Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Stuff I Like: Summer Reading List.

I've been spendy this month, way more than I meant to be. I bought these jeans (still very on sale) from Madewell, this Clare V bag (when it was super marked down) and I recently ordered a perfume sampler from Henry Rose, a brand that my friend Kate introduced me to. I've decided to do a no-buy/low-buy for most of the month of August to balance things out (more details on that soon) and today, instead of talking about clothes and stuff, I thought I'd tell you about a bunch of books I've read this summer. 

Currently reading:

The Telling by Jo Baker
I loved Longbourn by Jo Baker (discussed briefly here and here) so I was happy to realize she had written other books! I'm about a third of the way through The Telling, which is a ghost story, sort of. It's about two women living in the same house, two centuries apart. Jo Baker is an excellent atmospheric writer and after the first two chapters, I was hooked. I'll report back when I've finished it! 

Three I recently finished:

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
mentioned this one recently but at that point I was still reading it. I am happy to report I completely loved it and it's probably my favorite book this summer. Just a solid story with a likable protagonist,  a touch of time travel and some nostalgic Gen-X goodness. I've added another of Emma Straub's books to reading list, which I hope I love just as much.

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen
This one was light and fun - a good beach or vacation book. It's a fast read and the twist wasn't a huge surprise, but still a good one! I love a heist story and even better with two women as the lead characters. I also loved getting some insight into the world of super-fake designer bags. Not the best thing I've every read but it was an enjoyable read.

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
I didn't LOVE this but I did enjoy it the way you enjoy any beach-read romantic fluff. It's a friends-to-lovers story set over the course of six summers and one weekend. It's not perfect - I found some of the descriptions kind of cringe-y and the dialogue skewed a little YA to me (I am an Old), but it really captures the feeling of high summer and overall I enjoyed the story as it unfolded. 

Two I DNF'd because life is too short to read something you're not into:

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Searle
I truly loved In Five Years (discussed here) so I was excited to read this one but I almost immediately disliked the main character which isn't a great place to start. I also didn't like her mother because she was such an overbearing presence living rent-free in this character's brain. Also, girl, your mother is the love of your life? Cannot relate. The whole thing just struck me as weird and whiny and insincere. I will say, the descriptions of Italy were wonderful done but I just couldn't put aside my dislike of the characters long enough to enjoy them. 

Flying Solo by Linda Holmes
Here's another one where I liked her first book, Evvie Drake Starts Over, but this one fell flat for me. It wasn't bad, exactly, I just wasn't invested in the main character and didn't understand why a wooden duck would create any kind of mystery. I think it's probably a decent cozy story with a low-stakes mystery and some romance but it just wasn't for me. 

Four I've got on my "to read" list:

"A romance ghostwriter who's lost her motivation after a breakup is haunted by the spirit of her newly departed editor in this whimsical paranormal romance."

"Two friends—often in love, but never lovers—come together as creative partners in the world of video game design."

A story about "Elizabeth Zott, a scientist whose career takes a detour when she becomes the star of a beloved TV cooking show."

“A heartwarming mystery with a lovable oddball at its center.”


  1. Just picked up Counterfeit from the library so am glad to hear that was pretty good. (Am on the long list to get This Time Tomorrow - didn't love some of Straub's earlier books, but this one sounds good enough to try again. Have heard wonderful things about the new Zevin book so am on the looong list for that too.)

    I really enjoyed The Maid - it's a bit along the lines of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, but with a mystery too. For funny, breezy summer reading I just started Steven Rowley's The Guncle and am quite enjoying it so far.

    1. I loved Steven Rowley's first book, I need to add The Guncle to my list. Thanks for the info!

  2. Lessons in Chemistry is MAGICAL!

  3. Lessons in Chemistry is amazing! If you haven't read it yet, you simply have to read Remarkably Bright Creatures. It sounds odd, but I promise it's a beautiful story about life and love and family, and it has all the Pacific NW vibes for you. I have Counterfeit on hold. I had some issues with The Maid. I'll be curious what you think. Also really recommend The Change by Kirsten Miller. I've had a good reading summer!

  4. Thank you for the recommendations! I am currently reading Greenwich Park, which is a twisty mystery-family drama type of thing with (I think) an unreliable narrator. I'm finding it to be an enjoyable summer read. Like the person above, I also had issues with The Maid that made me not a fan, although I totally loved Eleanor Oliphant, which it is often compared to. Those two books are not in the same league in my opinion.

    1. I've read that! I posted about it recently - it's such a good summer read. I haven't read Eleanor Oliphant so maybe I'll skip The Maid and read that one instead.

  5. Loved This Time Tomorrow but have to admit I love time travel books. Now reading the Laptop from Hell for something different...

  6. I fell into the fairy smut that is ACOTAR so as a pallet cleanse I have been into celebrity memoirs. Katie Couric, Selma Blair, Molly Shannon, and Stanley Tucci were al good. I'll be adding some new options to my Goodreads list! Thank you!

  7. I love it when you give book recs! I find that we have a very similar taste in books. That being said, I really freaking did not like The Dead Romantics. I saw the "twist" coming a mile away, and it was just.....not great writing. It was ok enough to finish but I definitely wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I'm unsure of why it's getting so much hype.

    1. Thank you! I am pretty quick to DNF anything that doesn't work for me, so I will keep this in mind.

  8. I really wanted to love Linda Holmes's first book -- I have been a long time fan of hers starting in the Television Without Pity days when she recapped under the name "Miss Allie." But I just could not. Love your book recommendations!

    1. I liked the first one but the second one just didn't land for me at all. I used to read TWP back in the day too!


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