1) The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. 4/5 stars. I read this book on Brie's recommendation and wasn't disappointed. [Go read her review here, it's pretty spot on.] It follows the life of the French Impressionist Camille Pissarro's mother Rachel in St. Thomas in the 1800's. There's an arranged marriage, forbidden love, a beautiful tropic setting, Paris... It's not a long book, but it's a big book.
2) The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley. 4/5 stars. One of the negative reviews on Goodreads cited the prevalence of #FirstWorldProblems in this book. And that's true. This is just a book about three people in their mid-thirties trying to navigate every day life. I enjoyed it anyway because it felt familiar. [Except, of course, that they are all much richer than I am, which is a problem I wouldn't mind trying to deal with for a while!]
3) The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny. 3/5 stars. This is the third installment in the Chief Inspector Armande Gamache mystery series, set in the idyllic (except for all the murders) town of Three Pines in Quebec. I enjoy the writing and the setting and getting a little deeper into the characters with each book, but I found the actual mystery in this one to be less compelling.
4) The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst. 2/5 stars. This book has echoes of Great Expectations and The Great Gatsby except that's it's completely silly and lacking in substance. It's about a young newspaper reporter in Los Angeles who gets swept up into the "upper echelons of Hollywood society" and falls in love with the mysterious and beautiful Matilda Duplaine, who has spent her entire life on her father's Bel-Air estate.
5) The Assistants by Camille Perri. 3/5 stars. This one is about the assistant to a media tycoon (think Rupert Murdoch) who stumbles upon a way to help the many highly educated yet underpaid women struggling to get by across the city (and country). It's a quick read but does bring up a challenge to the American Dream that's worth thinking about. I was a little disturbed by how frequently the main character describes the so-called love of her life as a golden retriever.
6) The Secret Place by Tana French. 4/5 stars. I decided to re-read this one in anticipation of the next installment in the Dublin Murder Squad series this fall. This is by far my favorite mystery series ever. I love her writing style and the characters are so well developed. The character drama is equally, perhaps more, compelling than the actual murder. This one takes place at a private high school and puts fear into my heart for Swede's teenage years.
What have you been reading lately?
Do you find that you read more or less in summer?