Summer Reads 2017


Summer is still a few weeks away, but with Memorial Day behind us I'm already dreaming of days spent in a park, beside a pool, or on a beach with a good book in hand. Here's what I've been reading + loving:

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

By J. Ryan Stradal

Kitchens of the Great Midwest is just about the sweetest book. Following the life of Eva Thorvald through the eyes of those around her, this book details the joys and pains of growing up in the midwest. Filled with food and a kindness only midwesterners can muster, KotGM is the perfect compliment to sunshine and lazy days in the park.

How Everything Became War, and the Military Became Everything

By Rosa Brooks

Despite it's tongue-twisting title, How Everything Became War, and the Military Became Everything might be the best book I read all year. The military has never been part of my family or culture, yet as an American has tremendous impact on my life. A former Pentagon reporter, Rosa Brooks brings incredible insight into the current state of the military, and how it got to where it is. What influence does it yield? Why? What are the consequences of that? I learned so much reading this book, and like all the best books it gave me new perspective and understanding of the world we live in.

The Magnolia Story

By Chip and Joanna Gaines

I know I know I know I know I know. Judge all you want, I am head-over-heels for Chip and Joanna Gaines, and their book did not disappoint. They're so funny! And cute! Perfect for beach reading and flower gazing.

The Bell Jar

By Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar flat out surprised me. I think of it as Classic Literature, and often find that Classic Literature is too masculine or too opaque for my casual reading tastes. This book was anything but! Plath's semi-autobiographical novel is the beautiful story of a young woman trying to find her

Beautiful Ruins

By Jess Walter

It's hard to conceive of a book that successfully explores so many characters, time periods, locations, and relationships in a cohesive story. But Walter is able to take us from the Italian coast in the 1960's to modern day Hollywood to the middle of nowhere Idaho without muddling the story or confusing the reader. Rich characters, interesting plot, and Hollywood glamour make this a delightful read.