Bookworm: June 2017

"I had no idea that such individuals existed outside of stories." - Brittany Cavallaro

 

My life has been bizarrely loaded with pinch-me moments in the last few weeks (like I've mentioned). One of my favorite job perks: access to Stanford's amazing library system. I'm already loving curling up in Green...which means my reading volume is going up at an alarming pace!

Loved: 

A Study in Charlotte, Brittany Cavallaro: Few people know that I'm a complete Sherlock Holmes fiend...like, read every story repeatedly in elementary school and haven't looked back since. (In London, I interned blocks away from Baker Street!) This novel imagines fictional descendants of the Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty families, going head-to-head solving a series of murders at an elite New England prep school. It sounds dumb, but the writing is imaginative and intriguing, and I really enjoyed the what-if of picturing the Holmes and Watson clan today.

The Last of August, Brittany Cavallaro: Part 2 in the trilogy shifts the action to Europe and the crime to art forgery and fraud, with equally riveting results. I did see a couple of the twists coming, but it wasn't enough of a detraction to keep me from highly recommending the series. Anxiously awaiting the third book, "The Case for Jamie," next summer!

Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler: If you read even one book off my reading list in the next few months, it should be this one. I could not put it down, and spent the better part of a day blowing through it. Set in one of New York City's highest-end restaurants, the novel portrays a young woman's coming of age through food, wine, and life experiences. It's incredibly dark and evocative and gritty, and kept me thinking of Spoon and Stable or Bellecour (my favorites) constantly. 

Enjoyed: 

Alex and Eliza, Melissa de la Cruz: Oh this was so cute. And everyone knows I can't get enough Hamilton in my life. This imagined tale of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler falling in love was deliciously escapist and sweet.

Tolerated: 

Romancing the Throne, Nadine Jolie Courtney: I get what this book was trying to be - a William and Kate re-telling for a high school audience - but it fell incredibly flat for me. The narrator, Charlotte, is meant to be a Pippa stand-in, but the tone was vapid and kind of shallow. For Will-and-Kate royal fiction worth reading (and re-reading!), check out "The Royal We" instead.

Rereads: 

Wedding Night, Sophie Kinsella: I read this several years ago and had almost no memory of the plot, which is rare for me. It was a perfect summer re-read though - funny, charming and - best of all - quick.  

Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan: The third book in this series just came out, and the first is set to be made into a movie imminently, so I'm revisiting. A frothy beach read chronicling the lives and dramas of megamillionaires and billionaires in "new Asia," it's a fast read and incredibly fun and witty.  

China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan: Same as "Crazy Rich Asians," the lives and vices of the ultra-rich are dissected humorously and critically in a can't-put-it-down-because-it's-so-escapist kind of way.