My children go back to school in less than a month. (Much less.) I am confused by this, because I distinctly remember school starting in September when I was a wee one, but apparently either the days are shorter or the vacations are more abundant, or we’re just sending kids to school for (much) more of the year, because August 15th it is.
Which means we have just a little over two weeks left of for-real summer. And since this summer has been less-than-restful so far, I’ve decided to do my best to make these last few weeks as fun and peaceful (and SIMPLE, please) as possible. My mom is coming out, which is nice, and means that a pedicure is probably in my future. And my daughter’s birthday is soon, so a rainbow cake will be made (or at least attempted).
But mostly, what I want to do with these last few summer days is read books. By the pool, in the sand, while hiding in my car during gymnastics classes (who was the genius who decided that nowadays parents must physically watch all of their children’s after school activities?? Didn’t parents used to…drop kids off for these things? And then go do their things – such as read books while hiding in their cars – while their children were safe and otherwise occupied? Just wondering).
Here are the best books I’ve read lately. Please oh please oh please tell me yours (nothing that requires excessive amounts of thought, please – page-turners are the name of the game here).
How To Murder Your Life, by Cat Marnell. I had no idea who Cat Marnell was before I bought this book, but apparently she was a semi-famous New York City party girl and editor at Lucky (RIP) and XO Jane, and her story of her (insane) addictions and lifestyle is…insane. And addictive. It’s so trashy, and so freaking good.
Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan. This story about the highest echelons of Chinese society and how they react when one of their golden boys brings home an ABC (American-Born Chinese) is beach reading at its finest: funny, ridiculous, dishy, and totally escapist.
The Way Of Zen, by Alan Watts. Even if Zen theory sounds like a bit much for a summer read, seriously: give this a try. Alan Watts (whose talks on everything from death to happiness are absolute must-listens) has this way of sifting through weighty concepts and explaining them in a way that feels accessible, even exciting. I return to this book all the time and read a few pages here and a few pages there. It’s one of those things you should just own, in case you need it.
Heartburn, by Nora Ephron. A few months ago a good friend of mine sent this to me unprompted, saying that the writing reminded her of mine, which was obviously the best compliment ever (I don’t believe it, but will happily take it). It’s a comedy. About divorce. It’s great, and you will find yourself needing to read full paragraphs out loud to anyone who happens to be sitting nearby.
Bachelor Nation, by Amy Kaufman. I am so embarrassed that I a) bought and b) loved this, but there you go. It’s more or less the real version of Unreal: behind-the-scenes gossip written by a former producer for the show, and it’s a quick, fun read for anyone who’s even a little bit of a fan. This is a really good one to listen to on Audible, by the way, because it obviously requires very little in the way of brain cells or serious contemplation.
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. When YA books are good, they are really good. I put off reading this one forever because it sounded too depressing for words (kids and cancer: good times), but it was beautiful, and completely unputdownable, and strangely…hopeful.
So…tell me yours? I’m out of books, and there is a lounge chair calling my name.