The overarching theme of my recent reads this month seems to be beach read; as in, you could take any of these books on vacation and get lost in them. Typically in the summer months I try to read books that are as non-academic as possible, and this year was no exception. (Though, now that I’ve graduated, I don’t have to do this anymore!)
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Every so often, it’s nice to read a novel about a family that isn’t perfect – where parents are going through things that they want to keep from their kids, where kids are going through typical teenage drama… but love that this is set in Mallorca, which sounds like an absolute beautiful place. This is 100% a beach read, so pick it up on your way out of town!
My Paris Dream by Kate Betts
“You can always come back,” my mother said. “Just go.”
This quote basically sums up the story of Kate Betts’s time in Paris as a fashion journalist in the 1980s. Seeing her move to Paris and trying to fit in (as not just an American in Paris but a true Parisian) made me wish I wanted to move abroad!
Empty Mansions by Paul Clark Newell Jr.
I found this story fascinating, though slow at times. It’s a biographical novel about Huguette Clark, the daughter of an American millionaire, her empty mansions, and the curious way she gave away sums of money to her friends and helpers. (Fun fact: Clark County in Las Vegas is named after her father.)
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
I honestly had a hard time with this one because I was trying to read it before bedtime, so I was only doing a half chapter or chapter at a time. I think to really enjoy this book, you would have to read it more in one or two sittings: Otherwise, the mix of time and stories (from the ’60s to present day and back again) can be too confusing. I loved the short Italian phrases mixed in!
You can also check out the four books I talked about in June. If you have a recommendation, definitely let me know! I’m always looking for new reads. Or you can become my friend on Goodreads and suggest something to me there.