Wanting to read a great book this summer, but still have not gotten around to it? Head to Martha’s Bookstore on Balboa Island, owned by sisters Kathy Wales and Stephanie Thomas (The store was named after their mother, Martha). Whether you want to grab a couple of books to take on your vacation, or you are staying home and have resolved to find time to read this summer, Kathy and Stephanie have compiled a list of their picks for the best summer reads.
Their independently owned bookstore is charming, and intimate. If you are in a hurry, they will set aside a book for you ahead of time, but the best way to experience Martha’s is in a leisurely browse. They will offer you a sample cup of tea and you can help yourself to cookies at the counter.
Here are their picks:
Best Veg By the Pool Book
“Bossypants” Tina Fey’s book is 300 pages of great stand-up comedy. If you are sitting on the beach or by the pool with anyone else, this book will turn into a read aloud session because everyone around you will want to know why you can’t stop laughing.
Best ‘Keep My Mind From Turning to Mush This Summer’ Book
“In the Garden of Beasts” by Eric Larson
The reader gets an inside and in depth look into Berlin from 1933 to 1935 through the eyes of United States Ambassador Dodd and his 24 year old daughter, Martha. Meticulously documented this work of non-fiction is a page turner.
Best Romance or Love Story
Paula McLain’s “The Paris Wife” tells one of the greatest love stories of the 1920s, that of Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley. Hadley is beautiful, supportive and encouraging. Ernest, determined at 21 to become a writer, moves to Paris with his new bride where they become fast friends with Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald and many others, traveling and drinking their way through Europe while trying to have a conventional marriage in an unconventional world.
Best New Release
“Dude: Fun with Dude and Betty” by Lisa Pliscou, illustrated by Tom Dunne
Learning to read surf-speak has never been so easy, or so much fun! It’s like, totally radical! (If you need a little extra help, check out the non-bogus glossary at the back of the book.) My favorite definition is, “valley, the: an uncool place far away from the beach.”
“The Unseen OC: The Untold History, Stories, and Legends of the Unseen Orange County” by Corey Schlom
In Southern California’s smallest county, there are some places left that few have ever seen. This large-format coffee table book (12 x 12) has some of the most incredible photos of Orange County with a history background for each location. Waterfalls, canyons, sunsets, ranches and wildflowers gloriously grace the pages of “The Unseen OC.”