I’ll be honest — I almost called these beach reads, but let’s be real: There’s no reading on a beach when you have children, only chasing and sunscreen-applying. The more accurate thing to call this list is “three reads you might try to tear through during nap time and for the 10 minutes you can stay awake before bedtime every night.” And I know — three isn’t so many, but if you can complete three books before Labor Day, then by most busy-mom standards, you’re doing quite well, no?
Choice 1: Amatuer Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swearwords, by Kimberly Harrington
I would like to read this book. (Truthfully? I would like to write this book.) The reason I feel confident suggesting it here having not yet laid hands on it is because various media (like The New Yorker and New York Times) have published a handful of excerpts from the book, and I have loved them. This stuff is funny, y’all — Kimberly Harrington is funny and very smart. (She’s a writer for McSweeney’s, and has also written one of my favorite non-funny gun commentary pieces of all time.) This book is next on my list.
Choice 2: Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton
So this was actually a big (award-winning) hit in 2017, but if you’re like me, you’re roughly 5 years behind the latest big hits at any given point in time. If you haven’t read this one yet, I highly, highly recommend it for three reasons. 1) The writing is excellent, and the plot — a tale of an young, unwed Quaker in 1883 who is attempting against every odd to keep her baby — is one of the more compelling (if harrowing!) narratives I’ve read in a good long time. 2) It takes place in Philadelphia (and the author is one of us) — and the story unlocks an entirely new dimension of the city for you. You learn some absolutely fascinating (also, horrifying) things. 3) This will touch your mama-heart like very few books can. At least, that was my experience. I finished this book two weeks ago, and have thought of it every time I hold my own baby. It might sound trite to say it, but I swear it made me appreciate motherhood in a new way. (It also feels quite timely, I should add, given the current events at out border right now.) It’s very much worth the read, although I will say it’s exactly a fluffy summer book. For that I’ll give you …
Choice 3: When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
Did you know the author of Devil Wears Prada just published a follow-up? And that it focuses on Emily, Miranda Priestly’s (now former) assistant? Haven’t yet read, but this is a no-brainer in terms of a juicy little diversion, yes? Good Reads gives it 4 outta 5 stars …