The Camille Styles team has some major readers among us, and we love getting together to talk about our favorite books each season (who else is making their way through our summertime picks?)

Like any good bookworms, we’re always hunting for recommendations for what to read next.

When it came down to choosing our favorite books of the year, we ran into quite a major challenge: how to choose just one. A few of us succeeded in singling out that one show stopping novel or memoir, but others (this writer included), have a few more recommendations up our sleeves. Which is exactly why the resulting list features something for everyone. Turns out, yes, you really should read Educated, and yes, Bad Blood really is as shocking as your coworker said it was. Read on to discover the books that need to make it onto your list, STAT.

image by natalie lynn borton

Save Me the Plumsby Ruth Reichl

Juicy tales from the inner workings of a glamorous magazine… and total, scintillating food porn on top of that? Sign me up! Save Me the Plums chronicles trailblazing food writer Ruth Reichl’s tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet magazine. It’s hard to imagine a time that restaurants were the hottest spots and chefs weren’t rock stars, but this memoir peels back the curtain on how it all came to be. It’s a fun read that I couldn’t put down — and when it was over, I was inspired by the story of a woman who followed her bliss, even when it led to unlikely places. – Camille Styles

Daisy Jones & The Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Queue up Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin, and Joni Mitchell, then dive headfirst into the world of Daisy Jones & the Six. The novel is structured more like an oral history and tells the story of an iconic seventies band that had a meteoric rise to fame — and burned out just as quickly. Reese Witherspoon is already adapting the book into an Amazon miniseries, so get ready for this to be your next Big Little Lies–level obsession. Historical, funny, and beautifully written — this was the perfect beach read for my summer vacation. –Kat Fluor

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou

Earlier this year I became just slightly obsessed with the story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos — the company she founded as a 19-year-old Stanford dropout that claimed (and convinced some of the biggest players in the U.S.) that it could run a huge range of medical tests on just one drop of blood. Carreyrou was the reporter that originally broke the story of the secrets, lies, and straight-up fraud that went down behind the scenes of Holmes’s company, and details it all in Bad Blood. The book is a juicy look at the dark side of Silicon Valley’s startup culture, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll snap it up in a weekend. –Phoebe Neuman


Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

This book had me feeling so many sorts of emotions. My favorite book of the year by far. Kya, the main character, was abandoned at a young age and is forced to fend for herself on the marshes in North Carolina. I don’t want to give anything away… but the story takes a turn when two men come into her life years later and teach her about the good and bad in this world. This story kept me on my toes, and it is SO beautifully written. I laughed, I cried (a lot) and most importantly thought differently about life after — mine and everyone else’s. –Kat Fluor

In Love, by Alfred Hayes

This novella was first published in 1954 by Alfred Hayes, who is considered one of the secret masters of the twentieth century novel. It’s the story of a love affair as told to a woman in a diner, and it reminds me of the famous painting Nighthawks by Edward Hopper. The book has been described as “noir”. It’s gritty as hell, and goes deep into the neurosis of a romantic breakup. I love it because it’s got so much style. The writing has rhythm. It’s a story you can relate to, told with a puff of cool smoke from the 1950s. You’ll love it. –Jennifer Rose Smith

The Working Woman’s Handbook, by Phoebe Lovatt

The Working Woman’s Handbook was a guiding light when I experienced a sudden career shift back in the beginning of the year. Lovatt breaks down what it really takes to run your own business, giving helpful tips for how to decide if you’re ready to take your side hustle full time – and a road map for how to get there if you aren’t. The business-focused worksheets and prompts are interspersed with stories of successful women across all industries, so you’re all but guaranteed to walk away from an afternoon digging into it with a healthy boost of motivation. –Phoebe Neuman

Educated, by Tara Westover

This memoir is amazing! It’s the true story of how a young woman grew up living off-the-grid in Idaho, with no birth certificate or education, in a violent, mentally unstable, survivalist family, managed to find her own way to a Ph.D. at Cambridge University. Although dark at times, it’s such a powerful, inspiring, and riveting account of growing up in a world where violence is part of everyday life and the emotional toll that takes on a child. It’s a testament to the extreme power of education and how it can change your life forever. I couldn’t put it down. –Kat Fluor

 

Why Not Meby Mindy Kaling

I think Mindy Kaling is hilarious – I loved her in The Office and in The Mindy Project. Her first book was incredibly funny and this one had me stifling chuckles as I read it on the plane to Seattle. In Why Not Me? Mindy writes about the growth of her career, her various friendships in LA, and what it means to be a hardworking woman in the world today. All the while, making amusing, yet surprisingly relatable, observations on her life and the world around her. This book pulls you into her life and mind and jumps from funny to serious and back to funny again; it really is the absolute best vacation read! –Rachelle Shuttlesworth

Hunger, A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay

I’m going to get this out of the way up front: Hunger is not an easy book to read. It doesn’t make you feel good. In fact, it made me feel actively uncomfortable throughout most of it. But that said, Gay’s memoir of the ripple effects of trauma and what it’s like to take up more space in the world than women are typically allowed is hugely moving. It’s a rallying cry for kindness and compassion that doesn’t shy away from the messiness of trying to become comfortable in your own skin, making it a powerful take on the body positivity movement. –Phoebe Neuman

1 comment
  1. 1
    Kathleen Lisson | August 13, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks so much for this list. Great for reading on vacation!

    Reply
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