Summer Lovin

Summer got you feeling like this?


Or this?


If so, you may be experiencing Summer Lovin’: either the deep abiding love of summer or summer, you know, lovin‘. Camp romancin’, beach townie flirtin’, lifeguard swoonin’, county fair corn dog sharin’, eventually regret-filled THRILLZ. Awellah wella wella unh.

Tell you more? Tell you more?

If you’ve been standing by the mailbox in your summer best every day like:

…with nary a look from your postal worker or neighbors, it’s time to take a breather. You can still get friendly down in the saa–aaa-aaa-nd. Just do it with a book! On a towel. And don’t actually get the book too sandy, Sandy. Other people gotta read that when you’re done.

Ok, to you from me Pinky Lee. A list of a books that sure beat the foam domes around here:

Too Pure to Be Pink: Classic Summer Romance for Sandra Dee types

Tell me about it, stud.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Summer Secrets by Jane Green

We’ll Always Have Summer and P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Somebody to Love by Kristin Hannah

The Perfect Letter by Chris Harrison (The Bachelor host!)

A Summer Affair by Elin Hildenbrand

Nantucket Blue  by Leila Howland

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

The Beekeeper’s Ball and Home Before Dark by Susan Wiggs

Hickies from Kenicke: Not too Romance-y Romances  for Betty Rizzo types

These authors weren’t writing with a defective typewriter!

Paper Lanterns: Love Stories by Stuart Dybek

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro, edited by Jeffrey Eugenides (he gets two listings, cause I’m hopelessly devoted to him)

Of Love and Other Demons and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum

The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

Body Surfing and Sea Glass by Anita Shreve

The Summer Invitation by Charlotte Silver

Don’t haul your cookies all the way to the beach without a book. Hold on till the end of summer with these books, but remember to come back to me in the fall for more reading suggestions. We go together like ramalamalama-dadingdadadingdadong. Don’t make me stand at the top of the bleachers at school smellin’ my pits and wondering what you’re doing. Don’t leave me stranded at the drive-in. Stranded. A fool. Don’t leave me for Cha Cha DeGregorio or Scientology. Don’t stop reading this blog because I use too many quotes from Grease (also if I can figure out a way to do this with Sister Act 2, I’m definitely going to do that #backinthehabit).

Ok, that’s my post. Isn’t it the most, to say the least?



We DJ’d Brice’s Road Trip

Brice writes:

“Hey DJs!  I’m road tripping from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park (staying in Sonoma, CA if that helps).  Please DJ my road trip!”

Whenever I hear about someone traveling to California, I think of the song “California” from Joni Mitchell’s Blue album and imagine a lot of twirling and long grassy fields, the dream version of long grass that doesn’t cause itchy ankles or make you think about snakes. I hope you get the chance to pull over and twirl somewhere along the way.


Your trip is around three hours one way, without traffic. Since you’re heading to a National Park, you might enjoy listening to NPR Road Trips: National Park Adventures, a collection of radio essays about parks all across the U.S., including one about Yosemite. The whole thing takes up only one hour and the pieces are short so you can skip around or listen straight through.

One of the best audiobook memoirs I’ve listened to lately is Wild Tales by Graham Nash, a good chunk of which takes place in California, although there is also a good chunk where the artist and fellow members of Crosby, Stills & Nash probably didn’t know where they were. It’s a whopping 12 hours, but you can listen to the juicy stuff about how crazy David Crosby is and zone out toward the end when Graham Nash gets really into 3D printing. Bonus: Nash reads it himself in a kicky English accent.
Speaking of trippy, you could also try Age of Miracles of Karen Thompson Walker (9 hours): “On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life” (from goodreads)
road trip music
But wait! Don’t forget the music from Tom in S&S:
Hope you  have a great road trip Brice!

PBF | July

Party Banter Friday: 

In Which A Librarian Provides You With An Interesting Fact to Make You More Popular During Weekend Socializing

If you haven’t sat in an old car with lava-hot vinyl seats, suckin’ on a Slurpee with a bag of Doritos on the dashboard, then you didn’t spend any of your summers with me. I probably spent about 80% of my summer begging people to give me a ride to the party store to buy Jolly Ranchers and Doritos and rent Problem Child.

Ok, so when I saw the new book, The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker, I thought maybe I had found the golden ticket of library books. Maybe this book held a coupon for a tour of a Doritos factory? Or possibly the Dorito effect somehow explained how Jay Leno managed to take over The Tonight Show?

It wasn’t either of those things. I almost choked on my Doritos. The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth about Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker is actually an engaging look into when food stopped tasting like food and why it’s important that we re-train our tastebuds to eat real came- from-a-farm-not-a -factory-food. Schatzker even provides an appendix for how to eat flavorful and not flavored food.

Turns out, Doritos is one of the first foods that was made to taste like something other than it was: a corn chip flavored to taste like a taco. And it came about at the same time that real food was beginning to taste bland because farms were beginning to mass produce their potatoes and corn and what-not on the same amount of acreage. And thus a perfect storm gathered and then Gogurt. This is the snack size version of The Dorito Effect. Ba dum bum.

I also gleaned this bit of trivia that you can regurgitate by the snack table this weekend if you like:

During the 1962 vacation that Dorito inventor, Arch West, came up with the idea for his famous snack chip, he was staying at a house that the Lawry’s seasoned salt guy owned and while he was eating at a restaurant that weekend the up-and-coming McDonald’s franchise king Ray Kroc came up to them and complimented West’s daughter on her golden-colored hair. Like golden arches. Which I thought was creepy. 

Your party discussion topics should be:

1) Do all the people that made junk food hang out in the same town all the time? (Then I looked up Ray Kroc and he went to “ambulance driver school” with Walt Disney. Currently forming a conspiracy theory about all of this information)

2.) Next time you take a summer cruise, should you skip the 7/11 and try for a farmer’s market?

Book Fitting: Ice Pops!

Book Fitting: In Which a Librarian Tries On a Book

I just got back from a vacation to Tennessee, where I quickly realized that my translucent skin and aversion to shorts (I like my thigh skin to stay on my thighs, not left behind on chairs and benches thankyouverymuch) were no match for the 105 degree heat. In Nashville, we ducked into air-conditioned bars and marveled at the talented songwriters performing (and also their ability to wear jeans in “this heat”) while our toddler plunged his grimy hands into all of the water glasses to pull out ice. We played “Who’s going to suggest going back to the hotel first?” and then played “Watch Food Network and sweat” back in our room.

Eventually, the troops needed rallying and that came in the form of a popsicle shop called Las Paletas. Our group of three and kiddo ate seven popsicles in the space of about 15 minutes. My favorite was, seriously, Corn. But we also enjoyed Chocolate Chili and Avocado and Key Lime and others that I forget because we delirious from our popsicle nirvana.

I’ve been dreaming about dreamy frozen treats ever since, so I was delighted to find Cesar and Nadia Roden’s Ice Pops!: 50 Delicious Fresh and Fabulous Icy Treats leaning on our shelves like some cool coconut-dipped hand on my shoulder saying, “Hello, friend.”


The Rodens started their own popsicle business, now called Ice Kitchen, and not only share their inspired recipes, but also special techniques like how to get your popsicle to look like a sprig of mint is floating inside it or how to dip your popsicle in alcohol, not in a I-wonder-how-this-grape-freezy-ice-would-taste-after-dipping-in-my-beer way, but in a classy clementine and white wine or grapefruit and Campari way. How hip are you going to be serving Mojito pops as your signature cocktail? I’ll come.

Blackberry Stripe-crop


The recipes range from simple Orange & Lemon to the inventive Cereal Milk (popsicles for breakfast!!) or the Beet and Sour Cream Pop you can see reprinted from the book on Food Republic (popsicles as appetizers!!!).


The book is artful, easy to follow, without complicated equipment and ingredients, and with 50 totally different recipes (and no phoning-it-in, try this one recipe five ways bunk), you could easily be tempted to keep this book out past it’s due date. You can renew it. Just don’t drool on it.

See more of our collection of books on frozen desserts including those for the Paleo and dairy-free and spend the rest of your summer staying cool and looking as cool as you can with a popsicle mustache.

Read more about Cesar and Ice Kitchen here.

Photo credit: The featured image is from the Ice Kitchen website. All other images are from the Ice Pop! book.