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Summer Reading Recommendations

Poolside, on a plane, in a coffeehouse, or while “the littles” take a nap… Wherever you can find a few moments to yourself (in the bathroom?!?), a good book can bring much-needed peace and quiet to your mind, body, and soul.

We often discuss the importance of limiting our kids’ screen time, but have we considered limiting our own? Surely our eyes and stress-levels need a break from the constant notifications, fast-paced swiping from one page to the next, social networking, news bulletins, and emails.

In my limited spare time, I love to binge-watch Netflix as much as the next person, but when I find a book that I enjoy, I remember why reading is therapeutic. It’s a sigh of relief. Like taking a deep breath, and exhaling. So, press pause on the world’s demands. Grab your favorite beverage, and remember why there’s nothing better than getting lost a good book.

We’ve gathered some book recommendations from Frisco residents, book clubs, and best-seller lists to bring you a variety of genres, from historical fiction and beach reads, to business and personal enrichment.

And, you have other resources… Be sure to visit Friscolibrary.com for free digital downloads or to place a book on hold. Also, check out Goodreads.com, which is like Facebook for readers. On Goodreads, you’ll find lists, book clubs, and discussions, as well as a place to record and save what you’ve read and what you want to read.

FICTION

Goodbye, Vitamin, by Rachel Khong

A  young woman, feeling that life has not turned out the way she planned, returns home to care for her failing father. With both humor and tenderness, the author will take you on a journey of loss, love, and finding one’s footing in life.

Confessions of a Domestic Failure, by Bunmi Laditan

A career girl turned stay-at-home mom is trying to navigate the world of Pinterest-perfect, Martha Stewart-esque mommies, but failing miserably. Follow her on a hilarious and relate-able journey in finding her identity as a new parent.

Secrets of Summer, by Nancy Thayer

Known for her fiction beach reads, Nancy Thayer brings readers to the shores of Nantucket in a novel about a particularly memorable summer with flirtations, family dramas, and scandalous secrets.

The Beach Inn, by Joanne Demaio

This summer-y read centers around a shingled New England cottage converted into a grand beach inn. When a “For Sale” sign threatens to close the seaside haven, beach friends make an effort to save the cherished inn and convince the grief-stricken owner to stay. An adventure of love and heart-healing.

Watch Me Disappear, by Janelle Brown

It’s been a year since the beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom with an enviable life went on a solo hike in “Desolation Wilderness” and vanished from the trail. Her husband and teenage daughter cope with her death the best they can until new evidence suggests that she may be alive. As a mystery unfolds, her husband begins to question everything he thought he knew about his wife.

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert

A novel about desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family. The author takes readers across the globe, from London to Peru to Tahiti and beyond, and
Gilbert fills her story with unforgettable characters.

Lying to Children, by Alex Shahla

In this collection of interconnected vignettes, the author celebrates family life through heartwarming stories from a fictional dad’s unique perspective. Centered around the untruths parents regularly tell their kids in an effort to protect them, Lying to Children is a hysterical book filled with laughter, tears, and the story of an honest, imperfect dad’s unwavering love.

Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him, by Danielle Ganek

The protagonist finds herself at the center of the art world’s most sensational story and watches collectors fight over a work of art that has suddenly become highly in-demand. It’s a tale of an art gallery girl’s observations and experiences in the glamorous Chelsea art scene, and finding her own artistic identity – not to mention love.

My Notorious Life, by Kate Manning

This book is inspired by the true history of an infamous female physician who was once called “the Wickedest Woman in New York.” The impoverished child of Irish immigrants heroine Axie Muldoon grows up to become one of the wealthiest and most controversial women of her day. My Notorious Life is nineteenth-century mystery-meets-love story.

HISTORY

Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam, by Mark Bowden

#1 New York Times bestseller author Mark Bowden (Black Hawk Down) returns with a story of the “Battle of Hue,” a turning point in the American War in Vietnam. With unprecedented access to war archives and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden shares each stage of this battle, considered by far the bloodiest of the entire war.

Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art, by Laney Salisbury

An extraordinary narrative of one of the most elaborate deceptions in art history. Investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo recount the tale of a great con man and unforgettable villain, John Drewe, and his sometimes unwitting accomplices. Provenance is a well-researched and captivating account of one of the greatest cons in the history of art forgery.

BUSINESS AND LEADERSHIP

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, by Peter Thiel

Explore the idea that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel suggests that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley.

Running With the Giants, by John Maxwell

Leadership authority John Maxwell, who successfully bridged secular and Christian markets with such motivational titles as The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and Developing the Leader Within You, draws on Old Testament “giants of the faith” to impart meaningful life lessons.

PERSONAL ENRICHMENT

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living, by Shauna Niequist

A few years ago, Shauna Niequist – wife, mother, writer – found herself tired of being tired, and burned out on busy. Plus, it seemed almost everyone she talked with was in the same boat… Longing for connection, meaning, and depth in life, but settling for busy. In her collection of honest essays, she shares how she learned to leave behind frantic living for a life marked by grace, love, rest, and play.

BIOGRAPHY

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly

The true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations produced some of America’s greatest accomplishments in space.

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Buy, borrow, or download, and find a few moments to enjoy reading in the summer days ahead! Please leave me a comment in the box below with your own book recommendations, and remember to take advantage of the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge (prizes for ALL ages!).