summer reading

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Summer has arrived, as evidenced by the thermostat in my house, which is registering a balmy 87 degrees at least until my new AC system is installed and/or the heat wave breaks. I may resemble a wilted flower, but my state of mind (rather, body) hasn’t slowed me down. Summer wouldn’t be summer without books, and I’ve been reading them faster than a popsicle melts.

If you’re looking for a good summer (or any season) read, here are my favorites this year, in the order I read them because there is no way I could actually order them in my heart. Whether it’s your turn to host book club or you have a vacation coming up or you just need new fodder for your bedside table, look for these titles at your local bookstore.

1. A Life in Men by Gina Frangello. This story is like a beautiful tapestry; the plot lines are intricately woven together. I coughed when the main protagonist coughed. I cringed when she made moves that were unsafe. I cried. I caught the travel bug.

2. Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead. I have a girl crush on Maggie both for her beautiful prose which just makes me want to write better and because she is delightful in person. Her most recent novel flows like a ballet and made me long for pointe shoes (though I could do without the rigors of ballerina-dom).

3. Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. If this story didn’t take place in the summer, I’d want to read it in front of the fireplace. A little gothic and mysterious with a quick pace, you’ll be wondering who is good, who is evil and oh my god, the setting reminds me of my friends’ family compound on a lake near Cooperstown. (Janet and Wendy, read this book.)

4. Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro. I won a signed copy of this book, and Julia is my most recent twitter friend I want to know in real life. Putting aside for a second that her debut novel is so very dark but funny and painful yet entertaining, I want to invite her over for wine and cupcakes. Next time you are in DC, Julia…

5. Euphoria by Lily King. I had a bit of a Margaret Mead obsession as a child, but even if anthropologists aren’t your thing, please read this love story. I’m going to spend the rest of my days looking for that person who is both bread and wine.

Am I at five already? I’m tempted to take my list to ten, but my ice cream is turning to soup. Seriously, each is lovely (gritty, intriguing, fun) and your life will be richer for adding them to your reading list.

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