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Happy September, one and all! I’m back from camp now and working diligently to update you all about all the fun things I was up to while I was away and what I will be doing this fall (and winter) here in Indianapolis!
Up first – what I’ve been reading! If you aren’t following me on Goodreads, I keep it mostly updated with what I’ve been reading and keep it up to date with what I hope to be reading in the future! My goal this year was to read 35 books – right now, I’m on 18 and reading and listening to audiobooks furiously to keep up.
Books I Read in Summer 2022
Write for Your Life by Anna Quindlen
In Write for Your Life, Quindlen proposes there has never been a better time to stop and reflect on what you are feeling and thinking. In the book, the author draws on the experiences of some of the most prominent writers of our time, such as Toni Morrison and Anne Frank, to show how writing can connect us to our own lives and those we care about. Highly recommended for people who like to journal, who are into creative writing, bloggers, and other creators.
The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation by Rosemary Sullivan
History buffs – this one is for you! Vincent Pankoke, a retired FBI agent, and his team of investigators worked tirelessly to piece together the pieces of the puzzle that led to the arrest of the Franks. They interviewed scores of their relatives, and they used the FBI’s methods to piece together the months before the arrest. This is a must-read for anyone who’s interested in learning more about the FBI’s efforts to solve the case. In addition to providing a detailed analysis of the Franks’ case, she also brings us a glimpse into wartime Amsterdam – putting it all in the context of the time.
Finding Me by Viola Davis
HOLY !@#$ BATMAN! This memoir/autobiography is intense, gritty, and everything in between. She’s poured her soul into setting the scene that’s led to her success today. Her childhood of poverty and struggles into adulthood is frankly poured into each and every one of the pages. She tells such a story that you’re rooting for her to find her place and the best version of herself even when it is heartbreaking. It’s empowering. It’s triggering. It’s just so good. I recommend the audiobook version so you can hear it directly from the actress/author herself!
Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up by Selma Blair
If you watched any of the popular teen movies of the late ’90s and early 2000s (ahem, like Cruel Intentions), you definitely know who Selma Blair is! In her memoir, Selma Blair talks about her struggles with depression and anxiety. She opens up about her struggles with alcohol and her mother, who was a complicated and brilliant woman. She also talks about her love for her mother and the surprising diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. There are many beautiful and tragic moments throughout the book, and I’m so glad I listened to it. I’m always enthralled by celebrity memoirs, mostly because what we so often know about them is confined to what news and tabloids tell us, but hearing it from them in their own words always interests me. Another one I suggest getting the audiobook for, so you can hear it in her voice!
God, Sex, and Musical Theatre: Meditations for Unlocking the Powerful Self by Kristin Hanggi
This is not my typical read, but I was curious to try it out. Kristin Hanggi is an award-winning Broadway director who is passionate about celebrating the creative process. The author shares her love affair with life and shows how it shows up in various forms of expression, sexuality, and spirituality. The same artistic skills that she honed in her Broadway productions are used in her autobiographical poems, which explore the inner workings of creativity.
It’s Your Universe: You Have the Power to Make it Happen by Ashley Eckstein
Another book that isn’t on my usual list. It was actually a gift from an event I was doing in the spring, and I thought it sounded interesting. In the book, actress and philanthropist Ashley Eckstein shares her own life lessons and the lessons from Disney characters that she hopes will inspire girls to reach their goals. When she was a child, she was exposed to Disney’s various characters and was inspired to create Her Universe, an apparel line for women. Through inspirational quotes and personal reflections, she shows how Disney characters have been great role models for her.
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Twists and turns everywhere – very thrilling! Jessica is a test subject for a psychological study that explores ethical and moral issues. As the study progresses, the line between what’s real and what’s being tested becomes blurred. An Anonymous Girl is a suspenseful psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Another great book from this duo of authors!
Mister Rogers – Now, More than Ever by Dennis Scott
This short audiobook comes out almost like a podcast and is available on Audible! Through this audio collection, you will hear stories from people whose lives were changed by Fred Rogers’ kindness and wisdom. Celebrities and everyday people share their own stories about how he affected them and changed their lives.
Haven Point by Virginia Hume
This story of a family that lives in a seaside community on Maine’s rocky coast was an instant national bestseller – and it’s easy to see why! Virginia Hume’s book invites the reader to explore what it means to be a part of a family and what it takes to maintain a place’s traditions. Throughout the years, the family’s story has been told through various conflicts and reconciliations. If you like Elin Hilderbrand or Beatriz Williams, I’d guess you like this one, too! Or, if you just love coastal Maine stories, this is one I’d suggest! 🙂
So Cold the River by Michael Koryta
I only chose this book because it takes place in a hotel/area I’ve visited in the past, and I was super curious how the book would turn out! Now it’s also a movie! A documentary filmmaker is hired to profile a wealthy recluse, but an obsession with the subject leads her to uncover disturbing secrets about the man’s hometown. Totally a thriller, So Cold the River is frightening and suspenseful! If you’re a Hoosier who has visited the French Lick West Baden area, you’ll definitely want to get your hand on this – just to see how the author turns the unsuspecting area into the setting for this intense story.
Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton & James Patterson
YES, this book is by THE Dolly Parton and THE James Patterson. A #1 singer and a #1 author have created this dramatic read, and it’s worth it! Definitely get the audiobook version because Dolly Parton is a character in it, and we all know she’s fabulous! Every song tells a story about a different person. In this case, a young singer-songwriter is on the run. She’s in Nashville, where she’s trying to find her future and put an end to her past. But the darkness that has been haunting her may find her.
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS: What was on your summer reading list? Any favorites I should add to my reading list?