8 of Our Favorite Books for the Labor Day Weekend

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White t-shirt and denim shorts? Check. Floral mini dress? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Don't forget to also bring a good book on your Labor Day weekend getaway! Before you start packing, check out the book recommendations from petite AMIE editors.


Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

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A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.


Capture Your Style by Aimee Song

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From Instagram star Aimee Song, creator of the popular fashion blog Song of Style, comes the very first how-to Instagram guide, breaking down the essentials to taking gorgeous photos and building your brand and following.

With over three million Instagram fans, Aimee Song knows a thing or two about taking the perfect Instagram photo. And Instagram is so much more than a platform for pretty pictures. It’s the fastest-growing social media network with an engaged community, a major marketing tool for brands, a place where Beyoncé drops her albums, and a hub where products can be bought with a simple double tap. Including everything from fashion, travel, food, décor, and more, Aimee includes insider tips on curating a gorgeous feed and growing an audience.


Wine. All the Time. by Marissa A. Ross

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“Can I just be Marissa, please? I want to be hilarious and sexy and smart and insanely knowledgeable about wine.” —Mindy Kaling

A fresh, fun, and unpretentious guide to wine from Marissa A. Ross, official wine columnist for Bon Appétit.

Does the thought of having to buy wine for a dinner party stress you out? Is your go-to strategy to pick the bottle with the coolest label? Are you tired of choosing pairings based on your wallet, instead of your palate? Fear not! Bon Appétit wine columnist and Wine. All The Time. blogger Marissa A. Ross is here to help.

In this utterly accessible yet comprehensive guide to wine, Ross will walk you through the ins and outs of wine culture. Told in her signature comedic voice, with personal anecdotes woven in among its lessons, Wine. All the Time. will teach you to sip confidently, and make you laugh as you’re doing it.


My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

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Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.

Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. The reader tracks Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, and watches, heart in throat, as she struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well. 


The Wild Woman's Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway

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Fans of Sophie Kinsella and The Devil Wears Prada will love this smart, sexy debut novel of wanderlust.

Objectively, Sophie is a success: she's got a coveted job at a top consulting firm, a Manhattan apartment, and a passport full of stamps. It isn't quite what she dreamed of when she was a teenager dog-earing pages in exotic travel guides, but it's secure. Then her best friend bails just hours after they arrive in Hong Kong for a girls' trip, and Sophie falls for Carson, a free spirited, globetrotting American artist. He begs her to join him on his haphazard journey, but she chooses responsibility and her five-year plan.

Back in New York, that plan feels less and less appealing. As Sophie recalls the dreams she's suppressed, the brief international jaunts she sneaks in between business trips no longer feel like enough. Carson isn't ready to let her go either, but as they try to figure out their relationship, Sophie realizes she may have to pursue her passions with or without him.


Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 by Richard Avedon

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Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 encompasses seven decades of extraordinary images by Richard Avedon, the most influential fashion photographer of the 20th century.

This comprehensive volume offers a definitive survey, from Avedon's groundbreaking early photographs for Harper's Bazaarthrough his constantly inventive contributions to Vogue, Egoiste, and The New Yorker. Each carefully selected image represents an artistic collaboration with significant models, stylists, and designers. Avedon Fashion accompanies the first major exhibition to survey this body of work, at the International Center of Photography in May 2009. With critical essays by Carol Squiers, curator at the ICP, and photography critic Vince Aletti, as well as an appreciation by photo-historian Philippe Garner, Avedon Fashion chronicles an astonishing record of photographic achievement.


The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

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Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.

It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy—an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.

Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.


The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

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Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments about uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.

The Undoing Project is about the fascinating collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield—both had important careers in the Israeli military—and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.

Fiona LiuComment