GoodReads Recommends: based on Glow!

The more I think about this feature, the more I love it! GoodReads Recommends is pretty straightforward: based on other books I’ve read and shelved, GoodReads’ recommendation page lists other titles I might be interested in! I thought it would be fun to take a look through these books and so far I’ve had fantastic luck!

My very first GoodReads Recommends featured novels I might enjoy based on two of my favorites: Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being and Katherine Howe’s The House of Velvet and Glass. Glow was a recommendation based on Howe’s novel and it sounded so great I immediately requested it from my library! I loved it so much that for this edition I’m highlighting recommendations based on Glow!


Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli | my 5-star review
October 1941. Eleven-year-old Ella McGee sits on a bus bound for her Southern hometown. Behind her in Washington, D.C., lie the broken pieces of her parents’ love story—a black father drafted, an activist mother of Scotch-Irish and Cherokee descent confronting racist thugs. But Ella’s journey is just beginning when she reaches Hopewell County, and her disappearance into the Georgia mountains will unfurl a rich tapestry of family secrets spanning a century. Told in five unforgettable voices, Glow reaches back through the generations, from the red-clay dust of the Great Depression to the Blue Ridge frontier of 1836, where slave plantations adjoin the haunted glades of a razed Cherokee Nation. Out of these characters’ lives evolves a drama that is at once intimately human and majestic in its power to call upon the great themes of our time—race, identity, and the bonds of family and community.


The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle
As she deals with her recent divorce, veterinarian Cami Anderson can’t help but notice all the love and happy relationships going on around her. Her parents are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary, her former sister-in-law is newly engaged, and her daughter is starting to date. Through her struggles she takes comfort in an unexpected source: an angry old horse who is in her care.

I’m a little confused as to what this has to do with Glow (a female lead is all I’ve got) but this sounds like chick-lit at its finest, a read for a lazy afternoon. Plus I’m a total sucker for books with animals. WANT TO READ

The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay
After twenty years in Third World war zones, Sean has finally decided to come home. His arrival isn’t exactly what he expects, however – his family is going through its own disaster.

Though the cover looks bright and happy, I’m just not feeling this one at all. Nothing about it appeals to me – especially the bit in the blurb where it mentions Sean hopes to ~re-write his destiny~ with a woman from his past. Gag. PASS

The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh
One fateful night the bond between twins, between sisters, is broken forever. A decade later both women are still struggling to move on and find their own identity. When an auction bid leads to anonymous notes and an invitation to Rome, the score is finally going to settled once and for all.

Okay, so I’m ALMOST 100% sure my mom either has this book or has read it. If so it’ll be easy peasy for me to get a copy! Also, HEY LOOK IT’S MY NAME. Sort of. Really though, this one sounds great! I’m loving the mystery element and I love stories where family bonds are broken (bonus points for this one focusing on twins!) and the auction with the winning dagger is very intriguing. It adds a bit of depth to this novel and makes my history buff heart beat a little faster. WANT TO READ

The Search Angel by Tish Cohen
Eleanor Sweet is the owner of an upscale baby boutique. Being surrounded by strollers and onesies all day only deepends Eleanor’s desire for a child, but when her husband suddenly gets cold feet, their plans for adoption doesn’t look good. Eleanor is still determined to adopt Sylvie, especially since she was adopted herself, though she was always reluctant to find her birth parents. With Sylvie’s future at stake, Eleanor hires Isabelle, a search angel, to find her own birth mother.

I’m confused. From the blurb it sounds as though Eleanor needs to track down her mother for this adoption to somehow go through. Is it some sort of grammatical error (or complete misreading on my part) and it’s Sylvie’s birth mother Eleanor needs to find? Regardless, this one is getting a PASS

The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch
Willa Chandler-Golden’s father wrote a self help book that changed millions of lives. In the book, he stated that everything happens for a reason, and while Willa isn’t convinced, she does have a pretty good life. Until the day her husband announces he wants to take a two-month break to see if they can’t live without each other and are truly meant to be. Her husband’s proposal sets Willa’s life on a downward spiral: she loses her job, her nephew moves in, an ex finds her on facebook, and her best friend lands a spot on a reality show. Could her father’s theories be right? Or should Willa dare to blaze her own trail?

Although the ratings are good, this one sounds just okay. A perfectly average read and, while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I want amazing. I want mind-blowing. Decent just isn’t going to cut it. PASS

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier
After losing her best friend in a terrible accident, Kate heads to Great Rock Island for a restorative summer vacation. While there she inherits a trunk of Elizabeth’s belongings and inside Kate finds a journal, leading Kate to discover a completely different woman than the one she thought she knew.

I misread the summary and thought this was going to be my favorite type of historical fiction: a story told in dual eras. I thought Kate was going to be in the present day, while the journals were from the past. This clearly isn’t the case, and I’ll admit I’m a little bummed. I’m also not a big fan of epistolary novels, they rarely work for me, so because of that, I’m giving this one a PASS

Well that’s disappointing! How could one of my favorite books of 2014 lead to such pitiful recommendations?? :( Boo. Better luck next time I guess! Have you read any of these?

10 thoughts on “GoodReads Recommends: based on Glow!

  1. I absolutely adore the Goodreads Recommendation feature! I’ve had a few bad reads, but mostly if I do my research, I can find a really great title. I love this post, too! I haven’t personally read any of these, but there’s a couple I might want to check out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have read The Theory of Opposites and definitely agree it’s one to pass.. it had a lot going on and the premise, while interesting, got kind of muddled. I liked another book by Allison Winn Scotch, Time of My Life, a lot better, but she would not be my first recommendation in chick lit. This is an interesting feature… make me curious to see what Goodreads will say I should read next.

    • and the whole chick lit thing is what confuses me.. Glow is not chick lit by any means (not that there’s anything wrong with the genre). It’s historical fiction, a family saga. Southern fiction.

  3. I always enjoy this feature, but I’m cracking up at the books Goodreads recommended. They don’t even seem to be related! It makes me wonder if Glow is really under-the-radar and so Goodreads can’t figure out what’s similar? Either way, this was too funny! Can’t wait to see what book you highlight next – and hopefully Goodreads will do a better job :)

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