I can’t even begin to tell you how much I absolutely LOVED everything I read this month. Like, LOVED… obsessed over. And each book was so different. There is a haunting novel that takes place in an entirely different culture, a brilliant love story, the most fun beach read, a fantastic memoir/cultural study on love… so really, something for everyone. I can’t say enough good things about every single book on this month’s list. As always, for more recommendations you can check out my Book Club page, where you can filter all of my favorite books by genre… and also take a peek at last month’s reading list!
As always! please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are always my favorite… I literally shop the comments section of these posts… you guys have such good recommendations!
* The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See, was recommended to me by two of the people I respect most when it comes to taste in books. My mom (who saw it on my counter when she visited and immediately remarked how sad she was that she was done reading it), and Victoria. It’s one of those books that just gives you chills. It follows the story of Li-yan, a young girl living in the remote Chinese mountains. Her family is is tea farmers and we watch her grow up (enduring some of the most incredible difficulties but ultimately persevering – leaving her village to seek an education). Anything I write honestly isn’t going to do it justice (and that description actually sounds kind of boring?), so I will just say that what I loved most about it is how much I learned (about Chinese culture and tea farming) but also the way that everything works out in the end. Without saying too much, the ending had me sobbing.
* Miss You, by Kate Eberlen is one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. I read it while I was in London and spent a few meals by myself absolutely sucked into this. It’s the story of Gus and Tess, who meet when they are 18 and continue to just *miss* each other for years and years and years (the story ends when they’re 34). It’s one of those stories that is just so wonderful as it is romantic and beautiful but also very real. Both characters go through huge losses and incredibly difficult times… but there’s also this wonderful romantic element. I couldn’t put it down and cried at the end. A bit like The Light We Lost in that way, except this month I was crying happy tears.
* Fitness Junkie, by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, is your beach read. It’s such a fun one. Lucy and Jo are kind of just the dream team when it comes to these fun, slightly satirical but mostly light take-downs of New York (and it’s crazy trends). I featured their last book (The Knockoff) in a 2015 reading list, and I loved that because of how accurately (in a funny, slightly satirical way) it captured the digital/fashion/start-up industry and what it’s like to work in one of those environments. Fitness Junkie does exactly that, for the fitness industry. I mean, it’s a little crazy how obsessed we’ve all become with wellness. This takes you on the main character Janey’s journey to lose a little weight. It starts with green juice and turns into cultish workout classes, spiritual healers, naked yoga.. the works. There’s also (of course) a cute little love story. It’s fun, it’s light… I read it in a couple days and could not put it down to save my life!
* How to Fall in Love With Anyone, by Mandy Len Cantron came as a surprise to me. Her publisher sent me a copy and I was overjoyed to receive it/learn that she had published a book as I loved her Modern Love piece (based upon these questions), even answering some of those questions here in this blog post! Her book is part memoir, part cultural study – drawing upon her own relationships, her parents’ + grandparents’ relationship, other books and even fairy tales (her takedown of Cinderella is kind of epic). I really loved it, as I really enjoy reading about love and share a lot her beliefs about love – I hate how every movie/fairy tale idealizes marriage but never talks about what comes next, I’m not sure I really believe in soulmates, and I don’t think there is anything “wrong” with being single. It’s really smartly written, fun to read, and I’d absolutely recommend it no matter what your romantic status might be.
photo by Felicia Lasala