What are your summer plans?
Whether you’re traveling somewhere sunny, sitting pretty on a beach or meeting up with family in a fancy city in Europe or North America, summer is a great time to do some reading! This year, there are so many great books out and I thought it was only right that I streamline things for you all by giving you my recommendations!
Let’s get started, shall we?
(book titles in bold linked to amazon if you need more deets/need to read reviews)
Middle Eastern Vibes
1. Salt Houses by Hala Alyan.
On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967.
Eleanor Oliphant struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking, so she avoids social interaction and sticks to quiet Friday nights with pizza, vodka and long phone talks with her mummy.
Things change when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living.
21st Century Problems
Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.
And then she gets hacked.
When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.
In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.
A bit of a Thrill
It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. Her body was never found, just a shattered cellphone and a solitary hiking boot. Her husband and teenage daughter have been coping with Billie’s death the best they can: Jonathan drinks as he works on a loving memoir about his marriage; Olive grows remote, from both her father and her friends at the all-girls school she attends.
But then Olive starts having strange visions of her mother, still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he understood about his wife. Who was the woman he knew as Billie Flanagan?
Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth.
Life Changing Memoirs
Love & Science
Some Mystery for You
It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson hasn’t seen his mother, Faye, in decades—not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.
Something To Think About
What really makes love last? Does love ever work the way we say it does in movies and books and Facebook posts? Or does obsessing over those love stories hurt our real-life relationships? When her parents divorced after a twenty-eight year marriage and her own ten-year relationship ended, those were the questions that Mandy Len Catron wanted to answer.
In a series of candid, vulnerable, and wise essays that takes a closer look at what it means to love someone, be loved, and how we present our love to the world, Catron deconstructs her own personal canon of love stories.
She uses biologists’ research into dopamine triggers to ask whether the need to love is an innate human drive. She uses literary theory to show why we prefer certain kinds of love stories. She urges us to question the unwritten scripts we follow in relationships and looks into where those scripts come from in the first place.
And she tells the story of how she decided to test a psychology experiment that she’d read about—where the goal was to create intimacy between strangers using a list of thirty-six questions—and ended up in the surreal situation of having millions of people following her brand-new relationship.
Mandy Len Catron has a Tedtalk on how to fall in love with anyone and this book is quite encompassing. I found her investigations very thought provoking and I think if you’re interested in the psychology of love, you’ll enjoy this. Just know that you won’t be learning anything about falling in love with anyone. I received an advance reader’s copy via Netgalley.
10. The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
Identical twins Harper and Tabitha are completely different personalities separated when their parents divorced.
After more than a decade apart, Harper and Tabitha switch islands–and lives–to save what’s left of their splintered family. But the twins quickly discover that the secrets, lies, and gossip they thought they’d outrun can travel between islands just as easily as they can. Will Harper and Tabitha be able to bury the hatchet and end their sibling rivalry once and for all? Before the last beach picnic of the season, there will be enough old resentments, new loves, and cases of mistaken identity to make this the most talked-about summer that Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have experienced in ages.
This seems like the classic beach read. From the reviews, people seem to love it! I’m interested!
I’ve read a few books on this list and I’m starting to trust my good book radar so I know the to be released ones on this list will be just as amazing!
Have you read any of the books on this list? I’m on the hunt for books by African authors this summer, so if you know any, please point me in that direction! What are your summer plans? Do they involve any books? Tell me!
*Blurbs paraphrased from amazon.com.