buzz about Mindy Kaling’s books!
    Once I graduate college, I can’t wait to have more time to read for fun again- especially reading at night before bed. 🙂

    xoxo A

  5. claudia jane says:

    I love to read! I have heard “Why Not Me” is good, and I have read the book on Zelda Fitzgerald. Thanks for sharing!
    xo, claudia

  6. Kayleigh says:

    Love these picks! I’m reading Tales From The Back Row!

  7. Brittany says:

    Looks like I have quite a few books to add to my reading list!

    xx. Brittany | Southern Soul

  8. Nicole says:

    Mindy’s novel is so fabulous! She’s the most adorably inspiring lady out there!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  9. I’m obsessed with Jojo Moyes! I just posted about one of her books today. This one is one of her last few books I haven’t read, so I’m happy to hear it was so good! It’s on my list 🙂


  10. Ashley says:

    Both Mindy books are at the top of my to read pile! I just discovered The Mindy Project and am beyond obsessed with Mindy and her hilarious show! Can’t wait to finally read her books!

    xo Ashley

  11. Kyleigh Wegener says:

    I want to read “Z” so bad!! It’s been on my list for like two years. I also loved Mindy’s first book. I prefer paperback so I haven’t bought her new one yet, but it’s so hard to resist every time I see it.

  12. Sara Kate says:

    I love seeing what other people recommend. It’s such a great way to find out about books you would probably never hear about or think to read! I’ll have to look into these!

    Sara Kate Styling

  13. Jordyn says:

    I’ve been really wanting to read “Z” for awhile but always forget. I’ve never heard of “The Read Leather Journal” but I think I would love it! Thanks for the great list!

  14. Ooooh, the White Rose sounds so good! I’ll have to add it to my wish list 🙂

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  15. Lauren says:

    Ugh this reminds me that I really need to start reading again! It’s so good for the mind and soul

  16. Cat says:

    The Girl You Left Behind sounds like something right up my alley! I love historical fiction novels.


  17. I loved ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me’ too! I definitely want to read Mindy’s latest book! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  18. Allison says:

    The Red Leather Diary sounds like the perfect addition to my ever growing “Books to Read” list! Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions!

  19. Allison says:

    I’ve been wanting to read Why not Me! It’s on my list for next month!

  20. I just bought Mindy’s new book and I am so excited to crack it open! A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald sounds amazing – definitely need to add it to my “BUY” list!

  21. I love Mindy Kaling’s book! I read Why Not Me last week, and I was cracking up in public.

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