my fave summer reads {and those on my hit list}

my fave summer reads {and those on my hit list}

When I was growing up, I was known to complete an entire book in one day.  I was a big fan of the Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew, Judy Blume, Charlotte's Web, and Harriott the Spy. You know it, I read it. I was truly a kid of the 1980's because we didn't really have any of the technology we have today. Yes we had a home computer, but that was for 'work'. 

Unfortunately, as I grew up, I started reading less and less, with lifestyle and business magazines taking over my life, digital media, work and my busy social life. I think the last time I actually stepped inside a library was probably in 1992 and it wasn't until I watched Sex and the City The Movie, when I realized that I too missed the smell of library books just like Carrie Bradshaw.

Now as I get older, I've embraced reading again. I've switched back from my iPad to actual books - there is just something about holding a good book and flipping the pages. Anyone who knows me well, knows that a Chapters Indigo book store will turn me on instantly and make my heart flutter. I LOVE being in the presence of books and with all the home decor items they now carry, I can't help but want to just plonk down my credit card at the till and say "I'll get everything!".

But I don't and I won't because that's not very Smart Cookie of me:)

Because I've been back on the book bandwagon, I wanted to share with you some of my fave reads lately. They're very different from the next because I enjoy easy, fast reads as much as I enjoy the ones that take a bit longer and really make you think.


The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

The Plumb family will make your family look normal! It's a warm, funny and acutely deceptive debut novel about four adult siblings (The Plumb family) and the fate of their shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives. You will be amazed what money will make people do. For me a sign of a good (fiction) book is when you can fall in love with the characters and this one I truly did.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

I'll be the first to admit that I don't watch all of Shonda's shows. But I am a loyal Scandal fan, have indulged in How to Get Away With Murder and I'm a former Grey's Anatomy fan. But a friend recommended this book as a bit of an inspiration and indeed it was. Shonda writes like she writes her characters: fast, tactful, and humorous. It really is like getting a peek inside of her chaotic mind and by chaotic, I mean this-woman-has-so-much-going-on-in-her-life-that-its-amazing-she-found-time-to-write-this-book. Year of Yes chronicles the year she decided to say YES to everything because her sister commented that she never says yes to anything. Through this year, she rediscovered herself, got over her fears of public speaking and doing media and lost over 100lbs in the meantime!

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

originals book.gif

I love a good business book, especially those that use real business case studies to illustrate their point of view. Originals was recommended by myDomaine as one of their best career books. I quickly did a scan of my friends to see if any of them had read it and majority won. Adam Grant discusses the surprising advantages of being an outsider, and how having a unique perspective can bring individuals unparalleled success and creativity. I figure if Malcolm Gladwell recommended it and if Sheryl Sandberg wrote the forward, it was worth the read and oh yes it was. 

F**k it, Do What You Love by John Parkin

I'll admit that the title of this book caught my eye immediately. John Parkin is known for his F**k It series of books, but this one was all about timing because of where I am/was in life. I'm trying to do a little soul searching, find my destiny, blah, blah, blah. In this entertaining and motivational book, the author sets out to prove that when we do & what we love, we're actually more likely to be happier, healthier, wealthier and more successful. He addresses the significant blocks that people experience when they consider what they love. Gee, sounds very familiar. 

Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin

I love a great book about food. Aside from cookbooks, when I see something that even talks about the subject matter, I'm intrigued. This book is foremost a memoir about the author cooking her way to happiness and self-acceptance while on a culinary journey. Over the course of 195 weeks, Sasha sets out to cook - and eat - a meal from every country in the world (kind of like Julia and Julia, where blogger Julie Powell sets out to cook her way through Julia Childs The Art of French Cooking cookbook). As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. I really truly loved this book and the characters and it certainly gave me some inspiration as I too love to cook.

Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

When I was the head of marketing for a national restaurant group, I naturally started to read a lot of hospitality, food, and business books including Setting the Table. I LOVE Danny Meyer and his restaurant concepts, so learning about his history and path into the industry he has now succeeded in was inspiring. Not only does this chronicle his early days starting up the Union Square Cafe through to his success with Shake Shack, it teaches you a lot about the basic principles of hospitality and why its so important to your business and guests. 

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

It's no surprise to you all that I am a BIG fan of Chrissy Teigen. I even wrote a blog about my experience making her mac & cheese from this cookbook. But I love her honesty, wit and hilarious nature when it comes to social media. Not to mention, she's not your typical super model talking about how much kale is a superfood and that she eats it every day. She's just REAL, so when I bought her cookbook earlier this year, I started reading it because she's very funny. It gives a bit of a back story to her early years in the kitchen, inspired by her mother and how she's carried that forward to her adulthood. Great recipes, pretty easy to follow and some are just oh-so-indulgent. 

Spinster by Kate Bolick

I first heard about this book in the NY Times when they were reviewing it. The title caught my eye, I felt like I was turning into a spinster at one point in my life (pre-Nate) so I could relate to the subject matter. Admittedly, I'm only 1/2 way through this book but I LOVE IT. "Spinster offers an idiosyncratic journey through Bolick’s ­decades-long exploration of how to live independently, with cues from an assortment of nontraditional women", says the NY Times. She looks at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single and she uses her own life and experiences as a starting point. Its funny, real and I could totally relate to her (and I think some of my friends will as well).


And as I continue to delve through books, there are some on my hit list as well. They are:

  1. The Sleep Revolution by Ariana Huffington

  2. GRIT, The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

  3. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

  4. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

  5. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

  6. The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha

  7. The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

  8. Small Victories by Julia Turshen

  9. Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

Happy reading!

in good company // issue no. 02 // tara parker tait

in good company // issue no. 02 // tara parker tait

links + inspo

links + inspo