StyleBistro Book Club: July 2014
Peruse our picks from this month's new releases, then shop the beauty and fashion finds inspired by our chosen reads.
We're bookworms here at StyleBistro, and we understand that finding your next great read can sometimes be as frustrating as searching for a special-occasion outfit—they never seem to materialize when you actually need one. We also know how inspiring the written word can be, which is why we combed through this month's new releases and paired our top picks with a beauty or fashion item that corresponds to each tome. Be sure to check back each month for a fresh batch of stylish reads.
Kristina Rodulfo, Associate Editor: Landline by Rainbow Rowell ($25, out July 8 from St. Martin's Press)
Suspend disbelief for this summer read about a TV comedy writer, Georgie McCool, and her not-so-funny troublesome marriage. There's a magic rotary phone. She uses this phone to speak to her husband, Neal, back in time, right before he proposed in 1999. An explanation for this magic phone never happens. Nonetheless, you're left charmed by the relatable characters, funny dialogue and raw love. It begins when Georgie decides to spend a Christmas apart from her husband and two daughters to take advantage of an offer to write her dream television series. A lack of (real-time) communication threatens Georgie's college-sweetheart romance and she is left reminiscing about their beginnings. She wears Neal's old Metallica shirt for several days straight during all of the story's action—almost the entire book. When I picture Georgie McCool, all I can see is her in a writers' room lounging in the old band tee, sleep-deprived and helplessly in love.
Metallica Tee, $44, at urbanoutfitters.com
Caitlin Miller, Associate Editor: My Family and Other Hazards by June Melby ($25, out July 8 from Henry Holt and Co.)
Not everyone can say they grew up on a mini golf course, but June Melby can. In her biting memoir, My Family and Other Hazards, Melby recalls when she was ten years old and her family decided to buy a golf course in Wisconsin—without any knowledge of running a business or you know, mini golf in general. Now as an adult, Melby's parents are looking to sell the place she had a love-hate relationship with so long ago. In this quippy memoir, Melby delivers anecdotes of her childhood spent among golf balls, customers, the Wisconsin sun and cotton candy. As Melby took me along a journey through the course holes and her coming of age, I could almost smell the sweet confection waft through the pages, filling my head with images of my own Midwestern summers past. I might not be able to nom on some cotton candy while I practice putting on the ninth hole, but thanks to the effervescent fragrance of Lush's Creamy Candy Bubble Bar, I can come pretty darn close.
Lush Creamy Candy Bubble Bar, $7, at lushusa.com
Katie Davidson, Associate Editor: The Giver Quartet Omnibus by Lois Lowry ($30, out July 1 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
This month, a special edition of Lois Lowry’s The Giver hits bookshelves and will soon be on the big screen in a film adaptation starring Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Alexander Skarsgard, to name a few. Set in the future, the story centers around a picture-perfect society in which members are unaware of pain, suffering and, as a result, free will. Jonas is a young teen that stands out because of his bright blue eyes, which also symbolize his ability to feel emotion, unlike everyone else in his community with muted peepers. Before the flick hits theaters in August, get up to speed on this faux utopian society with the author's latest quartet, offering the classic tale along with three more of Lowry's stories set in the same fictional time period. You can also dress up for the summer blockbuster premiere with some on-trend evil eye accessories—we've got our own peepers on these crystal-encrusted studs from C.Wonder, boasting the main character's notable baby blues.
C.Wonder Evil Eye Pave Stud Earrings, $34, at C.Wonder
Cristina Velocci, Deputy Editor: Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth ($18, out July 8 from HarperCollins Publishers)
Anyone who's blazed through the addictive Divergent trilogy can likely agree on two things: that Four is the most fully developed and thus likeable character, and that despite the series' utterly depressing ending, readers are still left wanting more. This collection of short stories told through the perspective of Four (nèe Tobias Eaton) in, appropriately, four parts should satisfy true fans who want to delve back in to the fictional dystopian society—albeit two years before Tris even enters the picture (the book chronicles Four's own journey through Choosing Day and Dauntless initiation). As such, anyone hoping for more romantic encounters between the two leading characters will be disappointed, although there are three bonus excerpts at the end that recount key Divergent scenes through Four's eyes. While plenty of Divergent-branded items exist, I went the symbolic route (because really, what grown woman wants to wear a T-shirt printed with faction symbols?) and chose a crystal necklace that's evocative of the blue glass sculpture Four leaves behind in his room as an act of defiance against his father and the possession-renouncing Abnegation society as a whole.
Kenneth Jay Lane Gold-Plated Crystal Necklace, $62, at theoutnet.com
Bethany Cantor, Style Editor: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno ($18, out July 8 from Harper Teen)
If the past few years have proven anything, it's that reading young adult novels when you're well past adolescence is not only acceptable (thanks to The Hunger Games and Twilight), it's downright necessary—especially for pop culture buffs. Meet your next YA crush, The Half Life of Molly Pierce. In this fast-paced, psychological mystery, we meet Molly Pierce, a high schooler who can't seem to remember where she's been or what she's been doing for long stretches of time. One minute Molly is living her average—if somewhat troubled—life, the next, she wakes up clueless as to what's happened in the hours before. Molly is frightened and unsure of how to solve her problem until she witnesses a horrific tragedy and meets two brothers who change her entire understanding of who she is. I couldn't help but make a play on Molly's disappearing past by pairing this new release with Benefit's Erase Paste. After all, dark circles are one thing we wouldn't mind forgetting.
Benefit Cosmetics Erase Paste, $26, at Sephora
Ann Brady, Executive Editor: Factory Man by Beth Macy ($28, out July 24 from Little, Brown and Company)
Author Beth Macy tends to write about outsiders and underdogs. In the late 1980s, local American furniture manufacturers were feeling the strain as an influx of cheaper replicas hit the shores from Asian competitors. One industry man fought back. Enter John Bassett, the underdog, who ran a three-generation family business in Virginia that employed half the town. With sheer grit, Basset battled using every conceivable tactic to save his namesake business and hundreds of jobs. Without giving away the ending, Bassett turned out to be quite the miracle worker. Put your best face forward and fight your own fight with Philosophy's (made in the USA) Miraculous Anti-Aging Moisturizer.
Philosophy Miraculous Anti-Aging Moisturizer, $60, at Sephora