When I hit the beach I want an easy read that helps me escape and forget about the rigors of everyday life and work. On my list is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. It is about a Russian count sentenced to house arrest, spending his days in luxurious Moscow hotel. I would love to spend time and be pampered in a luxurious hotel! NPR’s Annalise Quinn said, “A Gentleman in Moscow is a novel that aims to charm, not be the axe for the frozen sea within us. And the result is a winning, stylish novel that keeps things easy.” Sounds perfect!
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles; Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance; The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo.
One of my not-so-guilty pleasures is reading about food and the food industry. I love a good chef memoir, cookbook, restaurant review, food history book, or industry critique. I didn’t know until recently that La Cuisine (just a few doors down from The Hive) stocks a really great selection of food books including my most recent favorite read, Heat.
Author Bill Buford left his lucrative job at The New Yorker to be a line cook at Babbo, Mario Batali’s first restaurant that revolutionized the food scene in New York. The book tracks his journey from his home kitchen to the restaurant kitchen and then to kitchens across Italy as he learns traditional techniques such as pasta-making and butchery. It’s a great read and you’ll escape from Alexandria in reading it even if you’re just at your neighborhood pool. Pick up a copy at La Cuisine and tell the ladies there I said hi!
The Nightingale, a historical fiction novel by Kristin Hannah, is soooo good! Left me crying and inspired to see the role of strong women during WWII displaying the kind of resilience and grace we all hope to have!
If I had more time and patience to read more than the latest copy of House Beautiful it would be to read a good mystery. This year, on that beach vacation that I posted about, I think I’ll try Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. I’m a sucker for an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery and this should fit the bill.
The list of books I want to read is truly endless, but includes Arundhati Roy’s new book, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A novel and Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes.
I just finished Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty for book club (before you ask, no, I haven’t watched the HBO show!), and it was STELLAR: juicy twists, good writing, engaging characters. I have also heard from several sources that the book is way better than the show, so if you’ve already watched, don’t hesitate to grab the book, too!
I obviously have been writing a lot about the book Essentialism by Greg Mckeown. It takes the guess work out of little, daily decisions and gives you comfort with the bigger ones. Mckeown provides real-life examples and stories of real people who have embraced his methodology. Citing Stanford often, he makes the daily tasks of decision-making simple. He says “The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default.” I’m a student of the Great Books and am therefore forming an attitude that truly most life experiences have happened with someone, somewhere before. Why not learn the tricks of others to traverse your life’s decisions? I can’t say enough great things about the book.
Any of the more than 10 great books in the Inspector Gamache mystery series, by Louis Penny, about the chief inspector of homicide for the Quebec provincial police force and the seemingly idyllic town of Three Pines. If Three Pines were a real town, I’d be living there now.
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee and Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.