There’s no better way to spend a lazy July afternoon than dipping into the pages of a good book. The lighthearted titles below are just right for poolside perusal.
Nothing says summer like a simple, classic ice-cream cone. Author Amy Ettinger salutes the timeless treat in Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America, a breezy, appealing book that tracks the history and development of the frozen favorite. A self-described “ice cream snob” ever in pursuit of “the perfect scoop,” Ettinger explores the culinary advancements that have affected the creamy concoction over the years and shares personal anecdotes about her lifelong love affair with the sweet stuff.
As she travels across the country investigating ice cream’s allure, Ettinger attends classes at Pennsylvania State University’s prestigious ice-cream making school, which is equipped with its very own creamery, and chats with ice-cream icon Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s fame. Along the way, she serves up plenty of tasty trivia (back in 1790, George Washington spent $200 on ice cream; in today’s economy, that’s around $3,000) and shares the backstories of famous brands like Carvel, Breyers and Good Humor. Ettinger also includes recipes—Arnie’s Ballpark Chocolate is a standout—but you don’t have to be a foodie to savor her tribute to a summer staple. “Ice cream,” Ettinger says, has “the ability to add the words So what? to life’s dire circumstances.” Her travelogue is a scoop of fun for everyone.
LAUGHS FOR THE LADIES
We have good news for the legion of readers who love mother-daughter co-authors Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella: The eighth book from the bestselling team comes out this month. The delightfully companionable essay collection I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool offers more of the invaluable life perspectives—and big laughs—that fans anticipate from this terrific twosome.
In brief, razor-sharp pieces, mother and daughter provide insights from different stages in the female experience. Their essays brim with we’ve-all-been-there moments. Serritella, a 30-something Manhattanite who’s on “guyatus”—that’s a hiatus from guys—writes candidly about the realities of life in the city and the process of owning her independence. “Being single is a status,” she says, “it’s not an urgent problem in need of remediation.” Scottoline, who lives on a farm in Pennsylvania, reflects on her iPhone obsession, Twitter dependency and the surreal experience of purchasing diapers for her incontinent dog. Her can-do attitude is a true spirit-booster, and she entreats women to stand on their own two feet and stop waiting for a lifeguard to save the day. “Who better to trust with your life than you?” she writes. “Who’s more reliable than a woman?” Indeed, when it comes to feel-good and uproarious storytelling, this duo always delivers.