Here’s the deal: Summer TV is kind of meh. The fate of Nick and Jess/Mindy and Danny will not be revisited and resolved until fall (seriously, counting down), all the Thrones have been sorted out on Game of Thrones until next year, and we’ve run out of Orange Is The New Black (greedy us). On top of this, the only bearable time to exercise is first thing in the morning before the temperature reaches triple digits and you can forget about baking anything ever in your kitchen heat. So what is a human to do with summer’s free time? READ, that’s what. Whether you love the season’s hot days or find them mildly tolerable, we can all agree that knocking a couple of novels off of your Book-It bucket list or getting down with some great self-help is a smart way to spend your time. Are you looking for some stellar summer reads? Here’s what the HelloGiggles staff and contributors are obsessing over and excited about right now.
The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob
Mira Jacob is one of those writers who lives so deeply inside everything that it is to be human and whose eye and ear for perfect details will make you laugh and nod and cry and just feel the feels like a giant breathless wallop to your heart. In this, her big, sprawling debut novel, Jacob explores one family’s journey from ’70s India to ’80s New Mexico to ’90s Seattle and everything that happens to all of them in between. It is a story about bonds and family and love and death and it is a story you should definitely read. (Out today on Amazon.)—Jennifer Romolini
JUICE: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing & Living Well
Not so much a beachy page turner, as a new bible for living, I am LOVING this book right now. If you ever wanted to become an expert on all things juice and juice cleansing (and I do, because the juice I make unguided in my Vitamix tastes like swampy cocoa feet), this is for you. The early copy I have has 75 beautifully-illustrated recipes for organic juices and various elixirs, along with a compendium on the basics and the benefits of juicing. This will seriously be your summer obsession. (Available for purchase on 7/22 you can pre-order now.)—JR
I Like You Just The Way I Am by Jenny Mollen
With chapters like “Behind Every Crazy Woman, There’s An Even More Batshit Mother,” “One Shade of Gray” and “Everyone Wants to Kill Me,” actress Jenny Mollen’s new memoir is zany, honest and very funny with just enough no-one-ever-talks-about-this-but-it’s-totally-true details to make it super relatable too. (Available now, pick up a copy here.)—Blaire Bercy
Vintage Girls by Nadia Barbaro (former HG Contributor!)
Vintage Girls is a celebration of vintage fashion, including advice on how to rock classic styles. Not only is it just beautiful to look at (really, I could flip through these pages every day of my life), it’s also narrated by a famous selection of creative and talented ladies like:
Kimbra, Grammy award winning recording artist.
Janie Bryant. Award wining costume designer of the TV series Mad Men.
Sarah Owen, co-owns London vintage store Lucy in Disguise with her popstar sister Lily Allen.
Liz Goldwyn, American filmmaker and vintage collector.
Sarah Blasko,Celebrated singer-songwriter.
Juliet Burnett, Senior Artist with The Australian Ballet.
Mia Moretti, International DJ.
Jess Harris, Australian actress and writer of the ABC TV series Twentysomething.
The Twentysomething Guide to Getting It Together by Mary Traina (another HG Contributor!)
Mary Traina just gets it, you guys. Like almost every single one of us, her early twenties were a hot mess of trying to figure out what it all means. In The Twentysomething Guide to Getting It Together, she teaches you how to bust out of your rut with practical advice for kicking your bad habits, taking action toward your goals, and moving on to the next stage of your life as an adult. We’ve had the pleasure of watching her kick life’s ass one step at a time, and now we can read the complete beautiful tale! (Available for purchase on 7/18, pre-order right here)—CH
Famous Baby by Karen Rizzo
Ever wonder what happens to the children of mommy bloggers? Having their young lives used as source material for blog posts and over-the-top memoirs can become a major burden to bear. And that’s exactly why 18-year-old Abbie finally snaps. When Abbie hears that her ailing, beloved grandmother is moving in with her mother (and mommy blogger) Ruth, she suspects that her mother has found a new blog subject to exploit. Abbie kidnaps Grandma to save her from the same fate, and thus begins an uproarious battle of wills. Famous Baby wisely (and funnily) explores motherhood, identity, and the hazards of parental over-sharing in the social media age. It’s out now and you can get your copy here —Piper Weiss
Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time by Rachel Bertsche
Awhile back, I told you guys about Rachel Bertsche’s hilariously relatable account of her year-long search for a new best friend. Now she’s back with her sophomore effort, another delightful self-improvement project told in her signature self-deprecating voice. In Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time, Rachel attempts to live like each of her most-admired celebrities, one month per famous lady. She shares with us her whole process, from research (which in this case means poring over old issues of Us Weekly and interviews in women’s magazines – my kind of work!) to action, often dragging her husband along for the ride. While Rachel merrily experiments with everything from new diets to overhauling her procrastination habits, she also reveals her struggle to conceive, lending this memoir a sweet touch of poignancy as well. Available today here and don’t forget to stalk Rachel via her website. –Sarah Heyward
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