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May seemed like a crazy month but now, looking back and compared to June, May was a breeze! I managed to read a TON, thanks to the hammock I got as a mother's day present, which has this magical pull it seems to put on me, makes me forget any household chores that need to be done and holds me captive and makes me lay down and read. I can't say I hate it. I also read poolside while the kids swam close by a couple of times, which is always so fun. Summer reading is my favorite- a little sun on my shoulders, the kids are always having fun and I get to just lay back and read. It's the best of all things!
I've put the books I read in May into 2 groups: First, that ones I would very highly recommend and am still thinking about, weeks after finishing them:
I posted my review for Sweetbitter last week, so be sure to check out my full review. It was a really, really good read, guys. Totally not a typical "girl moves to the big city and meets a man" tale. Tess literally has no idea, no street sense, no friends or family to help her, she just decides to move to NYC. She gets a job at a popular restaurant and totally sucks at being a back waiter. But not for long, because she works her ass off to learn the ropes and is soon scaling the ranks and climbing the ladder that is cut throat restaurant scene. The writing is hot, daring and gritty. There is a ton of food porn in this so if you love learning about great wine and luxurious food, this is it.
Favorite quote: “Any business transaction—actually any life transaction—is negotiated by how you are making the other person feel.”
The Assistants by Camille Perri- This one will be on my top recommendations for a while too. Tina Fontana is an assistant who works for a big name corporation as the CEO's main go-to-girl. Her boss makes millions and she doesn't even make 6 figures. So what happens one day when an expense report for her boss gets mess up and she receives a reimbursement check in her name? Does she deposit it into her own account or let accounts payable know about the mistake? Does she use the money to pay off her student loans? What if no one finds out? Chances are, a man who makes that much money, who puts new golf clubs and trips to the Cape on his expense reports and writes them off as "business" won't even notice if Tess takes the money. What if someone catches her? And then, even worse, what if that person who catches her wants in on the action and blackmails her into making their own money, illegally? All of these "what ifs" add up to a pretty great read about how far we will let money take us and whether or not we're too hungry for the finer things in life to do the right thing...
Favorite quote: "Go ahead and underestimate me some more, I dare you."
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld- A modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Do I really need to go on? Jane and Liz, plus CrossFit, Yoga and texting. I just can't tell you how fun this book is. And Darcy is still Darcy, dark and broading but surprising, sweet and forward. There's mansions, travel and heartbreak. I literally read over 100 pages in an afternoon and barely noticed the time passing. It's a must.
Favorite quote: “There’s a belief that to take care of someone else, or to let someone else take care of you—that both are inherently unfeminist. I don’t agree. There’s no shame in devoting yourself to another person, as long as he devotes himself to you in return.”
Now on to my second set of books: I loved most of these books and still recommend them but they just didn't grab my attention as much as the others. Still all worthy reads:
The After Party - I am a sucker for 50s era so I loved the descriptions of the clothes and enjoyed the relationship between Cece and her husband, Ray. I also loved Cece's discovery of motherhood and how much she loves her son, Tommy. The plot really revolves around Cece and her best friend Joan, a self - destructive party lover who sleeps around and treats Cece terrible. Even though Cece is devoted to her friend, has helped her out of numerous unsavory situations and covered for her even as rumors swirl about her slutty behavior. I wanted Cece to forget about Joan from the very beginning and grew frustrated with her as she repeatedly obsessed about Joan's whereabouts. It took too long to figure out why Cece and Joan were so tied together., but when the author finally reveals why their bond is so strong, you forgive her that it took so long. For the most part, this was a good weekend read but I wanted to know more about her life as Cece and herself and not so much about her self absorbed friend.
A Girl's Guide to Moving On - I listened to this on audio and maybe it was the reader's habit of ending everything the characters said in a question but this was a hard no for me. It's basically about Nicole and her ex-mother-in-law, LeAnne, who are moving on after separating from their cheating husbands. It has Lifetime movie written all over it and with lots of canned quotes.
Girl Underwater - I also listened to this via audio C.D. and it passed the time really well. There's a plane crash that leaves two young people, both swimmers on a collage swim team with 3 young boys as the only survivors. They are stranded for 5 days and there is a lot of emotion and strife that goes on during those 5 days. The books goes back and forth between chapters, sometimes describing their 5 days stranded in the mountains, other times flashing forward to life after the crash. It's a little too YA for me but there was great narration and character building so I enjoyed it. Read my full Goodreads Review Here.
Miller's Valley - I would still recommend this, although it moved a little slow and focused more on issues rather than action but I enjoyed the story it had to tell. This was on my summer's reading list and I was given a copy via NetGalley so I definitely wanted to get it read and I am glad I did. My own community has been effected by "dam" drama and flooding so the problems in the book resonated with me. I really really enjoyed the drama within the main story's family, especially the introverted and home-bound aunt and the troubled brother. Worth your time to pick this up and definitely consider as a book club read because there are many different topics to discuss! Read my full Goodreads Review here.
One fun thing about these books this month is that I tried to captures some fun images for my That's What She Read Instagram account:
Thanks to Jana and Steph for another great Show Us Your Books link up!