Kelly's July Recommendations

Photo by  Maddi Bazzocco  on  Unsplash

Each month, I publish a newsletter full of recommendations for books, podcasts, and other fun things. You should sign up for it. Click “Newsletter” at the top of this page and sign up. This is always free, and I never share your information with anyone else. Amazon doesn’t want direct links in emails, so I put the links here for you to go find your next great read or listen. Yes, it’s annoying. Thanks for understanding.

Books

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb: After an unexpected breakup with her boyfriend, therapist Lori Gottlieb finds herself on the other side of the office as a patient while she also continues to help her patients with their lives and struggles. Part inspiring, part funny, completely charming and lovely, this book made me sit in my feelings for a solid day, and I’ve been rolling around some of the scenes and snippets of wisdom all week. This book is proof that we all could use a good therapist once in a while. Humanity can be hard, and we shouldn't have to tackle life alone.

Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl: Would I like reading about the behind-the-scenes drama of a fancy, food magazine that I never read, even though said magazine folded ten years ago? YES. YES, I WOULD. After reading Garlic and Sapphires recently, I was excited to get my library reserve notice of Reichl's latest memoir Save Me the Plums. Just as delightful as her other books, Save Me the Plums entertains with stories of interesting people and places, decadent food, and a touch of heartbreak.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan: This historical fiction details the life of Fanny Stevenson, wife of Robert Louis Stevenson. I am a sucker for historical fiction told from the perspective of famous artists’ wives. I will read every one of them all ding dong day (Please see all books about Hemingway's wives, Zelda Fitzgerald, C.S. Lewis, etc. etc.). Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and his wife, Fanny, lived a wild and adventurous life, traveling across the world to try and find a climate best suited for his weak lungs. Their love story was strange and wonderful, and I enjoyed learning more about them.

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson: This historical novel features a very important dress -- Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress to be exact -- and the interesting women who made it. England, still struggling over the devastation of World War II, looked to Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip's wedding as a rallying point for the country, and this novel celebrates the grit and determination of England's average citizens to hack out a life after the devastation of war. Fans of The Crown or Call the Midwife will love this book.

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith: This is a YA romantic fiction book. Though there are parts of this book that I felt were too farfetched, especially at the end, I loved the premise of this book, and I loved how the characters grow and change during the process. This is a great book to take to the pool or the beach.

Podcasts

Hadestown: This isn’t a podcast, but I needed to let you guys know that I’m obsessed with this Original Broadway Cast Recording. It’s fantastic. My friends know how bad my obsessions can get. I don't know if anything can top 2015, the year of Alexander Hamilton, but I just want to give you guys some advance warning.

Throughline: I don’t like every single episode of this podcast, but I think many of the episodes are important to hear. Through Line details the past to make sense of our current culture and climate.

Revisionist History: I’m not sure what else I need to tell you to convince you that you need to listen to this podcast, but you need to listen to this podcast. I’m particularly fascinated by an episode about the Jesuits in this 4th Season.

White Lies: I just started this podcast. I had heard about it, and I listened to an adjacent episode on Throughline that featured the hosts of White Lies. It’s super fascinating and interesting, but like most podcasts about unfound history, it's also infuriating and sad. The hosts go back to Selma, Alabama, in order to find answers to an unsolved murder of a white, Unitarian minister during the Civil Rights Movement.

Kelly WiggainsComment