Must Read Monday
It is officially summer, which means it’s time to grab some books and lay in the sun! We have compiled a few books that should be on your must-read list this year, complete with a summary from Amazon!
For something more romantic….
Beautiful Ruins: “The acclaimed, award-winning author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets returns with his funniest, most romantic, and most purely enjoyable novel yet. Hailed by critics and loved by readers of literary and historical fiction, Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962…and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.”
A Hundred Summers: “Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married—an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie’s arrival to restore her family’s old house puts her once more in the center of the community’s social scene, and she insinuates herself back into Lily’s friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction…and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations.”
For a good laugh…
I Like You: A review from Amy Poehler: “Full disclosure: Amy is a friend, and I have tasted her cupcakes. They’re really, really good. (And that is not a euphemism.) I Like You is a spin on those 1960s cookbooks about how to make a nice home and how to entertain. I picked it because I love the character Amy plays: a hostess from the ’60s, in cheap hosiery, wigs, and crazy costumes. But it’s also got recipes for a delicious meatloaf and advice on how to deal with drunk guests. My favorite tip is that when you’re having a party, you should fill your medicine cabinet with marbles—so that when people are snooping, they get caught. I know that Amy really does like to entertain that way. Sometimes she’ll charge people 25 cents to take a picture with a stuffed rabbit. The book is hilarious, beautifully designed, and captures Amy in so many ways. ”
When You Are Engulfed in Flames: A review from Rachel McAdams: “It’s not often that a writer makes me laugh out loud, but Sedaris does. He brings me to tears. It’s to the point where I can’t read his writing in public because people think I’m having some kind of meltdown. In this collection of essays, he has a way of finding humor in the strangest and most painful moments, like a week with a creepy babysitter or the death of his mother. He lands in ridiculous situations—befriending a town outcast, for one—and his writing acknowledges the difficulty of getting through the day. I take myself too seriously sometimes, and Sedaris’s books are such a revelation about how you can celebrate life’s strangeness and idiosyncrasies.”
A class author and classic story remade…
One Thousand and One Nights: “Gathered and passed down over the centuries from India, Persia, and across the Arab world, the mesmerizing stories of One Thousand and One Nights tell of the real and the supernatural, love and marriage, power and punishment, wealth and poverty, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate. They are related by the beautiful, wise, young Shahrazad, who gives herself up to murderous King Shahrayar. The king has vowed to deflower and then kill a virgin every night—but Shahrazad will not be defeated by the king’s appetites. To save herself, she cunningly spins a web of tales, leaving the king in suspense each morning, and thus prolonging her life for another day.
Acclaimed Lebanese writer Hanan al-Shaykh has selected nineteen of these stories, retold them in modern English, and knitted them together into an utterly intoxicating collection. In al-Shaykh’s hands, Shahrazad’s tales are lush and evocative, rich with humor, and utterly captivating.”
And the Mountains Echoed: “An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else. Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.”
For something new…
The Pink Hotel: “A seventeen-year-old girl pieces together the mystery of her mother’s life and death among the bars and bedrooms of Los Angeles in this dazzling debut novel. A raucous, drug-fueled party has taken over a boutique hotel on Venice Beach—it’s a memorial for Lily, the now-deceased, free-spirited proprietress of the place. Little do the attendees know that Lily’s estranged daughter—and the nameless narrator of this striking novel—is among them, and she has just walked off with a suitcase of Lily’s belongings. Abandoned by Lily many years ago, she has come a long way to learn about her mother, and the stolen suitcase—stuffed with clothes, letters, and photographs—contains not only a history of her mother’s love life, but perhaps also the key to her own identity. As the tough, resourceful narrator tracks down her mother’s former husbands, boyfriends, and acquaintances, a risky reenactment of her life begins to unfold. Lily had a knack for falling in love with the wrong people, and one man, a fashion photographer turned paparazzo, has begun to work his sinuous charms on the young woman.”
Table For Seven: “A warm and witty novel about friendship, fine dining, and learning that life doesn’t always turn out quite how we expect it to—perfect for fans of Barbara O’Neal and Nancy Thayer. On New Year’s Eve, Fran and Will Parrish host a dinner party, serving their friends a gourmet feast. The night is such a success that the group decides to form a monthly dinner party club. But what starts as an excuse to enjoy the company of fellow foodies ends up having lasting repercussions on each member of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club. Fran and Will face the possibility that their comfortable marriage may not be as infallible as they once thought. Audrey has to figure out how to move on and start a new life after the untimely death of her young husband. Perfectionist Jaime suspects that her husband, Mark, might be having an affair. Coop, a flirtatious bachelor who never commits to a third date, is blindsided when he falls in love for the first time. Leland, a widower, is a wise counselor and firm believer that bacon makes everything taste better.”
Who else can’t wait to get their bronze on with a good read? What’s on your reading list this summer?