When I was a kid, I was never without a book on my person (#NerdAlert: I would ask how long a car ride was just in case I might finish one book and need another). These days, I don’t get to read (for pleasure) as much as I’d like, but lately, I’ve been making more time for it. Especially because there’s truly nothing better than reading a good book on the beach (#AmIRight?). Here are a few I recommend…

Gone Girl. I mean, duh. I was late to the game on this major best seller, just finishing it a couple weeks ago, and I have to COMMAND everyone to read this ridiculously suspenseful gem. I wouldn’t exactly call it “feel-good,” but you will not be able to put it down, and it will fuck with your mind like whoa. With so many predictable plots these days, it was incredibly refreshing to have zero clue how this thing was going to end until the last damn page. Plus, the movie comes out in October, and with such an intricate plot, it would be a shame to see it before reading the book. I can’t imagine how they’re going to cover all the twisted ground on these pages in two hours…

The One & Only. I read Emily Giffin’s latest in two days on the beach. I couldn’t wait to pick it up each morning (even through a hangover), was invested in the story and the characters, and felt a major void when I finished it. My best friend (who I borrowed it from) felt the same way, BUT some comments on my Instagram showed other Giffin fans felt differently. There’s a strong football component in the story, but you don’t have to really love/understand the sport to enjoy this read (although if you absolutely hate college football, you may not appreciate it). But I found it to be such a unique roller coaster of a love story (not #basic at all) and a heartwarming page-turner by one of my favorite authors (remember our chat?).

Some of my very favorites that have been on the shelves for a bit: The Glass Castle: A Memoir (probably my favorite book of all time; a must-read for anyone), Firefly Lane
and Night Road (both by Kristin Hannah–easy reads, way addictive; finished them both in a few days and shed a tear or 1,000), and Fifty Shades of Grey (just kidding; I couldn’t even finish it).

When I was feeling the Gone Girl void, I asked my FB friends what to read next and they said: Sharp Objects by a landslide (also by Gillian Flynn), Where’d You Go, Bernadette?  (numerous people have highly recc’d this), The Husband’s Secret, and The Silent Wife (I hear it’s similar-ish to Gone Girl). The Fault in Our Stars is a given, and I’ve also been told that Wonder (although for pre-teens) is incredible, important, and inspiring for all ages (and especially if you have children).

I have never not loved a book my mom recommended to me (it must be the former librarian in her and also knowing me for 31 years). She is in disbelief I have not read The Language of Flowers, so that’s up next (and it is supposed to be incredible), but while we were shopping on vacation last week, she picked out The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls for me. Even though I should have known better, I snubbed it and insisted on The Vacationers instead. She bought The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls for herself and warned me I better not steal it if I didn’t like my selection. A few chapters into The Vacationers, I wasn’t hooked, and found the writing a little sloppy/wordy. So what do you think happened next?

beach read

What…a brat. And then Mom coaxed my poor dad to pick her up another copy at the bookstore on his morning bike ride the next day because their daughter is a book thieving bish.

Bottom line: Read more and listen to your mother.


Stay tuned on Instagram @AshHess if you want to know what I think of this “stolen” book I still can’t pronounce (so far, so good).

And let me know your favorite must-reads in the comments!

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