Oh don’t mind me; I’m currently lost in three books at the moment just totally lapping them up. And there are some GREAT books out there right now. So in the spirit of that, we present the 1st installment of 15 books to read, all different, some tried and tested by yours truly. Enjoy darlings!:
Sweetbitter: A Novel by Stephanie Danler – Just finished this tale about a 22-year-old girl from a small town who moves to NYC and scores a job at one of the City’s hottest restaurants. It’s being touted as the Kitchen Confidential of 2016. If you’ve ever worked at a restaurant, or found yourself as a bright young thang living in NYC in your 20s, this is a fun read.
Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories From a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big by Jensen Karp – Currently reading and currently laughing at almost every line in this book, written by Jensen Karp, aka Hot Karl, aka a Jewish kid from the suburbs who became a rap battle legend in LA and got this close to become a star. It. is. hilarious. If you need a laugh, and/or feel nostalgic towards all things 90s music and pop culture, read this.
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley – The first of many thrillers I’m about to sink my teeth into these next few weeks. This is the story about a doomed group of 10 passengers bound from Martha’s Vineyard to NYC on a private jet that goes down into the ocean 16 minutes after departure. With only two survivors, the book interweaves between the backstories of the passengers, and the aftermath of the wreck – and conspiracies start to arise.
The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline – I’ve been hearing/reading lots of good things about this book, touted as one of the THE summer reads. Taking place one summer in the late 60s, a “lonely and thoughtful” teenager, Edie Boyd, meets a group of girls and is drawn into their cult-like group, led by a charismatic man. As she starts to lose herself to the cult, hidden away in the Hollywood Hills, she has no idea what violence is about to go down. Sound familiar?
Grace by Natashia Deon – “I am dead,” says one of the narrators of this book, Naomi, at the start of this tale. Set in the 1940s South, Naomi is a 15-year-old runaway slave who’s left behind her beloved mom and sis and found herself taking refuge in a Georgia brothel. After getting pregnant with a white man and then murdered right after, she narrates the book, looking over her daughter Josey as she grows up. Sounds like an amazing tale set against a fascinating historical backdrop.
We Could Be Beautiful: A Novel by Swan Huntley – A wealthy single woman in Manhattan falls for an older, handsome, sophisticated man. But her mom, once friends with his parents and now living with Alzheimer’s, only has bad memories of him – and things aren’t totally what they seem. A psychological thriller I can’t wait to read.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid – Loved this review: “I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It dominates.” This is the opening of Iain Reid’s debut novel and it could also be a description of the way I felt all the way through the book. In these days of fat, doorstop-sized tomes, I’m Thinking of Ending Things wastes no excess pages and every word, every line, feels necessary. The narrator is considering what to do about Jake, the man with whom she is driving for hours to and from his parents’ house in the country. We see glimpses of a horrible crime in the future, and with each successive chapter the suspense and psychological buzz gets more intense. It’s like a movie where you almost want to turn away, but of course you can’t. Because this is a story that stays. It sticks. It lingers…–Seira Wilson, The Amazon Book Review. Just… yes.
With Malice by Eileen Cook – Two best friends take a trip to Italy and find themselves in a fatal car accident. One wakes up having no idea what happened; the other never returns. The entire novel is driven by the need to answer one question: what happened? Twists and turns galore as the mystery unravels.
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – A love story about a woman who must suddenly choose between the husband she thought died in a helicopter crash, and the fiance who has brought her back to life. It kind of sounds like a modern day romance novel and I’LL TAKE IT.
Live Fast Die Hot by Jenny Mollen – You know Jenny right? Married to the actor Jason Biggs, an actress, suuuuuper honest, a just freaking HILARIOUS and smart woman? If you don’t, get to know her. I listen to her and Jason every week on Sirius/XM and they make me wanna have them as my neighbors, invite them over for wine and cheese, and talk honestly about marriage, pooping, reality TV, how she hired a prostitute for her husband for his birthday, you know, just life stuff. This is her second book (“I Like You Just the Way I Am” was her first).
On Bowie by Rob Sheffield – When David Bowie died this year, a teensy weensy sliver of my heart went with him, as I practically worshipped him from my teen years. Rob Sheffield, a NY Times bestseller and Bowie superfan, pays homage with a really poignant, really insightful book about this extra special genius. If you’re a fan, you gotta read this.
Maestra by L.S. Hilton – Ok. I would describe this as The Talented Mr. Ripley meets 50 Shades of Grey, with a female anti-heroine as the main character who’s boinking anyone who gets in her way to the upper echelon world of art dealers and bajillionaires. My bestie Melissa, a fan of romance novels since she could read, loved this.
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry – Another psychological suspense thriller for Gone Girl/Girl on a Train fans. Set in England, it centers on Nora – also the narrator – whose sister is found dead and whose death she takes is upon herself to investigate. Supposedly really well-written and a total page-turner.
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal – An endearing tale of a young woman who’s left to be raised by her dad after her mom falls in love with a dashing sommelier. Her dad is determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter, and as she grows up she finds comfort in the flavors of her native Minnesota. Every chapter tells the story of a single dish and character. Warm, funny and very sensory, it is “an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises.”
Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam – Ever since I read “Just As Long As We’re Together” by Jude Blume when I was 10, I’ve never been able to pass up a book described as a “coming of age novel following two best friends.” It’s just a thing. Now this book is one of the hottest reads of the summer, and guess what? It’s a coming of age novel following two best friends! Say no more.
There you have it! As I said before this is just the first of two installments; the next batch will hopefully be on the blog soonish, or at the very least before we both hit menopause. Oh, and leave a comment if I left off a book that you recently read and loved!
PS: This is me this summer, mentally, every dang day: