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Escape Reality With These Must-Reads

Lose yourself in a good book by adding these easy reads to your shopping cart.

It’s National Book Day. And while I love a nice long, immersive and informative book, sometimes a quick-and-easy read is just the ticket -- especially right now. Books can be used as a sort of escapism from wherever you may be quarantined. Here at SI Swimsuit we are used to traveling the world and while we can’t physically do that right now, we all can immerse ourselves in far-flung cultures from the comfort of our respective couches. So head on over to your local book store’s website if possible (my favorite is the Strand Book Store in New York City) or Amazon if you must and order some of my favorite reads to entertain and pass the time.

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City of Girls: I picked up this book last summer and read it in about six hours. It takes place in 1940s New York City and is a coming-of-age story that is both fascinating and heartbreaking. As someone currently living in NYC, it was fun to place myself in the book and at the places mentioned.

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The Paris Wife: If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be in Paris. This book details the life of the first wife of Ernest Hemingway, Hadley Richardson, their lives in Paris and their friendships with Lost Generation counterparts Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This book will transport you to the Boulevard du Montparnasse and some of Hemingway’s favorite cafes as well as Saint-Germain-des-Pres and his (and my) favorite bookstore, Shakespeare & Co. So, order this book and take that trip to Paris you’ve always wanted.

Little Fires Everywhere: This seems to be the book of the moment and what I am currently waiting on to arrive in my mailbox. Once I read it, I will let you know my thoughts, but my friend who reads much more than I do has given it rave reviews. If you’re more of a visual person, you’re in luck. You can watch the limited series adapted from the book, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, on Hulu. (I miss Scandal so much.)

The Bettencourt Affair: Have you ever heard of Liliane Bettencourt? No? Then you should pick up this book. It is about one of the wealthiest women in the world (heiress to the L’Oreal fortune) and the twists and turns her life took. From affairs to family feuds and political scandal, this book has it all. 

Nothing Fancy: While not a traditional read, this cookbook has some great little anecdotes inside as well as drool-worthy photos and unbelievable recipes. It will definitely up your culinary game. Try the Crushed Blackberry and Cornmeal Cake or Scallops with Spicy Beans, Tomatillo and Citrus, or my personal go-to (at least once a week!), the Caramelized Shallot Pasta. The best part is the book was written by my ultimate girl crush of the moment, Alison Roman. If you’re not following her on Instagram, you must do so immediately.