If you’re anything like me, chances are that when the warmer weather rolls around you’re ready to read something a little lighter, a little more playful, a little more salacious. It’s as if summer days are just the excuse we need to indulge in our guilty pleasures in the wondrous world of reading.
And lucky for you, I’ve read advanced copies of a handful of to-be-released and just released novels, memoirs, thrillers and the like that all fit the bill.
Heading to a beach, patio, backyard or ready for some much needed ‘me time’ anytime soon? Here are 7 must read books that you should take along with you. Be sure to share what you end up reading and your thoughts on said reads with us by using the hashtag #thebookcupid and our handles @Jen_Kirsch and @EditSevenMag.
Keep reading for 7 of the best guilty pleasure beach reads you need to indulge in during summer 2018!
1. Playing with Matches
Playing with Matches: This debut book by Hannah Orenstein follows a young woman just out of NYU with a journalism degree, who uses a family secret (read: her parents arranged marriage) to get a job as the youngest matchmaker at an elite matchmaking company when her journalism plans don’t work out. Problem? She has no prior experience and is in a frustrating relationship with a good-on-paper long-term partner on her own. Throughout this novel we see the main character Sasha grow as she tries to help navigate others relationships, deals with a blindsiding situation of her own, and ultimately finds her voice. This laugh out loud book may be predictable, but it’s super endearing and motivating in and of itself.
2. Choose Your Own Disaster
Choose Your Own Disaster: This brought me back to my R.L. Stein reading days as the memoir was written in a playful choose your own adventure format. Within the book there are some playful quizzes (former YM readers, you know what I’m talking about!) This memoir is all about author Dana Schwartz’s life as a twenty-something. It looks at things like dating, adult friendships and it’s a super relatable book perfect for the woman who has heard the term “you can be anything you want!” so often and yet there are so many versions of yourself you can be. It’s playful, relatable and will no doubt be a walk down memory lane for you.
Unwifeable: This raw memoir takes us behind closed doors of writer Mandy Stadtmiller who at 30 years old came to New York fresh out of divorce and began writing for the New York Post. She was a real-life Carrie Bradshaw way before Sex and the City came along. This book chronicles her bizarre relationship with her parents, her life in New York, and really showcases all her relationships during her time as a New York Post and Page Six writer. From sexcapades, to trying to be someone she’s not to make a relationship work with a high society guy, Stadtmiller really shares all the not so pretty things and ways of being that many of us do in an attempt to feel accepted. One of the most raw memoirs I ever read, this book ultimately sees the writer growing up from her self-destructive behaviour and becoming a more whole, happier being.
4. When Life Gives You Lululemons
When Life Gives You Lululemons: If you loved The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll love this spin off book by the same author. This book centres around Emily, the character played in the movie by Emily Blunt. She’s now in her thirties, no longer working as Miranda’s first assistant at Runway Magazine and she’s now an image consultant in LA. But she ends up going to visit her old friend in Conneticut after getting fired by a famous client, and finds a whole other client of her own there. This book centers around her, her new client and her old friend, all such different and unique characters, and has everything you want in a beach read: Infidelity, romance, strong women who remake themselves and who bond over their mutual goal to bring down the bastard that wronged them. I’m already ready for the movie version of this.
5. The Favourite Sister
The Favourite Sister: This twisty thriller with a shocking ending you will never see coming is about two sisters who find themselves on a reality TV show, “Goal Diggers,” that centres around five young, successful female entrepreneurs. Within the first page we learn that fan-favourite Brett is dead and her sister Kelly, also on the cast, isn’t innocent. I don’t want to say much about this because I don’t want to give any spoilers, but this sophomore book by Jessica Knoll (whose first book Luckiest Girl Alive was a best-seller and optioned for a film produced by Reese Witherspoon.
6. The Perfect Couple
The Perfect Couple: Elin Hilderbrand, the author of this book, is the queen of beach reads. In fact, every book I’ve read by her, I’ve rated as 5 stars. Her stories always take place in Nantucket, centre around love, family dynamics, friendships and leave you happier and in a better state than you were before you read one of her books.
7. Bachelor Nation: An inside look at America’s greatest guilty pleasure
Bachelor Nation: Just in time for the latest season of The Bachelorette, cozy up with this book which shows you what goes on behind the proverbial curtain of the most dramatic show ever. From confessions from past producers and the cast of the show, and a look into why we as humans are so obsessed with this guilty pleasure show we love to hate, to how producers get the cast to say I love you only a few dates in, this behind the scenes look is even more salacious than the show itself. And not going to lie, you won’t look at the show the same after reading this. The best part? It’s written by award winning entertainment journalist Amy Kaufman of the LA Times who is a feminist and Bachelor fan herself that hosts weekly viewing parties and her research is top notch. She even uses her personal contacts in the entertainment industry including notable names and Bachelor fans such as Amy Schumer, TK and TK to share why they each watch the show and what they get from it. It’s equally LOL as it is informative and at times, even shocking.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Jen Kirsch)