Our friends at Clos du Bois have curated the ultimate book list to guide you and your girlfriends through the dog days of summer. From Best Beach Read to Best Murdery Mystery and Best Foodie Fiction to Best Page-to-Silver-Screen Blockbuster, this list captures the moods of the season. We haven’t had the best weather this summer so I’m going take advantage of these precious last couple of weeks and take some time to unwind with these great reads.
Looking for the perfect wine to serve at your book club? Clos du Bois’ Cabernet Sauvignon is a crowd-pleasing choice with its aromas of cassis and plum with vanilla and mocha notes; ripe black fruit flavours with vanilla spice to finish.
Without further ado…
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Best Inspiring Tale
Fans of the author’s smash hit Silver Linings Playbook will love this follow-up which tells a story of friendship, grief, acceptance, and the power of kindness and love as 38-year-old Bartholomew Neil deals with the death of his mother. Bartholomew discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother’s underwear drawer. In her final days, Mom called him Richard—there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life by writing Richard Gere a series of letters.
Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead
Best Prodigy Drama
A look into the fiercely competitive and political world of professional ballet and its impacts on two generations, as told through the eyes of a ballerina named Joan. Though her career was shaped by her former love, Arslan, Joan has started a new life with her long-time admirer Jacob. Joan’s past and the present meet years later when the couple’s son Harry’s – also a dance prodigy – career takes off, leading him to connect with Arslan. This is a tale filled with secrets, passion, and intrigue.
Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn
Best Murder Mystery
Based on a true story, this thriller is billed as “An In Cold Blood for our time.” Dark. Suspenseful. Bizarre. Hitchcock-esque in its artful use of suspense, this story chronicles the happenings of a writer unknowingly caught in the presence of a psychopath masking himself as a gentleman. Masterfully written and sure to be a classic, this novel combines confessional memoir, crime reporting, and cultural speculation.
I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum
Best Parisian Love Story
The age old question, “is it really possible to fall back in love?” is presented by 34-year-old artist Richard Haddon, as he attempts to regain the love of his beautiful French wife while mourning the loss of his American mistress. An unexpected tale set between Paris and London, complete with no shortage of emotion and clever quips.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Best Literary Page-turner
Hailed as one of the year’s best books, this 700+ page work of fiction follows 13-year-old Theo Decker, a New Yorker who miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father at a young age, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy family. Distraught by the tragedy of the loss of his family and bewildered by his strange new home on the Upper East Side, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysterious painting that draws him into the art world. As an adult he moves from drawing rooms to antique stores, through a narrowing, dangerous circle.
Visible Cities by Tova Mirvis
Best Provocative Prose
An intriguing tale of three New York City couples whose paths intersect in a most interesting way. The pros and cons of loyalty and desire are weighed in this provoking story of twenty-somethings who resist commitments, thirty-somethings unsure about the ones they’ve made, and sixty-somethings with empty nests and a whole lot of doubt.
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Best New York State-of-Mind Tale
Among other things, New York is perhaps best known for its balancing – and often un-balancing – act of class, money, and power. How do these play out with friendships? The Interestings explores the envy of talent within the intricate relationships of six creatives as they grow and shift and change from the height of youth to measurable success.
Delicious! By Ruth Reichl
Best Foodie Fiction
California native Billie Breslin lands a job at (fictional) Delicious! magazine and leaves the west coast for The Big Apple to chase her dreams. But is it too good to be true? Shortly after relocating, the magazine folds and she is forced to stay behind and take a temporary job in the library. To her surprise, the job leads her on a path of discovery and delight when she digs up an old correspondence between 11-year-old Lulu Swan and famed chef James Beard during World War II. This novel follows Billie through a range of emotions as she learns that taking risks sometimes bring forth the biggest reward of all.
The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson
Best Beach Read
Robert “Cali” Callahan is a young runaway, living on the colourful streets of Venice Beach, California. On the surface, he has it made: a treehouse to sleep in, a clan of surfers to call friends, a weekly basketball game, and even a girl on his arm. What’s not so sweet? He has no plan. But after a local cop refers him to a PI who is looking for a missing teenager who would rather stay hidden, Cali must decide where his loyalties lie.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Best Page-to-Silver-Screen Blockbuster
Though this one isn’t fresh on the shelves, it recently hit the big screens at theatres this summer – perfect for those who prefer to read the book. Narrated by a 16-year-old cancer patient Hazel, this novel follows the young girl who is forced by her family to attend a support group. But it’s not all bad news, as she meets – and falls in love with – 17-year-old Augustus, a former basketball player and amputee. Powerful, romantic, and heart-wrenchingly hopeful, this book is said to be the voice of its generation.
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