Tag Archives: summer

My Summer Reading Picks

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Hey everyone! I can’t believe how far we are into July. I’ve been doing so much prep for exciting things to come as well, as finding time to do quite a bit of reading. I wanted to share with you all some of my top beach reads for this summer. I’ve got some classic YA love stories, a YA thriller, a beautiful memoir and a spectacular why-done-it mystery that I’m sure you will all love.

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The Day Tripper: My first two picks are for quick jaunts to the beach for some flash-tanning and relaxation. The first is The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (she wrote Everything, Everything, which recently became a movie!). In this story, two characters battle fate and reasoning to try and divine what the universe is up to. Natasha is a Jamaican-born science lover desperately trying to keep her family from being deported and Daniel is wondering if he should risk following his dreams and completely shattering his parents’ expectations of him. The universe decides they should cross paths, changing both their lives.

The second pick is The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr. This one is an adorable adventure that follows Flora Banks as she braves the real world, despite her severe memory loss. She is spurned to leave home after a significant event sticks in her mind, for the first time in seven years. Flora is a little blundering, but brave and exciting and inspiring.

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The Long Weekend: My pick for a good book to pack into your weekender as you cut the work-week short is Cristin Terrill’s second novel Here Lies Daniel Tate. This recent publication is a thriller that follows a lying teen who impersonates a former missing child and gets roped into trying to solve the murder of that same child, while trying to convince the family he is their long-lost brother. The narration is complex and the plot moves swiftly, complete with many twists and turns. Perfect for a weekend away.

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The Week-Long Rental: If you’re going away for a week or more to the seaside (like I will be in August!) these books are perfect companions. The House on Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper is a brilliant memoir of a childhood spent in Liberia and an adulthood in the US. Helene’s family was at the top of the food chain before revolution overtook Liberia, causing her family to flee to the US, leaving behind her adoptive sister. Years later, Helene faces the choice of going back to her sister, and back to her former home.

The second mystery you can settle in with this summer is The Secret History. I read Donna Tartt’s novel during my capstone course at UMass and it instantly became one of my all-time favorites. Right off the bat the reader knows who is dead and who has done it, but the mystery is why? What did he do? Told in retrospect, the main character finds himself working his way into an elite group of Greek scholars at a Vermont University. The journey to discover why a murder took place is fascinating, complicated and sure to keep you enthralled. (Just don’t get too sucked in and forget to reapply sunblock.)

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The Case for Quality

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I think this dress is one of the best things I’ve purchased in a long time. Even though it was more expensive than I usually go for on an average day, I’m really glad I went for it. It’s very quickly become my favorite piece for summer, and given that it’s in navy, it can work for other seasons too. Excellent. It’s from a store I recently discovered called & Other Stories. They have a few stores in the US, but mostly in big cities. I got lucky that they have three in London. The store is beautiful and sings to the tune of a minimalistic dream. Designed in Paris, you know the clothing is going to be right for me.

Sometimes making a bigger purchase is good for the soul. When you know you’re getting something whose quality will be as much a part of the piece as the actual design itself, you feel even better in it. Now this isn’t couture, but it is a step up from the usual high street stores that I frequent. I have one dress that works for multiple occasions day and night, and what’s more, I want to wear it for all those occasions. I’m excited to wear and rewear it. In this day and age of needing more and more because of our media-sharing tendencies (of which I’m guilty, I know), we tend to forget what it’s like to purchase something that we actually plan on wearing a lot. It’s okay to repeat something if you know you can wear it many ways. Now, I know you may be thinking, it’s a dress, you wear it one way, but that’s not true. Here, I’m wearing this dress with Adidas sneakers, perfect for going around my day-to-day business in London, but I can easily change into white mules for a daytime party, or court heels for the evening. The height of the heel can change the dress in a subtle yet effective way.

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& Other Stories dress

Usual | Unusual

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I know posting on a Thursday is a bit random, but I didn’t want to wait until next week for this one. Yesterday I had been feeling (once again) a serious lack of motivation, especially in my writing. I was groggy and out of it, which led to guilt, which led to more grogginess, which in turn led to me mentally yelling at myself to snap out of it. What better way to find motivation again than to seek out places that inspire you? This time, it happened to be the house where the fictional Elizabeth James lived with her daughter Annie. Yes, that’s right. The house featured in these photos is from the 1998 version of “The Parent Trap.” Admittedly one of my favorite movies (mostly thanks to Natasha Richardson and the character of Elizabeth), it had an odd way of cheering me up. Something about a woman owning a successful business and reaping the rewards in the most classy way possible makes you feel hopeful. I mean, look at this house!

Another decision I made that day was to don these new embroidered pink boots from Topshop that I scooped up during their sale. Everyone has their favorite hoodie and jeans combo, but why stop there? Add something unexpected and bright, something very you, and what was before something usual becomes unusual in the best possible way. Reminding myself that I’m the only one of me was a good way to get myself back on track. Even though around this house I should have been wearing a co-ord tweed jacket and skirt. Next time.

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Topshop boots | Topshop hoodie | Topshop jeans

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