Earlier this year I committed to reading at least two books a month and have so far stuck to the goal with 20 under my belt so far. Getting a San Francisco Public Library card was one of the first things I did when I moved to the city in January, and I’ve had a book in my bag pretty much all the time ever since. Carrying a book with me helps me carve out reading time that I once thought was nonexistent, though I still do most of my reading on my commute and before bed, which is always a nice way to wind down the day.
Here are a few of the stand out titles I’ve read recently:
- Truly Madly Guilty: By the best-selling author of Big Little Lies, Truly Madly Guilty is a story of parenthood and friendship at its core, told through the eyes of just about every character in the book. After an easy going summer’s day takes a turn — right in the midst of life’s thousands of other little stresses — guilt starts to peer through cracks that weren’t there before that sunny afternoon.
- One Plus One: This is the fast, feel-good read that belongs in your beach bag. It tells the story of a single mom, her sociable kids, their slobbering dog and the millionaire that may just be human enough to save the day. The unlikely foursome (plus the dog) soon heads out on the cross-country car ride of a lifetime, during which math, rest stop sandwiches and a high tolerance for car sickness holding them all together.
- Skippy Dies: This is one of those books that makes you wonder: how can this author possibly know so much so intimately? Skippy dies on the floor of a donut shop on the very first page of this book, but the rest of the novel takes us back in time to the months leading up to this moment. It’s in those months that 14-year-old Skippy falls in love with a girl he only knows through the lens of his telescope, calls upon another dimension, stands up to bullies, swims his heart out, and makes us laugh out loud a few times, too.
- The Nix: Trust me, this is the fastest 620-something pages you’ll ever turn. The Nix masterfully bounces between decades — from 1960s rallies to Occupy Wall Street — to explain how one man’s run-away mother landed herself on every major news channel for an obscure crime with a mysterious motive.
- Big Magic: In this deep-dive on the magic that is creativity, Liz Gilbert tackles everything from the lifetime of an idea to the paradox of making your work the most important thing in your world while simultaneously not caring about it at all. The majority of the book is geared toward writers, but the early chapters have some wonderfully compelling advice for creating a curiosity-filled life.
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: I finally got around to reading Manson’s 2016 major bestseller, but admittedly it wasn’t my favorite read of the year. I found his writing style disconnected and even a little condescending. Still, the book is a quick and easy read, and while I disagreed with the majority of his ideas, he does present some valuable perspectives — you just have to remember to take them with a grain of salt.
What’s next on your summer reading list?