Books are always good company
Some of my favorite summer days have been those during which a storm rolls in: dark clouds filling the sky, the winds picking up as I stand outside, basking in this breath-taking weather change. These summer thunderstorms always make me feel like going on an adventure, and after standing in the rain and watching as lightning floods the sky, I love going inside, making a cup of tea, and diving into a book to search for that adventure.
Recently, books have been my go-to gift. I love to receive them as they allow me to go on another adventure, and they also feel like a very personal gift... choosing a particular book for someone you know. Books also are perfect gifts for all occasions: to celebrate a birthday, graduation, or even just to let someone know you were thinking of them!
Below, we've included some of our favorite books that we recently read, currently are reading, or are looking forward to reading in the future. Additionally, we've included a card that we think goes well with each book, if you are thinking of giving it as a gift! We hope that you find a new book to curl up with this summer :)
All Creatures Great and Small
My parents had a copy on our family bookshelves for years and I didn’t open it - I don’t know why?? But after watching, and rewatching and rewatching the two seasons of All Creatures Great and Small on Masterpiece, I had to read the book! (if you haven’t watched the Masterpiece version, do it tonight - it’s simply charming and beautiful and peaceful - everything we all need right now) . The book is as delightful as the TV series. Each chapter is basically a short story and features the wonderful characters that James worked and lived with in Yorkshire.
Lost and Found in Paris: A Novel
I have not cracked this book open yet…but am anxious to. Lian Dolan is one of my favorite contemporary authors. I LOVED Helen of Pasadena, Elizabeth the First, and The Sweeney Sisters and anticipate enjoying her latest novel just as much. Her writing is fun to read and very “today”, and I love the plot lines. These are classic summer reading, but I find myself rereading her novels as they are so much fun to revisit.
I Want to Thank You
I purchased two copies of this, one for me and one for an aunt. I read it for “work” ie. She Said It. And, I gave a copy to my aunt who is one of the most generous and kind women I know and who is always the first to say thank you. The concept presented in I Want to Thank You is that by expressing gratitude to others we feel more joyful and connected. Each chapter starts with a benefit, lesson, and a surprise. I really enjoyed this, and it’s motivated me to write more - a handwritten note means so much more than a text or an email…for both the writer and the receiver.
The Wedding Veil
Kristy Woodson Harvey
Hmmm, will I read Lost and Found in Paris: A Novel or Kristy Woodson Harve’s latest, The
Wedding Veil, first? Both are on my nightstand…Kristy Woodson Harvey is a southern writer
who has penned the Peachtree Bluff series (LOVED, LOVED, LOVED). This is her latest novel,
a story of a beautiful wedding veil, which connects four women across generations. It’s right
up my alley - historical fiction, remarkable women and insightful writing! Gosh, decisions,
Wine & War
Don and Petie Kladstrup
Back in the 90’s when I lived in Chicago, I started going to estate sales on Saturday
mornings…why? I had a very limited budget, needed lots of stuff for my apartment and
LOVED seeing the houses. Some of these homes were total time capsules…just beautiful
architecture. It was kind of like a museum visit and treasure hunt rolled into one. Well, I still
love a good estate sale and I picked up a copy of Wine & War at one I visited recently. This
is a great story - one I was completely unaware of - how France’s winemakers protected
and rescued wine from the Germans during WWII. It’s really a fascinating story and I totally
enjoyed the book! Highly recommend it if you’re into history.
The Only Woman in the Room
So... I can't believe I hadn't learned about Hedy Lamarr in history class. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a biography of Hedy Lamarr that is written in the style of a novel, and it was both humbling and inspiring to read. I am still amazed by her courage and intelligence. If you are looking for a story emphasizing how women are capable of anything they set their minds to, this one is for you! P.S. There are many other incredible stories of fascinating women by Marie Benedict.
A Pretty Deceit
Anna Lee Huber
Historical fiction mysteries are my FAVORITE genre, especially with female main characters. I've been enjoying the Verity Kent mysteries by Anna Lee Huber and have often been listening to them as audiobooks as I do tissue culture in lab ;). This one (number 4 in the series), however, I read on my Kindle and looked forward to my evening routine everyday of reading a few chapters before bed (ok... maybe more than a few chapters as I got too into the story).
The Last Mona Lisa
Growing up, Masterpiece was my favorite board game. I first played it over at a friend's house - a bunch of girls crowded around the game board, bidding on paintings, and feeling very classy. When I hosted a party in place of attending prom in high school, my friends and I spent hours playing Masterpiece, chatting, and eating the frozen desserts from Trader Joe's. Masterpiece started my interest in art-related stories, particularly art heists. This book is a fiction story based on the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa. I am currently reading this book and really enjoying it!
We hope you found some good books to read and find something to bring you on an adventure! And please, let us know if you have any books recommendations for us!