Okay, Okay, Okay! I got it! You want more books!
I totally failed to get a bookclub together for June, and boy did you let me know about it!
You wanted books to read, and you wanted them last month. You had plans to sit on a beach/dock/porch swing and read all June long, and my list of fun books was nowhere to be found.
So after getting all of your frantic emails, I got to work. I had a couple of drinks, went online and ordered some books to read!
Yikes! That’s a lot of reading I have to do this month.
So maybe having two glasses of wine and ordering a shit ton of books wasn’t the wisest of plans. But now I will have some great book recommendations for you in the upcoming months 😉
And just so you know, the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree!
This is how Ellie’s bed looks every morning when she gets up, even though everyday I put them all away for her. One day I will learn.
This month, I am featuring summer cookbooks, summer books for the kids and of course some summer reading for you!
Now, have a glass (or two!) of wine and order away!
Endless Summer Cookbook – Okay, so I don’t have cable which means I never watch the Food Network. But after getting this book, I might have to grow up and pay for cable tv because I am seriously in love with Katie Lee. I’m crushing hard and seriously want to be her bff, as well as be her guest at her Hamptons house. She can cook for me, I’ll do the dishes! I think that is a fair trade. While some of her recipes might be a little much for busy weeknight family dinners, the Late Summer Farro, Butternut Squash, and Arugula Salad, the BLT Ranch Burger and the Chili-Honey Garlic Shrimp Kebabs are all easy enough to toss together for the entire family any night of the week.
Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet – This is the best cold dessert cookbook I have found for kids (and you)! So if you want to feed and eat healthy cold desserts all summer long that are not packed with unwanted calories and ingredients – then get this book! The recipes feature fresh heathy ingredients such as fruit, coconut milk, honey and spices. I have made several recipes for the girls all to rave reviews. Next up on the list, is the Roasted Peaches and Cream Pops and then the Blueberry Lemonade Snow Cones.
Eating in the Middle – Andie Mitchell is such a inspiration for anyone who has or is still struggling with their weight. In her best-selling memoir It Was Me All Along, she talks about her weight struggle and how she lost over 135 pounds! In her cookbook, Eating in the Middle, she writes out the recipes that she used to achieve her goals. But this isn’t a weight-loss cookbook. It is a cookbook filled with delicious recipes using fresh whole ingredients, which means it is perfect for family meals. Her Asian Chicken Salad, Lemon Cream Risotto and Chicken Curry with Ginger & Yogurt are some of my favorites.
Make Your Own Soda – A book on soda? Random, I know! But since I only let my girls drink juice on very special occasions, I feel like I owe them some sort of yummy beverage to have during the hot months. This book has fun syrups that you make and then add into your own soda water. I will warn you that all of the recipes call for regular sugar, but I have used honey in all of the recipes I have tried (and usually halved the amount called for in the recipe) and they have all turned out sweet enough for me. To make the sodas for the girls, I put a very small amount of syrup into their water bottles and then fill them up with soda water (you can also use regular water). To make my drink, I put a larger amount of syrup and a shot (or two) of vodka into a tall glass and then top off with soda water. A drink of all of us:)
The Real Girl’s Kitchen – Let’s just say I was never a devoted Haylie or Hilary Duff fan, but awhile ago I was wondering around our library and randomly picked up Haylie’s new cookbook and couldn’t put it down. I ordered it from amazon right there in the library because I knew I would use it for years to come. She has easy and fresh recipes as well as sweet stories about her life. The book has beautiful pictures and is a fun read inside or outside of the kitchen. For more recipes (and baby food recipes) check out Haylie’s blog – The Real Girl’s Kitchen Blog.
Summer Books for Kids
Baby Loves Summer! A Lift-The-Flap Book – (ages 6M+) – Hands down, these flip books were (and maybe still are) Parker’s favorite baby books. She loved to lift the flaps and then she would shriek in delight as she uncovered what was underneath it before leaning in and giving the baby and big kiss, which was super cute and gross at the same time. Baby Loves Summer is all about baby finding the most important things about summer – cute flip-flops, sunshine and of course ice-cream! Be sure to check out Karen Katz other flip books as well, I promise your little one will love them.
Penguin on Vacation – (ages 2+) – Have you read the penguin series yet? They are all such amazing books with some serious heart-meltingness going on in them! In this book, Penguin leaves his cold ice covered home for a sunny beach get-away and finds a new friend to have some fun in the sun with.
The Watermelon Seed – (ages 2+) – Oh NO… I swallowed a watermelon seed! The laughable adventure of a watermelon-loving alligator and how he swallowed a watermelon seed. This book is easy to read, has great illustrations and makes my girls laugh every time we read it.
Under the Sea (Magnetic Story & Play Scene) – (ages 18M+) – This isn’t really a story per say, but it is a book with sea creatures magnetics that the kiddos get to place onto the pages and make up their own story. I first found these books when we went on our first international flight with both of the girls and Ellie loved this book! It kept her busy for almost an hour, and since the book has a nice compartment for the magnets, we still have most of the pieces to the book. There are also a ton of other themes to choose from as well. So if you have a long flight, road trip or long travel plans in your future (or just 20-minutes to yourself), be sure to pick up this book.
Don’t Splash the Sasquatch! – (ages 2+) – This fun book is all about crazy animals (Mr. Octo-rhino, Miss Goat-Whale) splashing a huge sasquatch at the pool. To get the kids really laughing, try making up funny voices for each of the characters. While Parker likes this book, Ellie who just turned 4 is totally into it and now making up her own animal combinations for each of us, I’m Mommy-Monkey-Horse.. not sure how I feel about that one.
Other great summer books…
It’s Vacation Time (ages 18M+), really the entire series is awesome.
Seashore Baby (ages 6+M)
Hide and Seek Harry at the Beach (ages 6+M), see rest of series
Llama Llama Sand and Sun (ages 1+), see rest of series
Summer Books for You
For me, summer reading is all about getting into a serious relationship with a too-good-to-put-down trilogy. You know the ones, the ones that suck you in and won’t let you leave. The ones that keep you up way past your bedtime. These are my 5 favorite trilogies that I have read in the last couple of months. I am currently working my way through the stack of books I have on my bedside table, so those will be recommend (or not) to you next month.
BONUS – The Glassblower Trilogy, Pines Trilogy, Brilliance Trilogy and The McGregors Series are all FREE on Amazon Kindle Unlimited!!!
The Glassblower Trilogy – This trilogy is a tale of three sisters in the late 1800s Germany, who have to take over their father’s glassblowing business when his suddenly passes away. The three sisters have to go up against a profession driven by men in a small village. The writing is translated from German, so some words might be a little out of place, but nevertheless, I got caught up the beauty of the writing, the village life and more importantly I feel in love with the strong-willed female characters of the book. The order of the books – The Glassblower, The American Lady and The Paradise of Glass.
Pines (The Wayward Pines Trilogy) – This is not usually the kind of books that I tend to read, but WOW there were amazing! They kept me on my toes the entire time with great characters and twists that kept me up way past my bedtime. And the ending… was definitely not what I expected, but it was killer! The basic plot for the first 20 pages is that secret service agent Ethan Burke is going to the small town of Wayward Pines to look into two of his fellow federal agents who have gone missing. Right as he gets into the town he is in a horrible car accident. When he wakes up the mystery of where he is and why the doctors won’t let him leave the hospital begins. The sequence of these books are Pines, Wayward and The Last Town.
Brilliance Trilogy – So maybe I do have a thing for mystery/thrillers/suspense because this is now my third thriller I have recommended to you (see the first one here). I guess what I like is a mystery/thriller that holds my attention, has a little romance, amazing characters and plot twists that keep me on my toes. Those I like. The Brilliance trilogy takes place in 2013, but in a completely different alternate history and where the technology is even more advanced. The book starts when federal agent, Cooper has to track down the most dangerous brilliant (person with exceptional gifts) man on the planet. Without giving away too many plot twists, I will leave it at that. Bonus that there is a fun romance going on throughout the series! The series order goes Brilliance, Written in Fire and A Better World.
Mom, you can go ahead and stop reading right now, because I am about to recommend some steaming hot romance novels! It is summer after-all, a good spicy book is called for! So grab a margarita and big floppy hat to hide your blushing and let’s get reading.
Bared To You – Be honest, did you read Fifty Shades and love it? If your answer is yes, then these books are for you. They are hot hot hot! Eva and Gideon have are two flawed people but when they meet they have an instant steaming hot connection and… well that is really all I can say without blushing from head to toe. In order – Bared To You, Reflected In You and Entwined With You.
The McGregor Series – These are not a traditional series, but all 4 of these books are connected with the same characters. All of these modern romance books are set in San Francisco (my old stomping grounds) and Scotland (wishing it was my old stomping grounds) with strong female leads and hot Scotsmen! Yes please! You don’t have to read them in order but they go The Pack, The Offer, The Play and The Lie.
WHERE TO GET THESE BOOKS –
I have linked all of these books to amazon, because duh.. FREE 2-day shipping with Prime Membership! If you are a kindle reader, you can get that version with the links above. You can also get all of these books from your independent bookstore or the your local library. Enjoy!
Okay, now it’s your turn. What is your favorite go-to summer cookbook? And what are you reading right now that you absolutely love?
Disclaimer – All of the above links are affiliate links and I get a small percentage of any of the sales. However 100% of the opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Baby FoodE and my reading addiction.