12 Books I Loved Before I Started Blogging

September 12, 2017 Book Lists 23

Books I Loved Before I Started Blogging


Last week was all about books I didn’t like, but we’re flipping the coin this week. There are so many books that I adored years ago, way before I started blogging, that I don’t talk about much here.

So, today I’m going to spotlight 12 Books I Loved Before I Started Blogging

This post contains affiliate links.

12 Books I Loved Before I Started Blogging

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
I honestly haven’t read much John Irving since I started this blog, but he still remains one of my all-time favorite authors and Owen Meany is my favorite book of his. It’s on my all-time favorites list and is due for a re-read!

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
I love fiction that’s inspired by real people and this one had me all kinds of curious about the inner life of Laura Bush.

Another City, Not My Own and anything else by Dominick Dunne
Dunne is the man responsible for getting me started reading about “wealthy people behaving badly” with his nonfiction about wealthy and/or famous people in criminal situations. I loved his snark, his tenacity in taking down prominent people who took advantage of being prominent, his gossipy tidbits…and his Vanity Fair column. RIP Mr. Dunne.

Beach Music by Pat Conroy
My love for Pat Conroy began when I was pretty young and I read all my favorite books by him before I started this blog. Beach Music is one of the few that I haven’t re-read in the past five years and I’m due. I also have a slight concern that it won’t hold up for me…luckily, my cousin is test-driving it as we speak!

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis
Awhile back, Michael Lewis was one of my all-time favorite authors. He can make the most mundane financial stories riveting and is a master at clearly explaining complicated financial concepts so non-finance nerds (like me!) can understand. In Boomerang, he investigates how the 2000’s real estate bubble and 2008 crash impacted various foreign countries. He melds finance and hilarious studies of each country’s culture into what I think is his most entertaining book! Sadly, his latest two books (Flash Boys and The Undoing Project) have missed the mark for me.

My Life in France by Julia Child
I used to read a ton of food / cooking memoirs before I started blogging and this was one of my favorites. Julia’s booming personality shines through and I enjoyed reading about the period when she first fell in love with food.

No Angel and The Spoils of Time Series by Penny Vincenzi
The British Spoils of Time series are juicy, multi-generational, historical fiction sagas that are full of drama. These were my guilty pleasure reading way back when!

Philistines at the Hedgerow : Passion and Property in the Hamptons by Steven Gaines
Rich people real estate porn set in the Hamptons. Similar to Michael Gross, but without the crushing, excruciating detail.

The Charm School by Nelson DeMille
Another of my old-school favorite authors! The Charm School is one of his more unique books and it made me wonder if something like The Charm School might have actually existed in the USSR during the Cold War. Bonus: DeMille has a new book (The Cuban Affair) coming out on September 19th!

The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter
This was the first book that introduced me to Stephen L. Carter’s political thrillers. His books are page-turning thrill rides, but they’re smart and throw in a fascinating look into upper crust, Harlem society. I went on to read four more of his books, including Back Channel most recently.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Believe it or not, I knew nothing about all the hype surrounding this book when I read it. I just wasn’t plugged into the book world back then. It blew me away. I went on to find out that it blew most everyone else away too. 

The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
I remember picking up this coming of age memoir on a complete whim, knowing nothing about it. It’s stuck with me and introduced me to J.R. Moehringer’s writing, which is right up my alley.

What are some of your old favorites?

Get Weekly Email Updates!

23 Responses to “12 Books I Loved Before I Started Blogging”

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I was so dead trying to do this prompt because I don’t even REMEMBER what I read pre-blogging and pre-goodreads. haha. But it’s awesome to realise sometimes our book loves are ahead of the hype right?! I was into The Hunger Games before I knew it was so famous! Glad you liked the Donna Tartt one! I would like to read something by her someday.

  2. Susie | Novel Visits

    Most of these I’ve missed, but a couple I loved. A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Secret History are both all time favorites of mine. When I read The Secret History, it was the same as you. I just stumbled upon it on my own and then was trying to get everyone I knew to read it. American Wife was great, too. I also remember liking Beach Music, but now recall little about the actual story.

    The other Irving book I really liked is The Cider House Rules.

  3. Steven Reads

    I read Conroy’s “Beach Music” in 1998 and again last week. The writing is beautiful,some of the best in literature (my opinion). The story of Jack McCall, his four brothers, dead wife, ailing mother, alcoholic father and whimsical daughter (amongst others) are weaved intricately into a story that spans two generations and continents. I was so enchanted (again) and touched with so much emotion. I suggest you make this your “next up.” You won’t regret it. Majestic.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Now you really made me want to re-read it! I just need to find a time when life is calmer…it’s so long.

  4. Gabby

    Yay for The Secret History! I’ve got a bunch of these (American Wife, Another City Not My Own, etc) on my TBR. Irving is an author I usually like but don’t really connect with and I’m not quite sure why…I really like Cider House Rules but others like Garp and Owen Meany were good but didn’t stick with me. I don’t know that I’ve tried reading any of his work since high school, so maybe I’ll try again with another one of his soon.

  5. Catherine

    ALL the love to Dominick Dunne, of course! I might go back and binge read him again next month. And the same thing with Penny Vicenzi! I haven’t loved her latest ones as much but her earlier books are still favorites.

    My brain is such mush these days that I can’t think of old books I loved, but I am going to look at my bookshelves and will probably make this idea my next post!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      God, I could totally use some Dunne right now. I think DeMille will help me though…kind of mindless thriller.

  6. Jeanna

    My Life in France by Julia Child has been on my TBR forever. I used to love books about food and I would love to get back into reading them more. For this Top Ten Tuesday, I scoured my Goodreads for ratings and dates because it was so difficult to remember all the books that I loved so long ago. Fantastic list; happy reading!

    Here’s my my Top Ten Tuesday!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I did too and wish I still read them more, but I get so sucked into the new release fiction now!

  7. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I had to read Owen Meany for high school English class. I loved it. One of the best books I’ve ever had forced upon me by a teacher. I just found a cheap used copy of The Secret History, and I can’t wait for it to get here. I’ve wanted to read that book for a long time.

  8. Anna

    I’ve heard amazing things about The Secret History, I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I’m not sure why I haven’t read My Life in France yet– I love Julia Child and I love France! I’m definitely adding that book to my TBR list on Goodreads 😉

  9. Madeline

    Have read a number of these. Loved Charm School. I like DeMille a lot but I think this is his best.

    Love Irving too but Cider House Rules and Hotel New Hampshire were my faves. And I think he’s running out of gas. Avenue of Mysteries was a DNF for me.

    Must get to A Secret History!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I didn’t even attempt Avenue of Mysteries…some other bloggers I trust said it wasn’t great.

      And you must read The Secret History!!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I know, right?! I can barely remember the “before” days. Hope you get to American Wife soon!

Leave a Reply