Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

By Gail Honeyman,

Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Book description


A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with…

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Why read it?

24 authors picked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Eleanor is completely relatable to me on my worst days. She’s neurotic and judgmental and favors predictability.

Reading this made me feel a little less bad about myself when all I do is lie on the couch and read and eat cookies for dinner. It also helped me to see that sometimes all you need is one person to love you for everything to change.

From Heather's list on when you’re feeling your worst.

I stumbled upon this quirky book at a secondhand book fair. After reading it, I understood how it managed to hold a solid spot on the bestseller list for quite some time. 

Now in her mid-30s, Eleanor, who’s lived a sheltered life, is refreshingly oblivious to social media. Her astute observations, once she jumps online, mainly to stalk a pop star, yes, it sounds crazy, and it kind of is, are hilarious. She dissects popular trends and, through witty inner dialogue, exposes just how absurd that world has become by its blind adherence to popular, at times, ridiculous trends. Despite…

This book has it all: wonderful characters, a mystery that slowly unravels, and a plot that leaves you unable to stop reading. Eleanor was severely traumatized as a child, and slowly, we learn the extent of the trauma. Yet she is upbeat and remarkably resilient.

She clumsily embraces the help of caring people and allows them to teach her how to interact with her world. I am drawn to people who have experienced trauma, and I am fascinated by how they cope and how they are rescued by relative strangers.

The sessions with her therapist are powerful and moving. How…

A Theory of Expanded Love

By Caitlin Hicks,

Book cover of A Theory of Expanded Love

Caitlin Hicks Author Of A Theory of Expanded Love

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

My life and work have been profoundly affected by the central circumstance of my existence: I was born into a very large military Catholic family in the United States of America. As a child surrounded by many others in the 60s, I wrote, performed, and directed family plays with my numerous brothers and sisters. Although I fell in love with a Canadian and moved to Canada, my family of origin still exerts considerable personal influence. My central struggle, coming from that place of chaos, order, and conformity, is to have the courage to live an authentic life based on my own experience of connectedness and individuality, to speak and be heard. 

Caitlin's book list on coming-of-age books that explore belonging, identity, family, and beat with an emotional and/or humorous pulse

What is my book about?

Trapped in her enormous, devout Catholic family in 1963, Annie creates a hilarious campaign of lies when the pope dies and their family friend, Cardinal Stefanucci, is unexpectedly on the shortlist to be elected the first American pope.

Driven to elevate her family to the holiest of holy rollers in the parish, Annie is tortured by her own dishonesty. But when “The Hands” visits her in her bed and when her sister finds herself facing a scandal, Annie discovers her parents will do almost anything to uphold their reputation and keep their secrets safe. 

Questioning all she has believed and torn between her own gut instinct and years of Catholic guilt, Annie takes courageous risks to wrest salvation from the tragic sequence of events set in motion by her parents’ betrayal.

A Theory of Expanded Love

By Caitlin Hicks,

This is a beautifully disturbing story.

It’s beautiful in the sharpness of Gail Honeyman’s observations of Eleanor Oliphant’s eccentric behavior, which usually gets dismissed as plain weird but, in fact, masks a deep sadness and heart-breaking loneliness.

But there is no maudlin or gooey self-pitying in Gail’s writing, just well-crafted and sometimes hilarious turns of phrase. The scene where the guy in the coffee shop asked for her name to put on the coffee cup made me splutter out loud. 

It’s disturbing how Gail Honeyman suddenly reminds us of the Eleanor Oliphants we’ve met in our own lives and only…

This novel is a sometimes funny and sometimes grim depiction of what it is like to be extremely lonely, and what it takes to move from that loneliness into friendship.

It starts out as something pretty simple and goofy—a socially challenged young woman develops a crush on a singer in a local band and tries to pursue him, but that’s just a jumping-off point for Honeyman to show Eleanor Oliphant in all her prickly, strange, smart, hurting glory.

This book is a quick-witted slow burn and it takes a while for Eleanor to finally let her defenses down and allow…

From Rebecca's list on community and connection.

I love this book for all the unexpected elements it provides—eccentric Eleanor and the life-saving friendship which blooms with her unkempt coworker, the off-beat humor in how she conducts herself in seemingly ordinary situations, and of course, the twist I never saw coming!

It’s a page-turning must-read for those craving an unpredictable, emotional adventure which covers everything from loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and healing from traumatic events to honest friendship and self-discovery. It’s truly an unforgettable story I find myself reaching into my bookshelf for, time and time again!

I wanted to read a book about a person that others consider odd or weird because I’ve known some of these people too. There are some I reached out to and some I wish I had. I feel guilty for those I didn’t try to befriend.

Eleanor is quirky for sure. Her life is so routine it’s disturbing and sadly empty. She works all week, wears the same clothes every day, eats the same lunch, then on weekends she stays mostly in her apartment heating up pizza and drinking vodka. I wasn’t sure if she was just profoundly lonely like…

From Virginia's list on leaving you spellbound.

I put off reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine for a long time because of all the hype surrounding it. Books that are hyped often disappoint. But not this one!

Eleanor lives to a careful routine within the walls she’s built around herself – and she buys two bottles of vodka every weekend. She thinks that she’s happy until someone shows her what she’s missing. Like all the best life-affirming novels, this book will show you the murky depths of human experience and also the exquisite joyful, funny moments that we all deserve.

Prepare to examine your own life with…

From Sally's list on life-affirming.

Eleanor Oliphant is a socially awkward, spiky misfit, an interesting mixture of naïve and worldly wise. She tells us of her comforting but rather odd routines. We see how alcohol is her only friend. He numbs her pain and enables her to function at work.

When we meet Eleanor, she's infatuated with a singer she's never met. As the plot deepens, we come to understand Eleanor Oliphant is not completely fine.

There are some emotionally heavy themes but the author manages to keep the narrative light and witty. Eleanor is a rich and complex character positioned perfectly to tell her…

This novel contains an amazingly realistic portrayal of a neurodiverse character. The profound loneliness and trauma revealed are hard to read, but I'm so glad I did. Equally hilarious and sad, the story left me more conscientious of how I view and treat others. Add this to your reading list if you love a novel that strains your brain and pumps your heart. 

From Gloria's list on atypical characters you will love.

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