Off Topic: This Nerd’s Favorite Books (aka most memorable ones)

I was once told that to write well, you have to write about something you’re passionate about. Hence, skincare. Those who follow me on instagram know that I absolutely love to read. Gravitating toward fiction, well-written true crime, and twisty courtroom drama, I live for a good memoir and have an unhealthy fascination with cults.

With that said and the summer travel season upon us, all but one of my five recommendations are available in paperback. And as someone who romanticizes getting lost in the latest hardcover release, I will admit that I fully embrace the genius invention that is the Kindle Voyage though it did take me awhile. Seriously life changing.

And, no, I’m not shifting to lifestyle blogging.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

I devoured this book when it was released in 2014. It’s among of my favorite psychological thrillers of all time and one I continue to recommend to anyone who asks what to take on vacation. A true page-turner, the story is told from multiple points of view, has a mind-blowing twist right around the middle, and a satisfying ending. Two strangers meet at an airport bar and share one too many drinks (and secrets). What follows after their paths cross again is a delicious mix of jealousy, paranoia, revenge, and you guessed it: murder. You may also like: The Woman in the Window

How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell

I loved Cat Marnell’s Amphetamine Logic on VICE. Not for the shock value. I find her to be a truly talented writer. This memoir is raw and often painful to read, yet I was unable to put it down. Imagine a look at the beauty industry from a very lonely addict’s perspective that is honest, moving, and entertaining. She’s a mess, a smart af mess and you can’t help but be rooting for her. If you’re a beauty industry enthusiast, her editorial journey from the golden age of magazines to the digital platforms is pretty fascinating. You may also like: Free Gift with Purchase

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Blending family tragedy, courtroom drama, and contemporary social issues is a Jodi Picoult trademark. Her books stay with me the longest and the latest is no exception. Providing a thought provoking angle on race and racism, the story centers on a white supremacist couple, an African-American nurse, and a white public defender in charge of the case after the couple’s baby’s sudden passing. In today’s political climate, this is a book that needs to be on everyone’s ‘to be read’ pile. I am hearing Viola Davis and Julia Roberts both signed for the movie version. You may also like: Defending Jacob

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Published earlier this year, ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ is a detailed account of one of the most notorious and unsolved cases in America. The East Area Rapist or Original Night Stalker, the guy who committed over fifty rapes and a dozen murders in California in the seventies and eighties has never been apprehended. Michelle McNamara’s writing style is impeccable. Her passion for solving the case comes through in every intricately analyzed interview, google search and phone call until her sudden passing, which occurs prior to her completing the book. Fans of true crime, treat yourself to a copy; it’s truly fascinating. I mean, it is likely the UNSUB is still alive… You may also like: People Who Eat Darkness

Going Clear by Lawrence Wright

I know I’m not the only one who finds Scientology, easily the most secretive ‘religion’ in the world, both fascinating and frightening. This ultra-well-researched book sheds light on the movement’s founder, fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the evolution of internal operations, and the PR front that is celebrity centre. Gripping and maybe even a bit troubling, the portrayal of this provocative church (which is actually considered to be a philosophy of self-help) proves that sometimes, truth is indeed, stranger than fiction. You may also like: Troublemaker

What are your favorite books? With warmer, longer days ahead, I’m constantly adding new titles to my wish list!


  1. Kelly
    April 25, 2018 / 5:02 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations, have, “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” on the to-read list. On a related note I see a suspect in the Golden State murders was just arrested today.

    • omgbart
      April 25, 2018 / 5:28 pm

      I saw that! Took look enough! I’d like to think that the book being a bestseller did help with spreading the word. I never heard of this case until the title got on my radar!

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