Happy Monday, friends! How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was a good one—kept things low key on Saturday and hung out with my cousins, went to a spin class on Sunday morning with my best friend Molly, and took a big donation to Goodwill. I love weekends where I cross a ton of things off my to do list because it makes it so much easier to go into the week refreshed and ready to tackle work.
I’ve had a lot of time to read this summer, and have finished some pretty great books, so I am excited to do another what’s on my nightstand round up today! If you have any book recommendations, please let me know! I often shop the comments on these posts when deciding what to read next.
I also wanted to make note that I’ve been so lucky because over the last year because Random House will send me some of their new titles from time to time. I’m under no obligation to post about them, so I really can tell you my own opinion (good or bad!) about them. This month, I’m reviewing four books that Random House sent over and I’ve starred them with asterisks so you know which ones they are. Any questions about this, let me know!
As always, you can keep up with what I’m reading in real time over on Goodreads!
THE FUTURES // ANNA PITONIAK
Monica recommended The Futures in her recent book roundup, and I was intrigued so I picked it up. The story follows Evan and Julia, a couple who falls in love at Yale. Evan’s from a small town in Canada and at Yale to play hockey, while Julia hails from Boston and is the classic girl-next-door type. After school, they move to New York City together. Evan takes a job at a hedge fund during the midst of the 2008 crisis and is tested through a high-stakes financial deal, while Julia works her days at a non-profit foundation and eventually reconnects with a guy from her past since Evan is working all the time. Not only was I invested in the story and the characters, I loved that this book explores how relationships change after we graduate from college and enter the working world. I would recommend this to any 20-something!
Would I recommend it? Yes! I loved this book—it’s now one of my all-time favorites.
HOW TO BE MARRIED // JO PIAZZA
I’m not married, but I picked this book up after Grace recommend it—and I am really glad I did! In this memoir, Jo chronicles the first year of her marriage with her husband. Together, the two travel to 20 countries across five continents to figure out what modern marriage means. Through each of the chapters, Jo shares the marriage advice they learn from each country and how they apply that to their own marriage when they return to their home in San Francisco. My favorite story she tells is about how they work together to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, only to be taken out by altitude sickness near the summit. I loved reading all about their adventures!
Would I recommend it? Definitely—regardless of your relationship status.
A LADY’S GUIDE TO SELLING OUT // SALLY FRANSON*
This story follows, Casey, who works at an advertising agency in Minneapolis. She’s eager to please her high-powered boss, Celeste, who puts Casey in charge of her new business venture. Designed to give writers a more steady paycheck, Celeste wants to pay them to write social media content libraries for a range of their advertising clients. Casey spends the next few months criss-crossing the country trying to woo writers to sign up. Along the way, she falls in love with one of the writers, but also begins to lose herself in the process.
Would I recommend it? Maybe if you need a light read—but, I think there are better books out there.
BROTHERS OF THE GUN // MARWAN HISHAM*
Random House sent this one over, and I am really glad they did because I never would have picked it up on my own and I learned so much about Syria and its Civil War by reading this memoir. Not to mention, the illustrations Molly Crabapple did to accompany the book were incredible. In 2011, Marwan Hisham and his two friends, Nael and Tareq, joined the first protests of the Arab Spring in Syria, in response to a recent massacre. The memoir follows their journey over the next five years—one friend became an Islamist revolutionary, one died at the hands of government soldiers, and Marwan, now a journalist in exile in Turkey, documents the war and the seize of Raqqa, his hometown, by ISIS.
Would I recommend it? Yes!
BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES // ALLISON PATAKI*
This is one of the best books I’ve read all year. In this captivating memoir, Alli tells the story about her and her husband, Dave, were taking a much-deserved baby moon to Hawaii. Alli had been busy writing her novel, and Dave was busy in his third year of residency. Only, they never quite make it to Hawaii because Dave has a stroke mid-flight. The plane makes an emergency landing in North Dakota where Dave is rushed to the local trauma center. Dave and Alli’s family rush to North Dakota to be with them, and once Dave is stable, he is airlifted to a hospital in Chicago. A few days later, Dave wakes up, only he doesn’t remember anything about his former life and has to be retaught basic motor skills. This is an incredible story of faith and resilience, and I could not put it down.
Would I recommend it? 1000000% yes.
ALL WE EVER WANTED // EMILY GIFFIN*
Emily Giffin has long been one of my favorite authors, and is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram. I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of All We Ever Wanted, and while I really enjoyed it—enough to read it in one sitting!—I still think First Comes Love, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue are my favorite stories in her canon. Her newest novel takes you into the drama of a private school in Nashville. Nina Browning’s son, Finch, takes a Snapchat of Lyla, daughter of single dad, Tom, at a party while she is passed out. It ends up going viral, and Finch’s whole future is at stake as the school considers to expel him. I loved that this story explored so many subjects our society is currently dealing with—like social media use among high schoolers and classism in our communities.
Would I recommend it? Yes, especially if you’ve loved Emily Giffin’s other novels.
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LULULEMONS // LAUREN WEISBERGER
The third installment of The Devil Wears Prada, I was excited to pick this one up. I have read the original several times, and, of course, am very familiar with the movie—but truthfully, I can’t remember if I ever read the second book. That being said, I don’t think you need to remember much from the past books and could easily read this as a standalone novel. This story checks in with Emily, who has become a successful PR gal helping celebs and A-listers manage their reputations. But, she’s facing stiff competition from younger PR girls who keep stealing her clients. So she heads to Greenwich for a few weeks to catch up with her best friend, Miriam. And when Miriam’s friend, model Karolina Hartwell, is publicly dumped by her husband Graham, a senator with presidential ambitions, Emily realizes she is onto the client of a lifetime.
Would I recommend it? Yes, especially if you’re The Devil Wears Prada fan.