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.



A little later than usual, but I’d be remiss to not post this recap of something that has such a meaningful impact on my year. In reflection, this wasn’t my absolute best year of reading (2020 and 2021 were incredible for me) but the out of the 51 books that I read, the 10 below will stick with me for a long time. Some of them have even been elevated to the coveted “best books of my life” list. Happy reading in the new year!

Below, in no particular order, my top 10 books of 2022. And in case you’re interested – my lists from 2021, 2020 and 2019.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – I like historical fiction but I often find that the writing is not as compelling to me as more modern, literary fiction. This one however really swept me away. New York in the 1930s, a female protagonist that I just adored, an imperfect love story. It’s going on my all-time favorites list.

Left On Tenth by Delia Ephron – One of only 2 non-fiction books that made my list this year. This is a story of second chances. A coming of “old” age story. A reminder to us all not to give up or count ourselves out no matter the circumstances. I loved it. 

Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors – I tend to lean towards fictional relationships that feel more like real life.. a little messy, honest, hurtful, beautiful. This book had such a modern voice and a central relationship that felt completely original. I’ll be watching what Mellors does next. 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt – The most backlist title on my round-up this year (it was originally published in 1992) this one is a cult classic to a lot of readers and a kind of pioneer in the Dark Academia genre. I’d wanted to pick this up for years and am so glad I did. It’s long but it builds such a vivid world that you really inhabit with these characters and I found myself not wanting it to end. All in all I really loved this book and it too has been elevated to one of my all time favorites.

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske – I think I liked this book so much, in part, because it really surprised me. Fantasy isn’t my go-to genre by any means but this world, where secret witchcraft existed amongst Edwardian England, totally captivated me. Not to mention a very compelling love story at the center. A pitch perfect escapist novel to me. 

Sorrow & Bliss by Meg Mason – This book made me both laugh out loud and cry. A rare feat. I will say, it’s not an altogether easy book to read, but it has an unforgettable lead character with a great supporting cast and discusses mental health issues in a heartbreakingly honest way. 

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi – The second time a book by Choi has shown up on one of my year end ‘best of’ lists and the only YA book on my list. Choi writes in the most realistic young modern voice that I’ve read and I loved this New York story. Is it weird that in my head I pictured the couple as 2019 era Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson?

Hollywood’s Eve by Lili Anolik – The second non-fiction book to make my list. Like the real life Penny Lane, I’d heard of Eve Babitz but found this deep dive into her life (and with it a look at 1960s Hollywood in its heyday) unputdownable. I read right before we went to Palm Springs and it felt so atmospheric and fun.

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo – If you liked Commonwealth by Ann Patchett or Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann (aka engrossing family sagas) I urge you to pick up this one that I absolutely loved at the beginning of last year. I still think often about Marilyn and David’s relationship.

Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach – Another book I still think about often after having read it last summer. I devoured this over the course of a single weekend, out on the fire escape – sweating and sipping diet coke (it’s the sign of a great book to me when I can still distinctly picture exactly how and where I read it). I hesitate to give anything away here – but it’s a story of sisters and trauma and coming of age and I related to so much of it so deeply.



Another one of my favorite posts to write each year! Around 3 years ago I realized that by the time I get to December, my brain is just mush. And instead of giving up on reading because I don’t have the same type of focus/bandwidth I figured, why not give a fun holiday rom-com a try? Spoiler: I loved it. And so began my yearly tradition of stocking up on holiday books and reading with absolute joy. Since then I’ve expanded to other genres – historical fiction, fairytale re-telling, essays, etc. They just have to be light and not make me think too hard to qualify.

I’m excited to dive into this year’s list and hope that you find something joy-inducing for your own stack this season!

And a friendly reminder – I’ve linked these to Amazon so that you can easily see what they are – but independent bookstores need your support, especially at the holidays.


All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox: Set in Nashville, two rising country music stars are forced to fake a relationship for the media. I expect that holiday spirit and sparks fly.

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb: An epistolary novel (written through letters) that follows a couple in the aftermath of WWI. I’m excited to switch up the more modern romances of the other things on my list with this one. And Paris.. swoon.

You’re A Mean One, Matthew Prince by Timothy Janovsky: Rich boy forced to leave the city and spend the holidays in charming small town, meets small town boy who is unimpressed with said rich boy. I presume, love ensues. I like that this is a new take on a Hallmark classic trope.

Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar: I was hoping to find one this year that had a fairytale type element and this dark re-telling of The Nutcracker feels like it will perfectly fit the bill.

The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish: A ‘The Holiday’ type location swap story set in New England and New Orleans, two friend and an LGBTQ romance. Sounds cute!

Meet Me Under The Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss: One of my favorite authors in this genre, this one stars a small bookshop owner in London who encounters her childhood enemy at a school reunion in the English countryside. I love an enemies to lovers story.. and this feels like the perfect holiday setting!


One Day in December by Josie Silver: The one that started it all. I read this 2-3 years ago and was instantly hooked on this genre. It’s a classic girl meets boy, girl loses boy to girl’s best friend story. It takes place over the span of almost a decade and I couldn’t put it down.

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis: A blizzard traps two people together one night and then fate keeps bringing them back together. Feels a little like Serendipity which is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva: A reimagined tale of what Charles Dickens life looked like as he wrote his beloved Christmas Carol. I loved going back in time to 1800s London and reading this fictionalized account of how his family and friends (and mainly himself) might have showed themselves in his famous work of literature.

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris: I’ve mentioned it many times but Sedaris on of my favorite authors. This compilation of his holiday-themed essays is a short, funny read that includes reflections on his time spent working as an elf in Macy’s Santa-land.

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory:  I loved that the main couple in this book was in their 50s roughly, it had a Royal storyline (the daughter is a stylist for a Kate Middleton type Duchess) and was diverse (all of the main characters are Black) – and a fun trip to London too! A nice book if you’ve had your fill of the usual 20-somethings falling in love.

A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire: From the author of Wicked (that inspired the award-winning musical), this book is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Wild Swan’ fairytale – and takes place in New York City at Christmastime in the 1960s. I really liked reading this last year.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss: This was one of my favorites that I read a couple of years ago. The main character is reluctantly seeking love after focusing on a career that she loves and balancing relationships with her family and friends. She felt really well-rounded and realistic. Spoiler – love ensues.


Can you believe that we’re already speeding headlong into summer? One of my favorite “small joys” of the season is creating a Summer Reading List. Like you used to have for school.. but you know, actually fun. My reading definitely shifts with the seasons – and in summer I gravitate towards page-turning memoirs, light-hearted rom-coms and fast paced fiction. I’m really excited to dive into the books on this list and hope you find something you might want to pick up and read too.

And in case you’re looking for more – here’s my 2020 list and my 2021 list.

Linking them all below on Amazon so they’re easy to reference, but whenever possible I suggest visiting a local indie book store or your public library this Summer!

  1. Book Lovers by Emily Henry: A buzzy beach read that’s going to be everywhere this summer. I’ve read both of Henry’s other best-sellers and think they’re really well-written rom-coms. Excited for this one.
  2. Finding Me by Viola Davis: My virtual book club’s pick for June! I’ve heard this memoir is great with her voice on audiobook so I might end up listening to it instead.
  3. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald: One of the classics that I’ve had on my list for awhile. I picked up a copy at famed bookstore Shakespeare & Company in Paris.
  4. Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach: Literary fiction focused on two sisters coming of age, with a hint of a mystery element.
  5. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides: An academic thriller that draws on Greek mythology. Fun story: Adam and I unknowingly met the author over drinks in Paris and after exchanging emails, it dawned on me who he was as I’ve seen this cover everywhere! I can’t wait to dive into this one.
  6. Rivals by Katharine McGee: I rarely refer to anything I do as a guilty pleasure.. but liking these books definitely falls into that territory. This is the 3rd in the series about an alternate reality where America is ruled by a monarchy like our British co-horts. It’s the literary equivalent of an episode of Gossip Girl – and I (not so secretly now) really enjoy them.
  7. God Spare the Girls by Kelsey McKinney: To redeem myself, here’s a smart literary fiction option. My book club is reading this in July and I’m excited to tackle these themes of faith and family.
  8. Taste by Stanley Tucci: Because I’m really dreaming of a vacation through Italy. This will hopefully tide me over until that day comes.
  9. Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman: I flew through this last week and really enjoyed it. A perfect rom-com beach read in my opinion – and I loved that it was based on a true story of a journalist who interviews Chris Evans and the story leads everyone to wonder what really happened between the two.
  10. Woman Eating by Claire Kohda: A modern literary take on the vampire trope. I’m reading this now and it’s a really interesting take – would make a good book club pick as I’m already wanting to discuss it with someone!
  11. Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li: An Ocean’s Eleven style art heist story from the perspective of young, first generation immigrant Americans. I’m looking forward to this one.
  12. Fly Girl by Ann Hood: A memoir of a TWA flight attendant’s stories from air travel’s 1970s glory days.
  13. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway: Any excuse to stay in the dream-world of Paris for awhile longer. I actually started this on my flight so want to finish.
  14. It All Comes Down to This by Therese Ann Fowler: Sounds like it will be good for fans of The Paper Palace – a story about adult siblings dealing with family drama, set in coastal Maine.
  15. Capote’s Women by Laurence Leamer: A tell all look at the “swans” that surrounded Truman Capote in New York’s 1960s society scene.