May 2017 Reading List.

may 2017 reading list | The Stripe

This month’s reading list is a little over the place. We have two (amazing) beach reads that I blew through in under two days each, a memoir that brought me to tears, and a book that took me a long time to read because I had a really hard time getting into it (but one I got into it, I loved it). As always, for even more book recommendations, don’t forget to check out last month’s reading list and our book club page where you can filter and sort by genre to find the perfect book!

And if you have a minute – please comment and tell me what you are reading – your suggestions are always my favorite!!!

Romancing the Throne by Nadine Courtney Jolie was so much fun to read. I don’t know why I love reading about the royals so much but I do. Maybe it’s because they’re a bit of an escape right now, given our own political climate? If  you loved The Royal We (one of my favs from last year), you will love this one! It details two sisters… best friends.. who fall for the same guy – the Prince! It could easily be Kate + Pippa Middleton fan fiction (who knows!?) and it’s the perfect light, fun, summer beach read. You won’t be able to put it down.

Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer is another fun, light beach read. I discovered this one via Talbot’s Summer Book Club (full disclosure – they sent me all the books from the book club and we did a sponsored Instagram post together). Nancy Thayer is one of my favorite summer authors… her books are easy and fun to read (and usually take place in Nantucket, where Thayer has lived for 32 years!) They’re like a pint of chocolate ice cream – you’ll want to sit down with them and gobble up the whole thing. Last summer, I read (and loved!) The Island House – her books are light and fun. This one has the main character (Darcy) happily living on Nantucket when her ex-husband and his new family move in next door. Drama ensues!

This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell took me a while to get into. I think it’s because there are so many characters, all with very complicated relationships. So it took a while but once I was in, I was in. The main character Daniel lives in Ireland with his (recluse of an ex-film star) wife. Meanwhile he has his own children who live in California. Things surface from the past and he has to go back to America. It’s a love story, and it’s a little bit all over the place, but it’s worth taking the time to read because the story is really beautifully written.

The Rules Do Not Apply, by Ariel Levy, has gotten a lot of press. And it’s totally devastating. I knew before opening it that it would tear me apart but I wanted to read it all the same. It deals with love and loss in a major way. I am not someone who cries a lot but this made me cry. First we learn about her feminist/slightly unconventional upbringing, and then it tells the love story between her and her ex-wife Lucy… from there she experiences a series of devastating, dramatic losses. I don’t want to tell you everything that happens or I’ll ruin it, so I will just tell you it’s really sad… but also, I think, an important read. If you’ve ever felt like you were watching your whole life unravel (I have, though to a much lesser degree than Levy), you will be able to relate. It’s messy, heartbreaking, and deeply moving.

may 2017 reading list | The Stripe may 2017 reading list | The Stripe

Leave a Comment


  1. Out of your suggestions, I’d be most inclined to try The Rules Do Not Apply. I tend to favour deeper reads over light ones. Right now, I’m reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. It’s good!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. I read This Must Be the Place last year, and I absolutely loved it. Such a well-written story…
    I’ve ordered The Rules Do Not Apply just yesterday, and I’m waiting not so patiently for the book to come through.

    I’m currently reading The Handmaid’s Tale, and jeez, completely mind blow. Cannot wait to watch the show.

    Into the Water by Paula Hawkins was an intense, quick read. Liked it a whole lot better than The Girl on The Train.

    My favourite recent read is actually Good Morning, Midnight. Loved, loved, loved the book.

    • grace at the stripe says 5.25.17

      I’m reading Into the Water right now!

      Thank you for the suggestions – going to check out Good Morning, Midnight!

  3. Rachel says 5.25.17

    I’m about to finish the Underground Railroad and it’s heartbreaking and life changing. Recent Pulitzer winner too!

  4. Kellie says 5.25.17

    Right now I’m reading Cork Dork which is all about wine but written from a woman who took a year off to hang out and try to become a sommelier to learn about the wine world. It’s really fun so far and a light way to learn about wine!

    • grace at the stripe says 5.25.17

      I got sent a copy of that and can not wait to read it – have heard really wonderful things!!

  5. Lindsay says 5.25.17

    The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

    • grace at the stripe says 5.25.17

      OMG I JUST READ THAT and it made me feel all the feels. Such a good one… it will be in next month’s list!

  6. Brittany says 5.25.17

    man, these all sound so good. i’m really hoping to read the rules do not apply, but since having my daughter whenever i read a sad book i have to stop. just like, cannot finish.

    xo, brittany
    memorial day weekend looks on my blog today!

  7. Dana says 5.25.17

    I’m currently waiting for Ariel’s book to become available at the my library – EVERYONE seems to be reading it. I’m currently reading Charlie, Presumed Dead and I just finished The Book Thief!

    Pink Champagne Problems

    • grace at the stripe says 5.25.17

      Haha – wonder if you and Diana go to the same library (see her comment!) I loved both of those books, especially The Book Thief!

  8. Briana says 5.25.17

    I love summer reading so much! I’m currently reading “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki—it’s not exactly a light, summer read but it’s definitely an engaging, interesting read in my opinion. As for light summer books, I have Sophie Kinsella’s “My Not So Perfect Life” on my list as well as the third book in Kevin Kwan’s series—“Rich People Problems”.

    Briana |

  9. diana pearl says 5.25.17

    I’m currently waiting for Rules Do Not Apply at the library (it’s been over a month!!) Hopefully I get a copy soon, I read Thanksgiving for Mongolia and was really moved, so I can’t wait to dive into this one. I also have a copy of Romancing the Throne I’m planning to get into this weekend! Loved the Royal We so I know I’ll like this too.

    x Diana // Pearl Girl

    • grace at the stripe says 5.25.17

      Haha I wonder if you and Dana go to the same library as she said the same thing. Thanks so much for the suggestions… you are going to LOVE Romancing the Throne! xx

  10. Tina says 5.25.17

    Hi – I too just finished The Rules Do Not Apply. I listened to it and found it interesting. Had never heard of it and picked it up from the Library on a whim. I am reading We were the Lucky Ones and have really enjoyed it, as I am half way thru. Not as deep as the Lilac Girls (very good too). LOVE your reading lists, as I found many new books thru you thank you (just finished The Dollhouse). Love your blog too —

  11. Angela says 5.25.17

    I almost exclusively read light reads in the summer. Secrets in Summer seems right up my alley!


    • grace at the stripe says 5.25.17

      I’m exactly the same! Something about this weather makes me just want to read light, happy things!

  12. Melissa says 5.25.17

    Thanks for the ideas! These past weeks I’m getting really picky with books hahaha. I need new books to read.

    xx, Melissa

  13. Emily says 5.25.17

    I just finished The Leavers by Lisa Ko…amazing novel about a Chinese immigrant who never returns home from work one day, and her young son is adopted by a white family. It’s really well written and such a moving story…definitely recommend that!

    Also in the same vein is Exit West by Mohsin Hamid…another brilliant novel about immigration from war zones. The two protagonists leave their country through a mysterious door that leads to another part of the world…really captivating story. I loved this one!

    One last recommendation, Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller. It’s about a young woman who drowns (or did she?), leaving her young daughters in the care of her older husband. The book switches back and forth between the present with the grown daughters taking care of their dad and letters their mother wrote to their father before she disappeared, chronicling their marriage and early time together. It made me think a lot about the very different paths a woman’s life can take, and the constant pull between family obligations, sacrificing dreams/goals for children and what she might want for herself personally. I’m still thinking about it today and I finished it almost 3 weeks ago!

    Thanks as always for your recs too!! I love reading posts about what you’re reading 🙂

    • grace at the stripe says 5.26.17

      Thank you so so so much for the (thorough) recs, Emily! These all sound amazing!
      Hope you have a wonderful weekend. xx – Grace

  14. Janet says 5.25.17

    I’m going to second the recommendation for A Tale for the Time Being – it started out odd and depressing but I stuck with it because I love the author. It was amazing. I listened to the audio-book version when moving from Ohio to Connecticut. With so many Japanese names I think it was nice to hear them. It was very well-done and long enough that I had to finish listening after my arrival.

    For recent books I just read Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed – so good! It’s part of a series of books that are Shakespeare-based. This was one of my favorites – The Tempest.

  15. Thank you so much for including Romancing the Throne, Grace! I’m THRILLED to hear that you enjoyed it, and so happy it made it onto your May reading list!

  16. Jill says 5.25.17

    I didn’t love The Rules Do Not Apply. I don’t know what it was, but it fell flat for me. It was sad for sure, but lacking depth or long term perspective. I also read two other amazing memoirs this month (My Life in France by Julia Child and The Sound of Gravel which I couldn’t put down – so maybe that is why). I just read The Women in the Castle and LOVED it.

    • grace at the stripe says 5.26.17

      That’s so interesting… I personally loved it, but everyone is diffefrent. I LOVED My Life in France! Maybe I will pick up The Sound of Gravel next! Thanks for commenting, Jill! xo

  17. Sam says 5.25.17

    Thanks for the suggestions! I just shared some of my recent reads (here:, but since I know you read The Perfume Collector, definitely check out Rare Objects by the same author (if you haven’t already!)

    • grace at the stripe says 5.26.17

      Thanks Sam!!! Rare Objects is on my list – I love love Kathleen Tessaro. Seems we have similar taste in books so I will def pop over to your list! Xo

  18. Erin says 5.25.17

    I just finished reading The Circle (so creepy!) as well as a nonfiction book called Killers of the Flower Moon. It’s equal parts disturbing, fascinating, and horrible… but I couldn’t put it down. Next on my list is March, which tells the story of the father in Little Women, which I’m actually really excited for…
    As always, thanks for the recommendations!

  19. Alex says 5.26.17

    I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying The Arrangement. Love the tips– definitely need to read Romancing the Throne! I read Ariel Levy’s New Yorker piece, so brutal. Xx

  20. Jennifer says 5.26.17

    I just moved and left my book club 🙁 Glad to find your suggestions!! Have you read The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah? it was my 2016 favorite read – about 2 sisters in World War II and how they both played very different roles. I go between light summer reading and more intense books! Have a great weekend!!

    • Jennifer says 5.26.17

      Just saw your whole list of books and it is on there!

  21. Lauren says 5.26.17

    The Wellness Project book by Phoebe Lapine!

  22. Chlo says 5.27.17

    Ahhh thank you so much for sharing this list. I’ve never heard of any of these books before but now I’ve got major reading urges. Unfortunately, I don’t have the books to hand to just pick up and read which does make me a little sad (haha). The book I most want to read is “Romancing the Royals”. I’m not really into royal stories but the way you’ve described it has made me want to challenge that with this book and see if I do like them.

    Have a lovely weekend 🙂

    Chloe @

  23. wendy says 5.28.17

    just finished city of friends by joanna trollope, it was a great beach read.

  24. Christina says 5.28.17

    I just finished “The Rules Do Not Apply” and it was heartbreaking, but so real.

    Totally random side note, but is the pink background in this photo a duvet cover? I’ve been looking for the perfect not-to-pink linen duvet and this looks like it would fit the bill!