Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

By: Roselle Lim
Publication date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

Traveling back to San Francisco after her mom dies, chef Natalie Tan finds that the Chinatown she grew up in is wildly different from the one she sees today. Businesses are failing and families are moving out.

summer reading list, Natalie Tan's Book of Luck & Fortune
Courtesy of Berkley Publishing Group and Penguin Random House

Another surprise? She’s inherited her grandmother’s restaurant. The local seer tells Tan she must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to help her struggling neighbors so that the restaurant can succeed.

Resentful of her neighbors for leaving her alone to care for her agoraphobic mom, Tan doesn’t want to support them at first. But she eventually changes her mind and finds that Chinatown has been there for her all along.

Order here.

Whisper Network

By: Chandler Baker
Publication date: July 2, 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books

This novel is relevant to working women of all decades — yes, even pre-#MeToo and the “S***ty Men Media List.” Whisper Network is a story of four women — Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita — who’ve decided enough is enough.

summer reading list, Whisper Network
Courtesy of Flatiron Books

The sudden death of their company’s CEO means their boss Ames will take over. The thing is, Ames has a history of poor treatment of women. When he makes an inappropriate move on their colleague, Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita decide they won’t let him get away with it.

Whisper Network has actress Reese Witherspoon singing its praises, making it Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine book pick. Maybe she’ll adapt the book into a movie …

Order here.

America’s Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr.

By: Steven M. Gillon
Publication date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Dutton

John F. Kennedy Jr. was the son of the 35th U.S. president, John F. Kennedy Sr., and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Like most of the Kennedys, JFK Jr. had a successful career, diving into both journalism and law. His life was cut tragically short in a plane crash.

summer reading list, America's Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr.
Courtesy of Dutton and Penguin Random House

The Washington Post says Steven M. Gillon approaches his subject not as a historian but as a longtime friend. You can expect Gillon’s insight to be unique compared to other takes on this fascinating Kennedy.

Those interested in the legacy of the Kennedys and their intriguing careers might enjoy this biography written by the History Channel’s resident historian.

Order here.

Delayed Rays of a Star

By: Amanda Lee Koe
Publication date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday

What do Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong, and Leni Riefenstahl have in common? Not much, other than the fact that they’re women that made a major impact on 20th-century cinema.

summer reading list, Delayed Rays of a Star
Courtesy of Nan A. Talese and Penguin Random House

Actress Dietrich went from up-and-coming German actress to Hollywood icon. Wong became the first Chinese-American star. Riefenstahl is a German director best known for directing Nazi propaganda films — a move that obviously severely damaged her career.

Not that you should model your own film career on any of these women (especially not Riefenstahl … ), but there’s much to gain from author Koe’s reflection on careers past. History repeats itself, right?

Order here.

Famous People

By: Justin Kuritzkes
Publication date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

How does fame impact one’s life and work? Author Justin Kuritzkes explores this topic and paints a picture of an ultra-famous 22-year-old pop star dealing with major unsettling changes.

summer reading list, Famous People
Courtesy of Henry Holt and Co.

The famous narrator first skyrocketed to fame at age 12 with a viral video of him singing. Things aren’t the same anymore since his father/manager took his own life, and teenage love/girl pop star counterpart “Mandy” have taken different paths.

The pop star soon realizes that he’s signed on to something that he can’t control. This sounds like a realization that many former teen idols might have come to…

Order here.

Billie Holiday: The Last Interview and Other Conversations

By: Billie Holiday, with an introduction by Khanya Mtshali
Publication date: July 30, 2019
Publisher: Melville House Publishing

Part of Melville’s The Last Interview series, this is a collection of interviews with iconic jazz singer, Billie Holiday. It includes her very last interview, given from her deathbed in a New York City hospital. She died too young at age 44.

summer reading list, Billie Holiday The Last Interview and Other Conversations
Courtesy of Melville House Publishing

Born Eleanora Fagan Gough, Holiday is known for her evocative, soulful voice and her impact on jazz and pop music. Despite becoming a household name worldwide, Holiday had a hard life.

Holiday explains her journey through this collection of interviews, which covers her thoughts on quitting Count Basie’s band, her substance abuse problems, and songwriting.

Order here.

The Vexations

By: Caitlin Horrocks
Publication date: July 30, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Have you ever seen someone alienate friends and family when their career passions don’t pan out? Author Caitlin Horrocks explores this and more in The Vexations, telling a story of familial bonds strained by a hunger for greatness.

summer reading list, The Vexations
Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

The protagonist, Erik Satie, has everything he needs to become a successful composer, but that goes awry when his mother dies and his father suffers a breakdown. The Satie siblings are scattered, with Erik diving headfirst into the Paris art scene. He’s disappointed when he doesn’t achieve the greatness he thought he would.

Erik’s siblings, Louise and Conrad, try to support him while he isolates himself and lashes out at friends. Eventually, Louise is forced into a reckoning with how Erik will never be the brother she hoped he’d be.

Order here.

Trudeau: The Education of a Prime Minister

By: John Ivison
Publication date: Aug. 6, 2019
Publisher: Signal

Whether you love him or hate him, it’s easy to agree that Justin Trudeau is one of the most famous prime ministers of our decade. In this biography of the Canadian prime minister, journalist John Ivison documents Trudeau’s career trajectory and how he’s changed as a leader.

summer reading list, Trudeau The Education of a Prime Minister
Courtesy of Signal and Penguin Random House Canada

The book drops before Canada’s federal election on Oct. 21, 2019. (Interesting timing, no?) Ivison takes a comprehensive look at Trudeau and examines how the prime minister has evolved from having “no fixed principles” to a “conviction politician.”

Those working in the government or policy sectors might enjoy the deep dive into one of the most famous political careers of our time.

Order here.

Girl on the Block: A True Story of Coming of Age Behind the Counter

By: Jessica Wragg
Publication date: Aug. 6, 2019
Publisher: Dey Street Books

Have you ever felt like an outcast at work? Struggled to prove yourself to insiders in the industry? You might relate to Jessica Wragg’s memoir, then. Wragg tells the story of becoming a butcher and the problematic old-school culture typically found at blocks.

summer reading list, Girl on the Block
Courtesy of Dey Street Books

While she memorized muscles, bones, and tendons, Wragg also took on ageism and sexism. Not many can relate to Wragg’s workdays comprised of chopping meat for 14 hours, but her story of claiming her place might be inspiring.

Despite the odds, Wragg never gave up and eventually found her way — and so can you!

Order here.

Anthony Bourdain: The Last Interview and Other Conversations

By: Anthony Bourdain, with an introduction by Helen Rosner
Publication date: Aug. 20, 2019
Publisher: Melville House Publishing

No matter what you like to eat, it’s fair to say that late chef and writer Anthony Bourdain had a huge impact on food journalism. He’s known for his uncompromising and frank storytelling ability and great appreciation for other cultures’ traditional cuisine.

summer reading list, Anthony Bourdain: The Last Interview and Other Conversations
Courtesy of Melville House Publishing

Like Billie Holiday, this book is also part of Melville House’s The Last Interview series. Find out more about Bourdain’s storied career in the realm of food through this intriguing collection of interviews, which showcase his intelligence and honesty. It promises to be an entertaining read.

Order here.