I don’t know what it is about summer, but things just seem to slow down a little bit. I don’t care what else you have going on—during summer you just have to take some time to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather! It’s also one of my favorite times to get caught up on my reading. I can’t think of anything more delightful on a hot summer day than sitting out by the pool with a tropical drink (or a tall glass of lemonade in this breastfeeding new mama’s case) and a good book. And with the amount of sleep I’ve been functioning on since little Brooks was born, there’s probably not much I’d rather do on a Saturday night either!
Looking for a good book? Here’s my personal list of summer must-reads:
Paris I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down by Rosencrans Baldwin
A self-described Francophile from when he was little, Rosecrans Baldwin always dreamed of living in Paris—drinking le café, eating les croissants, walking in les jardins—so when an opportunity presented itself to work for an advertising agency in Paris, he couldn’t turn it down. Despite the fact that he had no experience in advertising. And despite the fact that he barely spoke French. After an unimaginable amount of red tape and bureaucracy, Rosecrans and his wife packed up their Brooklyn apartment and left the Big Apple for the City of Light. But when they arrived, things were not exactly what Rosecrans remembered from a family vacation when he was nine years old.
Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin
A novel for anyone who has ever wondered: How can I truly love the one I'm with, when I can't forget the one who got away? Ellen and Andy Graham have the perfect marriage. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo. The one who brought out the worst in her. The one who left her heartbroken nearly a decade ago. The one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she's living is the one she's meant to live.
Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger (the author of The Devil Wears Prada)
Three very different girls have been best friends for a decade in the greatest city on earth. As they near thirty, they're looking toward their future... but despite all they've earned— first-class travel, career promotions, invites to all the right parties, and luxuries small and large—they're not quite sure they like what they see... One Saturday night at the Waverly Inn, Adriana and Emmy make a pact: within a single year, each will drastically change her life. Leigh watches from the sidelines, not making any promises, but she'll soon discover she has the most to lose. Their friendship is forever, but everything else is on the table. Three best friends. Two resolutions. One year to pull it off.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
This sophisticated and entertaining first novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Marriage can be a real killer. On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
And two for my fellow new mamas…
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel, Ph.D.
In the trenches of a typical day, every parent encounters a child afflicted with ingratitude and entitlement. In a world where material abundance abounds, parents want so badly to raise self-disciplined, appreciative, and resourceful children who are not spoiled by the plentitude around them. But how to accomplish this feat? The answer has eluded the best-intentioned mothers and fathers who overprotect, overindulge, and over-schedule their children's lives. A unique parenting book, designed for use both in the home and in parenting classes, with an on-line teaching guide to help facilitate its use, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee is both inspiring and effective in the day-to-day challenge of raising self-reliant children.
Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent." French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special.
Yet, the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play. With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman-a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal-sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don't just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.
Sound pretty good, don’t they?
What’s on your summer reading list? Let me know below!
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.