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15 Books to Read Right Now (Part 1)

15 Books to Read Right Now

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.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler | Covet Living

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.

Kanye West Owes Me $300 by Jensen Karp | Covet Living

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.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley | Covet Living

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?

The Girls by Emma Cline | Covet Living

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.

Grace by Natashia Deon | Covet Living

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.

We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley | Covet Living

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.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid | Covet Living

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.

With Malice by Eileen Cook | Covet Living

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.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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).

Live Fast Die Hot by Jenny Mollen | Covet Living

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.

On Bowie by Rob Sheffield | Covet Living

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.

Maestra by L.S. Hilton | Covet Living

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.

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

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.”

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal | Covet Living

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.

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam | Covet Living

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:

Photo by


karrie signature

2014, in all its glory.

Big Sur

2014 was a PRETTY big year.  So before we cheers to 2015 tonight (clink!), we wanted to take a look back at some of the best posts of 2014, and all things bitter and sweet that shaped us…  for the betta.

1. ON LOVE:  Karrie’s really real talk on marriage and everything learned – so far – on the subject.  We will ALWAYS try and be truthful, honest, and sometimes – to the chagrin of those closest to us (schorray, Teem!) – pretty darn candid.  Which brings us to…

Karrie & Tim | Covet Living

2. ON LOSS:  Steph’s raw and heartbreaking post – penned in the throes of a painful split – left our readers in a puddle.  The love that had joyfully radiated through the internet and the subsequent loss of it were equally palpable.  But how ‘bout that silver lining?!!  …the shift to a more fulfilling career in a warmer place, the goodness of so many loved ones and strangers, and the profound lessons learned… and learned a-gain at the end of 2014, just for good measure.  Many of which can be summed up by Mark Manson’s Love is not enough.  No regrets though – not a one.

I Loved, I Lost | Covet Living

3.  CALIFORNIA DREAMIN:  Once bi-coastal bloggers & besties, Steph’s cross-country move put us just down the street from each other (Santa Monica à San Diego)…  which means regular trips to the Rose Bowl Flea Market (stay tuned for the before & after of Karrie’s breakfast nook we’re currently revamping!), a lot of hilarity, and a lot of trips to Casa Machado.

Karrie and Steph, Encinitas | Covet Living

Southern Cali | Covet Living

It also means Tim wants to punch himself in the face on a regular basis.

Teem | Covet Living

4. ALL IN THE FAMILY:  Our hearts literally broke this Spring when we said goodbye to Steph’s beloved Grandpa, Bud…  a man who once said: “I never understood the point of fake boobs.  Anything you can’t fit in your mouth is a waste of time.”  What a stud.

BUD collage

Then they burst at the seams later in 2014 with the addition of one of the cutest, most angelic things to grace us with her presence – Karrie’s niece, Willow – a cooing little nugget we wanna eat up!  (Look at that FACE!)

Willow | Covet Living

Rounding out the fam-jam:  Steph moved into a bachelor pad with Karrie’s he-cousin + another young lad.  She affectionately refers to it as “El Frat House” and some days, wakes up to the sounds of thighs slapping and the sights of a sea of empty beer cans.  LAWD.  But to their credit, those 2 hooligans make for protective pseudo brothers, and the whole shenanigan makes for some amazing stories.

5. FASHION ROUND-UPS:  Look no further than our fashion round-ups {2014 Oscars | 2014 SAG Awards} to get a sense of the evil texts we volley to each other during awards shows (in sweatpants).  Who do we think we are – Anna Wintour + OP?  Nah…  just two hens cluckin’ about all things fashion related.  And when we’re not weighing in on stars’ fashion triumphs & mishaps, posts like this inspire us to keep our wardrobes effortlessly cool.  And fearless.

Camilla and Matthew | Covet Living

Jason Bateman | Covet Living

6. BACHELOR(ETTE) ROUND-UPS:  Speaking of being perched up in the judge’s chair…  Most Tuesday mornings, Steph shares her candid, kooky and controversial belly-laughing commentary from Monday night’s Bachelor episodes.

Cody and Mad Libs | Covet Living Bachelorette Commentary

Opera Singer on Bachelorette | Covet Living

Operation Doctor candidate | Covet Living And we can’t WAIT for Farmer Ted’s season – otherwise known here on Covet Living as the “Panty Dropper” – to start on January 5th!

Chris Soules Farmer Ted | Covet Living 7. ON TV:  Someday, we’ll tell you about the time Steph was in a close overtime thriller to be one of gals vying for Farmer Ted’s heart.  As for Karrie (a reality TV producer by day), this year we toasted not one but two of her MAJOR hit shows!  The pint-sized drama on Little Women: LA left our jaws on the floor, and the modern-day arranged marriage / social experiment that is Married at First Sight  had everyone from the ladies on The View to the check-out ladies at your local grocery store talking about it.  Look for even crazier TV shows to come from Karrie in 2015.

MAFS | Covet Living

8. GLOBETROTTING:  With girls’ trips to Palm Springs and Malibu, weddings in Big Sur, wine country getaways and jaunts across the pond to the South of France, we took in some of the most gorgeous places in the world.

Travel | Covet Living

9. HEALTHY BODY:  We both embraced dropping gluten and picking up yoga in a major way, and we feel a MILLION times better for it. And big props to Amy P at Corepower Yoga in San Diego for kicking our ever-loving butts in the happiest and most Namaste of ways.

Post-Corepower Yoga | Covet Living

Check out über healthy & delicious recipes for zoodles + meatballs, autumn ingredient salads, and lazy weekend brunches if you missed ‘em… and this post for our workout playlist.

Autumn Ingredient Salad | Covet Living

10. HEALTHY MIND: Though most of us love to read, we’re often so busy that we (whoops) forget.  And then when we remember, we don’t know what’s out there worth reading.  Well.  Leave it to Karrie to dole out good suggestions, always.

Books to Read, Covet Living

11. HEALTHY SPIRIT:  Many-a-Mondays, we shared words of wisdom like this & that… and maybe the most notable of all this year, THIS’UN.  Because if there is ONE thing we do our best to practice, it’s finding the joy (and hilarity) in everything, every. *single*. day… and being kind to people… and taking the leaps that scare you to death (“…because one day, there won’t be any more time to do the things you want to do.  Do them now.”)  Finding the good in all things – even the things that absolutely suck.  The entire reason we started this blog almost 5 years ago was to share with you guys that spirit for life and for all the things we love.  We love you to the moon and back for staying with us all this time.  And if you’re new – wassup!  Sit down.  Have a cocktail.  Stick arrooouuund.


Happy 2015 to you all!!!  And yo…don’t forget to take an Uber.


Steph & Karrie