Well, if there's any time we need more books to read, it's now.
Over at Elle, you can find their list of "The 30 Best New Books of Summer." They've declared them 'beach reads,' but a beach read is just as much fun when you're curled up with it in your favorite chair. I never read at the beach myself. The sun is much too bright. Here are some of the books I thought were most promising from their list:
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
In the deep South, from the '50s to the '90s. The Vignes twins grew up "in a small, southern black community" and ran away at sixteen. "Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' story lines intersect?" I have to read this one!
Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
"Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickled-covered pizzas for her son's happiness. As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other toward middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways." Sounds quirky and funny. Another one I'll have to read.
Nine Shiny Objects by Brian Castleberry
Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave
"Oliver, a failed actor now reduced to a mediocre pool hustler, hitchhikes west in a...quest for a possible sign...that might illuminate his true calling. A chance encounter with...an Idaho farmer...sets in motion the birth of “the Seekers”—a collective of outcasts, interlopers, and idealists devoted to creating a society where divisions of race, ethnicity, and sexuality are a thing of the past. One night...a stranger emerges, and a horrific crime ensues. In the decades that follow, the perpetrators, survivors, and their children will be forced to face the consequences of what happened." There's not enough space here to adequately describe this weird novel. It's definitely on my list.
"Simran, the youngest, wants to be a writer, to her mother’s chagrin. That mother, Nandini, is a doctor who’s done everything she can to give her family the American Dream, despite the pressure it places on her. And Mimi, Nandini’s mother, is trying to make up for her fractured relationship with Nandini by connecting with Simran. Set in Manhattan, this is a tender tale that never shies away from the tension at its root." I took this description directly from Elle. I love books like this!
I don't know about you, but I've been looking for humor in my book choices lately...
Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby
"This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. Irby goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with 'tv executives slash amateur astrologers' while being a 'cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person,' 'with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees,' who still hides past due bills under her pillow." Well, this one sounds crazy! I like it.
Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, From Someone Who's Been There by Tara Schuster
"Brutally honest, often hilarious, hard-won lessons in learning to love and care for yourself from a young vice president at Comedy Central who was called 'ahead of her time' by Jordan Peele." Not sure my life needs to be fixed, but it sounds like a fun read.
Idiot by Laura Clery
"...[I]n her first-ever book, Laura recounts how she went from being a dangerously impulsive, broke, unemployable, suicidal, cocaine-addicted narcissist, crippled by fear and hopping from one toxic romance to the next…to a more-happy-than-not, somewhat rational, meditating, vegan yogi with good credit, a great marriage, a fantastic career, and four unfortunate-looking rescue animals. Still, above all, Laura remains an amazingly talented, adorable, and vulnerable, self-described…Idiot." And somehow, it's funny.
I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyonce' by Michael Arceneaux
"With the characteristic wit and candor that have made him one of today’s boldest writers on social issues, I Can’t Date Jesus is Michael Arceneaux’s impassioned, forthright, and refreshing look at minority life in today’s America. Leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned, he describes his journey in learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite." Well, the title is funny.
All descriptions, except where noted, are taken from Amazon.
Flying By the Seat of My Knickers (The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw Book 1) by Eliza Watson
This was a cute, sweet read, but it didn't entice me to read more in the series.
My Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Litts
The fictionalized story of the origins of the Dorothy character in The Wizard of Oz. A wonderful read.
My Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke
A heartbreaking story handled respectfully by the author.
My Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Despite its racist moments and unlikable main characters, still a fabulous story.
My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
Okay, time for the shameless plug. Scroll on by for more on words...