There are a few semi-regular “columns” I run on my blog (City Girl Goes to Suburbia & Dining Decor), and starting today, there is another new one! I am going give you sneak peeks into my different parts of my life, with the series “What’s In My _____.” (The blank will be filled in with a new topic for each post.) Today, we are taking a look at what’s in my library and the books that made my summer reading list.
I have to admit, I go in spurts with reading. Sometimes I can’t get enough and sometimes I don’t want to even look at book. Well, this summer my little reading eyes were on fire, in a good way — I read a lot of books! I feel that I got pretty lucky too, as all of them were incredibly good. You know that saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Well, I am guilty, that’s exactly how I judge a book. The book jacket is what draws me in. Sometimes I luck out and find a great read, other times, well, let’s just say I should have listened to that well known saying. This summer though, my judgement was spot on and I picked a lot of good ones. Here they are…
- Orphan Train by Kristina Baker Kline: If I had to describe this book in one word it would be WOW! I read this book faster than I have read any other in my life. It’s based on the true events that took place between 1854 and 1929, where orphans from the East Coast were transported by train to the farmlands of the Midwest. Thousands of abandoned children rode the orphan trains with no idea where fate would take them. It’s a heartbreaking thing to imagine. The characters in Orphan Train are fictional but they beautifully portray the feelings of what the real orphans and their families must have been going through. While reading, I cried, I smiled and I was generally in awe. This booked tied all of the characters together very well and create a wonderful story of children longing for family, and adults longing for lost childhood.
- The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase: This was another book that I read in record pace. I just could not put it down! This novel is another fictional read and takes place in two different decades, with events happening in the late 1950’s and roughly 50 years later. It follows the story of Margot Wilde and her three sisters as they arrive for a quiet summer at Applecote Manor in the English countryside. However, the summer is anything but quiet. This book is full of wonder and mystery from the first events that happen in the summer of 1959, all the way through the 2000’s when we meet Jessie, who is on a similar roller coaster as Margot. It’s perfect for a plane ride, the beach or a chilly day curled up by the fire. Have a back up on hand though, because you will get through it quickly.
- The Good Sister by Jamie Kain: I actually found this one at a dollar store. A friend told me they had good books, so I thought I would give it a go. If you can find a good one for only $1, why spend more. It’s just as good, and reasonable, as going to the library. My friend was right too – I picked up two books that looked good (I know, I told you I judge!), and they sure were. This particular one follows the three Kinsey sisters and their bonds, or lack thereof. We learn one sisters secrets, how another knows about those secrets and how the third finds out about it all. It’s mysterious, sad and uplifting all at once. You’ll be shocked at what one girl has done, but thrilled at how all of the girls grow and learn amazing life lessons from that event.
- The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks: If this cover doesn’t draw you in, I don’t know what cover would! It makes me want to be one of the people floating on the water, enjoying the summer warmth. Even the font is enticing. If you analyze more closely though, you’ll realize the title includes the word “lifeboat,” not just “boat.” This story follows the main character Denver, as she fights for her life out in the ocean after a Tsunami wipes out California. She happens to be floating with her ex-best friend, which adds to the drama. It’s funny in a dark way and is a perfect book for those wanting a story line that’s just a tad more unique than the average chic-lit.
- A Girl’s Guide To Chicago by Kelly Russell: If you are looking for a lighter read, and if you’ll be in Chicago anytime soon, this is a fun read. I had a chance to meet the author and hear about how this book came to be, and could relate very easily, as a fellow transplant to Chicago. Kelly dreamed of living in Chicago from a young age and this book is a take on a her life once she made her dreams come true and moved to the big city. What makes the book the most fun, in my opinion, is the Chicago places mentions throughout (all places Kelly loves) and the checklist of all of those places in the back of the book. Perfect for girls moving to Chicago, or anyone planning to visit.Many of Kelly’s favorites are mine as well, which was cool because it’s fun to read about places you know and love!
- The Underground River by Martha Conway: This is book cover was a hard one to judge. It was both intriguing and scary to me. Something about a girl from the 1800’s whose face I couldn’t see, standing along the calm river gave me chills. The book itself gave me chills too. This is a story about May Bedloe, a seamstress from Ohio who is alone and penniless. She finds work on the Floating Theater, but finds much more than just a job. To repay a debt she owes, May becomes involved in transporting slaves along the Underground Railroad and risks the lives of those close to her, and her own. It’s an interesting and heartfelt read that also gives a glimpse into a world that seems so long ago but is still relatable.
- Wildchilds by Eugenia Melian: The author, Eugenia, has had a pretty incredible life. She has worked as a model, agent, producer and music supervisor. She has lived all over the globe, from Milan, Paris and London to New York and Los Angeles. In her first novel, through fictional characters, she gives us a glimpse into that incredible world. Any fashion lovers out there like myself will be enthralled by this book! And don’t worry, if you aren’t into fashion, this mystery, full of blackmail and suspense, will enthrall you too. It follows Iris, a former top model, and her fight to protect her daughter Lou from scandal, as she fights past demons. It’s full of art, creativity and intrigue. As the author says, “it’s a work of fiction, based on the truth.” She was in the industry, she would know!
- The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews: There is something about beachy looking book covers – they always entice me. Many times though, they are deceiving and the book is anything but people lounging beachside. This one is no different. And it also wasn’t one I picked solely based on the cover. A friend read it and recommended it. She gave me forewarning that it starts out a bit slow, but picks up and really gets intriguing quickly. Privileged Riley Griggs spends her summers on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. This summer though is one like no other. She encounters loss (of goods and people), love, and an understanding of what is truly important. It’s a page turner of a book for sure and one that will keep you making guesses and predictions right up until the very last page. Mine and my friends were wrong, but maybe yours will be right!
Now that you know what’s in my library, I hope you will add these good reads to your library too! Some might make you laugh, some might make you cry, some might make you scared – but, all of them will make you feel, and that’s exactly what a good book should do. And if nothing else, you now have a few new book covers to judge!
Signed with Style,