the sparkly life: Listen Now: I Share My Top 5 Books of the Summer--On A Podcast!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Listen Now: I Share My Top 5 Books of the Summer--On A Podcast!

You guys! As I mentioned last week, I was interviewed for a podcast! And it just dropped today!

The podcast is 10 Things To Tell You by the brilliant Laura Tremaine, who I have followed for years now--ever since I discovered her original blog (which she no longer updates), Hollywood Housewife. I've always been a big fan of her smart writing, her great taste, and her amazing recommendations, particularly for books. So I was thrilled when she asked me to come on her podcast to discuss what's pretty much become my favorite thing lately: books!

It was a cool experience for multiple reasons, but perhaps mainly, because it was the first time Laura and I have ever spoken! See, for the past few years, we've become that weird kind of Internet/social media friend, where we follow each other, chat over DM and in the comments, but never actually MEET each other. Well, we still haven't met in person, but we did have this awesome Skype video chat. And you can listen in to it now!

In our convo, we each give our top five reads of the summer, and then we discuss a few other popular books that everyone is talking about in order to give our take. (Some we liked, some--including a hugely popular one--we didn't.)

Below, I've listed the books that I name as my top five picks on the pod (plus two more that I almost picked, didn't mention on the podcast, and totally love as well). I'll give a quick summary of those below, but if you'd like to hear much more about them--and find out Laura's picks (three of which were also ones I loved)--well, you're going to have to listen to the podcast. :)

My top five books of the summer:

-Recursion By Blake Crouch: A mind-twisting, heart-stopping, sci-fi-but-don't-let-that-scare-you thriller that it truly unputdownable. You'll follow a New York City detective investigating a mysterious illness where people suddenly remember an entire life that haven't lived. I don't want to say anything else or I'll give it away, and you do not want this one spoiled.

-City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert: This delightful, incredibly well-written book tells the story of a young woman named Vivien who is sent to live with her Aunt Peg in 1940s New York City. Aunt Peg runs (and lives in) a struggling theater, and Vivien makes friends with showgirls and actors, and has these amazing, crazy experiences. It's a coming-of-age story, but like none you've ever read before. It's unexpectedly feminine and just a joyful, fun ride throughout. I especially loved the dialogue (smart and often really funny!) and the characters were incredible. This is one of those books that you hate to finish because it feels like you're saying goodbye to friends. I'll miss Vivien and her crew so much!

-Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keene: The story of two neighboring families torn apart by a sudden, tragic event. We then follow the characters throughout their lives as their stories twist and turn and intersect. It's beautiful literary fiction with some of the best character development I've ever read. I truly felt like I knew these characters and really became invested in their stories. And when you learn what the title means, your heart will soar!

-Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl: A funny, poignant page turner about Ruth Reich's time as editor in chief of Gourmet magazine--from reinventing it to going down with the ship when it closed years later. Like all of Reichl's work, the writing is amazing--beautifully descriptive but not so much that it gets in the way of her skillful storytelling. I'm admittedly a little partial to this one since I come from the magazine world, but you certainly don't have to have worked for magazines to love it. I also mention and recommend Tender At The Bone, which is a memoir of her childhood and early days writing about food. It's so funny and so good. (And no, you don't need to read her memoirs in order.)

-American Predator by Maureen Callahan: A non-fiction book that truly reads like a really, really good crime novel. It tells the story of Israel Keyes, one of the scariest serial killers of all time--and someone very few people have ever heard of. (And there's a reason for that.) The author uses interviews with Keyes and other key players, court transcripts, and her own research to reconstruct some of his crimes and everything that came after. You will not be able to put this one down.

My honorable mentions:

I didn't get a chance to mention these two on the podcast, but they were very close runners-up!

-Time After Time: I love anything to do with time travel (I'm obsessed with the concept!), and this includes it in a really interesting way. But it's so much more than that! It's also a beautiful love story with an unexpected ending. I really, really enjoyed this book, and think about it often!

-Park Avenue Summer: This is the fictional story of a real-life person (legendary editor Helen Gurley Brown) after she is hired to reinvent Cosmopolitan in the 1960s. The story is told through Alice, a young woman who moves to New York City and is hired as Brown's secretary. It's very Mad Men meets Devil Wears Prada, and there is lots of workplace drama and a great love story. I was totally immersed in this world while reading it, and it was the perfect light-but-smart summer read.


For more amazing books (plus lots of good bookish chat!), please listen to the podcast here. Then, definitely come back here and let me know what you think! And if you have a favorite summer read, can you mention it here in the comments? I'm always looking for more great reads! (For more of mine, follow my #bookstagram here.) Happy reading--and listening!

1 comment:

samson said...

Excited to dive into these top 5 summer reads shared on the podcast! Just like how tiger exchange broadens our investment horizons, exploring new books opens up endless possibilities for growth and knowledge.

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