The Divorce Papers, Susan Rieger
Criminal lawyer Sophie Diehl gets roped into working a high-profile divorce case. Told entirely through letters, emails, case law and other court documents, this is a wickedly funny, entertaining story of love, divorce and coming to terms with your past. (I’m no lawyer, but I enjoyed it.)
Delicious!, Ruth Reichl
Billie Breslin has landed a job at her dream workplace, the NYC food magazine Delicious!. When the magazine folds, Billie stays on to answer the phones and finds a cache of letters written to James Beard by Lulu Swan, a plucky young cook from Ohio, during WWII. A big-hearted, beautiful story of family, food, love, New York, and finding your way home. (Packed with mouthwatering food descriptions, as one might expect from Reichl.)
Landline, Rainbow Rowell
I loved Rowell’s Attachments and also enjoyed Fangirl. Landline is much more bittersweet: the story of Georgie and Neal, struggling to save their marriage. By some time-space fluke, Georgie discovers she can call Neal’s parents’ house on her mom’s landline and talk to his former self, giving her a fresh perspective on their relationship. Compelling, but somehow unsatisfying. (I received an ARC; this book comes out July 8.)
The Geography of You and Me, Jennifer E. Smith
I love Smith’s YA novels about unlikely love. This one was charming, but lacked the depth of her previous ones. Lucy and Owen get stuck in an elevator during a blackout in NYC, spend a wonderful evening together, then both abruptly move away. They stay in touch through postcards, while adjusting to big life changes. Whimsical and poignant.
Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage, Molly Wizenberg
Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life is one of my favorite food memoirs ever. This book tells the story of how Wizenberg and her husband came to open the titular pizza restaurant in Seattle. A slow start, but it has some great insights on marriage and workplace culture. (Also some delicious-looking recipes.)
Buzz Kill, Beth Fantaskey
When her school’s unpopular football coach is murdered, Millie Ostermeyer is determined to find out who did it – especially since her assistant-coach dad is a suspect. The (handsome) new kid helps her investigate. Cute and funny – scatterbrained, blunt Millie is the anti-Nancy Drew.
The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
Kingsolver’s debut novel follows Taylor Greer, a smart-mouthed Kentucky girl who heads west and finds herself building a new life in Arizona. Full of eccentric characters; warmhearted, funny and moving.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver
After years in Arizona, Kingsolver and her family move to Virginia and decide to try eating entirely local for a year. This involves lots of gardening, farmer’s markets, raising poultry, and longing for off-limits luxuries. Occasionally preachy, but highly informative and passionate. Includes mouthwatering recipes. A re-read and well worth it.
The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman
Mrs. Pollifax is off on another adventure, this time smuggling passports into Bulgaria and also managing to save a few lives. Full of wild coincidences, but really fun.
The Chapel Wars, Lindsey Leavitt
When Holly’s grandpa dies, she’s shocked to learn she’s inherited his Vegas wedding chapel, and that it’s in dire financial straits. Can she save the chapel, while possibly dating the grandson of the rival chapel owner next door? A smart, funny story of family, grief, first love and the wackiness that is Vegas (Leavitt’s hometown).
Links (not affiliate links) are to my favorite local bookstore, Brookline Booksmith.
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