A Very Bookish Vacation {with Summer Reading Recommendations!} / by Madeleine

Happy Fourth of July, friends!

This holiday represents my favorite time of year. If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen my strict adherence to a red-white-and-blue dress code, my enthusiasm for our little town's annual festivities, and my joy at having a friend visit for it all.

The best part about all of it? That I'll still have plenty of days left to sit at the beach with a book in hand once the holiday is over. Teaching has its perks, one of them being summer vacation. In reality, most teachers do work over the summers, but due to a number of circumstances (changing districts, moving, etc.) I decided to take this summer off and embrace it as a season of both relaxation and transition. (And if we're being totally honest, I just wanted more time to read.)

Though fall is my favorite season, I am a wholehearted supporter of summer, especially when it means spending the day at the beach with a book in hand. Last week my mother and I took a quick trip out to the Hamptons to visit my little brother, and it was the perfect way for me to kick off the start of summer.

I finished up my school year on Thursday, said goodbye to my team (tears were shed), and we packed up the car on Sunday morning. After an overnight in the cute seaside town of Mystic, Connecticut, we hopped on a ferry to New York and drove down to see my brother in Southampton. 

Mystic, Connecticut

Of course, while we were in Mystic, I had to stop in the local bookstore. It's an incredibly well-stocked shop on the corner of the main shopping street. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping to browse the shop! It's called Bank Square Books and you can find their online shop here. While there, I purchased this new novel and I absolutely cannot wait to read it. I don't know how I hadn't head of it already, but it is right up my alley.

(This is my brother. He's the best.)

Some background info here: my brother is in a PGA program, which means that instead of spending his college years on campus, he spends most of his time out on internships -- at some of the most beautiful (and prestigious) golf courses in the country. You can read about our visit to see him in Georgia last year for my spring break here. His current internship has him working in Southampton for the entire summer, and it's safe to say that I'm just a teensy bit envious.

I brought along a few books of my own to read while on vacation, three of which I managed to finish while lounging on the beach in Southampton. (P.S. You'll see a review for each of those here on the blog next week!) I spent the majority of my vacation parked right in front of the water, with my toes in the sand and a book in my hand. Some people might think it's a little silly, to go on a vacation and do the exact same thing that I like to do at home, but after a rather rough ending to our school year, I can tell you that those days on the beach are exactly what my body and soul needed to feel refreshed.

The ocean cures all, in my experience.

When we arrived at the hotel, we had an unexpected (and pleasant) surprise. Apparently, The Southampton Inn is a place run by bookworms. Many of you saw my elation on my Instagram stories, but I swear I've never been more giddy than I was upon finding out that the various books in the lobby were for guests to keep -- for free

Raise your hand if you can think of anything better than a free book.

(I can't.)

I plucked a few (brand-new titles, I should mention) from the shelves and stuck them in my beach bag, but my affection for the hotel owners only grew when we went to check out and I was given a goodie-bag full of summer reads.

I mean, let's just call this what it is -- Christmas morning.

All in all, I came home with quite a few more books than I arrived with, and I am so excited to have these new titles on my shelves. I've linked a few of the ones that I can't wait to read for you below, in case you're looking to add to your own summer reading stack.

The Necklace by Claire McMillan

This one is at the top of my list to pick up once I've crossed off a few more titles from my own summer reading list. It features a mysterious family heirloom, and you don't need much more than that to catch my interest.

Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

This is one title you'll see on Anne Bogel's Summer Reading Guide and one that looks like a quick and light read that might actually prompt some unexpectedly deep thinking.

The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner

I couldn't resist taking this home with me after seeing that cover. It's a multigenerational novel about a family living on a Mediterranean island off the coast of Italy. 

Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker

Also on Anne Bogel's summer reading guide. For fans of Jane Eyre.

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

I'm pretty sure I first heard this title on an episode of What Should I Read Next, but the concept of it reminds me of this novel that I read and loved a few summers ago.

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

A family's deteriorating wealth forces them to take a cross-country road trip. I love this cover.

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And if that's not enough, there was also a resident hotel cat, so you could say my cat-lady, book-loving heart was full during this stay. Kindred spirits can be found in the most unexpected of places.

P.S. This post was not, in any way, sponsored. I had no idea that the hotel would cater to my bookish spirit, nor do the owners know that this little corner of the internet belongs to one of their recent guests. If you're looking to stay in the area, send me an e-mail! I'd love to share more about our full experience there.