June 23, 2017

Read and Chill: The Perfect Summer 2017 Reads

As I’ve said before, there are a few things that are summer staples: BBQ, booze, and summer blockbusters. The other necessity? Beach reads! I find myself with a bit more time on my hands during the Summer, as a lot of us do, and while I like to be out and about while the weather is nice, there are times when I simply need to relax and unwind. To do so, I need a few good books to help me through the summer. Whether I am on the beach, on my couch, or taking a road trip; Summer is not complete with a good read or two.

Ranging from self-help/inspirational to juicy romance; here are 7 books I think will make the perfect summer 2017 reads, along with their publisher’s description. (Click the images for links to purchase)

The Perfect Find by Tia Williams


I cannot sing the praises of Tia Williams and this novel enough. It is simply magnificent. Check out my review here, and read it for yourself.

“Will a forty-year-old woman with everything on the line – her high-stakes career, ticking biological clock, bank account – risk it all for an intensely lusty secret romance with the one person who could destroy her comeback, for good?

Jenna Jones, a former It-girl fashion editor, is broke and desperate for a second chance. When she’s dumped by her longtime fiancé and fired from Darling Magazine, she begs for a job from her old arch nemesis, Darcy Vale. The beyond-bitchy publisher of StyleZine.com, Darcy agrees to hire her rival – only because her fashion site needs a jolt from Jenna’s old school cred. But Jenna soon realizes she’s in over her head. She’s working with digital-savvy millennials half her age, has never even “Twittered,” and pretends to still be a Fashion Somebody while living a style lie (she sold her designer wardrobe to afford her sketched-out studio, and now quietly wears Walmart’s finest). Worse? The twenty-two-year-old videographer assigned to shoot her web series is driving her crazy. Wildly sexy with a smile Jenna feels in her thighs, Eric Combs is way off-limits – but almost too delicious to resist.

Written by the bestselling author of The Accidental Diva, The Perfect Find is a scandalously sexy, laugh-out-loud funny, utterly quotable saga about star-crossed love and starting over.”

32 Candles: A Novel by Ernessa T. Carter

“32 Candles by exciting newcomer Ernessa T. Carter is the slightly twisted, utterly romantic, and deftly wry story of Davie Jones, who, if she doesn’t stand in her own way, just might get the man of her dreams.  For fans of John Hughes’s “Sixteen Candles”, 32 Candles is a fresh and fun fiction debut for every fan of romantic comedy.”

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gang banger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.”

 

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes To Those Who Create It by Charlamagne Tha God 

“Charlamagne Tha God—the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pissing People Off,” co-host of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, and “hip-hop’s Howard Stern”—shares his unlikely success story as well as how embracing one’s truths is a fundamental key to success and happiness.

In his new book, Charlamagne Tha God presents his comic, often controversial, and always brutally honest insights on how living an authentic life are the quickest path to success. Beginning with his journey from the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina to his headline-grabbing interviews with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Hillary Clinton, he shares how he turned his troubled early life around by owning his (many) mistakes and refusing to give up on his dreams, even after his controversial opinions got him fired from several on-air jobs. Combining his own story with bold advice and his signature commitment to honesty at all costs, Charlamagne hopes this book will give others the confidence to live their own truths.”

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Read my three favorite lessons from Shonda Rhimes’ amazing book HERE.

“In this poignant, hilarious, and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder reveals how saying YES changed her life—and how it can change yours too.

She’s the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder. Her iconic characters—Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Olivia Pope, Annalise Keating—live boldly and speak their minds. So who would suspect that Shonda Rhimes, the mega talent who owns Thursday night television (#TGIT), is an introvert? That she hired a publicist so she could avoid public appearances? That she hugged walls at splashy parties and suffered panic attacks before media interviews so severe she remembered nothing afterward?

Before her Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes was an expert at declining invitations others would leap to accept. With three children at home and three hit television shows on TV, it was easy to say that she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. Afraid of cocktail party faux pas like chucking a chicken bone across a room; petrified of live television appearances where Shonda Rhimes could trip and fall and bleed out right there in front of a live studio audience; terrified of the difficult conversations that came so easily to her characters on-screen. In the before, Shonda’s introvert life revolved around burying herself in work, snuggling her children, and comforting herself with food.

And then, on Thanksgiving 2013, Shonda’s sister muttered something that was both a wake-up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything.

The comment sat like a grenade until it detonated. Then Shonda, the youngest of six children from a supremely competitive family, knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.

This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shonda’s life before her Year of Yes—from her nerdy, book-loving childhood creating imaginary friends to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her (like Cristina Yang, whose ultimate goal wasn’t marriage, and Cyrus Beene, who is a Republican and gay). And it chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun—when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and giving the Dartmouth Commencement speech; when she learned to say yes to her health, yes to play and she stepped out of the shadows and into the sun; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self. Yes.

This wildly candid and compulsively readable book reveals how the mega talented Shonda Rhimes, an unexpected introvert, achieved badassery worthy of a Shondaland character. And how you can, too.”

Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan

No summer book list is ever complete without a Terry McMillan novel. You should have read this classic but just in case you haven’t, now’s the time.

“From the critically acclaimed author of A Day Late and a Dollar Short and The Interruption of Everything, a wise, earthy story of a friendship between four African American women who lean on each other while “waiting to exhale”: waiting for that man who will take their breath away.”

Tiny Beautiful Things by  Cheryl Strayed

Need a cold hard dose of truth? Tiny Beautiful Things is the beautifully written book filled with the answers you need.

“This bestselling book from the author of Wild collects the best of The Rumpus’s Dear Sugar advice columns plus never-before-published pieces. Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.

Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills—and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.”

 

What’s on your summer reading list?

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Natalya Muncuff

Natalya Muncuff

Natalya is an Account Manager by day and writer by night. When she is not adding to her enormous book collection or stationery supply, she is somehow keeping track of 55 television shows. You can follow her rantings and occasional sparks of brilliance on Twitter @NatalyaMuncuff.
Natalya Muncuff

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  • Karibbean Kollective

    Great list. I’ve added them to my TBR list. Excited to read Year of Yes

    • Thank you! Let me know how you like Year of Yes, it was definitely one of my favorites.