Tales From A Hungry Life

August 4, 2015

Must-Reads for Summer and Beyond

by Maria Schulz

Yes, I’ll admit it. Whether I’m by the pool, sitting outside on a lazy Spring or cool Autumn day, or watching the snow fall endlessly, I’m that dork/nerd with a book in my hands. From touching memoirs to thrillers to YA reads, I’m always hooked by a great story. Here are some books you will enjoy too.

Read. Now. Enjoy.

Read. Now. Enjoy.

Cut. Paste. Gone. By Lisa Safran

Meet Mona, a 7th grader who is going through a pretty rough time. Her grades have tanked, her beloved grandmother just died, her parents don’t seem to realize that Mona is actually still alive, and her older sister, Violet, embarrasses the heck out of her. Her only refuge is her collage hobby, where she can get away from her troubles for a little while. But when she finds a pair of fancy gold scissors that her grandmother left behind, she has no idea that they’re magical…and that they should never be used when you’re angry. At first, as Mona tries to rewrite her family’s history without her sister in it, it’s all fun and games. But then, she discovers something truly incredible…. “A well-written, engaging exploration of the maxim, be careful what you wish for.” –Kirkus Reviews

 eleanor and park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

The new kid in school, Eleanor, is a big girl with a bad attitude, wild tendrils of fire-red hair, and a catastrophic sense of style. Some people might think that she’s just BEGGING to be picked on. Park, the only kid on the bus who will let her sit with him, has street cred thanks to his life-long ties to the popular crowd. Park loves all kinds of music and is a gigantic fan of comic books. He doesn’t mean to like Eleanor, and Eleanor doesn’t give him a whole lot of encouragement. But little by little, this unlikely pair starts to see something completely remarkable in each other. This sweet, funny, sometimes sad story deftly explores culture, poverty, popularity, bullying, abuse, and falling in love in those hazy, crazy, confused, weird, and yes, sometimes wonderful, teen years.

wayward pines

The Wayward Pines Trilogy by Blake Crouch

Secret Service agent Ethan Burke must locate two colleagues who disappeared in the sleepy town of Wayward Pines. But he’s only there an hour or so when he’s in a horrible car accident. When he wakes up, he’s got no I.D., no cell phone, and no brief case. Why can’t he reach his wife, son, or boss on the hospital phones? Why does the only road out of town loop around, and dump him back on Main Street? Has he woken up in paradise…or is he in hell? This page-turner is also a TV show on Fox (also available through Amazon Prime) and it stars Matt Dillon. My advice: read the books first, and then enjoy the show. Thanks, Paula, for the great pick!

the book of joan

The Book of Joan by Melissa Rivers

In September it will be one year since the Grand Dame of funny dames left us. I was missing her and wishing for another one of her side-splitting books when I discovered The Book of Joan. It isn’t outrageous, insulting, or shocking the way that Joan Rivers’ books were, but it is still a funny, endearing, and comical look at a celebrity mom from a daughter’s sometimes exasperated—but always loving—vantage point. Should my girls ever write about me, I would hope that they would do so with half the love and humor that Melissa Rivers employs. It’s definitely a fun and touching look at the tiny, crazy, hilarious force of nature that was Joan Rivers.

funny girl

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

Barbara from Blackstone idolizes Lucille Ball and wants nothing more than to follow in that comedic giant’s footsteps. The problem is, Barbara’s pesky beauty gets in the way. She’s so dedicated that she drops the old “Barbara from Blackstone” bit and becomes Sophie Straw, a beauty that just happens to be funny, as she searches for the job that will launch her career. This entertaining book takes place in the swinging 60s, when BBC comedy shows were in their infancy, free love was in the air, and HAIR was the hottest ticket in town. Sophie’s adventures as an ingénue and comedienne are pretty funny, but her supporting characters along the way really steal the show.

I'll give you the sun

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Jude and Noah are inseperable fraternal twins…until puberty hits. Suddenly, Jude becomes a daredevil, wears bright red lipstick, and becomes a surfer that tackles the biggest waves. She’s way too cool for Noah, who yearns to be an artist and gets picked on by the same boys that think Jude is the coolest girl ever. The pair vies for their parents’ attention, especially their mother, who is an inspiring artist. But when their mother is suddenly killed, this sister, brother, and father struggle to find meaning—and each other—in a strange new world.

Now available on amazon.com

Now available on amazon.com

Tales From A Hungry Life by Maria Schulz

Meet the Sopranos with a Spanish twist, no money, and only their own blood on their hands. “If you loved Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story, you’re exactly the right person for this book. The story of a quirky family told from a unique and singular point of view. There’s the one girl with six brothers angle. There’s the crazy extended family and neighbors. And there are the memories of the 1970s and 1980s (Son of Sam, All in the Family, so many more). And the meals, oh the meals! You will snort with laughter. I guarantee it.”—Amazon customer review



Chocolate Macaroons

Chewy, chocolaty, and coconutty…how can you ask for anything more? Two of these and your favorite drink make reading even more fun.

So, Hungry Lifers: have you read any books lately? What’s your favorite genre? Do you like macaroons? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!



  1. Maria, I like the selection you present. It has true life, young adult issues, death, family, and the Science Fiction I enjoy. I am thinking of reading the Pines books, didn’t know there were three.

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — August 4, 2015 @ 11:39 am | Reply

    • I think you’ll really enjoy the Wayward Pines trilogy. Read it so we can talk about it! Plus I know you loved my book. You have great taste!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — August 4, 2015 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  2. I will read Lisa Safran’s book. I will reread “Tales From A Hungry Life” which I think should have more about the father in it whom I know personally and is a great guy. The blogs will fill in the rest of my readings.

    Comment by bglou — August 4, 2015 @ 11:56 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for the shout out!!

    Comment by Paula — August 4, 2015 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  4. Some excellent suggestions here. I, especially, like the first and last! 🙂 I’d heard of Eleanor & Park, but didn’t know what it was about. I love the relationship dynamic between the characters. I’ll have to check it out. More to add to my ever-growing list of books to read! Thanks, Maria!

    Comment by wordimprovisor177 — August 6, 2015 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  5. […] Must-Read Books […]

    Pingback by Happy 6th Anniversary to Me | Tales From A Hungry Life — April 6, 2016 @ 6:56 am | Reply

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