For a while, I was bored with books.
I really like reading but nothing I tried was grabbing me. I had a few recommendations that fell flat and I even reread some of my favorites just to have something to open.
For Easter, Mom bought me Reese Witherspoon’s new book Whiskey In A Teacup, which despite being a coffee table book, I loved anyways. Her southern upbringing shines through, from her stories of front porch sittin’ to the magnolia print inside the cover.
The book lead to her media brand Hello Sunshine, a platform dedicated to showcasing women of all backgrounds making a positive difference in the world. It was there that I found Reese’s Book Club and started looking through her picks, all with female authors.
I took a chance and checked out Daisy Jones and the Six from the library. I ended up finishing it in 2 days and haven’t questioned the advice of Reese since.
I’ve already read three on the list and I’m halfway through my fourth if that gives you any idea of how much I have enjoyed the books she has selected. None of them are alike, since she picks books across genres, which makes for an interesting and engaging variety to choose from.
Here are the books I’ve read, why I liked them, and a little insight to their story so you can decide if you should add to your own reading list.
Daisy Jones and the Six:
I had to check (more than once) to make sure this was indeed a fiction novel. Daisy Jones and the Six takes the reader back to California in the 1970s to tell the story of how The Six formed and it’s front woman came to be its icon. Daisy Jones, a Stevie Nicks-esc vocal powerhouse with wicked talent, rises to fame along side them, but despite topping the charts and reaching stardom, the band mysteriously breaks up after a concert in Chicago, never to play together again. Written through a series of interviews with both members of the band and the people closest to them, the book reads quickly, matching the fast pace of events told in the story. This fictional biopic sets to discover what caused them to unplug their guitars for good, but not without some good ole drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll along the way.
As I said before, I was glued to Daisy Jones. I have never read anything quite like it before. Reid’s voice is incredible. All of her characters are different and distinctive from each other and the story unravels in a gripping and sobering way. Once I finished, my only wish was that I could download their fictional album and listen to it for the rest of the summer.
If you like Fleetwood Mack, books that you can finish in one sitting, California summer vibes, or powerful female characters that command your attention, this is the one for you.
Little Fires Everywhere
Finishing this, I let out a huge sigh. A little bit of relief and little bit of disappointment.
Set in the perfectly planned neighborhood of Shaker Heights, this novel introduces us to the Richardson Family, the gold standard of what being a Shaker Heights resident is meant to be. Each of their lives change once Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl move into the Richardson’s rental property on the outskirts of the neighborhood. A wandering artist with a mysterious past, Mia is the antithesis of Elana Richardson, a mother and wife born and raised the Shaker way. Slowly, Mia and Pearl get closer and closer to each of the four Richardson children, disrupting their household order and causing chaos.
We begin Little Fires Everywhere with the end, then the rest of the story unravels, taking you through the year the Warrens lived in Shaker Heights. Set in the late 90’s, the novel deals with race relations, family and class dynamics, all wrapped up in an innocent story. I was not expecting to be so moved and rethink so much about my own beliefs.
If you like women of mystery, politics of the 1990’s, coming of age, or novels that make you question your own philosophies, this is a good one for you.
Now listen, I have never been one for modern day romance novels. Are romantic comedies from the 2000’s my guilty pleasure? Absolutely. Do I love a good period drama on Masterpiece Theater? Oh, so much. But I tend to roll my eyes at Sarah Dessen novels and saucy beach love stories.
The Proposal, is so much more than a romance novel.
After dating her pretty but plain actor boyfriend for a mere 5 months, Nikole Patterson was not expecting to get proposed to on the Jumbotron of the Dodgers Stadium during a game. In fact, she was pretty sure she was going to break up with him later that week. Yet, a proposal comes and a rejection soon after, embarrassing Nik in front of a crowd of disappointed and judgmental baseball fans. Before further humiliation can ensue from a blood thirsty camera crew, Carlos Ibarra and his sister Angela intervene and take Nik to safety. This sparks a friendship between Carlos and Nik that has the potential to become something even more at the encouragement of her two best friends Courtney and Dana. (Did I mention that Carlos is also a nice, attractive, and sensitive pediatrician? Well he’s that too.)
I was in need of something warm and fuzzy after finishing Little Fires Everywhere and The Proposal was the perfect remedy. The diversity of characters in the novel was also refreshing. Our main character Nik is a black woman who does freelance writing, Courtney, a plus sized cupcake shop owning Korean American and Dana, an aspiring actress, is a black lesbian (who in my opinion had the best love plot of the whole book). Each of them have their own voice that come to life on the page and prove to be true friends to Nik both in times of laughter and crisis. Their interactions felt so sincere and real, just like how my friends would answer a group chat or respond to eating cupcakes late at night (YES!).
If you’re looking for a lighthearted read, a steamy and juicy love story, a girl power book or something to take to the beach, I highly recommend The Proposal.
Something In The Water
I have yet to finish Something In The Water, but after reading the first chapter, I was hooked. I will report back once I finish, but it feels already like it’s building up to something huge. (In just the first page, the main character is burying a dead body…yikes!) I don’t usually read suspenseful, vengeful, mystery novels but I am looking forward to diving into this one!
As you can see, I have been in the company of good books so far this summer, all written by women. Yay!
What I love most of all about Reese’s Book Club is that on the website, there are articles about the author and opportunities for discourse with other readers. That means even though the book is over, you can dive a little deeper into the story by watching interviews or reading some of the inspiration behind the characters.
My next book will be Where The Crawdad’s Sing but my reading list includes Americanah, From Scratch, The Great Believers, The Night Tiger, and Educated. If you have any recommendations, I would LOVE to hear them! Comment them below or on my post!