Summer reading guide rejects {twitterature}

summer reading guide outtakes

As always, I read a ton of books to vet them for this year’s summer reading guide. Some of them earned a spot; some were just plain duds. Some were terrific, but not summer reading material.

I’ve always loved getting a peek at the outtakes, so today I’m sharing mine. Here are 7 books that didn’t make the cut:

Delicious!: A Novelby Ruth Reichl. This is a book I can’t wait to read—but I didn’t get to read this between the time it came out on May 6 and the time the reading guide went to press, and I don’t include books I haven’t read. At least not anymore.

Beautiful Day: A Novel, by Elin Hilderbrand. Hilderbrand has been called “the queen of the summer novel,” and this would make a terrific beach read. But I couldn’t find a spot for it in this year’s guide.

This is Where I Leave You: A Novel, by Jonathan Tropper. This dramedy got my attention, and not just because Justin Bateman and Tina Fey are starring in the movie. But this might be one of those cases where the movie is better than the book. Plus it’s kind of racy, and I’m not super-comfortable recommending it to a wide audience.

The Hundred-Foot Journey, Richard C. Morais. The premise of this foodie novel sounded so promising, but I abandoned it before the halfway mark. If I didn’t finish it, I’m certainly not going to suggest you should.

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, David Lebovitz. Lebovitz writes fantastic food-inspired memoir and does beautiful cookbooks. This is a cookbook. I love to read cookbooks like novels, but not by the pool.

Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier. This is a gripping pageturner that would make a great beach read, but I wanted to recommend something a little newer, a little fresher in the guide. (But if you haven’t read it, add it to your list!)

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson. I adore this book but I feel like I’ve plugged the heck out of it on this blog. By all means, read it. It’s perfect for summer! But I owe it to you to introduce you to some new titles.

The 2014 summer reading guide will be here tomorrow! Newsletter subscribers get it first: sign up here to get yours delivered straight to your inbox tomorrow.

What have you been reading lately?

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  1. Scott says:

    I was on Goodreads last night reading reviews of random books, and started reading some about The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I know you don’t recommend finishing a book you don’t like, but have to – I guess that’s my OCD. Anyway, I did not like this book, mainly because of the characters (they were so annoying, whiny, and obnoxious), and my wife heard all about it when I read it a couple of years ago, but I felt better knowing that I was not alone! So, my recommendation is, if you hate a book, go to Goodreads and commiserate with others who feel similarly.

  2. Jeannie says:

    Rebecca’s one of my top 5 books ever so I’m so glad you recommended it. I do enjoy the suspense aspect (the last couple of chapters are so tense) but the inner life of the main character is what interests me most — she is so fascinating! Looking forward to the summer reading guide too.

  3. Quen says:

    If you liked Rebecca, give My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier a try. I really liked Rebecca, but loved My Cousin Rachel even more.

  4. Carrie says:

    I had a wonderful month, book-wise. All 4 of the books I read were awesome (to me), and 3 will land a permanent place on my shelves. (That’s saying a lot for me as a minimalist.)

  5. Delicious! is SO good. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it, when you get to it.

    I just read Rebecca for the first time – liked but didn’t love – though I’m glad I finally read it. And you know I love Miss Pettigrew – thanks to you!

    I’ve recently been absorbed in the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman. Also reading Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey, and rereading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

    • Anne says:

      I’m so glad to hear that about Delicious! The Goodreads reviews aren’t exactly universally flattering. 🙂

      I’ve never read the Mrs. Pollifax books–I should look into those. But I just unpacked Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: that one’s definitely worth a re-read.

  6. Courtney says:

    A lot of the books I have read lately (and LOVED) are one I found through your blog…either from your recommendations or from the comments, including Code Name Verity, and Garlic and Sapphires. I’m looking forward to this summer reading guide!

  7. EricaM says:

    I just realized I haven’t really read any of Daphne DuMaurier’s work. I feel like the worst horror fan ever. I need to get on that.

    (Also, I’m just going to add my fangirling over Miss Pettigrew as well-I absolutely love that book!)

    I will be linking my blog here shortly. I had no idea what to write for my blog and my buffer ran out, so you saved me! 😉

  8. Abby says:

    I read Rebecca when I was a teenager and really didn’t like it, maybe I should pick it up again and see if I enjoy it more as an adult. And I will also gush over Mrs. Pettigrew, I read it when they were making the movie a few years ago and fell in love with the book. I think I need to go back and read that again, too.

  9. Moira says:

    Miss Pettigrew and Rebecca are two of my favorites (and I adore the movie version of Rebecca). I always like to see older books get a plug 🙂 Really looking forward to your summer reading guide-I think that might be how I found your blog the first time!

    • Molly says:

      I am going to add these to my reading list. I’ve seen the movie version of Miss Pettigrew, and I adore it. I didn’t know it was based on a book. I’ve never read Rebecca. Again, I’ve seen the movie version (Hitchcock, right?) and never realized it was a book. Anne, you aren’t helping me make my to-read list any shorter. 😉

      • Anne says:

        I saw the Miss Pettigrew movie before I knew it was based on a book. If you loved the movie, read the book! And I’ve never seen the movie version of Rebecca but I can only imagine how creepy Hitchcock could make it.

        The good news for your to-read list: Rebecca is a fast read because of how it’s written, and Miss Pettigrew is a very skinny book. It might even qualify as a novella. 🙂

  10. Tim says:

    Out takes are fun, Anne, and your various reasons for nto including the titles are interesting. I’ve already started my summer reading, I think, as I’m now on my third James Bond novel. Ian Fleming’s writing holds up well (although some of his attitudes about culture and people are firmly entrenched in the mid 20th c. and not all of it is pleasant).

    The library closest to me only had one of the books, so they decided to order all the rest and they are putting them on hold for me as soon as they come in. Talk about great service!


    P.S. As you know, there are also some books that I think no one should read. Not that these have even been written, but if they were I’d not read them: A humorous look at “Books I’d Ban”.

    • Anne says:

      I’ve heard that the books are a lot darker than the films, but I’ve never read any of the books. Yet. (But I’m impressed that your library is making it easy for YOU to read them ALL!)

      • Tim says:

        That library is so good about taking customer requests. I’ve been able to get a couple of books to read through them, including Ellen Painter Dollar’s “No Easy Choice”, before the Ian Fleming books. And these last ones they volunteered to buy; I didn’t even have to ask!.

  11. Amy says:

    I can’t wait for the summer reading guide to come out, but I”m also a little bit nervous – I’m pretty sure I’ll want to read ALL THE BOOKS but I don’t think my to-read list can take that kind of abuse.

  12. Anne says:

    Gosh, Anne, I can’t believe it’s time for the Summer Reading Guide again. I feel like I just read last year’s guide. Looking forward!

    As for your outtakes, I’m curious about This is Where I Leave You, too, and I can’t remember much at all about Rebecca. I think I read it in high school, and it went over my head!

    Linking up for the first time today. Fun! 🙂

  13. Can’t wait for your summer reading guide! I saw Mrs. Pettigrew lives for a day and thought it was Major Pettigrew’s last stand, which I thought was so lovely. Hoping to read Mrs. Pettigrew now after your recommendation 🙂

  14. Jill says:

    Have you ever read any books by Sarah Addison Allen? They are really well written, romantic, not too heavy or serious, and all have a touch of fantasy, kind of? They’re delicious! Perfect summer reading.

  15. Courtney says:

    For those of you who love Rebecca, there is a modern “sequel” called Rebecca’s Tale that is very good. I forgot the name of the author, but its worth checking into.

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