Book Club Suggestions/ Books/ Recipes

Summer 2019 Reading List & Book Club Suggestions

Spring 2019 Reading List & Book Club Suggestions – the best list of current must-read titles and book club suggestions for your summer vacation or next book club gathering!  From General Fiction to Suspense to Personal Development, this list has something for everyone.  

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Hey Book Loving Friends!  Happy Summer!  For those of you who are new around here, a little background on these Book Club Suggestions posts…every few months, I share some of my personal reading recommendations for my fellow book lovers.  See I’m obsessed with books and love to share my favorite reads with friends.  I also am a part of the best book club group with some of the coolest ladies I know – we read a little of everything and always have great discussions and food!

I’ve wrapped up my Spring Reading List and it’s time to share my latest list of must read books to kick off Summer 2019.  Are you looking for a great book for your next book club meeting?   Or maybe a light summer read for the beach or pool?   This list has you covered!  I’ve broken it down into my favorite categories so there’s plenty of variety depending on what you’re in the mood for.

One of the best parts of any great Book Club meeting is the food.  If you’re looking for ideas on what to serve at your next book club, I’ve got plenty of ideas!  You’ll find lots of fresh summer recipes here that are simple to prepare and great for feeding a crowd.  Check out this Avocado Feta Greek Salsa, Bruschetta Grilled Chicken, Pico De Gallo, and Rosemary Chicken Salad.  Or head over to my archives for more inspiration!

For me, reading is like an escape.  I hope you find something here to get lost in too!  Please leave a comment with your own favorites – I would love to hear your book club suggestions.  Let’s get reading!

Book Club Pick

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

Amazon Description: For Susan Green, messy emotions don’t fit into the equation of her perfectly ordered life. She has a flat that is ideal for one, a job that suits her passion for logic, and an “interpersonal arrangement” that provides cultural and other, more intimate, benefits. But suddenly confronted with the loss of her mother and the news that she is about to become a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is realized. She is losing control.

Enter Rob, the dubious but well-meaning friend of her indolent brother. As Susan’s due date draws near and her dismantled world falls further into a tailspin, Susan finds an unlikely ally in Rob. She might have a chance at finding real love and learning to love herself, if only she can figure out how to let go.

Summer 2019 Beach Read

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Amazon Description: Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.

In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.

General Fiction

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

Amazon Description:  No. It is a simple word, uttered on a summer porch in 1936. And it will haunt Kitty Milton for the rest of her life. Kitty and her husband, Ogden, are both from families considered the backbone of the country. But this refusal will come to be Kitty’s defining moment, and its consequences will ripple through the Milton family for generations. For while they summer on their island in Maine, anchored as they are to the way things have always been, the winds of change are beginning to stir.

In 1959 New York City, two strangers enter the Miltons’ circle. One captures the attention of Kitty’s daughter, while the other makes each of them question what the family stands for. This new generation insists the times are changing. And in one night, everything does.

So much so that in the present day, the third generation of Miltons doesn’t have enough money to keep the island in Maine. Evie Milton’s mother has just died, and as Evie digs into her mother’s and grandparents’ history, what she finds is a story as unsettling as it is inescapable, the story that threatens the foundation of the Milton family myth.

Moving through three generations and back and forth in time, The Guest Book asks how we remember and what we choose to forget. It shows the untold secrets we inherit and pass on, unknowingly echoing our parents and grandparents. Sarah Blake’s triumphant novel tells the story of a family and a country that buries its past in quiet, until the present calls forth a reckoning.

Historical Fiction

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

Amazon Description: It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.
 
As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.
 
An extraordinary, propulsive novel, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can endure and even thrive.

Suspenseful Page Turner

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Amazon Description: Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

Cookbook

Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook by Gina Homolka

Amazon Description: Gina Homolka is beloved for her incredible recipes that transform your favorite, comforting foods into healthy, low-cal dishes with tons of flavor. Now she brings her expertise to the game-changing air fryer appliance. Using high-powered, super-hot circulating air like a convection oven, air fryers crisp up your favorite “fried” foods with barely any oil needed. Cook times are shorter than traditional oven methods and the process requires little clean-up. 
In The Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook, Gina shares 75 of her best recipes that work in every type of air fryer, including basket models and countertop ovens with air fryer settings. You’ll of course find crave-worthy recipes for traditionally fried foods, such as Chicken-Vegetable Spring RollsCrispy Coconut ShrimpZa’atar Chickpeas, and Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders, but Gina also shows you how versatile the appliance can be. Perfectly roasted meats and vegetables like Korean Pork Lettuce WrapsRoasted Fish with Lemon-Almond CrumbsSugar and Spice Acorn Squash, and Charred Sesame Green Beans, along with baked goods like Homemade Bagels and Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing, are all executed beautifully in the compact air fryer.

Young Adult

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

Amazon Description: Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal — but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change — there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic – the possibilities are endless.

Audible Selection: Non-Fiction/Motivation

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Amazon Description: From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world – where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).  

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.  

As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives – a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a 20-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys – she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.  

With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.  

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, offering a deeply personal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly revealing portrait of what it means to be human and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.

Summer Reading List and Book Club Suggestions

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Julie
    June 7, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Just finished We Were the Lucky Ones & it was soooo good! Will be adding some of these titles to my list! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Nikki
      June 7, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      I added that one per your recommendation! So good!

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