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Reese Witherspoon Told Me to Read This . . . and Other Books for Your Summer Reading List

It’s summer! And to me, that means fun reads on the beach! (I got the book part . . . but how do I get the beach part?) 

One of my new favorite places to find good books? Reese Witherspoon. Seriously. She has an Intsagram account where she posts her favorite reads (RWBookClub). The account has 69,000 followers and for good reason. Homegirl can pick out a good read. Here are a few of my favorite Reese recommendations.

Reese Recommendations

Big Little Lies , by Liane Moriarty

I think by now everyone has seen the HBO adaptation of this book.  (Except me. Can someone hook me up with an HBO login???)  And there is a good reason this book was made into a mini-series. It’s fantastic! I couldn’t put it down! (And, honestly? Read anything by Liane Moriarty. All of her books are amazing!)

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads. Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny, biting, and passionate. She remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.  (Read more about this book here)

 

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine , by Gail Honeyman

Smart, warm, and uplifting, the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open her heart. Meet Eleanor Elephant. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever—if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all. (Read more about this book here).

 

The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant. The cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.

 

More Great Books for your Summer Reading List

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002), by David Sedaris

David Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the making. For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention—overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. 

Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.  (Read more on this book here)

 

Confessions of a Domestic Failure, by Bunmi Laditan

If you do not follow Bunmi Laditan on Facebook, stop right now and go follow her.

From the creator of The Honest Toddler comes a fiction debut sure to be a must-read for moms everywhere

There are good moms and bad moms—and then there are hot-mess moms. Introducing Ashley Keller, career girl turned stay-at-home mom who’s trying to navigate the world of Pinterest-perfect, Facebook-fantastic, and Instagram-impressive mommies—but failing miserably. When Ashley gets the opportunity to participate in the Motherhood Better boot camp run by the mommy-blog-empire maven she idolizes, she jumps at the chance to become the perfect mom she’s always wanted to be. But will she fly high or flop?

With her razor-sharp wit and knack for finding the funny in everything, Bunmi Laditan creates a character as flawed and lovable as Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood while hilariously lambasting the societal pressures placed upon every new mother. At its heart, Ashley’s story reminds moms that there’s no way to be perfect—but many ways to be great.

 

Hillbilly Elegy, by J. D. Vance

From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.

Vance’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love.” They got married and moved north from Kentucky to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. Their grandchild (the author) graduated from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving upward mobility for their family. But Vance cautions that is only the short version. The slightly longer version is that his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and mother struggled to varying degrees with the demands of their new middle class life, and they, and Vance himself, still carry around the demons of their chaotic family history.  At times funny, disturbing, and deeply moving, this is a family history that is also a troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large portion of this country.

 

Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is my go-to girl, and once again, she’s hit it out of the park with Small Great Things.

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice. Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

 

The Identicals, by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is another one of my go-to authors.  All of her stories take place in Nantucket, so she always has the perfect beach reads.

Nantucket is only two and a half hours away from Martha’s Vineyard by ferry. But the two islands might as well be worlds apart for a set of identical twin sisters who have been at odds for years. Just because twins look exactly the same doesn’t mean they’re anything alike—and Tabitha and Harper Frost have spent their whole lives trying to prove this point. When a family crisis forces them to band together—or at least appear to—the twins come to realize that the special bond that they share is more important than the resentments that have driven them apart. A story of new loves, old battles, and a threat that gives a whole new meaning to the term sibling rivalry, THE IDENTICALS is Elin Hilderbrand at her page-turning best.

 

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons, by Kevin Hart

I really wanted to read this book. After reading the reviews for it, I put it toward the top of my list. It will be one of the next books I read!

Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together, and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys. The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero. Just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).  (Read more about this book here).

 

Honestly, there are so many good books out there,
it was hard to choose a sampling for this list.
What are you reading? What should we all add to our Summer Reading List?

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