Shop B’s Summer Book Picks
By Bianca Jamieson
There is something extra delicious about a good summer read. I love having the time to book-binge, sitting down for a few hours and really getting lost in a story. Whether you’re on the dock, by the pool, or curled up on your front porch swing, here are a few good books you might consider to keep you company– plus a few more I’m looking forward to reading this summer.
Educated by Tara Westover
This memoir was the best book I read in 2018. Westover was born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho. Her family didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. She didn’t set foot in a classroom until she was 17 years old but her quest for knowledge led her to Brigham Young University, and on to Harvard and Cambridge. This was an intense book so if you’re looking for a lighter beach read, this might not be the one. But if you’re looking to get sucked into an incredible story about overcoming adversity, you found it.
The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees by Meredith May
Another memoir, this one chronicles May’s childhood after her parents’ divorce. She and her mother and brother move from Long Island to California to live with her grandparents. Her grandfather is a beekeeper and the bees soon become her passion and distraction from the reality of her mother’s depression. May is a gifted storyteller whose writing not only weaves a beautiful narrative but also imparts to her readers a better understanding of the fascinating world of honeybees. I might never run screaming at the sight of a bee again…maybe.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
This book, about two teens who grew up in the same small town in Ireland, is so insightfully written I thought about it for days after I finished reading it. It’s definitely a love story but it’s a complicated one that explores issues of class, family dynamics, and first loves. This one is a page-turner, not because of a remarkably gripping plot, but because of it’s relatability.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Ok, here’s your sweeping, epic novel about war, love, loss and sisterhood. It’s told from the point of view of an elderly woman as she reminisces about France during World War II. The story follows two very different sisters. The younger, rebellious one falls in love and joins the Resistance. The older one stays behind in a small village to raise her family while her husband heads for the Front. It will make you swoon, ugly cry AND happy cry, all while imagining which Hollywood actors will play which characters in the inevitable movie adaptation.
The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
This one really hooked me. A local teacher is accused of sexual misconduct by students from his prestigious prep school. The story follows his wife, teenage daughter and adult son as they grapple with the possibility of his guilt. I loved this book. It was provocative, it was timely, and it was unpredictable. I remember being so thoroughly engrossed in this book, I couldn’t put it down to eat a meal. I would read it hunched over my cereal bowl in the morning while tuning out the chaos of a house with toddlers. Now that’s a good book!
Here are a few other titles on my reading list this summer:
–Fleishman Is in Trouble: A Novel by Taffy Brodesser- Akner (this one is getting lots of buzz)
–Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (this one sounds like it might be a beach read with a brain)
–The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey (Because, Oprah)
Happy reading, everyone!