I have always loved to read. One of my biggest regrets in life is losing a summer book reading contest in elementary school. I lost by one book to the librarian’s daughter (which, come on, not fair!). All jokes aside, I really do love to read and got back into my voracious habit during the quarantine months thanks to Becca and Grace of Bad on Paper podcast. I’ve got stacks of books all over the apartment that I’m working my way through. I’ve been updating my Goodreads (feel free to follow me!) but thought I would share some of my book highlights of the past few months. It’s been a lot of rom coms, royal-themed reads, and breezy books that don’t require too much thought but definitely leave you feeling attached.
In Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory, lawyer Olivia Davies has a chance meeting with a handsome stranger at a hotel bar. Turns out, he’s the junior senator from California and it’s better to keep their relationship secret. There’s cake, politics, and a whole lot of romance. This is the latest book from Guillory, whose characters all live in the same universe and overlap between books! Once you read one, you’ve got read them all.
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee is about a deeply emotional and passionate relationship between an art gallery owner in her forties and a twenty year old boy band sensation a la Harry Styles. I don’t want to spoil too much, you just have to trust me on this.
Oh how I loved The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. Alice moves from England to Kentucky during the Depression with her new husband and finds fulfillment as a packhorse librarian, delivering books to families in the mountains of Kentucky. This is a story of friendship, loyalty, justice, and humanity built on the backbone of books.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle had me wishing for a crystal ball to see my future, but also terrified of what I might find. Dannie is a Type-A Manhattan lawyer who flashes forward to her five years in the future and is absolutely perplexed by what she sees. Eventually, she ends up back in her current day and we get to see how she gets to that fateful moment in time. Is destiny real or do we have the ability to change anything along the way?
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is one of the best books I have read all year. It tells the tale of twin sisters who choose to live in two different worlds – one white, one black. Years later, their daughters intersect and the story weaves a generational tale that looks deeply at race, the lasting influence we have on the lives of others, and the pull to live a life other than our origins.
If you need more royal fun after watching The Crown, it doesn’t get much better than Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. The First Son of America and the Prince of Wales fall in love…need I say more?
If you keep watching the Bachelorette even though you know it’s time to be done, this one is for you. In One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London, the Bachelorette-style show casts a plus-size fashion as their lead and the fun ensues. This book takes a deep look at body image, fat-shaming, and the ideals the media tells us we should reach for.
For the royal lovers who are also U.S. history buffs (that’s me, anyone else?), Majesty by Katherine McGee is your next read. This is the sequel to American Royals, which envisions America as a monarchy, with George Washington as our first King. In Majesty, the newly crowned Queen Beatrice has to find herself a husband, but finds out more about herself and her vision for her country in the process.
Oh this was such a joy to read. Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl is a master class from the renowned former food critic and editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine before it closed it’s doors. This book takes you through the transformation of the magazine under Ruth’s leadership and will make you want to get into the kitchen and whip up something delicious.
I have been using the Libby app on my iPad to read – you can link to your library and place book holds. Once the book is ready to read, download it to your Kindle app or read it in the Libby app itself. I’ve also ordered a lot of books in print – in part to do my part to support my local bookstores, but I also just love reading from a physical book. My favorites are Books & Books, which has multiple locations in Miami (and one in Key West owned by Judy Blume!!) and Powell’s in Portland, Oregon. You can support your local bookstore by purchasing through Bookshop!