Some Good Reads {Summer 2014 – Part 2}

Being pregnant and a little less on the go this summer has allowed me to get a lot of reading done so I have an updated summer book list to share!  I’ve also been reading more pregnancy/parenting focused books and have divided my list accordingly.   If you like my literary tastes and want more, check out my previous lists: fall 2013summer 2013winter 2014, spring 2014, and summer 2014 part 1.   As always, send any recommendations my way or tweet me @sally_cooks.

 I hope you have a good, book-filled end to the summer!

  • You Should Have Known is a gripping story about a family therapist in New York who writes a book based on her theory that people who marry the wrong people have only themselves to blame.  As her book is about to go to press her life begins to unravel in such a way that undermines her theory and had me staying up late (well, ’til 10) to see what was going to happen.
  • The Secret History is long (at 592 pages) but worth picking up for its highly entertaining story of  five students at a small liberal arts college in Vermont who exclusively study the Classics and form a tightly knit clique capable of murder.
  • The One and Only is Emily Giffin’s (author of Something Borrowed and Where We Belong) latest and my book club’s August selection.  The book is set in fictional Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football.  It’s an easy summer read, entertaining if a touch predictable.
  • I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You: A Novel is written from the point of view of Richard, a brooding English artist living in Paris after his wife and American mistress have left him. Somehow author Courtney Maum, makes Richard into a sympathetic character and in doing so, presents a compelling portrait of a marriage and a family in crisis.
  • The Map Thief is the true story of antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley who spent years doubling as a map thief —until he was finally arrested for stealing maps from the Yale University library.   Unfortunately Smiley refused to be interviewed or to comment on the book so the story is missing his firsthand account but is interesting nonetheless and provides a comprehensive history of mapmaking and collecting.
  • Landline is a work of fiction from the author of author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl and is a funny take on love, marriage, and the complication of magic phones that allow you to talk to the past.


  • Bumpology answers the common and uncommon questions about pregnancy and parenting like “Can I eat peanuts during pregnancy? Do unborn babies dream? Can men get pregnancy symptoms too? How much do babies remember? How can I get my baby to sleep through the night?” I like how it is broken up into simple questions followed by a three or four  paragraph, easily digestible answer.
  • And Baby Makes Four was given to me by my dog-expert Aunt P because it provides straightforward instructions on how to prepare your family dog(s) for a new baby’s arrival. Written by a behaviorist and mother, this useful guide helps to address specific pet behaviors like possessiveness, jealousy, fear of new people and new situations, inappropriate jumping, and chewing on baby toys.  Not that my dogs do any of that, of course…
  • How to Rock Your Baby is a refreshingly calm take on childrearing by Erin Bried, a senior staff writer at SELF magazine.  It is laid out in the form of essential tips for new moms and soon-to-be new moms, from the author’s experience and her interviews with ten other moms.
  • The Kids Will Be Fine is a “manifesto” for moms that encourages readers to opt out of the masochism cycle that motherhood has become. This is a book for moms everywhere that gives “women permission to slough off the judgments, order in some pizza, and remember that motherhood is also about the mother.” I can get behind that.
  • In All Joy and No Fun journalist Jennifer Senior asks: what are the effects of children on their parents? She analyzes this question from a historical, sociological, economical, psychological, philosophical, and anthropological perspective and the results are fascinating and not always depressing.
  • I thought This Is Ridiculous This Is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists was laugh-out-loud funny.  I can’t pick a favorite list but one of my favorite lines, and I’m paraphrasing is “Son, you’re awesome and any woman would be lucky to be with you but you should pick one who is like your Mom.  And if you’re into men, you should still pick a man who is most like your Mother.”