Pressing the Reset Button in the Hamptons and Finding Long Stretches of Time to Read…

Books in the Hamptons

Keeping a low profile and doing what I love…

A four day get-a-way with my college age son provided a well needed change of scenery for both of us! Our little beach house, just steps to the ocean, is a perfect place to reconnect and recharge; steering clear of the crowds, we enjoyed the quiet time.

We ate great food from some of our favorite spots… dosas at Hampton Chutney, swordfish at Harbor Bistro, bagels at Goldberg’s, chicken parm at Astro’s Pizza and quesadillas at La Fondita. We shopped at Innersleeve Records, J Crew and of course, Book Hampton. We both love reading at the beach and here are the books we tackled and loved:

My son is a music lover and a fan of the band called Japanese Breakfast so he chose to read:

Crying in H Mart

Crying In H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner

Author Michelle Zauner shares the ups and downs in her life… how her mother had cancer and passed away and how she met her husband. Reading her story sheds light on how Zauner’s experiences influence her music today. Although the book didn’t focus much on the music, my son enjoyed it.

I had been seeing Celadon Books’ new debut all over social media and chose to read it:

We Are the Brennans

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange

What’s not to love when engrossed in a big Catholic family saga with Irish pride, hidden secrets, deep feelings of shame, a family bar, an unpaid loan, infidelity, an unknown pregnancy, drunken mistakes, lost love, and fierce loyalty?   Great fictional story!

I recently interviewed the amazing and talented Laurie Frankel, the author of One Two Three at my book club meeting and she recommended:

Stranger Care

Stranger Care by Sarah Sentilles

In this heartbreaking memoir about becoming a foster parent, Sarah Sentilles shares her personal journey of mothering baby Coco with emotion and honesty, letting us in on the complicated, frustrating and disorganized process of placing children in safe foster homes. She brings to light the web of well meaning, but overworked authority figures who make crucial decisions that impact so many children in need, and all that falls through the cracks. In addition to her own story about her marriage, her dreams of having her own baby and her decision to love Coco’s birth mother, Sarah introduces so many big ideas I plan to revisit, including: an eco-map of important relationships (something the pandemic perfectly sets the stage for), convincing one plant to take care of another (grafting to repair injured trees), and the reference to Mary in the New Testament, and the difference between giving birth and becoming a mother.

Several friends have continuously raved about all books by the author of A Man Called Ove and I finally got around to picking up:

Anxious People

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

This book did not disappoint! It was laugh out loud funny, insightful and quirky…it is about a bank robbery, a hostage drama, an apartment viewing, police officers, a real estate agent, a bridge, and a bunch of idiots. Fredrik Backman is a wonderful observer, writes what he thinks and tells a great story with humor.

“Some people accept that they will never be free of their anxiety, they just learn to carry it. She tried to be one of them. She told herself that is was why you should always be nice to other people, even idiots, because you never know how heavy their burden is….The problem of course is that it isn’t always possible to be kind to idiots, because they’re idiots.”

On a different beach, earlier this year I read an obvious one:

Beach Read

Beach Read by Emily Henry

A perfect setting, interesting characters, humorous and romantic, this is is book about writers living next door to each other at the beach, suffering from writers block. They engage in a competition of sorts to help themselves resurrect their creativity and that, along with the slow build toward romance made it a page turner! A perfect choice for any day at the shore!

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