A few years ago, I started a little tradition of reading the same number of books in a year as the year itself. For instance, last year—2015—I read 15 books. This year, my goal is 16. (Not gonna worry yet about how to keep this trend going in the next decade, though it might get a little tricky.)
As we transition into warmer, sunnier days by the pool (or inside escaping the heat), I’m looking forward to diving into an ever-growing stack of books. Here’s what on my reading list this summer:
Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam: Set in contemporary New York, this debut novel provides a sharp, insightful look into how the relationship between two best friends changes when they are no longer coming of age but learning how to live adult lives.
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain: Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.
Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner: Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, Gabrielle Chanel’s sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin: If habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits? Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good.
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave: Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: 800. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands. But just a week before her wedding, 30-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff: Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets.
The Expatriates by Janet Y.K. Lee: Mercy, a young Korean American and recent Columbia graduate, is adrift, undone by a terrible incident in her recent past. Hilary, a wealthy housewife, is haunted by her struggle to have a child, something she believes could save her foundering marriage. Meanwhile, Margaret, once a happily married mother of three, questions her maternal identity in the wake of a shattering loss. As each woman struggles with her own demons, their lives collide in ways that have irreversible consequences for them all.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant: Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
Plus, check out some of my all-time favorite books I’m always recommending, and be my friend on Goodreads!