may’s must reads

Friends, my nightstand is positively swimming in books just now…I’m so far behind, I don’t even know where to begin! But for now, I thought I’d fill you in on where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m heading, so you can get your beach bag stocked for the long weekend ahead.

No Cheating, No Dying: I must be going through a nonfiction phase. This sort-of-marriage-improvement book by Elizabeth Weil chronicles her decision to pre-emptively work on her marriage, before things got bad. It’s fantastic not just for its frankness and its lack of expertise (she’s just a regular person, going through the motions as best she can), but as a little voyeuristic peek into the imperfections and challenges of another happily married couple. Sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re not the only one.

The Power of Habit: I actually had the pleasure of chatting with the author of The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg – and, five minutes in, a topic I’d normally walk far, far away from suddenly became kind of fascinating. After trying to kick an afternoon chocolate chip cookie habit, Duhigg (a reporter at the NY Times) started to dig into the world of habits – what creates them, how to change them, and (most interestingly) how brands use that information to talk to you. It’s not exactly a beach read, but it’s not for the nightstand either – I found myself prodding my snoring hubs every five minutes to read portions to him. This book will give you cocktail party conversation to last all summer.

The House of Velvet and Glass: While that last one isn’t a beach read, this definitely is. I’m only about 80 pages in, and so far, it’s narrowly escaping “romance” territory. But, I’m still reading….so it has my attention. Katherine Howe tells the story of a wealthy enclave in Boston coping with the losses of various family members on the Titanic, with more than a few heaving bosoms and steamy glances thrown in for good measure. It’s well-written, I’m always a sucker for a period drama, and really, we all need a book to transport us every now and then, which this is doing beautifully.

Wild: Cheryl Strayed has been getting loads of press for this one, and I’m thinking it might be the perfect “clear your head, start fresh” summer read. Cheryl was a non-athletic 26-year-old in need of a major life change, so she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. All 1,770 kilometers of it. From what I’ve read so far, she was staggeringly unprepared, so I’m expecting moments of hilarity, cringing, and the occasional breakthrough of self-reflection. Couldn’t we all use a little inspiration?

What’s on your reading list so far this summer?

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