Paris Letters, Janice MacLeod: This was the most charming story - an autobiography of a woman's experience quitting her high-powered communications job and heading to Europe to find happiness. She also found a hot French guy...and reading this gorgeously illustrated novel made me want to pack up and make my own major move.
The Residence, Kate Andersen Brower: I've always been fascinated by the upstairs-downstairs dynamic - "Downton Abbey" remains one of my favorite TV shows - and this comprehensive peek behind the scenes of the White House from the Eisenhower presidency to Obama's tenure was right up my alley. SO interesting!
Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, Sally Bedell Smith: Also on my list of longtime loves is anything to do with the British Royal Family, and this gossipy history of Prince Charles, one of its most controversial members, kept me (mostly) fascinated. I did prefer Bedell Smith's biography of Queen Elizabeth II, but she's the OG boss bitch, so of course I preferred it.
My Reality, Melissa Rycroft: When I had the flu at the beginning of the month, I re-read like every "Bachelor" franchise book I could get my hands on, and this was my least favorite of the bunch (I hadn't read it before). Rycroft, who was famously dumped by Jason Mesnick for his season's runner-up, is whiny, petulant, and sets female empowerment back decades with her crawling to and from her ex/now husband, Tye. BLEH.
To Marry an English Lord, Gail MacColl: Any "Downton" fan should probably read this - it's a super-detailed history of the spate of American heiresses marrying bankrupt English nobility during the Victorian and Edwardian era. I liked it a lot - but it got a bit dry and pedantic at times. I'd recommend Daisy Goodwin's "An American Heiress" for those needing a little Downton in their lives!
I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends, Courtney Robertson: On the flip side, this "Bachelor" book is catty and hilarious in equal parts. Robertson, the villain/winner of her season, holds nothing back and is full of snarky anecdotes.
I Said Yes, Emily Maynard: This is lower on the totem pole for me - a little preachy and a little self-pitying. That said, Emily's one of the best-known alums of the "Bachelor" world and it's worth a read solely for the double-dip of a contestant and being the Bachelorette.
For The Right Reasons, Sean Lowe: I secretly really love Sean and Catherine, and enjoyed this book for that reason. (Their baby is the cutest thing in my Instagram feed on the regular.)
It's Not Okay, Andi Dorfman: One of my favorite bachelorettes and favorite contestants in general - her book is essentially a "how to survive a breakup" manual, with LOTS of juicy digs at ex Josh Murray.
The White Princess, Philippa Gregory: STARZ just started a mini-series based on this Philippa Gregory book, so I revisited the highly-fictionalized tale of Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII. It's good, but not as good as some of Gregory's other offerings.
The Lady of the Waters, Philippa Gregory: Similarly, this tale of Elizabeth of York's grandmother, Jacquetta Woodville, at the beginning of the War of the Roses is interesting, but not my favorite.