On My Bookshelf

Nothing makes me happier than finishing a good book. And when better to read than on vacation cozied up by a fire or laying on a beach. Last year, I made a commitment to myself that I would read more – and not just smutty, beach reads – but books of all different genres. This year, I am on track to finish one book per month! And as much as I love receiving book suggestions, I also love giving book suggestions. So, if you’re headed out on vacation and need a good book to bring, consider one of the following.

And if you’ve read any of these already, leave me your thoughts in the comment section!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid


“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’ – that’s intimacy.”

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a true piece of artwork. The details of the story were so realistic and the emotions evoked were so raw that there were several times I had to remind myself that this was a work of fiction.

The story revolves around Evelyn Hugo, an award-winning actress who has been in the limelight for the majority of her adult life. At the age of 79, she enlists a struggling writer, Monique Grant, to write her final memoir about her glamorous life in Hollywood and her seven failed marriages. Through a compilation of meetings in Evelyn’s high-end New York City apartment, Evelyn reveals her personal history to Monique – a story that gets more complicated as the book goes on. Evelyn’s character shares perspectives on a myriad of issues surrounding equality, relationships, sexuality and the cost of fame.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is captivating, complex, glamorous and evokes every human emotion. This might be one of my favorite books to date.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein


“So much of language is unspoken. So much of language is compromised of looks and gestures and sounds that are not words. People are ignorant of the vast complexity of their own communication.”

The Art of Racing in the Rain revolves around Denny, a race car driver, and his loyal dog (and companion), Enzo. The reader is introduced to a series of events as they relate to love, loss, betrayal and perseverance, all told from Enzo’s canine perspective. This narrative is unlike any other I’ve read before and Gareth Stein does an amazing job of making Enzo feel human. Throughout the book, we learn about Enzo’s desires, fears and his admiration for race car driving. Racing plays a pivotal role in the narrative, not just as a profession, but as a way of life. The strategies involved in racing serve as guidelines for Enzo, as he uses them to cope with life’s most difficult experiences. 

The Art of Racing in the Rain is not only beautifully crafted but utterly captivating and I am truly glad I stumbled upon it. The story struck me from the beginning, not only because it was endearing, but because the narrative was so meaningful. Since Enzo is not capable of speech, he focuses on listening and tries to communicate via actions and facial expressions. In a way, his story telling encouraged me to become a better listener and to focus not only on what is being said, but what isn’t being said.

The Last Mrs. Parish by Liv Constantine

the-last-mrs-parrish“This was the kind of home that was safely hidden from the eyes of those who could not afford to live this way. That’s what wealth does for you, she thought. It gives you the means and the power to remain concealed from the world if you choose – or if you need to.”

If I had to describe The Last Mrs. Parrish in one word, it would be nail-biting. Amber Patterson is tired of being a nobody. In an attempt to climb the social ladder, she orchestrates an accidental meeting at the gym with Daphne Parrish, a socialite who is married to Jackson Parrish, one of the most influential, rich and handsome men in Bishops Harber, Connecticut. Daphne and Jackson appear to have the perfect marriage filled with love, two adorable daughters and unfathomable wealth.

Amber uses Daphne’s compassion to insinuate herself into the family’s life – the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and growing closer to Jackson. But a secret from Amber’s past may ruin her devious plan to become the new Mrs. Parrish.

The Last Mrs. Parrish is a tale of jealousy, greed, manipulation, betrayal and revenge. Told from two different perspectives (Amber and Daphne) the story proves that not everything we see is necessarily what it seems. If you’re looking for a suspenseful page turner, I would highly recommend this book.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

51jkG-DeyeL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is unlike any self-help book I have ever read because it’s really an anti-self help book that is somehow inspiring. In a world that is so heavily influenced by approval on social media, materialism and seeking one high after another, it’s hard to filter out what is important and what is not. Manson provides brutally honest, and yet, refreshing advice on how to live in the present, embrace vulnerability and be confident in finding out what you truly believe. His secret to success? Care less.

Manson doesn’t sugar coat anything. He is ruthless and profane and goes against the grain by arguing that “thinking positively” doesn’t necessarily translate to a happy life. He insists that human beings are flawed and that life is made up of winners and losers – and that is okay. He advises his readers to embrace their fears and faults and accept conflict and hardship. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a call out to our generation to help us lead contented, grounded lives.


** Featured photo courtesy of The CBTB Blog. Check them out for great crime fiction finds!


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