Monday, July 1, 2024

Books for a Brillant Summer-Part 2

Stack of Summer Reading Books

On June 1, 2024 I published a blog post Books for a Brilliant Summer right here at Colors 4 Health.

It was so much fun reading the books, sharing my reviews, and seeing your comments that I'm following up with this post.


Please look below for Part 2 of Books for a Brilliant Summer.

Books for a Brilliant Summer 
Part 2 

First off, summer reading and synchronicity have been working well in my life.  On two separate occasions, my dear friends Lynne and Marilyn suggested I read poetry from the same woman poet whose work resonates with them. 

That's the amazing way they planted a seed that motivated me to seek out the poetry of Mary Oliver.

I thought about the high regard each of my friends holds for Mary Oliver. Then I ran to my local library and checked out a copy of A Thousand Mornings.

Poetry Reading for a Brilliant Summer

Jacket Design: Darren Haggar/ Jacket Photograph: Jacques Pion / Lens Modern

I read it from cover to cover (96 pages) in one sitting. Published in hardcover in 2012 by Penguin Press, this tiny book of poetry captures moments and situations in daily living that are lyrical, ring true, and show nature and living beings in an clear, honest, and observant way. 

Oliver’s poetry is appealing to me, partly because I cherish nature’s bounty as she did, and am concerned about environmental issues. I also found solace, support, and validation as a woman and human being. 

Although this book is lightweight it is powerful. Mary Oliver's poetry has won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

I plan to explore other poetry from Mary Oliver and here are details

Essays for a Brilliant Summer

Riverhead Books/Cover Design Janet Hansen Cover Image Tom Merton

Somehow: Thoughts on Love is a book of essays by the bestseller writer Anne Lamott. Lamott, a San Francisco based author, has written 20 books (that number is a combination of fiction and non-fiction). 

This non-fiction work is largely autobiographical, and covers essays about recovery from alcoholism, single motherhood, nature, gratitude, and many ways she has witnessed love or been healed by receiving or giving love. A must read.

Lerner Publishing/Photography Jennifer S. Larson

Dig In! Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps by Kari Cornell is a fun book that helps the reader learn how to grown fruit and vegetables from nothing but kitchen scraps. Instead of throwing away or composting food leftovers, use them to grown more.

Lerner Publishing Group publishes books for children, but this book it a handy book for anyone who wants to learn more about plant propagation, gardening, and ways to live more sustainably.

I really dig it (pun intended), because the illustrations are clear, directions are simple, and there are many tips that show how to use cuttings to grow new plants. Farm to table recipes are included to take advantage of crops from home gardening. 

Tuscan Recipes for a Brilliant Summer

Clarkson Potter/Photography Eric Wolfinger

Extra Virgin Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar is a large cookbook (272 page) from TV personality and actor Deb Mazar and her husband, a chef and partner in TV show on the Cooking Channel, "Extra Virgin." 


It piqued my interest, because I love the taste of extra virgin olive oil in Italian food, and the book has 120 contemporary Tuscan dishes with illustrations, including some that are vegan.

The recipes for oven-roasted potatoes, red sauce (vegan and suitable for pasta, pizza, or veggies), pizza dough, and a luscious-looking Tuscan Bread and Tomato Soup are ones that contain ingredients that I already have on hand.

Published in 2014 by Clarkson Potter, you may be able to borrow it from a public library, order it online, or get it from a thrift store. 


Suspense Novel for a Brilliant Summer
                                    Atria Books/Simon & Schuster



Last but not least is Lisa Jewell's novel None of This is True. It was published in 2023 by Atria Books, a Subsidiary of Simon & Schuster. It's a hold on to your seat suspenseful read. 

In brief, it's a psychological thriller about a woman who discovers she is the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.

The two main characters are Alix Summer (podcaster) and Josie Fair, a woman with a painful shadowed history who wants her story told.

The plot had many twists and turns and I suspect if you enjoy suspense, mystery, and a well-written crime drama, you'll enjoy this one.

There are many more books I would love to read this summer, and I keep on getting ideas about new ones from the media, reviews from fellow bloggers, and my readers. Here is a link to a summer reading post I wrote last summer.

Before you go, please comment below.

Which book that you read recently do you recommend and why?

Did you read any of the books I reviewed? If you haven't read them, which ones piqued your interest and why?

I appreciate each comment, but will not publish those with links. Thanks for understanding.

This post has been shared at SENIOR SALON PIT STOP #319!

This post has been shared at The SundaySalon: A Week in Which I Read Two Mysteries Saturday, July 6, 2024

This post has been shared at Talking About It Tuesdays #27 July 02, 2024

This post has been shared at SENIOR SALON PIT STOP #317!


  1. Great choices, but I have to say that Lisa Jewell is my favorite from your list. Have you ever tried Frieda McFadden? I love her books and I am not usually a mystery reader. Stopping in from SSPS!

    1. Thanks Jennifer for the kind words and comment on my book list. Wishing you a beautiful day and happy week.

  2. Good Morning Nancy, I love the post! I think it's because you and I have many of the same interests. I'm enjoying the previous book that you recommended in your last post, "How to Know a Person" . and I am intrigued by your reviews of the first three books in this post and will look into them. I am a fan of Anne Lamott, and in fact I have a quote from her in my cookbook. Since I prefer non-fiction and historical fiction, I'll probably skip the thriller.

    1. As always Judee appreciate your feedback and wish you a marvelous week.

  3. None of This Is True was a fun one! Extra Virgin looks delicious.

    1. Thanks so much Joanne. You are so right on both counts. Have a marvelous day!

  4. I read everything Anne Lamott writes. I thought her latest book is perhaps her wisest.

    I will look for Dig In! I've been interested in learning how to propagate plants.

    1. Thanks Deb for the visit and comment. Appreciate you hosting Sunday Salon and wish you a fantastic week,

  5. Your summer reading list looks very ambitious! Have fun with it.
    best, mae at

    1. As I mentioned in Part 1, I intend to reserve more time for reading, and not count the number of books I read as much as recognize the pleasure of reading. Wishing you a wonderful week.

  6. We only use extra virgin olive oil in our cooking. I didn't realize there was a show with that name, interesting. Have a great week!

  7. Thanks so much Cindy for the visit and comment. Wishing you a beautiful week.