My Summer 2019 TBR List
This year has been a weird reading year for me. We found out I was pregnant around Christmas but didn’t tell anyone until mid-January, when I was in the throes of first trimester nausea and feeling poorly most of the time. Now that I’ve thankfully gotten out of that stage, I’ve started reading more. But knowing that my reading life will change dramatically once the baby arrives early September, I’ve decided to make a last push for my Summer TBR. Last year, I read most of the books on my Summer TBR list, except Howards End and Tangerine. I’m not going to hold myself to these if it doesn’t work out, but these are the ones I’d like to read before the baby comes.
Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean
The Lady’s Plan: When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.
The Bastard’s Proposal: When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.
An Unexpected Passion: Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.
Why I’m Excited: I blew through Sarah MacLean’s backlist last summer and have eagerly awaited her newest release. Brazen and the Beast is about Whit (who I fell in love with in Wicked and the Wallflower) and Hattie, and I cannot wait to read about her latest couple.
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
Goodreads Description: On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiance willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won't be able to walk her down the aisle. Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore's It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. A romp through Asia's most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriend brings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it's like to be gloriously, crazily, China-rich.
Why I’m Excited: I read and really enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians last year, and the movie was wonderful and a lot of fun. So I’m excited to get the sequel from the library whenever my hold comes through. Personally, I’m more excited about Astrid’s storyline than Rachel and Nick’s life!
Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
Goodreads Description: Billie Breslin has traveled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious, the most iconic food magazine in New York and, thus, the world. When the publication is summarily shut down, the colorful staff, who have become an extended family for Billie, must pick up their lives and move on. Not Billie, though. She is offered a new job: staying behind in the magazine's deserted downtown mansion offices to uphold the "Delicious Guarantee"-a public relations hotline for complaints and recipe inquiries-until further notice. What she doesn't know is that this boring, lonely job will be the portal to a life-changing discovery.
Delicious! carries the reader to the colorful world of downtown New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors, and from the lively food shop in Little Italy where Billie works on weekends to a hidden room in the magazine's library where she discovers the letters of Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, who wrote to the legendary chef James Beard during World War II. Lulu's letters lead Billie to a deeper understanding of history (and the history of food), but most important, Lulu's courage in the face of loss inspires Billie to come to terms with her own issues-the panic attacks that occur every time she even thinks about cooking, the truth about the big sister she adored, and her ability to open her heart to love.
Why I’m Excited: I have really enjoyed the two Ruth Reichl memoirs I’ve read, Tender at the Bone and Garlic and Sapphires. I’m intrigued by her first foray into fiction. Plus I love novels set around food (see Louise Miller and Amy E. Reichert).
I’ll Have What She’s Having by Erin Carlson
Goodreads Description: In I'll Have What She's Having, entertainment journalist Erin Carlson tells the story of the real Nora Ephron and how she reinvented the romcom through her trio of instant classics. With a cast of famous faces including Rob Reiner, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Billy Crystal, Carlson takes readers on a rollicking, revelatory trip to Ephron's New York City, where reality took a backseat to romance and Ephron--who always knew what she wanted and how she wanted it--ruled the set with an attention to detail that made her actors feel safe, but sometimes exasperated crew members.
Along the way, Carlson examines how Ephron explored in the cinema answers to the questions that plagued her own romantic life and how she regained faith in love after one broken engagement and two failed marriages. Carlson also explores countless other questions Ephron's fans have wondered about: What sparked Reiner to snap out of his bachelor blues during the making of When Harry Met Sally? Why was Ryan, a gifted comedian trapped in the body of a fairytale princess, not the first choice for the role? After she and Hanks each separately balked at playing Mail's Kathleen Kelly and Sleepless' Sam Baldwin, what changed their minds? And perhaps most importantly: What was Dave Chappelle doing ... in a turtleneck? An intimate portrait of a one of America's most iconic filmmakers and a look behind the scenes of her crowning achievements, I'll Have What She's Having is a vivid account of the days and nights when Ephron, along with assorted cynical collaborators, learned to show her heart on the screen.
Why I’m Excited: I love Nora Ephron, and You’ve Got Mail is one of my all-time favorite movies. So naturally I’m going to read a story that goes behind the scenes into Nora Ephron’s three most famous movies.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Goodreads Description: Middlesex tells the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family, who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City and the race riots of 1967 before moving out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret, and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.
Why I’m Excited: I read The Virgin Suicides last year and thought it was interesting, more so as a cult classic than as a literary classic. I’ve had Middlesex on my shelf for a while and am interested in seeing what all the fuss is about.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Goodreads Description: January 1946: Writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.
Why I’m Excited: I’ve had this on my shelf since last summer when I picked up a copy from Sundog Books in Seaside, Florida. I got it then knowing the Netflix movie was coming out. I still want to read it before I see the movie, and since I assume I’ll be able to watch more Netflix while on maternity leave than I will actually have time/hands to read a physical book, I want to read the book this summer.
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
Goodreads Description: Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:
- Nude pics are by invitation only
- If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
- Protect your heart
Only there aren't any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night... and disappears.
Rhi thought she'd buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won't fumble their second chance, but she's wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…
Why I’m Excited: I loved Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Heart series, and Rhi’s story is a branch off of that series (she’s Gabe’s sister). I’m intrigued by a billionaire heroine; so many times in romance, the guy is always the wealthy one, so I’m looking forward to reading a romance with a billionaire tech heroine.
I know I’ll bounce around and read other things this summer, but these are the ones I am most excited about for my last summer before baby McWhorter arrives.
What are your summer reading plans?