My favorite text messages from friends either include the phrases 'wanna get pizza' or 'what should I read next.' I usually respond with what I think someone will personally enjoy (someone who loves light romance probably won't like a thriller with a creepy stalker) but there is a chunk of go-to reads that I nerd out on regardless of who is asking.
In honor of hot dogs, sparklers, and Budweiser, here are a few favorites that I recommend over and over and over once more to get you through July. For those of you that spend your summer with Netflix with the air conditioning on blast (no judgment), I paired some shows/movies that might relate to these books depending on your taste. Happy 4th!
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
I hope you've already read this but if you haven't, now is the time. It's so fantastic and not a stuffy classic that is hard to get through. Somehow Capote weaved beautiful prose with a super terrible murder. I rambled about it last year here. If you like literally any true crime TV show, read this.
People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Perry
Err-- same as In Cold Blood in regards to loving true crime. This one happens in the 2000's in Japan with a British flight attendant/hostess who (obviously and tragically) gets murdered. It's fascinating. I rambled about it here. If you were still able to sleep after the movie Zodiac and are saving for a trip to Japan (me too!), this might be for you.
You by Caroline Kepnes
This is fiction and it's creepy, just how I like it. It follows a dude in his 20's who starts aggressively stalking his girlfriend, taking place in current day in NYC. I couldn't put it down and read it in a few sittings- it's a quick one. If the movie Swimfan happened in a beautiful bookstore in the West Village and that sounds chill- you might be into this.
Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Wildwood is so cute! It's a middle-grade dense adventure read with beautiful illustrations and awesome characters. It's uber clever and was written by The Decemberist's (band) main singer + illustrated by his wife. I want all the prints of detailed drawings on my wall. I also wrote about it a few years back here, and if you think Matilda is the most charming shit ever/wish it was directed by Spike Jonze, read this.
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
I really loved this book and ughhh, Steve Martin is so cool. Yeah! The actor Steve Martin! The story follows a 20s something art dealer in NYC told by her male BFF (kinda BFF? complicated but platonic) and the main characters are fascinating and complex.
The Girls by Emma Cline
A perfect, perfect summer read about a teen who runs with Manson gang. Not a young adult novel if that's what you're thinking. I talked about it last summer here. I imagine Sophia Coppola would direct the version of this read- so if you're into her storylines and visuals, you'll probably like this.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Hands down, my favorite book ever. I have talked about it at least 100 times in person and 10 times on this corner of the internet. It's dark and so overwhelmingly beautiful. Please read it. I cried over it here. I actually have talked in-depth with friends about how no one should ever try to touch this book for a film adaptation.
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
I read this book two years ago on the Fourth of July, poolside at my parent's place in almost one sitting. It's a murder mystery with incredible twists, unlike anything I have read. It hasn't left my mind since I buzzed through it and still can't believe it isn't as popular as it should be. I talked about it in my very early bloggish days here. If the TV shows True Detective and Fargo (omfg watch Fargo the TV show on FX) had a one-night stand, this might be it.
Thanks for spending some time with me, hope you have a stellar reading summer.