If there’s one thing that’s true about us V2ers, it’s that we’re voracious readers. From the daily papers (yes, we still read the papers…as should you!) to our staff book club pick (we’re currently devouring Jennifer Egan’s “Manhattan Beach”), you’ll frequently find us heads down in a story or chattering about some recent piece of coverage. So, as a resource to both ourselves and you as we enter a long, socially distanced summer, we’ve compiled the V2 Summer Reading List, complete with some perfect drink pairings.
Maura FitzGerald, Cofounder and Partner
“The End of October” by Lawrence Wright – If you want to take your mind off the current pandemic and think about a different one, dive into this thriller. The storyline is terrifying in its parallels to the current situation, but incredibly interesting all the same. I recommend reading this while sipping (or maybe gulping) a Scorpion Bowl.
Nicole Metro, Account Director
“Then She Was Gone” by Lisa Jewell – If you’re a fan of murder mysteries, this one is a real doozey. I read this during one trip to the beach last summer (though is definitely not your standard “beach read”)—it is so well-written and keeps you guessing the entire time! Because I was at the beach, I enjoyed it with a few Coronas, but this seems like a good one to curl up with a glass of red wine by a fire.
“Conviction” by Denise Mina – Another one for the murder mystery fans—and especially those who love true crime podcasts—this book is near impossible to put down. It was named the Best Crime Novel of the Year by the New York Times, which should be enough to tell you this is worth a read. Drink with an espresso martini, because you’ll want to stay up late to finish this!
“The Last Letter From Your Lover” by JoJo Moyes – A classic double love story that spans decades, this book is definitely a good “beach read.” Plus, it’s all about the power of language (particularly love letters—if you couldn’t guess that from the title), so why wouldn’t PR pros love it?! I’d recommend enjoying with light, fruity cocktail – like a blueberry lemon vodka spritz!
Allison Webster, Account Manager
“The Marriage of Opposites” by Alice Hoffman – I already read the book and look forward to re-reading it this summer, with a French 75 in hand! It’s a fascinating true story about the life of Rachel Pomié, a young woman born at the turn of the 19th century on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas who yearns to leave behind island life and live in Paris. But as a teenager after her father informs her of her engagement to the much older Isaac Petit, who already has three children of his own, her dreams evaporate. The story is about Rachel’s life: her unlikely romances and marriages, her relationships with her stepchildren and with her future son—world renowned Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. Does she ever make it to Paris?
Victoria Newell, Senior Account Executive
“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith – This book is an old classic and all-time favorite of mine. V2’s recent book club choice, “Manhattan Beach,” which takes place in a similar time in NYC and follows a young girl who wants more than what the world wants her to have, inspired me to pick it back up again.
“Valentine” by Elizabeth Wetmore – Ever since becoming obsessed with Friday Night Lights in high school (the movie, not the show), anything to do with Odessa, Texas has caught my eye. I’m interested to read this author’s portrayal of what life was like for women in the town in the 1970s.
Erin Cooper, Account Executive
“Summer of ’69” by Elin Hilderbrand – A story of a family who usually summers together on Nantucket but this year, they’re all in different places. It ties in historical events, like the Kennedys on Martha’s Vineyard and the Vietnam War, and takes a closer look at the lives of each family member more closely. I think it’d pair well with a nice rose or white wine.
“When Life Gives You Lululemons” by Lauren Weisberger – The ultimate beach read! It tells the tale of three friends (Emily, an image consultant, Karolina, a supermodel turned wife of a politician, and Miriam, a stay at home mom) navigating life in the suburbs. If this book could talk, it would say it needs a vodka soda with a lemon.
Liam Sullivan, Account Executive
“Dune” by Frank Herbert – I’ve been reading it recently and I haven’t been able to put it down. Being stuck inside seemed like the perfect time to start this sprawling Sci-Fi epic chock-full of adventure, politicking and environmentalism themes. Whether you’re looking to escape to another planet (and who hasn’t considered that thought recently) or trying to replace the hole Game of Thrones has left in your life, I’d highly recommend it for your next read.
Courtney Garvey, Content Writer
“The Museum of Modern Love” by Heather Rose – Remember going to museums? And just milling about in public spaces? This novel manages to capture that experience and more. Artist Marina Abramović’s exhibition, The Artist is Present, serves as the linchpin around which the book’s cast of New Yorkers explore their own relationships, romantic or otherwise, as they return day after day to watch her simply sit on display at the Museum of Modern Art. Would it be too kitschy to recommend a Manhattan here?