My husband promised me last week that summer is officially over. It’s been so dang hot here, y’all. (I’m channeling my inner Reese Witherspoon with that “y’all.” My friend Kris insists that I remind her of Reese, so every once in a while I like to put on a pretty dress, hot roll my hair, and break out a few y’alls, which actually comes quite naturally seeing as I’m from Kentucky.)

Wow, did I digress a lot in that paragraph? Anyway, summer being finally over, I thought I would share some books I’ve read this summer. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can’t pick up these fantastic reads this fall.

1. Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon is charming and witty and Southern.

I downloaded Whiskey in a Teacup last week onto Audible. While I do plan on getting the hardback copy of this book, I wanted to listen to it, because it’s narrated by Reese, herself. And I really do love me some Reese Witherspoon. I mean, we had kids at the same time, and we’re close to the same age, so we’re like southern besties or soul sisters or something like that.

After hearing her tell stories about her southern upbringing and her grandmother Dorothea, I do think we could have been besties given the chance. She just has the kind of personality that, with a glass of sweet iced tea, you could sit out on a screened-in porch on a wicker sofa with your legs curled underneath, and you could talk, laugh, and cry for hours like you’ve been friends forever.

Enough about Reese and me. Whiskey in a Teacup takes you through Reese’s upbringing in Nashville, TN. The book is filled with southern recipes, lessons on makeup, interior design, the perfect dinner party play list, and even how to perfectly hot roll your hair. With her personal charm and southern wisdom, she welcomes the reader/listener into what it was like to grow up in the south with strong southern women as a foundation, often causing me to relive some of my own southern upbringing here in Kentucky.

I will say, though, I would love the opportunity to put my my mom’s fried chicken recipe (which is actually from a woman we called Miss Patsy) and a glass of Kentucky bourbon next to Reese’s grandmother’s fried chicken and a glass of whiskey for some good ol’ southern competition. All in fun on a hot summer day, of course.

If you’re from the south, or curious about the south, pick up Whiskey in a Teacup. It’s the perfect book to read and flip through (or listen to) on a Sunday afternoon while sipping a glass of sweet tea. The audio version actually comes with a pdf download, complete with photos, recipes, and other useful information from the book that I was able to easily scroll through on my iPad. However, I’m still planning to grab a copy of the hardback version for my library.

2. My (Part-Time) Paris Life by Lisa Anselmo

My Part Timer Paris Life by Lisa Anselmo, Paris France, expat living, a memoir

I also listened to My (Part-Time) Paris Life on audio. What can I say? It was a summer for road trips and long walks, both perfect for listening to fantastic memoirs. Besides, I’m a sucker for listening to the stories of other people’s fascinating lives, especially when told in the author’s own voice. Lisa Anselmo’s story of how she decided to purchase an apartment in Paris and split her time between New York and Paris was no exception.

Who wouldn’t love an inside look into how an American stumbled along a path to becoming a local in the city of lights? And she sure took a bumpy road on her way to owning, renovating, and keeping a Paris apartment, complete with water leaks, legal battles, and learning the language and culture of the French. Lisa seemed to navigate most of her obstacles with grace, wine, and whine. (And I do not mean “whine” as an insult. I would have been whining right along with her at some of the issues that came up with her new apartment.) The water leak alone would test the most sane person and make her want to throw in the towel. But Lisa perseveres, and her mother, whom Lisa talks about and mourns throughout the book, would be super proud of her daughter for hunting down and holding onto her dreams.

If you often dream about living in another city, getting out of your comfort zone, or simply want to see Paris through someone else’s eyes and experiences, pick this one up! My daughter and I listened to it on a road trip to Florida, and we both enjoyed it.

What I’m Reading Now (Join me!):

Educated by Tara Westover

Heather's Book Club, Educated by Tara Westover, survivalist, memoirs

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Educated by Tara Westover is a completely different sort of memoir from the above mentioned stories, and I’ve only just started this book. So far, I’ve never read (or listened to) a book that is as difficult to read as it is to put down. I’m afraid there is no walking away from this memoir unscathed. I would love it if you would join me in reading this one. I’ll be back on the blog to discuss and review this memoir on Friday, October 5, and I would love it if you dropped by and joined the conversation on that day. (If you want a reminder, be sure to sign up to get newsletter notifications below, and I’ll send you a brief notification any time there’s something new on the blog, including Book Club announcements.)

If you’d like to hear in Tara Westover’s own words what her memoir is about, watch this short video:

Now, go pick up your copy! I have a feeling we’re all going to want to discuss this one!

Tell me in the comments if you’ve read any of these books or what you are reading these days. I’m always looking for my next read.

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