Long days by the lake or on the beach, evenings on the fire escape after work while the sun sets, sitting outside on my lunch break – summer reading hits different. Below, the 15 books on my list this year. And in case that’s not enough – my lists from 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2020 (when reading was basically all I did those months..). What a fun tradition this post has become!

  1. Funny Story by Emily Henry: I kicked off last year’s list with a rom-com from the queen of them too – so this felt fitting. I read this one in on big gulp on the plane ride home from Italy and loved it, I think it ranks #3 for me of her books, behind Book People and Beach Read.
  2. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher: A backlist title circa the 1980s! A family drama I’d heard great things about, my book club is tackling it this month. I haven’t been able to put it down all weekend and after posting about it on Instagram, my Mom told me that my Nan and great Aunt loved it back in the 90s! I miss them both dearly which makes it such a fun connection now. Isn’t it amazing how books can do that?
  3. Table for Two by Amor Towles: If you’ve been here awhile you know I’m a fan of Amor Towles particular brand of character-driven historical fiction. Rules of Civility is one of my all-time favorite books and so I couldn’t help but grab this collection of essays – part of which follows one of the characters from Civility.
  4. Same As It Ever Was by Claire Lombardo: I loved Lombardo’s first novel ‘The Most Fun We’ve Ever Had’ and can’t wait for her latest to release in mid-June. Might even need to preorder this one!
  5. The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo: A little bit historical fiction, a little bit magical realism, a little bit romance – I’ve heard good things about this one.
  6. I’m Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself by Glynnis MacNicol: With a subtitle of ‘One Woman’s Pursuit of Pleasure in Paris’ how could I resist? Debuts mid-June.
  7. The Wedding People by Alison Espach: Her novel ‘Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance’ was one of my favorite books of the past few years and one I still think of often (the true mark of a 5 star read for me) – so I’m really looking forward to this one when it releases at the end of July. Espach threads the needle of heartbreak so well in my opinion while keeping a firm grasp on levity and realism. I’m hoping this book pulls off the same balancing act!
  8. Real Americans by Rachel Khong: Another highly anticipated book from an author that I’ve previously read and loved – this one is already getting a lot of great reviews. With duel timelines between late 90s New York City and present day, I’ve already got a signed copy and might dive into this one next!
  9. Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld: Published a few years ago, I’ve got a secondhand copy I found of this on my shelf waiting. Set in a fictional SNL with a ‘celebrity falls for normal person’ trope – I’m interested to see what Sittenfeld does with the romcom genre after reading and loving ‘Rodham’ by her last year.
  10. Old Flame by Molly Prentiss: Claire sent me this one for my birthday and I didn’t think I’d ever heard of it – a fun bookish surprise!
  11. Within Arm’s Reach by Ann Napolitano: Originally published 20 years ago this was recently re-released with a new cover. I loved ‘Hello Beautiful’ last year so I’m interested to read this backlist title by her!
  12. Anita De Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez: I grabbed this one in my Book of the Month mailer in May, a buzzy new release that follows two timelines set the in the art/literary world.
  13. June Loves Legs by Karl Geary: Admittedly – the last 4 books on my list this summer were all on my list either last year or the year before I didn’t get around to them. Time to finally tackle them! This one is billed as a heart-wrenching coming of age story of friendship, set in 1990s Ireland.
  14. Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper: One of only 2 non-fiction books to make the list, I love Gilded Age history so I’m excited to make time for this one.
  15. The Librarianist by Patrick DeWitt: I loved reading ‘French Exit’ by this author a few summers ago – so I’m looking forward to finally picking this one up. The story follows an aging librarian in Portland, Oregon as he begins to volunteer at a local retirement home – but given DeWitt’s style I’m expecting dark humor and unnerving charm.


2023 was a year of incredible highs and some fairly challenging lows, which was great in the sense of personal growth – but when it came to my reading life meant that I often found myself struggling to find the time/brain space that I usually have. In total, I read 45 books last year – a totally fine number but low for me lately (the least I’ve read since 2019!) and much of that was in the first half of the year before things really went off the rails in the second half. All that to say, I’m really excited for the year ahead when I can reset and get back into the swing of my more usual reading routine. But before I do that – a look back at the books I loved in 2023. In no particular order, below are my top 10.

It was interesting to see that 7 out of 10 were backlist titles (published over a year ago) and 4 out of 10 were from authors I’d read and loved on past year’s lists. A great reminder to explore back into an author’s catalogue and also to not be afraid to look beyond shiny new releases to find books I might have missed (or never even heard of!) for the chance at discovering things I’ll love.

For even more great reading recs, here are my ‘best of’ lists from 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019! What a fun tradition to look back on.

Now for the list:

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett – I read 3 titles by Ann Patchett last year (I’m clearly a fan) and had a hard time deciding as I honestly loved them all – but her debut novel was absolutely stunning to me from a story-telling point of view. The main characters will remain in my mind for a long time to come. Honorable mention though to Truth & Beauty (a memoir on friendship) and These Precious Days (an incredible collection of essays).

Last Summer in the City by Gianfranco Calligarich – This book might have been the biggest surprise read of the year. I picked it up on a whim one day and took it with me to Central Park to read. I ended up devouring it and the story of a young restless man spending a hot summer in Rome has stayed with me. It was originally published in the 70s in Italian before going out of circulation and only much later was translated and re-published. Those in the literary world have since compared it to The Catcher in the Rye or The Great Gatsby though and regard it as a ‘lost classic’. It’s not a happy story but there was so much depth and truth in it and I found it really accessible for a translated work.

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley – I love a good essay collection for when I’m in a reading slump. This one had Crosley’s signature self depracating wit – and while not all of the essays have held up fully since this was published in 2008, for the most part it was a fun time, and sometimes that’s just exactly what I want a book to be. Especially loved the essay on being a bridesmaid!

Strip Tees: A Memoir of Millenial Los Angeles by Kate Flannery – You might have had to have been an American Apparel wearing early 20 something in the years 2008-2012 for this to really hit home, but if you were – read this. This memoir follows the spectacular rise and crashing fall of AA during the early Aughts and the general Indie Sleaze (dying over this term but it’s truly so accurate) of that particular time in New York and LA. It was a wild time. I had fun reading this while also being horrified by the inner workings of that company.

Flight by Lynn Steger Strong – I read this right at the end of last year, and while it takes place over the holidays I think it would be a great winter read in general. It’s short but packs a punch as it immediately dives into a complicated family dynamic and is set over the course of a few tense days. If you liked the sort of quiet drama found in Commonwealth by Ann Patchett or Olympus Texas by Stacey Swann – I think you’d really like this.

Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz – This is my third Eve Babitz and I still find myself falling under the spell of her uniquely ‘Los Angeleno’ voice. Originally published in 1977 and the only other non-fiction that made my list this year, if you want to know what it was really like to find yourself young and restless in LA in the ’60s/70s – you want this collection of essays.

Eve in Hollywood by Amor Towles – A different Eve in LA! Last year I read and loveddd Amor Towles’ Rules of Civility. This hard to find novella follows one of the main characters from that novel, Eve, out to LA in a series of short vignettes. His writing was captivating as always and I loved getting a chance to revisit this character. (Note: this book is hard to find but it looks like it’s being re-published this spring along with a collection of his other short stores – preorder here)

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano – Based very loosely on the structure of Little Women this story follows a group of sisters in a tight-knit family and a boy who intersects their lives – told over decades. I really loved this story – such rich and complex characters. If you’re a fan of The Dutch House, I think you’d like this one.

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld – When I think back on the books that really stuck with me from 2023, this one is high on the list. I don’t know that I’ve ever read something that so archly bends the lines between truth and fiction – this story is an ‘alternate reality’ in which Hillary Rodham doesn’t end up with Bill Clinton and their political lives diverge and intersect throughout the decades to come. I thought it was brilliantly executed.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin – If I had to play favorites, this one would sit in the #1 spot. A novel about two childhood friends that go on to design video games together. It’s about love and ambition and creative pursuits and work and friendship and ego and.. just read it. I don’t care about video games at all and I loved this.



I mentioned in yesterday’s post but I think I read about 4 paragraphs in total between mid-September and now. And that’s okay.. but as someone who loves reading seasonally, I was starting to get very itchy that I was missing out on my Fall reads. Luckily, I’d pre-stacked some books in my TBR (to be read) and now that I’m back to some semblance of normal order – I’m diving right in. While I probably won’t get to all of these this season I plan on spending now through Thanksgiving working my way through as much of the below as I can.

The Invisible Hour by Alice Hoffman – My virtual book club this month and my current read. You know Hoffman from her popular Practical Magic series but she’s an acclaimed author outside of those. So far, I’m enjoying this bookish, possibly time traveling read? I’m about 80 pages in.

The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning Every once in awhile I’m in the mood for what they call a “cozy mystery” – there’s a bit of suspense, maybe a murder.. but not it’s not going to keep you up at night. I liked the sounds of this one and will be a nice call back to my recent time in Paris!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – I read and loved Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue a few years ago so was interested in reading something else by the author. This is the first in a series and I’m interested in giving this sweeping, dark magic saga a try.

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay – I do not know a thing about the plot of this book.- but quite frankly based on title and cover alone, I’ve wanted to read this one for years. Luckily, my New York book club picked this one for our Oct/Nov read so I finally am prioritizing it! Will report back.

Enchanted to Meet You by Meg Cabot – As work gets increasingly hectic during Q4 my reading mind starts to go slack and I love dipping into some fun, easy reading romcoms. This one sounded cute and that’s all I need it to be.

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet Witch by Melinda Taub – My bookish bestie Claire picked this one up and I couldn’t resist doing the same. We get a different look at the Bennet family (of Pride & Prejudice fame) with a witchy remix. Count me in.

The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas – Another Paris setting, this time in 1880s Belle Epoque, with a gothic sounding twist. I’m going in fairly blind here too but its largely set in an asylum for women that society has deemed hysterical or otherwise crazy – so I think it will have a dark enough edge to feel just right for spooky season.



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)



Summer reading is always, to me at least, the best kind of reading. From conquering a classic to beach bag picks, some of my best reading of the year is always done in these months. Last week on Instagram I shared 10 books on my summer reading list.. and then I realized that for the past 3 years running I’ve posted my lists here (2020, 2021 and 2022) – and I’d hate to break that chain. As a thank you for those who are visiting here, I’m adding 5 more to the list. Below – 15 books I can’t wait to dive into this summer. Hope you find something to add to your TBR (to be read) stack!
  1. Happy Place by Emily Henry: First things first. Every summer needs a great rom-com and Henry consistently turns out solid content in that department. In full disclosure I already flew through this one last weekend and loved it.
  2. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Admittedly, this was also on last summer’s list – but I’m determined to conquer it this summer.
  3. The Guest by Emma Cline: I’ve already finished this one too – I’m flying through the list! But highly recommend if you want something with a bit of tension/suspense that’s not at all a thriller. I loved Cline’s ‘The Girls’ a few years back and really liked this too.
  4. June Loves Legs by Karl Geary: A heart-wrenching coming of age story of friendship, set in 1990s Ireland. This one grabbed my eye on a recent browse at the Strand so I picked it up.
  5. American Mermaid by Julia Langbein: I love when a book feels like it has a truly original premise and this Hollywood story with a hint magical realism sounds like it will fit the bill. Also, it was praised by the authors of ‘Pizza Girl’ and ‘Circe’ – both of which I loved, so I’m really looking forward to this one.
  6. Brutes by Dizz Tate: The Virgin Suicides meets the restless humidity of Florida – I love a dark story of girlhood. I’ve had this debut novel on my list for a few months now.
  7. Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper: One of only 2 non-fiction books to make the list, I love Gilded Age history so I’m excited to make time for this one.
  8. Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson: Set in the dark underbelly of a glittering 1920s era London, I’ve heard great things about Atkinson as an author and this setting already has me hooked.
  9. Last Summer In The City by Gianfranco Calligarich: Billed as a ‘forgotten classic’ this book, translated from Italian, was originally published in 1974. I’m 40 pages in and it gives me the feel of Fitzgerald or Hemingway meet Andre Aciman’s ‘Call Me By Your Name’. I thought it was going to be a more challenging literary read but I’m already totally immersed in it.
  10. The Furrows by Namwali Serpell: A reflection on memory and grief, this story follows a woman who is looking back on the death of her younger brother when she was a girl. I’m reading for my virtual book club and will be interested to hear what everyone thought!
  11. At Balthazar: The New York Brasserie at the Center of the World by Reggie Nadelson: I love a food scene book, from fictional Sweet Bitter to non-fiction reflections from Anthony Bourdain and Ruth Reichl, so I’m excited to get a behind the scenes look at a New York institution in this new release.
  12. The Librarianist by Patrick DeWitt: I loved the dark humor and unnerving charm in DeWitt’s ‘French Exit’ so I’m ready and waiting to pick this up when it releases in July, following an aging librarian in Portland, Oregon as he begins to volunteer at a local retirement home.
  13. The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman: My NYC book club is reading this one, set in Coney Island at the turn of the century, before we head there on a bookish field trip. I love Hoffman’s ‘Practical Magic’ series so I’m looking forward to diving into her backlist.
  14. Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan: Admittedly, since I flew through Happy Place I wanted to stack this list with at least one more fun rom-com and I’m excited for this after reading and loving Monaghan’s ‘Nora Goes Off Script’ last year.
  15. Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles: Intimidating in size at almost 600 pages, but if it’s anything like ‘Rules of Civility’ I’ll be flying through it. Towles does historical fiction so beautifully and I can’t wait to follow the story of two brothers on a 10 day cross country drive, set in 1954.