It’s summertime! So let’s get reading, Satellite Sisters and Misters! We call this our Satellite Sisters Best Beach Bag Books List— but you can read these books anywhere, anytime. Some make better reading for those rainy days at the lake. Others are perfect for that lounge chair in the backyard. And don’t forget to download a few for the trip to the beach or mountains or your commute home to help with the summer vibe. We’ve got literary fiction, suspense, thrillers, memoirs, travel, romance, audiobooks, even rock n’ roll — plenty of genres to satisfy plenty of readers.
You can listen to our Summer Reading Podcast and our interview with author Jennifer Weiner here!
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
Our Satellite Sisters Summer Read for 2019
Best-selling author Jennifer Weiner hits it out of the park with this epic tale of two sisters who manage to see it all, feel it all, experience it all and survive over the course of six decades. Smart, thoughtful and emotional, Mrs. Everything takes on a lot of life’s big questions that can arise in small moments with warmth and heart. The story is also personal for author Weiner who seems to have a lot invested in examining the opportunities for women, all kinds of women, then and now. Mrs. Everything asks the question: Do we change or does the world change us? And her unforgettable characters may surprise you with their answers. This is a big, juicy, delicious summer read. ( Lian’s Pick)
Daisy Jones & The Six by Tara Jenkins Reid
A fun, bittersweet rock n’ roll novel set in LA in the 70’s and the main charcter Daisy is kinda the girl we all thought we wanted to be (except for the heavy drug use.) This book is inspired by the heartbreak, music and tour bus shenanigans of Fleetwood Mac in the time of Rumours. So vivid and detailed, you feel like you’re in the studio, on the bus, at the hotel with the band. Told in extended interview style. Plus, poetry. I really enjoyed this book. Check out the audiobook, too. It features Jennifer Beals and Benjamin Bratt. ( Lian’s Picks)
Mistress of the Ritz By Melanie Benjamin
Where are my historical fiction readers? You probably already know the work of Melanie Benjamin, the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue. Benjamin does it again with this captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War Ii while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hôtel Ritz in Paris. Part love story, part suspense novel. Perfect for travelers to Paris or history lovers. Fantastic story. ( Lian’s Pick)
Normal People by Sally Rooney
This is a story that sticks with me. It is the story of Marianne and Connell’s on again off again relationship. It is set at Trinity College in Dublin. They are outsiders trying to fit in. I’m fascinated/aggravated by their difficult and complicated relationship. I think the book provides good millennial insight ( perhaps, because I’m not a millennial). (Julie’s Pick)
Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
Bollywood meets Jane Austen in a retelling of the classic tale. Over the year, I’ve read all these P&P takes, but I don’t love them all. But P,P and Other Flavors is a sharply observed, cross-cultural tale with plenty of sass, tension and lots and lots of delicious sounding food. Plus, a little Gender Bending in the main characters. In this version, she’s the fancy pants rich one and he’s the poor but decent hero. (Bravo!) Elizabeth is the Indian American neurosurgeon falls for DJ (Darcy James) a biracial British chef and both characters bring lively backstories, deep with cultural observations. And there is an excellent twist on the Wickham storyline for everyone who’s ever wanted revenge on a mean girl. Enjoy.
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Set in the 1930s in Colonial Malaysia, it is the magical/ mysterious story of Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker who moonlights as a dance-hall girl to pay off her mother’s mahjong debts. Her life becomes entwined with an eleven-year old Chinese houseboy, Ren and his quest to fulfill his dead master’s final wish. Thoroughly involving and transporting. (Julie’s pick)
The Wedding Party by Jasmine GuilloryFun, Fast and Flirty describes Jasmine Guillory’s romantic trilogy that includes The Wedding Date, The Proposal and her latest The Wedding Party. The Wedding Party is a classic opposites attract centered around, wait for it, a wedding party! Maddie and Theo are both friends of the bride, but not friends with each other– until one night they are more than friends. Contemporary, sharp with likable characters and a fresh summer vibe. Enjoy with a glass of wine. ( Lian’s Pick)
The Friends We Keep by Jane Greene
It just wouldn’t be a Satellite Sisters Best Beach Bag Books List without a Jane Green title. Her writing is seamless and her storytelling skills are in a league of their own. Jane transports the reader to aspirational destinations. Her latest book is no exception as we follow the characters from Uni days to post collegiate glamour in New York and London and then back to the countryside. The Friends We Keep follows three college friends over the course of three decades and the days when the perfect friendships devolve into complicated interpersonal relationships– just like real life. Headed to a college reunion this year? Looking to forgive a pal for the unforgivable? Wondering why some friend stick for a lifetime while other’s drift away? Then pick up The Friends We Keep for inspiration. ( Lian’s pick)
Lost & Found in Spain by Susan Lewis Solomont
Attention, Madam Secretary fans! I think you’ll love reading the real life story of a diplomatic spouse on assignment in Spain. When her husband was appointed by President Barack Obama to be U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, Susan Solomont uprooted herself. She left her career, her friends and family, and a life she loved to join her husband for a three-and-a-half-year tour overseas. If you’ve dreamed about a diplomatic career or living abroad, Lost & Found in Spain delivers an insider’s look at the lives of ex-pats. And it’s not always easy or charming. Part memoir and part travelogue and surprising moving about finding your place in this world. ( Lian’s Pick)
Saint Everywhere by Mary Lea Carrol Spiritual, funny and full of heart. Works as a travel guide or pick me up if you’re seeking some kind of salvation. While visiting Siena, Italy, Mary Lea Carroll grew fascinated with the remarkable story of St. Catherine of Siena and made a resolution: Whenever she was lucky enough to travel, if a shrine dedicated to a female saint was nearby, she’d visit it and learn about her. What started as a hobby grew into a journey she never expected, one rich with challenges and cappuccinos, doubts and inspiration, glasses of wine with strangers and moments of transcendence. Over eight quests, Carroll takes readers along with her as she seeks to learn something from a few great women of history, while looking for ways to be a better citizen of the world. Spiritual, funny and full of heart. Works as a travel guide or pick me up if you’re seeking some kind of salvation. ( Lian’s Pick) Th
The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore
It’s an island vacation just reading this book. Meg Mitchell Moore creates a story about characters who are both authentic and memorable and weaves a story of interconnectivity that draws us in. The Islanders focuses on Anthony, Lu & Joy , three strangers who come to be friends, over the course of a long summer on this tiny traditional island off that coast of Rhode Island. All three have deep, juicy back stories and I cared immediately about what might happen to them. Well plotted and well paced. The book is set on Block Island, where my good friend owns a B&B and raised her kids so I feel like I have some inside scoop on what really happens on “Block,” and Moore really nails the natural beauty and rhythms of the place, but also the insularity of such a tiny population and the dichotomy of the locals versus the tourists. I enjoyed this author’s last book The Admissions and was happy to discover The Islanders. Sharp, insightful with strong writing and character development. (Lian’s Pick)
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelide A psychological thriller about a woman who commits an act of violence against her husband and the therapist determined to uncover her motive. A page turner. I was totally fooled.(Julie’s Pick)
A Dream Too Big The Story of an Improbable Journey from Compton to Oxford by Caylin Louis MooreThe true story of Caylin’s improbable path from one of the most impoverished and gang-infested communities to becoming a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. How Caylin learned to learn and overcome enormous obstacles is fascinating and humbling. (Julie’s pick)
Liz’s Audiobook Recommendation
American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the American West by Nate Blakeslee
Narrated by Nate Blakeslee & Mark Bramhall
Road tripping to Yellowstone this summer? Or anywhere in the American West that still feels wild? Then download this riveting audiobook for the road. American Wolf is the enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her. These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West – between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.