Memorial Day Reading List

A weekend away (and a Monday off) calls for a great read. Whether you’re curled up in bed in the morning, sitting by the beach, or in need of distraction on your train or flight, these books are my top picks for your weekend of freedom.

Lilac Girls – Set in the midst of World War II, this work of historical fiction weaves together the stories of 3 women experiencing the war in very different ways. One is a socialite working for the French Embassy in Manhattan, one is a German doctor whose services are called on at the forefront of the war, and one is a Polish girl whose country is in the midst of a German invasion. All of their stories become interwoven at the end, and the similarities of all of their plights is the underlying thread.

The Sympathizer – The Vietnam War rises to the forefront in this Pulitzer Prize-winning work by Viet Thanh Nguyen. It tells the story of an undercover communist agent who has immigrated to California following the fall of Saigon, and how he maintains his allegiance to his mother country.

The Nest – The Nest is a book that’s been recommended to me multiple times over the past few months, and so I am finally going to see what it’s all about. This fictional work takes place in New York City and details the lives of family members who are eagerly awaiting their inheritance, also known as “The Nest.”

A Gentleman in Moscow – Anyone here read Rules of Civility? I did, and thought it was lovely. This is the second book from that very same author, Amor Towles, and takes place in, you guessed it, Moscow. At its core, this is a love story layered over the story of a time and place, and I am eager to transport myself via my imagination to Soviet Russia.

A Proper Drink – Subtitled “The Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World,” this nonfictional work tells the story of the craft cocktail revolution. Through a series of interview with bartenders and mixologists all over the world, we get the full picture of this epic revival, as well as some favorite cocktail recipes thrown in for good measure (pun intended).

A Fine Imitation – The Golden Age of the 1920s come to life in this work of historical fiction, which details the lives of the glamorous Manhattan social set, and one woman in particular who gets swept up in an illicit affair.

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