Much to my lover's dismay, I read each night before bed and, when the fancy strikes, with my morning coffee. He gets anxious (read: bored) when I have my nose in a book for too long, so I used his weekend away to get started on my summer reading list of books and embrace my inner-bookworm.
From the quintessential beach reads to more serious memoirs, here’s a a peek at the 10 titles piled high on my nightstand.
1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Admittedly, I’m way late to the party on this one - but as the saying goes, “better late than never.” Hardly through chapter three, I started digging through our closets and drawers, determined to purge all the useless junk that only seems to multiply.
All this “stuff” gets in the way of us living our lives. How many summer Saturday's have I wasted away picking up? Needless to say, I’m convinced. One thing led to another and now I’m nose-deep in articles on No Sidebar, a website dedicated to simplified living. It’s all very sophisticated, so check it out.
2. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danier
Full transparency: I bought this book based on cover alone. That, and the fact that it seemed to find it’s way into my Instagram feed daily, so the social pressure to purchase it was astronomically high. Described as “a compelling coming-of-age story, more closely related to Cather in the Rye than Blood, Bones and Butter.” My interest is peaked. Stay tuned.
3. Rising to the Occasion: The Best Toasts for Any Celebration by Paul Dickson
My oldest and best friend is tying the knot this Fall, to none other than the boy I set her up on a date with in middle school. I’ve had a front row seat to (nearly) every laugh and cry between these two love birds, so you would think I would have plenty to speak on. Not so. Banking on this to help me find just the right words.
4. Invincible Summer by Alice Adams
I picked this one up on a whim while browsing a bookshop as the cover caught my attention and the premise - a story of four friends with impossibly chic names (Eva, Benedict, Sylvie and Lucien) spanning 20 years of friendship and failure - sounded like my cup of tea. I've read some wonderful reviews since picking it up, so I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy this one!
5. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Another book that has came highly recommended to me (and one that ties in beautifully with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up). This was the first book I picked up while alone for the weekend and I couldn’t get enough. I’ve already purchased it on Audible in the hopes I can convince you-know-who to listen to it while on an upcoming trip. Fingers crossed.
6. Mistakes Were Made (Some in French): A Memoir by Fiona Lewis
A memoir on self-acceptance by model and actress Fiona Lewes, written as she restores a crumbling chateau in the South of France (against her husband’s wishes). Need I say more?
7. Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warwick
Little do you know, I am ever the news junkie. CNN serves as nearly constant “background noise” in my home. Anderson Cooper and Anthony Bourdain are at the top of my list for people I would love to sit down to dinner with.
Side note, but related: If you have not yet read Dispatches From the Edge by Anderson Cooper - do so! Warwick, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, gives an detailed account of the rise of the movement now known as ISIS. Described by critics as “a fast and furious history lesson - one I unreservedly recommend.” I’ve not cracked this one open yet, but I’m itching to dig in.
8. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Another book purchased on its cover alone. Bad Feminist is a collection of essays and poems on feminism deemed “strikingly fresh, funny and insightful.” I've had this sitting on my bookshelf for a while now and I'm really looking forward to diving into it soon.
9. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
I’m not so much reading Contagious as I am listening to it on Audible in the car (when I’m not feeding my podcast obsession). Recommended by more people than I can count, Berger reveals how social influence shapes nearly every decision we make - from what we name our children to what we pick up for lunch.
I am loving this one so much I made Adam listen to it while headed out of town last Friday, eagerly staring at him grinning like a fool, mentally begging him “love this as much as I do!” Cannot. Recommend. Enough.
10. Wheat Belly & Wheat Brain by William Davis
I've heard good things about both so I picked up the pair for a little self-help inspiration this summer. I know I need to bite the bullet and explore the idea, but I’m hesitant to dive in as it feels like a betrayal of my true love: carbs.
I feel like I should note: I am in no way, shape or form sponsored by any of these authors, or Amazon/Audible - just fiercely smitten.