My August book club picks include 10 hot titles you’ll want to pack in your suitcase for a weekend getaway or savor while enjoying a cup of coffee or relaxing by the pool.
1. DANCING THROUGH LIFE: STEPS OF COURAGE AND CONVICTION | BY CANDACE CAMERON BURE: If you are a fan of the hit reality show Dancing With the Stars, this new memoir by Candace Bure is a must-read. Candace takes a week-by-week look at her stint on Dancing with the Stars giving an inside-scoop on what her time on the show was like. Candace shares some of her personal struggles with identity, finding balance in life, and learning to break free from the shackles of chronic people-pleasing. I particularly enjoyed Candace’s discussion of modesty.
2. FOR THE LOVE | BY JEN HATMAKER: In her latest book, Jen discusses how life can make us competitive and judgmental, how we can lose love for others and then for ourselves. She reveals how to:
- Break free of guilt and shame by dismantling the unattainable Pinterest life.
- Learn to engage our culture’s controversial issues with a grace-first approach.
- Be liberated to love and release the burden of always being right.
- Identify the tools you already have to develop real-life, all-in, know-my-junk-but-love-me-anyway friendships.
- Escape our impossible standards for parenting and marriage by accepting the standard of “mostly good.”
- Laugh a lot.
I loved the chapter on For the Love of Fashion. Watch this video about how leggings aren’t pants here. Do yourself a favor and read this one!
3. CIRCLING THE SUN | BY PAULA MCLAIN: Paula McLain, the bestselling author of The Paris Wife, heads to the skies in this wonderful novel about aviator Beryl Markam, who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Fiesty, headstrong and with a penchant for scandalous behavior, she was part of the glamorous, decadent Happy Valley set in 1920s Kenya, and embroiled in a complex emotional tangle with hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen (author of Out of Africa). It’s a thrilling, wrenching tale of a trail-blazer determined to live by her rules.
4. KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST | BY J. RYAN STRADAL: Warning: this will make you hungry. The book is about a woman named Eva with a one-of-a-kind palate who makes it as a famous chef. Each chapter of this quirky, lovable novel is narrated by different people in Eva’s world. The story culminates in the ultimate dinner, a gorgeous feast that feeds both the senses and the soul. You won’t be able to put it down. And it will up your kitchen game.
5. BORN ON THE BAYOU | BY BLAINE LOURD: Blaine Lourd’s memoir reveals how he went from the bayou to the boardroom. The wealth management CEO grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. The book centers on his dad “Puffer,” a successful oilman until the boom times go bust. Blaine is a master at storytelling. I enjoy reading books about the South, and this one is thoroughly engrossing.
6. CALLED FOR LIFE: HOW LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR LED US INTO THE HEART OF THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC | BY KENT AND AMBER BRANTLY: The American doctor Kent Brantly made headlines last year when he contracted Ebola while serving as a medical missionary in Liberia. Brantly became the first patient to ever receive the experimental drug ZMapp and was evacuated to the U.S. for treatment. Called for Life, a memoir written together with his wife, Amber, takes readers into the heart of the Ebola outbreak and into Kent’s battle to live.
7. WHAT REMAINS | BY CAROLE RADZIWILL: This is an incredible memoir. Carole Radziwill is the widow of Anthony Radziwill and was best friends with Carolyn Bassette Kennedy. She lost her best friend and her husband within three weeks of each other. The story is fascinating and beautifully written.
8. THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE | BY SONJA YOERG: A young woman, widowed and troubled, hikes from Yosemite Valley deep into the wilderness to elude her shameful past in this emotional page-turner. If you liked Wild, you’ll love this one!
9. VORACIOUS: A HUNGRY READER COOKS HER WAY THROUGH GREAT BOOKS | BY CARA NICOLETTI: The author, a Brooklyn-based butcher and blogger at yummy-books.com, writes about food in the books of her childhood, adolescence and adulthood, and offers recipes, from the chocolate pudding in The Boxcar Children to the brown butter crepes in Gone Girl.
10. THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE | BY AMY E. REICHERT: Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
What books are you reading?