I mentioned it in my last post but, despite the fact that it was a whirlwind summer – I still did really well reading-wise! 13 books! While I strayed a bit from my initial Summer Reading List – I’m happy with the ones I did check off. I also read 4 back list titles (from at least 20+ years ago) which was really fun. I want to do more of that. Below – everything I read this summer. Hope you find something to pick up for your own stack in the season ahead!

  1. The Guest by Emma Cline: A languid, Hamptons summer vibe that served up just enough tension to be compulsively readable. While I loved her debut The Girls, I solidly liked this one. (4 stars)
  2. Strip Tees by Kate Flannery: If you also wore American Apparel scoop back dresses and knee socks between the years of 2003-2009.. you need to read this book. A memoir from one of the early employees about navigating adulthood and career building in a business built around the hero worship of one bad man. (4.5 Stars)
  3. Brutes by Dizz Tate: Billed as Virgin Suicides meets the Florida Project – there were parts of this book that were so vivid to me. Beautifully written but felt a bit meandering. (3.5 stars)
  4. Happy Place by Emily Henry: How she keeps churning out consistently great rom-coms every summer, I don’t know.. but she does. This wasn’t my all-time favorite out of her line-up but I really enjoyed it all the same. If you’re looking for a fast, fun read – this is it. (4 stars)
  5. My Last Innocent Year by Daisy Albert Florin: A woman looks back on her last year of college and the relationships that significantly impacted her. While the romantic ones are the focus I loved the reflections on her relationship with her parents as well. For fans of Writers and Lovers by Lily King. (5 stars)
  6. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby: I’ve always wanted to read this – and while I typically don’t gravitate towards male protagonists, it was kind of fun to hear things from a man’s point of view.. even when he was a sometimes infuriating as our main character here. I loved the record shop setting too. Now I want to finally watch the John Cusack film adaptation and also the role reversal TV adaptation that starred Zoe Kravitz as a female version of the lead instead. I love when book’s send me down a rabbit hole. (3.5 stars)
  7. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann: This one was a re-read for me. I first read this in my early 20s and while I still loved the romp of it all, it was sadder than I remember it being upon re-reading. There are things that are definitely dated here but it’s compulsively readable and fun to think of women in the 1960s reading this too. (4 stars)
  8. American Mermaid by Julia Langbein: Every once in a while a book really surprises me and this was one of them – go in blind like me. But to give you a taste – it’s a magical realism story of Hollywood, feminism and.. stay with me here.. mermaids. (4 stars)
  9. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles: I doubt I’ll love an Amor Towles book as much as Rules of Civility, but this one was solidly great and the way it all came together was so beautifully executed. (4.5 stars)
  10. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett: I’m on a mission to read everything Patchett has ever written and while I’m not surprised, I’m still in awe of how wonderful even her debut novel was. I loved this book. (5 stars)
  11. Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur: I loved Brodeur’s debut memoir Wild Game so eagerly picked up her first novel. A great setting (coastal Maine) a great family drama with a complicated patriarch at the helm. It wasn’t Wild Game but I enjoyed this one too. (4 stars)
  12. The Furrows by Namwali Serpell: There were a lot of great reviews for this book but my entire book club struggled with it. A story of memory and grief and siblings. Maybe it was just us? (3 stars)
  13. Last Summer in the City by Gianfranco Calligarich: Originally published in the 1970s, it’s considered a forgotten classic until finally being translated into English and re-published. It had feelings of Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye – a story of listlessness and young love and loss across one summer in Rome. (4.5 stars)