Summer Reading List 2019

If you're going through a reading slump a good tip I wanted to share is to pick a time of day that you will read. I get home from work at 5pm so I read 20 pages before I start dinner. That's my regular reading time, but will also read on the bicycle at the gym or on my kindle in bed. If you don't go out for lunch at work, you could find a private corner in your office to read then. Or if you go for a walk during your lunch break listen to a book on audible. I believe that when you add a reading time slot to your calendar, then it will happen. Here's a list of books I've read recently and enjoyed.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Twenty-nine year old Eleanor Oliphant struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Her weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. She lives alone and doesn't have any friends, but that's okay.  But everything changes 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. I loved this book! It's soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, it's a perfectly-balanced sad and funny book that looks at the concept of loneliness. The book was a fast and easy read.

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily,… by Tembi Locke
This New York Times bestseller is Reese Witherspoon's May bookclub selection. It's not the typical book I would pick up to read but it's an interesting story filled with passion with Sicily as its backdrop. Normally I have to wait months to get Reese's bookclub selections from the library, but this I snagged the day it was announced! This is the memoir of Tembi, an African-American woman who did a semester of college in Florence in 1990 where she met her Sicilian husband, a chef. His family doesn't accept her so they move to Los Angeles where they adopt a child. Unfortunately he dies young and Tembi returns to Sicily and finds solace and nourishment in learning how to cook the delicious dishes her husband made to remember him. Here's a video of how to make her Sicilian Pesto.

One Day in December by Josie Silver

The book takes place over several years, so it's not just a winter read. This was a Reese Witherspoon book club selection. One snowy day in December in London Laurie sees a man through the bus window and instantly decides he's the one, but then the bus drives off and she spends the next year looking for him. They reunite a year later when her best friend introduces him as her boyfriend. The book then follows the next 10 years of the three characters friendship.

Still Me (Me Before You #3) by Jojo Moyes
This is the third book in the series although it could also be a stand alone book. If you read Me Before You or saw the movie with Emilia Clarke, this book takes place after Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life. I found it an interesting look into high society Upper East Side life. It's a comedic romance.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a psychological suspense thriller and this one I couldn't put down.  Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger?

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton 
Author of  Next Year in Havana which I read last year and enjoyed. The book is about fictional character  Beatriz Perez who wants nothing more than to return to Cuba after having been exiled to Florida after the Cuban Revolution.  She is approached by the CIA and agrees to help them, but she is a not a trained spy. It's a politically flavored romance and plenty of rich historical fiction. While this book has the same characters as her last book, it is still a stand alone book.

Life Will Be the Death of Me: . . . and You Too! by Chelsea Handler
I loved her book Uganda Be Kidding Me which was a collection of short comedic stories from her life. Her other book My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands was another collection of short stories from her past, albeit not as funny. This new book is already a New York Times bestseller and she's on a book tour called The Apology tour, as in apologies for her tweets and everything she's done. This book is about how she's gone to therapy to deal with her brother's death and finally discovers why she was seen as such a hateful person by others. She talks about her mother's dying, her experience doing the drug ayahuasca and lots of stories about her dogs. This book is much more serious than her other books of humorous essays as she deals with her shortcomings. She describes herself as harsh and severs friendships easily. I listened to this on audible as Chelsea is the narrator. She also has a companion podcast to go with the book, one episode is an interview with her therapist.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
This book was so engaging I read it quickly while at the beach in Miami. It's a historical fiction novel about two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947. If you read The Nightingale or All the Light We Cannot See, you will enjoy this as well.

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