Book Recommendations For Your Summer Vacation

Book Recommendations For Your Summer Vacation

Photo by Rahul Pandit on Unsplash

In this episode, Nicole and Gayle, after a short summer break, return with some summer books. They have chosen these page-turners especially to be read in the summertime as it is when most of us have more time to binge-read some books.

As always you can find below the whole booklist they run through during the episode:

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus | Amazon | Bookshop

True Biz by Sara Novic | Amazon | Bookshop

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason | Amazon | Bookshop

28 Summers by Elin Hildebrand | Amazon | Bookshop

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz | Amazon | Bookshop

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes | Amazon | Bookshop

The 7 1/2 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton | Amazon | Bookshop

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn | Amazon | Bookshop

In the Woods by Tana French | Amazon | Bookshop

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary | Amazon | Bookshop

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase | Amazon | Bookshop

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead | Amazon | Bookshop

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney | Amazon | Bookshop

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close | Amazon | Bookshop

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | Amazon | Bookshop

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard | Amazon | Bookshop

Too Good To Be True by Carola Lovering | Amazon | Bookshop

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hildebrand | Amazon | Bookshop

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid | Amazon | Bookshop

*Books linked above are our affiliate links through Amazon. There’s no additional expense to you, but if you make a purchase through us a small portion of that contributes to the costs associated with making our podcast. Thanks so much for listening and for your support.


[00:00:00] Nicole: Welcome to another edition of The Readerly Report. Today, Gayle and I thought we would share our favorite beach reads and also let you know what we think of the definition of beach reads or how we define them, we figured it’s summer it’s time, just for a show focused totally on those books that transport you take you away, put you somewhere else.

So after we talk about what we’ve been reading, we’ll get to it!

Gayle: Sounds good!

Nicole: So what have you been reading Gayle? I don’t think I have any updates on the reading front. Um, next week we’re gonna do our book club. I know. I last time I said next show, but I forgot that we were gonna be making “the switch” and going back to doing weekly podcasts.

Right. So next week.

[00:00:45] Gayle: So I guess since we last talked, I, I think I finished, well, I. Finished one. And I’m all, I’m sort of in the middle of two other ones. So I did read Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.

Nicole: That’s such a great name.

Gayle:I know. And you know, most people are complaining about the cover, but I kind of like the cover. Even though I do think it’s. It, it suggests the book is lighter and more chick-lity than it is. Um, Lessons in Chemistry is about a woman named E Zo who is a chemist and she’s working in the 1960s and there’s lots of discrimination against women and workplace harassment. And she meets a man. In the lab where she’s working and gets involved with him.

And I don’t wanna give away any spoilers, but it’s about her journey to kind of like stay true to herself at a time when it’s difficult for women to sort of realize their potential or do what they wanna do. It was good. This book was really, really hyped, a lot of people really, really loved this book.

Mm-hmm and I think that by the time I read it that, you know, sometimes when you read things like after everyone else has loved it, then you’re expecting something amazing. And then sometimes you can be disappointed. So I wouldn’t say I was disappointed. I enjoyed it, but I did. I may not have loved it as much as everyone else did. I’m glad I read it for.

This was a book of the month pick and that was, I think a couple months ago, two months ago, maybe.

So I finished that and I did that one on audio. It was pretty good on audio and, um, Let’s see after that, uh, I’ve been kind of mired in a book club book. So when I’m reading for my in real life book club, and I don’t know why I’m mired in it, cuz when I’m reading it, I actually like it and I don’t know if it’s just slow. It’s called True Biz by Sara Novic. and it is about a woman who works at a school for deaf kids. And it’s, um, actually it rotates among a couple of different characters. Some are students at the school. One is the administrator at the school. So you, you kind of switch back and forth between hearing people and non-hearing people.

And it’s a lot about sign language and deaf community and all kinds of complexities within the deaf community that I was never aware of. So it’s very interesting and I feel like I’m learning a lot and I like this story and I can’t explain why it has taken me so long to read it, but it’s taken me a really long time and it’s slowing down my reading.

Hopefully, I’ll finish it. I’ve got maybe 130 pages left and I should be able to just kind of polish it off for, for whatever reason. It’s just slow. But I like it.

Then on audio, I’m reading a book called. Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason, which is about a woman with, uh, depression. And it’s just her perspective on living her life.

It’s fiction, living her life, um, with depression. She’s when the book opens, you can see she’s in a marriage and it’s, there’s lots of trouble in unhappiness in the marriage, mostly due to her illness or mental illness. And then she kind of just takes you through her life and. How she got to where she is with her husband and when you know, how the mental illness developed, but she’s a very, very witty and observant writer. I like it a lot that one’s moving a little more quickly than True Biz.

So those are my current reads.

[00:04:17] Nicole: Okay. So like I said, I’m pretty much where I was with reading. So next week I’ll have my big update. Just because I was more in the timeframe that I was expecting, so yeah. So that’s how my summer’s going.

All right. So beach read.

[00:04:36] Gayle: So for me at bere does not necessarily have to take place in the summer or at the beach or at a vacation spot or someplace relaxing and summery. But for me, a beach read is something is a book that I can really get involved with that I. Like unlike True Biz, which I just talked about, which has taken me forever.

It’s a book that just sort of like once you start, it just takes you away. It’s definitely an escapist read and you know, some of the books on my list, I did read during the summer, probably most of them I did. So that’s why, you know, for me, they, I have a connotation with heat and summer with them and some of them do take place at the beach, but it’s an engrossing story, usually not terribly heavy or terribly dark that just sucks you in so that you’re sitting in a chair somewhere and don’t even notice the hours passing by while you read.

How do you define a beach read?

[00:05:35] Nicole: Yeah. I pretty much defined it the same way. My definition at the beginning of the show, it is something that, like you said, not necessarily taking place in the summer. Doesn’t have to take place at a beach, but it is something I always consider it. It’s something. Is really hard to distract you from, if you are surrounded by people and noise and fun, it is the thing that will make you a hermit and like kind of side-eye anyone who comes over to ask for anything.

[00:06:06] Gayle: Right. Yeah, I think is a great one that you read without distraction.

[00:06:11] Nicole: So I chose my list. I tried to think of books that had me suspended in that way. That was how I chose my list. Is that how you chose yours? 

[00:06:26] Gayle: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I, I don’t know if I. I kind of just went through my books, my list of books that I’ve reviewed.

I just sort of let myself like, you know, go back in time to when I read them. And how did I feel when I read them. And if I felt the way you just described, then they were a candidate for this list.

Mine go way back. I got a lot of back list on here.

Nicole: As you should.

Gayle: Yeah. There’s lots of, there’s very little here.

That’s, that’s current. If you’re listening and you’re looking for books, you can, you know, find relatively easily like through the library or in paperback. I would guess most of mine will be on that list. I would say there’s like one of these books that came out this year. Okay.

[00:07:06] Nicole: I did pull or note some books that are coming up over the summer that are either by authors who gave me that feeling.

So I’m looking forward to checking out those books. Let, you know, as we go along. So Gayle, why don’t you kick us off with your first beach read?

[00:07:23] Gayle:  Okay. This will be my most obvious one because I talk about this book all the time on the show and I loved it and it takes place in the summer. And that one is 28 Summers by Elin Hildebrand.

This is the book where there’s a man and a woman who’ve known each other since childhood or since adolescence. And they develop a relationship, but it’s a secret relationship. And. Only see each other once a year on labor day and it takes place on, is it Nant or Martha vineyard? I can’t remember.

What’s the one. What’s the place that’s  Elin Hildebrand. Like she sets all of her books. I get those confused. Oh yeah. Nantucket. Um, so it’s like some same time next year, Mallory and Jake, they revisit, they, they sort of reconnect every year over labor day and it’s just such an engrossing book. I love this book.

it’s still the only Elin Hildebrand I’ve ever read. So I keep wanting to read another one, but, uh, this book just like epitomizes a beach read for me. loved it.

[00:08:21] Nicole: Okay. So my first one that makes that list is The Passenger by Lisa Lutz. I know I’ve talked about it before, I found it so engrossing.

It is about this woman who is on the run because she’s left her husband’s body at the base of the stairs in their house. She says that she didn’t do it but she has to get away. So she’s like gets all the money. She can offer credit card, she dies her hair, she chooses a new name. Um, but then we discover it’s not the first time that she’s had to do this.

So while she’s on the run, she meets Blue. Who’s a female bartender. She recognizes. I don’t know something about this woman seems familiar to her, like in terms of knowing that she’s on the run and maybe from something dangerous and she offers her a place to stay. And Tanya who’s changed her name now to Amelia decides, you know, to take her up on her offer but of course it is more to this relationship and these secrets that meet the eye.

I think I was literally on a beach vacation. Sitting in the sun and the lounge here, reading this book and it, it fit that criterion of just being totally engrossing. I would book up and it’s like, okay I’m on a beach, cuz you’re just so deep into the book and then the characters and wondering what’s gonna happen.

[00:09:47] Gayle: I wonder if, do you think yearbooks are gonna be tending more towards thrillers and mine more towards… I don’t know, domestic fiction given that’s where we usually go.


Yeah. That’s gonna be my prediction here.

My second book is also not gonna be a surprise cuz I talk about it on the time too. And I think I talked about it as recently as last week, but um, mine is the debut novel from Linda Holmes: Evvie Drake Starts Over and this is I guess you could maybe call it a romance, but it is a book about a woman living in Maine who is recently widowed and she’s kind of become a hermit, never leaves her house, you know, she’s very hold up.

And then she has a guest house and a friend of hers suggests that his friend who needs a place to stay, come and stay in the guest house. And his friend turns out to be a pitcher, for the Yankees who he can’t pitch anymore, he has, what’s called the yips where he can’t control his pitches and he’s unfortunately forced to leave his career.

So you’ve got these two damaged. Unhappy people, lonely people who are pushed together in these circumstances. And it’s about the relationship that develops between the two of them. I adored this book. I would actually reread this book because I really loved it that much. I think it’s, again, super engrossing, it actually does take place by the sea takes place in Maine. So you do have that kind of coastal setting.

It was not sappy at all. It was very realistic. and it just, it’s a very, I don’t know, affirming story. If you listen to last week’s show, I talked about her new book Flying Solo, which I did not like at all.

And so I am sad to say that she did not repeat herself in Flying Solo, but Evvie Drake is fantastic.

Nicole: Has she written a lot of books?

Gayle: No, I think those are her first two only two. Okay.

[00:11:51] Nicole: Oh yeah. That one was a D the debut. Okay. Yeah. All right. So, well, the third book’s a charm.

[00:11:57] Gayle: Yes, exactly. 

[00:11:58] Nicole: Maybe it was a little bit of sophomore slump,

[00:12:01] Gayle: Probably true. I think that Evvie Drake came out. Oh, did Evvie Drake come out? Was it during the pandemic? 2020, the edge of it, right? Yeah. June, 2020. Okay. So it’s so she probably wrote Flying Solo during the pandemic. Hm. Yeah, it just, that didn’t work for me, but you know, a lot of people like it, so I don’t wanna be the, the arbiter on that one.

[00:12:25] Nicole: Okay. So my next book is The 7 1/2 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. And I love this book so much. I tore through it so fast. I thought it was just so fun. It’s kind of like a locked room mystery, but it has a little bit of a twist.

This man, Aiden Bishop is like put into this world. That’s part of, one of the questions that lingers over this book. Like what exactly is this construct? He has rules. He knows that Evelyn Hardcastle is gonna die each time, like he has to solve the murder within a certain amount of time. But each day he wakes up he’s in the body of a different person who has attended, I don’t know, they’re all at this big mansion or castle for dinner.

He wakes up as a different guest each time that he wakes up each day. So he has access to information of what they know. And of course the different people that he’s inhabiting have different relationships. So he’s just trying to piece things together before it’s too late. So, yeah, it was twisty, it was interesting. I really, really loved it. He has other books out now and I have not had a chance to read them yet.

[00:13:49] Gayle: That book has been sitting on my shelf, looking at it right now, for years. And I feel like I’ve gotta read it.

[00:13:57] Nicole: Well for four years yeah, you should.

Gayle: is it hard to follow?

Nicole: September 18th, 2018?

Not really, I mean, he does wake up as someone different every time, but sometimes it’s, he wakes up as someone that he, that his previous character would’ve already met. So I dunno, you just have to try it. Yeah. But I love it.

[00:14:23] Gayle: I know I’ve heard you talk about it for a long time and I should read it.

[00:14:29] Nicole: It’s like, not time travely, but it’s sort of a little bit time travel. Just, I guess, because he’s different, you know, jumping into different people.

[00:14:41] Gayle: For my next one, I’m going to pick a book that everyone has probably already read, but I’m going to suggest that it might be time for a reread and that book is Gone Girl.

Nicole: Oh, you suggesting a re-read?

Gayle: Yeah. I’m suggesting a reread and I’m suggesting Gone Girl, which I know everyone’s gonna roll their eyes and be like, oh my God. Say something original. But the reason I’m saying gone girl is I just think it’s still the gold standard for. The psychological thriller, like I was sort of rereading the plot of the movie, the, for the, I don’t remember why the other day, for some reason I kind of rabbit hole my way to Gone Girl and was just reading the plot.

And I was remembering how well constructed that book is. So you’ve got, you know, the two sides you’ve got the husband and the wife, and they’re each telling a different story and they have different perspectives on what happened. And she just keeps you guessing the whole time. And I feel like she kicked off this genre that has exploded ever since.

And. It’s still like the best one. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t read that many of these books, but the one, the ones I read, I feel like Gone Girl is still the best. So, I mean, what better time to reread it than like sitting by the pool or at the beach or someplace where you’re not gonna be disturbed and you wanna just sink in.

[00:16:11] Nicole: Will you reread, Gone Girl

[00:16:14] Gayle: Did I, or would I?

Nicole: Did you? Will you?

Gayle: No, I didn’t. I mean, I think about it, you know me, I don’t like to reread because my TBR is so long, but there’s a couple of books…

[00:16:23] Nicole: You just said that you probably read it, but you should reread it.

[00:16:26] Gayle:  I know. I know. Well, I need to get over that reread thing because there’s a few books out there I really wanna read

I would definitely reread Evvie Drake. I think I would reread Gone Girl I probably would reread Pride and Prejudice in a heartbeat. Like there’s…

Nicole: How many times have you read Pride and Prejudice?

Gayle: Oh God, I don’t know. Five? four?

Nicole: Okay. Wow. Impressive.

Gayle: Well, I mean, I probably read it in school at least once, maybe twice. Then, maybe I read it when, I think, I recommended it to my daughter, maybe when she was reading it, I read it. I don’t know. Plus I’ve read it in 16 other incarnations.

Yeah, I don’t know, I just think like, wow, what a good beach read Gone Girl would be? I don’t think I read it in the summertime, but it’s so good.

So that’s Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

[00:17:14] Nicole: Wonder if it came out in the summer? Nope. Came out in May. Well, Yeah.  

[00:17:20] Gayle: Yeah. That’s summer.

Nicole: For the Summer season.

Gayle: Let’s see. Did I read that? what year was that?

[00:17:25] Nicole: 2012.

[00:17:27] Gayle: Okay. Yeah. So I was blogging. Just seeing now when did I read it? June 29th, 2012.

[00:17:33] Nicole: So pretty close to when it came out.

[00:17:38] Gayle: So I wrote: “if you were looking for a good vacation read, give Gone Girl a try. Just don’t expect to get a lot of sleep”.

Oh, my God. I got a review copy of Gone Girl. That’s crazy, obviously they didn’t know how big this book was gonna be. If they were sending me a review copy. Oh, here’s what I wrote about it:

“I finished it today, which is remarkable, considering that I have a three-week-old baby at home. I would find myself up at 4:00 AM, feeding my baby. Instead of going back to sleep, I try to sneak in a few more pages. Now, that’s an addictive read”.

Yeah, I would reread this one. Let’s see. Do I have it on my shelf?

[00:18:12] Nicole: Did you keep it? Do you keep ARCs?

[00:18:14] Gayle: Yeah, actually it’s this isn’t even an ARC.

It’s a, it’s a finished hardcover. So they either sent me a finished hardcover or I somehow picked it up along the way. Yes I do. I actually keep the book in whatever form I read it in. Okay. I know you say you don’t like arcs on the shelf. I know a lot of people feel that way, but that doesn’t bother me.

It’s a good, it’s the book. It’s the book. What do I care in the

[00:18:34] Nicole: beginning when ARCs were really ugly, especially when they were just the cover thrown on and it was usually. On the side, like the blank, finding some of these arcs now, I mean, arcs have come a long way and I do have some arcs on my shelf cuz they’re like, they look so much like books they’re DEC ledge yeah.

They have the, you know, the fancy printed cover, whatever. So it’s not such a stark difference anymore.

[00:18:58] Gayle:  Yeah. Although did I tell you on the last show that I got the review copy of Flying Solo and it was like Velo bound. Oh, like the, like the spine is black. The cover is clear plastic with the paper cover underneath it.

And every page had a random, I think, Random House watermark on it. Like through the, through the words, it was like, “wow, that’s a review copy”. That looks like a script”. I mean, like someone looks like she a manuscript that she sent in the mail, like on unsolicited manuscript is what that looked like. okay.

What’s your next one? All

[00:19:31] Nicole: All right. So my next is basically the a five book series. You can. My favorite is the one that I was gonna mention The Likeness (In the Woods Series). These are the books by Tana French. They’re the Dublin murder squad books. So book one is about her and her fellow police officer investigating a crime that no one knows that he was involved with years ago as a child.

I think someone went missing and he might have been in the woods when they did. Something is leading them back to investigate this case. It’s all about the dynamics of their relationship as they do this investigating,  when it becomes clear that something is really bothering him about this case and that he’s like cracking up a little, like “what’s she gonna do?“.

So the second book, each of these books focuses on a different detective. So you meet Cassie and Rob in the first one. And then each successive book is about someone different. So the second book, first book is Rob’s. Second book is Cassie’s book. It’s called The Likeness. It’s set on a college campus where she is a ringer for a young woman who has either been found dead or missing.

And they, I think she’s dead and they need to figure out who among her circle might have been responsible. So they just insert her, I guess, back into this young woman’s life.

It’s got this weird mashup vibe because it’s kind of like one of those cozy college stories. She’s getting to know all of, Lexi, I think is her name. She’s getting to know all of Lexi’s friends and,  she’s taking classes and just involved in a very different kind of life than she would’ve been as a detective, but still, this is, you know, she is trying to solve a crime a and find out what happened to her. So it’s like both of these things going on.

It is my favorite book out of the five, um, Dublin murder squad books that she’s written. It’s also her highest-rated book. I feel like I haven’t mentioned her as much lately.

I am gonna still, I still haven’t read her last book. The Searcher I’m gonna do that. I’m probably gonna do soon. Because sometimes I know her standalones, I think in particular, because she is so particular and I think meticulous about her world, world building, it can take a while to get into them, but once, once you have all the pieces and the players and things click they’re so, so good.

[00:22:05] Gayle: Nice. I know you love her. I’ve never read anything by her.

[00:22:11] Nicole: I don’t know if you would find her scary.

[00:22:14] Gayle: Probably I. If you, if you have to ask then the answer is yes.

[00:22:18] Nicole: I think you could read The Likeness it’s so I don’t know. It, it really hits our college aesthetic, campus novel.

[00:22:29] Gayle: All right. So my next book is one that I listen to over the summer, and I can even remember it in my AirPods, walking on the beach.

So. it definitely feels like a beach read to me. It’s called The Flat Share. It is a romance, another romance, and it is about two people, in London who are sharing an apartment, but they never meet because he works at night and she works during the day.

It just seems so cute.

Yes, it is really cute. This is by Beth O’Leary.

And so the two of them start to communicate with each other by post-it notes that they leave around the apartment. So they have clues about the other one, but they’ve never seen each other. And I know it’s totally implausible. Like how could this really actually happen? But you gotta suspend reality a little bit on this one.

And it’s just about the relationship that develops between the two of them. And, you know, will they… meet eventually?, will they fall in love? it’s a romance, so you can kind of make your educated guess on that one.

It’s very cute and it’s got a little bit of a “have-to-it”. Like it’s not just all light and, you know, light and rainbows all the time. They’re they each have some, you know, difficult things in their past that they’re dealing with. And, you know, they it’s got a little salt in it, but I thought it was really.

[00:24:01] Nicole: Did you ever see, was it The Lake House with, is that the one? And I can’t remember if it’s Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.

[00:24:08] Gayle: No, I never did.

[00:24:10] Nicole: I feel like it has some kind of, well, I think there’s just more time. I don’t know. I think it’s worth checking out. You might like that with the different time periods.

It is about her…

It’s something it’s something crossing time. Like it’s two different times. I think there’s two time periods. And I think Keanu Reeves is in the earlier one. And Sandra Bullock is in the later time period. And somehow either they’re leaving letters in the mailbox or it’s something orwhatever.

Gayle: That sounds good. 

Nicole: Yeah. I wanna rewatch that. Cuz my de the details are vague for me at this point. When did that movie come out? It’s like old, came out in 2006. So yeah, I could definitely rewatch it again cuz the details are so fuzzy, but I just remember part of the plot was the fact that they are both have both lived at this house at one period or another.

And are somehow in communication with each other and you know, maybe falling in love.

So my next book is Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase . So this is a debut novel. I have wanted to read more Eve Chase because I loved Black Rabbit Hall so much. They say it’s for fans of Kate Morton and Sarah Waters. I think I would agree because you’ve got this old magnetic house.

This just got all of these different rooms and different secrets that this family has grown up in and it alternates between two time periods and one time period,  three decades after. I don’t know. I wanna say it’s set in the early 1900s in the part that’s in the past.

And then there is a modern day part. And this woman Mona is like, she’s wanted to get married in this hall. And she’s, I guess, she’s talking to this older woman and she’s investigating the possibility of having her marriage there, but the house seems really familiar and she discovers that she has a connection to the house, and of course, as she’s there, kind of like scoping it out and preparing it for her wedding, she starts picking up on clues and, and sees evidence of like this secret tragic romance from decades earlier.

It was, it was so good. So there’s my romance for you. 

[00:26:55] Gayle: Okay. All right. My next book is Seatinh Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead. Maggie Shipstead, God, she can really shapeshift. Like she writes so many different types of books that are set in different places and different themes. 

I don’t know if this was her first, but it was definitely one of her earlier ones. I read this in 2013 and this is a book about a wedding taking place in New England. And, it’s full of rich misbehaving waspy. Very lampunable people. And it’s everything that happens over the course of this one weekend over the summer.

And you have infidelity, you have people committing crimes. You have, you know, very self-absorbed behavior. Everyone’s drunk all the time. and it’s just very funny and it’s well written and there’s lots of detail you can get really, really lost in the story about, you know, everything that revolves around a wedding. It’s just very, it’s like pitch perfect. And if you, you know, if you like that type of book, like wasps behaving badly, then this is the perfect book for you.

I love how Maggie Shipstead writes. I have not read her most recent book, The Great Circle if that’s what it’s called about the female pilot. It’s very long and daunting, but, I just, I really do like her books quite a bit. 

[00:28:22] Nicole: Let me see. I’m trying to think. I’m not sure if  I feel like I’ve read one of her books, but I’m not sure if it have Seating Arrangements.

[00:28:28] Gayle: Did you read, Astonish Me about ballet?

Nicole: Yes.

Gayle: This one is lighter than that one. I mean, seating arrangements is lighter than astonish me. Astonish Me was intense. Mm-hmm this one is, is really more comedy of manners, you know?

Nicole: Right.

Gayle: What else she’s written. See if I’ve read anything else by her, gonna look and see if I’ve reviewed anything else by her, because I feel like she’s got other ones out there now.

I’ve just read, astonished me in seating arrangements. Oh, so you’ve read them both. I’ve read them both.

[00:28:58] Nicole: But not The Great Circle?

[00:28:59] Gayle:  I did not read The Great Circle. I will at some point. 

[00:29:04] Nicole: I feel like… are those the only three that she has? besides maybe some, 

[00:29:07] Gayle: Yeah, hat’s what I was wondering about. 

[00:29:09] Nicole: Yeah. I think she has like a, a bunch of singles and short stories and things.

[00:29:13] Gayle: Yeah.

[00:29:14] Nicole: Or even nonfiction.

Gayle: All right, what’s your next one?

Nicole: My next one is we’re back to psychological thrillers and I really love Alice Feeney. I read her book, Rock, Paper, Scissors,which was also really good. But I, from this list, I am including Sometimes I Lie. I think this is her first one. It’s about this woman, Amber Reynold, she wakes up in the hospital and she only knows three things.

One that she’s in a coma, two, her husband doesn’t love her anymore. And three, sometimes she lies.

As the book begins, like she’s in a coma and she can hear what’s going on around her. She can hear who’s coming to visit her, but she doesn’t really… like, she can’t communicate and people are not aware that she is awake.

So she’s kind of reviewing in her head cause she feels. Something is telling her that her husband is the one responsible for her being in the hospital, but she can’t remember like why or all the connections. So it is becoming increasingly important for her to remember what happened to her because, you know, once she gives the signs of starting to wake up, she feels her life could still be in danger.

So there is a mystery that she has to solve. And I guess in a sense, it only takes place in the, in a hospital room because, you know, that’s where she is, but you go to different places in her mind as she’s trying to piece together, like where she was working, what were her relationships like with her coworkers?

What’s going on with her husband? Like, why can’t, why can’t she remember what it is that he might have done to Lanter in the hospital.

So that one was really good.

[00:30:57] Gayle: That’s one of those names that I’ve seen around, but I’ve never read anything by her Alice Feeney.

[00:31:03] Nicole: She has a new one coming out, I think in the next couple months.

So I’m looking forward to reading that.

[00:31:07] Gayle: I feel like all of her covers kind of look, they have a, like a thematic look to them. Yeah. Okay. My next one goes back like 10 years, more and more backlist here. But this is by an author that I just read another book from. So it’s Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close.

This is a book about a group of college friends who the book follows their lives from graduation until they’re in their early thirties.

So this is one of those books about your twenties. Captures very much this time of life, this little period of life. It’s not super…It’s almost like short stories. It doesn’t, you know, the narrative thread is not followed super closely the whole time.

It jumps around time and character, but, I just, I love how she captured that time of life so beautifully. I do love Jennifer Close’s writing. I’ve read all of her books. I think we’ve talked about this. I just most recently read Marrying The Ketchups, which is about obviously a very different time of life.

I think Jennifer close writes about the time of life that she’s in and the time that’s most immediate to her. So if you like books that where the chapters are kind of more vignettes and it’s, you know, super character-driven, I think you would really like this one and I love her writing. So that is Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close.

[00:32:24] Nicole: All right. So my next page Turner is one that two, I have read a lot of people have read and I recommend you read again it’s Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Good pick such a page Turner. I remember that being one of these books that I got. and I wasn’t sure that I was gonna read it. Like it was a, it, wasn’t not only wasn’t an arc, but it had was an arc that had come from overseas.

Like, so I had a copy of this book when it first came out in London, before it even got to the United States and it was in my pile. And I was like, I don’t know if I’m gonna read this. Maybe when I let it go. And, and I was just like, let me just read, one chapter or whatever and see what it was about.

And I was hooked and I finished that book. It was probably something I started reading at like seven in the morning and finished by noon or one or something like that. It was so good. And so engrossing.

It is about this woman who is living with her family. She hasn’t really decided on a career. I believe she’s been working in a diner which closes, so she has to find herself a new job. And she goes to this agency and they place her, with a family whose son has been injured in, I wanna say it’s a skydiving accident, I’m not sure, but

Gayle: that or skiing.

Yeah, something like that. Something with an “s”. And so he’s in a wheelchair and he requires assistance.

I think she’s more looking for companion. He seems like he’s fallen into a bit of depression and you know, more so. Yeah. He needs an assistant, but I also think. It helps that, you know, she is able to slowly bring him out of his shell and just a cute, very cute relationship develops. It’s a great story.

I don’t wanna spoil anything if you haven’t read it already, but if you have, I definitely think it was a page Turner the first time around and even a second time around, rooting for them and wanting to see what’s gonna happen and just loving, um, remembering those moments. 

[00:34:28] Gayle: That’s a great book.

That’s a great pick. Okay. Was that your last one or do you still have one more after that? 

[00:34:32] Nicole: That was my last one. Do you have another one?

Gayle: Sure.

I was gonna briefly mention some things, like I said, there are books that are coming out. Actually I do have one more. So why don’t you go?

[00:34:44] Gayle: Okay. Mine is again an author that I really like, and this is an old book, 10 years old.

This is Labor Day. Actually. I don’t even know when the book came out. I read it 10 years ago, but it may have been even older than that. So this is Labor Day by Joyce Maynard.

This is about a five day period of time when the narrator of the book was 13 years. He lives with his mother in New Hampshire. His mother is depressed and rarely leaves the house.And one day he is out shopping with her. He’s convinced her to take him for new clothes for school, and a man approaches them and says he needs his help. And it turns out that the man is an escaped, convict, and need some place to. Where he can hide away from the police. And it’s about this five day period while this man is in their home.

And it’s about his mother’s relationship with him. His, the man’s name is Frank and the boy is coming of age. So he’s 13. So he’s dealing with all the kind of conflicting feelings about, you know, becoming a teenager and growing up and it just, it was a really like a quiet and somewhat sad, but very engrossing book.

And it takes place in the summertime. Obviously it’s called Labor Day. I remember reading this in August at the beach and I just really liked it.

I really like Joyce Maynard’s writing and I enjoyed this one, quite a bit. She wrote the book that I was constantly recommending last year called, Counting The Ways, which I loved.It was one of my all time favorite books of 2021. Um, and she is, I will read like lots of  if she’s probably now an autobi for me, whatever she comes out

[00:36:28] Nicole: with, I’ll read. Okay. So the next one on my list is too good to be true. I love Too Good To Be True by Carola Lovering . And I really do think that all of the books that I’ve read of hers, I think are page-turners.

I think her debut was a little bit too much for me, in terms of just like…

[00:36:51] Gayle: oh, Tell Me Lies?

[00:36:51] Nicole: Tell Me Lies. Super toxic relationship.

Gayle: Right

Nicole: But Too Good To Be True I really, really enjoyed. It’s about this woman Sky Starling. She’s involved with this man that she met, Burke Michaels, is kind of like a whirlwind courtship. He’s older. She met him when she was out at a party. And so it’s all about like her relationship with him, how well they’re getting along. and planning the marriage or whatever. It’s told from two different perspectives, but then there’s a third perspective. T

hat’s also set 30 years earlier and it’s about a teenage girl called Heather, who is ending things with her boyfriend who happens to be Burke Michaels this local bad boy.

So the entire story is about, you know, whether this relationship is too good to be true. What are the other dynamics at play? How do all of these three stories come together to, you know, kind of shake things up and, and have for an explosive turn at a tar? Definitely could not put it down it once you pick it up, you will be looking for time to just get back and read just a couple of more page.

Totally engrossing.

[00:38:11] Gayle: So, yeah, totally true.

[00:38:13] Nicole: All right. So I think that’s it. There’s just a few that I wanna mention just because, these authors are gonna be coming out with books over the course of the summer. So if you liked Gayle’s recommendation for Elin Hildebrand, she has a book coming out this summer.

Um, it’s actually, it’s already out, came out June 14th. It’s The Hotel Nantucket. I think I mentioned it on one of, on one of our summer preview shows, this is about this woman who has been hired to like bring back to life, this glamorous hotel that was built in Nantucket, that went into decline. Like. In 1922, there was something happened. It’s never been the same.

So she’s working with a team, to recover it. I think there might be a little bit of some romance there, cuz it mentions how there’s a, you know, like the billionaire who is bankroll, the restoration is heavily involved in the project, but then there’s also this ghost who was hanging around from when the hotel, there was like a fire back in 1922, which ended up in it being in such disrepair. So she’s also making her presence known during this renovation. So check that out as a potential page-turner.

I’ll mention Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reed because, a really close runner up for this list was not Daisy Jones and The Six, but The Seven Lives of Evelyn Hugo.

I really like that. Once I got into it, I felt like it was a page-turner. And so this one is about someone who’s coming out of retirement at the age of 37 to get back into tennis. And I don’t know, I kind of love books that go behind on a sport too. So that’s not coming out till the end of the summer.

It’s coming out on August 30th. Ruth Wear has another book out. Um, Ruth is also like someone I would turn to for a page-turner. I’ve read several of her books and I really like them. She has a new one coming out on July 12th. It’s called The It Girl. I know that I’m gonna be all over this because, they list three authors, who I really like: Agatha Christie. I read some Josephine Tay and Dorothy L Sayers. And so it’s a, who done it set in Oxford set on the Oxford campus. So all over that Alice Feeney has a new book called Daisy Darker. And this was, was, I was actually kind of confusing in my head because this one is supposed to be, kind of like a riff off and then there were none. So kind of like I’ve read a billion Pride and Prejudice,  takeoffs or whatever. I probably read as many on, on as then there were none. So, but so both Ruth Wear and Alice Feeney, like have Agatha Christie vibes with. 

[00:41:21] Gayle: All right. Well, hopefully this gives you some ideas for books to put in your beach bag this summer, or for your plane ride or your quiet afternoon in your backyard or whatever you’re doing this summer.

And we’d love to hear your favorite beach trees and how you define a beach tree. So comment, and let us know what you think. Happy reading!

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