I can’t help it, it’s an addiction. Every time before a vacation I arrive at the airport and beeline for the newstand, eager to pursue all the latest international mags (for free with no hassle to buy, haha) then make my over to the Bestsellers Wall, eager to stuff more books into my over already overstuffed carry-on. And annoyingly, much to my dismay two chapters into the book on a lounger somewhere in paradise, I remember that “Bestseller” should be a subjective word, as it certainly doesn’t guarantee a good read. In an effort to avoid you gifting another book to the hotel, I present my list of Must-Reads for any summer vacation.
Born Standing Up- Steve Martin
It’s said that every great comedian has their dark side. The same Steve Martin who stole your heart in Father of the Bride is the master of sporting many artistic hats, as this autobiography is hilarious (as expected) and smart to boot. A must read.
Wonderful Tonight- Pattie Boyd
As you might have gathered from the Title, Boyd had a torrid love affair with Eric Clapton back in the ’70s, among other flings and rock rendezvous. A dishy and delicious read from one of the most insightful groupies still standing.
Life, Keith Richards
Richards doesn’t hold back accounting the life and times of his personal tales on the road. Sex, drugs and plenty of rock and roll name-dropping.
Angela’s Ashes, ‘Tis & Teacher Man- Frank McCourt
A must-read trilogy. Try feeling sorry for yourself after learning about McCourt’s devastatingly poor upbringing in Limerick, Ireland. Image living at the bottom of a sloped lane with no indoor plumbing. Ever heard the saying shit rolls downhill? You get the (grim) picture. From losing two siblings to starvation, to rodents, to persistent crusty yellow eye infections due to living in absolute filth “like 2 pissholes in the snow“, it’s a miracle that the Pulitzer Prize winning McCourt even made it out alive! Read for a giant slice of humble pie and a true source of inspiration.
The Glass Castle and Half-Broke Horses, Jeannette Walls
Yes, I do love a good rags to riches story- who doesn’t! Another dirt poor, coming of age tale from award-winning author Jeannette Walls. Crushing poverty, mental illness, true grit and unstoppable determination make this one a re-read on my book shelf. The follow-up novel, Half-Broke Horses is about the author’s cherished grandmother, another unstoppable trailblazer.
Valley of the Dolls- Jacqueline Susann
Although this novel was penned in 1967, voice couldn’t sound more of-the-moment. As you might have guessed, Valley of the Dolls outlines the glamourous and tragic tales of three best friends trying to make it in New York and Los Angeles in the 1960s, with a little help from their friends- the Dolls (amphetamines). Good luck getting this back from a friend you’ve loaned it to. Chances are, she’s already passed it on. Wildly entertaining!
Certain Girls- Jennifer Weiner
As much as I hate to admit it, I do love the occasional chicklit! Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner is the ultimate guilty pleasure. Intelligent, funny and relatable, wrap this one up in a beach towel and just get on with it.
Lover and friends, let me know, have you read any of these books? Recommendations? Judgements? Verdicts? Let me know your thoughts!