It’s time for the TWE Summer Bookshelf 2021 recommendations. Here we are in the midst of the summer with all its weather extremes, all its outdoor activity and balancing our slow emergence from the Covid-19 pandemic. Good time to take it easy and take a break with a good book.
So, TWE asked storytellers from 20 Women Storytellers: Taking Action with Powerful Words and Images for summer reading recommendations. Enjoy a good book wherever you are!
Here is what’s on our TWE Summer Bookshelf 2021:
1. TWE Summer Bookshelf: Stacey Reiss
Award-winning filmmaker who produces documentary and narrative films, notably: Spaceship Earth, The Eagle Huntress, The Perfection.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
This is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read. It’s pure poetry, which isn’t surprising since Vuong is a poet. This is his first novel.
The novel is written in the form of a letter from a Vietnamese son to his single, refugee, illiterate mother. He struggles with love, loss, tragedy and freedom while looking for connection and beauty.
St. Ivo by Joanna Hershon
Joanna is a friend of mine and her lyrical writing and propelling narrative spins a compelling family drama that delves into marriage and midlife.
This is a suspenseful novel that takes place over a weekend. Two couples try to deal with the long-hidden secrets that have shaped their families and friendships. As GoodReads noted in its review, it raises questions of do we really know the people closest to us and when someone leaves our lives, can we let them go.
2. TWE Summer Bookshelf: Lindsey Seavert
Award winning documentarian Love Them First and Founder of Seavert Studios
Life’s too Short by Abby Jimenez
I just read “Life’s too Short,” a New York Times Bestseller by an author local to where I live, in the Twin Cities metro of Minnesota. It was also a treat to see the city I love as a backdrop in the novel, but moreover I didn’t want it to end. As a mother, I related to what Abby captures best–a love that tests every boundary as you knew it, and changes everything.
Find a beach or a hammock and some space to tear through these pages with delight.
Abby runs a successful local bakery chain called Nadia Cakes and has won several Food Network competitions. But it’s the recipe of romantic comedy, resilience and the emotional fragility of relationships that has won me over in this perfect summer novel. Her writing leaves us invested in the life of Vanessa, a YouTube celebrity who is caught between fame and her devotion to her family. Vanessa meets an unlikely ally who unknowingly steps into her life storm–the cute lawyer who lives next door and owns her apartment building.
When Vanessa suddenly becomes the caretaker of her baby niece, the trio becomes an insta-family which forces them to navigate the high stakes of true love, hope and what it means to fight for your future.
3. TWE Summer Bookshelf: Kim Covington
Vice President of Community Initiatives at the Arizona Community Foundation. Kim continues to provide hosting, voice over, training and other media services at The Covington Companies.
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris
I am reading The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris. My son 17-year old Jordan bought me this book.
What I love about this book is it teaches us to know what our purpose is and have the courage to follow it.
It is fascinating to learn about how the daughter of immigrants and civil rights activists and graduate of a (HBCU) Historically Black College and University became the first female Vice President and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African American and first Asian American Vice President of the United States. Kamala Harris’ thoughts on problem solving and leadership draw on the wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her.
Thanks Stacey, Lindsey and Kim for giving us these recommendations. What an intriguing collection of books to delve into for summer reading.
Photo Credit: Lindsey Seavert – KARE 11
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