When we think about getting lost in a good book, we conjure images of pool, oceanside and porch lounging. Not to mention the passing summer storms that demand you beg off and curl up with a satisfying read. Whether you’re looking for a heady tome, total escape or quality literature, we’ve got you covered. So grab your shades and sunscreen and head to the nearest chase posthaste.
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
What critics say: While this novel covers a firestorm topic, in the words of the Vogue reviewer, it’s “Ultra-readable.” The Washington Post declared “If something positive can come from our current political climate — what Wolitzer calls “the big terribleness” — it is almost certainly this ambitious new novel.” Meanwhile, The New York Times proclaimed, “Wolitzer’s social commentary can be as funny as it is queasily on target.”
Why we picked it: This is an electric novel not just about who we want to be, but who we want to be with. As a college-aged woman develops a relationship with her mentor, it calls into question her current romantic relationship. Ultimately, this book is not just about womanhood and ambition, but about learning how to let the light within all of us shine.
Accidental Icon by Iris Apfel
What critics say: This is a woman who is adored the world over, as is clear from the gushing musing of just one her many fans. “Personal style really originated with Iris Apfel; she has always espoused the virtues of not just dressing for yourself, but being who you are and doing it unapologetically, which is perhaps why she and her messaging and aesthetic have resonated so comprehensively. She’s a transcendent icon!” Leandra Medine, manrepeller.com.
Why we picked it: What’s not to love? Ninety-six-year-old fashion and style icon Iris Apfel shares her journey to becoming a muse to the fashion world. Unabashed in her bold embrace of style, she lives with exuberance and though this lavishly illustrated collection of musings, anecdotes and observations about life and style we get to live vicariously — and hopefully pick up a few tips along the way.
Mrs. by Caitlin Macy
What critics say: In the words of The New York Times Book Review, ““The boldest thing about Mrs— as with Big Little Lies—is that it focuses on the depths of women’s experiences as wives and mothers. Their clashes with one another are entertaining, sure, but they’re a diversion from the more important conflict with their husbands and with male power.”|
Why we picked it: While this novel does have a layer of deeper social commentary, it is a suspenseful, page-turning read set in NYC’s Upper East Side and a magnificent portrait of love, betrayal, fate and chance that had us breathlessly reading until the last page.
Feel Free by Zadie Smith
What critics say: An award-winning author for almost two decades, Zadie Smith has established herself not only as a fiction writer, but also as a much lauded essayist. The Seattle Times observed, “There are few better places to go for a stroll than inside Zadie Smith’s mind…In everything to do with books, language and family experiences, she’s funny, intuitive, spry and sharp.”
Why we picked it: We love her fiction, but Smith’s frank, astute and heartfelt observations about the world she inhabits are in turn thought-provoking and heartfelt. Whether you’re craving a soupçon or a full meal of literary sustenance, each of these essays are perfectly satisfying and will leave you hungry for more.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
What the critics say: Eleanor is an oddball loner who soon learns the power of friendship, human connections and chance encounters. The New York Times declared Eleanor Oliphant “Satisfyingly quirky” and People called it “A wacky charming novel…hilarious and moving.”
Why we picked it: This pick is at the top of our list as the perfect poolside summer read. It’s the ideal combination of page-turner and whimsical love story we could get lost in for hours. Plus, Reese Witherspoon just signed on to executive produce a movie version of the book that’s sure to be a hit. We’re digging in before it hits the big screen.