In addition to reading at least one book per month, I have always been a bit of a bookworm. During the summer, I increase my pace and read a wide range of fiction – from trashy chick-lit to critically acclaimed literary debuts. Here are five Books To Devour This Summer I recommend reading while you lounge by the pool this summer…
Curtis Sittenfeld deems you eligible
American Wife is my favorite book by Curtis Sittenfeld, and I re-read it every year. Eligible, her newest novel, hit shelves just in time for the Books To Devour This Summer and takes a modern spin on Pride and Prejudice. A glossy New York magazine now employs Liz Bennett, a yoga instructor now works for Jane, a neurosurgeon now works for Darcy, and a reality show star now represents Chip Bingley.
The first reviews for Eligible have been mixed, and I agree that it doesn’t measure up to Sittenfeld’s other works. However, I was still completely taken by the story and finished it within 72 hours. It’s a fun, lighthearted romance that you can read on the beach if you’re looking for something to read.
The Great Midwest Kitchen by J. Ryan Stradal
On the way to Menorca, I picked up Kitchens of the Great Midwest from the airport since I finished Eligible too quickly. The narrative that follows is without a doubt one of the strangest I’ve ever heard. Throughout the novel, Eva Thorvald, a chef working in the Midwest, takes on a series of challenges. As a result, Eva appears very little, and all but one of the chapters are told from the viewpoint of a new character.
It is essentially a collection of short stories, but the way Ryan Stradal weaves everything together ensures all of the characters’ lives are in some way connected to Eva’s. I would recommend reading it if you’re looking for something different.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic
However many times I attempted to read Eat, Pray, Love, the movie never appealed to me. Elizabeth Gilbert is such an inspirational person, so I couldn’t wait to read her latest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Truth be told, I really needed Gilbert’s wisdom because I had started to feel creatively drained.
This is such an insightful, warm, and witty exploration of creativity, and I believe that everyone could gain something from reading this book, whether they work in the creative industry or not. Chapters are easy to dip in and out of, and many of the principles Gilbert introduces have completely changed my outlook.
Susanna Daniel’s Stiltsville
My bookshelf had been untouched for a long time, and I hadn’t picked it up until I got hooked on the Netflix series Bloodline, which is also set in Florida. And I’m glad that I finally took the time to read it because it’s such a touching tale.
It is set in 1969 when Atlanta native Frances decides to move to Miami for love. The book then takes you through the ups and downs of marriage, motherhood, and friendship over the next three decades. It stayed with me long after I finished the book, and anyone who enjoys Curtis Sittenfeld’s style of writing will enjoy Daniel’s.
Christine Reilly’s Sunday on the Phone to Monday
My trip to New York this spring gave me the opportunity to meet CTP reader Christine Reilly, whose debut novel, Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday, just came out. I’m about halfway through Reilly’s captivating family love story, and I’m always blown away by the quality of her writing.
The entirety of this sentence is beautiful, but this particular sentence stands out for its honesty: “She gave him the tools to hurt her, and he did the same to her.” Isn’t that what love is all about?”
If you enjoy poetic writing, eccentric, romantic characters, and the complex dynamics of a family, then you should definitely pick up a copy of Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday.