It’s here- SUMMER! I love lists of great Summer books so I thought I’d create 20 Great Reads for Memorial Day. I am hoping you have rented some fabulous house in the Hamptons for the weekend or are body surfing in Laguna Beach. These books are perfect for those locales and for those of us who are staying home and grabbing time to read between kid activities. I intentionally chose books that are already published- why tease you with something you can’t buy right away? (There are amazing books coming out shortly though!)
20 Great Summer Books for Memorial Day
In no particular order because I adore all of these:
– The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain– This is the #Gr8Books Book Club book for June. It is a completely captivating read. Please join us for book club on June 7th, 8 PM CST on the Great Thoughts’ Facebook Page. My review is here.
– The Darlings by Cristina Alger– a wonderful novel that is loosely based on the Madoff story. My review is here. Doesn’t this whet your appetite for it- “Tomorrow, they would no longer be the Darlings of New York.”
–These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen– Great book! My review is here and to tease you, here’s my favorite quote from the book, “She’d have to wander past the racks and racks of size 2s and 4s- reluctantly sliding her hand along a slim cranberry-colored skirt made out of fine leather and a creamy silk halter-necked dreess- before hitting the meager collection of 12s.”
–Beach House Memories by Mary Alice Munroe– This book just came out May 8th. It is a quick beach read- the story of Lovey Rutledge (don’t you love Southern names) and her family beach house on Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Munroe is a master story teller. I read this in 2 sittings-loved it! Favorite quote- “Didn’t every woman need a creative source that reflected her alone, and not her husband or her children?”
-Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess- This is Jenny Lawson’s memoir. Her website is hugely popular. Lawson is irreverent, funny, poignant, and every other adjective in this book. You can read it and say she is batshit crazy and you can also say that you love her! I could quote the entire book so here are only a few snippets- “because I always find it’s nice to have short chapters that you can finish quickly so you can feel better about yourself.” “Most people don’t have to devote an entire year of therapy to a single ten-minute episode from their childhood.”
-Real Life and Liars by Kristina Riggle– Loved it and it is only $2.99 on Kindle right now. My review is here. Best line of the book, “There is no perfect. Only real life and liars.”
-The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley- Need a Downton Abbey fix this weekend? Read The Orchid House! My review is here. And Lucinda’s fabulous guest posts are here and here. Once you read these, you will rush to read this book.
-The Wedding Beat by Devan Sipher– Many of you may be at weddings this weekend so enjoy this book. Review is here. Gotta love this quote- Of the bridesmaids at a posh wedding, Sipher writes, ”… form-hugging pink sheath dresses, which I couldn’t help notice showcased impressive cleavage on each woman. Then I realized it wasn’t just the dresses that were identical; the bridesmaids had matching breasts…. “Yes, they all went to the same doctor.”
-The Afterwife by Gigi Levanger Granzer– A maestro of an author who can make you laugh and cry in the same book! Review is here. The book begins. “Being a widow in Los Angeles is not as easy as it sounds. “A dead ‘civilian’ is as unpopular here as crow’s feet and fat kids.”
-Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery- This book just came out. I read it in one sitting- what a great book! So I am a sucker for books set in summertime on islands- that’s how I roll. This book has serious undertones to it with a wounded vet coming home to run the family hotel. Quotes- “Not every ending is tidy” “She wanted sex and he wanted to discuss demons. Talk about a perfect match.” A great read and, wonderful recipes at the end.
-Four of a Kind by Valerie Frankel- Four mothers at an exclusive private school run the school’s diversity committee. Their meetings become poker-playing therapy sessions. Each has their own issues which Frankel does a great job of showing. Quotes- “In Brooklyn, real estate was porn.” “One shouldn’t judge a blonde by her highlights.”
-Swim by Jennifer Weiner– This is a tease- it is a 68 page story (free on Kindle) that is the preface or back story to Weiner’s new book, The Next Best Thing that comes out on July 3rd. Her book, Then Came You, just came out in paperback too. Review is here. Enjoy!
-Other Waters by Eleni Gage- Indian fiction-a favorite of mine! Maya is an Indian American doctor with an Indian family who wants her to marry- well Indian. Gage’s character development is perfect. Sanjay, an Indian man says, ” Yeah. I’m the man of her mother’s dreams.” Maya’s mother says, “You want a rajah from a fairy tale! Someone who doesn’t exist.” Great book!
-Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green– Jane Green is another of my favorite authors, right up there with Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner My review is here. This book deals with Andi who marries Ethan and gets a HUGE step-parenting role. Quotes-“She is happy, but more than happy, she is content .” When Andi’s mother dies, her friend pours margaritas and says, “..sometimes in life, you just need some sugary shit.”
-The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan– The Big Chill in book form. Review is here. A 20th reunion at Harvard. Kogan’s writing is superb. Quotes- “There must be something mentally liberating, she thinks, about unloading to a person who once knew you intimately but would probably never see you again until the next reunion, if ever. A kind of rabula rasa without the blankness of the rasa.” “… humans need love. It’s not a luxury. It’s a necessity.”
-More Than You Know by Penny Vicenzi- Another of my favorite authors who writes long British family sagas! In this book, Vicenzi addresses the classes in England when Eliza, upper crust, marries Matt, working class. Review is here. Quotes- “Tiramisu is different. Tiramisu is more like a beautiful melody or… or making love.” “Eliza was in the middle of curtsying to the Queen when she decided it was time she lost her virginity.”
-The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani– I love her books! They are like a trip to Italy. Review is here. Quotes- The first stage of widowhood is paperwork.” “The eldest daughter in a family with many children never has a real childhood.” “A man who needs a mirror is looking for something.”
-His Wife and Daughters by Wendy Tokunaga– Review is here. Great political fiction that is only $2.99 on Kindle right now and free for Prime members. Quote- Of the former intern, “now at nearly forty she qualifies as- what do you call them? A MILF? A cougar?”
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon– Ok, I lied. This book doesn’t come out until May 29th. So this is your read for the week after Memorial Day. Think Bridget Jones for the over 40 crowd. Loved, loved, loved it and can’t wait for it to be a movie! Review is here. Quotes- As she looks at her eyes she thinks, “Is there some cream I can buy? How about some eyelid pushups?”“As I look around the room, at all the sheer blouses, strappy sandals and skinny jeans most of the other women are wearing, I realize that “business dressy” really means “business sexy.”
Now go enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend!
These books are all my own recommendations- no sponsors, no money, no nada.
What are you reading and where are you going?