Oh wow oh wow this month’s reading list is a VERY long one. I blame Asia. I packed five books and managed to read all of them. Add to that the books we read for the podcast and a few others and there we are. A lot of reading which is my kind of month!!!! I will say that I did read All These Beautiful Strangers back in February but it’s only just now out so I waited til this month’s list to include that. Still, 8 other books.
If you’re looking for a book, don’t forget – you can always check out my Book Club Page. I have literally listed every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years…. and you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for And of course, you can also take a peek at June’s reading list. In case you can’t wait til next month, I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading to my Amazon Shop as I go… I know it’s nice having everything in one place.
AND! Please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are my FAVORITE… I shop the comments section of these post – you always have such good recommendations for me, which I really appreciate!
July 2018 Reading List:
* All These Beautiful Strangers, by Elizabeth Klehfoth.
I have to admit that I read this back in February! I was sent an advanced copy and immediately tore into it before realizing that it wasn’t being released until July 10th! So, go ahead and pre-order this one as it’s definitely a good one! It’s Gossip Girl meets Cruel Intentions meets Gone Girl style thriller, set at a prestigious boarding school in New England. Of course, I couldn’t put it down. Charlie Calloway is 17 years old but her mother disappeared when she was only 7.
The book explores the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance (everyone suspects her father), and her boarding school experience as she is tapped by “The A’s,” an exclusive secret society at her school. It’s a fun, fast read (told from the perspectives of Charlie, her mother Grace, and her father Alistair) with lots of twists. I guessed some of them but for the most part it kept me on my toes. Highly recommend!
- Overall Score: B+
* To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han, is super cute.
Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have read this book if it weren’t for the podcast. It’s not my typical book in that it’s a YA romance and I tend to prefer more sci-fi-esque YA books. BUT, I’m glad I read it as it was a cute, easy read (and a nice palette cleanser after all the non-fiction books about Cuba I had been reading). Lara-Jean is your average middle school student – a bit studious, very responsible, a good older sister. Whenever she gets over a boy she had a crush on, she writes him a love letter – but doesn’t send it.
She pours out her heart and soul and tells them all the things she’d never say in real life. One day, her letters mysteriously get sent and suddenly everything explodes. It’s very cute. (And check out episode 12 of Bad On Paper to hear Becca and I discuss in our usual nerd-level detail.)
- Overall Score: B-
* A Nantucket Wedding, by Nancy Thayer.
It was (as all of her books are) like a big bowl of chicken soup. I LOVE her books. This one is a story of 55 year old Alison, who is planning her third wedding – and her two daughters. It’s set in beautiful Nantucket (in an incredible beach house) and is a really intimate look at relationships and families. I really liked how realistic it was – looking at the dynamics between the two daughters and their husbands in a really imperfect way. It was very sad at points but also very heartwarming and uplifting. I love all of Nancy Thayer’s books and would highly recommend this one – it’s the perfect beach book!
- Overall Score: B+
* Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton.
I LOVED this book. We read this one for the podcast as well. A part of me thought that maybe I was just really desperate for a good thriller but I just really loved this one. I started it on Saturday, went to a dinner party, read it when I got home, and then spent Sunday morning + afternoon finishing it. This one has serious Talented Mr. Ripley vibes (with a bit of Gossip Girl mixed in). It’s the story of two girls: Lavinia, who has it all… and Louise, who has nothing.
Louise is struggling to make ends meet when she meets Lavinia and she is suddenly introduced to a glamorous world of parties and champagne. But of course, it all goes wrong. I won’t tell you everything that happens but I will tell you to read it if you’re looking for a good (dark) thriller to tear through. (And check out ep 14 of the podcast to talk about it with Becca and I.)
- Overall Score: A-
* The Favorite Sister, by Jessica Knoll.
Ugh, I really, really wanted to love this book as I LOVED her other one, but I was disappointed which is a bummer as I had been so so excited to read it. It was really disjointed – there were so many characters, all deeply unlikeable. I persisted through and am glad I did because it did get better but I was frustrated and annoyed for the first 40-50% of the book. It’s the story of a group of millennial women, all a part of a reality TV show Goal Diggers about a group of successful, cut-throat women. Maybe if I liked Bravo/reality TV more, I would have enjoyed it? I will say that she threw in some really good twists toward the end (I really liked the ending) but it was still tough to get through. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read it too!
- Overall Score: C
* The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne.
This was a reader recommendation. A few of you have borderline harassed me (I say that lovingly!) on Instagram stories for not having read this. Now I see why as it’s just the cutest. It’s perfect for the beach or vacation (I read it in two days while in Asia) and perfect when you want a cute romcom type of book. I loved it. It’s about two coworkers who are nemesis- and vying for the same promotion. They absolutely hate each other, until they don’t. It’s cute and fun and so perfect for when you just want something light and feel good. I had major feel good vibes from this (and wished I had an office crush)!
- Overall Score: A-
* When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger.
It’s another fantastic beach read. It’s the super cute follow up to The Devil Wears Prada, told from Emily’s perspective years later. Emily is now 36 years old and a master celebrity fixer, but has fallen out of popularity with her clientele. When ex-model Karolina Hartwell is arrested for a DUI (but swears she wasn’t drinking), Emily steps in (alongside her lawyer friend Miriam) to clear her name.
It’s fun and nostalgic for anyone who loved Devil Wears Prada and even has a little cameo from Miranda Priestly. I totally pictured Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep the entire time I read this and I really, really enjoyed it. I’d read the other sequel to Devil Wears Prada and was underwhelmed but this one was really good.
- Overall Score: A-
* Vicious, by V. E. Schwab.
Vicious is, without being stereotypical, a YA novel for boys. (Which I very much enjoyed but I am saying this as most YA novels that I read are told from the girl’s perspective.) This one is sci-fi meets comic book, and it’s very fun to read (also there is a sequel coming out in September ’18!) It’s the story of two boys at college who figure out that superheros (aka ExtraOrdinaries aka EOs) are made, not born. Alternating between ten years ago (at school) and in modern day when when of them has just escaped prison and the other is hell bent on killing all EOs, it’s a fun and fast read. I really enjoyed this one as it felt a bit like stepping into a modern day comic book.
- Overall Score: B
* The Oracle Year, by Charles Soule.
This was a Book of the Month purchase that I’d forgotten about and was another comic book type of a book. Will Dando (a struggling musician) wakes up one morning able to predict the future. He wakes up from a dream with 108 predictions about the world in his head. Suddenly he goes from struggling to pay rent to selling predictions for millions (sometimes billions) of dollars. He’s the most powerful man in the world. The book chronicles his struggle to stay anonymous (going by The Oracle and putting his predictions up on a heavily guarded website) as a wild chase from the US government and an evangelical minister ensues.
- Overall Score: B
* Disclosure: I received advanced copies of All These Beautiful Strangers, A Nantucket Wedding, Social Creature, Vicious, and The Favorite Sister. As you can tell from my reviews, sending an advanced copy doesn’t impact my review!
So many cute reads this month! Thank you so much for the recommendations, perfect summer reads! 🙂
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
I’ve recently read Everything Here is Beautiful and A Place for Us, and found them both to be stunningly told stories. Social Creature sounds fascinating – I’ll add it to my reading list for sure!
Can’t wait to read A Place For Us!
ooh thank you for the suggestions!!!
Everything Here is Beautiful is so wonderful
Thank you for the suggestion!
Have you read Before We Were Yours?! It’s so good!
I haven’t! Will check that out!
Thanks for the recommendations! Just bought When Life Gives You Lemons and Nantucket Wedding.
Cant wait to read them both!
Yay! Such good beach reads!
Perfect beach reads, I can’t wait to crack one of these open on Wednesday. I’m at the front of the library waitlist for Whrn Life Gives You Lulemons, so maybe it will be that one.
Happy Monday, xAllie
It’s so cute! Perfect beach read.
I’m currently in the middle of Touch by Courtney Maum. It’s a novel about a woman who is a famed trend predictor credited with predicting the popularity of “the swipe” in the tech world. So far, so good — it’s definitely a book I would bring to the beach.
ooooh that sounds super interesting! Thanks for the suggestion.
I am reading Eight Days by Matthew Goodman and loving it! It is a nonfiction book about two female journalists in the 1800s who set out on a race around the world – trying to beat Phileas Fogg’s record from Around the World in Eight Days. It is super interesting and well written, and a great female empowerment story!
That sounds super interesting! Thank you for the suggestion!
I gave up on The Favorite Sister pretty early on. Glad to know I’m not missing anything! Can’t wait to read When Life Gives You Lululemons!
Yeah, sadly you didn’t miss much!!!
I’m about to start reading The Oracle Year. The story line sounds so interesting! Some others in my stack are The French Girl (a thriller) and A Trick of The Light, which is the 7th book in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series. They’re these amazing mysteries that are super cerebral with a lot of human behavior philosophy, history, and descriptions of cozy cafes in Quebec. They’re definitely not your typical thriller, but really satisfying murder mysteries.
briana | youngsophisticate.com
Ooooh thanks for the suggestions!
Thanks for sharing! I loved The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, definitely consider it for July!
Ahhhh it’s on the shelf and my friend Carly keeps telling me to read it! I need to!!!
Have you read the crazy rich Asians trilogy? It is so good! And the movie is coming out in August
I really tried to, but I couldn’t get into it!!!
Literally I wait every month to buy new books until your reading list comes out. Can’t wait to start these! xx
aw yay! think you will LOVE when life gives you lululemons!
I posted about this in the bad on paper group but based on your reviews, I think you’d really, really like Sundowners by Lesley Lokko.
thanks for the suggestion!
I am reading Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson. It is very cute – light read! Definitely a great beach read!
thanks so much for the suggestion, angela! x
Always love your recommendations! I really enjoyed The Hating Game too. Currently reading The Identicals, which is light, but good.
I have heard good things about that one!
I read The Hating Game in one travel day! Perfect easy read that made me feel like I was watching a rom-com.
Currently I’m re-reading Kitchen Confidential. I’ve had it sitting on my bookshelf forever since I first read it probably 10 years ago, but am loving it even more now.
I felt exactly the same way!!!!
Sadly I haven’t been able to read much this month. I did listen to Something in the Water on audible on my commute. It was Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick for June. I really enjoyed it – a B or so. It was a fun, twisty read where I might have shouted several times in my car at my radio… I’m going to try to read more this month starting with The Book Thief, as my bookstagram friends are peer pressuring me into it. Haha!
The Book Thief was amazing! Heavy, but amazing!
Everyone keeps telling me to read Something in The Water. I’m going to order it!!!
When Life Gives You Lululemons is top on my summer reading list! And so disappointed to hear Favorite Sister wasn’t great — I so loved Luckiest Girl Alive.
I know it was a bummer! You’re going to love When Life Gives You Lululemons, though!
The Favorite Sister was horrible. I was so glad when I finished it. I hated all the characters. But thought I had to finish this. Do not recommend at all. I loved her first book but this was agonizing. The Whole Way Through!!!!!
I know! And the first one was so good!
When Life Gives You Lululemons sounds absolutely awesome and I can’t wait to give it a read. Emily is my absolute favourite! Thanks so much for sharing!
Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo
Mine too! The mini Devil Wears Prada reunion was so amazing.
I think we’re on the same page since I just read When Life Gives You Lululemons, then The Hating Game (which was sooo cute!) and now i’m reading The Favorite Sister. I do watch a bunch of Bravo reality shows, so hopefully i’ll enjoy it! Can’t for next month’s list 🙂
let me know how you like it – I hope you do!!!
Arrested for a DIY? Do you mean a DUI..?
yes of course that’s what i meant – whoops, thanks for catching it!
If you’re looking for a happy book with all the feels check out the YA My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park. I absolutely loved it! I checked it out at the library and I’ve added it to my “must buy” list because I want to be able to re-read it over and over!
thank you for the suggestion!
you HAVE to read “the last letter to your lover” by Jojo Moyes. I devoured it. Also – the Butterfly game as a mystery/thriller!!!
I’ve read that one! LOVED it. Will look into The Butterfly Game, thank you for the suggestion!
I always love your reading list posts, Grace, and I will have to check these out for upcoming trips!
thank you so much Katie!
I always love your book reviews! I pick most of my books from your lists. You have to read Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson, if you haven’t already. Its soooo good! I was so sad for it to end.
Also! I read the Hating Game after you put it on stories and LOVED it!
YESSSS So good!
I actually just ordered Matchmaking for Beginners (Becca, from the pod read and LOVED IT!)
I felt the exact same way about The Favorite Sister and was so bummed about it! I constantly had to go back to see which POV the chapter was since I felt like their tones of voice weren’t as clearly defined as they could have been (plus it also felt similar to Ani FaNelli’s voice from Luckiest Girl Alive). I LOVE Jessica Knoll and even trekked to NYC for 12 hours during the week to go to her book signing for Favorite Sister.
Otherwise, you should check out Dear Mrs. Bird and How To Walk Away for next month! They both seem right up your alley.
Ahhhh I was supposed to go to the book signing too! Had a family dinner. :-/ I do still love her and hope the next book is better!
Thank you for the recommendations, much appreciated!
Hi Grace! I noticed that you have the character’s name wrong for Social Creature. Her name is Louise, not Julia. Just thought I’d let you know. Thanks for your great recommendations!
WHOOPS! Thank you so much! x