Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. TJR’s latest! About a family over the course of like 30 years or something culminating in a big Malibu party in the 1980s. I enjoyed it (I always like her books) but not as much as Daisy Jones & The Six or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Both are incredible audiobooks for any summer roadtrips you have in the works.
Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh. I’ve really loved a couple of her books but this one was really bad. It’s about a woman whose parents both commit suicide, and then a year after the anniversary she gets an anonymous note suggesting that it may not have been suicide. Skip it.
The Health Gap by Michael Marmot. I had to read this for my Health Inequities class this summer and it’s super interesting but very long. I would recommend finding a podcast or something with Michael Marmot just to get the high points of social determinants of health.
The People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. You can predict the ending of this in the first 5 minutes but it’s generally entertaining. About two best friends (one man and one woman) who vacation together every year. It bounces around a bit between past trips and present day. Liked, didn’t love.
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand. Elin is on a hot streak for me because I absolutely loved last summer’s 28 Summers and this one was equally good. It’s about a writer of Nantucket summer novels (sound familiar?) who is hit by a car and observes her three children and ex-husband in the aftermath. Initially I felt a little iffy about the afterlife premise but it’s really well done and as always the narrator (Erin Bennett) is great.
Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari. This is about the history of the drug war in the US and in other countries. I should start by saying that I read Go Ask Alice when I was 11 which resulted in a lifelong, crippling fear of drugs. I intend to do the same with my children. But in spite of this, Chasing the Scream put me pretty firmly in the camp of legalizing all drugs. If you don’t feel like reading a whole book on the topic, you can get a lot of it from his episode on Armchair Expert.
Mom Genes by Abigail Tucker. This is all about the science of motherhood. It was generally interesting to me but not as compelling as some of the other non-fiction I’ve been reading lately, and obviously if you’re not a new/expecting parent the subject probably wouldn’t appeal!
Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane. About a woman whose husband disappears and maybe she was involved maybe she wasn’t. I had a lot of hours of house projects to get through so I listened to the whole thing but I wouldn’t recommend it.
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. Similar to The Silent Patient this is kind of slow the whole way through and then takes a really abrupt and unexpected turn at the end. I’m not sure this one was worth it, though. I did appreciate the reference to The Silent Patient, though. I always like when authors subtly tie their books together in a way that doesn’t require that you’ve read the other one, but is like a fun secret if you have.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. Flashes between the 1700s and present day. A female apothecary who helps women kill their abusive husbands and her unintentional 12-year-old apprentice, and a woman who is visiting London and starts to uncover it decades later. It was just okay. I got to the last hour and realized I didn’t care how it ended so I guess that’s not a good sign.
Falling by TJ Newman. I LOVED this. It’s a quick listen (maybe like 6 hours?) about a pilot who is flying a commercial plane from LA to NY when he receives an ultimatum to either crash the plane or have his wife and children killed. It’s super suspenseful and I couldn’t stop listening.
7 Days in June by Tia Williams. About high school sweethearts who both become bestselling authors and reconnect in their 40s. I quit this at 40%. It wasn’t terrible but it was just moving slow and I couldn’t get into it.
That Summer by Jennifer Weiner. Hard to summarize the plot without giving too much away, but in part about a woman who is sexually assaulted as a teenager in the 80s and how it influences her life/circles back in the Me Too era. I thought this was excellent. It does have a very loose reference to Big Summer which I also loved, but they are very different vibes.
The Herd by Andrea Bartz. This was pretty terrible but served a purpose of putting me back to sleep in my bouts of 9-month-pregnant insomnia. About the founder of a beauty company and all-female coworking space who goes missing. Hard pass, should have quit at 40%.
Currently reading: The Plot, and excited about Wayward and You Should Have Known.