Last Romantics

The Last Romantics: A Novel by [Conklin, Tara]

I am starting the summer with the Last Romantics.  I have heard so much about it, I can’t wait to read it.  I first heard about this book from Jenna Hager on the Today Show.  It was one of her picks for her new book club.  The story revolves around the Skinner kids: Renee, Charlotte, Joe and Fiona. It begins with the death of their father followed by a time the siblings call the Pause, where their mother enters a deep depression and the siblings are asked to fend for themselves.  Two decades later, the siblings find themselves once again confronted with a family crisis that tests the strength of their familial bonds.  They are forced to question the life choices they’ve made and ask what, exactly, they will do for love? This sounds like a wonderful epic about family, love and loss.  I can’t wait to read it.

The New You

The New You: A Guide to Better Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Wellness by [Searcy, Nelson, Dykes Henson, Jennifer]

Searcy’s The New You came out earlier this year and it is also top on my summer to read list.  He begins by asking the question…how many of us are living up to our full, God-given potential? After all, who doesn’t want to live up their full potential?  He then dedicates this book to helping us to understand the things in life that are holding us back and he gives us practical ways to overcome those obstacles.  He focuses on being healthy, lowering stress, managing weight and nurturing better relationships.  This will be the “good for me” read this summer from one of my favorite authors.

The River

The River: A novel by [Heller, Peter]

I have been reading a lot more thrillers this year.  I forgot how exciting that they can be.  I was told that this is a non-put-downable book!  Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman year in college. They decide to go on a backpacking trip to northern Canada.  Instead of leisurely canoeing and picking blueberries, they are confronted by a major wildfire.  A man appears on the river frantically looking for his missing wife.  Instead of choosing the path to safety, the boys choose to do the right thing and look for the missing woman.  This sounds like a gripping story from beginning to end and I can’t wait to devour it. 

Save Me the Plums

Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by [Reichl, Ruth]

If you follow my blog, you know that I don’t read a ton on non-fiction.  However,I do enjoy a good memoir from time to time.  You may know Gourmet editor, Ruth Reichl  This book follows Reichl from Berkley hippie to food maven.  We watch her take a passion for food and turn it into a career.  Through her journey, we will better understand how restaurants have become a part of pop culture and track the rise of the farm-to-table movement.  We will meet celebrity chefs and a colorful groups of art directors and editors that make Gourmet the legendary magazine that it is.  Sounds really interesting to me! 

The Golden Hour (Released July 9th)

The Golden Hour: A Novel by [Williams, Beatriz]

I love Beatriz Williams.  I always look forward to her books and to date, she has never disappointed.  She is releasing her new book, The Golden Hour a historical fiction book about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  This book is set in The Bahamas in 1941.  It appears to tell a story of Lulu Randolph a writer for a New York society magazine as she begins researching her story on the Duke and Duchess.  As Lulu begins to infiltrate the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality. Add in a murder and a cover-up and you have a making of a great book!  If you love a good historical fiction read, this one is for you.

Mother-in-Law

The Mother-in-Law: A Novel by [Hepworth, Sally]

Sally Hepworth is another author that I look forward to reading.  She is a genius at getting to the heart of a family drama and always has amazing characters.  This book came out in April and is a People Magazine Pick, on Entertainment Weekly’s “MUST List” and is O magazines “15 Best Beach Books of the Year So Far.” Sounds amazing already.  I’m in!  Lucy already has a complicated relationship with her mother-in-law…then her mother-in-law commits suicide claiming that she could not live with the cancer eating away at her body.  Only problem:  the autopsy finds no cancer.  It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation.  This leads to questions of why her will was changed shortly before her death disinheriting her children.  Sounds great, right? I love a good family drama!

Pachinko

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist) by [Lee, Min Jin]

I enjoy reading historical fiction, and this book sounds amazing. In fact, it has been recommended to me repeatedly over the last few months.  This book is set in Korea in the early 1900s where Sunja falls for a wealthy stranger.  She finds out she is pregnant and instead of taking a bribe from her lover, she choses to marry a minister passing through on his way to Japan.  This seems like a book where place is a character as you visit street markets, universities and the criminal underworld.  It sounds fascinating and I am hoping this will be my book club’s choice for the summer. 

Leading Men

Leading Men: A Novel by [Castellani, Christopher]

My husband forwarded me an article listing books that famous authors had on their summer reading list. (link to full article here).  Taylor Jenkins Reid recommended this book, and I have to admit that I am intrigued.  In July of 1953, at a glittering party thrown by Truman Capote in Portofino, Italy, Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo meet Anja Blomgren, a mysteriously taciturn young Swedish beauty and aspiring actress. Their encounter will go on to alter all of their lives.  I love books that mesh real life characters into fiction stories and I think that this will prove to be a fascinating read.

The Volunteer

The Volunteer: A Novel by [Scibona, Salvatore]

In this same article, Anne Tyler recommended The Volunteer.  Tyler “raced through it because she was so eager to find out what happens next.”  She went on to say that she wanted to reread it to better understand why the author chose to reveal information in his story to keep you guessing.  In this story, A small boy speaking an unknown language is abandoned by his father at an international airport.  The story then goes back decades before to the story of Vollie Frade and his decision to enlist in the United States Marine Corps to fight in Vietnam.  This leads Vollie on a path which leaves him no choice but to abandon his son.  It sounds like this will be a wonderful and intense book – rich with story.

The Friends We Keep (June 4)

The Friends We Keep by [Green, Jane]

I want to end the summer thinking about friends.  This is a story about three friends who promised that their friendship would last forever.  Just like real life…things happen and the three women drift apart.  This story follows each of these women and their choices.  They are reunited at their thirtieth reunion and are given a second chance at friendship.  While Jane Green’s books are not fluffy, they are real.  Here’s hoping for a happy ending! 

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