a book list // my favorite summer reads

Did you have a nice fourth of July? We hung around here and spent the morning out in Lincoln on the Sudbury River {beauty! and refreshing!} and then took the train into the city to watch the fireworks from a friend’s roof deck in Beacon Hill. I might be biased, but Boston’s fireworks are GLORIOUS. THEE best I’ve ever seen. And the Pop’s playing along? Well there’s nothing better than that. Something about those patriotic songs just give me the chills. Good old fashioned America. Love this land.

And now, a book list for you! Because a few friends have been asking about books lately, I thought I’d just make a summer favorites list. These are books I have read and loved and think they’d be perfect for a trip to the beach or a lounge on a hammock swing.

Tried and true, I’d recommend these to anyone. They are all terrific.favorite-summer-reads


Summer Sisters // The Help
The Time Traveler’s Wife // Where’d You Go Bernadette?
Anne of Green Gables // Divergent

goal five: read 25 books

I think this goal is one of my very favorites.

For me, it’s the most satisfying, most productive, most enjoyable thing of all the things on my list. Because for me, reading is magic– there is magic in the stories, in the best ones at least, just waiting to be opened and connected with, and for this very reason, I keep reading.

I keep reading and reading and reading.

I can’t remember the exact point in which I became a reader. A real reader. The kind of reader that feels the magic. But I do know that it was some point after I graduated college. Crazy, right? It seems hard to believe that it took me nearly 21 years to become a real reader, but it’s the truth. If I had to pick a time and a place, I think it would be on those long T rides to and from work that I first started to believe in the power of books, to see the beauty in the stories.

Besides being a reader of books, I also happen to be a collector of them. I get that from my mother, and for this I am grateful. But being a collector means there are many books in my home that I haven’t even turned the pages of yet. They are waiting patiently on my shelves to be taken down and opened up. Those books up there in the photograph are a few from the unread pile in the collection. They are first up on my “to-read” list so I can place them into the read pile once and for all. As for the others, I’m going to pick them up as they come– choosing ones friends’ recommend, and even those that speak to me from the shelves of local bookstores. I’m not going worry too much about which ones I end up choosing in the end— as long as I read, I’ll be satisfied. {Also, audio books count, too, just to clarify. Books are books!}


My 2013 book list {COMPLETE. 37 books. BOOM.}:

The Night Circus

The Time Traveler’s Wife


The Giver

The Hobbit

The Light Between Oceans

Where’d You Go Bernadette

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Tiger Rising

Tuck Everlasting

The One and Only Ivan



The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

I Feel Bad About My Neck- And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman

Beautiful Ruins


If I Stay

The Rules of Inheritance


The Art of Fielding

Me Before You


The Last Child

Eleanor and Park

The Handmaid’s Tale

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

Anansi Boys

The Storyteller

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

Girls in Pants

Forever in Blue

Sisterhood Everlasting

A Thousand Mornings

Tiny Beautiful Things // Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar {ALMOST FINISHED!}


And I know I’ve asked before, but if you have any favorites you think I should know about, send them my way, please and thank you. I’m always interested in hearing what you love.

All the books, my friends. All the glorious books.


P.S. I made a favorite list once {and updated it recently}. You can take a look at it here.

snapshots // currently…

Just a few things about life lately:

T H I N K I N G  A B O U T : my seventh snow day today. SEVENTH! The part of me that grew up in Syracuse, NY thinks Boston is being a big ginormous wimp. The part of me that loves summer vacation is getting stressed and disappointed. The part of me that enjoys sleeping in thinks these days off are not so bad. Mostly, I’m just going with it. Telling myself that time off in the summer is a luxury that not everyone gets. And that school in June is hardly school at all at that point. More like one fun, sunshine-y party with a bunch of seven year olds that love you to the moon. I can handle that for sure. I always get weary of letting the littles go at the end anyways. They make their way into my heart and I always feel like I want to keep them.

R E A D I N G : The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s only my 3rd book this year, so I’m slacking for sure. My goal is 25, which means I’ve got to get moving on the reading front, but this book is crazy long and was a little hard to get into. It’s picking up, so I’m confident I’ll finish it– and I’m motivated to keep going with all the great recommendations I got from friends + bloggers. Have you ever read it? What did you think?

L I S T E N I N G  T O : A lot of The Shins radio on Pandora. Also, Ingrid Michaelson radio never lets me down. Are you a Pandora listener? It’s my favorite because it introduces me to so much new music that I would never have found on my own. I’m hoping to make a spring playlist soon to share on the blog. Something upbeat + happy to put a little skip in your step.

W A T C H I N G : Girls. I just love it with all my heart.

W O R K I N G  O N : Knitting. I was able to get some good practice at casting on and learned how to knit and purl with the help of my cousin last weekend. Haley is a serious knitter and she came to Boston {with her little baby Hope!} for the North Shore Yarn Crawl last Saturday. I tagged along and picked out some yarn for when I get really good and am ready for my first project. But for now, I’m just practicing little squares. It’s getting easier so that counts for something!

D O I N G : The couch-to-5k running program. I started it last week when the weather was nice {using this app} and am really confident that I can for real make this happen this time around. I am not a runner, but I want to be. And I hope to become a healthier version of myself in the process. So, here’s to trying. And to feeling pretty motivated about being successful, too.

L O O K I N G  F O R W A R D  T O : Easter at home. I just can’t wait to be with my family in the little town I grew up in. I’m also excited for the chocolate and the cupcakes. Always a good time. Always delicious.

M A K I N G  M E  H A P P Y : The fact that the end of ski season is in sight! Zan has been gone most weekends being the ski bunny that he is. We’ve been pretty good at making more time for each other during the week {going out to dinner or spending time in the kitchen together}, but I’m excited to spend spring and summer weekends with him again very very soon.


P.S. I have a really sweet giveaway in the works for tomorrow. It involves instagram {YOU LOVE IT} and will be my first official giveaway ever, so be sure to come back and check it out! I think you’ll be excited about it too!


OH! and I got the idea for this post from my sweet friend Mary.

my favorite children’s books: picture book edition // v. 2

The Little House + The Dot + The Little Engine That Could

Whistle for Willie + The Diary of a Worm + Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Not A Box + The Jolly Postman +The Popcorn Book

The Rainbow Fish + The Giving Tree + Love You Forever

The Lion and The Mouse + Olivia + Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild!

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type + Skippyjon Jones + Miss Nelson is Missing

The Tale of Peter Rabbit + Koala Lou + Library Lion

Goodnight Gorilla + Stone Soup + Goodnight Moon

The Stinky Cheese Man + Where the Sidewalk Ends + Strega Nona

Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse + Zen Shorts + The Story of Ferdinand

The Runaway Bunny + The Story About Ping + Art and Max

The Kissing Hand + Fancy Nancy + Harold and the Purple Crayon

Bear Snores On + The Mitten + The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

Green Eggs and Ham + Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs + Curious George

Tikki Tikki Tembo + If You Give A Mouse A Cookie + Make Way For Ducklings


The teacher in me needed to do SOMETHING to recognize Read Across America Day.

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday (yesterday!), and since my Monday-Fridays are filled with books and reading, I thought it might be nice to add to my list of what (I think) are some of the best books around. Lots of these are old classics, many you may recognize or be nodding your head, “Yes, I remember that one!”, and some are newer, and just as fun and/or lovely as the ones written many years ago.

As a teacher and lover of stories for young children, I could go on all day about why these are so wonderful, but next time you’re in a book store, I urge you to stop in the children’s section for a bit to find one of these and see for yourself. I guarantee it’ll make you smile.


For more favorites:

My Favorite Children’s Books: Picture Book Edition // v. 1

{I hope to post a favorite children’s chapter book edition in this lifetime, too.}