Here are my recent reads from the month of July.
Emma: A Modern Retelling | Type: Novel/Fiction | Rating: 3/5 – I’m a fan of Jane Austen novels, so this retelling from Alexander McCall Smith who I am familiar with from his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency caught my eye while perusing a local bookstore earlier this summer. But I have to say, I was pretty underwhelmed with this book. The characters were a bit lackluster to me and I didn’t really care for McCall Smith’s version of Emma. She was a bit too self-centered and her redeeming qualities didn’t come through enough for me. Next time I feel the need to revisit Emma, I’ll read the original or watch my modern day variation, the movie, Clueless.
I Take You | Type: Novel | Rating: 3.5/5 – This book honestly wasn’t a favorite, but was entertaining enough. Lily is a promising NYC lawyer who seems to have it altogether with her career and a handsome fiance. But things start to unravel during her wedding weekend when she is forced to take on a challenging case, managing family dynamics, and deal with the double standards women face when it comes to love and marriage.
The Fringe Hours | Type: Non-Fiction/Creativity | Rating: 4/5 – I learned of this book via the Lively Show Podcast earlier this summer. Turner interviewed women who were from different walks of life (mothers with young children, wives, single professionals) and asked them about how they managed work life balance and making time for themselves for creative outlets and hobbies. This book was a quick read and I enjoyed learning how the author who is a wife, mother, and full time employee makes time for hobbies, a successful blog, and book-writing. After all if she can carve out time for these things, I have no excuse! After reading this book, I felt recommitted to making time for my hobbies and creative pursuits a priority.
Don’t Waste Your Pretty | Type: Non-Fiction/Advice & Relationships | Rating: 4/5 – I enjoyed Demetria Lucas’s first book, A Belle in Brooklyn so I added her latest book to my list when I learned about it. Overall, I thought all of Lucas’s advice was spot-on. She offers advice for most life situations (Married/Single/Dating), but I would most likely recommend it to my single friends. I wasn’t a fan of the book being entirely Q & A, but I understand why the book was structured like that since her advice originates from answer real questions that people ask her on social media.
Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes | Type: Non-Fiction/Memoir & Recipes | Rating: 4/5 – Bard is an American expatriate who relocated to France to live with her French husband. This book is a continuation of Bard’s first memoir that recounts how she met and married her French husband and they started their life together in Paris. In this book, Bard’s husband navigate parenthood, a move to Provence, and starting an ice cream store business. I enjoyed this book for the glimpses of every day French country life from an American’s perspective and the delicious-sounding recipes included at the end of each chapter. This is a good read to pack for any vacations you have during the remainder of the summer.