As summer rolls in and anticipation for vacations grow, I begin to amass a larger and larger reading list. Well, truthfully I always have piles of books waiting for me. But recently, my Amazon Wish List seems to have become ever more robust.
Traditionally, I lean toward fiction and memoirs, but this summer I’ve decided to diversify, and I asked Lauren to join in the fun. Below is just a taste of our ever-expanding warm-weather reads. I think we have a little something for everyone. Enjoy!
I pre-ordered the new release Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and was ecstatic when it arrived on my Kindle Tuesday morning. I’d read incredible early reviews for this psychological thriller, and so far it hasn’t disappointed. In fact, I’ve almost missed my bus stop two days running. This novel is THAT engrossing.
It’s the tale of Nick and Amy, a couple whose marriage is slowly deteriorating. On the day of their fifth anniversary, Amy goes missing. Told from Nick and Amy’s alternating points of view, we quickly learn that Nick is unreliable at best, homicidal at worst. And Amy’s life has been falling apart since leaving New York City to move to Nick’s hometown in Missouri. I can tell this is going to get really creepy really quickly. As one reviewer noted, “It’s one of those books you will feel the need to discuss immediately after finishing because the ending doesn’t just come; it punches you in the gut.” – kn
Lizz Free or Die has me interested for three reasons – Lizz Winstead is a co-creator of the “Daily Show,” she’s a successfully awesome female comedian, and she’s from Minnesota! As you may have noticed lately, I have a bad case of Minnesota fever. Whether it’s a cool house, an interesting person or even a new hotdish recipe, I’m game if it hails from MN. Living in another state and recently moving back has caused my state pride to swell, and I’m OK with that. Plus, her book of essays is actually about growing up in this state and how it shaped her comedic career. – lsf
Spoiled and its follow-up Messy (which released on Tuesday) track the ongoing tribulations of Brooke Berlin and her half-sister Molly Dix – daughters of movie star Brick Berlin, a Tom Cruise-esque action hero and all-around Hollywood bigwig. This hilarious young-adult series, written by two of my favorite fashion/celebrity bloggers (Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan of GoFugYourself), is next up on my Kindle. I’m looking forward to catching up with Brooke and Molly, and hearing about their latest wild and crazy teenage drama. – kn
Now that I’m currently job hunting, I have a little bit of time on my hands to explore some interests. One that I’ve always admired, and have had better intentions than outcomes, is cooking. I’m hoping that Jamie’s Food Revolution cookbook is just the thing to refine my cooking skills this summer season. The book is actually centered around Jamie Oliver’s ideology that good food can be simple, affordable, and delicious. You may recognize his name from the ABC TV show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution - a show where he worked to transform America’s school lunchrooms. This cookbook continues that work and brings Oliver’s thoughts into American kitchens. It has great full-page pictures, clear instructions, tidbits of cooking wisdom, and testimonials from normal people who have learned to make yummy food from whole ingredients. – lsf
On the Road by Jack Kerouac has been sitting on my bookshelf for years (probably since I “read” it for a Postmodern Literature class – oops). But what a perfect piece of semi-autobiographical classic literature to enjoy while traveling this summer! Any book that’s been described over the years as “groovy,” “poetic,” and “raw” deserves some undivided attention. And with a new movie coming out in just a few months (staring Kristen Stewart, she’s Bella of the Twilight saga), this book is bound to have a resurgence in the media.
Oh, and I’m finally going to read – from start to finish without interruptions – 1984 by George Orwell. That’s a promise. – kn
Light Beach Read
I have to admit, I haven’t read a typical beach read in a while, and I think it’s about time. Although, I can’t quite give in fully to the “pretty girl gets hot guy” scenario. I Googled “Smart Beach Reads” and came up with Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna. According to multiple reviews, it’s an epic love story that takes place in Southern India. The story starts when Devi and Devanna are children and takes a turn when another man steals Devi’s attention.
As for a beach book that I’ve already read, Jemima J is one of my favorites. I read it a while ago, but the story has always stayed with me. I may attempt to re-read it this summer (something I rarely do) – I’m mostly curious to see if it still packs the punch it did when I first read it. Either way, Jemima J is chick lit with a twist and of course, a happy ending. – lsf
I’m excited to dive into Johah Lehrer’s newest book Imagine: How Creativity Works. The book’s cover asks, “Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output?” I want to learn more about all of these fun facts!
Though Lehrer is first and foremost a neuroscientist, his books are always enjoyable for the casual reader. I look forward to discovering how creativity is stimulated, and, maybe most importantly, what I can do to embrace my own creativity. – kn
For those of you who love awards shows, my children’s book pick may sound familiar. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce is actually the book adaptation of the animated Oscar-winning short film, of the same name. It’s a phenomenally shot, silent movie about the power of literature and growing old in the company of best friends. Take a few minutes to watch it, below, and then you’ll be able to see why I’m thrilled for the book! – kn
Last but not least, the genre that I visit least frequently. This summer is a different story, though. I haven’t hopped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon (yet!), but I think it’s finally time to dive into George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Who knows? Maybe I’ll fall in love with knights and chivalry, and dragons and monsters. Stranger things have happened! – kn