This month was just medium when it came to what I read. First of all, I just didn’t have as much time to read as usual. We were in 5 different cities for our tour and it felt like I was always scrambling just to get my blog posts/regular work and recording done. I actually didn’t think I’d hit my goal of reading 6 books a month but then I read two books this past weekend. Last month was definitely a MUCH better month of reading BUT there were still some really good ones this month.
If you take one thing away from this post it’s that everyone needs to drop what they are doing and pre-order American Royals immediately. It was SUCH a fun book (and it’s also our September book for the podcast!!)
IF YOU’RE NEW HERE AND ARE LOOKING FOR A BOOK, DON’T FORGET THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK OUT MY BOOK CLUB PAGE.
Every month I update it with everything I read – it includes every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for. I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading in real time to my Amazon Shop. I also just posted a roundup of my favorite bookstagram accounts so they will be able to give you some fantastic recommendations as well!!!
And one last thing! What should I read next? Your suggestions are the BEST… thank you, thank you!
Everything I Read in June 2019
Two Cute Romances!
Waiting for Tom Hanks, by Kerry Winfrey
I’m going to be really honest/blunt here and say that for the first 110 pages of reading this book I was highly irritated. I bought it at Parnassus Books in Nashville and it was a surprising pick for me as romance isn’t even my typical genre, BUT I wanted something light and fun to read and just zone out to. I found the main character to be deeply unlikeable and annoying (SO much whining over what Tom Hanks would/would not do!!) and highly immature/unrelatable. (Maybe that’s because she’s 27 and I’m 37 but still; man, she was annoying and I hope I wasn’t like that when I was younger!!!).
Anyway, I was going to put it down but powered through (mostly because it was the day after our live show and I just wanted to read something light and fluffy and only had “heavier” books with me). So I powered through, and I have to say, once the main character stopped whining so much, it got very cute and the ending was very satisfying. But still, it took a while to get there.
- Overall Score: B-
Evvie Drake Starts Over, by Linda Holmes.
Okay first of all, this was written by one of the hosts of Pop Culture Happy Hour, which is one of my favorite podcasts. It’s the story of widowed Evvie Drake and Dean Tenney (a former NY Yankees pitcher). Dean finds his pitching arm out of sorts and decides to escape to Maine for a bit to regroup and get away from the city. He rents the apartment off of Evvie’s house and a cute friendship develops between the two of them. There’s the whole “will they or won’t they” energy which of course I loved, but there’s also this really nice storyline between Evvie and her best friend Andy and the complexities of male-female friendship but also trusting people and letting them in. It took me about halfway through the book to get invested in the characters, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. It’s really heartwarming.
Overall Score: B
What if George Washington Were King And Not President!?
American Royals, by Katharine McGee
Oh my goodness. This book. First of all, you may remember Katharine McGee from The Thousandth Floor trilogy, which is one of my all time favorite YA trilogies. Well. She’s back at it with a new trilogy which comes out in September so I highly recommend preordering it ASAP! (This is going to be our September book for the podcast too) Imagine if after the Revolutionary War, George Washington became the king and not the president. And then, fast forward to modern day and write a book about the teenagers set to rule the palace. There’s Princess Beatrice (the heir), and her twin brother + sister Jefferson and Samantha.
It’s deliciously good (reminiscent of the cast of The Thousandth Floor in the best way possible. Samantha is the wild child, Jefferson is the dreamy prince that every girl wants. We also get to know the two girls vying for Jefferson’s heart: manipulative Daphne, and down to earth Nina. This book is SO MUCH FUN, I read it in a day and now am deeply depressed that I have to wait for the second book! I’m so sorry to gush about a book and then make you wait for it, but pre-order it now for the best little treat in September!
- Overall Score: A+
A Heartwarming (+Epic) Story About Friends.
The Friends We Keep, by Jane Green
Jane Green has been one of my favorite authors ever since the good old Jemima J days. Her books feel like a warm hug and she writes about friendships so perfectly – in a way that is realistic but still feel good. This one is no exception. It follows three best friends from college into their fifties. It’s a good look at growing older, facing disappointment, betrayal, and forgiveness. There’s Evvie, the beautiful model who starves herself to be successful. There’s Maggie, who married her college crush who turned out to be an alcoholic. And then there’s Topher, who followed his dreams to America to become a successful actor only to make a massive career-derailing mistake.
I loved this book and the realistic portrayal of friendship; but I also loved the way it showed their friendships evolving over thirty years and how while each character faced horrible, life-altering events, they were always okay. That’s what I took away from this book – even when it doesn’t feel like it, even when we are in crisis, things will always be okay and work out.
- Overall Score: B+
A Very Real Look at Female Friendship.
How Could She, by Lauren Mechling
I really loved this book. It was such a real, honest look at female friendship, the “power balances” of friendships, and all of that. It’s the story of Geraldine (living in Toronto and reeling after the end of her engagement) and her two friends Rachel and Sunny, who live in New York. Rachel is drawn to New York after seeing how perfect her friends’ lives look… Rachel is a writer and Sunny is an artist/columnist and decides to move there. But when she gets there nothing is quite as shiny as it appears.
The magazine where Rachel + Sunny work at is on the verge of folding, Sunny’s life is falling apart, and Rachel is struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile, Geraldine can’t seem to find a job to save her life. This book is so raw and real; by the end of the book I felt like I knew each of the characters (all so flawed but still likable). At times it’s a little painful to read (and you want to shake the characters a little bit) but it’s been a long time since I read something where I felt like I really knew the characters, and could identify so much with a character (I really related to Geraldine, FWIW).
- Overall Score: A-
A good old fashioned mystery/thriller!
A Nearly Normal Family, by M.T. Evardsson
This was my book of the month pick! It’s written by a Swedish author and has been translated into several different languages. The book is the story of a family (Adam- the father, Ulrika- the mother, and Stella- the daughter). 18 year old Stella is suddenly accused of murdering a man 15 years older than her. Confusion within the family immediately ensues as she is taken into custody and isolated from her family.
The book follows troubled Stella’s relationship with the victim and constantly keeps us on our toes as we try to decide who did what and who was right and who was wrong. Was 32 year old Christopher a psychopath? Was Stella prone to violence? Did she do it? This kept me guessing and while it was an unputdownable thriller, it also dealt with bigger stuff: morality… lying for your child… rape… it was dark, and definitely made me think!
- Overall Score: B+
photo by Iron + Honey!
Grace! I find it incredible how you’re able to read so many books given how busy you are! I guess it’s all about prioritising. Thanks for the reviews! ✨
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Grace, I was totally waiting for this to come out because after Idea of You and The Hating Game I just was depressed about what to read next. Looks like a few good ones on here and I also can’t wait for American Royals, already pre-ordered! Enjoy the 4th and thanks for the recommendations!
It’s sooooooo good!!!! Just sad that we have to wait for the second book now!
Thanks for all of the recommendations. I love the inspiration to get reading!
I loved How could she, I don’t think I could identify to any of them but I’ve totally met a version of all of them so far in my 33 years. It was really a great book about friendship.
So glad you loved it too!
I can’t wait to read American Royals! I’ve been waiting for this post for weeks! They are my favorite!
Aw so glad! My reading list always comes out in the first week of the month! xo
I just pre-ordered American Royals even though I know I am going to be mad when I am waiting for books 2 & 3. Oh well! I just finished reading After the End by Clare Mackintosh and loved it. I cried through almost the entire thing, but was still left with a sense of hope at the end. What a book!
That one is in my TBR pile! So happy you enjoyed it!
I look forward to this post every month! Have you read The Kiss Quotient? I read it in two days and absolutely loved it. Also, have you thought about doing an in person book club? Jen from The Fashion Magpie held a monthly book club before she got pregnant and they were so much fun!
Hi Helen! I haven’t read it yet!!! But it looks great.
I had thought about a book club but then we launched the podcast… and then we started doing live shows. Don’t think I can add anything else to my plate! But def come to our NY live show this fall (announcing dates later this summer!) xo
The Kiss Quotient is my next book club read, I’m glad to hear good things about it!
Love these posts every month!!! I always love your book picks and love how honest your reviews are! 🙂
I am so happy to hear that! Thank you!
Have you read The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan? Wondering how it compares to The American Royals!
Yes! One of my all time faves! It’s great but really different plot-wise (America, fantasy whereas Royal We is Kate Middleton fan fiction in the best possible way!!!) We did a podcast episode about the Royal We last year, check it out!!! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ep-8-royal-we-its-special-royal-wedding-edition-young/id1364764784?i=1000411658792
Question? What is your favorite book of all time?!
Devil in the White City!
Love the product placement. ❤️
And can’t wait to read some of these books. Still recovering from “The Idea of You.”
Hahahaha always 😉
Girl if I really try hard I get to finish one book a month! You are goals!
x Lisa | lisaautumn.com
Hahahah thank you 😉
Have you read Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance? I cannot recommend a book more highly. If you liked Educated, you’ll love this one even more.
I haven’t! It’s high on my list, but keeps getting pushed down because of other newer books. I need to read it.
I’m reading How Could She right now too! It’s awesome! Loving the new newsletter format, btw. xoxo Kristy
I loved it so much! (And am so happy to hear you are enjoying the new newsletter!) xo
I just got denied for the American Royals e-galley….SO sad! I will wait patiently for it to come out…ha!
On a good note, my BOTM copy of Three Women just arrived!
Oh no!!! I’m reading Three Women right now and it is SO great.
This is ALWAYS my favorite post of yours! One I know you’ll be obsessed with that I could not put down this 4th of July weekend was Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen. It’s set in 1965, and is told from the viewpoint of the fictional assistant to Helen Gurley Brown, the first female Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine. It was impossible to put down!
Aw I’m so glad!
I actually reviewed Park Avenue Summer last month! One of my favorite books from that month – I really loved it too!
I love your book rec’s. I have read a ton of them and we also naturally tend to read some of the same books each month. You can follow my book reads and rec’s on insta @brookebookclub
I get a ton of my book recommendations from these posts, and I am also a huge thriller fan. However, the plots always revolving around violence towards women has worn me down and started to turn me off the genre. BUT! I just found out about this, and had to share it with you. Not sure if this is old news and I’m late to the party, but I am very glad to have a new reading recommendation resource!
Oh, thank you for sharing that!!