I will confess – I use to be such a great, committed reader, but ever since I started my own business my mind runs from the moment I wake up to when my head hits the pillow – actually sometimes while I’m dreaming too. Emails, advertising, scheduling, social media, eat, breathe, sleep! I took a step back the other day and thought I NEED A VACATION :) (I always need a vacation – I’m beginning to think I’m addicted.) But with my hubby starting the Houston Fire Department in a couple of weeks a vacation is not really in the cards for us. Reading was always a great “get away” from reality for me while growing up. I always loved diving deep in to characters and storylines and really getting engulfed in a new world. So I’ve decided to get back on it! Maybe this can satisfy my wanderlust for a little while things get settled with hubs new job and our completely new schedule. I did some research on what everyone was reading now-a-days and came up with this list that I really think will help me have a few adventures – no passport needed. :) *Information from Goodreads.com* It’s a great place to find the perfect book for you!
The Lost Girls: Three Friends, Four Continents, One Unconventional Detour Around the World – I can’t wait to read this one! It is pinpoint where I am in my life: SO. MUCH. PRESSURE.
Where it will transport you: Brazil, Kenya, Vietnam, Australia.. and more!
About: Jen, Holly, and Amanda are at a crossroads. They’re feeling the pressure to hit certain milestones—scoring a big promotion, finding a soul mate, having 2.2 kids—before they reach their early thirties. When personal challenges force them to reevaluate their lives, they decide it’s now or never to do something daring. Unable to gain perspective in fast-paced Manhattan, the three twentysomethings quit their coveted media jobs and leave behind their friends, boyfriends, and everything familiar to travel the globe. Dubbing themselves the Lost Girls, they embark on an epic yearlong search for inspiration and direction.
As they journey 60,000 miles across four continents and more than a dozen countries, Jen, Holly, and Amanda step far outside of their comfort zones, embracing every adventure and experience the world has to offer—shooting blowguns with Yagua elders in the Amazon, learning capoeira on the beaches of Brazil, volunteering with preteen girls at a school in rural Kenya, hiking with Hmong villagers in Vietnam, and driving through Australia in a psychedelic camper van. Along the way, the Lost Girls find not only themselves but also a lifelong friendship. Ultimately, theirs is a story of true sisterhood—a bond forged by sharing beds and backpacks, enduring exotic illnesses, fending off aggressive street vendors, trekking across rivers and over mountains, and standing by one another through heartaches, whirlwind romances, and everything in the world in between.
This candid and compelling memoir will speak to anyone who has ever felt the desire to spread her wings and discover the world with her best friends by her side.
Where it will transport you: Suley, Georgia
About: Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it’s the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn’t believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake’s owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake’s magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages—and her heart—back to life?
Sometimes lost loves aren’t really lost. They’re right where you left them, waiting for you to find them again.
Eat Pray Love – C’mon you have to read this classic! :)
Where it will transport you: Italy, India, & Bali – Talk about triple threat!
About: In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want–husband, country home, successful career–but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.
The Last Song – Good o’ Nicholas Sparks! This will be the first Nicholas Sparks book I will be reading – and I’m weirdly excited about it…
Where it will transport you to: Wilmington, North Carolina
About: Seventeen year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father… until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him.
Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts… and heal them.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (You know, that Reese Witherspoon movie – Who can resist Reese?!)
Where it will transport you: From the Mojave Desert to Washington State – Major inspiration!
About: At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wildpowerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – I need girlfriends like this in my life! :) I absolutely love these books!
Where it will transport you: D.C., Santorini, Charleston & Baja California
About: Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.
Where it will transport you: Beautiful France! Croissants, anyone?
About: As a young woman, Kate Betts nursed a dream of striking out on her own in a faraway place and becoming a glamorous foreign correspondent. After college—and not without trepidation—she took off for Paris, renting a room in the apartment of a young BCBG (bon chic, bon genre) family and throwing herself into the local culture. She was determined to master French slang, style, and savoir faire, and to find a job that would give her a reason to stay.
After a series of dues-paying jobs that seemed only to reinforce her outsider status, Kate’s hard work and willingness to take on any assignment paid off: Her writing and intrepid forays into la France Profonde—true France—caught the eye of John Fairchild, the mercurial fashion arbiter and publisher of Women’s Wear Daily, the industry’s bible. Kate’s earliest assignments—investigating the mineral water preferred by high society, chasing after a costumed band of wild boar hunters through the forests of Brittany—were a rough apprenticeship, but she was rewarded for her efforts and was initiated into the elite ranks of Mr. Fairchild’s trusted few who sat beside him in the front row and at private previews in the ateliers of the gods of French fashion. From a woozy yet mesmerizing Yves Saint Laurent and the mischievous and commanding Karl Lagerfeld to the riotous, brilliant young guns who were rewriting all the rules—Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, John Galliano—Betts gives us a view of what it was like to be an American girl, learning about herself, falling in love, and finding her tribe.
Kate Betts’s captivating memoir brings to life the enchantment of France—from the nightclubs of 1980s Paris where she learned to dance Le Rock, to the lavender fields of Provence and the grand spectacle of the Cour Carrée—and magically re-creates that moment in life when a young woman discovers who she’s meant to be.
Where it will transport you: You’ll get your passport stamped with this one! Travel from Budapest, Italy, Greece, Spain… All throughout Europe!
About: Part memoir, part guidebook, The Mystical Backpacker invites you to explore your inner terrain and learn how to create your own unique version of a modern day vision quest or walk-about.
Tired of living a life based on other’s expectations, Hannah Papp quit her job, bought a EuroRail ticket and a map, notified her landlady, and left town. Embarking on a journey across Europe with no plan and no direction, Haynal stumbled into becoming a modern-day Mystical Backpacker. Along the way her discoveries and the teachers she encountered allowed her to go on a deeper journey into the self and the spirit—revealing the real self she had long been missing.
The Mystical Backpacker shows you how to identify the signs along the road that will lead to teachers and experiences that will reorient your own life map. Ultimately, The Mystical Backpacker offers a solution, a way to break free and find your inner self’s rhythms and needs, fulfilling your true destiny. It’s time you hit the road and become a mystical backpacker.
Harry Potter Series – Because sometimes you want to just believe it’s real. Who doesn’t want to escape reality sometimes?
Where it will transport you: To Hogwarts – who else thinks their admissions letter owl got lost?
About: Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the “Harry Potter” series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.
Those are my summer vacation must-reads! What does everyone else like to read? Have any other recommendations? I am so excited to dive in to the pages of these!