Royal Book Club #5

The Summer Edit

Dear Bookworms,

Following the fiasco of the spring batch, the summer collection marked a massive upgrade. Or maybe I am just feeling more generous. Either way it was a good run which I am happy to share with you.

P.S.: I assume we all have grown tired of just nail polish so I am introducing further cosmetics to the presentation mix.

1. A Cook’s Tour – Anthony Bourdain

In one line or less: Antony Bourdain eats his way around the world and shares his insights with us.
Tell me more: Bourdain is masterful at conveying atmospheres and feelings. Parallel to being an excellent culinary documentary, the book is an endearing psychogram of the author. I was tempted to give it a straight 10.
I like it with: Essie Udon Know Me
The Queen’s Grade: 9
(commoner’s Grade: 7)

2. The Outsiders – S.E.Hinton

In one line or less: Classic coming-of-age novel.
Tell me more:
Although the book was originally published in 1967 it remains perfectly relevant today. An excellent portrayal of characters and circumstances, as well as of the general mood and nuances of the time / place. Reads in one seating.
I like it with:
Moroccanoil Treatment
The Queen’s Grade:
commoner’s grade: 8)

3. Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll

In one line or less: Engrossing page-turner.
Tell me more: Packaged in the form of light literature, the book mainly negotiates the pressure women undergo to “have it all” but is relatable on so many levels (across the entire spectrum of bullying for starters) that it far transcends its core mission. I couldn’t put it down and look forward to the Netflix adaptation.
I like it with: Mac Magic Extension mascara (Black)
The Queen’s Grade: 8
(commoner’s grade: 8)

4. Counterfeit – Kirstin Chen

In one line or less: Super fun read.
Tell me more: Somewhere between a comedy and crime fiction, this book is funny, original and fully absorbing. I simply loved the plot (2 friends reunite to set up a “superfakes” luxury bags business). Lightweight reading at its best.
I like it with: Chanel Rouge Allure Ink 168 Serenity
The Queen’s Grade: 8
(commoner’s grade: 8)

5. The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

In one line or less: Good old-fashioned thriller with amazing plot twist.
Tell me more: Perfect holiday reading – I finished it in just two sessions without even making an effort. The plot flows with zero slack, on the contrary you get the biggest kick at the very end of the book.
I like it with: Korres Gel Effect Nail Colour Sunshine 91
The Queen’s Grade: 8
(commoner’s grade: 9)

6. Sorrow and Bliss – Meg Mason

In one line or less: An exploration of mental illness (feminine angle).
Tell me more: Female literature minus the typical corniness endemic of the genre; I have given it an extra point purely because it didn’t feature all the predictable blabber. The main character is super-annoying but I suppose kudos to the writer for generating such feelings to the reader.
I like it with: Dior Addict Lip Tattoo 621
The Queen’s Grade: 7
(commoner’s grade: 8

7. The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave

In one line or less: Domestic thriller
Tell me more: Well written story that builds up nicely & comes complete with interesting plot twists. Without being a revelation it is bound to satisfy.
I like it with: Essie Zest has yet to come
The Queen’s Grade: 7
(commoner’s Grade: 8

8. Joy at work – Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein

In one line or less: Tips on how to “Mari Kondo” your business life.
Tell me more: Mari Kondo applies her famous tidying method, this time to the professional arena. There are a few ideas to take home here. Large part of the book refers to corporate dynamics, invariably getting boring if it doesn’t apply to one. I enjoyed it but mostly the Marie Kondo bits.
I like it with: Nothing, in the minimalist spirit of Marie.
The Queen’s Grade: 7
(commoner’s grade: 7)

9. Mouth to Mouth – Antoine Wilson

In one line or less: Literary (soft) crime novel.
Tell me more: The plot sounds quite exciting but the delivery is less so. There is an attempt at sophistication that doesn’t bear fruit and comes across as pretentious; pompous words pop up here and there, never quite blending with the rest of the text. Still, it is a quick and mostly pleasant read.
I like it with: Essie Pretty in Ink
The Queen’s Grade: 6
(commoner’s grade: 8)

10. The Hawthorn Legacy – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

In one line or less: Teenage action drama (or comedy – whatever).
Tell me more: An accidental read. Excellent teenage literature (innovative plot, loads of action and all), to the point that it took me about 80 pages to get wind of it. I fully recommend it if you have young people around but I will not be reading the sequel.
I like it with: Essie Can Dew Attitude
The Queen’s Grade: 5
(commoner’s grade: 9, for age-appropriate readers)

Check out more book reviews below:

Spring 2022
Winter 2022
Autumn 2021
Summer 2021


The commoner’s grade is what The Real Queen of Stuff imagines a commoner would grace said books with.

All images © The Real Queen of Stuff

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