Summer Reading List 2017

=I know summer is more than halfway over...yuck...but it's never too late to share a summer reading list because by now some of us have finished our summer reads, or discovered we didn't actually love the book our neighbor suggested, or were too busy to get a book back in June. Good news - it's not too late. Amazon Prime members: you can have one of these babies on your doorstep in 2 days. Target also carries a bazillion books and if you fill your online cart with more than $35 worth of stuff (you probably need more paper towels), then you get free shipping.

So, despite it being August already, Sonia, Michele and I are sharing our current favorite reads. By "current" we are referring to any great book we've read in the last 5 years...because finding time to read for pleasure can be painfully difficult. But, also SO worth it when you can.

First up, Sonia. Ignore the books her nightstand...for now.


Nightstand / Bed / Quilt / Lamp (HomeGoods find)

The Nix by Nathan Hill - My friend recommended I read this monster of a book (640 pages). It's a serious commitment, but one I am excited to start. I had to look up the meaning of "nix" and it seems that a nix is a term for shapeshifting water spirits of Germanic and Nordic folklore. Often times these mythical creatures appear as humans. Nix may take different forms, but their message warns of impending death by drowning. The title was enough to interest me, but the story itself is about a struggling writer and his relationship with his estranged mother. It's a psychodrama that involves Norwegian folklore and ghosts - sounds like a good read to me. It's also Nathan Hill's first novel, and appears to be an impressive one at that. I always root for the new kid on the block!

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan - With an upcoming trip to Italy, this book sounded like a good choice. I'm a sucker for books based on a true story, and this one is about a teenage boy and his time as an spy for the Allies during Nazi occupation of Italy. There's a bit of a love story, some history, and a good amount of suspense. It's queued up and ready to go on my kindle, now I just need some relaxing vacation time to actually read it!

Here are Michele's Picks.

Lamp (HomeGoods find) / Mirrored Side Table (Similar) / Vase / Bed

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck - It's a #1 seller on Amazon (and has been for a while). My husband bought copy for everyone in our family a few years ago and even started a book club at his office. It's based on years of research by Stanford psychologists about fostering a growth mindset versus a set mindset. It applies to finding success at work, school, parenting, relationships...everything.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - I think this is on everyone's summer reading list thanks to HBO's series based on it. I haven't read it yet, but I hear it's a juicy one about husband/wife, parent/child and friend relationships. I've had so many people ask if I read it that when I saw it marked down at HomeGoods I had to pick it up. 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - This is a fantastic thriller. I'm about halfway through and while life has forced me to put it down for months at a time, I'm always excited to pick it back up. The main character has fallen on hard times (don't want to spoil why) and she's quite the drinker. After a particularly drunk night, she wakes up not sure if she's killed someone.

Magnolia Story by Thomas Nelson (with Chip and Joanna Gaines) - One of my closest and sweetest friends from NYC sent this book to me when I told her I was starting a little business with a couple friends (ahem...Gray Oak Studio). She inscribed it with a note to wish us all great success together. Plus, who isn't a Fixer Upper fan?! 

And these are currently on my nightstand.

Nightstand (HomeGoods find) / Nighstand Knob / Lamp (HomeGoods find) / Book Light

The Secret Place by Tana French - I'm a huge Tana French fan. She writes detective thrillers set in Ireland. Beyond my intrigue in the Irish brogue (I have to re-read at times), I love that Ms. French does not follow your standard murder mystery formula. Her books are layered with complicated characters and complicated relationships and they don't always get the bad guy...or sometimes the bad guy isn't so clearly bad. She also uses a character from a previous novel as the lead in her new novel. Cool, right? My favorites are In the Woods and Broken Harbor. I've started Secret Place and so far, so GREAT. 

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman - I read this book when I was pregnant with my oldest, who is now almost five. I loved it. It was hands down my favorite "parenting book" because it didn't feel like a parenting book. It is a story of American born and raised Pamela starting a family in France and discovering a very different culture of child-rearing. It features insight from Dr. Michel Cohen, founder of Tribeca Pediatrics. I lived in Brooklyn, NY as a new mother and brought my baby to Tribeca Pediatrics. I was (and am) a cult follower of their methodology and perspective. As my young family of hooligans continue to grow, I think it's officially time to re-read this gem.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant - I finished this book not long ago and really enjoyed it. It's a coming of age book about a Jewish girl growing up in Boston about 100 years ago. It's really well written. Her descriptions are vivid and give you a tangible feeling of what the streets of Boston looked like and even smelled like at the beginning of the twentieth century. Anita Diamont also wrote The Red Tent, which was an epic book and I highly recommend that as well.

Happy reading!

- Leah

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