This summer, one of my big priorities was to read a lot. I’ve always loved reading, but it’s a struggle to find time for it during the school year. I’m happy say that I put a major dent in my reading list over the past few months. Check out the complete list (with a few recommendations!) below.
+ If I Stay by Gayle Forman +
I managed to avoid reading the buzzed-about If I Stay for a few years now…and then it was my summer reading book. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The story has a few cliché elements, but other than that it was a genuinely enjoyable read. The movie just came out on Netflix, and I’m probably going to watch within the next few days!
+ Always Pack a Party Dress by Amanda Brooks +
I adored Amanda Brooks’ first book, I Love Your Style, and was so excited when her second debuted in May. Always Pack a Party Dress follows Brooks’ journey in the fashion industry, from a young studio assistant to fashion director Barney’s New York. As you can imagine, it’s as juicy as they come. I devoured this one in two days!
Keeping with the fashion-industry theme here, I also read Leave Your Mark, the career/life advice book by Aliza Licht, aka DKNY PR GIRL. Licht is funny and writes from the heart, which makes for a fun read- hard to do when your book is about nailing job interviews! Like Brooks, she tells her own story while dolling out plenty of great advice. As an aspiring industry member, I’ll definitely be keeping this book on hand!
+ Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Eric Larson +
The history nerd in me loved the latest effort from Eric Larson, the author perhaps best known for writing Devil in the White City. Dead Wake is a powerful retelling of the last voyage of the Lusitania, a British ocean liner that was torpedoed in 1915. The ending is inevitably tragic, but Larson uses his talent for writing from multiple perspectives, resulting in a fascinating read. Whether you’re into history or not, I highly recommend you check this one out.
+ The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith +
Of all the books I read this summer, The Story of Land and Sea was the most beautifully written. The author’s exquisite description brings you right back to the story’s backdrop: a coastal North Carolina town during the waning years of the revolution. The plot follows the intertwining lives of the town’s residents, and tells a heartbreaking tale of love and loyalty. Best to pack your tissues and your life jacket for this one.
+ The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin +
After two books on the heavy side, I indulged in a more light-hearted “beach read.” The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry tells the unlikely story of an ornery bookstore owner on a remote island. Be prepared for lots of laughs, Poe references, and, yes, some tears. What can I say? I like books that make you feel a little something.
+ The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey +
After reading The Franchise Affair, I added a new name to my “favorite authors” list. I mean it, Josephine Tey is a genius. Without spoiling the plot (I’ll let you discover that for yourself), I’ll just say that this story is dark and mysterious, jovial and endearing all at once. You’ll be zoom through it no time. And after? There’s seven more Tey mysteries just waiting for you.
So that’s what I read this summer. Currently at my bedside? I’m almost done with Girl at War, which is fantastic. I’m also loving The Body Book, by Cameron Diaz!
What did you read this summer? Better yet, what’s on your list for fall?