Summer 2017 Must Reads

“Wow Ericka, are you actually on some level an ‘intellectual’?”

Now, now, let’s not give me too much credit here. After all, I was laughed at by my entire family when I mentioned in middle school that I wanted to go to London for university and was compared to my much brighter cousins who went to college for party planning and on some level are now alcoholics. It’s fine though, I’m just a piece of garbage that wants to write for a living.

Okay, that’s enough self pity from me, let’s jump in. One of my favorite things to watch on YouTube are book corners. For quite some time, I actually was subscribed to every booktuber there was, but my taste in novels is quite specific. I am all about romance (mainly, because there’s none in my life whatsoever) and realistic fiction. I hate books about dystopian societies or futuristic scenarios. I want kissing, loving and that’s it. Sorry if none of you like romance, but that’s what mama likes and if you’re a hopeless romantic who hates our generation’s version of love then grab a cup of coffee and have a seat.

PSA: These are only going to be a seasonal thing and every few months you might spot a book or two in my monthly favorites, but I won’t be doing book hauls or wrap-ups. I’m just going to be showing you guys what I’m reading this season and hopefully get some feedback on what you guys are reading!

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All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

PSA #2: I left my copy at my mom’s so thanks google for helping me out with this image.

“Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.”

Did you actually think I was going to give you my own description of the book? I don’t think so. What I will do though, is give you my opinion on it so far and why I picked this specific one. I love Paris and basically every other European city, but Paris has this certain finesse. Only the finest of love stories occur in Paris, I mean, have you ever read Anna and the French Kiss? If you haven’t, then Janet I suggest you educate yourself real quick. I was very intrigued by this specific novel because it was written by a man. I’m always interested to see how men look at love, because as a woman I feel like my idea of romance and love is definitely different than a man’s. As someone who has written stories, mine mostly consisted of straight to the point drama and tears because the two main characters are meant to be but there’s so much standing in the way of them being together (boohoo!), but every time I’ve read something by a man there’s something big going on (Hence, World War II and Nazi Germany). There’s also the fact that the main character in this is blind and it’s going to be interesting to see where Anthony Doerr takes her, I believe.

So far, I’m loving the book and the chapters aren’t that long so I feel like I’m flying right through it. Hopefully I love this so I can tell you more about it in my July favorites, but if you don’t see it then you know why.

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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

“Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.”

I swear that half of these are books I started, but never finished. Yes, I’m that reader, but I eventually finish them if they don’t suck. I was a little late to the party with this novel, because when I started reading this the last book to the series was coming out. I loved Cinder which is the first novel to the Lunar Chronicles and I was excited to start this one. Something else caught my eye when I was halfway through this book though and I put this down for quite some time, but here I am and I am going to finish this book along with the others in the series. What attracted me to this series is the take on all of the fairy tales we heard growing up. It’s like when someone takes a family recipe and puts their own little twist on it. No, it’s not the original, but it’s theirs now. I feel like that’s what Marissa Meyer did with this series and I love her for it.

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The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

“Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
 
Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.”

I just want to point out how gypped I feel by Barnes & Noble, because every time I get the link for the novel it’s cheaper online and I hate myself just a little bit more. As if I didn’t hate myself enough, I went to B&N to get this book, searched far and wide in the M section only to find out that there are so many authors with a last name that begins with Mc that they have their own section. Imagine the disbelief on my face when I was told this and the self hatred I felt inside.

I’m excited to read this novel though, because I’m one of those assholes who haven’t read Hemmingway. Yup, not one thing. Is he a novelist? A poet? Mama has no clue. He had a romance though and it took place in Paris so that’s all I care about.

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Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

“At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?” 

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.”

Oh my God, that is literally the longest description for a book ever so I hope its fucking great. I’ve heard raving reviews about this from both Siena Mirabella and Orion Carloto, plus many others. I loved Parks & Rec when I watched it a couple years back, especially Tom. Tom and Donna were the ultimate friendship goals and they came up with the best excuse to spend money and that’s “Treat yo self”. I’m hoping when I pick this up I love it, because it’s going to be a different read for me (not in the romance aspect, Barry, but the time period). Plus, I already plan to read Amy Poehler’s Yes Please in the near future so hopefully once I’m done with this novel I can follow up with that one.

 

So what are you guys reading for the Summer? Any recommendations for when I do my Fall Reading Recs? Also, do you guys like this sort of post? I know I’m mostly fashion and beauty, but we all have other interests and I have been dying to incorporate this into the blog.

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