Summer reading, had me a blast. Summer reading, happened so fast
I found a book, perfect for me!
Found a book, great as can be
Summer days drifting away but summer reading lasts and lasts!
While not quite the lyrics to “Summer Lovin” from Grease, the point is that Summer reading can really be a blast. I hope you enjoy these 10 book suggestions that also can be downloaded directly to your e-reader or ordered directly through Amazon or purchased your favorite bookstore.
Unique Paris Museums:
Little(r) Museums of Paris: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems by Emma Jacobs (Running Press June 2019) is a charming book is not just for visitors to Paris but for anyone who wants to discover hidden “treasures” in the City of Lights.
This book is a fascinating look at the lesser-known “museums” in Paris organized by interest (e.g. The Stage and Page, Artists & Ateliers, History).
Each “musee” is accompanied by colorful graphics and illustrations. plus a tiny map to show where it is located along with visitor’s information. While you may have already been to the most famous museums in Paris, such as the Louvre or the d’Orsay, you’ll find dozens and dozens of things to do on your next visit that you never knew existed. They’ll prove irresistible!
I can’t wait to go back and visit some of these in person, but until then, the book itself is an armchair traveler’s delight.
Cook Like a Local:
Another book centered around France is Cook Like a Local in France: How to Shop, Cook, and Eat a the French do by Lynne Martin & Deborah Scarborough (countryman Press June 2019). The photographs are beautiful and the recipes sound divine.
Not everyone has access to the purveyors of food items (or the budget to buy at home) that make French cooking so wonderful. However, the primary audience for the book is people who are in French vacation rentals, who might just like to eat at home. There are plenty of recipes for the rest of us, too.
The recipes look simple although some are not for beginners. The next time you are renting in France for the week, month, or more, bring this guide along and you’ll have a road-map to shopping and eating the French way.
Man Fast A Memoir by Natasha Scripture (Little A June 2019) is a personal journey written somewhat in the genre of “Eat Pray Love” genre.
Natasha is a beautiful young woman at the end of her thirties with who had an exciting career with the United Nations. When her father is ill she returns home to a boring desk job and after he dies, this now 40-something woman begins to wonder who she really is, what she really wants, and what she might do with the rest of her life.
The book is well written with personal warmth and interesting descriptions so you don’t feel bludgeoned by her voyage of self-discovery.
Man Fast refers to the fact that Natasha takes her focus off men to become her authentic self (at some point she even marries herself with a ceremony and a ring).
Not every solo journey is worth following, but this one offers an interesting view of one woman’s journey to flaunt society’s expectations to find a way forward.
Cooking With Miss Quad: Live Love Laugh and Eat by Quad Webb (Countryman Press May 2019) is a cookbook featuring some of Ms. Quad Webb’s personal down-home recipes. Quad Webb for those who don’t know the reality star is one of the wives featured on the television reality show “Married to Medicine” on Bravo.
The photographs are nice, including some lovely shots with Ms. Quad in them. The recipes run the gamut from drinks to dinner.
There is nothing at all wrong with the collection of recipes but as a reviewer, it’s sometimes challenging to rate a cookbook if you don’t really care for the recipes. If you like “down home” cooking, this book will whet your appetite.
A Personal Journal:
Ever since my mom found my junior high school diary and read it, I have shied away from putting my innermost person thoughts on paper. Of course, I’m writing on advicesisters.com all the time, but a personal diary is a different thing entirely.
However, journaling one of those things that can actually bring people out of their depression, despair, and longing. But, a lot of people keep a journal just for fun.
The 3-Minute Morning (and Evening) Journal: Intentions & Reflections for a Powerful Life (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, June 2018) is fill in the blank books and an easy way to journal. It’s all about YOU. In fact the author’s name isn’t even on the front page or cover (It’s Michael Sorenson).
Each day for six months, you are encouraged to channel your thoughts in four areas beginning with “My Life Is Great Because….” there’s a slot for a goal of the day, a slot for doing something to brighten someone else’s day, and finally, a slot for what made today great.
You won’t find any cutesy graphics but each page has a short, inspirational saying. Over time, you can see patterns in what you have written about what moves and motivates you and brings you pleasure.
I thought it would be easy because all you have to do is fill in a few short sentences, but it was more challenging than I thought. However, the only wrong way to use the book, according to the author, is not to use it at all. I’d agree!
Ireland for Whiskey Lovers:
Thanks to The Dead Rabbit Presents From Barley to Blarney: A Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland by Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry, Tim Herlihy and Conor Kelly (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2019) Ireland is definitely on my bucket list!
This fun book is partly a travel guide to Ireland organized by province, but really, it’s a whiskey taster’s dream guide featuring the most note-able distilleries in each area. Even if Whiskey isn’t “your drink” there’s so much to learn about the history to distilling, and everything in-between.
Find out who (and how) Irish Whiskey is crafted along with lots of nice photos, maps, and links to websites to learn even more. You can even find out whether or not a specific distillery has a visitors center.
Should you visit Ireland, take this book as your bible for a whiskey tasting trip. If you’re an armchair traveler, you’ll still delight in this whiskey-soaked guide to the Emerald Isle.
If your goal is to eat more mindfully with healthy but flavorful choices, Eat Like You Give A Fork: The Real Dish on Eating To Thrive by Mareya Ibrahim (St. Martin’s Griffin June 2019) could be just the thing you’re hungering for (pun intended).
Much like “Cooking With Miss Quad” many of the recipes just didn’t entice me to want to eat them, let alone want to make them. Re-training your taste buds is a process and a journey. The author nudges you through some of it with a gentle touch and some humor.
I was put off by the number of “NOs” if you want to stay on Ibrahim’s healthy eating track. Also, a lot of the recipes use coconut oil which I personally think imparts a distinct and not always compatible taste to food.
I am also not all that comfortable with the suggestion of intermittent fasting as that really isn’t appropriate for everyone.
Still, along with common sense information, you’ll find a healthy dose of gluten-free and vegetarian options. The Blender Gazpacho recipe is one I really loved. The gorgeous color photos and some really decent looking recipes are a motivator that may send you on the way to healthier eating.
A Guide to Gender:
June is LGBTQ Pride month, but being gender friendly is necessary every day. This, according to Gender: Your Guide / A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say, and What to Do in the New Gender Culture by Lee Airton, PhD (Adams Media 2018).
These days, being open-minded isn’t enough. You need to understand the new gender language, know how to use it, and know how to react. Things were simple in the past, but not anymore.
This book, written by an assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies in education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario spells out the basics in a non-intimidating way.
The author doesn’t reprimand those who can’t or won’t for example, use new pronouns. Instead, the book gently guides you to the mindset of those who would appreciate more consideration and awareness of their needs.
A lot of this is for the Trans Community, as the author is Trans, but it is a helpful primer for those who need help negotiating gender situation and issue at work, in a social situation, and within their families.
The book may just change your thinking and the way you deal with gender diversity.
How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety by Ellen Hendriksen, PhD (St. Martins Griffin Press May 2019) may not turn someone who is seriously socially-phobic into a social butterfly. However, it certainly has lots of ideas to help deal with the anxiety of being in social situations.
Real life stories, tips and tactics to deal with social stress are not just for those who are terminally shy, they’re for anyone who finds social gatherings, difficult.
If you’ve ever immediately gravitated towards the chip bowl, you’ll find new ways to step out in public with confidence. For younger people who spend more time texting than talking, this book is a must-have.
I met Barbara Reich, the author of Secrets of an Organized Mom (Atria Books; Reprint April, 2014) at a fabulous health and wellness event. The book isn’t just for busy moms, it’s for anyone who just can’t get beyond the clutter and has given up trying.
I don’t really want to make the comparison to Marie Kondo, but right now she’s the reigning queen of de-cluttering.
On the other hand, Barbara’s suggestion veer less toward “does it bring me joy” and more toward the practical: “do I need it and if I do, how do I store and organize, better?”
Like many books of this type, some of the advice is just common sense, and not all of the ideas will work for everyone. But there’s enough “take away” to make the cost of the book worthwhile. Just be sure you have a place for it after you’ve read it!