It’s August! The month for lazy beach weekends, fruit salad for lunch, and soaking up as much of summer as we can. It’s also the perfect time to get lost in a good book. Turning the pages by the beach or under the shade of a tree in the park is so relaxing, and as hard as it is to read with little ones around, I am hoping to enjoy a book or two this month.
For me, an ideal “beach read” is the kind of book you don’t have to work too hard to get into — something that grabs you in the first chapter or two and keeps you reading until the end. (I am notorious for staying up all night to finish a book!) Getting lost in a book is such a great way to get a different perspective. I used to read so much, and would love to find more time for it again!
I recently read Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, and it took maybe 30 pages for me to really get into the characters, but after that I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed her other book State of Wonder, set in the Amazon, and was addicted/infuriated by her novel Bel Canto. I really loved Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, an engrossing novel about a Nigerian woman’s path from home to the US and back.
Did you watch the recent HBO miniseries Big Little Lies? It was based on a book by Liane Moriarty, an Australian author. I read The Husband’s Secret on a train trip in literally a few hours — it was a perfect “beach read,” with a mystery at the beginning and a few twists along the way. I’ve also heard good things about her book What Alice Forgot.
It has been such a crazy year in politics (to say the least!), and a book I am always seeing mentioned in articles about the feeling in the country is Hillbilly Elegy, a book by J.D. Vance about growing up in a poor Rust Belt town. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (the hilarious, smart, and insightful host of The Daily Show) also sounds like a fascinating memoir. The book tells his story of growing up in South Africa as a boy who was never supposed to exist — at the time having interracial children was punishable by 5 years in jail, and Trevor was hidden indoors for much of his childhood to escape being taken away by the government.
I’ve also heard great things about All the Light We Cannot See, The Light Between Oceans (although I know this will be sad, and I am not sure my new mother heart can handle it!), Lilac Girls, Wonder (a young adult book that is supposed to be great),
A few others that that are supposed to be good: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bachman, What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan, Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King (set in ancient Rome), The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, and Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan (set in Boston!). We’re also looking forward to the September release of And Then Everything Changed, the first novel from our friend Alaina Isbouts, a blogger who lived in Boston for a few years.
Any to add to our list? We hope you get the chance to lose yourself in a good book this month!