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Books I’m Loving This Summer

Memoir

RUNNING HOME: A MEMOIR by Katie Arnold. This ultra-marathon champion shares her innermost feelings, how she coped with her father’s death and illness, her own pregnancy emotions, getting attacked in the woods wearing her baby in a Bjorn, her anxiety, her running, and her environment. It will take you on a ride through the mountains. You’ll feel the wind on your face. You’ll think of your own dad. You’ll feel the beauty of the outdoors without moving an inch. And you’ll find yourself rooting for Katie no matter where she runs.

THE LIE: A MEMOIR OF TWO MARRIAGES, CATFISHING & COMING OUT by William Dameron. This beautiful memoir by Bill Dameron is about his struggle with identity and his decision to stay in the closet for most of his adult life, until he can’t anymore. It’s a love story. A coming-of-middle-age. A story about what you know inside and what you want to believe. It’s about finding the strength to be true to yourself, no matter what. I read it in one sitting and hugged Bill about 20 times when I interviewed him for my podcast. It’s a special book. A story he needed to tell. A story that needs to be heard.

MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE: A THERAPIST, HER THERAPIST, AND OUR LIVES REVEALED by Lori Gottlieb. This memoir weaves together Lori’s therapy patients’ stories, her own mid-life breakup, her career trajectory and her own therapy. It’s moving, insightful and compelling. It’s hard not to adore Lori after reading this book, flaws and all. Her sense of humor made me chuckle out loud. And it helped me by touching on depression, narcissistic personality disorder, and more. It’s long, but I loved it.

I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK: ESSAYS by Mary Laura Philpott. Can you feel sad if you have everything? If your life is pretty good, is it okay to feel bad? With essays like, “Ungrateful B-tch,” Mary Laura addresses her luckiness in life mixed with anxiety. Her kids, her writing, her dinner parties. I felt like I was out to coffee with a dear friend who said the things I wanted to say, but hadn’t.

THREE WOMEN by Lisa Taddeo. This is a “holy s—t” type of book. Three women’s stories, non-fiction, that reads like a dark, intimate portrait of desire and longing across the country. From courtrooms to backseats, from sexual abuse to motherhood, from the desperation of never being kissed to be kissed by the wrong person. It’s haunting, memorable and absolutely beautifully written in a raw, fresh way.

Fiction

VERY NICE by Marcy Dermansky. This story about a college student and her crush on her professor, a literary genius, touches on life, love and motherhood. Turns out, her mother also falls in love with the professor. Marcy writes in short, impactful sentences with a pinging urgency that propels the reader forward. The multiple viewpoints carry the story through issues like gun control, divorce, dog love, lust and more. Set mostly in modern-day Connecticut, you can almost feel your feet dipping into the pool in the backyard.

BEYOND THE POINT by Claire Gibson. This story of three best friends going through West Point Military Academy and life afterwards touches on women’s friendship at its best. Optioned already to be a major movie, this story makes you think about consumer behavior, loyalty, the military, strength and patriotism in a way I hadn’t before.

MONTAUK by Nicola Harrison. The cover alone is enough to make me fall in love with this book, but the story was sensational. 1938. Montauk. Women who summer. Men in the city. Hat stores and windmills. Tennis. Beach. Betrayal. Infertility. I couldn’t put this book down. The steady pace and melodic rhythm of writing captivated me. Nicola is an amazing storyteller.

ROUGE by Richard Kirshenbuam. This light read takes you into the lives of two cosmetic entrepreneur women in the 1930s from Australia and Poland to Palm Beach and Manhattan. Glittery and shimmery, this book is great for the beach or late at night when you need something escapist. It’s being made into a movie by Sony Pictures and Wendy Finerman, so read the book first.

MRS. EVERYTHING by Jennifer Weiner. I just love Jennifer Weiner, especially her columns in the New York Times. This book, about two sisters from the 1950s to present day, is a family saga, a drama, one that made me gasp at times, relate at other times and stay engaged throughout. Women’s rights. Lesbianism. Civil rights. Eating disorders. Sexual assault. Drugs. This is her magnum opus.