What should I read next?

What should I read next?

Next to the bed, I have my pile of books I haven’t read yet.




I have some books on my bookshelf I keep starting but can never get through for whatever reason (Moby Dick….).

I have the ever-growing list of recommended books I could check out of the library.


What should I read next?

Sometimes I already know what book I’ll read next before I’ve finished the one in my hands.

It watches me, waiting, patiently, then not so patiently.


Sometimes, I sit down with a couple of new books, read the first few sentences of each and see which one pulls me in the most. There’s a time for each book. Is it time for one of these?


Consider This, Señora by Harriet Doerr; Photo©readinginterrupted.com



H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald; photo©readinginterrupted.com


What should I read next?



100 thoughts on “What should I read next?

      • Ha-hah! You really don’t want to know!!!

        I am a notoriously picky reader.

        I don’t finish about half of the books I start, and I’ve literally gone to the library or book store to get a book and returned home two hours later without one.

        But I love to read, so I mostly re-read (and study) my favorites.

        Having said all that though…. When it comes to new stuff, it’s based on hype, sales, and recommendations from friends I trust! : )

        • I love to hear that you enjoy rereading so much as I do as well. It’s like sitting down with an old friend and sharing old stories again. You laugh at all the same places, you know what’s coming up, but you appreciate it in a different way somehow.

  1. Decisions, decisions …. H is for Hawk’s opening lines capture my attention more. I always have multiple books started — currently, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo; Start with Why by Simon Sinek; and The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. Oh, and just finishing up Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes. My eyes for books to read are much larger than my time allotment! Next to start will be our July book club read: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande,

    • What a great selection of books. I will note all of them and add them to my list. Of the ones you’ve listed, I’ve only read Gawande’s What Matters in the End which was an interesting read. And I saw the movie The Prince of Tides years ago which I didn’t realize was based on a book. Enjoy all the reading!

      • I have to admit to almost abandoning Conroy’s book but have been slugging through it in fits and spurts — so many raved about his writing and I haven’t found a strong connection yet …. The Sinek book is related to work, but a great read so far (He has some wonderful TED talks too).

  2. I’d pick one of mine, lol. But Picnic at Amapolas starts very well. In between editing an older manuscript I’ve read Singled Out by Julie Lawford. A new writer, but she tells a good story with an incredibly well used vocabulary.

    • Well, besides all of your books, of course!! That was implicit in my post, Dannie 🙂 I’ll keep an eye out for Julie Lawford. And thanks for the tweet, my sweet.

  3. I’ve not read any of those books, which just goes to show i need to get out (to bookstores/library) more. The first chapter Picnic at Amapolas sounds good but I have just read a book about Mexico so I may be a little high off of that. As long as you keep avoiding Moby Dick for a little while longer I am happy.

    • Or, alternatively, you could spend the entire summer reading books about Mexico, ha!

      What is it about Moby Dick? It’s my great whale that I cannot conquer, apparently.

      • a whole summer, well that would be epic, I may get a proper cliché ‘tache and start doing unconvincing and embarrassing impressions…i’m quiet good at those believe it or not.

        Best off not conquering it at the moment, maybe we need a group read along to get the enthusiasm and besieged camaraderie going, it seems the only way to read it is by humour at the ordeal.

        • A group read along is something we should do at some point.

          I’ll leave the mustache to you. Although perhaps for the winter months as it will keep you warm.

          • I dread being clean shaven again at any point, I would think I was in a Russian winter even if it was spring. I’ll be the official moustache wearer of the group then.

            Can you imagine a mass blog readathon, that would be epic.

            • A blod readathon would be great if we could find the right book. A heavy Russian novel would be good, now that you’ve mentioned Russia. Let’s do this at the end of the summer or something. We’ll be the two people at the seaside on each side of the ocean burying our noses in Dostoyevsky’s works.

            • Now that sounds like a plan! I do love a good Dostoyevsky, not that I’ve read one for a couple of years, they are so much easier to amass than to actually tackle I find. The character list at the front normally puts me off for some reason.

            • Yes! I look forward to it my friend, I shall look at what books I have, I must have plenty of different authors hiding amongst the piles.

  4. I am a very lucky person…. I have a wonderful mentor that chooses for me…. Sometimes I give it back, sometimes because I did not like it or was not in the mood for such a book or it was too difficult for reading it now…. But generally it works wonderfully! I have to thank my mentor!
    I was very interested by the books chosen in the answers.

  5. Letizia you amaze me with the diversity of books you read. I’m not familiar with any of them. But reading the first chapter of each I think they both look good (sorry I know that doesn’t help). I am such a, fantasy/sci-fi junky lately you made me realise there is room in my pile for a different book. Thank you, yet again, I learn something new about you and about me when I visit your wonderful book-filled world.

    • You are always so sweet, Kath. I’ve never been able to really get into the fantasy/sci-fi genre so if there’s ever a book you would recommend to me, let me know. I read a few back in the day for university but it’s not a genre I gravitate to for some reason. Perhaps I haven’t found the right books yet.

      • I adored Connie Willis Blackout and All Clear. Its about scientists that can go back through time and observe humans in history. A group go back the the blitz in London and get stranded there. Really enjoyed both books but if your not into sci/fi you may not enjoy them, although its interesting to read about that era.

        • I do like time travel books but for some reason never put them in the sci-fi category. Thanks for the recommendation; it might be one of my holiday books this year.

  6. I don’t know, but ‘The Bastard of Istanbul’ sure grabbed my attention. Catchy title!

    I’ve not heard of any of these books, but I’m currently reading ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr, so at least I’m reading one of the authors in your stack. 🙂

  7. I have just started H is for Hawk and am captivated by it. I have got several others on the go too – I like to have different books for different moods & circumstances.

    • H is for Hawk looks so good. I think it’s a book I want to take my time with so I may wait until after I read my book for my book club so I don’t have to worry about time constraints. So, if I’m understanding you correctly, you read a few books at the same time? I only do that if I’m reading a novel for pleasure and nonfiction for work, if not I would mix everything together. This doesn’t happen for you, I’m guessing!

      • Yes, I find that I like to have some ‘serious’ reading on the go – usually non-fiction, plus perhaps a classic (something which needs a bit of concentration); then I can’t usually resist starting something from my fiction pile and depending on what that is, I might also have something different still and lighter weight for bed-time reading. I get there with all of them in the end! 😀

    • That’s a great point, Ross. Although the journey that brought me here has been odder than usual: Kamchatka (a great book by an Argentine author on the civil uprest of the 70s told by the point of view of a child), the latest Kay Scarpetta crime novel, and a pile of student papers (not sure if the last thing counts but it was a lot of reading!). You reading anything good lately?

      • I’ve had a good run recently: All My Puny Sorrows (Miriam Toews), Barney’s Version (Mordecai Richler — a re-read) and Boy, Snow, Bird (Helen Oyeyemi). I really liked the last; such a strong stylist. I wanted something lighter after and tried The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules – I made it 80 pages and called it a day. Not good, probably due in part to the rule of proximity.

          • Probably not. Funny, I didn’t much care for The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window either, so maybe I have a thing against Scandinavian books with long titles.

  8. based on the beginnings you’ve given us I’d go with Consider this, Señora. Often when I can’t decide I grab for the “easy reader”. Sometimes it’s the shortest. Sometimes it’s the teen fiction. Sometimes it’s the romance novel. But I go through it quickly and then I’m usually in a better mood for one of the books in the stack.

    • That’s a good idea as it can get you back into the rhythm of reading if you’re in a but of a slump.

      Your comment made me realize that I haven’t seen your posts in my inbox in a while – from time to time a blog will disappear from my email list which is most strange. I will check on that and correct it! Hope you’ve been well and reading some good books 🙂

  9. How to choose is a dilemma I struggle with all the time. Of your books, I would probably start with H for Hawk or Didion. I am about to start an old Elizabeth Goudge anthology. I am wondering if I will find I still like her.

    • That particular Didion is one I found for free at my local recycling center. I’ve read other works by her, but not that one so I was very pleased to come across that one. I hope you still enjoy Goudge. It’s funny when one returns to an old author one used to like; you never know…

    • Yes, I think I’m going to start with that one and then save H is for Hawk as it seems deserving of more time. I’ve also been paying more attention to picture books lately because of you 🙂

      • You know, it wasn’t until I started studying picture books that I realized how complex some of the really good ones can be. The use of the hero’s journey, including archetypes and symbolism, for example. They can be quite profound. And the new nonfiction PBs are a joy to read. They’re written to engage and teach, not bore the living daylights out of kids. Enjoy your reading!

  10. If it is between the two you posted the beginnings of, I’d opt for the Mexico-one. The other one just offended me by mentioning Cambridge – and then making fun of me thinking it was the famous Cambridge, the one with the university.
    If it is only by title, I’d say either Orhan Pamuk – only ever had an audio book of him checked out from the library and was underwhelmed by his style, it seemed so detached, so I am really interested in what you think about the author. Maybe it was the audiobook, maybe it was just the one book ..
    And the Bastard of Istanbul HAS an intriguing title. As has the Republic of Imagination.

    • All the Light We Cannot See is on my list of books to read as so many people have told me they have enjoyed it. So now I am very curious! Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Arlene.

  11. I could never get through Moby Dick either 🙂 H is for Hawk is one of the best books I’ve ever read, so on the one hand I’d say that one, but on the other, I’d say save it for a time when you can really savour it – I wish I still had it to read!

    • Yes, I’ve decided to save H is for Hawk for a while. I’ll read it in a couple of weeks when I have more time to savor it as it sounds very good and the few pages I have read are so wonderfully written. It’s so lovely to look forward to a book, isn’t it?

  12. “What should I read next” is the most delicious question there is! 🙂
    I agree that there is a time for each book. Sometimes I put a book down because it doesn’t resonate with me only to find that several months later, I find I’m in the right space for it. That said, I never seem to be in the right space to read Moby-Dick!

    • That’s so true, there’s a time for each book, isn’t there? Sometimes we love a book so much and it’s a book we just couldn’t get through a few months previously. All about timing!

  13. I feel you, honey! I’m not sure what I’m going to do once I finish Memoirs of a Geisha. This is the first time in a while where I have not wanted the book to end. Alas, it will happen over the next few days at the pace I’m going. And, then I’ll be going through the same struggle.

    Never heard of any of these books you’re deciding upon, but I love the Bastard of Istanbul title! 🙂

    • I know, you read a good book and then you’re in that strange limbo place when no other book is good for a while. I sometimes reread the beginning of the book just so I can stay with it for a while longer!

      Thanks for the blog share on twitter, darling 🙂

      • I went through a phase for like three years when I was rereading books I loved. I didn’t have much of an attention span at the time, because I was working and going crazy every weekend. 😉

        But it was a cool way to keep reading and pick up different things I missed the first time. Nothing wrong with that!

  14. Letizia, one way to not read Moby Dick is to substitute the beautifully written, Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. Your book list looks so enticing and the two passages both appeal to me. So, how do I pick? Especially when there is required reading for book club, travel reading for the next trip, pleasure reading for just me, enticing suggestions from friends, etc. I guess i use schedule, timeliness, mood etc. to choose. Can’t read them all so it’s a fine balance.(Love that book) I recently finished, All the Light I Cannot See and treasured it. I probably would like to read the Shell Collector but must finish The Other Side of Paradise :Life in the new Cuba. We’re taking a group to Havana in Dec. 🙂

    • ‘Ahab’s Wife’, noted!! Thank you so much for that recommendation. I’m excited about that one.

      I’m probably going to Cuba soon as well so I look forward to discussing it with you if we do go. I will read The Other Side of Paradise regardless. If you haven’t already, pick up one of Alejo Carpentier’s novels (Cuban author).

  15. Always such a fun decision – I love this part of reading! I like the sound of the writing in H is for Hawk. The Shell Collector could be a good summer read though. Thanks for reminding me I’ve been wanting to read that one! Sometimes it’s as if a book chooses you instead of the other way around so you could always go with whichever book is calling out to you the most. Happy reading!

    • I agree, Sheila, books do seem to pick you, don’t they? The Shell Collector makes sense for the summer, good point. Maybe save that for July when I’ll be near seashells perhaps. Hope you’ve been reading some good books lately!

      • I guess the real question here is – which ones have goats in them? 🙂 I haven’t read a great one in a while so I’ll have to try The Shell Collector or All the Light We Cannot See soon.

  16. Oh, the ever-troubling “What should I read next?” I’m afraid I deal with this every time I finish a book, haha. I am actually close to being confronted by it too.

    The Republic of Imagination sounds great! Not just the title – which I admit is what first drew me to it – but the blurb also sounds equally fascinating. 😀

  17. Letizia that is a simple but perfect idea. I never do it, and am quite often disappointed. I like reading new authors but too many are of little merit. I’d probably save myself a lot of time and grief by doing this.

    Of those above I pretty much know I’d enjoy the Macdonald book – loving her writing touch already.

    • MacDonald’s book draws you in from the very start, doesn’t it? I’m looking forward to that one and will read it in a couple of weeks when I don’t have to rush through it.

  18. I think that code-mixing literature really needs to stand out because that’s the way in which multilingual people live and think, so I would definitely give “Consider this, señora” a go and write a good review on it afterwards!

    • Yes, I think we’re drawn to multicultural books if we’re multicultural or multilingual, it’s true. There’s a sense of shared identity, good point.

  19. I have a tough time deciding because there are so many great books out there, and I don’t have a lot of time to read. Usually, no more than 15 or 20 minutes a day. I’ve been reading a lot of Middle Grade books lately, but that’s mainly because my kids come home and rave about this book or that book. I like to read what they’re reading so we can talk about it.

    Although, my 12 yo daughter is reading Gone with the Wind. She’s fascinated by it. I haven’t ever read it, only watched the movie. But her interest is compelling and I want to read it now.

    • I like that you sometimes read what your children read so you can talk about it with them. I know other parents who do this and think it’s a great idea. Gone with the Wind! I’ve never read it either but what a great reason you have to now read it and talk about it with your daughter.

  20. My vote’s for The Republic of Imagination, purely for the fun title. It sounds like it would be a great book.

    I have an ever growing To Read pile too, and sometimes I end up not reading anything for ages because I’m so caught up in indecision on what to read next! Let us know what you chose!! Oh and I like the trick of reading the first few sentences and seeing which draws you in more. That’s a great idea.

    • Reading the first few sentences really helps me choose the book, yes. Sometimes you know which one you want to read ahead of time, right? But for those other times, that’s a great method!

  21. I’d say Pamuk’s The Black Book, which was a mind blowing experince for me… needless to say that he won the Nobel Prize, so that’s something worth remembering!…
    I also check out first lines on books!… By the way you might enjoy thi article on the same subject: ~> 100 Best First Lines from Novels http://americanbookreview.org/100bestlines.asp
    All the best to you, dear Letizia! 💋 Aquileana ⭐

  22. Different books definitely appeal to us at different times. I often open a few, like you, and see which one hooks me. The most frustrating times are when I don’t know what I want to read next and nothing seems to grab me. 😦 I hate those days.

  23. Those books are unknown to me, sorry no idea.

    As You remember I am specialized in French “Anticipation” books which I have 1500. At this moment I read the Maze Runner by James Dashner in Portuguese (with dictionary in my hands), just to learn more.

    What about time travel? This book is my favorite book and I have read it once in Spanish and twice in French:

    The Egyptian by Mika Waltari:


    Another my favorite which I have read thrice is:

    Wildfire by Zane Grey:


    Both of these books tells about human heart, love, betrayal, friendship, loyalty etc. These items are yet today valid in our modern world. Wildfire is the best book in which riding is described.

    Happy reading!

    • Thank you for the recommendations! I’ve heard of Zane Grey but have never read anything from him. I will add both to my list as I like books about time travel.

  24. Pingback: Summer Reading Giveaway | Sheila Hurst

  25. Hi Letizia,
    Instead of Moby Dick, you might want to try reading In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. Moby Dick is based on this true story, and the author, Nathaniel Philbrick, makes it read like fiction, although it is clearly well researched. Then you can either read Melville’s Moby Dick with a fresh perspective, or skim the Cliff Notes on Moby Dick and call it a day!

    • Thank you for the advice! I have ordered Ahab’s Wife which a reader recommended and looks quite good so I will read this as well as your recommendation and then be ready for Moby Dick! (and thank you for all your post visits today!)

  26. I read whatever is next on my shelf. However, in days gone by I would actually read books all the way through and then decide whether or not I liked the book. I don’t do that anymore. If the book doesn’t capture me by the end of Chapter 5 or 50 pages, whichever comes first, I close it, put it on my read shelf, and move on. Thus I never have to decide what to read.

    • I agree Russel, try it out and then move on if it doesn’t work. Life is too short and sweet. Thanks for the comment and wishing you a summer full of good books!

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