Time for another bookish update here on With Two Spoons. If you follow us on social media (and if you don’t, you should!), you might know that in addition to all things food and cooking, we have a serious love of books and reading. As summer reading season ramps up, I thought it might be fun to share a few of my recent reads in case you’re looking for some new titles to add to your summer reading list!
One of my favorite things in the world is a an afternoon at the beach. Tuck me under an umbrella with a cold drink (like a Hugo Spritz!) and a good book and I’m a very happy girl. My husband and I were recently returned from a trip to Hawaii. In addition to some soaking up the beautiful sights, perfect weather, and having some fantastic island adventures, I also had a bunch of relaxing days at the beach. It was heaven.
My beach routine looks a little like this: read, swim, eat, read, swim, read, swim, eat, read, swim. And with no kids on this trip, I was able to get through a bunch of books. Some were amazing, some were just ok, and one just wasn’t for me. Want to know more about my recent reads? Check them out below.
01. The Night Tiger. This book by Yangsze Choo was the first book I tackled on my trip. Reading it on our long flight from Minneapolis, it was a great page turner. Set in the 1930’s in Malaysia, the book follows Ji Lin, a young dressmaker and dance hall girl with secret ambitions of studying medicine, and Run, an even younger Chinese houseboy on a mission to reunite his recently deceased master with his long missing finger. If you love historical fiction, complicated family stories, and a good bit of mystery, you will enjoy this book. I couldn’t put it down.
02. Things My Son Needs to Know About the World. It is not often that I will blindly read anything new an author puts out, but Fredrik Backman is an absolute go-to writer for me. I have read all of his currently published work. I absolutely love his stories and his tender, funny way of writing. While this collection of mini essays on fatherhood isn’t exactly “new” (it was actually written years ago), it was just published stateside last month. It is a departure from his fiction, but it is fantastic. His letters and essays are sweet, funny, and poignant. I laughed out loud multiple times while reading this book and definitely had to choke back some tears a few times. Clocking in at only 208 pages, it is also a quick read and perfect for the beach.
03. The Guest Book. A new historical fiction novel from author Sarah Blake, The Guest Book is a fascinating look at family, money, and the importance of place in memory. The book follows the family of Kitty and Ogden Milton – a couple of extraordinary privilege – from the 1930s to the current day. Blake deftly weaves her story around an island off the coast of Maine that was purchased by the family patriarch around the time of the war. The island and it’s importance in the lives of the Miltons and their children looms as large as the central characters themselves as Blake tackles heavy topics like money, anti-Semitism, race, and family expectations. I thought this book was an excellent read for fans of smart historical fiction. It’s a lengthy novel but a total page turner.
04. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. I have been hearing great things about this book for a long time and I finally got to read it after my husband finished his copy while we were on vacation. On the surface, it’s not really a book I would naturally gravitate to, but I was totally hooked from page one. The book is an in depth exploration of the rise and fall of Theranos, the one time darling of Silicon Valley, and it’s mysterious founder, Elizabeth Holmes. It has been said that truth is often stranger than fiction and in this case, I totally agree. The book reads like fiction and I couldn’t put it down. My husband, who is not one to just sit and read a book, devoured it. It would make a great Father’s Day gift!
05. From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home. I picked this up on a whim after a late night trip to Barnes and Noble in Maui to get my husband some more reading material. I had seen that it was the May pick for Reese Witherspoon’s HelloSunshine book club but, honestly, didn’t know anything about it. I was blown away by the beautiful writing and absolutely heartbreaking story of Tembi Locke and her husband and family. With hefty doses of travel, food, and their personal love story, it is a page turning memoir that will stick with me for a while. And – bonus! – she shares recipes at the end of the book so it’s perfect for the book-loving cooks in your lives.
We’ll keep posting about our recent reads throughout the year so if you’re a reader and want to follow along, don’t forget to subscribe to our site so you get the newest posts delivered straight to your inbox!
Looking for more about our favorite books, organizing your reading life, or series to dive into for summer right now? Check out these posts from our archive:
Happy Reading, Friends!