There’s nothing like a good book to get lost in. Recently, however, I’ve had a hard time focusing and even finishing a few pages. It dawned on me last week, as I was helping my boys with their Summer reading suggestions, that I needed to create my own list to help renew my love affair with the novel. So after researching, reading reviews and looking at covers (yes, I do judge a book by it’s cover!), here’s a mix of literary standouts that I’m looking forward to having on my nightstand. I’d love to hear what’s on yours too.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things – by Iain Reid. If you stayed up way past your bedtime to read Gone Girl and Girl on a Train like I did…This gripping and suspenseful debut thriller is about a young couple who, after meeting her parents for the first time, make an unexpected detour while driving home through a snowstorm. A fast moving psychological thriller (some critics say horror) with a “harrowing, twisted end.” From what I’ve read, this book is much more creepy and unnerving, so fair warning… (June 7, Scout Press, $22.95)
The Girls – by Emma Cline. Another debut novel that is getting a ton of notable buzz, especially since the author Cline is a young 27. Set at the end of 1960s California, impressionable and bored 14 year-old Evie Boyd befriends and becomes obsessed with Suzanne, an alluring and ambivalent 19 year-old, who just happens to belong to a Manson Family-like cult. LA in the 60s – what’s not to love? (June 14, Random House, $27)
Sweetbitter – By Stephanie Danler. This ‘coming-0f-age meets Anthony Bordain-esque’ debut novel finds Tess, a 22 year-old recent college graduate who has just moved to New York City, navigating her first job in the hedonistic restaurant industry, while also discovering the larger palate of living in the Big Apple. True story: In 8th grade, my BFF and I made plans to get an apartment in SoHo after college. We never made it to NYC, but I sometimes wonder what would have happened if we had. (Available now in Hardback).
All Is Not Forgotten – By Wendy Walker. If you need a book club recco, this drama hits all the marks with its intriguing, if not controversial, themes. After a violent attack, a teenage girl is given a drug that expunges all the factual evidence and memories from that awful night, leaving her to deal with the residual emotional trauma that still remains. The subsequent decisions her affluent family makes may shatter their picture perfect life. Footnote: This book has the Reese Witherspoon Seal of Approval – she is developing the film adaptation. (July 12, St Martin’s Press, $27)
The Weekenders – By Mary Kay Andrews. Set on quaint Belle Island off the shores of North Carolina, Riley Griggs and her daughter return to the family house for a summer of socializing and relaxing, only to find a foreclosure notice on the front door and her soon-to-be ex husband not answering her texts. Riley, looking for support from her island friends, soon discovers not all is how it appears. A fun, easy beach read that is equal parts mystery and romance. (Available now in Hardback)
It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War – By Lynsey Addario. Darfur, the Congo, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia. These are just a few of the exotic, and oftentimes remote and dangerous places, that War photographer Lynsey Addario has traveled to and documented in her award-winning career. Her new memoir captures her unyielding passion for adventure and chaos, all while narrating the fragile condition of the human spirit in all it’s glory and horrific suffering. Did I mention she’s a mom too? I’m in awe of any person who puts themselves in harm’s way to tell a story or capture a photo, and give a voice to those who cannot speak. Riveting. Steven Spielberg is set to direct the movie adaptation. (Available now).
You Are a BadAss: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – By Jen Sincero. I love a good self help book, and the title alone has me all fired up. “It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now. We’re on a planet that somehow knows how to rotate on its axis and follow a defined path while it hurtles through space! Our hearts beat! We can see! We have love, laughter, language, living rooms, computers, compassion, cars, fire, fingernails, flowers, music, medicine, mountains, muffins!” (In Paperback now)
And just for fun, here’s one list I won’t be reading. Sorry Bill.
Thoughts? Suggestions? What books have you loved or plan to read this Summer?