The summer is hands down my favorite time of the year to dig into a stack of books so today I’m happy to share what I’ve been reading and whats next on my list. As the weather gets hotter my book selections tend to get a little lighter (yes, there are two selections from reality TV personalities) but the usual suspects of cookbooks, books about food, biographies and mysteries are represented below. If you like my literary tastes and want more, check out my previous reading lists: fall 2013, summer 2013, winter 2014, spring 2014. As always, send any recommendations my way firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @sally_cooks.
Happy summer and happy reading!
- The Divorce Papers is told through the e-mails, memos, and letters of a criminal lawyer named Sophie as she sorts through the complicated legal and emotional drama of a failed marriage. It may not sound like it, but the book’s unusual structure is entertaining and fast paced and the subject isn’t depressing.
- Dark Places is a crime thriller from the now hugely successful author of Gone Girl. The story of a family’s murder in Kansas through the eyes of a the seven year old surviving daughter is full of twists and turns that kept me guessing to the end.
- Four Kitchens: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris is the story of a young chef’s travels and culinary education in four restaurants around the world. I found it to be an entrancing look at restaurant life behind the scenes and I enjoyed the original recipes inspired by her restaurant experiences.
- When Jennifer Reese lost her job she decided to embark on a project that became the very funny and readable: Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch–Over 120 Recipes for the Best Homemade Foods. Her food-related experiments are highly entertaining and include everything from raising chickens in her backyard to fermenting cheese in her closet. Reese details every step of the process (and hassles) involved in growing or making something from scratch and it is a relief to find that not everything tastes better or is economical to make yourself.
- I promised some light summer beach books and this is the perfect one: Drinking & Dating: P.S. Social Media Is Ruining Romance. While I’m not drinking or dating these days, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this memoir from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville. As you’d expect if you’ve ever read about Glanville, this is a highly entertaining wild ride through her dating life peppered with a sprinkling of relationship advice.
- It seems only appropriate that I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain follow Brandi’s book on my list. This book from former Bachelor “villain” and season 16 winner Courtney Robertson just came out and is on my to-read list as I’ve been a dedicated Bachelor/Bachelorette fan since the first season in 2002. Reality Steve gives it two thumbs up.
- But Mama Always Put Vodka in the Sangria is a collection of essays from a contributing editor at Garden & Gun about food, travel and Southern hospitality. It’s a quick read that’s loaded with interesting recipes.
- Frenchie New Bistro Cooking is a new cookbook from Greg Marchand featuring fresh, seasonal, simple French/American recipes with beautiful illustrative pictures.
- Visible City is a charming novel about three couples whose paths intersect in their New York City neighborhood and the simultaneous intimacy and loneliness they share.
- I’m currently in the middle of A Million Ways to Die in the West, the first novel from the creator of Family Guy and director of Ted. Like most everything Seth MacFarlane does, the novel, a take on the classic Western, is pretty raunchy, hilarious and politically incorrect.
- Joe is currently reading Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind by Biz Stone, creator of Twitter, but it is next on my list. It promises stories from his life, career advice and his secrets to success.
- One of my favorite books is Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires so I’m excited to read her latest, Delicious!: A Novel which came out this May. Reichl is Gourmet’s editor in chief and was previously the restaurant critic for the New York Times.