Today summer is unofficially here, we can’t wait to relax a little and finally get to our summer reading list! I don’t know about you but as much as I love reading, I find it hard sometimes to fit into my busy life. However, every summer I always have a long list of books I’ve read or heard about during the past year that I really want to read. I tried starting a book club with some friends, Whining About Books, to force myself to read a new book every month. This, however cute the name, was short lived (I take full responsibility, I moved to a different state). Now that I’m settled in my new place, I’ve working from home and using my lunch break to sit on the rooftop and read. I have to say, it feels good!
Below is my list of 7 books I would highly recommend for anyone’s summer reading list. Some of them I have already read (more than once) but loved them so much I had to recommend them. While others are new reads that I can’t wait to get to! Please feel free to share books from your summer reading list in the comments, I love a good book recommendation!
The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close
“A brilliantly funny novel tells the story of a young wife who follows her husband and his political dreams to Washington, D.C., a city of idealism, gossip, and complicated friendships among the young aspiring elite.”
A friend recommend this book to me and once I finally downloaded it, I was so happy I did! It’s a great story about relationships and marriage. What dealing with a lot of change can do to a relationship and what can happen when you sacrifice things for your spouse’s dreams. This book felt very close to me, since my marriage is heavily intertwined with my husbands business (not a bad thing, by the way). I felt like this book expressed the feelings of neglect and distance you can feel from your partner when you choose to live a life like this. It was a great reminder that through all your struggles, if your love is strong you can always find a way to work it out.
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
“Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.”
This was one of those books that was in every magazine last summer as one of the hottest summer reads. Well, this summer I plan on finally reading it! What drew me to this book was the premise of going growing-up and through the stages of life, but trying to keep your identity from your youth. I’m turning 28 this June and as I get closer to the big 3-0, this theme really hits home for me! I’ve been married for almost 3 years now but we are finally getting ready to move on to bigger stages of life, namely buying a home and starting a family. With this constantly on my conscious, I have mixed feelings about taking those steps vs. holding on to my youth as long as possible! I’m hoping maybe this book will give me some sound advice to keep in mind.
Rich & Pretty by Rumman Alam
“Once, Sarah and Lauren were inseparable; for a long a time now, they’ve been apart. Can two women who rarely see one other, selectively share secrets, and lead different lives still call themselves best friends? Is it their abiding connection—or just force of habit—that keeps them together?”
I just read this with my short-lived book club. We had all heard of it last summer when it was publicized in all the magazines as one of the hottest summer reads, so we were all interested. It was a cute, quick read that really nailed female friendship. Most of the girls in my book club are friends that I’ve had since high school, and this book really showed what long-term female friendship look like. It was a great reminder about treasuring our friends who have been with us through everything and making sure we put effort into keeping those relationships a priority in our lives as we get older.
How to be Married by Jo Piazza
“Author Jo Piazza writes a provocative memoir of a real first year of marriage that will forever change the way we look at matrimony. As a travel editor she is constantly on the move and journeys to twenty countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means.”
So I just started reading this and I can already tell that I will be recommending this book to every one I know. It’s one of those books that I instantly liked and can’t seem to put down. It’s both narrative and full of informative advice. Let’s be honest, you can always use advice for your relationship and I’m fascinated to know what different cultures around the world have to say about marriage and relationships! I also love how realistic the author is about how she is and what she expects from her marriage. She pretty much is expressing my inner-most feelings exactly! I already have plans to make my husband read this when I am done, so we can have an open conversation about what we each took away from it.
Hotel Du Lac by Anita Bookner
“It tells the story of Edith Hope, who writes romance novels under a psudonym. When her life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, however, Edith flees to Switzerland, where the quiet luxury of the Hotel du Lac promises to restore her to her senses. But instead of peace and rest, Edith finds herself sequestered at the hotel with an assortment of love’s casualties and exiles.”
So Jenny Slate (actress, comedian and all around beautiful human) instagrammed a page from this book and I was instantly interested! I tried reading this while I was pool side in Las Vegas last month, but I couldn’t concentrate (you know, it was Vags). What drew me to this book initially though was how poetic that passage read, it reminded me of the book Frances & Bernard (see below). I am such a sucker for romance though and truly can’t wait to give this book another go!
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice
“Set in 1950s London, this book centers around Penelope, the wide-eyed daughter of a legendary beauty, Talitha, who lost her husband to the war. Penelope, with her mother and brother, struggles to maintain their vast and crumbling ancestral home—while postwar London spins toward the next decade’s cultural revolution.”
So I read this last summer and I truly enjoyed it! It was such a fun read, especially if you love period-pieces like I do! Filled with mystery, love and magic this book is a fun escape into 1950’s London. I love when an author effortlessly writes a fictional tale that takes place during real world event. And I have to say, Eva Rice does it beautifully setting the stage in old world London as it’s changing and a new Elvis-era is about to blow up! It’s a great book to read on a picnic blanket in the summer sun!
Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer
“Frances and Bernard meet in the summer of 1957. Afterward, he writes her a letter. Soon they are immersed in the kind of fast, deep friendship that can change the course of our lives.”
I have seriously read this book like 2 times already! About a year ago I read about this book in a buzzfeed article about recommendations for great unknown books. I downloaded it on my kindle immediately and fell in love! This is one of those books that really makes you think. It touches on the heavy topics of religion, mental illness and love in a way that really touches your soul. It also is some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever read! Written out in the style of letters, this book is so poetically written you will want to quote it!