July is National Ice Cream Month and we’re celebrating and staying cool by scooping up some delicious flavors and pairing them with some of our favorite hot summer reads.
If You Like Blueberry Crisp Ice Cream, Scoop Up Evvie Drake Starts Over:
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
From the host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast comes a heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship between a young woman who’s lost her husband and a major league pitcher who’s lost his game.
Jenna Bush Hager has picked Evvie Drake Starts Over as the #ReadWithJenna July Book Club Pick!
Click to watch the announcement.
In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and, even worse, he can’t figure out why. As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future.
When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken—and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts—the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept—but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance—up until the last out.
If You Like Thin Mints Cookies & Cream Ice Cream, Scoop Up The Other’s Gold:
The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames
Now a Vogue “10 Books to Read This Summer” pick, The Other’s Gold is an insightful and sparkling novel that opens on a college campus and follows the friendship of four women across life-defining turning points.
Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorn College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. The leafy green campus they move through together, the idyllic window seat they share in their suite, and the passion and ferocity that school and independence awakens in them ignites an all-encompassing love with one another. But they soon find their bonds–forged in joy, and fused by fear–must weather threats that originate from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves.
If You Like French Vanilla Ice Cream, Scoop Up The Second-Worst Restaurant in France:
The Second-Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith
In this delightful sequel to the bestselling comedic novel My Italian Bulldozer, Paul Stuart’s travels take him to a French village, where the local restaurant’s haute cuisine leaves a lot to be desired.
Renowned Scottish cookbook writer Paul Stuart is hard at work on his new book, The Philosophy of Food, but complicated domestic circumstances, and two clingy cats, are making that difficult.
So when Paul’s eccentric cousin Chloe suggests that he join her at the house she’s rented in the French countryside, he jumps at the chance. The two quickly befriend the locals, including their twin-sister landladies, who also own the infamous local restaurant known to be the second-worst eatery in all of France. During their stay, the restaurant’s sole waitress gives birth mid-dinner service and the maître d’ storms off after fighting with the head chef. Paul is soon drafted to improve the gastronomy of the village, while Chloe, ever on the hunt for her next romance, busies herself with distracting the handsome but incompetent chef. Could he be husband number six?
With all this local drama to deal with, Paul finds it next to impossible to focus on his writing, and that’s before he learns that Chloe’s past is far more complicated than he’d ever imagined. Paul will have to call upon al his experience—with food and with people—to bring order back to the village. And he may just learn something about family—and about himself—along the way.
If You Like Rainbow Sherbet Ice Cream, Scoop Up Surfside Sisters:
Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer
A Nantucket woman returns home to find that reunions aren’t always simple, in this heartwarming novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Nantucket Wedding and Secrets in Summer.
Keely Green always dreamed of leaving the beautiful shores of Nantucket to become a writer. Now she’s a bestselling novelist living in New York City, attending glamorous cocktail parties and mingling with the literary elite. Keely is also dating a charming, perfectly fine pediatric surgeon who looks good on paper but isn’t “the one.” She just can’t bear to break it off—until he declares his desire to settle down. Then Keely’s editor rejects her latest novel. With her personal and professional lives suddenly in shambles, Keely longs for the soothing island way of life.
Growing up, Keely and her best friend, Isabelle, were inseparable. Nothing could come between them—except, as it turned out, Keely’s high school boyfriend, Tommy. Returning home would mean facing Isabelle’s bitter betrayal and seeing for herself the family Tommy and Isabelle have created, the life that might have been Keely’s.
But when Keely’s mother falls into a deep depression, Keely knows what she must do, even though she is reluctant to face her estranged friend. And encountering Isabelle’s older brother, Sebastian—Keely’s longtime crush—only complicates things.
If You Like Birthday Cake Ice Cream with Sprinkles, Scoop Up The Birthday Girl:
The Birthday Girl by Melissa de la Cruz
In the thrilling, suspenseful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz, all of Ellie de Florent-Stinson’s secrets come to light in one eventful evening full of twists, turns, and surprises.
Before she became a glamorous fashion designer, Ellie de Florent-Stinson was a trailer-park teen about to turn sixteen. But a night of birthday celebration doesn’t go exactly as planned and descends into a night she’ll never be able to forget.
Now, on the cusp of her fortieth birthday, it appears Ellie has everything she ever wanted: a handsome husband; an accomplished, college-age stepdaughter; a beautiful ten-year-old girl; adorable and rambunctious six-year-old twin boys; lush, well-appointed homes in Los Angeles, Park City, and Palm Springs; a thriving career; and a dazzling circle of friends.
Except everything is not quite as perfect as it looks on the outside—Ellie is keeping many secrets. And hiding those skeletons has a cost, and it all comes to a head the night of her fabulous birthday party in the desert—where everyone who matters in her life shows up, invited or not. Old and new friends and frenemies, stepdaughters and business partners, ex-wives and ex-husbands congregate, and the glittering facade of Ellie’s life begins to crumble.
If You Like Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, Scoop Up The Triumph of the Spider Monkey:
The Triumph of the Spider Monkey by Joyce Carol Oates
Now available for the first time in 40 years, this seminal novel of madness and murder is acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates’ powerful trip into the mind of a maniac.
Abandoned as a baby in a bus station locker, shuttled from one abusive foster home and detention center to another, Bobbie Gotteson grew up angry, hurting, damaged. His hunger to succeed as a musician brought him across the country to Hollywood, but along with it came his seething rage, his paranoid delusions, and his capacity for acts of shocking violence.
This definitive edition for the first time pairs the original novel with a never-before-collected companion novella by Joyce Carol Oates, unseen since its sole publication in a literary journal nearly half a century ago, which examines the impact of Gotteson’s killing spree on a woman who survived it, as seen through the eyes of the troubled young man hired by a private detective to surveil her.