Tag Archives: beach reads

What are you reading this summer?

reading summer travel

Everyone loves a good beach read, right? (I certainly do!) There always seem to be a few that get a ton of buzz during the season. For example, I keep seeing Into the Water and A Window Opens pop up on beach-y Instagram posts. And several people have told me they’re packing The Marriage of Opposites as a road-trip read. But there are so many great options out there! What about the beach reads that go unnoticed? Not everyone reads what everyone reads…if you know what I mean.

So, I’d love to know, what are you reading this summer? Is it an Instagrammable title or a little more off the wall? I just finished The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice by Rebecca Musser…and while it might not be everyone’s beach read cup of tea, it is certainly mine. I couldn’t. put it. down. And to me, that’s the mark of a truly perfect beach read.

P.S. I’m off to Kentucky on Wednesday and still can’t decide what book(s) to pack. I was planning to read Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan next but that seems a little intense for travel. Decisions, decisions!

Advertisements

mid-week round-up

What’s up, buttercups? I haven’t been feeling too well the last couple of days. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m sick, (I NEVER get sick..so THERE!) but allergies and hormones are kicking my ass. Hopefully on the mend soon! Also, we finished the second season of Master of None. Have you seen it yet? SO. GOOD. (I loved the Thanksgiving episode especially.) I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, and here are a few links to celebrate the mid-week…

How 3 fan favorites from The Real World are nailing the actual real world.

How the Swachh Bharat Mission is heading for failure.

I can’t wait to see this movie! (Have you read the book? It’s one of my favorite memoirs ever!!)

Related: 6 Beach Read Recommendations

How communal singing disappeared from American life (and why we should bring it back!).

Pregnant at 18. Hailed by abortion foes. Punished by christian school.

Forget adult coloring. What about adult PERLER BEADS?

Getting to know a father who has spent the past 30 years behind bars.

Donald Trump allegedly believes that exercise is bad because the body has a finite store of energy (exactly the logic used to warn 19th century women off education).

Made me laugh…because #FACT.

How a true-crime podcast became a mental-health support group.

Related: 6 True-Crime Documentaries For Your Inner Detective

My first shipment from Le Tote is scheduled to arrive today!! So pumped.

Hoarder? Splasher? Understanding your financial psychology could save you money.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may love — How to Eliminate Decision Fatigue and Get More Done and Corita Kent: In the Beginning was the Word.

Book Review: A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

a secret kept

Y’all. I read a novel with a male narrator and the world didn’t end!!! Ok, ok…I’ve read plenty of books with male narrators before but if you’ve read this post or this one, you’ll know I typically gravitate toward a female voice…especially in fiction.

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay caught my eye at my local library as a quick, fun read mainly because I remember enjoying Sarah’s Key when I read it several years ago. This one seemed to have a similar plot-driven-by-a-family-secret vibe. Here’s a synopsis —

Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island , where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island―over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Trapped in the wake of a family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts – as a son, a husband, a brother and a father – Antoine Rey will soon learn the shocking truth about his family and himself.

If you’ve enjoyed Mrs. de Rosnay’s previous work, I would definitely recommend giving this one a read as well. If you’re unfamiliar but love psychological fiction, like Gone Girl or A Girl on the Train, then I think you’ll enjoy A Secret Kept. While it’s less of a thriller than those I mentioned, you’ll still  find yourself feverishly turning pages as you attempt to get to the bottom of things. Similarly, if you have a soft spot for pulpy family drama books this will give you your fix. (My middle school years were spent devouring V.C. Andrews books…so I’m kind of an expert on such things. No one did family drama like good ol’ V.C.) But it’s French and written by a New York Times bestselling author so it’s FANCY!

Speaking of French…I felt totally transported to France while reading. De Rosnay was raised in Paris and then Boston. She moved to England in the 80’s to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and currently lives in Paris again. Meaning, she knows her stuff when it comes to writing about life in France and creating super realistic French characters and settings. Back when Netflix first started streaming, I went through a phase where I watched a ton of French romantic dramedies from the 90’s and early 00’s. So, I was well impressed with how easy it was to imagine this book’s plot and characters existing in that realm. Yes, I am using a Netflix binge as a barometer for realistic French-ness. Whatta ya gonna do?

 

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to folks looking for a beach read as the temperature starts to rise!

Have you read A Secret Kept? What did you think? 

In Defense of Beach Reads

beachchair

I love to read and I love to learn and I love devouring dense non-fiction books about language and anthropology and history and psychology in my free time. But there is something to be said about a good ol’ fashioned guilty pleasure book. Just cracking the cover of a just-for-fun, literary jaunt is pure bliss. Summer is definitely my favorite season to get totally lost in stories that I know won’t be particularly edifying or enlightening–but it’s READING damnit so it’s still super good for the brain! This holdover from when Summer’s were a break from homework and English class reading lists still holds up…even though, in the working world, I now fill my Amazon wishlist based on actual wishes and not syllabi. Something about the long stretches of daylight, the road trips, the reclining on patio furniture…

To kick off this season of guilty pleasure reading I tore through “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and I’m about to wrap up “Mockingjay”. Apparently, serialized fiction that has been adapted to film is what I’m feelin’ this summer. Other go-to genres for my Summer months include: Young Adult fiction, romantic comedies set in Ireland, Historical Fiction that maaaaybe borders a bit on Erotica (sex scenes are FINE if they’re historically accurate, you guys), and true crime. What type of books go in your beach bag and carry-on items? What would you bring on a road trip across the country?

 

Looking for a summer-read recommendation? Here are a few of my past favorites:

 

Looking for Alaska by John Green

coming of age story. boarding school. first love. first loss.

 

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

memoir. colorful characters. unconventional upbringing. on the road.

 

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

female friendship. nineteenth century China. foot binding. Nu Shu (secret women’s writing).

 

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

comedic autobiography. based on one-woman stage show. princess leia. addiction recovery.

 

The Paris Wife by Paula McClain

historical literary fiction. hemingway and hadley. woman behind the man. lost generation.

 

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

historical polygamy. modern polygamy. POLYGAMY. NEED I SAY MORE???

 

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Summer so far and Happy Reading! Do you have any great reads you think are deserving of a spot on my list after I finish out this Hunger Games trilogy? I’d love some recommendations!