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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:

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The Ultimate Summer 2015 Book Guide

Unless it’s an article titled How To Prevent Impending and Hereditary Turkey Neck With The Flip of a Switch, nothing catches my eye like a good, solid Summer Reading List.  I’ll stop whatever I’m eating doing to scan the list faster than you can say flash. Books are my bath salts, and I’m not talking the lavender aromatherapy kind.  So Imma make this short and sweet. I’ve rounded up 20 books for you to read this summer. All types of ’em, too!  And for all you procrastinators, plenty are great to get Pops in time for Father’s Day. Now, the books to escape into this summer:

“In the Unlikely Event” by Judy Blume – Yes! The Judy Blume, aka the grand dame of pubescent angst and first periods. But did you know she also writes adult books, and they’re good?  Believe it. PS, Ramona Quimby is 37 now, so that’s right… we’re all old as dirt.  NEXT:

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume | Summer Reading List | Covet Living

“The Same Sky” by Amanda Eyre Ward – Say hello to the most recent can’t-set-it-down-but-my-eyes-are-closing book I’ve just finished. Told from the POV of two women: Carla, a 13-year-old being raised by her grandma in Honduras who decides to embark on a dangerous journey with her little brother to join her mom in Texas; and Alice, a married 40-year-old with a seemingly perfect life but the inability to have kids. Reading their journeys was both heartwrenching at times but also completely uplifting, if not until the ending.  Very timely, too:

The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

“The Martian” by Andy Weir – Do you have a goofy, funny male bestie who’s always cracking jokes and giving you sh*t?  Ok, so picture your guy pal as the center of this novel, a funny young astronaut named Mark Watney who’s left stranded on Mars when the crew of his mission is forced to evacuate, leaving him there accidentally. Soon to be a movie starring Matt Damon, might I suggest this as a book for ol’ Pops, unless of course you’ve already lovingly made him a homemade wooden clock with a howling wolf picture stuck to the face, like my brother just did:

The Martian by Andy Weir

“My Sunshine Away” by M.O. Walsh – This begins in the summer of ’89 (a great year), and unfolds in a Southern neighborhood with the narrator being a 14-yr-old boy at the start of the book.  A terrible crime happens in his neighborhood, and we find out the narrator was indeed one of the suspects.  All reviews describe the book as gripping, totally engrossing, and “completely unexpected.”  Sold:

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

“The Rocks” by Peter Nichols – The cover is just so purdy, but the content sounds nothing like a light summer beach read. Set in Mallorca off the Spanish coast and told in reverse, this book tells the tale of a group of two interconnected families over three generations. After the book opens with a rather jarring event, it then works backwards and we learn why the two central characters have spent so many decades not talking to one another.  I can’t make it to Mallorca this summer, so I’m ready to mentally frolic there thru this read:

The Rocks by Peter Nichols

“Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari (Out June 16) – You guys, I love Aziz Ansari.  If you’re ever having a sh*tty day and need a good, solid 45 minutes of laughter, head to this link before it gets pulled off Youtube and watch it, trust me. Or if you’ve only got 25 seconds, watch this.  Anywho, I need this pint-sized guy in my life, so I’m pumped for his new book.  He actually teamed up with a sociologist and embarked on a journey to explore all things modern love-related and why singles today find themselves with tons more options to finding love, yet even more frustrated than ever:

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

“Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande – Aaaannnnd completely changing course here, this next book was our Book Club pick a couple months ago. When I first started reading I admittedly worried it was gonna be too much of a downer to get through, but I persevered and came away thinking it was one of the most enlightening books I’d ever read:

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

“We Are Called to Rise” by Laura McBride – Similar to “The Same Sky”, this book has different narrators all tied together by one split-second event: an immigrant boy, a wife trying to save her marriage, a social worker and a recovering vet, whose stories converge in the city of Vegas, and not to spin the Wheel of Fortune wheel and watch a Cirque du Soleil show:

We Are Called to Rise (6/3/14)by Laura McBride

“The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Scott Dodson – I can’t wait to get my hands on this book about the Notorious R.B.G., who at 5 ft tall and 100 pounds wet has stood mightily through the decades to fight for positive social change.  She is a complete and utter badass:

The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Scott Dodson

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein – The most perfect book for Dad, like for real. I thought for sure I’d written about this before on le blog, but I just did a quick little search and I HAVEN’T.  Oh my goodness, just stop whatever you’re doing and order this book off Amazon, right now. You’ll never look at your dog the same. Oh, and get a Costco-sized supply of tissues to have at the ready.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein | Summer Reading List | Covet Living

“Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals ” by John Lefevre (Out July 14) – Something tells me this could be a fun read for Pops. Imagine a tale of excess and greed, and we’re not talking about that time Dad went back for thirds at the dessert bar at Hometown Buffet.  Written by the man behind @GSElevator, the Twitter feed that exposed conversations heard on the Goldman Sachs elevator, this is Lefevre’s torrid account of being a globe-trotting financial exec in the high stakes, overindulgent world of investment banking. Greed is good indeed… right Dad?!

Straight to Hell by John Lefevre | Summer Reading List | Covet Living

“Still Alice” by Lisa Genova – Heartwrenching… you’ve been warned. But if it’s anything like the movie starring Julianna Moore which won her the Oscar this year, about a professor who’s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, it’s also emotionally gripping and poignant.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula HawkinsWe know we know, even the Bible’s being touted as “the next Gone Girl”, but I’m only about 25 pages deep into this book and already really intrigued by it.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

“Small Mercies” by Eddie Joyce – A family saga about one multi-generational Staten Island family affected by the loss of a family member on 9/11 and the ways in which they’re trying to recover, over a decade later.

Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce

“Rooms” by Lauren Oliver – I’m dying to read this!  Supposedly a page-turner.  A pair of ghosts inhabit the house of a man named Richard Walker, whose family gathers after his death to clear out his house. The two ghosts, who can’t escape and keenly observe the dysfunctional family in their presence, all have painful truths exposed – culminating in the ghosts and humans colliding.

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

“Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll – Gone Girl comparison? Check. Reese Witherspoon endorsement? Check. Worth a read? Why not?!

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

“Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste NgFrom online: Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.  In the words of Lil’ Jon, OH-Kay!

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng | Summer Reading List | Covet Living

“Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiraton” by Ed Catmull – Truly an interesting read about the company culture of Pixar, the masterminds behind some of the most successful animated films (Toy Story, Monsters, Inc, Finding Nemo). Maybe it’s cause I work in a creative environment, or cause I’m kinda a geek for this stuff, but I loved this book and found it really interesting:

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull | Summer Reading List | Covet Living

“Before I Go” by Colleen Oakley – Right before her “Cancerversary” celebrating 4 years of being in remission, 27-yr-old Daisy finds out her cancer’s returned, and it’s Stage 4. So what’s a girl to do, but make it her mission to find her “charmingly helpless” hubby a new love interest.  I smell an upcoming rom-com starring, hmm… Rachel McAdams? Reese maybe? Seeya there with my Milk Duds.

Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman – When grumpy Ove, a bitter, curmudgeonly old man gets a new family next door, an unexpected friendship blossoms.  This has been called one of the most charming books of the year, “a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.”

A Man Called Ove by

Happy Summertime, darlings. Please feel free to pass this along to the book lovers in your life, and add any and all book suggestions YOU’VE read and loved!


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