Summer reading is upon us!!!! Sharing the books I read during the month of June here. Would love to know if you’ve read anything great lately…. I always get the best suggestions from you guys!
WHAT I READ IN JUNE 2021
THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE by Katherine Center
I really, really liked this book. If you’re looking for a sweet, can’t-put-down romantic story that’s more than fluff, this could be for you. It’s not the deepest plot, but it’s also not a Lifetime movie… if that makes sense. Cassie, a female firefighter, gets into a bit of PR pinch with the firehouse she works in in Texas. Between that and a bit of a family emergency, she ends up moving back home to Boston to help her mom. But the firehouse she joins is not happy that a woman just joined their team. It’s slightly cheesy, but in a feel good way, and I enjoyed all the imperfect, but charming, characters.
HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD by Robert Kolker
Hidden Valley Road always pops up in my library’s available audiobooks and I finally downloaded it. It’s the heartbreaking and fascinating story about one family’s struggle with schizophrenia. The Galvins had twelve children, ten boys and two girls. Of the ten boys, six eventually were diagnosed with schizophrenia. This book is told through narrative journalism, so the story of this family, and their ultimate contribution to the study of schizophrenia, comes to life on the page. Some parts were tougher to read than others, but overall, I was happy I finally gave it a listen.
THE MAIDENS by Alex Michaelides
In short… this book was not for me. I decided to read it because it sounded like something I would enjoy (a murder! Cambridge University! A secret society!), but ultimately I trudged through it. I found it to be a little too forced– the theme of the book is very much “Greek tragedy.” The story revolves around one particular woman, Mariana, who gets a call that a friend of her niece’s has been murdered. And that’s where it kind of lost me. It was one unrealistic event after the next. Sometimes when I have such strong feelings about hating a book, I wonder if it’s just me, but I had a long conversation with a friend about it and we both agreed. We kept coming back with “oh and remember that plot line; what was up with that?”
(A lot of people asked me what I thought of Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient, but I haven’t read it so I can’t offer any comparison.
BRINGING UP BEBE by Pamela Druckerman
I hadn’t been planning on reading any parenting books before baby, but a few of my close friends recommended Bringing Up Bebe. As with anything parenting-related, I think you need to do what works for your family and be good with that. When it comes to prescriptive parenting, I think my philosophy (at least right now as a soon-to-be-but-not-actually-parenting parent) is that you can take bits from this one and bits from that one to figure out what works for you, your family, and your child(ren). That’s how I felt about Bringing Up Bebe, a book which delves into the differences of French and American parenting through the lens of what the French “get right.”
Certain things really resonated with me and other parts of the book were less relevant/interesting. For example, a lot of the book discussed weight gain and loss during/after pregnancy, which I could have done without…. but I loved the chapters about teaching patience and introducing different foods to baby.
Can’t tell you if any of the philosophies work yet since we don’t have a baby yet 🤣, but I’m glad I read this one!
MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Definitely the best book I read this month, and one of the best of the year. (I have a feeling it’ll be my favorite read of the summer!) Malibu Rising follows a group of four siblings, the children of a very famous performer, during one of their famous house parties in the early eighties. The book toggles between the past and the present brilliantly, the cast of characters come to life, and the backdrop of Malibu adds the perfect touch. It’s a sexy, face paced book too. I quite literally couldn’t put it down and wanted even more when it ended! If you’ve read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six, there are also some fun tie-ins!